8/22 SD Bay - Fishing with PJ

Took out my friend Patrick to do a little kayak fishing in San Diego bay after seeing the awesome morning tide swing.

Low tide:  4:41 AM -0.3 ft
High tide:  10:56 Am 5.5 ft

Still have my old kayak, so he was going to borrow that while I fished my Trident. He arrived at my place at 0440, and we loaded up and set out to Shelter Island Launch. On the water by 0600 after rigging up.

Beautiful morning in SD Bay!

As much as I knew where I'd catch fish, and knowing we'd get into a good bite at those places, I
wanted to try out some new places with the nice inflow of water. A bit worried that we weren't going to find the fish, I was immediately hooked onto a nice spottie on my first cast. 2nd cast, same thing. Nice, now just to get Patrick into some fish as well.

I explained to him the main technique of long lining to catch our fish, mainly because of the deeper depths at which we will be fishing, and after I told him how, it was on! Fish after fish was being brought aboard. We both were using scent, me Unibutter and him Procure Shrimp. It seemed the bass were on the chew for some Procure as when my bite slowed down, I switched to Procure scent, and BAM it was back on.

Bendo shot!

Nice Spottie!

I also drifted my ever so lucky Sabiki rod for some bait, but the small lizzies were hard to come by today. As we're drifting, I get slammed HARD on my Sabiki rod. This thing is pulling major drag on my 8lb outfit, but my standby Symetre held up to the test. Pulled her up after a short tussle and surpirse surprise! The Sabiki does it again! My personal best Sand Bass!  She looked about 20". GF keeps asking for some fish to actually eat, so in the ice bag she went.

We drifted a bit more, heading towards Tidelands Park, and again my Sabaiki rod gets slammed! This time, its making some hard runs and feels stuck at times. I'm thinking, this is some sort of flatfish, be it my legal hali or a ray. Hoping its a hali, I prepare myself. I bring it to color and...its a ray! Oh well. I try to release her, but she's flapping around wildly, and then SNAP! The last hook that was onto her broke. Turns out, 3 hooks on my Sabiki setup were broken! RIP my good friend, you caught me many a interesting fish!

- 5 bass at once
- halibut
- PB Sand bass
- ray

Twas a good day out on the water, and even better with company. Until the next fishing adventure...

sd bay - 8/18 Sabiki Surprise!

on the hunt again for my elusive legal on the yak. started a little later than i wanted too and otw by 7.

outgoing tide, minimal wind at first. caught my usual bait (lizard fish) on the sabiki and drifted with a sliding egg sinker rig.

hooked up on a sculpin first drop, and resent my sabiki down for more bait. sabiki rod was bending as i was playing with my swimbait rod and reeled in a hali!

sabiki does it again! (previously, caught 5 bass at once)

closer inspection showed he ate a lizard that was hooked on the sabiki!

drifted around for a couple bass, and another halibut. then my drift rod gets slammed! thinking this is it, finally my legal hali, i prepare myself. he's making some nice runs and then comes to color.

big angel shark!

fun fight, but not my target. sent her back on her way after having to untangle the mess. retied and sent some more lizzies on the drift. caught a couple more bass, AND bigger lizards all on smaller live lizards. got slammed one more time, but popped off. looks like a bad knot on my part...

ended the day with 2 shorts, a bunch of bass, and an angel shark. all caught on live/dead lizard fish!

MB 8/12: w/ the new yak

Welp, had my Pelican Castaway 116 for about 2 months now. It was a great starter kayak, and got me to places I couldn't from shore. It's allowed me to catch many fish as well. But, as my confidence grew, and my yearning for new waters, I knew I had to upgrade to a better kayak. Posted up my wants on BigWatersEdge (SoCal kayak fishing forum), and someone from OEX Mission Bay messaged me with a used demo OK Trident 15 that he was willing to sell! Went and tried it out the very next day!

This kayak was big! At 15' 7.5", this thing was nearly 6' longer than my Castaway! I feared that it would be too long for what I needed, but once I was out on the water on this thing, my mind changed. Plus, in the long run, you can't add length. This kayak was much more stable than my previous. It also seemed much easier to paddle, going much faster. It also held its drift much better. However, being that it was a longer boat, it was much harder to turn on a dime. After testing it out for some time, I had made up my mind. Time to take this baby home!

Here she is, on my truck. No racks, but this will do...

Couldn't wait to try her out, so after work I set out in Mission Bay for a little fishing session. To note, being that it's a longer boat, it was a little difficult loading and unloading by myself. But, I'm sure with more practice, I'll get a better system down.  

Made my way near Ski Beach launch and paddled out. Outgoing tide with some chop from wind, and some jetskiers out, this was the perfect conditions to test its stability and handling capabilities. Didn't have anything really installed on it yet, so stopped at some places that looked fishy. The best thing I noted about this boat is that it holds its drift really well. Even with wind and chop and my relative light weight (its rated to hold 500-550lbs), I held my drift perfectly. This allowed me to be in the right spot at all times.  First cast rewarded me with a nice spottie!

I like the fact that I can also sit sideways on this kayak, and still feel quite stable. Paddled around and fished a bit more for 6 spotties and a barracuda. Not bad for 1.5 hours, but my main goal was to feel out my new ride. All in all, I'm extremely satisfied with my new purchase. Put in a new paddle, and some minor upgrades (bait tank/fish finder) and I'll be set with my new kayak!

SD Bay - 8/11 - Interesting Catch(es)!

Been doing some kayak fishing in SD Bay over the weekend. Saturday wasn't too bad, but today I had a very interesting catch!

Launched out of SI around 6:30 AM, incoming tide, little to no wind at first,  Temp was about mid 60s. Right off the bat, stuck a nice sandie long lining a 3" BH 1/2oz leadhead. To note, while fishing 30'-50' water, I noticed long lining the plastics or drifting with it catches more fish.

Pulled out my sabiki rig to make some bait. Got a nice lizard fish and pinned him on, and let him drift on my big pole while i threw the bh. About 15 minutes into my drift, the lizard gets slammed! Quickly reeled in my other line and started fighting the other fish. This thing was pulling hard on my sealine 20, spooled with 20lb mono, and my pole was full bendo! Next thing I know, *POP*. Gaahhh...Reeled in and found no hooks at the other end. Bad knot? Sawed through? Whatever it was, I was heartbroken.

Caught more lizards to drift while I picked away at the spotties.

Was using white or chartreuse colored swimbaits in the deeper areas, and those seemed to work really well. Then my big pole screams again! But then stops. Reeled in my line only to find a half eaten lizard fish. Blast...

Paddled to my bait spot and dropped in my sabiki. Let that drift as I picked away again at the spotties. Then my sabiki rig doubles over! The heck? Started reeling it in and found quite the resistance. Once I brought it to color, I saw an interesting sight!

Haha, couple bass on the same rig? Pulled it all the way up and found actually 5 bass!

What an crazy catch! Also to note, I caught quite a few bass on the sabiki as well before this. But 5? Too funny.

Ended the day around 12:30 PM with 20+ bass (stopped counting as that wasn't my primary target), more than I could count lizard fish, and 2 missed strikes. I'll get 'em next time!


MB/SD Bay - Weekend Report

It may not seem like it, as the amount of posts I write up does not reflect all the times I've gone out. But I've been fishing a good amount. I'm just too lazy to write reports. Or perhaps, too busy fishing! Mostly the bays, in my new kayak, but I've hit the surf a few times as well. I've stalked the beans out in S. Mission Beach two weekends ago, taking me down 50 yards and back "crouch-walking" following a couple beans spotted in the skinny, all for a lot of weird looks that day. 

I think its the crowds that really pull me towards NOT fishing the surf during summer. Just way too many people either standing/swimming/splashing/playing right in some nice holes. It's not like the bays are any better, too. Considering all the jet skiers/weekend-warrior-boaters constantly pushing wakes everywhere in quote-unquote "Non-wake Areas".  Oh well, I digress...

So I took a break from fishing all week last week. Taking a break gives me some time to really think about new tactics or new things I want to try. I realized that as a new owner of a kayak, I really wanted a bait-drifting outfit. So, all of that week was used for researching new gear. 

It just so happened that Turners was having a special on the Daiwa Sealine X reels! They're selling for $74.98, originally priced at $124.99 (sale goes until the 8th, I believe). I've heard nothing but good things about this reel, and it seems most kayakers use this reel as an entry level reel. Its rugged, gets the job done, and is fairly cheap in that if you take a dunk and lose it, it doesn't hurt your wallet (as much). Sold it for me! I actually bought 2 of the Sealines. X-20 SHA and the X-40 HA, geared 6.1:1 and 4.9:1 respectively. That 40's gonna be used in the future, for the bigger fellas! I also picked up a Sabre Classic 7' rated 12-30lbs, which was mis-priced at Big 5, so I got it for less than $40! Sweet!  Spooled my X-20 with 50lb spectra backing and 20lb Big Game mono, I set out to try my new outfit.

I hit SD Bay early morning Saturday, launching out of Tidelands. I had picked up some smelt to use for live bait the night before at the Korean market, and rigged it up on a reverse dropper loop. I knew where I could potentially pick off on bass, but my thoughts were on bigger fish. So, I drifted around the bridge pilings closer to the deep channels, while casting out a grunion big hammer. 

A look at my new outfit in action!

I'm immediately into some action. With the clicker on, "zzZZZzzzZ", I'm getting hits on my new rig! Too bad they were all bass, and not that big either. With that new rig, it felt like pulling in nothing! Too funny.  Had my steady pickings for a bit, and had some bigger strikes that didn't stay connected. Ended the day around lunch time with about 15 spotties, 2 mackerel (looking for live bait on my sabiki), and a lizard. Not bad, but not overly great.
Your usual bass out in SD Bay.

Couldn't sleep that night, so it was another early morning start. But this time decided to hit Mission Bay. Was out on the water by 6:00 AM and headed out to the bait barge for some live bait. Saw some top water action so threw the big hammer (grunion) to see what was chasing. Got smashed early on, and what do you know, a new species for me! Juvenile White Sea Bass! Sweet. I let her go, in hopes of it growing up one day, so that I may pull in a big one from my kayak!

Nice colors!

Made my way to the bait barge and picked up a kayak scoop. That early in the morning, all they had were LARGE baits. I mean, 8-inch-plus. I knew I wasn't going to get anything with these baits in the bay, but what the hell. Used up all my smelt the day before, and wanted to use my drift rig again. Shelled out the $10 for a kayak scoop and I was on my way.

Made a few stops here and there, and my clicker kept going off. Not in a good way though, damn these weeds in MBay!! Made bottom drifting extremely hard that day, as it would catch on the lead almost every time. Oh well, lesson learned, might try a new type of bottom rig in MBay. Caught most of my fish on the big hammer again. The average Spottie's were about 1.5 lbs, and a small calico in the mix. Ended the day with about 10 spotties, 1 calico, and 1 halibut. Caught that halibut on the big hammer as well. Well, hopefully next time I can put my new outfit to the test on some bigger fish!

Until next time, we'll just have to wait. Looks like the weather is cooling down into the weekend. Might be taking another break, hopefully I won't be needing any more gear....