offshore

bluewater birthday…

I had a great birthday yesterday spent buddy boating with a great group of fly boys offshore. I was out with Roy Fukushima, Ken Oda, Steve Hanano, Jon Nakano  and Greg Madrigal. We launched out of Dana Point, picked up a big scoop of anchovies and headed south east towards the 302. We jumped patties as soon as the sun broke through the horizon and there was enough light to see them. Roy and Ken had great eyes and spotted many patties far off on the horizon. The first stop yielded a firecracker yellowtail and small ahi for my buddy Roy, the ahi his first on the fly. We all got firecrackers on numerous paddies, small yellowtail were abundant. We were looking for dorado and tuna. The fun is this was pure opportunity fishing, each paddy discovered is different, some held fish and some were completely void of life. Having a second boat working on the horizon made scanning the ocean a lot easier. Six pairs of eyes are always better than three. Once one of us found something we investigated it and if there were fish there we radioed the other boat to join the party. Good old fashioned fly fishing fun. On the way back Steve called in as said they found a small patty that may have some tuna on it so we headed their way. When we pulled up both Jon and Steve were bent. We threw a few baits and the ocean exploded like someone drop canon balls around our boat. I immediately hooked up but dropped my fish, user error on my part, but Ken hooked a nice one on his 8 weight and all I hear is, “oh Shit”. Ken to his credit landed this fish like a seasoned pro, his old commercial fishing days kicked in and he had that tuna on the deck in ten minutes. It was his first ahi on fly and on an eight weight to boot, just awesome. Seeing a few flying fish and skating across the flat blue ocean with a great group of guys was a blast. The water temps were near 78, which is why we had so many patties to work off of. The patties were pushing up the temp break from Mexico where most of the pelagics are coming from…

leaving the harbor and looking to the east was a glorious sunrise. Photo by Al Quattrocchi

leaving the harbor and looking to the east was a glorious sunrise. Photo by Al Quattrocchi

Jon, Steve and Greg working a small patty. Photo by Al Quattrocchi

Jon, Steve and Greg working a small patty. Photo by Al Quattrocchi

Roy with a nice firecracker yellowtail. Photo by Al Quattrocchi

Roy with a nice firecracker yellowtail. Photo by Al Quattrocchi

Roy with his first Ahi on fly. Photo by Al Quattrocchi

Roy with his first Ahi on fly. Photo by Al Quattrocchi

Ken and Q double up. Photo by Roy Fukushima

Ken and Q double up. Photo by Roy Fukushima

Ken get bit on his 8 weight.Photo by Roy Fukushima

Ken get bit on his 8 weight.Photo by Roy Fukushima

Ken gets his first Ahi on fly. Landed on an eight weight, quite a battle. Photo by Al Quattrocchi

Ken gets his first Ahi on fly. Landed on an eight weight, quite a battle. Photo by Al Quattrocchi

Some of Jon's beautiful tuna. Photo by Al Quattrocchi

Some of Jon’s beautiful tuna. Photo by Al Quattrocchi

Categories: #hamachionfly, #hamachionthefly, offshore | Tags: , , | 9 Comments

yellow slayer…

It was an early 3 o’clock alarm that began the day, Me and John Whitaker carpooled south to meet our good friend Rich Kanner at Newport Landing. A forty minute, 5 mph motor through Newport Harbor to the bait receiver, we loaded a mixed scoop of sardines and anchovies and off we went headed for an hour run straight to Catalina. Light wind and calm sea made the crossing a breeze. I never get tired of seeing that large rocky mountain appear out of the grey light as you get close to Catalina, a welcome sight. Rich had me pumped up since he got into some big yellowtail the prior week on bait and fly up to 17 pounds. On our first stop we had a party boat to the south, banging big yellows with many seals all around them, so they picked up the hook and left, we decided to do the same. The next stop we witnessed the same party boat doing a number on these nice grade fish, often four or more rods getting bent at once. We watch a couple of anglers handing these fish off to the mates to land, they were getting their asses kicked. We threw the hook. I threw long and sunk out my fly, immediately got picked up and the fish took off like a bat out of hell straight down, unbuttoning me on the fall. Good sign were were in the right place. We threw the hook, Rich flipped out a dine and got picked up, fought the fish like a pro and I gaffed it after a 10 minute battle. Fresh hamachi is a good thing. We steadily picked away at small calicos, bonita. The smaller fish around the boat often attract the larger fish, so patience is a virtue, and then after sinking out his fly, Rich got the right kind. The fish took off and ran right. I gave him the right of way, as he fought the fish towards the bow. I followed him with my camera. The fish went for the anchor line and Rich immediately made a great move by threading the rod under the anchor line and over as the fish stayed free. He was in for an epic battle, the rod bending straight to the butt section. He was using a 10 weight with forty pound tippet, not messing around with these bad ass fish. Fifteen minutes later we got color and she spiraled to the surface where John was waiting with the net, she barely fit. She weighed a solid fifteen pounds and was caught on a black/white clouser tied on a Gamakatsu heavy jig hook. Rich proved himself to be the yellow slayer…he didn’t give that yellowtail an inch, an awesome catch on a fly rod and a fun day spent with fishy friends…

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Rich’s first of two large yellowtail land on a fresh a fly-lined sardine. photo by AL Q

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Deep bend. Photo by Al Q

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A beautiful Island Yellowtail land by Rich Kanner. Photo by Al Q

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Nice grade bonita would come through every once in a while. Photo by Al Q

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Nice bone landed by John Whitaker. Photo by Al Q

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Doubling up. Photo by Al Q

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Photo by Al Q

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Photo by Al Q

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Categories: article, Catalina Island, offshore | Tags: , , | 5 Comments

a perfect day on the rock…

Me and my buddy Jim Solomon had the good fortune of joining our buddy Glen Ueda on his 20 foot Edgewater and heading across the big blue pond to Catalina. Glen is one of the most seasoned, fishy guys I have ever been around, the dude is on it like white on rice. It was non-stop fly action from the moment we started flipping live anchovies. The boils began and the calicos and bonita were on em. Once things started to build and heat up the small yellowtail were around the boat and eventually they succumbed to the fly as well. I can’t tell you how many fish were caught in the 5 hours we soaked flies but my rod forearm was spasming from lifting bonita and yellows over the rail. It was a fun day with great company and a welcomed fix after getting the bird from those damn corbina last week. LOL

one of many doubles and triples. photo by Glenn Ueda

one of many doubles and triples. photo by Glenn Ueda

Jim having a ball on one the many bonita caught. photo by Al Q

Jim having a ball on one the many bonita caught. photo by Al Q

 

a fine bonita landed by Jim. photo by Al Q

a fine bonita landed by Jim. photo by Al Q

fun little speedsters on the fly.

fun little speedsters on the fly.

Glenn Ueda with a fine firecracker yellow. photo by Al Q

Glenn Ueda with a fine firecracker yellow. photo by Al Q

another fly caught firecracker yellow.

another fly caught firecracker yellow.

one of many bonita that have infested the island.

one of many bonita that have infested the island.

they come in all sizes.

they come in all sizes.

 

Categories: offshore | 8 Comments

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