Author Topic: Success on the fly! + Lessons learned.  (Read 1437 times)

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Offline Senator

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Success on the fly! + Lessons learned.
« on: September 21, 2015, 04:49:20 PM »
Hey Fellas!
I'm happy to report my first success with this offshore jetski fishing endeavor.  Nothing huge, but given that my standards so far were a big fat skunk on my first trip, this time I got 3 fairly small yellowtails on deck.... and ONE, AN OFFICIAL FIRST ON THE FLY ROD... and I'm pretty stoked.

After spending an absurd amount of time tricking out my rig (2008 Yam FX Cruiser) in recent weeks with a livewell bucket & FF, I headed out Saturday in the wee hours from Dana Point.  The guys at the bait dock surely must have seen everything, because they didn't bat an eye seeing my waverunner + rescue sled tricked out with a full bore fishing cooler + bucket bait tank, three conventional and two fly rods, a gaff and a truckers billy club.  I expected at least a few heckles from the crowd, and all I got were.... "A JET SKI, THAT'S WHAT I'MMM TALKIN’ ABOUT!!!" ... "Damn, that's a pretty sweet setup," and... "HEY —WHERE'S THE STOVE?" (To which I responded... "IN THE GALLEY!!!").   

After leaving DP, I stopped a few times to tweak the bait tank & ended up 15 miles ± southwest of the point & started trolling.  I’m clearly a novice at this.  Using a rescue sled to mount the rods (see pic) isn’t ideal for trolling because I had to constantly go back & tweak how much line was out, the drag, etc, each time requiring a full stop, pulling out the engine kill pin, drifting sideways to the lines....  Super frustrating.

I’d done a good job of routing the Yamaha visibility spout to my bait bucket, but hadn’t managed the flow rate effectively (the Shurflow livewell valve does allow modulation, but hard to get right.  It was either no flow, or water spewing out the drill holes & bucket lid).  Have to rethink this one. I killed almost all the live bait in the first half hour. 

Finally I found a solid looking kelp paddie, saw some good color darting around underneath & immediately started throwing a big fly with my 12-weight fly rod (super heavy duty fly rod...basically built for tarpon).  No takers on the fly.  I remembered… I HAVE LIVE BAIT!!!  I let one of the three still-living anchovies down on 20# mono freespooled and a good little grab & it was ON! A small yellowtail, but…. A FIRST FISH!!! MAMA’S GONNA EAT!!!  And then another, with the last remaining live anchovy.  HAHAAAAA!!!

Spent the rest of the morning paddie hopping & finally managed to hook another yellowtail on my 9-weight fly rod using an imitation baitfish fly. PSYCHED.  So, as far as “pioneering” bluewater fly fishing from the jetski, I consider it a win.  If you’ve ever hooked into a steelhead or big trout on light fly gear, there’s nothing like it.  It only took about an 8lb yellowtail to feel like I’d just nailed a trophy marlin. Plus, the Waverunner was actually a perfectly good platform for fly casting—plenty stable, easy to reorient, & aside from the rods sticking up behind me, nothing to get tangled on. 

I’m definitely still chasing my first tuna from the ski, but Saturday was a good start.

See pics attached. My Gopro attempt was a Fail on account of a faulty battery—hopefully will have video to show next time!

Lessons learned:
1. Evidently you can't put anchovies and mackerel together in a small bait tank bc the macks will knock out and kill all the chovies. (A beginner-to-beginner FYI).

2. The Yamaha jet-spout/roostertail bait tank hack doesn't really work to keep live bait alive.  Even with the Shurflo flow regulator valve dialed down, it blasts too much water when you're moving, and stops altogether when you're stopped.  I think it would only be a good choice for someone who's into slow trolling all the time, otherwise work out an alternative livewell pump system.  I’m going to figure out another option. 

3. Having a canoe paddle is helpful.  Waiting in line at the bait barge & adjusting your drift near kelp paddies etc... It's helpful if you want to avoid turning on your engine.

4.  A pair of ski googles (or, in my case, a full on face shield) is super helpful, especially in rough water where your face gets blasted with salt spray off the bow every time you hit a chop.

5. Also, I was cruising around Lake Tahoe this summer & got pulled over by the Coast Guard! In Lake Tahoe! Word to the wise— always keep a copy of your current registration on board your ski—laminate it if you can & keep dry.  They'll ticket you given the opportunity. 

Cheers,
Daniel

CHRIS

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Re: Success on the fly! + Lessons learned.
« Reply #1 on: September 21, 2015, 05:27:42 PM »
Great job, congrats !
Sounds like you're hooked

Offline Opah147

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Re: Success on the fly! + Lessons learned.
« Reply #2 on: September 21, 2015, 10:58:49 PM »
Awesome report and nice pics! I can't believe you nailed that yellow like a "chromie" (steelhead)...freaking amazing, Daniel! Is it common for "bluewater" fly fisherman to catch tuna? Man-o-man....I can't imagine trying to land a 30/40 lb + tuna (or any fish) with a fly rod. By the way, I enjoyed your "lessons learned" summary.

Well done & thanks for taking us along :) Ben

CHRIS

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Re: Success on the fly! + Lessons learned.
« Reply #3 on: September 22, 2015, 05:36:56 AM »
Just out of curiosity...where did you get that face shied?

Offline Opah147

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Re: Success on the fly! + Lessons learned.
« Reply #4 on: September 22, 2015, 09:00:39 AM »
Hey Chris. Hope you got out last week end. The fish report's off the hook off Dana now...well, everywhere.

Daniel, your face shield looks very functional. I wear goggles and a fabric face cover...it prevent me from taking drinks during rough seas but I get "waterboarded" as my face cover gets soaked...hard to breathe :(

Offline Senator

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Re: Success on the fly! + Lessons learned.
« Reply #5 on: September 22, 2015, 02:09:21 PM »
Hahaa! Thanks! Glad you enjoyed.

Chris— yeah just google "Uvex face shield" and you'll find several options.  I think they also have dark lenses for them.  The only thing I'd tweak is add some of the Rain-X marine water repellent, http://rainx.ro/product_pages/marine_tables/marine_glass_treat.html & it would be perfect.

Ben, so fly fishing for tuna is done, but not too commonly—fly fishing for sailfish & marlin is a lot more popular! Search Instagram for #tunaonfly & you'll see some photos. You need really big fly gear, and it's not really a possibility in the party boat setting with a bunch of people everywhere. But I'll keep trying!

CHRIS

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Re: Success on the fly! + Lessons learned.
« Reply #6 on: September 22, 2015, 04:13:57 PM »
Thanks,

CHRIS

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Re: Success on the fly! + Lessons learned.
« Reply #7 on: September 22, 2015, 04:33:10 PM »
Opah, where do you usually get your catch reports from ? I am on FD and BD but don't see the same reports that you do, i guess. But then again, i'm a newbie and have lot of things to learn !

Offline Opah147

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Re: Success on the fly! + Lessons learned.
« Reply #8 on: September 22, 2015, 05:17:55 PM »
All the necessary links are on our main page; fish count, (NOAA) forecast , & fishtrack (for water temp trends). I routinely check each link to plan my trips. Hope this helps  ;) Ben

Offline Shmoopdawg

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Re: Success on the fly! + Lessons learned.
« Reply #9 on: September 28, 2015, 12:13:43 AM »
Great write-up and pics, Daniel. I really enjoyed reading it. Nice touch with the 'breadcrumb' trail map. Thanks for sharing that. Ben and I used to fly fish (or fly-bob rather) in Oregon and I never imagined doing it with heavier gear and on the ocean. You'll have to get some video of yourself in action.  I'm sure I'm not the only one here that would love to see it.
Doug