View Full Version : Rpt-2.5 Day trip on the Chief to Colonet ending 03-21-16.

03-21-2016, 01:51 PM
On Tuesday 03-15-16, I saw a post on 976 Tuna for some openings on a Chief Charter for a 2.5 day trip over the Weekend, which departed Friday 03-18-16 and ended Monday morning 3-21-16. I called Hector, the Charter Master and booked the trip. I left my job in San Bernardino at 2:20 pm Friday afternoon and arrived at the H&M dock at 4:20 pm. There were multiple open parking spaces in the lot, sweet.

Departure Friday 05-22-15.

I found a cart and loaded up my gear and headed toward the boat. The friendly crew (Chris, Josh and Howard) were Johnny on the spot and assisted me in putting my numerous Sticks, Duffle bag and Tackle box on the boat. I went inside the galley and met Hector. He told me to select a bunk and go back to the office and file my Passport. I was amazed that a great Starboard middle bunk was still available, as I was #22 out of 24 anglers aboard. The staterooms were more popular, as I selected a single bunk.

Our departure time was scheduled for 6pm and we left the dock at 5:50 pm. So cool! We loaded up with sensational Sardines and very healthy Anchovies. The game plan was head to Colonet, some 112 miles south of San Diego and fish for Yellowtail and Rockfish.

This was a great group of fishermen, lots of talent, and with only 24 on an 85 foot boat; there was some ideal space for fishing together. I sipped on some great Chardonnay white wine, and later fisherman Paco set out a bottle of fine Tequila, oh yeah that was tasty.

After clearing the harbor a little before 7pm, Cook Tommy introduced the crew and Captain Chris Randel. Charter Master Hector provided some fantastic chicken and Peperoni Pizza for dinner.

Mellowed out on the wine and Tequila, and having a full stomach, for me it was lights out at 9:30 pm.

Day 1 Saturday-03-19-16.

The forecast called for light wind, 8 to 10 knots in the morning, then increasing to 10 to 15 knots in the afternoon. I was up at 4:45 am, feeling the excitement to begin fishing. The coffee was brewing, and that first cup was awesome! Tommy was busy in the galley getting the breakfast menu items prepped.

So far the weather was incredible; it was such a smooth ride down. I ordered a Ham and Cheese Omelet; it was to die for, absolutely delicious, served with hash browns and Toast. I was so full, I could hardly walk? Others chose the great burritos and regular breakfast plate.

A few miles before reaching the Colonet Point, the winds increased to 12 to 15 knots with larger swells, surprisingly there were already 4 other boats in the area. I thought our early departure would place us there first?
The early fishing for Rockfish was very poor. The few that were caught, coughed up Red Crabs. The area was loaded with them. It remained tough fishing, as the current and wind was against us. Some of the boats in the area began to catch Yellowtail. Captain Chris announced he was marking some between 20 and 30 fathoms. The bottom was approximately 40 fathoms.

Most of us anxious to catch Yellowtail began Yo Yoing Iron. Some fished bait and there were those that preferred to concentrate on Rockfish. The first few Yellowtails were caught on iron. Then the bait fishing was more productive. I must of dropped my iron a hundred times. I had to cast out 50 yards into the wind in order to have the lure reach bottom and was still scoped out.

On my 101 cast I finally landed a nice 18-19 pound Yellowtail. We landed a total of 10 Tails before noon, and I know that Captain Chris was very disappointed, as the other boats had done much better. The schools of Tails under us just didnít want to chew!

Lunch was a choice of Sandwiches, including BBQ pulled Pork, I ordered a double Cheeseburger, it was huge and sensational, yum yum!

The afternoon winds continued to pick up and we were easily facing 20 to 25 knots. My arm was falling off my shoulders, as I worked the Yo Yo iron. Occasionally I threw out a bait to rest my arm. Fishermen Lee was on fire with bait fishing, as he landed his third by 3pm. I could not get bit on bait, even using a 2 oz. sliding sinker that was Leeís preferred choice.

Garett, who stayed with the Rockcod fishing, found some decent Lingcod and Red fishing on sardines:;



Cook Tommy served up some great appetizers at 4pm although I never went in the galley to try them. Someone had donated a Yellowtail for Hamachi and it disappeared as fast as Tommy could serve it, I did get one piece, it was so good!

The Yellowtail bite went off at this time, despite horrible conditions, huge swells and high winds. I heard shouts of fresh one repeatedly off the stern, and then I got hammered on a Scrambled egg CP105. I landed an 18 pound Yellowtail. I looked over and saw Lee was fighting his 4th Yellowtail on bait; he was definitely high stick for the day, landing six and losing one!

My next drop down with the iron, and **** I got hung up on the bottom and lost my jig. I put on another Scrambled egg and got bit right now, some 15 cranks off the bottom. I landed number 3, another 18 pound Tail. On my next cast I again got hammered and could not even turn the handle. The fish went ballistic, and my drag was screaming when it went POW! Gad I broke off a fish on 50 pound. Must have had a nick in it?
I put on a mint green CP105 and after several casts got bit again. Darn this fish unbuttoned. I got slammed a few casts later and landed number four. I lost one more at the gaff. Darn I never found time to take pictures of my Tails or any others for that matter. Jackpot was probably about 26 pounds.

The Yellowtail bit until almost dark. We ended the day with 42, having lost at least half that many, maybe more, I lost three?

It was Vino time for me, as I relaxed and shared stories with the other fishermen. The Cabernet wine allowed me to mellow out and sooth my sore back and aching arm.

Dinner was served at a little after 8pm, and included Rib Eye Steaks, mashed Potatoes and Gravy, and a salad. I heard there was dessert; however, I was so full I couldnít have eaten another bite.

It was lights out for me at 9: pm.

Day 2 Sunday-03-20-16,

I was up again before 5am and was not alone. Despite continued winds and big swells, being on anchor, the night was relatively calm. The smell of fresh coffee was mesmerizing and I enjoyed a wonderful cup. I always fill in my downtime with a good book, and this morning was no different.

The smell of Bacon and Ham on the grill, stimulated the taste buds and I put in an order for another of Tommyís sensational Ham, Bacon and cheese Omelets.

Captain Chris pulled anchor at 6:45am and headed out to his chosen high spot. The wind was blowing, yet was not yet over 10 knots.

The Rockfishing remained extremely slow. Conditions were much improved over yesterday, yet the fish were not on the chew. We were concentrating on loading the boat with Rockfish and then we would target Yellowtail. I have never experienced such slow fishing for Rockfish in this area before? Unfortunately for me I donated Ganion and sinker after sinker to the fast drift and numerous pinnacles.

If the fish were on the bite you would not have had to drop back down to the bottom repeatedly, risking putting your sinker on the bottom on a severe scope out! Those that got bit right away got the best results. I was not so fortunate.

Sometimes you get the job done, sometimes you donít. Here are some pictures of those that were successful:

Crew Howard displaying a nice Lingcod:


This angler catching a big Lingcod.


Angler Sean with his first Yellowtail of the trip:


Another Tail caught on bait:


Jackpot fish for day 2:


Despite huge schools of Yellowtail on the fish meter, they simple would not bite, nor would the Rockfish. It was shocking that yesterday we had to share the schools of Tails between 5 boats, yet today we had the reef to ourselves and the fish would not cooperate.

Given the slow fishing and deteriorating conditions to higher winds again, Charter master Hector took a count of votes to move further north to a proven Rockfish area that perhaps would yield more bites. The vote was to do so. It was a little over 1.5 hour run and allowed everyone to enjoy lunch and take a nap.

I was elated to again feast on a huge and tasty double cheeseburger, as others enjoyed pulled pork and chicken sandwiches.

At 2:30pm we began fishing in the new area. It was a bit deeper at over 300 feet. The wind again was howling at over 20 knots, with a very fast drift. On my first drop I did catch a big Barber Pole rockfish. Everyone seemed to come up with fish, most on the small side, yet a few decent Reds were landed.

Garrett was again on his game with a big Lingcod, he was fishing a one pound sinker with a live sardine. Another angler caught this big Sheephead, and was camera shy so crew Howard got in the act:


Fisherman Charley was having a tough trip, having gotten seriously seasick on the first day. We fished together on the bow. Despite being Ill he continued to fish. He did feel better on the second day and this was his first Red of the trip:

Another Red and a few other fish that Charley caught:


Charter Master Hector with some nice Reds:


Lingcod specialist Garret with a beast of a Red:


Some picks of the fish caught on the second day:




We fished until dark, although the howling wind made it fishable for only the diehards. After losing my fifth 1.5 or larger sinker I yelled uncle. As I was finishing the day with only six keeper Rockfish, this was very sad for me. Definitely I was off my game?

I enjoyed some delicious wine and waited for another great meal cooked by chef Tommy. I was not disappointed. We were served Chicken Enchiladas with a creamy white sauce, black beans and rice with salad. It was absolutely incredible.

Enjoying an after dinner drink of Tequila, I read my book and forced myself to stay up until 9pm. Then I passed out into a deep sleep.
It was a spectacular group of anglers to share a rail with. I will certainly be back if invited next year? Thanks Hector, what a blast despite poor fishing conditions and tough fishing, (catching).

Hook up! Cory

03-23-2016, 08:52 PM
Great report as always Cory. How deep did you guys fish the rock fish?

03-25-2016, 02:02 PM
Great report as always Cory. How deep did you guys fish the rock fish?

I don't think we fished under 35 fathoms the entire trip and mostly 40+ fathoms. We would drift into 60+ however nothing bit in that range and you couldn't fish it unless you used 4+ lbs of weight. Most everyone was fishing with one pound, some less. I used mostly 2 lbs and still could not stay on the bottom. I lost 4 2 lb. weights and a 1.5 lb. brutal conditions.

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04-15-2016, 04:37 PM
Love reading your reports Cory. Mahaloz for sharing.