I was robbed ... been there, seen that

Ken Jones

Administrator
Staff member
#1
Date: December 3, 2001
To: PFIC Message Board
From: BigEd2

Subject: Ventura Pier Report - I was ROBBED!

There are 2 reports, both of Ventura pier.

Report1:
Date: Saturday Nov 1, 2001
Time: 5:30 to 10:30 AM

Got up at 5:00 am on Saturday, and headed to the Ventura pier. Stopped at the McDonalds for a cup of coffee, and arrived at the pier around 5:30 am. Started at the end of the pier, using anchovies, mackerel, and squid. The water was calm, and the sunrise was ABSOLUTELY GORGEOUS. No wind. An hour or two goes by, and no bites or nibbles (I was using squid on one rod, and anchovies on the other at this point). I switched to using mackerel, and almost immediately, started getting nibbles. All morning, the 'birds' kept harassing me, and I had to keep ‘shoo’-ing them off....To protect my baits, I put them UNDER the bench. Then I started getting good SOLID bites on BOTH rods. Both rods going off at the same time! WOW! From the excitement I ran to grab the rods/set the hooks, I noticed something or someone behind me, and turned around and realized that I have been ambushed and am being robbed! One @#%!@^# bird is taking off with my ENTIRE bag of squid, another one is taking off with ALL of my anchovies, while yet ANOTHER bird is taking my BIG mackerel with an 11-inch fillet knife STILL IN THE FISH!!! I start running after the ‘thieves' like an enraged wacko, shouting and swearing (kept the language clean though).... COME BACK HERE YOU SON OF A MUFFIN... to no avail. They were, however, somewhat thoughtful, as they eventually dropped my fillet knife somewhere mid pier. Now, I have no bait whatsoever.... all of this when the bite appeared to have just turned on... Like a hobo, I started going around and looking in trash cans for some bait (felt VERY embarrassed!), and got a few stares from the 'couples in love' that came to watch the romantic sunrise at the pier. I felt as if I was COMPLETELY ruining their 'moment'.... Desperation I say, desperation! What is a fisherman to do without bait when the bite is on? I packed up and started to leave. I must have looked real 'down' when a couple fishing the surf line asked me how I did. They generously offered me some squid and salted chovies! So I took a squid and 4 chovies.... WHOOPIE! The fishing continues! As it was getting late (I had to attend a wedding) I only went to mid pier area, and started getting nibbles immediately, but no hookups. I was using a 1/0 and 2/0 hooks, so I thought "something small". I switched to smaller hooks, and ended up catching (and releasing) yellowfin croakers. There seemed to be a good number of them around (they do taste gross... maybe I didn't prepare them right, but they were VERY fishy and foul smelling), so all were released. Talked to another couple on the pier, and they said that the crabs kept stealing their bait (they were fishing close to the pier). I thought “great! the crabs are back!” On the back to the car, several people were catching and keeping surf perch (walleye looking), however, they were WAY TOO SMALL to be worth keeping (real small), but I guess some didn't think so.

Report2:
Date: Saturday Nov 1, 2001
Time: 6:30 to 8:30 PM

After we came back from the wedding, I decided to give it another go. Went to the pier again, and arrived around 6:30 PM, this time with only 1 rod, and a crab net, REALLY expecting the crabbing to be good. As with the last 3 trips, NO CRABS WHATSOEVER! NOT EVEN A LITTLE ITSY BITSY BABY ONE! As for the fishing, it was REAL slow, and although I got some nibbles, there was only one taker: Another yellowfin croaker. Where are the sharks and skates? Crabs? When it started to sprinkle, I packed up and left. Looooong day.

Simplistic conclusion: Before a storm and a full moon = Slooooow fishing... despite the fact that the 'Maori' predicted 'Very good, sea best'......

Posted by lucy

Do seagulls make good bait???? Heehee, what a story! Now you know why people keep their bait in those five-gallon paint buckets with the lid that you need a crowbar to remove!

Posted by baitfish

DOH!!!!! Great Report, I'm sure it was a lot more fun to read than to live. Adam Will work for fish!

Posted by Leapin Bass

I've actually had them take off with my bait knife (no fish involved —although I'm sure it smelled pretty sweet).
You can't catch tomorrow what you kill today — please practice catch and release.

Posted by Chum Buddy

Scary! Maybe it was going to need it to commit some armed bait robbery. We should carry slingshots or bb guns for self defense.

Posted by Chum Buddy

Hey Ed, Sorry to hear about your misfortunes! I can't help but laugh though thinking of your different baits going three different directions and a whacky fishermen chasing after them, flailing heir arms and yelling at them — a classic scene at the pier! Hehe! Have had the same thing happen to me at Jettys and I guess I have been spared at piers because I normally fish nights there. Your fishing reports show the same kind of activity that there was on Fri night. I did not go Sat or Sun night. Last Wed night when I went between 10:30pm and 3:30am I had quite a bit of activity and I was literally fishing hours before and into the storm that rolled in. I think a factor to why it has sucked is because Sat night was still just a couple of days after the last storm. I have found that several days after a storm it has really stunk out in Ventura. (Maybe the fish have bacteria hangovers and are too sick to eat)?? I am going Tues night even though it is just after a storm to see if there is still a connection between recent storms and bad fishing. I figure that between the activity from when you and I fished that by Tuesday maybe things will be different. If the bite is back at the pier on Tuesday than I will not hold storms as accountable for our terrible luck. (Per the storm on Sunday and Monday) I had the same thing going on with the small bites and figured they were probably croakers because they had particular interest in the mackerel. I think I will have a float rig setup about 3-5' off the bottom using whole squid, anchovy or LARGE chunks of mackerel and then bring some light tackle and fish the bottom with small hooks and bring in a bunch of those bait thieves i.e.: croaker, bullheads, and tiny whatevers. The float rig worked great on Wed night, but I was unable to keep some of the larger fish on the hook! I'll definitely post my luck on Wednesday. When are you going next??? Brian
 

Ken Jones

Administrator
Staff member
#2
I think we've probably all had bait and/or fish stolen by sea gulls or pelicans at one time or another. It's one reason I keep my bait in a cooler. Last time I was at Catalina a pelican thought he was entitled to whatever fish was coming over the railing.
 

EgoNonBaptizo

Well-known member
#3
I think we've probably all had bait and/or fish stolen by sea gulls or pelicans at one time or another. It's one reason I keep my bait in a cooler. Last time I was at Catalina a pelican thought he was entitled to whatever fish was coming over the railing.
Did the pelican happen to be a large male with a hook and line in his lower jaw? He was eyeing me the entire time on my last trip, but was polite enough to not lunge at me when I brought in a fish.
 

Ken Jones

Administrator
Staff member
#4
I don't remember a hook or line on him. This one did lunge at the fish. And then, when I was cleaning the fish, several birds made an appearance and I had to be very careful.