Last week I helmed the classic 50-foot Hatteras sport fisher “Sundance,” owned by the prestigious local printing company Primary Color, for a one day journey. Due to the yellowtail biting a few days prior, Primary Color owner Ron Hirt directed me to start at the 14-mile bank and then run to the 277-bank.
This we did following a bait purchase at the Newport bait barge and us catching some mackerel at the tip of the west jetty. We stopped at eight to ten kelp patties on the banks and with tremendous effort were skunked. We knew the water temperature had dropped five to six degrees, which normally means slim pickings, but we felt the effort could still possibly be productive.
Following five or six hours of running time and bank fishing, we followed my advice and concluded our trip a half mile south of the San Onofre power plant in the giant kelp beds that form in that area and run south virtually to Pt. Loma in front of San Diego Harbor.
Within a few minutes at anchor, Primary Color client Aaron Wood caught the first fish which was the fish of the day. It appeared to be around four pounds and was quickly cleaned to be saved for his “fresher than fresh” seafood dinner.
Ron Hirt’s son Adrian barbequed a delicious prime meat hamburger for all aboard for lunch. Why is it that food tastes better on a yacht at anchor while smelling the salt air and a sea view to die for?
The next hook-up was on Ron’s rod with a couple more hooked-up on Adrian’s. I received a cell phone call from my Sunseeker yacht client a few moments later and wouldn’t you know it, as I answered the call my rod bent over and the line whizzed off the reel!
I couldn’t chance the loss of future work so I tightened the drag just a little so I wouldn’t get spooled and took care of business. As soon as I disconnected the call I reeled in about a three pound calico bass. The fish appeared an inch or so undersized to keep so I quickly returned the catch to grow up and hopefully catch at a future date.
A few days later the ocean warmed up and while at Gary Hill’s fuel dock I photographed Nate Dunham concluding a 160 mile day trip on a Costa Mesa built 24-foot Skipjack.
My photo of his 14-plus pound Dorado was just one of the catches of their trip.