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  • stonecreek1023

Half Day, Full Cooler

I haven't posted any journal entries in a while. My life has been more packed than its ever been. Working full time definitely takes up most of my hours but writing a novel, doing marketing and advertising for the novel and trying to purchase a home all simultaneously leaves little time for posting. Even less for hunting and fishing. At this point of my life I take any opportunity I can to do what I love. So when I found that one of my favorite charter vessels were doing half day fishing trips, I signed me and my father up for a trip this past Friday.

The trip was from 6am to 12pm. We arrived at the marina at 5am and got on the boat around 5:15am. I always like to get there early so I can get my favorite spot on the boat, which is to the right closer to the stern. There were only 12 people fishing on the boat that day. One of the few good things that came out of this pandemic was the reduced capacity for just about every social activity. Sure this isn't good for the captains because they make less money but for someone like me who isn't a people person, it works out just fine. There was a $5 wager for the biggest fish. So the total pot was $60. We left the marina right at 6am and traveled to the south bay to fish.

We reached the fishing grounds around 7:15am. The plan was to troll over a shallow mud flat for Striped Bass and Halibut. We were using stinger rigs and frozen Anchovies for bait. It didn't take long for the fish to start biting. Less than 5 minutes after dropping our lines, my father caught a 23in Striper. Not long after that a few other fishermen caught some keeper sized Stripers. I really wanted to catch a Halibut as I had never caught a keeper sized one in my life. Where I live, California Halibut have to be at least 22in long to be kept. To date my largest one was only 17in and I caught that over a decade ago. Well I managed to catch 3 Halibut but they were all too small. It wasn't that the keepers weren't there. 3 people ended up with legal sized Halibut. It seems that I need to be more specific with my prayers.

It was getting towards the end of our trip and I still hadn't caught anything I could keep. My father had already caught his 2 Striper limit and was basically fishing for fun at that point. We changed spots with an hour left in our trip. That was when I finally caught a keeper. I hooked into something soon after we moved. I wasn't too optimistic since all the fish I had caught that day were too small. But I managed to pull up a keeper sized Striper that was barely legal. Normally I would release fish that straddled the limit but since I hadn't caught any keepers all day and we were almost out of time, I threw him in the cooler. My dad also caught another keeper Striper and since we came together, he put it under my limit. So we managed to get 2 limits on Striped Bass.

Once again I had another good day on the party boat. I didn't win the biggest fish wager but I didn't really expect to. When I'm out on a hunt with other people I never try to compete with anyone. I just focus on myself and what I came to do. "Winning" is simply a bonus to me. We fried up some of our catch later that day and boy was it delicious. I plan on going on a couple more charter trips this year, primarily for Rockfish in the summer. Until then I'm going to focus on my novel and getting my kayak ready for its maiden voyage.

Thanks for reading. If you like what you see, follow my social media for more content and updates.

Instagram: @stonecreekjournal


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