Feature Article: Aloha Spirit

WON goes along for Aloha Spirit private charter

BY BOB SEMERAU/Western Outdoor News Staff WriterPublished: Aug 17, 2017

To Anacapa and Santa Cruz Islands for forkies and WSB

OXNARD — Perfect weather greeted the lucky anglers invited to join the Barragan Brothers, fishing Aloha Spirit for one of their private charters.

“We do this several times a year,” says brother Hector, who along with brother Eddie, sets up the outing to the islands.

forkiesandwsbFORKIES AND WSB, make for happy anglers after a private charter aboard Aloha Spirit. Left to right, Jesus Alvarez, Santiago Jimenez, Joe Mendoza, Robert Mulder, Ivan Valerio.

This year the pair asked 20 of their friends to come along and share the cost while enjoying the limited-load fishing and freedom to go where they want.

The two Barragan brothers had been fishing over the previous days and had hung on to 100 pieces of live squid which they loaded into the tank the night before departure. The candy bait proved to be a hot ticket for white seabass and yellowtail.

The 50-foot sportfisher left CISCOS at 5 a.m. heading south to the islands as the anglers rigged up and enjoyed some hot food, prepared by the talented cook aboard Aloha Spirt, Ana Kelly.

Along for the trip were good friends and local anglers, Robert Mulder and Santiago Jimenez who together, operate a new jig company called 187 Jigs. The guys had brought along hats and 187 Jigs which they doled out to all aboard.

Avoiding the many boats already on station, owner/operator, Captain Shawn Steward took Aloha Spirit around to a spot tight along Santa Cruz Island, near the west end. Once there the drifts were begun and the day’s fishing got underway.

“I am seeing marks on the sonar,” said the skipper, minutes later. “Everybody, get you baits in the water, there’s a big school right under us,” came the excited call as skipper set up the drift.

chromejigandfishCHROME JIG AND fish fooled by Robert Mulder, left with the fish, using a chrome 187 diamond jig at Santa Cruz Island. Partner, Santiago Jimenez jumps in with joy at the catch, right.

Sliding eggs, fly-lined dines, live squid, and plenty of 187 Jigs hit the water and in short order proceeded to get bit. Jesus Alvarez slipped a 3/8-ounce sliding egg and live squid down into the shallow water near Santa Cruz and after a short fight boated the first WSB of the day.

A long soak of a fly-lined live squid and an expert gaff by deckhand Alex Edwards, boated a beautiful white seabass for Ivan Valerio, early on as well.

Up in the bow, working his 187 mint green surface iron, jig-master Santiago connected with a bruiser forkie and boated the mossback with the help of a great gaff by Capt. Steward. Not to be outdone by his partner, Robert Mulder tossed a chrome 187 diamond jig to find a biscuit that was as bright and silvery as the jig. The white seabass weighed in at close to 20 pounds.

Father-son team of Jose Mendoza Jr. and Sr. found a nice yellowtail over 20 pounds using a dropper loop ’dine.

One of the things most anyone that has fished Aloha Spirit will tell you is that the crew has a great sense about them. They all work well together and share a real concern for angler’s comfort and success and the feeling runs from the top down, as can be seen whenever Capt. Steward comes on deck to help with fish.

SON AND DAD, Jose Mendoza, Jr., left, and Jose Mendoza, Sr., right, with one of the big biscuits of the day.

More fish took the candy bait until at last the live squid were all exhausted. This reporter soaked a dead squid on a dropper loop rig for a yellowtail late in the morning. Other anglers worked the rails boating yellows of considerably larger size which continued to hit the deck. Several moves brought more fish aboard and once the forkie and WSB bite slowed, Capt. Steward moved Aloha Spirit up island to find fresh biters.

With the bite slowed to almost nil, the boat shifted offshore and then into the gap, all the while hoping for more yellows or wsb while bagging rockfish and whitefish to fill the sacks.

As a last resort, Capt. Steward took the boat along the backside of Anacapa Island in search of more forkies and biscuits. Finishing up the day at the far east end of Anacapa the skipper called for lines up one more time and the boat headed back to the docks at CISCOS.

Final counts showed 12 kelp bass, 1 California sheephead, 61 rockfish, 7 California barracuda, 5 white seabass, 11 ocean whitefish, and 5 California yellowtail, for the 22-anglers aboard Aloha Spirit.

Putting together a charter trip of your own, with friends and family, can be easy and rewarding for all aboard. Check out Aloha Spirit or your local landing to find out if chartering is right for you.

Aloha Spirit Sportfishing, (805) 382-1612

Channel Islands Sportfishing, (805) 382-1612

187 Jigs (805) 827-9061

IVAN VALERIO, RIGHT, fly-lined a live squid for this 25-pound-plus white seabass gaffed by Alex Edwards, deckhand on 50-foot sportfisher, Aloha Spirit, left.

187 JIG EATING yellowtail taken by jig master Santiago Jimenez, left, displayed by Aloha Spirit owner and skipper, Shawn Steward, right.

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