This is a "Best Of Halibut Hal Report"
Halibut Hal's Fishing Trip - May 4, 2012
On Friday, May 4th, at 4:30AM I arrived with my fishing buddy, Ron, in Santa Barbara. The 65 foot "Stardust" left the dock at 5AM with us, along with 26 other anxious fishermen.
Luke, our skipper, decided to head up the coast because conditions were sloppy at Santa Rosa Island. After about a 3.5 hour boat ride along the coast and spotting one whale on the way, we began our drifts at St. Augustine. We fished in 150 to 180 feet of water over rocky areas.
I immediately caught a five pound red snapper on my first drop! I was using a 2 hook dropper loop setup with a 12 ounce torpedo sinker on the bottom. I put a "gulp" bait on each hook and added a strip of squid for good measure!
After catching three more reds, and a sanddab, I decided to try for even bigger fish...like lingcod. Ron had brought an artificial squid on a wire leader with a treble hook protruding from its tentacles...I asked him if I could use it. Since I drove, he said "sure"; I put some fish scent on the squid, along with some squid strips and then attached it to my small dropper loop about 18 inches above my torpedo sinker and sent her down to the bottom.
The deckhand saw what I was going to be using and didn't think it would work. However, he is a believer now! I caught six big red snappers plus one short lingcod on that squid!
I believe I was the only angler that caught a full limit of ten red snappers on the trip; and that sanddab that I had caught eariler in the day was removed from my hook by the deckhand and placed in the bait tank in the stern.
Well, the jackpot was caught on my sanddab! A guy put that sanddab on for bait and brought up the jackpot winning cabezon of about eight pounds. It beat out the only legal lingcod on the boat.
The total catch for 28 anglers: 173 red snapper, 106 assorted rockfish, 3 ocean whitefish, 3 sculpin, 1 lingcod and 1 cabezon. Full limits for everyone on board.
On the trip back to the landing, I ordered a "fish plate" from the galley and I got to tell you, it doesn't get any fresher or better than that. It was several fillets of just caught rockfish grilled with onions, black pepper and other spicy seasonings along with freshly made tarter sauce with diced tomatoes and lettuce. Delicious and very filling!
I very much enjoyed the trip and the effort made by the skipper and crew and galley cook. Also, a very nice, mellow bunch of fisherman made it a memorable experience. I recommend this boat very highly.
Here's another picture of me and my snappers.
Well, until my next fishing experience, this is Halibut Hal on dry land reporting for KHTS AM-1220, your Hometown Station.