New beginnings.

What started as a small project to log my fish outings, has evolved into something much bigger, and has given me many opportunities that I'd never thought otherwise possible. With the New Year upon us, I thought it be prudent to revamp this blog, and start with a fresh new look. Look to new types of content coming through! Thanks for reading.

LJ - Early part of August, 1st Yellow!

If you hadn't seen or heard, there was a really good bite going on for YT in the early part of August. I made 2 trips during that time, and got lucky to say the least!

The first day I launched before sunrise. Picked up some nice greenies, about 8 of them and started my troll at the NW corner. Dogs seemed to be out in force that day, actually they seemed to only be following me, and stole every bit of bait I had in my live well. With no bait and the time reading past noon, I debated on either staying out or just heading in defeated, again. But, I decided to stick it out, and made a little more bait. 

This time, made a bunch of spanish macks in the live well. Restarted my trolling as I made my way back to the launch. At this time, there was no one else around. I guess no one else was having any luck, but I was determined to finally hook one. Kept paddling along, until my bait was getting nervous. Took the rod out of the holder, and thumbed the spool as I slowly counted down, and then flipped the reel in gear. Limp goes the line, as I retrieve back my naked hook. Made a big u-turn and sent out another mack. Same thing happens again right around the same spot! Frustrated, I made another u-turn and circled back. Let out another spanish, and began my paddle back to the spot. Nothing hit this time, until maybe 20 yards past my previous spots. Again, thumbed the spool, let it take much more line than I needed to, and flipped it into gear. BAM, fish on!

This guy felt like a brute! Well, this was definitely the biggest fish I've hooked into as of late, and it towed me around a good bit. Last time this happened I got kelped, so I was determined to bring this one to color. Had my drag set previously and horsed it in. After a couple missed gaffed attempts, I got her! Bled it and called it a day. 

Went 22.8#, and my first yellowtail!

Next outing, I had a late start. Paddled out at 7, made some bait (all spanish macks for me) and at the spot around 800. Trolled for maybe 20 minutes and my baits getting nervous. Let it take a bit, and flipped the reel into gear. Limp again. Instead of busting a U, I threw the surface iron in the direction of my bait. After a couple cranks, line goes heavy, and I've got a biter! Reeled it in and up comes a nice yellow! Sweet, first yellow of the day and on the surface iron! At this time, I'm now seeing a school of about 50 yellows just cruising under my kayak. I'm furiously throwing the iron again and again, but no takers this time.

I set out another bait, and begin the slow troll around the vicinity. Decide to check if my baits still alive, and start reeling it in. Then it gets hit, and starts peeling line! sweet! Fought it to the yak, and gaffed into it. 2nd yellow of the day, and it wasn't even 9 yet! Decided to call it a day, and back at home by 10.

Its been quite an exciting bite, and hope this trend continues! So get out there, and get bit!


A fellow kayaker, Captain Wade from Team Hobie, put's on a benefit kayak tournament called Kayak for the Kids, where all entry and donations go towards Rady's Children Hospital. I made time on my schedule to firstly donate my time and money to a great foundation, as well as testing my fishing skills since my first tournament.

I signed up for biggest Halibut and Bass divisions, and without being able to pre-fish this tournament, I relied solely on past experiences on this location. Loaded up my Cuda 14, with my bait tank and fully loaded poles. I'm always impressed at how well the Cuda performs under weight, as I smoothly moved along the bay waters, silently looking for fish.

Fellow Jackson Kayak member Jarrod McGehee joined in as well, with his fully rigged Cuda 14.

We were greeted with some fairly calm weather out in San Diego Bay at Tidelands park. About 20 other kayakers would comprise the tournaments entries. I was able to make quick work on some nice fish, but not until mid-morning, after dragging along some dead bait and swimbaits, was I able to bring in a nice halibut and toad spottie for measuring!

Finished out the day with 1 legal spottie to be measured and sweet halibut in hopes of being in the running. Surprisingly, I was able to win the halibut division, and took 2nd runner up for the bass division! Not bad for my 2nd tournament entry ever! 

It was definitely a great event, and look forward to fishing this again next year!

7/6 - LJ

0-1 ft waves at the launch in the morning, with little to no wind. pretty much lake-like conditions for most of the day. greenbacks were out in force, made about 10 before heading out to troll around. while trolling, saw a big mark coming through on my ff. was about to drop down, when it only got BIGGER! took a look under my yak, and what do you know, a HUGE whale just cruising along right under me! kept paddling along, throwing the surface iron at some puddles here and there. tossed the iron until it popped off and went bye-bye :(.  lots of other yakkers out, so I tried to paddle away from the crowds. got sliced through twice on 40lb test, think the sharks were out in force. stolen bait by dogs many a times as well :mad:. on one bait, as it was getting nervous, it was hit hard. reeled in the slack and it popped off. as i was reeling in my hook and line, a mack hooked itself. then another bigger fish started chasing it! looked like a barracuda (or a small yeller), but then then a dog came and stole the show...made a little more bait but then got slammed by a calico taking my sabiki with him. left around 4pm, as boat traffic picked up. all in all a pretty busy day, but fun to be on the water.

Memorial Day weekend on the Central Coast of California

Long weekends are known to bring out the "weekend warriors", so I decided to take a trek up north to my college town of San Luis Obispo. The Central Coast of California is known for its dramatic coastlines. Because of its rocky coastline vistas, fishing pressure is not much of a concern. With access to very shallow water rockfish fishing, I hit up fellow Jackson Kayak member Tom Reilly to show me the ropes.

Arriving to our destination, I realized this was a very different landscape then what we're used to down in Southern California. With steep cliffs surrounding small beaches, we carried our kayaks down steep embankments to reach the water. Tom with the Cruise12, and myself with the Cuda 14. Beforehand, I prepared all my outfits for rockfish fishing. This included many swimbait combinations, and double rigs, in hopes for double hookups!

Swell was a bit up, but we managed to get out unscathed. The Cuda 14 performed extremely well in those rocky beaches, and sliced through the swell with ease!

First drops down yielded no results, so we moved on to some patches of kelp. These new places yielded us with some nice fishes and my first Central Coast rockfishes!

During one of my drops with some big swimbaits, I get slammed hard! My pole goes full bendo, and I tug hard to set the hook when all of a sudden SNAP! Broke my pole in half!

But, it wasn't all heartache out there. I was able to catch my first lingcod and it was of legal size!

As we made our way back, the surf was up since we headed out, but the Cuda 14 and Cruise 12 handled extremely well in the rough landing. Had a blast fishing new grounds with Tom, as we pulled in a nice stringer of rockfish for dinner. Can't wait to get back up north to fish again!

Mission Bay HOW Tournament

Whoops! Forgot to post up the results of the HOW tournament from 5/9/14 at Mission Bay.

I did some prefishing in the days leading up to the tournament, and had a general idea of what I was going to do. They were biting the warblade, and of course the BH swimbaits. Unfortunately, all the fish I'd caught prefishing were no where close to being legal. I knew it was going to be tough fishing on tournament day. Add to the fact that the days leading up were EXTREMELY hot and windy, and day of would be much cooler. Nevertheless, I was planning on hitting some channels, and some docks, as the east bay just wasn't producing at the time.

Come tourney day, I show up early at 6 a.m. Lots of people already there and boats near the water. Being my first tournament, I was very nervous, yet excited to compete! Met up with Jarrod, and we traded some intel/tips/plans for the days events. Signed in, brought our boats down, and listened in on the captain's meeting. Apparently, there were about 102 other anglers out there on that day. Yikes!

I had brought 4 rigs with me on that day:  Alabama Rig, homemade warblade, BH swimbait, and a spinner bait. I'll usually throw out the BH, as that's my confidence rig that's tried and true. Once I found them, I was planning on throwing some bigger/flashier baits to get the bigger ones. At the start of the horn, we were off to fish some points and docks.

Nothing was going on on our first few stops. I mean absolutely nothing! Fish just weren't where they were before, and the tides was not moving just yet. As we made some stops near the west side coves, I thought for sure we would get at least bit once. Nope, nothing. Threw everything I had tied on. Not a sniff. Decided to make our way to the main channel near the bridges, as that's always a top producer.

Again nothing for some time, and decided to now drift inwards towards Fiesta Island not before throwing some baits out. I set myself up before the bridges and threw towards the shores. This usually rewards me with some nice bass, and I was hoping the same would happen that day. Tossed out my 1/4oz. BH on 8lb test, and got absolutely smashed! Alright! First fish in the boat! Or so I thought...Somehow she broke off, and I knew that one was a tanker. Bleh, should have retied after my prefishing sessions. Oh well, live and learn.

We drifted through and past the bridges, and still couldn't find any willing players. As Jarrod left to hit some docks, I stayed in the general area, tossing out the 'Bama rig, warblade, and the swimbait. Finally, I hooked into another fish and measured it out to be a legal! Nice, into the tankwell she went, and back to slinging the baits. Again, nothing happening for a good amount of time, so we continued drifting inward.

As Jarrod and I were shooting the shit, I looked into my tankwell to see how my fish was doing. It was in there for almost 2 hours, and was probably losing weight quick. But one thing I noticed was some clam shells were all on the bottom now. Hmmm, these guys were on the chew near the bottom. Once I saw that, I tied on my trusty T-rigged T&C Swimbait in Razor Clam and first cast, BAM, fish on! I actually caught 2 more and on the last one it tore up my swimbait. My. Very. Last. T&C. Swimbait (in razor clam). It was my absolute favorite color (one that has caught my 2nd best halibut). Oh well, things slowed down quite a bit as I didn't really have anything remotely close to the T&C. Though, happily we weighed my fish after calling over the weigh boat. Turns out, she was 2lb 6oz! Nice!

As the time ticked on, and the day progressed, fishing was just extremely slow (as I expected). Not much chatter on the radios, so we headed back towards the launch. Once closing time came around, and everyone had their fill of some delicious Thresher shark tacos, we awaited the results. Apparently, it was slow fishing for everyone else too. Not much people caught legals, so I was stoked that I at least weighed one fish. If I hadn't lost my first one, who knows what would have happened. They announced the top 6 (or 7), and would announce the rest of the results later in the coming days. Turns out, I actually got 8th place! I was super stoked! Fishing my first tournament, against 102 anglers, and I got top 10!

All in all, I had a great time, for a great cause. Definitely will be fishing more tournaments to come! Didn't really take much pictures on the water, as I was too focused on fishing. But next time, hopefully I'll be able to get more footage, AND do better.

Hana pa'a!

Awesome bycatch

Decided to do a little prefishing for this weekends tourney, yesterday afternoon. Grabbed only my bass gear, and was OTW by 4:30pm. Couldn't really find numbers OR size, but did find a pattern on what they were hitting (my secret). Of course I catch a non-targeted species, one such that has eluded me in size for a long few months. with no gaff or gameclip on me, I beached my yak and landed her on the sand.

Taped out at 35", new PB for me! Looks like I get to finally change my PB list!

Fishing is Heating Up in Southern California

When many think of Southern California, they see year round sunny days without much seasonal changes. That's somewhat true, however, we do have variations in weather that do affect water temperatures and fishing conditions. Thus, certain times of year see better fishing for certain species. With Spring finally here, bringing warmer conditions and longer days, the bite is definitely getting hotter and only getting better!

With such close proximity to many great fisheries, from our freshwater lakes and reservoirs to the saltwater bays and inshore kelp beds, now's the time to get out on the water! For many beginners, I'd recommend starting off slow and hitting one of the many lakes and reservoirs. Getting comfortable in your in your new boats is a must. But if you're more than ready to tackle the surf, have at it!
Bass are either in prespawn, or spawning and are moving in shallow. Dropshotting worms, or slow dragging jigs in 5'-10' of water seem to be the ticket. If you're more into saltwater action, the bays are spitting out some nice chunks of saltwater bass! Sticking to structure, and slow swimming  a swimbait over some eel grass or channel edges have produced great numbers. Now that the sardines have showed up, drifting with live bait has been producing nice sized halibut!

Whether you're an experienced kayak fisherman,  just starting out, or even just thinking about jumping into this sport, now's the time to get out and fish! Remember, a bad day of fishing is still better than a good day at the office!

LA harbor (aka the sewer)

Decided to take the kayaks up with me while I attended the Fred Hall show up in Long Beach, this past weekend. Plan was to fish LA Harbor in the morning, then head off to Fred Hall for the rest of the afternoon. I was excited at the prospect of fishing new waters, especially one that has pumped out nice sized halibut! Friday afternoon, I loaded the kayaks up and we hit the road.

Bright and early the next morning, we launched out of Cabrillo Beach Boat launch. The girlfriend wanted wanted to tag along too, so I got a photographer for this session! I placed myself in the Hi seat position of my Cuda 14, which gave for a comfortable session throughout.

Flat, calm conditions for the morning. Tides were expected to be outgoing until 10ish. This being my first time here, I had a plan to hit the bait barge, pick up some bait, then drift outwards to the mouth of the harbor with the tides. Following the channel ledges and the submerged dike, in hopes of some big fish.  Ended the day with a nice legal sand bass, 1 legal/3 short halibut, and tons of lizards. The infamous "sewer" provided a nice change of pace and scenery, and hope to fish it again! Some pics of my session:

Short, Big Bay session...

After recently rigging my new kayak, I couldn't wait to get out and test it out. so, I decided for a quick morning session. Launched out of Shelter Island to small wind, and slack low tide. Tides forecast for a big incoming swing, so these were perfect drifting conditions. Paddled over to the bait barge, and picked up a scoop of less than 5" anchovies. No sardines again, so they'll have to do.

Paddled to near the mouth of the bay and set a drift back into the bay. With the smaller size bait, I was getting lots of action. I usually drift with 2 poles at once, but with the amount of action going on, it got a bit messy. I'm eyeing the Ram Rod Light Speed Mount to accommodate the longer butt ends of the poles I use. Was a great day to be out on my Jackson Cuda, and was very happy with how I rigged things up. Here's some pics of what was caught: