After boarding the boat we were told we were making about a 4 hour run toward San Miguel. Everyone was ready to hit the spot so we rigged and crashed for a few. We awoke around 6am when the engines powered down to find we made the long run to the backside of the islands west end. We started fishing in around 140ft of water. The current was very light as was the wind which made for perfect drifts and the weather was as good as you can get or ever want. You could use 8oz to 10oz and stay vertical and hold tight to the bottow. We only had frozen squid for bait as no live squid were found by the crew the night before, jigs were rigged as were Gulp baits.
I started out with a double dropper with Gulp mullet in red and a small strip of squid on top and a 5in Gulp jerk shad in nuke chicken on bottom. The first couple drops produced 2 lings in the 23in range, send them home for next year. We reset the drift and people started pulling some big reds. I started off slow after the lings with just 4 blue rockfish and a handful of gophers that were vented and released. We made a few more drifts that put a nice load of legal lings onboard, more reds, nice fat chuckleheads and a few misc bottom dwellers.
Around 11am we made a move to the inside of the kelp to target whitefish and sheepshead to round off the trip. We were fishing in about 45-60ft of water. I switched over to a heavy bass setup with a single dropper and 3oz torpedo. At first we started a little slow on the first drift so the skipper reset. Then things got wild, a guy on the bow was casting a Gulp shrimp (natural) and slowly draging it back to the boat when he hit 2 legal lings on 2 casts. I switched over to the jerk shad in nuke chicken after the guys fishing 1/2oz sliders were picking off gophers and johnnys away from the boat.
I started casting as far away as I could and using a bounce/pause/bounce return, just keeping the slack out of the line. I feel a light tap, pause to let the fish take the bait, a couple more tugs on the line and bang. The fish just slammed the bait hard this was the pattern for the next hour as I was rewarded with two of my biggest reds ever and a johnny bass that was a monster. Jackpot was a 10lb ling caught on a squid strip on the 2nd to last drift of the day.
We wrapped up the trip with the crew putting our fish and fillets on ice until all were cleaned then they got stored in the RSW hold for the trip home. The crew was outstanding, if you got tangled they were right there. Got a fish up, deckhand right there. Need something from the galley, same thing. This is a top notch group of deckhands, the young lady in the galley was great, always smiling and ready to help. The skippers worked hard to keep us busy, our catch was well cared for the whole day. This is a great boat, crew, operation and landing.
sample of days catch;