Saturday, September 4, 2010

Since the Skiff Trip

From: Yosh Ashikaga
Sent: Wednesday, September 01, 2010 3:31 PM
Subject: Since the Skiff Trip

Bobalooba -

We went on a 7 day on the Royal Polaris the first week of August. Hoping that the timing would give Janet a chance at her first wahoo and dorado. It was like going on a family trip with it being sponsored by the couple that owns the sport boat Queen of Hearts out of Half Moon Bay, three father/son tandems, Janet and myself along with Frank Lopreste's son Tony and granddaughter Francesca, the Fishgodfather driving the boat and his ladyfriend Kathy Rounds.

Headed to Alijos Rocks right out of the gate as no boats had been there in a while. Got there greeted by cold water, barely 70 degrees, and scratchy fishing for a few yellowfin, wahoo and yellowtail. At the end of the day Frank decided to head for the 23 and the ridge. The ridge was not too hot either. Janet did get her first grouper among the few that were caught along with a few small YFT and tails.

So, it was north to Cedros where it was game on for yellows. All you wanted, 15 to 45+ pounds. Janet caught yellows every way she tried, fly lined sardine, yo-yo, dropper loop or vertical jig. I however, as one who would rather catch anything on surface iron, stuck with the long rod and Salas 7X or Dart Special. Most of my iron fish were on a 7X in what I call Nuclear Bruised Sardine.

After loading up on yellows and spending a day plunking around for calicos and halibut, we spent a day trolling uphill looking for what has been elusive this season, albacore. The closest we got was meter marks that did not want to eat. Still, it was a fun trip with plenty of fish in the hole.

As soon as we got back to the dock Saturday morning and handed off our fish for processing we boogied back to L.A. so we could take care of mail and some laundry.

The next morning we were on the road north to Oregon. Got to our place in Bandon Monday. That week we took care of stuff around the place and checked out fishing spots and info. Rick Howard, one of our neighbors who lives literally up the creek from us, is a guide so we set up a trip for the next Tuesday.

At Oh-Dark-Thirty (0430) Rick picks us up at the bottom of our driveway with his 24' North River in tow and we are off to the Umpqua River for early fall run king salmon. The Umpqua is one of six salmon/steelhead rivers within an hour of Bandon.

First, we stop at Winchester Bay to pick up bait. This is the only bait receiver north of the S.F. bay area. They process frozen bait and sell fresh dead. No live bait sales. Nobody has a tank. They kill the bait when you buy it. Oh yeah, the price is usually 5 bucks . . . per dozen! Part of the reason for the price is that they use a beach seine to catch the bait, slowly tow the seine with bait to the receiver then crowd the bait into the receivers which have net cages, not rigid like we are used to, then cure the bait for up to 3 weeks.

We head up river, launch and start trolling plug cut sardines. Nothing for a while then a jack (small king) jumps on one of the baits. It comes off as it got close to the boat. A while later, we get one about 15 pounds, then another around 16. I say to Rick, "Now that we have a couple of smaller ones all we need are a couple of thirties to fill out our limits". Right on cue, the next fish is a real keeper, right at 30. That is followed up a few minutes later with a slightly smaller one around 28. Where is the camera?? Oops, sitting on the counter, right where we left it.

It was a great trip on a beautiful river and only an hour drive from our place. We were done fishing by 1330. Which was good because we had to get back before the local hardware store closed so we could buy a vacuum sealer.

More to come later this fall, when they catch kings bank fishing on the Elk River.


Thanks for the great report Yosh. I need to tie a Camera around your neck so we can get some PICTURES !!!! Looking forward to the Fall Reports - Well Done!!!

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