First Yellow Tail

What ended up being one of my most epic days of fishing started out as a low expectation day.  A lat start and a chance to take a non-fisherman friend along meant that we were going to keep it simple.

2008-08-23_DSCN1591_2Maybe I should keep it simple more often.

Since we had a big breakfast at the house, we were making a late start.  The plan was to troll a bit before we had to take Mike in for his drive back to LA.  The water looked good on the way out of Mission Bay.  A high tide was about to become an outgoing tide.  It was a nice day, so I slowed on the first bit of kelp I saw and we started to troll.  As we got near a little cut in the kelp that many people use as a channel, I got a bite.

It was a solid little fish.  I thought it was a big barracuda, but it turned out to be a nice bonito.  We sunnk a gaff and brought it in.  The girls like bonito, so I decided to keep it.  To make bonito tase very good, you need to bleed them pretty quickly.  I cut the gill rakers and turned around to put the knife down.  Splash!  Somehow it got off the gaff.  WTF!  I can bielve that happened.  The thing swam away too!  We thought we might find it again so we turned around and trolled the other way.

10 minutes later I got another hit.  My goal was to help Mike get a fish, so he had the tolling rig and I just had my bass rod and a Krokadile.  It is a big bass rig that I’v ecaught 9 lb bonito on, but still it is a bass rig (Curado 300DSV on a Shimano Cruxis 7’11” swimbait rod).  This fish semmed like a slightly smaller bonito.  bonit travel in schools, so that made sense to me.

As it got close to the boat, it did the typical bonito thing; it ran.  And ran, and ran.  With some oomph too.  I was getting worked, and it was taking line.  I finally got color, and Andy said “yellow tail!”  It didn’t sink it at first since I still had some work to do.

We gaffed this one too, but it didn’t get away.  I was on a huge adrenaline rush, all in the first 15 minutes of fishing.

We kept on trolling up the channel.  5 minutes later we hit some barracuda.  I made a cast for another and got a Calico.  20 minutes in and I’m on an epic day with the 3-B’s (bonito, bass and barracuda) and a Yellow Tail.

We headed back in to take Mike in.  We stopped at the Barefoot Bar and Grill for a beer.  We hung out a bit and relaxed.   Then the girls came, to pick up Mike.  Andy and I headed back out and had a nice afternoon.  I pulled in one more big bonito that was pretty strong and stubborn.  This one made it to the grill.

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