Thursday, April 3, 2014

Throwback Thursday fishtale...Forth of July plaid

Here's a "Throwback Thursday" post from Forth of July 2008...

Cal and I have been talking about doing a marathon boardfishing day...parking a car at one beach and launch at another beach about a mile and a half north.  Plans were to hit the outside of the kelp where the big boats play, stand-up boardfish with the drift all the way down to to the other beach and then make our re-entry at the nice mellow flat beach. We decided that the 4th of July would be THE DAY!

At 5:30a we met up at the beach...a line of cars and RVs already waiting for some slumbering park ranger who would probably open the gates an hour later.

I left my car in the empty restaurant parking lot hoping it would be there when I got back and piled all my stuff into Cal's van for the trek north. 

After a few pleasantries with the local AM boys in the lot we hit the water.   We high tailed it through the thick kelp and hit the outside by about 6:15a. Gorgeous sunrise...some fun looking waves (I was trying to ignore them and not get swamped on the paddle out) but not a lot stirring...

Conditions are perfect...glassy and not a lick of wind. It stayed that way for most of the day. I found a nice open channel in the kelp for some fly casting...

It couldn't have been glassier!

Made a few cast down the edges of the kelp and low and behold...plaid! I think a buddy gave me the lucky fly at a Trout Hugger's Ball. Good mojo!

Did a lot of paddling and a lot of casting...unfortunately not a ton of was slooooooooooow. The benefit of standing up paddling is that you can see cool stuff like a kelp crab hanging out on top of the kelp. (remember I'm a marine biologist so non-fish ocean creatures are cool too!)

About midway through our trip we find a nice honey hole...Cal's already caught a few plaid and cudas a bit further out to sea but now we're seeing a little more consistency. The tide's filling in and water's starting to move. Now we're starting to see a bit more bait. I get this nice plaid on a swimbait.

With bait cruising the surface I bust out my fly rod again...and BAMMOOOOOOOOOOOO!!! Fish on! I did my best to keep it out of the kelp...a tough chore as this horse drug me around...2.5lbs of beautiful checkerboard!

Cal had borrowed my "Green Bean" rod that I bought just for kicks at Fred Hall this past March. It's about 15" long, rigged with 6lb. and absolutely zero backbone for fighting fish...but what the heck! Cal's got good mojo and pins a 3" swimbait on. Low and behold...he's full bendo!!!!

Whatever it was swam straight into the kelp and after numerous attempts to coax it out Cal gave it one last pull and the swim bait comes flying out of the water...without it's tail. I'm thinking...small cuda (Cal had already caught several) but most likely a fish of the plaid variety.

After all the "hot action" Cal breaks out some snacks and we hang in the kelp for a little R&R.   Then Cal cruises off in search of more prey...and he finds it...mack and more plaid on the Green Bean!

After that the fishing was a little slow with Cal pulling in a few more small plaid but nothing for me. The surf was up a bit as we cruised into Cardiff. I fished the inside for a few minutes...but with head high sets rolling through I called it a day...5.5 hrs after our launch...and headed home for lunch and a nap on the couch. Lots of fun...I can't wait for the YT and bonita to move in closer to shore.

 The story in pictures...