Wednesday, August 16, 2017

New Del Mar Fishing with Jacob and Shlome

Today I went on a great half day fishing trip on the boat New Del Mar of the Marina Del Rey Sportfishing company. We went from 12:30 to 5 P.M. I wanted to go fishing on a boat with my Uncle Shlome, especially because we didn't get to catch any fish on the trip from Newport Landing last year and the mistake they made by putting us on the wrong boat. We went out with my brother, Jacob, too. On the way out of the marina, we stopped at a floating live bait stop. Two main differences that I have found on party boats in Southern California and Miami is that in SoCal the boats have a big live well on the back of the boat and is not only easy for people to take live anchovies, but at every stop a crew member stands on top of it and throws out some live anchovies to chum the water. Another difference is the useful floating live bait shops on the way out of the landings/marinas. After the bait shop, we were ready to fish. We went south along the coast for about an hour and a half until we got to the surprisingly very inshore kelp beds off the coast of Rancho Palos Verdes. Other than live anchovies, cut squid was another available bait. The squid would end up being way more effective. Everyone on the boat started catching right away. We were catching Sand and Calico Kelp Bass. Despite the fact that the boat was catching, Shlome, Jacob, and I weren't. Until finally Shlome felt something and then set the hook. We reeled it in and we caught it. A Barred Sand Bass! Our first fish of the day! Soon after, Shlome had another fish on! He was reeling in, but then the fish got the hook stuck on the thick kelp. The spot was really cool. Not only were people catching fish, but the huge volcanic bluffs of the Palos Verdes Peninsula was an interesting sight to see. Later, I felt something on my line, so I started to reel up. I stopped, and the rod didn't bend, so I knew that there wasn't a fish. But as I was reeling up the rest of the line to check if I had bait, a fish took the Squid. I reeled the fish in with Jacob, and I caught it! A Calico Kelp Bass! A Calico Kelp Bass was one of the first fish I had ever caught. I had wanted to catch another one since then not only because they are really fun to catch, but the picture I have of it is not a great one and it doesn't show the intricate pattern on its side. After releasing it, we went to another spot because the water became colder, which tends to make fishing slower. For our next spot, we went about a half hour north up the coast until we were near Redondo Beach. The way the houses were set up was and it was really cool to see. Jacob and Shlome were the first people to catch fish, and they did so immediately. They had a double hookup of mackerel that they brought in, only to dehook them and have another double hookup! They caught those, too. By then, I was really excited for this spot. We kept on fishing and we kept on catching. At the bottom, I started to feel nibbles. I was pulling the line a little to make the bait move until I had a fish! The rod bent and I reeled it up. I caught it! It was an Ocean Whitefish! We kept it to eat that night. I caught another Ocean Whitefish from the bottom before I decided to fish near the surface again. I could see schools of Mackerel were swimming by about 5 feet below the surface of the water so I dropped my piece of squid there and watched. Soon the school came and the ravenous mackerel were crushing my bait. When I saw a mackerel eat the squid and then swim quickly while my rod was bending, I jerked the rod up and started reeling to set the hook. I caught it! Jacob and I kept on fishing like this for the rest of the time at the stop. Shlome went to the other side because he saw people catching more Ocean Whitefish, but he ended up not catching any fish. When time was running low we went back to then dock at Marina Del Rey. I caught 14, my brother caught 17, and Shlome caught 4. When we went home, we fried the Ocean Whitefish and used it to make delicious fish tacos for dinner. This was a really fun trip and I learned a lot. I hope to be fishing on this boat agin. Tight Lines!

Monday, July 24, 2017

Fishing with Reggie

Today I had a great time fishing with my friend Reggie at the Haulover Inlet Jetty. We started off with dead shrimp off of the rocks towards the beginning of the jetty when we arrived. I was the first one to catch a fish. I threw out half of a shrimp on my small hook. I felt lots of nibbles, and then I soon felt a tug. I reeled in a Blue-Striped Grunt. We didn't catch anything else here, so we worked our way down to the end of the jetty. There, I showed Reggie how to work my sabiki rig. To use it, you drop it in the water and gently and slowly bob the rod tip up and down. I did not put any pieces of shrimp on the saki. Sure enough, a fish was caught on the sabiki. We had caught a Bermuda Chub, a fish that wasn't on my bucket list, but a fish that I would have liked to catch. A little while later, a teenager came over and was using his cast net to catch live sardines. We asked hm if we could use some. At first, he refused to give us a few of his many baitfish, but later he gave us about 10, which was very kind and appreciated. We had used about half before they started to die. We thought they were useless until we found a man catching Mangrove Snappers. When we asked him what bait he was using, he said that he was using the sardines from the teenager. (they were together) He said that it was just fine to use the dead ones. In fact, he was only using dead ones, by the time we got to him, at least. We used up the dead ones and caught nothing. We packed up and got ready to go and saw the man fishing on our way out. We watched his technique. He hooked the bait twice, through the back of the head and again through the body, like squid. He had a medium-big sized egg sinker. He cast the bait out a bit past the rocks. When the line was tighter and he felt a little tug, he set the hook. Reggie and I didn't have to leave right then, so we struck a deal with him. Since we weren't keeping any fish, we asked him to share his bait with us, and whatever we would catch, we would give to him to eat. The man agreed and shared his bait with us. We followed the technique. Reggie was the first to get a bite since we started fishing again. He set the hook, but it broke the line. We could tell that it was a big one. He then set the hook and I helped him bring in a Black Margate. We caught it! Next, I set my big circle hook and we brought in a thin, silver fish called a Lookdown. Because of how thin it is, I was surprised when the man said that he likes the taste of Lookdowns and he wanted to keep it. We kept on fishing, and Reggie and I caught a Mangrove Snapper. We then decided to pack up and leave. We went over to my house to rest, and then we went across the street to end our day of fishing. Reggie casted out his mini rod with a small egg sinker and a small J hook to the middle of the canal, where I had barely ever caught a fish from before, with a piece of hot dog. It was extremely low tide and the fish weren't near the dock, so he had to. He set the hook and we caught a big Grunt! Then, he casted again and he caught a Pinfish! Then, I used a piece of hot dog on my big circle hook and I hooked a fish. I reeled it in and I caught a Grunt! After this, Reggie and I packed up and ended the day. This was a really interesting fishing trip in which I caught and was credited for 6 fish and Reggie caught and was credited for 4 fish. I learned about a new spot, a new technique, and Reggie and I both had a great day of fishing. STAY TUNED! MORE POSTS COMING SOON!

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Central Park Fishing

This was a very fun and exciting yet short fishing trip in the center of New York City. On a visit with my family to New York City, we walked through Central Park. When we passed by some of the lakes and reservoirs, I was wondering if I could fish and which types of fish were there. I was looking at the pond until I found something and went to check it out with my brother. At one of the platforms next to the lake, a fisherman was using bread to fish. Before we went over to check it out, we saw him get a bite, hook the fish, and reel it it. It was a catfish. When Jacob and I found our way to the platform, I started talking to the fisherman. The fisherman, who's name is George, was very friendly. He told Jacob and me that he released every fish he caught. He also told us that he liked catching catfish, but he really wanted to catch a Carp. If a Carp bit, it would run with the line. George showed us how he took a piece of bread squished it to make it strong and help it stay on the line, and he would keep the bail locked after casting it but would leave lots of slack. He didn't have a sinker on his line. After a little bit, the line started to tighten up and it became straighter. Jacob and I noticed this and let George know. He set the hook, and Fish on! We reeled it in and caught it. A catfish! Next, we repeated the same routine. It wasn't long before another catfish bit. Again, the hook was set and the fish was brought in. George dehooked the fish and I took a picture before letting it go. By then Jacob and I had to go. Thank you George for giving Jacob and me an awesome fishing trip. Stay tuned! More fishing tips and tricks coming soon.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Keys Fishing With Sam - 200th Fish

This was an awesome weekend of fishing on Duck Key with my friend Sam. We got there right after school on Friday and left Sunday afternoon. We fished on their boat, the Rodfather, and we fished on Friday and Saturday. You can follow Sam on Instagram @SBN1266. This weekend was very memorable and special.

Day 1-Saturday:
We woke up at 6:30 a.m. to get ready for fishing. Once we were set with our supplies and sun protection and water, we set out near the Alligator Reef Lighthouse to fish for blue runners and snapper with Sam’s father, Rob, an experienced fisherman, Dave, and Sam’s sister Marielle. Dave helped a lot during the day. You can follow him on Instagram @munstersfishing.
The water was extremely flat and clear. We could easily see the bottom of the water, which was 50 feet down. We put out the snapper chum and waited. There was no weight on the line, so Dave told me to jerk the rod up and down with the bail open to have the live shrimp sink. I left the bail open and waited for the Mangrove Snapper to take the bait. When it did, the line peeled off the reel. I then locked the bail, reeled in, and hooked the fish. I used this method to catch many of the fish I caught this trip. The Mangrove Snapper fought hard, and I brought it in. I did this again with a new shrimp. I locked the bail and set the hook, and reeled it in. I caught another Mangrove Snapper! Next, I dropped a live bait, hooked in the back, down 20 feet. A blue runner took the bait! I reeled in and caught it! Meanwhile, Marielle caught a blue runner and a snapper. After this, we went in and dropped Marielle off. We were going to fish for Mahi Mahis.
At the dock, I used some of the live shrimp to fish. Because it was high tide, lots of fish were there. A big school of Dog Snapper and Schoolmasters would come up and take the bait once I put it in the water. I caught four consecutively by dropping the shrimp in the water, keeping the bail unlocked, waiting for the fish to take it, then locking it and reeling hard. Sometimes, I would reel in too fast or the fish would not be hooked yet. After those fish, I had caught 198 fish in my life. I was ready for the Dolphinfish.
The fish has three main names. Mahi-Mahi is its name in a hawaiian language. Dorado is its name in Spanish. Dolphin, or Dolphinfish most likely came about because of the fish's early scientific classification in the genus dolfyn. It is called Mahi-Mahi or Dorado on the West Coast in Southern California and Mexico, but it is widely referred to Mahi-Mahi or Dolphinfish on the East Coast. They have vibrant colors such as yellow, green, and blue. They are normally found near weedlines  or long strips of sargassum in the ocean. They are great eating and a famous gamefish.
After about 10 minutes of searching for weedlines, we finally found a good one! We set out trolling lines and cast out a jig to catch any potential Dolphinfish. Sure enough a Mahi took the jig with a big jump. Fish on! I fought hard and brought it into the boat. I caught it! Right after, we saw a Mahi Mahi swimming under the weedline near the boat. Sam cast out the jig on the spinning reel and enticed the fish. It took the jig and he set the hook. He reeled in and he had caught it! 2 fish so far. We kept on going along the weedline, and one of the trolling rods bent and the line peeled out. I was one fish away from my 200th fish. I took the rod and reeled in. I stopped reeling in when it jumped, because it would make it easier for the fish to throw the hook out. Mahi Mahis are smart fish. I reeled it up and brought it in. My 200th fish is a Mahi Mahi! Next, Sam caught another Dolphinfish. We set off to a new spot after this because the fish weren’t as big as we hoped. Other boats had caught the bulls, or the big males with a square/rectangle-shaped head.
Fishing was very slow for the next few hours. We tried  are different spots, but we had no result. One time, there was a flock of birds that were diving and eating baitfish. This means that big gamefish were probably chasing the baitfish from the bottom of the school, too. The bait ball and the birds were moving so fast, it would have been really hard to catch the fish. Because they were moving so fast, it was probably Skipjack Tuna that were eating the baitfish. After about 5 hours, we decided to try to deep drop. Deep dropping is using an electric reel to drop bait 700 feet down. We wanted to catch big Groupers and Snappers. The bait would be whole squid on multiple hooks on a rig with 3 way swivels. We deep dropped right next to the hump, an underwater limestone mountain where lots of gamefish can be found. Normally it is crowded on a weekend. Just as we were about to deep drop, A school of Mahi Mahi swam near the boat.
We immediately baited our spinning rods with squid. The water was so clear that we could see Dolphinfish 15-25 feet away. Sam, Dave, and I cast out our lines and kept the bail open. We could see the Mahis take the bait. When I saw one take my bait, I flipped the bail, reeled in, and set the hook hard. Fish on! I reeled in and brought it up. I caught another Mahi! It was my first Bull Mahi! Right after, I picked up another rod and set the hook. I caught it! I ended up catching 3 more Mahis there. Sam caught 4 Mahis there and even Rob got to reel one in when Sam and I were busy with our fish. One time, I hooked a bull and I was about to bring it up but because I gave it too much slack the fish got off the hook. We tried deep dropping when the school of Mahi went away, but nothing took the bait. We decided to call it a day offshore by then, and we drove in.
After washing the boat, Sam and I used live shrimp to fish off the dock. It was low tide, but we still caught many Dog Snappers and Schoolmasters. Two of the fish I caught were Irish Pompanos! I caught 12 of them off the dock, and Sam caught 3.
I ended the day catching 26 fish in total, only 3 less than my record for most fish in a day. My record is 29 at Pier 60 in Clearwater, Fl. This was an extremely fun day, but the weekend was not over.

Day 2-Sunday:
We woke up at 6:30 a.m. again so we could set out fishing early. We found a weedline but it only got our lines tangled in sargassum. We decided to go to the lighthouse to fish the clear water and patch reefs for Mutton Snapper and whatever else would bite. On the way in, we saw a jumping Sailfish! This is a fish on my bucket list, and we might have tried to catch it if we only had live bait. I will catch it one day.
We arrived at the reef. Right under the boat, there were Filefish waiting to steal our squid. I tried to bring it away from them, but I reeled in to late. I hooked the filefish. It didn’t fight hard, but it was surprisingly heavy. It had many teeth. It wasn’t the fish we were hoping to catch, but a fish is a fish! We had nibbles, but they started to go away. We saw other boats coming in, too. It wasn’t a great day for fishing.
I fished at the dock, too. I caught a pinfish, but that’s it. I saw the fish, but they didn’t bite. It just wasn’t a great day for fishing. I ended the trip with a total of 219 fish caught in my life.
On the way back, we fed the Tarpon at Robbie’s near Islamorada. It was awesome. So many big Tarpon were waiting there for the fish. I ate a hogfish sandwich there, too. It was great!. On Friday, the day we arrived at Duck key, we ate at Angler and Ale. The fish taco was amazing!

I had an incredible time catching fish this weekend and I hope to come down to the keys again. Stay Tuned and Tight Lines!