My hope is that the articles and tips posted on our web-site can make your time on the water more fun and productive.
Good luck, good fishing
This gunk was the main problem
In the continuing saga of the remodel of the Innovator, another interesting piece of puzzle came to light recently. In a previous article, I had written about changing fuel filters and dirty fuel, prompted in part by some issues we were having from time to time. But what mystified me was the fact there were times we would still have fuel filter problems (or so I thought) even after just changing the filters.
On one trip I had lost power and changed filters on a rough, backside morning, one of those days that it is no fun to be in the bilge. I got everything squared away and only ran a few miles and again the engine started losing power and the vacuum gauge was way high so I just shut down the one and went inside where it was calmer. I started up again just to do a final check on the gauge and to my amazement the reading was zero and all worked fine. Oh well!!!
We were still getting a lot of gunk in the filters at that time so filter changes were regular occurrence but it was a few more trips before another major shutdown ruined an already stressful day. We had fished below the 43 on one of those days…everything had gone deep or moved and it was made all the worse as the fleet at Catalina were on the marlin and they were biting. So late in the afternoon we made the call to relocate, about a 60 mile road trip to the bait spot in Cat Harbor to catch mackerel for the next day.
At first it was very pleasant traveling, calm and warm as I scoured a blank ocean with the gyros. But the boys above were on good fish so we pushed along, even as the weather came up as the sun was going down. Just before dark with still about 15 miles to go the port engine slowed radically so we checked the gauge and sure enough…all the way up. So I shut it down and ran on one then it started to die. Starting the port back up, it seemed okay so we made those last choppy miles by alternating engines making 8 knots instead of 22. The flat calm water of Cat Harbor and a stiff gin n tonic (or two) took the edge off and I knew a phone to a qualified fuel polishing service was a top priority before we left the dock with another charter.
The fuel polishing equipment
A couple of days later, the problem was handled and the mystery solved. In addition to the expected slime and sludge of nearly twenty years, we also found a rich assortment of small pieces of fiberglass, drops of solder, some gasket material and a few lumps of what looked to be silicone of exactly the size needed to perfectly plug a pickup tube. With an engine running, especially when at cruise and low on fuel, suction would pull it up…then it would fall away at low rpm or with the engine turned off. I was much relived to have that bit of drama behind me!!!
f you’re in need of the right guy for this job, contact Roy Rozok at (619) 990-9830. He owns Fuel Oil Polishing Company of San Diego and will do a great job at a reasonable price.
Work in progress
Tail Baits for Rockfish and Lingcod
The chunks left and center are how most people strip out small rockfish for bait.A far more productive method is to take off the whole filet, including the tail. Then trim away the ribs, point the end and hook on near the end one time only coming from the meatside through the skin.
Scale down the gear size and fish a 40# flourocarbon dropper off the main line with about a 3/0 hook and watch your catch rate soar. The lighter tackle and attractive flutter of some well-trimmed tail will prove irresistible!!!
Good Luck and Good Fishing
In the Cove
The thousand fathom water at the lower edge of Clemente Canyon can be magic. It is one of our most fish-rich areas off Southern California during the offshore season, as deep ocean currents meet steep canyon walls. This promotes the upwelling that brings nutrients to the surface and forms the basis for the food chain.
Our top line predators take advantage, and the fishing for albacore, bluefin, yellowfin, big eye and striped marlin can be outstanding when conditions are right. And with the area only 65 to 70 miles from San Pedro/Long Beach and a little less from the San Diego ports, it's easily reached by a large part of the well-equipped private boat fleet.
Many opt to run down, fish a while, and then head back home, all in one day. Personally, I prefer to plan a more relaxed routine, one that offers less hard miles charging home and much more in the way of productive time on the water.
With the area now loading up with the first offshore gamesters of the season and fishing the island’s losing their luster after a long spring squid/ sea bass/yellowtail season, I'm ready to switch out the inshore gear and let my offshore soul go out of control. Ideally, the first trip might go something like this...