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Author Topic:   Monterey Bay Salmon Opener Trip Report
andygere posted 03-30-2003 11:57 AM ET (US)   Profile for andygere   Send Email to andygere  
We had a fabulous day on the water yesterday for the opening of Salmon season on Monterey Bay . My friend Greg and I eased the Outrage 22 Cuddy out of the harbor just as the sun rose, chuckling to ourselves as we watched the annual launch ramp fiasco on our way out. The swell had dropped significantly from Thursday's 10 foot/16 seconds, and the wind was calm. Visibility was off the chart, with the Monterey shoreline and coastal mountains visible in crisp detail more than 22 miles away. We headed straight out of the harbor to the edge of a deep-water canyon known locally as Soquel Hole. We trolled with downriggers at varying depths between 40 and 150 feet, in water from 180 to 400 feet deep. We were enjoying nice weather and ideal trolling conditions except for the massive jellyfish that were constantly fouling our gear. We had no action nor did we see the net deployed on any other boats in the area.

Around noon, a friend of mine who launched at Monterey called on his cell phone and told me he had found some bait balls near Lovers Point off of Monterey, and had just picked up his first king salmon. In the Outrage 22, it was an easy call to make the 17- mile run across the bay, even considering that the afternoon conditions typically involve winds of 15-20 knots out of the north, making for a long bumpy ride home. We?ve made the run before in the Montauk, but never this late in the day. The Outrage flew across the bay in sparkling warm sunshine as we navigated to the GPS coordinates my friend gave us, and we used the time to become more familiar with the GPS and Radar units that came installed on the boat. It was fun to see the fleet of sport fishing boats show up on the radar screen just as we could pick them up visually in the bright afternoon sun.

When we arrived at the numbers, we put our gear in the water, trolling Rotary Salmon Killers (a jig that holds a frozen anchovy by the head and spins as it?s trolled) behind 8-inch Hotspot flashers, one at 85 feet down the other at 110, in water 220 feet deep. Within 20 minutes we saw a nice salmon boated by a crew in a vintage Outrage 21, who recognized my boat having known its former owner. 15 minutes later they had a second fish on, and within another 20 minutes so did we. It was a smaller fish, around 6 pounds, but it felt good to get one in the box and start the season off right. As it turns out, it was the only one we could scratch up, but we had a fabulous day on the water and couldn?t have been happier as we fired up the big Mercury and headed back to port. The wind never really came up and it was a fast, easy trip home running 30 mph across well-spaced swells and a 1-foot chop. I am thrilled with the performance of the boat, and really enjoy the space, dry storage and shelter it affords.

Whaler sightings during the trip: A blue hull 13 outfitted with full salmon gear including downriggers; 2 nice Nausets, one stock, the other nearly so; a 70?s Outrage 21with a new Optimax; several Montauks ranging from very clean to completely roached; a beautiful 23 Walkaround with Whaler Drive and twin engines; a few late-model Outrages, a 70?s Revenge 21; a beat but identifiable Cohasset; a 27 Full Cabin with twin Sea Drives, and a Dauntless 16.

Drisney posted 03-30-2003 04:58 PM ET (US)     Profile for Drisney  Send Email to Drisney     
Andy, nice report! I am hoping to go out tomorrow (Mon) might go with non-whaler neighbor..Dave

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