Had a chance to FINALLY get out, and first time for me leaving out of Oceanside (usually use Dana Point at the home launch) but was hoping to start a little further south and closer to the "warm" water. Plan: overnight in Oceanside and hit the water early.
First note - when launching from a strange new harbor, call or check ahead for special events. Oceanside annual Tiki Ocean Swim was Saturday, which not only closed the launching ramp (good thing we launched Friday night) but also fenced off and created a festival in what would normally be boat and trailer parking. Got really creative with parking the rig, we'll see if a parking ticket shows up in the mail anytime soon...
First boat to hit the receiver at 0500, got a 1/2 scoop of nice sardines (which we later discovered had a substantial number of small mackerel mixed in! Nice!) and headed out. Glassy with a rolling swell. About 1 mile out as the sun came up, got a flyby from an USMC LCAC (No Beach Out of Reach!) and BOY are those babies loud! No stealth here!
Lots of kelp paddies, TONS of bait in the water. And probably the largest school of porpoise we have ever seen. Saw more kelp paddies within 10 miles of Oceanside than in all of our previous trips this year combined. Many paddies holding big schools of bait and small rat yellows. And not many takers. Switched up to the trolling rigs, and had some excitement when the feathers in Mexican Flag colors dragged through a school of Bonita. The further south we went kelp really seemed to diminish. Found one really nice paddie near the UCSD Buoy off La Jolla that was holding some NICE yellowtail, along with lots of bait. Fished it hard and threw everything in the boat at them (live bait, chunk bait, frozen squid, swim bait, jigs, irons, went down ridiculously in line and hook size, and even flicked a few of my Cheeze It snacks) and they were curious, following the baits, but I'm guessing well fed and not hungry.
Long day and nice to be on the water rather than doing house chores. The Bonita will make for good lobster bait here soon!