Fishing Newbies

We went fishing this past Saturday with some new friends, Mark and Lisa.  They wanted to learn some fishing tips for fishing here at the Channel Islands.  It was decided that we would all go on their boat so that they could learn how to use their equipment.  One of the things we found was that their chart plotter wasn’t showing the Marine Preserve Areas (MPA).  A few years ago we got caught by Fish and Game after we drifted into the MPA, and both Gary and I received tickets.  If you get ticketed by Fish and Game, they will often issue tickets to everyone on board.  So on this fishing trip we decided to stay well away from the area in question.

Another thing Mark and Lisa were missing was the 2015-2016 Ocean Sport Fishing Regulations  There’s a ton of rules and it’s really easy to find yourself with a fish that’s not big enough, or even an endangered fish that has to be released.

Every year Gary calls up the Coast Guard and requests to have a boat inspection done.  This is a free service that the Coast Guard provides, and they will check your boat for required safety equipment.  It’s always good to have the inspection done at your dock, because it gives you a chance to rectify any problems before you are out on the water.  If you are out on the water and they board you and do an inspection, they will often ticket you for missing safety items.  When you have met the inspection criteria, they will issue you a sticker.  Vessel Safety Check  The Coast Guard will often look for the sticker when you are out on the water, and then not board you while you are out enjoying yourself.  If they do board you, they tend to not do as in depth of a check.  We were fortunate enough not to be boarded by the Coast Guard that day, but we saw them visit several other boats.

So what did we catch?  We had heard that yellow tail were being caught on the back side of Anacapa.  We fished there for a while, but neither us or other boats we were in contact with were getting bites.  The currents were strong, and so we went to the gap between Anacapa and Santa Cruz.  We eventually caught four rock cod and a sheep’s head.  Lisa caught her first ocean fish, and she was thrilled.  Her childlike enthusiasm was a stark contrast to my tendency to not get overly excited.  I wished that I had been video taping it, as it would have made a great youtube video.  When she caught her second fish, the excitement was still there but not nearly as intense.  I got that on video and stuffed the camera into my hoodie pocket.  As we came into the dock, I was leaning over and plop my camera went into the water.

There’s usually something good about any situation.  The good thing is I needed a new camera anyway.

Most days on the water are great and this was a beautiful day.  We got to know some new friends better and now Mark and Lisa are planning to participate in the Women’s Fishing Tournament in a few weeks.  They’ll get some fishing help from some other yacht club members.  The good thing is everyone has different tips.  The weather and conditions will be different and who knows what will be biting.