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:

Stormy Weather Diversions

Rockfish season opener for the Southern California region starts March 1st, but with stormy weather being forecast over the weekend (8-12ft swells and 40MPH gusts), I've decided to do some much needed prep work on my new Jackson Kayak Cuda 14.

I was able to take out my new boat, with just the OEM parts a few times. Stock parts include 2 Ram Tough Tubes with Combination Bulkhead/Flat Surface Base and Plunger, right behind and to the side of the seat. This mounting base features a locking mechanism that also has a release plunger to move freely and/or remove the rod holder. Much more robust than the older Ram Ball Mounting system.

The center hatch cover features 2 gear tracks for mounting any Ram or Scotty accessory, as well as some compartment space for smaller items like my lures and weights. I, however, noticed there was a lot of flex in the hatch when placing heavier gear in the pole holder on the gear track. It isn't a problem with lighter gear, but since I drift fish with weight anywhere from 2-32oz., I needed a sturdier system for my style of fishing. Enter YakAttack's GearTrac system.

After researching a bit online, I stumbled on Matt Trucks posting of his installation of the GT90 track mounting system. I wanted to ensure a sturdy mount, so I also went ahead with using the Full Back plating, instead of the included nuts and bolts. I'd be lying if I said installation was a breeze, as ensuring everything lines up in that tight space, provided some difficulties. But, the end results are well worth the planning and effort. I also installed YakAttack's Mighty Mount system, to provide that additional mounting strength. I'd previously found that the Tough Ram Ball mount and Ram Rod holder would loosen, even after I tightened it down.

Next order of business was the installation of my fish finder. I like the transducer to be actually in the water (I've done both through hull and scupper mounted on my other kayak), so I fabricated a bracket mount to go through the scupper. Easy enough with another of Matt's helpful posting, and I was done in less than 30 minutes.

Here's how it looks with everything installed, and ready to go. Can't wait to give it a go with the new upgrades!