After reading some very inspirational reports on the NorCalKayakAnglers forum. I pestered a friend for some intel and then proceeded to have a wildly successful weekend at the second most Great White Shark populated area in California. More incidents of shark attacks on people have been reported here than anywhere else in California. One might say that I was diving at the epicenter of California’s Red Triangle. Ahhh, but the fishing was good.
Friday: My friend Andrew and his younger brother and I paddled out from our launch, we paddled a long way, then we kept paddling, then we paddled some more, and then repeat. We dropped in and even more worrisome than the persistent back of your mind fear of the tax collector, was the much more probable constant and deafening fear of being run over by a red neck with a power boat. We weren’t the only divers hitting the site, and several power boats were hook and line fishing the site, as soon as they would reach the end of the drift it was motor full speed back to the front, dive flags be damned.
Prior to this experience I had spent days looking for this specific fish. I had never seen one before and I wasn’t exactly sure how easy they would be to spot should I be in their presence. But when I finally saw one it was immediately apparent and unmistakable. It was a small one, but more than legal, and I ran it through with a 7′ Gat-ku polespear. From there my luck would only improve. I spent all the time I could drifting the site, I spotted several more and at the end of the day I had taken three, Andrew had taken two much larger than mine, and his brother one of good size. The diving had not been deep, success was primarily a matter of short recoveries and long bottom times. Finally I had found and shot my first Halibut, I then followed it up with two more and completed my day’s limit. I was exhausted and elated!!!
Sunday: Friday had been so successful and so thrilling that all I could think of was to go back and do it again. My dive buddies for this jaunt would be my friends Adam, John and Sean, both excellent divers also looking to spear their first butts.
Until Friday my prior experience looking for halibut could be compared to looking for keys or a wedding ring in the surf at the beach, suffice to say lots of sand and really boring. Sean has probably put more time into starting at sand than myself or any of my friends. When he saw the evidence of my success he jumped in his truck and drove three hours, having just dove more sand the day before, so he could try his luck looking for flat fish in the sand within the territory of the biggest fish in California.
Once again paddling, excessive paddling, more paddling, and paddling against current ensued. Adam and I immediately spotted and spooked large halis in our first few drops. On my second drift I shot my first fish of the day and immediately began rubbing it in the faces of Sean and Adam. “Have you seen one yet, Sean” Sean hollered back “I don’t even know what they look like” I held mine up from my kayak “this is what they look like” I yelled. Adam began his cranky ravings about the exact type of A**hole I am, I laughed at him.
We did drift after drift, the boat traffic was much better and I was able to relax. My bottom times were significantly better than they had been on Friday. I was fortunate to see halibut on almost every drift. There were now other groups of kayakers diving the spot, and although many other divers came away empty handed in the few hours we had to drift I managed yet another limit of fish. This time however my fish were substantially larger. Adam had finally shot two and managed to spook another. Sean however was about to cry. As the ocean neared slack tide and the drift died, Sean had still not even seen a fish, he was becoming anxious, stressed and irritable. John had already headed back empty handed, and Adam and I were about ready ourselves, Sean knew his time was almost out and in a stroke of luck he scored a solid 36.5″ 20# hali in the last 10 minutes of the day. Excited whooping alerted us to his success. The three of us paddled back feeling accomplished, and took photos on the beach. My personal catch had been the best of the day, (2) 20# 36″ hali and (1) 39″ 24# hali. I was once again elated!!!