We all met Tuesday night at Andrea's Restaurant in Ventura Harbor for a few beers, some fish stories and a great fish dinner. Their were five of us who enjoyed the dinner, Mike Forrest, Andy Malovos, Peter Van Hest, Paul Riegert and Tom Agar. We then headed toward Port Hueneme to get our fishing gear all set up and spend the night aboard the SEA JAY, so that we could get an early start in the morning. Erwin Goldbloom joined us aboard the SEA JAY about 10:00 PM filling out the fishing party.
When the Captain (John Fuqua) arrived early next morning, we filled up the live well with enough anchovies to last the trip and left the dock area in Port Hueneme around 5:00 AM. Our target was Anacapa one of the Channel Islands; we arrived there a little after 6:00 in the morning. The seas were less than a foot and the skies were overcast with a little nip in the air; the water temperature was 62.8 degrees with a slight current. All together very good weather conditions for the trip.
Captain John set us up on a spot that metered some fish and we had our lines in the water by 6:30. The Captain had the mates chum the area with some anchovies to wake up the fish. However, the fish decided not to cooperate, so the Captain moved on to another spot. Finally, Erwin Goldbloom broke the ice with a couple of nice Calico bass, which he released; but as time went on that morning the catching got tougher. After trying a few more spots the Captain pulled up stakes and we headed towards Santa Cruz Island. When we reached the island the Captain metered along a large kelp bed until he found a spot that offered us fish and the right type of current direction giving us our best chance to cast our flies to the fish. So in went our lines and once again the fish just would not cooperate. We moved on to a cove that looked promising, the Captain set up the boat and the crew chummed the area. After a little while, Mike Forrest had a real nice tug on his line and within a few minutes of playing the fish, Mike landed a beautiful 4lb Calico bass. After Mike landed his fish a squadron of Pelicans arrived to see if they could mooch a meal and in general make a pest of them selves. Once again, it went quiet, and the Captain decided to move us to another spot. A pattern that seemed to be repeating itself. We would move to a spot, chum the area, maybe catch a fish or two and then things would go quiet. The pattern held as Mike Forrest picked up another Calico keeper at one of the other Santa Cruz spots. Andy Malovos worked very hard. He picked up a couple of Whitefish that were about 2 lbs, and Peter Van Hest also caught a whitefish as well as a few Blue Perch.
At about 2:00 PM the Captain decided to try the south side of Anacapa Island where there has been a barracuda bite. So we pulled up stakes and headed the SEA JAY in that direction. When we arrived, our friends the pelicans were once again on the scene, trying to make a living and at the same time stay out of a pretty stiff current. We fished the area for about an hour with no luck and pulled up stakes and headed home. The weather was beautiful, and the seas were calm. The boat was great, and the crew fantastic. Just not enough fish! All in all, it was a great fishing day. Word has it that the next trip on July 23rd, we will be leaving Port Hueneme extra early so that we can get to Santa Rosa Island and try our luck there.
The SEA JAY is available for charter and you can get more information at the SEA JAY Sport Fishing Website seajaysportfishing.com or by calling Captain John Fuqua at home (805-985-7547) or Office (805-488-2212).
By Tom Agar