It started with finding just a little bit of squid off Camp Pendleton. No seabass--yet--just a few squid scouts. Was this going to be the regeneration I had been dreaming of and predicting/praying for to friends?
I got on a kelp line bite for limits--and ran out of squid in the freezer and in the bait receiver in the process. It was time to go find squid. Or do another run to whatever landing had the squid this time around. What about the rolled over water? The water getting colder ended up being a good thing. It kicked in the regeneration.
A look down where I had found just a tiny little bait spot of squid found a regeneration of the squid of May in a different zone, and a huge school of seabass. Big seabass, a solid 46 to 49 average with 50s making up roughly 25 percent of the catch.
I fished it all alone before a light boat found it and then a huge lightboat/seiner fleet invaded. It ended Friday night/Saturday (no, that wasn't seabass fishing with that crowd and a few fish being caught), but it was fun while it lasted.
Yes, this one was the best ever. How good? Six casts, six seabass to 56 pounds with Greg Trompas on the Arima one night and putting John Keeler on the best seabassing he's seen in his 50 plus years of getting in over 50 days on the water every year. No boats in sight. Nobody else knowing except me and the client or buddy on the boat. Mum was the word. Then Richard on the lightboat Miss Astrid found the nest on the way to La Jolla and got set for 60 tons of squid. It was the beginning of the end. But it was damn fun while it lasted. Yes, I say this every year, but this one really was the best one ever.
Sadly, the guys that came out Friday and Saturday only got to see a crowd, a little bit of yelling and just about everything I hate about seabass fishing: crowds, lack of etiquette and no volume of bait in the grounds. A few fish were caught by those running on the dope, but is that really "fishing?" As in only going if the word is that they are, or were, biting? Oh well, it was fun while it lasted.
Look for pics soon. When you start the bite you can do what you want with it. And I want to tell the story with pics next time around.