Sunday was the Women’s Fishing Tournament. I was really excited for it this year. In the past we haven’t had as much participation. This year we had 21 entrants on four boats.
Gary, I and a few friends went out earlier in the week to see if we could find a hot spot, but we didn’t have a lot of luck. The fish were in the two to five pound range. We were trying to get yellow tail which have been hitting lately. We were using some lures, and saw several swim up to the boat following our lures, but no takers. (Gary has done some more research and found that we just aren’t reeling fast enough.)
It was decided that we would leave at 3:30 am, because the boat is a trawler and we usually only go about 8 knots. To make our life easier we docked the night before over at the yacht club and slept aboard.
We set out a little late with a total of six fisherwomen and our two deckhands (Gary & Dave). I always offer everyone motion sick pills, but it’s usually the people who say they never get seasick, that end up sick. Once you feel icky it’s hard to recover. In this case an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. The waters were a little choppier than normal, and we did have one seasick.
Our first fishing spot was out at Santa Cruz Island near Yellow Banks. Gary had scoped all of the fishing social media and one of the charter boats had gotten a white sea bass on the last day we went scouting. Gary had seen that boat out near us that day, so he knew that would be a good place to go. We tried for a while at the first location, but with no luck and no nibbles we decided to move on.
We eventually went to the gap (between Anacapa and Santa Cruz), where we caught the first of several small Red Snapper rockfish. I pulled in a Salmon Grouper, which turned out to be the largest fish caught on our boat. A steady wind blew most of the day; we get a little spoiled here in California and when the wind blows across the water on a maximum temperature of 60, it feels cold! We went to the backside of Anacapa to finish out our day. We had better luck there and ended with a total of six fish. I got two, and another woman caught two, so we had some that didn’t get to catch a fish.
The ride in was bumpy with whitecaps, people sliding across the cabin, and me saving our tackle box from going overboard with a lucky kick from my foot.
The final results were First Place 6.69 lbs. Ling Cod caught by CIYC’s bar tender Cecily, Second Place was a new member, (I’ve met, but sadly I don’t have her name down yet) with a Sheepshead. I came in third place.
The good thing is that Cecily was on the boat of Mark and Lisa, the new members that we went fishing with a few weeks ago to help teach them. Skip M. has been the captain of the winning boat for the last four years (I won first on his boat 3 years ago with a 33lb halibut). His crew has won for both the men’s and the women’s tournament. So we cheer him as a great competitor and crown the new winning captain.