Here we go again, the annual Dark Seas adventure aboard the Oceanside 95 out of Helgrens Landing in Oceanside Ca. I personally look forward to this trip every year…. My liver however is not on the same page and for good reason.
The plan was to meet up at Rockin’ Baja Lobster in Oceanside Harbor a few hours before our 8:30 departure time. I planned it perfectly and arrived at the boat at 8:15 avoiding the pre-game festivities.
For the most part we had the same group of guys as the last few years with a few newbies but a seasoned crew to say the least. Galley meeting took place while the guys loaded bait and the decision was made to head straight to SCI to make squid that night then fish the Yellowtail bite that had been pretty good at grey light the following day. Gear was rigged and libations were consumed, and the smart ones hit the rack early(ish)
We awoke at grey light to find a bait tank devoid of any squid… off to an awesome start! There was some yellowtail in the area but mostly bonito so we picked and scratched a few fish over the next few hours but it was far from wide open, looks like its time to pay closer attention to those libations.
A few boats were off the island fishing the bigger Bluefin tuna but it was really slow and apparently shut off around 9am so it would be a crapshoot to go for it. We decided to continue chasing the Yellowtail and after a few more lack luster hours of fishing Capt. Dan Burns* was heard over the loud speaker telling everyone to rig up for bottom fishing, we were heading to his** lingcod spot.
*Dan is not a captain but rather the charter master, however after the consumption of vast amounts of alcohol, he gets the two confused and assumes the role of the greatest sport boat captain ever.
** Every spot Dan has ever fished is “his spot”
Well low and behold we have officially hit rock bottom kids, we are going cod fishing on a 2 day Tuna charter. Killing it! The fishing was decent and we did manage to put a few lingcod and rock cod on the boat, and though its not super fun to catch, it sure is delicious to eat.
Day one came to an end with a killer steak dinner prepared by the ever awesome chef’ Doug and a meeting to decide what to do for the 2nd day of the trip. Capt. Rick (Slavkin) told us the smaller YFT had bit pretty good for a few boats in Mexico that day but the fish were all 8 to 15 pounds. After seeing and chasing 100 pound fish all year this wasn’t really something the crew was too interested in so we decided to make squid that night and head to desperation reef to try our luck with the bigger BFT.
Once again we woke up to a tank devoid of squid, A full moon was keeping it from balling up and the guys were not able to crowd any… it just keep getting better! Fishing glow in the dark flat falls seemed like the best plan so I got 15 guys on the same page and we set up side by side to get a light show going under the boat from top to bottom, 60 fathoms of fun. It took about 30 min to hook our first fish and WHABAM, Jeff was bendo, prob a 30 min fight for a nice 45/50# BFT his first of the year! He was stoked and the rest of the boat sparked up knowing that “there was hope”. 20 min after that first fish Albert hooks into a nice one and the fight begins, about 30 min after that I hook into one, about a 40 min fight and we put another decent grade fish on the boat and Albert continues to get his ass handed to him, not sure if it was the fish kicking his ass or the noodle fishing rod he decided to use, regardless after a 2 hour battle the fish was dead and unfortunately the bite was too. We tried for a few more hours seeing the odd fish break water on chum, but no takers on hooked bait or jig, not having any squid definitely hurt the cause.
A bad day of fishing quickly turned into a great day of drinking and story telling.
Another dinner, break down the gear, a nap and back at the dock at 8pm. Another trip in the books.
A huge thanks to the entire crew on the Oceanside 95; Doug, Capt. Rick, Troy Mauricio, Miles and Bob for killing it at everything but making squid ; ) and a huge thanks to all the anglers involved, already looking forward to next year! Ill try and get you a shirt that fits Matt! Also Dan ate a brownie that put him completely out of commission for 9 hours on the second day of the trip… a huge thanks to the person who facilitated that! Cudos I owe you a beer
Till next year Fuckers!
PS: Cameron Wetzler , you are awesome as usual Great shots and Vid
PSS: Pics of the bird. Land birds often get stranded on large container ships and military boats and cant swim so they will throw caution to the wind and join in the party, landing on peoples shoulders and eating out of peoples hands… this lil’ dude joined the party for about 5 hours. Pretty cool if you have never experienced it, even for JC who screamed like a little bitch when it landed on him ;)