Fall is the absolute best time of the year for offshore fishing. The bite is on and there are lots of openings in the charter fleet.
As summer crowds wind down the offshore bite continues to ramp up, the local waters, warmed from the summer sun, continue to warm well into fall. It’s a lot of thermal mass, and it takes lots of time to heat, and once warm, temps continue to ramp up, even though the daily heat input diminishes.
Surprise, suprise! The warm water bite is best in the fall, and actually oceanographic drivers make winter waters warm. It’s not till spring, say March when the oceanic chill sets in. March, April and May are the cold months. And June is not to warm really either. This is what creates SoCal’s famous “June Gloom.” But I digress...
In the sport fleet, open party trips may seem crowded still, in the fall. This is only because folks get concentrated on certain days and boats. Everyone wants to go Saturday, Bigger landings only book each run one boat at a time. Smaller landings may limit their offerings.
But often those weekday open-party trips will leave the dock with only a few folks on board, a wash for the boat owner, but still a day’s work for the crew. Everybody in this industry loves to fish, so they go. Boat owners like to keep their crews in work, even if it doesn’t due much for the bottom line.
There are a number of boats that sit at the dock during the week, while the bite is Richtoring full-tilt offshore. It’s a regular, perennial fall occurrence. Some boats run commercial trips. Fall legends, stories of glory, gallantry and barley-survived-it jackass stupidity, are woven into the fabric of sportfishing history.
But by far the best opportunity out there, is, as always with such things, often overlooked. Weekday charter ops are there for the taking. Boat owners and crews are standing by on a fleet of 50- to 70-foot charter boats, all up and down the coast, watching the landing’s ¾-day and ½-day boats sail. Once caught up on the Summer’s missing sleep, they would love to be out on the water, rather than scrubbing bird poop and oiling rails.
For natural-born leader and organizer types, and the folks on their charter master’s list, it can be a windfall. A last minute weekday charter can be had for week-day off-season price. And the fishing is oh, so much more than sculpin, whitefish and cods at this time of year, especially this year.
If that is you, if you have already completed the season’s charters, booking that one-more-trip, can easily be the most memorable and exciting trip of your charter season. It’s “Let’s Make a Deal” time if you can get a group together for a last minute, fall weekday charter.
* * *
Merit McCrea is saltwater editor for Western Outdoor News. A veteran Southern California partyboat captain, he also works as a marine research scientist with the Love Lab at the University of California at Santa Barbara’s Marine Science Institute. He can be reached at: email@example.com.
Maximus heading to P.V.
SAN DIEGO — Even though we are just now coming into one of the best fall offshore seasons of the century, the Maximus has an appointment with destiny. Already the big fish are biting out of Puerto Vallarta, where destiny lay. Western Outdoor New will be there too, with our sponsored trip in April.
This summer season was a complete success said Owner and skipper, Capt. Keith Dennet. In previous seasons Dennet has docked the boat for the summer, but this last one, he brought her up to San Diego. There she not only was re-fitted with a brand new sonar, tuna tubes for baiting the cows in Mexico and a complete refinishing, but ran a full summer offshore season from Fisherman’s Landing.
MAXIMUS CREW HAULS aboard a nice yellowfin, well over the 200-pound mark for Steve Worabel of Bishop, far right.
Her P.V. season begins Oct. 28 and runs to May 5, 2016. In June she will be back on-line at Fisherman’s. Dennet hopes to start her California season with tanker seabass fishing and huge halibut that move into local waters along the coast, and yellows at the islands. Hopefully, the big blues will not be far behind. This season’s abundant 40s and 50s should weigh in at over 100 pounds.
Down in P.V. the yellowfin tuna bite has already begun, and there are two distinct grades of fish on the chew right now, said Capt. Keith. The cows are already present, with good numbers of fish from 150 pounds on up into the mid 200s. Plus, there were bunches of 80- to 130-pound fish currently biting as well.
The fish were showing up top, and effective baits included both caballitos (bigeye scad) and squid, (Humboldt). In addition, Dennet was hearing about good numbers of both black and blue marlin, dorado to 60 pounds and wahoo too.
The boat specializes in fly-in, fly-out fishing for the big cows, and all the right terminal tackle is available. Rod and reel use is part of the package, all the right stuff in show room shape. Trip lengths range from 2.5 to 6.5 days. Though his season was pretty fully booked, he held aside 3 open party opportunities and said often there is a spot or two that open up on charters.
Plus, we at WON have a sponsored 3.5-dayer scheduled for April 17 to 21. This season the boat has all new 100- and 130-pound class gear – 15 sets of each. The 100s are custom Seeker 2x4s paired with Accurate ATD 30s. The bigger setups are Seeker’s new 6463 4x with Salty Dog grips and paired with Accurate ATD 50s. Anglers need only get themselves to the dock at Paradise Village in Nuevo Vallarta, adjacent to the yacht club.
For anglers wanting to join us on our sponsored trip, contact Ben Babbitt at (949) 366-0726. The cost of the 3.5 dayer is $1,540 and includes everything but tip and extra terminal tackle. There will be 12 anglers on the 65 footer.
CHRIS HENDRICSON OF San Clemente didn’t have the largest tuna on last season’s WON sponsored Maximus trip. It taped out to just under the 300-pound Super Cow mark. Capt. Keith at right.