Well, I was able to get out on the Officina II on Saturday.
Both boats were chartered from Tuesday thru Friday and Chino and Martin had mixed results. These groups had fun in-shore fishing for giant Pargo (Snapper) on Tuesday and Friday. They managed to boat 6 fish on Tuesday (out of a total of 20 or so strikes). Of the 15 strikes on Friday, they came up empty handed. These fish are strong and tremendous fighters when they strike close to their rocky hangouts. The Pargo strike and head for the rocks (water is only about 8 -10 feet deep). If you do get them hooked, they try to break you off by making it to the rock. If they get to the rocks, you’re done! You really have to fight hard to keep them out of the rocks until you can wrestle them out to the sandy bottom.
Based upon their success and the large number of strikes, we decided to give it a try.
Bait was a real problem all week. We had success catching about 15 bait but it was deep and early. Of the bait we caught, only four (4) were Green Mackerel. The Pargo and Cabrilla really love this type of bait. The size is smaller and they seem to be more willing to attach this bait. The other bait was a larger mackerel and the Pargo, Yellowtail and Cabrilla were hesitant to hit the larger bait.
With bait in the well, we headed to the rocky shores north of San Bruno. We were hit hard on the very first pass and got a good size Pargo to the boat. As we attempted to get it in the boat, it spit the hook and we were left with a memory but no fish. On the second pass, we were hit hard by a decent size Cabrilla (Sea Bass) and got him in the boat. On the third pass, we got a decent Pargo and were successful this time in boating it. We made passes for an hour or more, and were struck hard but they either spit the hook or made it to the rocks.
We decided to leave it alone for a while and went out to a reef North of San Bruno for Yellowtail. On Yellowtail, the local “pangeroes” fishing with sardines were having decent success catching small Yellowtail. We did catch one 20+ pound Yellowtail. This was about the minimum size based upon the size of our bait. You could feel the smaller Yellowtail teasing the bait and “thinking about it” but in the end they couldn’t figure out how to swallow the bigger bait.
After an hour or two, we decided that the Pargo and Cabrilla had probably had enough time to settle down and get real hungry so back in-shore we went. We caught a 2nd Pargo and Cabrilla quickly. After this, we had great success getting them to come up and strike at the bait but couldn’t get them to stick all the way. Both these fish strike hard and fast. There is no doubt when they hit. This type of in-shore fishing is tough as you have the drag set on full and need to be quick to set the hook and fight them off the rocks. On this return trip, we got a lot of action but not much to show for it after the initial success.
All in all, it was a successful day. The in-shore fishing is a different experience and one I suggest everyone try. I had a great time.