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Old 06-26-2017, 09:38 AM   #1
goldenglory18
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MDR - 6/24/17

Happy Monday everyone!

Hit the marina at 6am for an all day affair on Saturday. The tide chart was looking fairly flat with 8mph winds, so I figured it would be a relatively calm day. I planned to paddle straight out to the break wall and possibly venture to the outside of the wall if conditions looked ok. They did not. Not sure if its my nerves still or if its just my common sense kicking in (overcast skies, I was alone, seals were abundant, GWS sightings recently in the area...) but once I saw those 3-4' swells crash against the edge of the wall, I changed my mind. Oh well, plenty of water to fish within the safety of the walls.





I decided to try my usual plan, but with switching up my primary bait to a 3/8oz underspin and 3" trailer. Ideal for cloudy/overcast days, but I think my cadence was too fast and I started the day with a lot of missed fish.

Inside of the main break wall was REALLY slow. I worked from north end to the south with only one Lizard, one short Hali, and a legal Calico to show for it. Dropshot with a 3" baitfish profile got 2 of the three fish, and the underspin got the Calico.

Moving to the N side of the channel, I started working the drift and the bite started to pickup. I trolled the underspin in the current and threw the dropshot to the usual spots of mine. For the next few hours I found the usual suspect (short) Spotties and Sandies when my underspin gets hung up. Releasing a hangup in a drift is no fun, especially when it starts to move. Oh wait, hookup! That underspin was choked by a Halibut. Bigger than the first, but still short. Man those fish are fun! So now that I'm noticing the Halis chasing small bait, I decided to switch gears and focus on them exclusively. Not more than 10 minutes in, I get hammered. It didn't feel like a bass, but it felt big. I fight the fish for a few minutes when I finally see color. Halibut! After a few strong runs, a few attempts to get her in my grips, and another 5-10 minutes in fight mode, she finally opens up and I lock her in. Personal best fight and landed with only my fish grips!



What a fight and what a rush to get it into the boat safely. Awesome experience!

After hanging around the same area looking for the tanks friends, I moved to the east side of the marina and started to work the underspin around the docks and pilings. A few short strikes and a few more short fish, I decided to call it a day and head back to the ramp around 4:30.

Final fish count:
1 Lizard fish
1 short Calico
1 legal Calico
Multiple short Spots
1 short Sandie
2 short Halibut
1 legal Halibut

Rigs of the day:
7' MH Okuma Helios, Quantum Smoke Inshore, 8lbs Trilene 100% Gold Box with a 12-16" leader to weight dropshot.
7' MH Okuma Shadow Stalker, Daiwa Tatula HD, 10lbs Trilene 100% Gold Box with a 3/8oz underspin.

The more time on the water I get, the more I realize that you dont need to fish heavy gear in the salt. The big halibut I got was caught on a dropshot rig, with a light hook and 8lbs line. That fish was easily double the weight limit of that rig. Obviously if you're targeting big/open water fish you don't want to go ultra light, but I genuinely think that a lot of salt guys are over rigged for the water they are fishing. Patience, good terminal connection, and a properly set drag saved the day on this fish.

Also, this is the second time the G&F folks were at the ramp surveying incoming anglers. They really appreciate the data we provide and each time I've interacted with them, they have been helpful and kind. Also, each time I've seen them, they have asked if I was licensed but didn't ask to see it.

Last edited by goldenglory18; 07-17-2017 at 09:54 AM. Reason: Title update
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Old 06-26-2017, 10:05 AM   #2
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Did you launch from Mother's Beach?
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Old 06-26-2017, 10:10 AM   #3
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Congrats on your hali!

The water doesn't look too bad. I would have gone out but you got rewarded for staying inside so I guess it's a moot point lol
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Old 06-26-2017, 10:27 AM   #4
goldenglory18
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Did you launch from Mother's Beach?
Nope, I've been launching at the public boat ramp. It's a lot shorter paddle to my main areas and I've been happy with the results. The $10 parking kinda sucks though. I might want to investigate a monthly/annual pass situation...

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Congrats on your hali!

The water doesn't look too bad. I would have gone out but you got rewarded for staying inside so I guess it's a moot point lol
Thanks! The pictures were taken at a point I felt comfortable pulling my phone out. That was definitely the better looking water of the day (small craft advisory went out around noon...)
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Old 06-26-2017, 10:35 AM   #5
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Thanks! The pictures were taken at a point I felt comfortable pulling my phone out. That was definitely the better looking water of the day (small craft advisory went out around noon...)
Got it, I also just remembered how hard it is to take pictures of bad swell.
I've shown pictures to my gf and she tells me that it looks calm.
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Old 06-26-2017, 10:46 AM   #6
goldenglory18
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Got it, I also just remembered how hard it is to take pictures of bad swell.
I've shown pictures to my gf and she tells me that it looks calm.
To be honest, because I'm still pretty green on the salt water, I'll only feel comfortable on my own if its glass calm, and even then I'm not leaving the immediate area of the break wall. Just too risky to do anything more than that solo.
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Old 06-26-2017, 11:43 AM   #7
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I think u might have just talked me into fishing MDR. Hit me up next time you are getting out there. I wana target some butts.
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Old 06-26-2017, 12:03 PM   #8
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not a bad result when you don't venture out! sweet
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Old 06-26-2017, 12:08 PM   #9
diedroid
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Originally Posted by goldenglory18 View Post
Nope, I've been launching at the public boat ramp. It's a lot shorter paddle to my main areas and I've been happy with the results. The $10 parking kinda sucks though. I might want to investigate a monthly/annual pass situation..
I see.

https://goo.gl/maps/Gr99jBQ39xj

I heard this is another launch spot closer to the breakwater.
I haven't been to MDR yet. Hope to kayak fish there soon.

Last edited by diedroid; 06-26-2017 at 12:33 PM.
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Old 06-26-2017, 12:33 PM   #10
goldenglory18
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Originally Posted by Denis_Ruso View Post
I think u might have just talked me into fishing MDR. Hit me up next time you are getting out there. I wana target some butts.
I'll gladly return the favor. Plus I want someone to graph these areas for me. LOL


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not a bad result when you don't venture out! sweet
Yeah, I think these areas are pretty low pressure, so I've been getting fairly consistent results.

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Originally Posted by diedroid View Post
I see.

https://goo.gl/maps/Gr99jBQ39xj

I heard this is another launch spot closer to the breakwater.
I haven't been to MDL yet. Hope to kayak fish there soon.
My work firewall doesn't like those google links, I'll check it out when I get home. I can't think of another "closer" launch in the Marina then where I put in. Unless you beach launch or are a UCLA / LAFD / LAPD / USCG guest.....
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Old 06-26-2017, 01:23 PM   #11
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I see.

https://goo.gl/maps/Gr99jBQ39xj

I heard this is another launch spot closer to the breakwater.
I haven't been to MDR yet. Hope to kayak fish there soon.
that spot is very steep and slippery once you get to the high tide line.
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Old 06-26-2017, 01:32 PM   #12
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The closer launch is on Bellona Creek which is just south and parallel to the harbor channel. There's a small metered lot that fits about 10 cars and a 20' walk to the launch. The launch can get very slippery at low tide so sometimes it's not worth it. But it puts you in much closer to the breakwall and significantly cuts down on travel time. I've also seen some nice sized Calico pulled out of that creek.

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Old 06-26-2017, 02:41 PM   #13
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Ah, got it. My high producing spot is no where near that area.

For the record, that creek gets NASTY when the tides are moving. I've looked at going in there a few times and it was like rushing river. Considering I've been on fish without the extra hassle, I've continued to pass on it. Maybe eventually though. I'd love to see whats hiding in there...
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Old 06-26-2017, 03:07 PM   #14
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Awesome report man! I notice I get a ton of short bites on the underspin baits too. Last time I went out it was probably a 10-1 bite to hookup ratio.
If you learn any tips or tricks to hookup more often, let me know
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Old 06-26-2017, 03:28 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by goldenglory18 View Post

The more time on the water I get, the more I realize that you dont need to fish heavy gear in the salt. The big halibut I got was caught on a dropshot rig, with a light hook and 8lbs line. That fish was easily double the weight limit of that rig. Obviously if you're targeting big/open water fish you don't want to go ultra light, but I genuinely think that a lot of salt guys are over rigged for the water they are fishing. Patience, good terminal connection, and a properly set drag saved the day on this fish.
What was the weight or length of your halibut?

Congratulations!

I typically run 65# braid and 40# Blackwater fluorocarbon on a 3-way swivel rig for La Jolla. Typical weight is a 6 or 8 oz torpedo, depending on the waves, wind, current. The mackerel I caught on my way out that day were relatively large. On Sunday, I was experimenting with 25# fluoro and smaller hooks because lots of people advise to go lighter. I hooked something heavy on the bottom (felt like a halibut.) Got it about half way up with a couple of refusal runs in different directions before he/she chomped the line.

That was the end of that.

It was a clear bite through just above the top hook. I'm sure it was not a faulty knot. The top hook was a snell anyway and the bite was just above that. It was fresh 25# leader & my drag was set easy so it didn't break from pull. He was coming up heavy and graceful, then he shook his head a little and was gone. I didn't see any stealthy sea lions in the area at the time, but it could have been that too.

So now I feel conflicted with the trade-off between 25# and 40# leader in the ocean.

In San Diego Bay, I have been using 25# leader with a Carolina rig for shallower depths without problems. Weight might typically be a 2oz egg and my bait might typically be anchovies from the bait barge. In the bay, it seems my La Jolla weight gear gets hit less, but there are lots of other variables so I'm not entirely sure what the reasons might be.

Any advice from the pros would be appreciated.
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Old 06-26-2017, 05:14 PM   #16
goldenglory18
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Awesome report man! I notice I get a ton of short bites on the underspin baits too. Last time I went out it was probably a 10-1 bite to hookup ratio.
If you learn any tips or tricks to hookup more often, let me know
Good to hear I'm not the only one.

One tip that helps, and it definitely did yesterday at the end of the day when I remembered it........take size off of the trailer. I bit about half of the body off the tail I was using and caught a few more Spotties after that. Seemed to help in the moment and gives me another option if the same situation happens next time.

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What was the weight or length of your halibut?

Congratulations!

Any advice from the pros would be appreciated.
I didnt get a chance to weigh it personally but looking at the picture and how its sitting on my lap/boat, I bet we could get a decent estimate. My calibrated eyeball and right arm says 35" and 18-19lbs.

I am by no means a pro, but I fully understand how all of your gear, from rod to reel to terminal, impacts your ability to land fish.

Example: You can catch no bigger fish with a XH rod and ultra light hook, than you can with an ultralight rod and XH hook. Its how your rig is setup in total that makes the difference...

Last edited by goldenglory18; 06-26-2017 at 05:35 PM.
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Old 06-26-2017, 05:21 PM   #17
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Awesome report man! I notice I get a ton of short bites on the underspin baits too. Last time I went out it was probably a 10-1 bite to hookup ratio.
If you learn any tips or tricks to hookup more often, let me know
Ask Amish Ed, he fishes the underspins a lot and seems to do well with them
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Old 06-27-2017, 08:34 AM   #18
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I see.

https://goo.gl/maps/Gr99jBQ39xj

I heard this is another launch spot closer to the breakwater.
I haven't been to MDR yet. Hope to kayak fish there soon.
That's where i use to launch.
UCLA boat ramp i think.

Just paddle fast to get outta yuck water.

i drop off gear, and go park along street for free in neighborhood..

P
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Old 06-27-2017, 08:37 AM   #19
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Ah, got it. My high producing spot is no where near that area.

For the record, that creek gets NASTY when the tides are moving. I've looked at going in there a few times and it was like rushing river. Considering I've been on fish without the extra hassle, I've continued to pass on it. Maybe eventually though. I'd love to see whats hiding in there...
em
Pick your trip between sewage spills..

never had trouble with the flow, just whats in the flow
can be slippery

P

Last edited by radastaff; 06-27-2017 at 08:42 AM.
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Old 06-27-2017, 08:58 AM   #20
goldenglory18
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never had trouble with the flow, just whats in the flow can be slippery

P
Gross. LOL Yeah, I'll just stick to the cleaner, more open water.

The inside breakwall was so clear this past weekend you could see small schools of Garibaldi handing around the vegetation. Beautiful fish!
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