Finally got the video up from the trip:
Been on kind of a month long skunk recently. Ever since the capitola rock cod opener & the yacht thing…just had endless bad luck. Can’t catch fish, things going wrong all over the place…urgh.
But I finally kicked it! Finally felt at home on the ocean again :3
Even before this happened later in the day!
Everything just felt right, like it always used to. Ahhhhh
So lets get to the details shall we? Patrick hit me up Friday seeing if I was doing anything fishing related. He’s been wanting to go for awhile, but our schedules hadn’t lined up. We settled on trying out the Ankeny Street out of Half Moon Bay / Pillar Point harbor. Had never been out on this boat, but I’ve fished next to it on a kayak. Had heard good things about it from PFIC too, so we called to give it a try!
Was kind of weird on the phone. Capt. Chris Chang made it a point to ask if we knew how to fish. Seemed he didn’t want to deal with a buncha newbs since he said something along the lines of “sometimes we get groups of people…they don’t even know how to use a reel…oh my gooood.” Not quite what you expect a charter boat captain to say…but hey. I understand his frustration. He runs a smaller boat (capped at 15-18 people iirc), wonder if that’s related? Either way, that’s fine, but worth noting!
For those of you wondering, its $80/person for the coastal rock fish trips. Not including rod rental or tackle. Not the cheapest, not the most expensive. He leaves a little later than other boats around 8am. For the experience (which I’ll get into) definitely a great deal. Had tons of fun, great group of regulars & crew.
Saturday morning rolls around as we roll into the HMB sportfishing shop in the Pillar Point Harbor. Didn’t have time to buy rigs/weights the day before. They laughed at us, buying 15 weights. LAUGHED. Little did they know we’d be using more than half of those! d=
Anyhow, we get to the boat, chill around with some of the other passengers for the day. The son of one of the other charter boat captains joined us for the day. Was amusing to see him & some of the deckhands/regulars bantering back and forth. He joined in with the 1 or 2 others trying to catch live bait while we waited to launch. They were up to maybe 4 or 5 before he wandered off a little ways in search of better fish. Suddenly, 3 perch at a time! They all moved over there and started just catching tons and tons of ’em. At one point someone threw a banana in and apparently they ate the heck out of it. Missed it as I was nowhere nearby :[
Yes, I know what you’re wondering. And yes, the bubblers did keep all that bait alive! Remarkable. Kind of want to bring my own bucket & aerator, they caught lots of lings on those shiners! If only space weren’t so limited d=
This boat also seems to have a dog onboard:
Around 8am we pushed off. Not really sure what areas we wound up fishing as we passed the red buoy and another green buoy after that and kept going awhile. I’ve never even gone as far as the red buoy while fishing the half moon bay area (due to laze). Patrick mentioned the giant building on the coast at one point may have been the ritz carlton? We fished past it, but probably not much farther at one point. That’s about all I know. It was shallow & close to shore, could see it the whole time. Plenty of private boats floating around too.
We kept it simple and just fished shrimp flies. Many people obviously knew what they were doing, tossing 4″ fish traps, plastic squid lures & modified diamond bars. Very nice looking rigs, but by the end of the day I was no longer jealous. Tired enough from just jigging straight up and down, can’t imagine casting all day @_@ Even if it was half the weight, no way.
Bait for the day was squid, and we were rigged up with 8-10oz weights. Early on 10oz was much better as the wind & swells were up a bit. Later on the weather was amazing. Wind nearly completely died down, swells less spikey and somewhat lower. Nice weather :]
Now! For the fishing! It wasn’t overly amazing action at any point. Nothing you could say was off the hook (or on the hook! never understood the saying). It wasn’t quite slow either. Every few minutes someone would pull up a fish or two. Only in one spot did nothing at all happen, and we moved on pretty quick.
Patrick started off strong, I think he was up to 3 or 4 fish before I caught my first one. His first fish was either the first, or close to being the first fish boated too! It was one helluva fat china, great way to start the day!
By 11am my bag looked like this:
Don’t seem to have any pics of patricks stuff @_@ figured i could mooch his photos but haven’t seen ’em yet.
Anyhow, as we fished it became kinda weird. Nothing but lings left & right. Very veeeerrryyy few rock cod. We probably had caught 30+ lings (including underlings) before we had 10 rock fish int he boat. And not just one spot, wherever we went it was like that. Tons & tons of lings. You’d think with so many lings there’d have to be plenty of smaller rock cod for them to chow down on eh? Though I guess they were spitting up tons of octopus. In fact, even the rock cod we caught later would spit up big octopus too!
The fish were pretty feisty on Saturday too. Caught a few blacks that had me nearly freaking out I snagged the bottom again. Managed to get a 2nd ling later in the day, and the captain had me hold up both for a pic.
Later in the day we finally found a spot where we we started loading up on rock cod, iirc 140+ rock cod and 30 lings for 17 anglers. I think everyone got to go home with lings, what a great day! We outfished the farallon islands boats on lings even! One guy caught THREE cabezon. One was a massive one too, easily 5+ lbs. Couple of nice gopher cods came up as well. Saw one fatty canary that we all went “awwwww dangit” at. plenty of browns, a few blues, and quite a few china rock cod around the boat. Surprising how many came up, I managed to walk away with 2 myself. They really are quite tasty :3
Was a great day, I caught myself a nice limit of fish. Patrick caught around 7 or 8, but got bumped up to a limit with help from others. Nice day over all!
You can check out the rest of the album here: