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We had a chance to go out one more time this year before all the closures of bottom fishing and before I had to get back to work at the beginning of the year. So myself, my cousin Jason and my son Jonathan decided to go out on the Victory out of Pierpoint Landing in Long Beach because they were running a kids ride free with one adult special. Saved me $55 taking Jonathan up. So we made a reservation for Monday and got down to the landing right after 5am.

Picked up our tickets and parking pass in the office and gathered up on gear from the car. Got right on the boat around 5:30 and got all our stuff stored away. Got Jonathan to work tagging and hanging our bags. (Side note, this was the first boat in a long time where we did not have to buy our bags. I gave Jonathan $5 to give to the deckhand for the bags and he said no, bags are free.) Only had 14 on the boat, half were regulars. Great group to fish with, friendly and we all had fun all day.

Jonathan liked the galley on the Victory.

Got underway, Captain George said we were going to head out and try for some sheephead and other assorted bottom fish. Only dead frozen, the bait receivers did not have any fresh dead and only sardines that were a foot long. The weather was great all day, a little swell in the morning, and flat the whole day. We've been lucky the past few trips, beautiful weather.

Spent about 25 minutes getting out to the spot on the outside of the horseshoe, west of the oil rigs. Rigged up with a standard 2 hook dropper look, #1 hooks and 4oz of weight. We had stern spots, Jonathan was red 7, but we moved around the boat all day. Easier to fish the sides with the kids.

First spot was slow, only one or two fish came over so we pulled anchor and moved. Next stop was slow but started to produce a little. I got the skunk off with a small Starry Rockfish.

Jonathan got his stunk off with a sheephead.

We started to pick away at the sheephead at this spot. The guys fishing with shrimp they brought were killing them, but the cut squid and squid heads were working as well. We also switched over to a sliding egg sinker with about a one foot leader. Worked much better than the dropper loop. I also switched over to a circle hook and started doing better as well.

The cook was great with Jonathan, he was fishing with shrimp and would have Jonathan bring them up. Here is one of the big ones. He ended up getting three with the cook.


Jason with a nice sheephead.


My bigger one on the day and Jonathan's big one.


We almost limited out at the spot on sheephead, ended up with a total of 70 on board for limit by the end of the day for 14 of us. Some sculpin, whitefish and perch came over at this spot as well. Some big males came over the rail all quality fish. Spent about 2 hours on the spot working away. Pulled anchor and went looking for some other species to fill the bags. Got lunch while we moved, cheeseburgers and grilled cheese. Moved over to the green buoy near the entrance to LA Harbor and anchored up.


The perch were here, along with a few more sheephead and sculpin.


More Blacksmith Perch


The pelicans were going after our catches as well


While at this stop we had another deja vu moment. Last week while we were out on the Native Sun my friend Chauhan dropped one of my cousin Jason's rods in the water. We'll it happened again this week, only it was Jonathan's turn. Jonathan had got caught up in the rocks and lost his rig. I also had the same issue, so I was rerigging up my rod, and Jason was doing Jonathan's. Jason had him hold his rod, which was a Seeker with a Newell reel. We don't know exactly what happened but someone fighting a big sheephead was moving along the rail and they asked Jonathan to step back and he just let go of the rod. In it went. The deckhand grabbed the gaff but not in time. I was just walking back when they told me. At first I thought it was someone elses rod, but I realized it was Jason's. Damn another rod lost. Jason was not mad at him, neither was I. Accidents happen, no reason to get mad. Jonathan was upset, but we got him back into the day. One of the guys on the boat named John (who is also a teacher) let Jason use one of his setups and thinks he can get a good deal on a new setup for him (which I get to pay for, yaa!) but everything worked out. Two times in two weeks, I told Jason he should just keep going out, eventually he will get all his equipment replaced! Captain George was also great, he gave Jason a pass for another trip for next time at the end of the trip for the lost rod. THANKS!

After all that fun was over the bite was slowing down, just lots of perch going at everything. So Jason and I have an idea, we put a sabiki rig and a 3oz sinker on Jonathan's little rod and drop it down. Boy did it work too good. First pull up he was fighting hard to get it up, and he had 5 blacksmith perch.


Now we already had some in the bags from all the other stops, and threw most back. My mother in law loves these cooked whole, but we can only eat so many. We dropped it back down 2 more times and let him fight them up. Second trip up he got 4 more blacksmith, and his first Spanish Mackerel, also known as a Jack Mackerel.


While helping out Jonathan I got hit hard and another nice Sheephead


Dropped down the sabiki rig one last time and brought up a full string of blacksmith and one other perch I need to figure out what it is.



Enough of that fun (and work) and we put Jonathan back on the dropper loop. Moved again a little more inshore at one last spot. Captain said they had pulled out some Sand and Calico bass the last time. Dropped down and got a good bite. Up came a nice sculpin.


Jason got a nice surprise at this stop as well. A very beautiful Red Cabazon. The photos do not do the colors of this fish justice. Took a few and back home it went.



Jason also got his last nice sheephead of the day at this stop.



Jonathan got one more species for the day, a nice Treefish his first one ever.


Called it a day around 3:30ish or so. Weather stayed great all day, and over all it was one of our better days out on the water. Jackpot went to one of the regulars, nice big male sheephead.



Jonathan with his bag of fish.


My catch for the day


Jason's catch


Great boat, crew and fellow anglers out there! Thanks again to the captain for working hard and hunting (and Jason thanks you again for the pass), the deckhand for helping everyone out and having to clean our fish at the dock (had a lot to clean), and to the cook for helping out with Jonathan. Loosing the rod did not make it a bad day, and I'll take care of getting a new rod and reel for him here soon. They told us that the Victory is going in for dry dock here at the beginning of the year, but will be back in a few weeks. We look forward to getting out there again with them again.

Totals for the day

Sheephead 5 (Kept)
Sculpin 1 (Kept)
Starry Rockfish 1 (Kept)
Blacksmith Perch 5 (Kept)

Sheephead 5 (Kept)
Jack Mackerel 1 (Released)
Blacksmith Perch 20 (13 kept, 7 released)
Perch 1 (kept)
Treefish 1 (kept)

Sheephead 5 (Kept)
Red Cabazon 1 (released)
Blacksmith Perch 5 (2 kept, 3 released)

Landing Totals
Mon Dec 28 2009, 04:56PM
3/4 Day

14 Anglers

1 Sand Bass 70 Sheephead 12 Whitefish 39 Rockfish 10 Sculpin 101 Perch

One last shot some of the perch cleaned (I did these at home) and some of all the nice sheephead steaks that got packed away and frozen for the next few weeks to come.


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