Pat McDonell's Blog

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Tuesday, September 20, 2011
Cedros Island: Good as billed
Thursday, November 10, 2011
Another Jackpot in the books

Central CA albies, Monterey white seabass

Call for Pacific Queen 1½-day

It's time to "get something started" you might say.

My buddy Jim Mitchell called a little while ago. Seems he's going on a 1½-day run out of Avila Beach's Patriot Sportfishing  on the Pacific Queen. He's got a  charter going   tonight (Wed, Oct. 12)  for $300 a pop. Fishing sunup to sundown on Thursday.

"For a long time we had only six, now we have 13 going. After this trip, you won't be able to get on this boat without another 32 guys on a full-load trips on his other day and halfs."

The bite hasn't been killer off the Central Coast. Why this trip? Out of  Avila?

"It's 1½ days and we're going to the spot at Pt. Sur where the skiff guys are getting 40 a day," said Mitchell, who splits his time between homes in Santa Cruz, June Lake and Cabo. "The skiff guys are posting huge scores and they don't even have live bait. They are getting all these fish on the troll and Megabaits, Fish Traps. We will have live bait, and there's nothing like central coast tuna. They come to the corner on the live stuff and are stupid like nobody's business."

If there is a guy who knows where tuna are biting in Cabo, or huge white seabass off Monterey, or Pyramid Lake cutts over 10 pounds on the fly, Mitchell does. He's been spanking the big croakers to 50 pounds for weeks now on his skiff that he's kept in a slip in Monterey just to attack the white seabass. It's gonna last for at least two or three more weeks, he predicts.

But this blog is about albacore, 40 and 50 pounders, and if you haven't caught these suckers in a while, they are real deal on pulling. Interested? Call Patriot Sportfishing at (800) 714 FISH.  

Here's the latest report, written Monday, ..... by Brandon Hayward.... good reading to stir the soul of tuna anglers — pat

AVILA BEACH — Some of the most impressive albacore scores in years on the Central Coast got halted by the first big winter-like storm of the fall, but the signs of albacore both before and after the big blow offer promise that with a few days of good weather, the Central Coast’s albacore bite could shape up to be this fall’s highlight.


Early in the week it was flat-out slam dunk fishing for skiffs and the only sport boat to run on a crew trip. That boat was the Princess, which had a crew trip captained by John Rowley score 40 albacore for 4 anglers last Tuesday. And here’s the kicker: they didn’t even have live bait.


Things were looking prime for the Pacific Queen, which left Fisherman’s Landing in San Diego with live bait and picked up passengers — and more live bait — at Ventura Sportfishing to run a 2-day trip that left from Ventura and returned to Patriot Sportfishing Friday night. The run found 10 albacore, then the first 1½-day trip of the fall out of Patriot left Friday night and returned to Patriot Sunday morning with 28 albacore to 42 pounds. Pacific Queen owner/operator Bill Cavanaugh is encouraged by the signs he saw, and thinks there is a lot of promise in several different zones. It’s just about getting good weather and coverage in the weeks to come.


“There are three zones where I saw good signs and we caught fish, we just kind of ran out of time two days; on the 2-day trip the fish we caught we got on late, there were little spots of jumpers and albacore on sauries,” said Cavanaugh.


On the 1½-day that fished Saturday, the warmer, 62-degree water that the fish had come from before the storm had dissipated, but late in the day Cavanaugh found a bubble of the 62 degree water and they picked up 28 albacore on jig strikes and bait stops.


“By noon we didn’t have a fish on the boat and we were not in the warm water that was on the Terrafin picture from the night before. I saw a jig boat 5 miles to the northwest, and figured he was in the warm water, but he wasn’t; when we got close he called me on the VHF and said he had 180 albacore on the jigs in the same area the day before, but the water had broken down and he didn’t have a fish,” added Cavanaugh.


The captain of the jig boat said that he had ran through some 62 degree water to the southwest, so that’s where Cavanaugh pointed the Pacific Queen to look around for the afternoon. Getting into the pocket of 62-degree water ended up producing 28 beautiful grade albies by day’s end.


“We had jig strikes and bait fish and they reacted good, boiling up and everything,” said Cavanaugh. “They are beautiful fish; the average fish were 30 pounds and we had a 42 pounder for jackpot.”


The bite is really hinging on the weather. In typical Central Coast fashion it was up for the last round of trips, but overall sentiment is that with a stretch of good weather — and some more coverage — this fall’s bite could be classic Central Coast albacore fishing.


On Sunday Virg’s got its first trips of the week out after the Princess’ big score; the fishing was down — the Admiral had 2 albacore and the Princess turned in 6 of the 20- to 25-pound albacore from around Sur Canyon — but the tough fishing came on the heels of no boats being out in days due to weather. With more skiff and sportboat coverage this week there should be a better picture of what is around so far as albacore and water edges.


The Virg’s will have a trip out Monday night for Tuesday, and more trips will be scheduled. The Pacific Queen has both 1½ and overnight trips scheduled. Michele Leary at Central Coast Sportfishing will be offering  12 hour trips limited to 15 anglers. The next trip will be this Saturday.



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