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!