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Old 05-06-2008, 02:34 AM   #1
bigderel
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Thumbs up SCI Mothership Trip 5/2-5/4

Beautiful, rugged and a great destination for kayak anglers.

Ever since my first mothership trip to San Clemente Island, I had wanted to go back. Most anglers head to the islands to find untapped areas and this excursion was no different - a kayak offered the best chance to tap into resources untouched by 99.9% of the luckly fisherman who do get a chance to fish this island. Not only does the island offer some of the best calico angling on the west coast, but the yellowtail, white seabass and halibut fishing can be incredible. The great thing about the mothership trip is the fact that you sleep on the trip out, awake in the zone, fish all day and sleep on the way back. Talk about a productive day! The Islander crew loaded our gear up carefully and we were set to get down with our target species.





This particular trip was sponsored by OEX kayak centers and was chock full of eager anglers. Nate (Steamroll), Matt Kim and I were the 'reps' from OEX and were joined by a great group of anglers & a familiar face (to me at least..although Nate knows everyone - Ray AKA Aquahunter, an avid freediver). After a loading up we were treated to good news from the charter captain Jason - despite the fact that the island was over 50% closed, they had contacted the US Navy and we were clear to enjoy the productive areas of the Southeast end. Talk about a hookup. After Jason's synopsis, we handed out tackle generously donated by Berkley/Pure Fishing & Tommy at UniButter/Unigoop.com. Everyone was stoked on the free goodies...and ready to get down to the business of fishing in the morning.







A quick plug for those who have not yet taken advantage of the Islander's mothership kayak operation - these guys are absolute pros. Not only are they avid watermen, but they take care of you beyond belief. I was quickly re-welcomed aboard by the same guys who treated me to my last trip; they even recalled my last visit (from 2006). The Islander is a great vessel and features a world-class crew that is focused on your comfort and overall enjoyment. Long story short - they are gentle with your ride and gear. I'm just happy my wife didn't experience the quality of the overhaul the owners put on the vessel a few years ago! She would have been on my a$$ to match what they've done to the staterooms and facilities. They take great pride ikn their boat and it shows.

We awoke after a restless sleep (due to the anticipation of the day's adventure) to a gray light launch into the beautiful waters of San Clemente Island. We quickly headed for the shallow water pursuit of calico bass.



Matt was the hot stick early and often. He followed up early hookups on boiler bass...



...with a bigger model calico plucked from the grinding teeth of the SCI boilers.



Nate was on it as well with a fatty -



- as we dodged large surf and surging current. At one point another kayaker chimed in 'what's with the guys in the surf'...but that is where the big bass roam! Matt on it again.



After dozens of boiler bass, we were treated to a visit from the Islander skiff who brought us COLD Pacificos to brighten an already bright morning. We worked our way back to the boat and climbed aboard for a lunchbreak. On tap were Chili/Frito/onion burgers (AKA Thunder burgers - hello and sorry about the air stateroommates!)...and it was back in the water.

After lunch the wind picked up - coupled with booming surf, conditions beckoned us to the leeward side of the island. After some close calls with the conditions and boiler rocks, we were off.

The leeward side of the island was absolutely gourgeous! Burly lava formations, clear water and glassy conditions greeted us. So did some epic bass...



We worked over a few miles of shoreline before heading back at twilight. Definitely an epic day on the water! We didn't see another boat until the late afternoon (apparently the Islander crew did have pull with the Navy after all) and they treated us to a great day in paradise. Although a few 'big fish' were spotted and nearly brought in, fishing was incredible. Kudos to the Islander for putting us on the fish - the photo spread laid out in this report is just a sampling. We were too busy with so many fish that we took far too few pics! You'll just have to get out there to see for yourself.
Here I am tossing my offering towards 'Shlong Rock' lol ...don't get too excited boys and girls.



Here's a passenger scoring extra shwag (spools of braid and other good stuff) courtesy of Matt for superior angling prowess. Everyone was down with the action!



Good times indeed. Thanks again to OEX and the crew of the Islander. Fishing - great. Food - fantastic. GO GET YOU SOME!




Last edited by bigderel; 05-06-2008 at 11:20 AM.
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Old 05-06-2008, 07:15 AM   #2
bajadog
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Killer trip. You guys had the great weather on your side.


Did they provide bait?
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Old 05-06-2008, 07:30 AM   #3
Holy Mackerel
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Nice, I am jealous, sounds like a great trip as per usual! Any Jurels, or Corvina?

Chris
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Old 05-06-2008, 07:57 AM   #4
esdees
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Awesome, thanks for the report. I can't wait to get on that boat!
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Old 05-06-2008, 08:50 AM   #5
Dan
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great report, thanks for that. can't wait for Todos.
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Old 05-06-2008, 09:13 AM   #6
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Thats it. I can't stand it any more. Next year I'm skipping the tuna boat to get on one of these trips!! Great write up, thanks 4 the report
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Old 05-06-2008, 09:25 AM   #7
tylerdurden
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Great pics and reports. Looks like you guys got what you were looking for. Even if the fishing sucks, the Islander boat and crew are great.
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Old 05-06-2008, 12:48 PM   #8
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Great write up Andy! The crew was first class. I had a blast on this trip. I look forward to many more trips aboard the Islander.

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Old 05-06-2008, 12:55 PM   #9
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Nice write up. You can't go wrong with those Islander trips. They are first rate all the way.
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Old 05-06-2008, 12:59 PM   #10
Corey
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Nice work on the calicos guys! And nice pics & report. I miss the Islander. Cant wait for Todos Santos next month!
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Old 05-06-2008, 01:45 PM   #11
dorf
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Sounds like a great trip.
I was station on SCI for 3 years and had shore access to a lot of great spots. I caught my first YT in a skiff about 100 yards off of Notts Pier. I can't wait to get back there on one of these trips.
I would like to take my boys.
Does anyone know if there is an age limit?
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Old 05-06-2008, 05:52 PM   #12
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WOW...those are some really nice calicos yous guys got there...
I am impatiently waiting fir the Todos trips to roll around...
I wanna go right now!!!!
Thanks for the great report...
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Old 05-06-2008, 07:37 PM   #13
EdCal
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Wow...thats an awesome trip. How much did that trip set you back?
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Old 05-06-2008, 08:05 PM   #14
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I'm the old fart in the Mustad hat. This was my first mother ship trip, and not the last. The Islander crew is first class, and the chow is great. If you are on the edge, go for it. Even though we did'nt see any yellows or whites, water still to cold, we all caught plenty of fish and enjoyed tremendous scenery and all had a great time.
Bruce
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Old 05-07-2008, 08:15 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EdCal View Post
Wow...thats an awesome trip. How much did that trip set you back?
trip -------------------$ 285.00
fish cleaning -----------$ 1.00 per fish
tips -------------------$ go big...they deserve it...don't be a dick!
the whole expeience----pricless
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Old 05-07-2008, 07:08 PM   #16
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