Fish Sniffer On Demand Digital Edition 3812 May 24- June 7 2019 - Page 29

SALTWATER VOL.38 • ISS. 12 May 24 - June 7, 2019 27 Farallon Island Rockcod & Lingcod Inaugural Trip Aboard the Pacific Dream O f all the places I get invited to fish, one of my personal favorite fisheries is the Farallon Islands. There’s just something alluring to me about being miles off shore fishing the depths of the ocean in the shadows of a few big rocks. When asked if I was interested in fishing the islands aboard Captain Chris Smith’s new boat, the Pacific Dream, for its first trip, I was all in! The morning of the trip began like most fishing mornings, up at 2AM, pounded a quick cup of coffee, and slipped out the door. I arrived at the K-Dock in Berkeley Marina at 4 AM and headed to the boat to claim my spot. As I stepped aboard the by Pacific Dream for the first time, I was immediately struck by the Wes Ward size of the boat. This thing is BIG! There is a TON of room on deck, around the rail, and on the bow, even with a full load of anglers and gear. After a quick stop for bait on the way out of the Golden Gate, we set a course for the Islands. Condi- tions were a little rough as we plowed into swift currents and big waves, but the boat handled it very well. Within two hours, we arrived at the first drift. It didn’t take long for rods to start bending as anglers hooked into a mixed bag of rockfish. My first drop yielded a feisty ling that was just short of the 22” minimum, so back it went. Within a half hour or so, I had 5 healthy rockfish in the bag. We bounced around for a bit looking for the next drift. As we moved from waypoint to waypoint in a small area, Captain Smith was walking me A pair of nice lings caught on swimbaits at the Farallon Islands. Photo by WES WARD, Fish Sniffer Staff. thru what he was looking for on the sonar. There was a solid cloud of suspended fish on the finder screen, but he was looking for a specific spread of marks that indicated feeding fish. The water temps were in the low 50’s, so the fish were a little lethargic. It didn’t take more than a couple of circles to setup a long drift over active schools. The few minutes of searching for the perfect drift paid off. For the next hour, the deck was a constant barrage of rockcod and lings coming over the rail. I finished out my limit of rockcod quickly and turned my focus to big lingcod. Unfortunately, I was not able to get a big one to bite the variety of swimbaits, bars, and heavy jigs I was dragging on the bottom. However, there were several nice sized lingcod wrangled to the surface by others on trap rigs and jigs. By early afternoon, everyone caught limits of rockcod and a healthy pile of lings sloshed about in the fish box. Several lings were in contention for the big fish Jackpot. The winner was a beautiful 13# lingcod that was caught on a small rock fish on Tony won the Jackpot with a solid 12 pound ling caught on a NOW RATED a trap rig. Mackerel mackerel. FOR UP TO Photo by WES WARD, Fish Sniffer Staff. baited trap rigs also 90 HP caught several of the big lings for the day. As the winds picked up, we pulled lines and headed west towards solid ground. The crew cleaned the bounty as the boat pushed effortlessly (shown with optional equipment) thru the slow swells. were greeted by All New for 2019, this package includes fiberglass We a number of wales side console with lockable storage, fiberglass helm as we rounded Point bench seat, dual swim platforms, bow cushion, bow Bonita. Captain Chris rail, Mercury 60 hp 4 stroke,galvanized trailer with Smith was elated at the epic first trip as swing tongue and much more. he eased the big boat Now Only back into its slip in Berkley Marina. $24,862 If you are interested (Including Freight & Prep) in booking a trip 1926 – 2019 3720 with Captain Chris Your Bay Area Dealer ROCKLIN AUBURN Smith and crew, For 93 Years visit their website at 333 Kennedy Street (916) (530) www.happyhooker- Oakland, CA 94606 to 6455 PACIFIC ST. 11844 ATWOOD RD book online, or call (510) 533–9290 All Prices INCLUDE freight & prep, plus tax & license only. 510.223.5388. FISH SNIFFER COUNTRY Celebrating 61 years of “The Unsinkable Legend”!! 2019 Models HAVE ARRIVED! Boston Whaler 160 Super Sport Best Selection — Best Service — Best Prices (800) 726–2848 3812 773-7333 888-7825