|Nothing good comes from wind if you are into the outdoors, except for licking your chops in the blind when it starts blowing and raining sideways.
Actually, I guess wind is good on those grease calm, Banana Boat days where there's not even enough breeze to fly the kite. But when it comes to local fishing this time of the year, wind, well, blows.
It's blowing right now, to the point where it's all whitecaps in front of my place in the little bight from Dana Point to San Mateo. The offshore guys got punished today, so did the inshore guys, actually, and it looks like it's going to go down as a windy weekend. One where it was limits of wind. So when looking at the counts, keep in mind that its been blowing since yesterday.
Rewinding a few days, I got out on the Toronado on a 2-day WON trip that fished Wednesday and Thursday. The fishing was Ok, the weather was incredible the entire time--like 5 knots or less and just a residual wind swell from the days prior. It made kelpin' as easy as it gets for Captains Ray Lagmay and Rick Slavkin, and day two found a couple of kelps that showed the potential of kelps in U.S. waters out to the west: little yellows, mixed-up dorado and a shot at bluefin. We got five bluefin off a kelp to go with one from the pens in Mexican waters the night before.
On day two the sardines got low and "all" that was left were anchovies, perfect cured-out anchovies from three to four inches. It was an older group on the boat, guys that have taken the paper for 30 plus years and a handfull of guys who asked me to send them hardcopy pics because they are not online. Standard groups of guys that I love fishing with because they have been around so long and have great stories (and love to tell me about what they love and hate about the paper).
They've been around for a long time and seen a lot, these guys that make up the smaller, less connected (as in no e mails, no facebook account) that makes up such a big slice of the SoCal fishing community and are so cool to talk with. Yeah, they grew up during the anchovy and albacore eras. Maybe that's why it was so surprising that they all avoided the 'chovies like the plague, and asked for sardines and drove the crew crazy instead of embracing the 'chovy and the unique opportunity to fish the small bait. The 18-pound bluefin I got on the anchovy wasn't a big fish, obviously, but it was one of the funnest fish this year, thanks to getting it on 20-pound and a number 4 hook on the semi-long soak off the bow of one of SoCal's older boats.
Speaking of bluefin, there were some hits during the week, but the weather put the kibosh on things. Just talked to Greg Trompas a few minutes ago after he got back from taking the 35-foot Skipjack Last Minute to the pens. No pen fish for them. No pen fish for many boats yesterday. Wind.
But the fish are still there and marking good. It's all going to get back with it. We just need this wind to back off.
So here's this blog's closer:
I am not big on predictions, but so far they have been pretty spot on (the seabass, the offshore fishing being later than pre-conceived notions, but a hair early for this cycle we are in...) . So here's my final one for the offshore season: we are going to see local yellowfin tuna fishing that makes this dorado thing seem like it was merely a warm up.
October is going to be all time. At least for those still trying.
As for me, I am going to keep doing the seabass/local yellowtail thing until then. Why? As my bud Jim Kingsmill always tells me, all I got is the beach (boat is 17 feet); I have to make the coastal thing work. If I never have a season better than this one I wouldn't be surprised. It's all worked out incredibly well this inshore season and I have learned a lot, a ton that will help me for the rest of my angling career, hopefully. (Biggest tip: it's all about edges, inshore and off. Figure out inshore edges that have nothing to do with water set up or the traditional definitions of "conditions," and the rest falls into place.)
A quick note on inshore, a note on something that I have never heard of: before going to Germany, I had seabass in 76.2 degree water. Water temp means nothing this summer on the seabass and yellows inshore, edges of bait means everything.
So looking forward I am claiming seabass in the morning and yellowfin tuna in the afternoon in October? I'll bet it can be done and will give $20 to anyone who does it and sends me the pic for the blog.
But first we have to get through September. Bluefin on pens and kelps with dorado and yellowtail to go with more and more yellowfin pushing up (look at the long range reports on the boats' websites, it's incredible fishing) has this month looking incredible.