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Thread: The Ice Cream Sandwich - Catalina Island 4/20

  1. #1

    Default The Ice Cream Sandwich - Catalina Island 4/20

    The Ice Cream Sandwich - Catalina Island 4/20

    I had been looking forward to this trip for quite a while. I was flying in from Hawaii to catch up with my long time fishing buddies whom I haven't seen in years. I moved out of California in 2012 and has since been just a ghoster but I got a week off from work so I knew I would be hitting up these guys for a fishing trip.

    I have to start this off with saying this wasn't just ANY fishing trip. Jeff is literally my fishing mentor and has taught me pretty much everything I know about saltwater fishing. I've been fishing with Ryan since we were in high school together. Jaime sold me some pole holders at Santa Ana River Lakes and we've hit it off since. The three of us were getting together to finally fish Jeff's brand spanking new Defiance 27 Admiral. Excited was an understatement.
    Unfortunately the fishing reports haven't been too stellar with the weather not cooperating and the water being cold. But we made plans to give it a shot. We would be targeting rockfish at Catalina and then check out the shallows to see if any fish want to play.
    The day finally arrives.

    We meet up at Jeff's house at 0400.

    Ryan - Dude I pulled a "Chung"
    Me - what's that?
    Ryan - I just got back from Vegas and I'm going straight to fishing.
    Me- did you swing by home first?
    Ryan - Yup.
    Me - Then its not a "Chung". A Chung is Vegas to boat dock.

    We fill the tanks and launch at Los Al. We pick up a scoop of dines at Nachos and make our way over to the Island. With the brand new dual 250 Yammys we make our crossing in just about an hour. This boat is an absolute beast with all the bells and whistles including a freezer! While talking story, Jeff ups the ante, "I have an ice cream sandwich for the guy who catches the biggest fish". A decade has passed since I left California and my have things changed. We have come a long way from fishing Catalina with 40 horsepower and only an ice chest. To me, the ice cream sandwich wasn't just a tasty desert, it was a testament to how far we've all come. And I wanted it.

    We get to our first rockfish spot about 200-250 feet. We make a few drops with not much to show for it other than a bunch of cranking. We motor over to another spot in about 250-300 feet and its fish on. Jeff, Ryan, and Jaime are pulling in non stop beautiful good sized reds.
    "Its instant!!!" Jeff yells as he turns on his electric motor.
    I look around and Jaime and Ryan are both cranking down on deep water rockfish. Jeff yells "I'm getting tired!" as he pushes the button on his electric reel. "Its really annoying how they make you reel up the last few yards".

    The bag is quickly filling up with quality Reds and everyone is bent. Except me. Go big or go home. I'm fishing a big jig waiting for the monster ling. I play to win. Finally I get slammed on my jig, HOOK UP. I'm cranking up hoping I have a ling cod, the sweet taste of ice cream sandwich fills my mind. Unfortunately the fish looses 10 lbs on the way up and I can tell its not the right kind. I quickly open the fish bag to drop my disappointing Salmon Grouper and the bag is FULL of Reds! We are almost at limit and I've got nothing to show for it. Time to quit screwing around and get in on this epic red rockfish bite. I switch to a rockcod rig and drop down. The current picks up out of nowhere and the wind turns on like a switch Its dark clouds and white caps... I can't stay on bottom with 2 lbs of lead! Just like that, the rockfish fishing is over. Luckily we have a bag full of quality reds, but I still have nothing to show for it. But the days far from over.

    With fish on the deck, we can now open the beers. We motor over to the shallows as we talk story and catch up

    Me- Hey Jaime. Remember when you made a fishing club?
    Jaime- No.
    Me- Yeah. You called it something lame like so cal fish fighters or something.
    Jaime - I don't know what you're talking about.
    Me- Yeah, you asked me if I wanted to join your fishing club.
    Ryan- was this in like 8th grade?
    Me- No this was like a few years ago. You even had like a drawing of like, a boxing trout.
    Jaime - I don't know what you're talking about.

    We pull up to the shallows and drop anchor. I ask Jaime if I can borrow a sinker, he says yea! Get it from my bag.
    I reach into his bag and pull out a tray with a giant sticker of a boxing trout. So Cal Fish Fighters.
    We all share some laughs over our overly enthusiastic fishing friend. But now its time to get serious. I need fish on the deck. I throw on a sardine on a dropper loop rig, eagerly awaiting the beautiful sound of a screaming clicker. Hook up! Short hali. Hook up! Another short hali. Hook up again! This ones pulling drag! Bat Ray. We're catching all sorts of miscellaneous fish but not the "right kind". Regardless, I'm having a great time drinking some coors light while fishing with my buds on this beautiful sled.
    I look at my rod tip. Tap tap. ZZZZZZZ!!!!. HOLD MY BEER!!! I slam the lever drag and crank down in the gunnel. HOOK UP!!! I pull the rod out of the gunnel. Its pulling drag and ... head shakes!! This ones not a bat ray. I bring the fish up to color. Nice halibut! And Hali # 1 hits the deck! I can taste it. Sweet cold vanilla ice cream! I dump the fish in the bag and look up just in time to see Ryan's pole go full bendo. Hook up!!! Slow steady drag pulling with deep head shakes. That gut feeling of knowing you've lost your ice cream sandwich kicks in. He makes short work of this fish and down goes the gaff. Halibut #2 hits the deck. We don't even have to compare, its a much nicer model than mine. We are all excited, thinking we hit the halibut jackpot hole. Jaime is super eager to catch one now. "It's my turn! My turn!". We fish, drift, fish, re-anchor, fish, re-drift. Nothing. No more halibut. Nada. And now with a full fish bag and an empty beer chest, its time to head back in. What a great trip, everyone caught some fish and we had some good laughs. It was great to hang out with ole buds and relive the old fishing days. We pull anchor and head for home. Ryan is the clear winner and soon to enjoy the spoils of his victory. Ryan heads in to the cabin for some shut eye as Vegas had gotten the best of him.

    We get back to the harbor. Ryan wakes up. Jaime is smiling at him with the biggest ***** eating grin I've ever seen.

    Ryan - why are you looking at me like that?

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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2008


    Excellent write up Eric! It was great fishing with old friends again - been too long! I'm glad you got some nice halibuts, hopefully we'll get some seabass or yellows soon, just need the water to warm up a bit. But I'll take the halibuts and RF for now! (BTW, we fished on 4/19, not 4/20)

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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Norwalk, CA


    You had to bring in the SoCal fish fighters into it didn’t you
    ��, and no talk about the bat ray that made your pants wet or that 10 pound ball of sea weed you fought for 10 mins
    Good times bro, can’t wait for the game fish to start bitting
    And I’m not one bit sorry about eating the ice cream sandwich it was delicious

  4. #4


    Great write up Eric.
    You guys were blessed with bonus fish after getting caught up on old stories with friends.
    You can't beat that!!

    Thanks for sharing,

  5. #5


    Wow, that's one halibut. Great fishing. Never tried Catalina Island. Looks like a gem.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2009


    Awesome trip and the best, most entertaining write up in a long time!!!!!Congrats!!

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