White Sea Bass Trek Malibu California 6/16/10: Earlier in the week I received an invite to fish the salt on a private skiff. Just returning from a FLW road trip and work pressing I still could not help myself and of course I said yes count me in. The ocean reports for the local areas have been very interesting lately with numerous counts of White Sea Bass on the chew.
I met my friend Dick, Rudy and David at the Marina Del Rey dock at 5:00 am. We boarded the Slammer a 24 foot skipjack, owned and operated by Captain David Yumori. Taking up to 4 passengers Captain David runs a variety of charters.
Being a smaller boat the Slammer offers swift traveling speed and effectiveness in tight locations.
David is also known as Captain Midnight, I wonder if he likes fishing at night?
The morning was windy with a cloud covered sky as we ran uphill off the coast of Malibu.
Arriving at our destination we encountered light boat traffic.
With no current the conditions were not what we wanted to see. So we left our primary spot and decided to test other nearby areas and species to keep us occupied. With a little luck the current would pick up latter in the day prompting a return to our selected water.
Traveling further north we had fun with a mixed catch of calico bass (released), sand bass (released), lingcod, barracuda, red rock fish, brown rock fish, and a nice size halibut. Some of our successful techniques included presenting sardines on the dropper loop as well as fly lining. The best calico went over 5 pounds and was fooled by fishing a 6" plastic boot tail swimbait on a lead head jig. Dick was fishing this set up by crawling the bottom when the checker board hit.
Midday and the sky cleared, the wind calmed and the current was beginning to move. So back to the kelp patties to see if the biscuits had moved in. When we arrived a half dozen kayakers were already working the area.
While at the kelp beds we could see C- Bass free swimming below the boat but so far they were not hitting our presentations. Fly lining sardines weight less or with a 1/2 oz. egg sinker we picked up more checker boards and cudas but not our goal.
Occasionally I would ask the captain why he was setting the boat up where he did, what he was seeing on his electronics and listening to his descriptions of the sea floor. If one had their eyes shut and just listened to the words the explanations were the same as being at a freshwater lake looking for largemouth.
Many of the kayakers around us had one and sometimes two C-Bass catches tied to the side of their plastic boats. Rudy is also an avid kayaker and after watching the yakers fish he said he knows how they are catching them.
Shortly after re-rigging a small single hook Tady TLC jig dressed with a live sardine Rudy shouts fish on and it feels like the right kind.
Sure enough he boats a 20 pound class WSB. Nice work Rudy, that is how you keep your mind in the game and read the clues, good job.
Next thing you hear is Dick and I simultaneously asking David if he has more of those TLC's. With everyone fishing this set-up I turn as I hear Dick speaking words I can't repeat.
He is hooked up and his line takes off like a high speed train. After witnessing the power everyone is saying thrasher shark but Dick explains no, it is not jumping.
Deep into the spool the first run is over and Dick is able to turn the fish. It is a tough fight as he works the fish back to the boat. Multiple times the fish takes Dick into the kelp but he knows what to do. Backing off the pressure he gives the fish slack and waits to see if the fish will swim out.
At one point we thought the fight was over and Dick had nothing but kelp. But no as we look the rod tip starts pumping again. Played like an expert Dick brings the fish closer to the boat. We see color and it is what we are after, a big WSB.
David handles the gaff and once the fish is in the boat you hear the sounds of four very happy anglers.
Spectacular color. With the jig in the C-bass's mouth check out the braid to fluorocarbon leader. Dick happened to be using his surface iron rod. The reel was spooled with 100 lb. white Spectra braid and a 50 lb. fluorocarbon top shot. He uses a 4 turn Uni knot at the jig and connects the leader to the braid with a Tony Pena knot.
Wow what a thrill. From the hook up, the long bolt out to sea and the battle back to the boat, an incredible 42 pound tanker class C-Bass.
Nice work Dick you are smooth. It is always good to watch what is going on around you. I noticed Dick was working his offering a little different than the rest. His approach was little to no action and further away from the boat. It obviously was a good move.
Interesting that the big catch of the day occurred soon after the kayakers departed the area. It was an excellent day. Everyone caught a lot fish. I learned a few things and had fun as I took in the sights. Congratulations Dick and thank you to everyone.
If you are looking for a specialized light load charter check out Captain Midnight's charter service profile at http://www.fellowfishermen.com/fishing-directory/details/captain-midnight-sportfishing.html
and then give him a call 310 941-6023. If you don't have the correct equipment David will take care of you. David adjusted to the conditions and made good decisions all day, put us on many fish including the right one!
- Biscuit = White Sea Bass, purportedly because they are a tasty reward for all the effort put in to catch one.
- Boiler Rocks = Waves crashing on rocks churning the water creating foam and bubbles, fish will hang right next to boilers waiting for the waves to dislodge food from the rocky area
- C-Bass = White Sea Bass
- Checker Board = Calico Bass, nick name comes from pattern on fish's side
- Cuda = Barracuda
- Dropper Loop = Fishing rig similar to the freshwater water drop shot rig, purportedly the origin of the drop shot comes from the saltwater dropper loop rig.
- Free swimmer = Game fish swimming alone
- Fly Lined Sardine = Live bait fish rigged with only a hook allowing the sardine to swim
- Party Boat = Open charter boat, first come first served after reservations
- Tanker Sea Bass = Quality, large or trophy size fish
- Up Hill = Boat traveling against the waves and current
- Working Boat = Commercial fishing boat, catch goes to market
- WSB = White Sea Bass
- Yaker = Kayak Angler