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On board were a couple newbie?s to private boating, Mike Najar and George as well as Raymond Cid. Launched out of Davies? at 5:30am at it was already warm. Original plan was to head to the west end of Catalina. Luckily the dreaded fog that was predicted never materialized and the sunrise and warm air reminded me more of being in Baja. Here is the crew at dawn as we are leaving Los Alamitos Bay:
After taking on a generous scoop of squid from Nacho we headed over to Catalina in beautiful conditions. We fished a cove just east of Starlight near the west end and the yellows were around but had a severe case of lockjaw. We decided to look around the west cove area and it seemed pretty slow so the decision was made to make my first run to SBI. A mere 19 miles in slightly bumpy conditions. Made it to the island in less than hour: A view of the island from inside the pilot house:
After a couple of rockfish we decided to look for better conditions as there wasn?t much of a current. We moved around to the other side and it we picked off a couple of fish. Here is Mike with a nice whitefish on the dropper loop:
Things were pretty slow and we drifted some boiler rocks for nada. Seemed like a slow day for the 5 or 6 boats working the back of the island as well. I decided to make a move i where conditions looked really nice. We anchored in about 30 feet of milky, sandy and kelpy water and started a slow pick on some decent size calicos, a sheephead and a couple of halibut one of which was legal 26? fish and a first for Mike. Mike with his halibut and yours truly with another SBI calico:
George with his first ever calico:
Mike with his first calico on the plastic:
We had a couple of nice rips here as George was nearly spooled on the dropper loop squid on 20 lb test on a spinning outfit. My guess that it was a big yellow. Things slowed f us and we made a couple of moves for nada. Spoke to the guys on the ?Hardcore, a Boston Whaler, and they said they had 1 white seabass and limits of calicos but overall it was pretty slow. One more stop at Shag Rock for drift and Mike was throwing a Berkeley Gulp on a sliding egg sinker setup and he catches another calico on an artificial lure. I think he?s hooked on throwing the rubber because he said he is ready to buy a bait casting setup. The ride back was awesome as we had the tiny swell behind us and a warm breeze the entire way to Catalina. Water temps ranged between 69 to 74 degrees between the islands. Unbelievable. Proof of the warm water was a school of free swimming molas that we ran into 5 miles from the west end of Catalina:
There were scattered schools all around us. I counted no less than 20. What was strange was that they were in open water with no kelp paddies around. I?ve seen schools of mola before but they were always close to something floating. Very cool stuff. We also saw a couple of blue whales. We were down wind of one of them when he (she?) came up for air and spouted it smelled really bad. One of the guys said that the whale must have farted. Heading for Ensenada this weekend and the next. Hasta luegos.

This post edited by Its4Reel-Parker 23 06/25/2008
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