Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Channel Islands Sportfishing

Sportfishing off the coast of Southern California gets no easier than Channel Islands Sportfishing. Located between LA and Santa Barbara, in the city of Oxnard, Channel Islands Sportfishing offers a fleet of 9 boats ranging from ½ day to full day open party excursions as well as boats dedicated to private charters. We were invited to go out with them on their 65 foot Gentleman for a ¾ day trip. Upon arriving at the tackle shop at 5AM, we were greeted by Doug, the boat’s owner. He was very helpful in getting us set up for the trip, supplying us with a rental rod, fishing licenses and the appropriate tackle suggested for this trip.

As we made our way out to the boat with the 23 other anglers that would be joining us on the trip, we found that there was a great mix of first timers, regulars and folks visiting from out of town. My guess would be that today’s anglers ranged in age from 18 to 65 and there were (including Mariah) two women fishing for the day.

The crew consisted of; the Capitan – Don Rowell who has been fishing these waters since he was a boy. He first started working on the Gentleman in 1983 and obtained his Capitan’s license in 1993. The two Deckhands; Brian, who has been working the deck of the Gentleman for about 7 years and Bobbie who moved from running the tackle shop to deckhand about 2 years ago. Then there was Wendy, who ran the galley and Chris “pinhead” who was the young teen using some of his, Summer, free time to help out on the boat in hopes of becoming a full timer on the Gentleman after he is done with school. We knew that with this crew…we were in good hands to fish the waters around the Channel Islands.

It was a beautiful day and the trip out to the islands took about 2 hours. On the trip out, all of the passengers busied themselves preparing their gear and loading up on coffee and Wendy’s famous breakfast burritos.

As we approached the island and the marine layer was almost gone, the morning sun offered us an amazing view of the island and the waters that we would be fishing for the day. As the boat slowed, the captain’s voice came over the loud speakers for the deckhands to start chumming. He then told us that due to the changing water temps in recent days, that the fishing was going to be tough today and not to expect limits. The boat circled around and the anchor was dropped. The captain told us to start fishing. As we were in waters where the catch was everything from White Sea Bass and Calico Bass to Perch, Halibut and Barracuda, people were using an assortment of bait and lures…trying to find the best fit for the waters. Our bait was sardines and frozen squid strips. Mariah and I began with the squid and then tried sardines. The bite was slow but there were a few nice fish pulled from this spot.

As the day progressed and we worked our way from spot to spot, with the help of our “fish chasing captain” we were able to land 9 Whitefish, 11 Rockfish, 21 Halfmoon, 17 Calico Bass, 2 Barracuda, a handful of Perch and an assortment of juvenile fish that were released.
The crew was very friendly and helpful to everyone. They were able to keep the fish landing in the boat, the lines from being tangled and …for the most part they did their best to keep the Pelicans, other birds and the seals away from our lines.

The other folks on the boat were great to fish with. In particular, there was a father (from Simi Valley) and his two sons 18 & 19 (who live in Las Vegas) on the boat. They seemed to have a great time and landed a few nice fish themselves.

On the return trip to the harbor, we watched as deckhands Brian and Bobbie skillfully cleaned and filleted all of the fish aboard – for a small fee, stopping only a few time to offer us up close up views of fish hearts and innards that one would normally not see.

All in all…I would highly recommend Channel Islands Sportfishing to anyone interested in getting out on the water for a day of exciting sport fishing.

Channel Islands Sportfishing Center is located near extremely productive fishing grounds. Our fleet services the Northern Channel Islands including: Anacapa Island, Santa Cruz Island, Santa Barbara Island, Santa Rosa Island, and San Miguel Island! We have a variety of trips available including local 1/2 day trips, 3/4 day islands trips, and overnight outer island trips. When you fish with us you can expect to catch Calico Bass, White Seabass, Halibut, Sand Bass, Barracuda, Yellowtail, Rockfish, Lingcod and on good years we may even get some Albacore Tuna or even some King Salmon! Be sure to call and make your reservation at 805-382-1612.

Rent Rods $12.00Rent Rods (Junior & Military) $8.001 Day License $12.60 (16 years and older)

Visit them online at: http://www.channelislandssportfishing.com/ or the Gentleman at : http://www.gentlemansportfishing.com/

No comments:


Bookmark and Share
Blog Widget by LinkWithin