Last Tuesday, 9/9/2014, marked the first time I returned to the site of the [yacht] incident. For a variety of reasons, I hadn’t been back to Capitola since. But here we were. Kara’s brother Andrew had come all the way from Colorado, and by god, we were going to put him on the fish!
We got there early, around 7/7:30am. Didn’t see anyone else, but we later ran into 2 other Capitola Boat & Bait boats out on the water. We weren’t the only ones playing hooky from work! We started off by the Tank House reef looking for bait. For reference, here’s a picture of the Capitola kelp bed map that Capitola Boat & Bait passes out: http://i.imgur.com/dpEHcZQ.jpg. Kara had that feeling. You know, the one where you just know there’s fish. Like a fool, I questioned it. But we stopped nonetheless, and well…unsurprisingly she was right!
Smack dab in the middle of aaallllll the bait fish! Mostly only pin head anchovies jumping out of the water, but fun to see still. So there we were, jigging away with sabikis (Kara opted to fish a shrimp fly, see if she could land just larger bait). I think we had a size 10, and size 8. We were using 1oz weights. First fish coming up were small anchovies.
After a few drops we found out there were much larger, perfect bait size ones lurking below those! Success!
We even pulled up some mackerel!
They fight incredibly hard too! Forgot how hard, had smelt as the best in my head, but these guys blow ’em out of the water. Unfortunately we only got two. I wasted too much time trying to get my GoPro working. Stupid thing is so tempermental and buggy at the worst of times… Stupid thing refused to go into video mode. Had to restart multiple times. Seriously, I love it and all, but christ almighty, its a buggy piece of shit. It shouldn’t be that hard to make it work…
Anyways! Another view of these beautiful fish:
Just amazing. Reasonably hardy too! Lings seem to love them, and they swim pretty aggressively while on a 3 way. Even so, it seems like kingfish / white croaker are hardier, and last longer in an aerated bucket. Getting back to the story, Kara managed to pull up some kingfish from the same spot!
And then she threw it. At us. Laaaaaame.
We fished up a huge bucketfull of bait, then sped off to Boomer’s Reef to try our luck with drifting live bait (this is when we discovered anchovies suck at staying alive) and were pretty much left with some huge mackerel, and some half alive kingfish. You do what you gotta do though! Rigged ’em up on 3 ways with trap hooks, and I think used 10oz weights. Here’s how it looks rigged up with bait:
Andrew & I both dropped these down while Kara decided to try her luck with shrimp flies. Divide and conquer and all. Anyhow, she scored first:
Kara continued to …sort of kick our butts
Lucky! I got impatient, switched to a jig or something, and proceeded to have zero luck. Andrew, however, was rewarded for his patience and got a niiiiiice ling bite:
Or well. For 10 seconds or so line screamed off the reel at an alarming rate. We’d forgotten to check the drag. Suddenly, no fish. Other problem might have been our trap hook was only maybe halfway up the bait fish. I hadn’t expected to be able to land mackerel and kingfish that large. Only heard about there being anchovies so I tied rigs accordingly… Guess I shouldn’t laze out and tie non sliding trap hooks.
Anyways, we reeled up and I forget now…either the fish was gone, or it’d gotten munched on near the tail. After seeing that I couldn’t resist, switched back to a 3 way and drifted it with Andrew for awhile…
Finally, after nothing happening, I decided I was bored and had to do some jigging. Threw on a ho-d jig (or generic bala jig) in mackerel color and started tossing it around:
Wooo! First fish of the day. Ho-d jig continued to do work:
By this point Andrew was getting bored too (apparently he likes active fishing like I do) and I tossed him another ho-d jig to strap on. Shortly after I managed to pick up a gopher rock cod
Then it was Andrew’s turn to catch and land his first ever rock cod!
For awhile things continued like that for me. When I found a fish, I’d keep casting back to the same spot. Kara had slowed down since she decided to nap
We spent a few hours doing more passes over Boomer’s reef, but the bite died off around 11. Couldn’t seem to find where they’d gone? We got 2 more big ling take downs, but same problem. They didn’t seem to get hooked. Pretty sure the trap hook was too short, and they were short striking all our bait. By the way they took (properly) set drag, they were damned nice sizes too…shame. Anyways, we finished with maybe 5-7 rock cod, and 1 mackerel (the others got eated by the lings >.<).
I know what you’re thinking. What a shitty picture. Why don’t you have pics of these fish all laid out? Well because as soon as we got to the cleaning station to dump our bucket out, I got distracted by this guy:
Yes that’s a fish, not a dirty rug on the floor next to his boat. He ran all the way up to Davenport to get that monster. 44lbs if I’m remembering the number correctly.
Check out the album or video links at the bottom for more footage of his catch and everything else. But damn, he weighed it out and he scored more than 100lbs of fish! Insane! Although, how come he kept 5 halibut. I thought the limit was 3 per person? AFAIK he went out alone…?
Anyways, that’s why I don’t have better pics of OUR catch. Because his was like wtf, once in a lifetime do you see that in person kinda deal. Was a fun day, and a great way to play hooky from work!
And before I forget, we were using squid and shrimp for cut bait. We tried mackerel and king fish for live bait. Both got hits, and we even pulled up a last brown around mile reef on a small white croaker. Very surprising, never knew they ate kingfish!
Here’s a link to the album with lots more pics!