Fish Sniffer Digital Edition Issue 3626 Dec 8- 22 2017 - Page 27

SALTWATER VOL.36 • ISS. 26 “ Dec. 8 - 22, 2017 27 30+ Pound Lingcod, Colorful Rockfish And Full Limits Of Commercial Grade Crabs: Just Another Day In The Office Aboard The Happy Hooker! L pulled a 30 plus pound California ling out of the depths near the Farallon Islands. Lings of this size are exceedingly rare. To illustrate this point, I’ve spent thousands of hours over the past 30 plus years targeting Golden State lingcod. I’ve nailed a lot of fish over 20, but only one that topped 30… Congratulations Gabe! But the monster fish show wasn’t over just yet. A while later I noticed that a lady angler named Cori was hooked up a couple spots up the rail from where Gabe had landed his big fish. Cori was using a fairly light rod and it was super bent. As a result I had no idea how big the fish she was Harrison Liu, deck hand Ryan Ash and a couple other anglers show off a few of the crabs that they trading punches with might rounded up on November 17 while fishing aboard Berkeley’s Happy Hooker during Cal Kellogg’s last be, but the fact that she was School Of Fishing Event for 2017. having a tough time gaining Photo courtesy of JONATHAN SMITH, Happy Hooker Sportfishing. any line with the reel was an indication that she too might be into a fish of epic proportions. lings to 30 plus pounds on day one and 32 couldn’t lay off 14 ounce Ahi jigs. Glancing around, I noted that both lings to about 17 pounds on day two. And And then there were the crabs, those deckhands were busy. Awesome, I love of course, there were rockfish. I saw lots of disgusting, aggressive, scavengers that gaffing fish! olives and blues, plus a colorful parade of taste O-So-Wonderful! We rounded up I grabbed a gaff and chatted with hardheads including vermilions, coppers and full limits of huge commercial grade crabs Cori as she cranked away. When I saw one big spiny widow that looked to weight both days. In fact, I’ve eaten little else the mouth of a huge lingcod materialize upwards of 5 pounds. for the past two days. Crab and French about 15 feet down in the water I What was the most effective presentation bread, crab and eggs and crab sandwiches actually got nervous. It was clearly a over the two days? Well you could pretty have all been on the menu at “Compound trophy size fish and the last thing I much pick your poison. I witnessed big Kellogg”! wanted to do was screw up and knock it numbers of quality rockfish and a few lings I could go on for thousands of words off the hook! landed on the old reliable shrimp fly and about the fishing, fun and laughs we I went through a short mental squid strip combo. Jiggers tossing both Ahi experienced, but I can’t because Gena checklist as the fish seemed to get Assault and P-Line Diamond Bars rounded wants me to grill up another of my bigger and bigger. When the ling was up solid numbers of lingcod and some trademark crab sandwiches. Suffice to say just below the surface, Cori led him impressive rocks including that big widow I that the crew of the Happy Hooker is one toward me, causing the fish to lay out just mentioned. of the best in the business, the late fall perfectly and I drove the gaff home Of course, the best offering for lingcod bottomfish action is fantastic and when right behind the head. overall was a trap rig teamed with a frozen you toss in a limit of 10 Dungeness crabs When I lifted the mackerel and a hefty sinker. Trap rigs aren’t you just can’t go wrong. fish aboard, I knew as sexy as diamond bars, but you can round If you would like to jump aboard the it weighed over 25 up big numbers of lings on that nasty frozen Happy Hooker and top off the freezer for pounds. Later on, bait! Both Cori’s and Gabe’s big fish came the cold winter months ahead, give Chris the balance beam on mackerel, although I personally gaffed and Jonathan a call at (510) 322-0493 or proved it was just a a pair of fish in the 15 pound class that (510) 223-5388. little smaller than the lunker Gabe landed. The big fish I just described being landed only represent the tip of the proverbial iceberg in terms of the sights oastal Conservation Association Wharf Sportfishing, The Fred Hall Shows and sounds I took in of California and Bill Varney and more. while hosting a pair Each calendar is marked with a special announced this week that the 2018 CCA of crab and rockfish entry num- CAL Sport- combo trips aboard ber. Win- Fishing Tide the Happy Hooker ners will be Calendar is with Captains Chris announced now available and Jonathan Smith the third at tackle stores, on November 16 and Saturday of landings and 17. each month all Turner’s I didn’t fish on on “Let’s Outdoorsman either trip, opting Talk Hook stores. to spend my time Up”, radio This year’s shooting video and 1090am. calendar has Stop by more than just laughing with the your local great pictures, Fish Sniffer readers tackle deal- important that turned out to er and pick dates and tide spend some quality up a copy charts—it has time on the water. for a chance prizes too! In all more than to win. Sales of the calendar help support CCA of CA will be holding a monthly 60 anglers joined me the many important projects of CCA of drawing with prizes from sponsors in- Farallon Island lingcod and rockfish were plentiful aboard the over the two days of Happy Hooker on November 17. This skillful angler used an Ahi California. 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