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>> Addendum, Rubberlip and Halibut [topic: previous/next]
PostPosted: Wed Mar 28, 2018 7:58 am
Ken Jones

Posts: 9768
Location: California

Addendum to 2003 Goleta Get Together Report:

Saturday, July 12, 2003 — I planned to fish early morning before the "Get Together” and then fish again at night. I should have known better. Had the extreme pleasure of meeting up with some new faces — although by now recognizable names — and quickly realized that the fishing would come that evening. (See the separate “Goleta Get Together” report.)

Goleta Pier: 5:40-9:10 p.m. — A slow night again but who cares? Good company, pleasant conversation, good weather, great surroundings, and the typical Goleta/Santa Barbara ambiance. The romantic Santa Ynez Mountains and a full moon provided the perfect setting for a truly idyllic night, an absolutely gorgeous night when good fellowship deadened the sting from a lack of fish. Fishing (or at least the catching of fish) was, for one night at least, second in importance to the gathering of the clan — The Pier Rat Nation.

Total: 10 Shinerperch (I know, I know!); 6 Jacksmelt; 2 Kelp Rockfish; 1 Grass Rockfish; 1 Brown Rockfish; 1 Bocaccio; 1 Walleye Surfperch

All fish caught on either strips of preserved mussel or on night crawlers (go figure). Most of the fish were caught on my light rod — two hooks and a 1-ounce torpedo sinker — but two of the rockfish were caught on my heavier rod fishing the kelp area with a single size 4 hook on a dropper leader about 18 inches up from the 2-ounce torpedo sinker.

Sunday, July 13 — I left Goleta early heading north on the return trip and figured I might as well fish a few piers along the way.

Gaviota Pier: 7-10 a.m. — A beautiful morning with just a hint of wind and as I arrived I saw my first dolphin of the morning. I headed out to the end since the tide was low and I quickly decided to fish around the pilings since they looked so fishy. Only one other fisherman was present, which is not a good sign, and he hadn't had a nibble, another bad sign, but that doesn't always mean slow or bad fishing; it did this time.

I hoped to find some of the bigger perch or perhaps a rockfish or two and there were fish around but they were the wrong types. Shiners and walleyes were thick and although most were at a mid-depth position, they seemed to like nothing better than to follow my mussel bait all the way to the bottom. Could have switched to larger baits and bigger hooks but was hoping for some of the big perch. A few anglers did join us at the end and they soon were using Sabiki's to land sardines and an occasional jacksmelt but the action wasn't hot.

Happily, Glen (Songslinger) soon showed up and I thought we might have a new “pier rat” gathering but Glen and I were the lone duo from the board. Glen wanted some better bait so he headed down to the beach to catch some sand crabs while I continued to search out that big perch — and I found HER.

Out on the left side, I think just about where the repairs were made a few years ago, sit two pilings about three feet apart. Heavily encircled by kelp but looking oh so fishy; I just had to drop my line straight down between those columns and the kelp. And it worked! I had a strong hit, reared back and felt both a fish and the kelp on my line. At first I thought I might have lost it but I could feel the fish tugging and sure ‘nuff she worked herself free. Got it to the top and it was a humungous (well, at least large) rubberlip which I soon hand-lined up to the top (since I didn't have a net with me). She was long and thick, oh so thick, but as soon as she got on the pier she started squirting out her young. Yes, she was a gravid female ready to birth and I knew I would need to release her. So, as quickly as I could take a fast picture, and drop some of her offspring back into the water, she herself was returned. I hated to drop her back down from the pier but had no other choice since I lacked the net. Happily, she seemed to take right off and swim away. I didn't measure or weigh her but I believe she would have gone at least a couple of pounds; she looked that big. Songslinger, by the way, saw the fight from the beach and saw she was a good fish.

Everything after that was anti-climatic until Glen himself managed a nice, legal-size halibut using a lively shinerperch and his new leader technique. I provided the bait, he provided the brains, and soon I hear (in a low voice) — Ken you want to come here? He didn't want to awaken the entire pier but did want to show me that hallie he was bringing to the top and show me a hallie yawn. He was going to break it off but before we had the chance a newly arrived angler rushed over with a net. Soon after a 22-inch fish joined us on the pier and after a quick measurement and picture she too was returned to the water. Not too shabby for these old pier rats, a long way from home — a nice-sized rubberlip and a legal halibut.

Soon after I ran out of the preserved mussels I was using for bait, switched to the night crawlers, and the shiners went crazy. The problem now became one of keeping them off the hook but I was unsuccessful. We continued to fish and watched a beautiful family of dolphins but soon the wind returned to its normal Gaviota intensity and we decided to call it a day. Glen headed home while I headed north to Pismo for some more fishing.
Total: 12 Shinerperch; 5 Walleye Surfperch; 1 Rubberlip Seaperch; 1 Bocaccio (tiny); 1 Cabezon (baby variety); 1 Thornback Ray

On to Pismo!

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