Pelagic Trifecta and Fishing with the Bonito Whisperer Newport Jetty Report 10/22/20

evanluck

Active member
#1
Met up with EgoNonBaptizo and DiegoGarciaWahoos for last hurrah for Bonito Season at the Newport Jetty. We got there at 6AM and made our way down to a spot just before the crowd at the end of the Jetty.

We all started fishing with splasher rigs with feathers. First cast and I caught my first barracuda! (y)Then shortly afterwards I caught a couple smaller mackerel in close succession. Finally to complete the pelagic trifecta, I hooked and landed a small bonito (only my second one landed from shore)! I finished the day with what is probably my personal best mackerel.

EgoNonBaptizo being a responsible college student left early to get to class. Meanwhile DiegoGarciaWahoos kept hooking up and landing bonito with at least a couple very good sized ones in the mix. The bonito action was quite good. No crazy runs where everyone was catching them but steady action especially for the guys who are good at catching them. When I left to head to work at about 11AM I think DiegoGarciaWahoos was at least up to 6 bonito with a couple more whoppers that got away. He caught most of them on a splasher with feather rig but did land at least a couple on paddle jerkbaits like the Lucky Craft Flash Minnow 110. I think he may have caught the other on a Rapala X-Rap but I'll let him confirm.

It felt really good to shake off a couple bad outings at the jetty with something that felt successful.

On the way back I had a short chat with a couple guys halfway down fishing carolina rigs with green peas. They had just started fishing so no report as to what their luck was.

Finally saw a guy fishing very close to the shore on the harbor side. So close that I'm not sure that you are allowed to fish there. Nevertheless, he said he had already caught a couple calico bass with one begin very close to keeper size. Nice to see that this fish is available at a decent size for people who don't want to climb rocks down the jetty. His spot was very easy to access and he was sitting in a chair on the sand with his poles in holders on a wagon. He was fishing a fish finder rig with squid as bait.
 

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#3
Exceptional bonito showing today at the Newport Jetty!

I wish EgoNonBaptizo could have stuck around for the bonito main event that occurred from 10-11 am.

After losing 2 bruiser bonito to hook shake-offs on the splasher rig, I noticed another angler using what appeared to be a Rapala and nailing quality sized bonito one after another. Later, I was able to determine he was actually using a Luckycraft Flash Minnow 110 Electric Grunion as evident in the color and rattle of his jerk bait. I quickly rigged up for jerk bait and put on a similar smelt colored Rapala Shadow Rap attached with a feathered treble hook. On the third cast I got slammed! This bonito fought like a bat out of hell, screaming drag! I definitely think bonito make a better run with a treble hook in their mouth as opposed to a single hook on the feather.

All the while, there was a young man fishing alongside evanluck and I for a good portion of the morning. He was using a not so ideal splasher rig setup. I gave him some pointers and encouraged him to focus on his splash to attract the bonito, but he was unsuccessful with his rig. I switched over to my only Luckycraft Flash Minnow SP 110 on hand. This jerk bait definitely has seen better days, but it still has some good flash and a nice rattle to it. I told the young man that if I hooked onto another bonito, I’d give him my rod and let him fight the fish. Shortly after I was on a good one and kept to my word. The young man was ecstatic after landing his first bonehead. Add another angler to the list who will have a case of bonito fever for the rest of his life.