This is a basic blog about my fishing adventures in California. Be sure to also check out my Yellowtail specific article here.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

The Commander Sinking: Men Plead Guilty


Well many fishing boats seemed to have went down in the Southern California waters during 2016. Some people were suspicious, others worried.

Now, in 2017, the truth comes out regarding the sport fishing vessel, The Commander.

Two men pleaded guilty to insurance fraud by trying to sink the boat. Mark Gillette, who is 37, and Christopher Switzer, who is 39 attempted to flood the boat in hopes that it would sink on October 11th near Dana point.

The two will have to refund the $15,000 dollar rescue fee as well.

It is a tough pill to swallow now knowing this was purposely caused. Many hoped it wasn't so.

The other boats in 2016 that had issues were:

  1. The Maximus south of the border, sank. Everyone was rescued.
  2. The Invicta crashed into the Coronado Islands with over 20 people onboard. Everyone was rescued. 
2016 was a great El Nino year for tuna fishing off San Diego, but a not so great year for some of these boats.







Friday, January 20, 2017

This Trout Fishing Net Holds a Child!

Say What? This is one large fishing net!

Large Catch and Release Fishing Net
Elyse, willing to show off her Dad's new fishing net

Recently I was given a new fishing net as a gift. The JTA Measure Net, Guide size. This is a large fly fishing net, I would say primarily for catch and release fishing, which is typical of fly fishing. Living in California and fishing for big trout, a big landing net has become a must. For years I have used a smaller JTA measure fishing net but over time I have seen the need for a bigger net. For yearly fishing trips up to Pyramid Lake chasing monster Lohantan Cutthroat Trout or big Brown Trout at Crowley Lake you will learn fast that a large net makes landing some of these monster trout a much more effective and enjoyable experience. Don't worry, you can also use this net for tournament bass fishing or striper fishing and many other species! It is a very universal net.

I will be honest. I ordered this net blind and was quite blown away when I received it. It was MUCH LARGER than I was expecting. This was a GOOD THING!

Quality, Fit & Finish

The quality on this net is great. The netting is without knots, which is great for catch and release fishing. The stout aluminum frame and handle pole is finished nicely with a dark blue finish. A padded handle also acts like a float. A small ring on the end of the net allows it to be secured to a boat or ladder (at Pyramid Lake). The rubber netting can be replaced once you have caught hundreds of 10lb trout... I hope it make it there!


Size

This is a large fishing net! This is not recommended for stream fishing or areas where 12" trout are common. This is to be used on bodies of water where MONSTER trout grow, such as Pyramid Lake in Nevada or Crowley Lake in California. Why not even Jurassic Lake in Argentina?

My 15 month old child fits in this net and she weighs over 25lbs! 

Large JTA Measure Fishing Net

This net is great for having on a boat where you can have it ready at any time for landing a fish. Or on the shore at a lake and your buddy can bring it out to you to land the big one. The net is not heavy, but it's sheer size will eliminate it from being a backcountry hiking net.

The opening is 16" x 23". The tape measure in the above photo is brought out to 6ft along the sofa. The handle extends out to create a full extended length of 67" for reaching the bigs. Having this reach is going to be the difference between landing the trophy and possibly not... The net will measure a fish up to 40".  For most fish in California, this is plenty sufficient!

Cost

This is a strong point of this net in my opinion. The cost is roughly around $80 dollars which isn't much more than some of the smaller fishing nets. A lot of other guide nets used in fly fishing are in the hundreds of dollars. I have been seeing quite a few out there lately. Take for instance the Orvis Bodin Landing Net, $189. Some of the other fine wooden nets are $300+. These other nets may warrant the higher price, but if you are like me and need a budget friendly net, $80 is much more palatable.

Wrap Up

This is one awesome net! Large in size, a great quality and a bargain price, it's hard to find a comparable one on the market. Yes, there are fancy wood nets out there and some of them are bigger, but if you're like me, this net is plenty big enough for California trout! A lot of the fancy wood nets carry a hefty price tag, perhaps they are a luxury. I'm not saying there aren't other alternative or even better nets out there, but if you want a solid, strong and large landing net, I recommend this JTA Fishing Net! Please leave a comment below!

* Please note, I am no way affiliated or sponsored by JTA. This is purely a product review for my own use. 

Pros

  • Sturdy construction
  • Catch and Release material
  • Provies a pretty accurate measurement of fish
  • Great value, bang for your buck

Cons

  • If you are realistically catching 40" trout, this net may still not be big enough
    • Some guys move up to large salmon nets
  • May not look as classy or suave as a finished wooden net




Monday, December 12, 2016

Central Coast California Rockfishin'


The season in my area is coming to a close so we headed out for one last trip going after Rockcod, lingcod and a fun time!

We launched out of Port San Luis via the hoist at the sport launch. The hoist makes it very easy to launch the Parker 2110!

Upon launching at 7am, the fog was very thick and our Garmin 740s GPS navigation was heavily relied on.

High tide was around 645am and low around 1pm.

We started out in around 110ft of water off Pecho Rock up the coast from Avila Beach. Something cleanly bit through my 40lb mono line tied to a 6oz leadhead and 9" Big Sledge Hammer swimbait. Shortly after my dad lost a fish as well. Weird stuff, what could it have been? Another good ol' fish story!

After a few fish we moved a few miles offshore to around the 200ft depth. We began catching quite a few lingcod. A variety of baits were used from swimbaits to iron jigs to shrimp flies with squid bits. A few lings were also caught on small blue bass hitchhikers.

The bite seemed to taper off around low tide.

The final count was probably around 15 lings for the two of us, of which we only harvested 2 at 28" and 27". We also kept 2 vermillions around 16" long.

The fog never really lifted but it made for a nice day on the water with very little wind and a small 4ft swell. The water temperature was around 55 degrees along the coast.




Monday, September 5, 2016

Catalina Yellowtail

Fished a few days at Catalina for a few hours per day on August 27/28/29.

  • Fished East End of Catalina
  • 60-120ft of water
  • Lost a fish fly lining a live sardine, took me into the rocks
  • Landed a fish slow trolling a live mackerel
  • Didn't get any Yellowtail trolling all sizes of Rapala XRaps
  • I would recommend trying lighter line, we fished 25lb and 40lb, but I think starting with 15lb to see what is biting would be a good bet and then increasing the line size if you are loosing fish.

Fishing Tip: Keeping People Out of Your Chum Line

How many of us have been fishing and anchored up with a real nice chum line going on that we have put some time into and then a rude boat comes and anchors right smack in the middle of the chum line, ignorant to the fact that was right where you were fishing?! Or if you are trout fishing on a lake with indicators that blow down wind/down current and another boat comes in too close?

Well I have seen it happen, heard of it happening, and had it happen to myself.

I have come up with an idea to keep people out of your chum line.

THIS IS ONLY AN IDEA. I don't promise it will work and I don't promise that there aren't better ideas out there.

Here's the idea: Use a rod with a big balloon tied to the end of the line and let that balloon float back into the chum line, basically indicating to others right where you are fishing. People are *slightly* less likely to come running over your balloon than they are into a 'bare' area that they didn't know was your chum line. You likely will need to have some kind of weight tied below the balloon to keep it somewhat stable.

Here is the next question: Do you fish a bait under the ballon or purely just use the balloon rod as a tool? Tough to say, you will have to experiment.

Would love some feedback on this post, feel free to post any other ideas.