YOU’LL GET NOTHING AND LIKE IT
One of my favorite lines in Caddy shack is “You’ll get nothing and like it.”
That sums up our tuna chasing adventure on the 4th of July weekend. Lizzy, Isaac, Giana, Kyle, and I left Dana with two tanks of solid anchovies at 4 am with visions of pelagics and holiday BBQ.
Two weeks ago we had wide open “fish per cast” calico fishing in 69 degree water both Saturday and Sunday at Pendleton. The boys and I spent the last week of June catching all kinds of fun fish in the kelp at Catalina in 69 degree water, so perhaps we were due for a letdown.
During the week there had been reports of yellowfin and bluefin inside San Clemente Island, as well as paddy yellowtail. I was hoping to put my kids and their friends on some big fish. Rather than take the sure bet of local fishing on the beach, we figured to swing for the fences off shore by hitting the high spots early and getting off the water mid-day.
We were on the 209 with jigs out by 5:30 am for the morning gray light in 69.8 degree water. We headed toward the ridge, striped the 181 and zigzagged our way to the 182. There were few other boats out there with us, but by 7 am the San Diego radio chatter had begun. We found steadily decreasing water temps as we headed south. There was little life – no working birds or mammals to key on and few kelps to stop on. From the 68 degree water on the ridge, we travelled toward the 43, but the temp gauge dropped incrementally down to 67 the further out we went. We started to reset for the 289, but decided to hit the warmer water at the 181 again. We stopped on a couple of paddies, one of which had terns and yellowtail, but we could not get them to eat the ‘chovy, despite heavy chumming. As we got closer to that paddy, we saw that it was swarming with anchovies who welcomed the ones we had just set free. We dropped iron, dragged Rapalas, tried fly-lining and big sinkers without any love. We were off the 181 by 10:15 heading into warmer northern water and chasing dolphin that were not on tuna at the 209. We trolled up to the sides of this rather small, birdless pod, tried running ahead and throwing bait “run-n-gun” style as they headed toward the 277. We did enjoy their company as they surfed along with us, but parted ways after about 30 minutes. We hit a few paddies along the way back to the 209. We picked up the jigs after we left the 209, put them back out at the 267 in 71 degree water for nothing. We brailed bait at a few more paddies before coming home as the afternoon whitecaps began their march. The water was beautiful everywhere we went.
We heard the ocean woke and came to life behind us at the 181 and 43, at least for some of the anglers who remained on the grounds, but we were already heading back to port. It was a beautiful day, conditions look very promising and scouting blue water was a good way to start our holiday celebration. We had everything cleaned up in time to enjoy the rest of the day ashore and a night of fireworks.
Nothing broke, we had great company and were lucky in all respects except for the catching part. I guess we got nothing and still liked it. Next time, I hope we like it more. Enjoy the weekend!
These are the Days.