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Thread: Wide Open Sand Bass fishing on the Half-day boat Point Loma!

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    Default Wide Open Sand Bass fishing on the Half-day boat Point Loma!

    After fishing a tough lake Irvine for just a fish here or there. I went somewhere where everybody caught a nice bag of fish! (Sand Bass) Yea, I know not the most glamorous fish in the ocean or even the best tasting. (But this trip was all about nostalgia!) I'm going to be 60 years old next month and I realized I've got more years behind me then in front of me! So looking back on my life now is kinda nostalgic! I really haven't changed a whole lot since I was about 14 years old! But Boy did the fishing change "A LOT!!!!" Some for the better, a lot for the worst! The better fishing in the ocean now is for the Yellowtail, YFT and the BFT. The worst is all the rest! I'll name a bunch just to show you what I mean. We now catch pebble cod instead of big Rock Cod like I did in my youth. Halibut in places like Santa Monica bay are just a memory now. We use to catch the 3 B's on the Half-day boats all the time. (Bass, Barracuda and Bonito) No such thing as an Half-day Bonito or Barracuda anymore. They do catch a bunch of short Calico Bass, where 95% of all of them have to be thrown back. Then their was the famous spawning Sand Bass! They use to catch full boat limits of 10 fish per angler for weeks in the summer time. We are talking they would pack the boats with 60-70 anglers at a time and catch 700 Sand Bass per trip! But alas not any more! We use to have 5 different Sand Bass spawning area's. One up in Ventura, Santa Monica Bay, Huntington Flats, Oceanside and Imperial Beach. One by one they all vanished and now we have none or do we??????

    I read fish counts in the ocean like a preacher study's the Bible. I noticed a couple of weeks ago the Point Loma afternoon/twilight trip started catching Sand Bass. Not just an handful but full 5 fish limits for all passengers! Just like the old day's but with a 5 fish limit and only 36 passenger maximum load. But none of the other San Diego Half-day boats were catching hardly any Sand Bass. Hmm I thought and came up with the reason why! They have a very strange schedule for their afternoon run. (3:00 pm to 8:30 pm) So I reasoned their biting in a small window of time, when the other boats aren't there! I had to go check it out for myself! Just for curiosity and for nostalgia reasons. I would ride the OCTD to catch the Half-day boat that left from Seal Beach all through my youth before I could drive. (it cost a whopping 25 cents each way back then in the 1970's) Just to catch Sand Bass on the Half-day boat. Even on my High School grad night, I went fishing instead in the morning to catch some Sand Bass, instead of hanging out with my friends, where ever they went instead! (I still think I made the better choice!) Lol

    Sand Bass aren't the biggest critters in the world, so to make it more sporting I sized down my tackle. 12 pound test on my Curado reel and my Calico Jack rod which is pretty light weight! I also wanted to catch them on the Rubber! I mean plastic, back then we called them all Rubbers! The latest and greatest plastic Sand Bass lure is the WHAM! re named Blam and then Re named again Jam! I saw one of my local tackle stores had a whole container of them in the best color! (Green) So I bought some with an 3/4 ounce red head lead head. (plus a pack of squid to give it some more flavor) I was all set! Yes I did bring a back up pole for bait! My Luna reel on my swim bait rod and a true dropper loop set up! I was hoping I wouldn't need it! (I didn't) Oh by the way, they really don't know what happened to the Sand Bass. Some thought the giant squid ate them all up! Or just plain over fishing did them in! They did catch millions of them over the years, just when they were spawning. So on this trip, no Sand Bass were going to die by my hands! I was going to C&R all of them! Unfortunately I was the only one on the boat who did that! But that's a personal choice for everyone to make themselves!

    On to the fishing.

    The captain said, they don't start biting till 6:00 pm so we are going to check out some other area's for fish first. I wondered if that was true or not? He was the only boat for 3 weeks to catch these things. So maybe he's protecting his spot from the other boats! He won't go in there, till he knows they are all in the harbor going home for the day! The head deck hand say's he remembers me from somewhere, so he has loose lips in talking to me! He say's it's just one spot and when we get in there, it's so wide open they will bite bare hooks. He said the night before, they limited the whole boat out in 30 minutes! (so he's got something to protect) Their literally wasn't 1 boat around us the whole day. (not even a skiff) So this is flying totally under the Radar! We are down at Imperial Beach and it has a big pier like Huntington Beach does. So when we are stopping earlier to fish, I'm looking at where we are in relation to the pier. We are all over the map! North of it, South of it, West of it, you name it, we were there. Almost like he is trying to confuse people if someone is watching him! Then at 6:00 PM he heads for the spot, we weren't even close to it for the last 2 hours.

    The head deck hand tells me, the captain has a full "FIRE BALL" of Sand Bass on the fish graph! (it's going to go crazy any second now and it did!) Every bait and every lure thrown by everyone is getting bite on nice 2 1/2 to 3 pound Sand Bass! Some were even a little bigger and no shorts! Everyone of these things are in Full spawn mode biting everything in sight! Man this is fun on my little rod, even if they don't bite it on the sink, they will bite it reeling in! I am keeping track on the number I catch because this won't take very long! Everyone is bit on every cast! I don't think I ever remember it ever being that, "stupid wide open" on all of my previous 45 years of fishing these things! The big question is, how many can you catch before the captain say's, "it's all over we are done!" It took a little bit less then an hour before the captain said, reel them in boy's and girls we are going home! So how many do you think I can catch in an hour? It is kinda deep, so it takes a little while for your rubber to sink and I had 1 break my line like a Barracuda use to, so I had to re tie once! The correct answer was 22 Sand Bass, that is what I can catch in a little bit less then an hour of fishing these things biting wide open!

    That's my story and thanks for reading it!
    Last edited by etucker1959; 09-04-2019 at 07:48 AM.

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