Fish Sniffer On Demand Digital Edition Issue 3616 July 21- August 4 2017 - Page 28
July 21 - August 4, 2017
VOL.36 • ISS. 16
he adrenaline seemed to sizzle in my
brain. It was the kind of excitement
that only saltwater anglers can understand.
I was living the dream, helping California
Dawn deckhand Mike
Verrone work the deck
during a wide-open bite right
underneath the Golden Gate
Bridge. It doesn’t get any
better than that!
The boat’s decks were
splattered with blood,
squashed bait and destroyed
terminal tackle. Dozens of
seagulls circled, dipped and
squawked overhead and there
were probably 20 fish in the
box. The bite was getting more
intense with every passing
Boats were everywhere
dotting the rough water. By
now everyone had heard about the bite and
it seemed as if everyone had shown up from
guys in tiny two man skiffs to full blown
charter boats with their rails lined with
Captain James Smith deftly brought the
boat around, hesitated for a moment picking
his spot and then nosed the boat into the
drift just in front of a series of big rollers
that were at least 7 feet high. Our anglers
were ready. Their hooks were baited with
lively anchovies and they were awaiting the
word from the captain to drop their lines.
“Hang on folks we’re about to take a
couple big rollers,” I yelled. A beat later the
boat lurched hard to port, then recovered,
then lurched again.
The Cal Dawn’s big diesel
engines roared in reverse as
Captain Smith used them to
keep the boat in the proper lane.
“Drop them, drop them now,”
the captain’s voice crackled over
the boat’s speakers. “There are
fish all over the screen. Drop
your gear to the bottom and then
slowly reel up.”
Yells of “Fish On” and “Hook
Up” erupted all around the boat.
There were only two kinds of
anglers on the rail right then,
those that were hooked up and
those that were tangled!
Mike was up front working
with the gaff, while I worked the back of the
boat with a huge long handled net.
From a distance the water looked slate
grey and murky, but when you looked down
into it you realized that it was light emerald
green and actually pretty clear.
When you glimpse a hooked striper in
water like that they are absolutely beautiful.
Instead of looking silver bright like they
do once they hit the deck, the bass have a
subtle green hue and you can actually see
them changing colors from a more intense
electric emerald color to more subtle shades
of green and some of them even “light up”
in tones of bronze. And all of them small or
large look powerful. Saltwater, huge schools
of bait and big pulsing currents are like
steroids to the bass.
Dana Groome was hooked up with a
nice 7 pounder that had wrapped several
other lines. I scooped the fish, tossed it out
of the net onto the deck and moved on.
Dan Marinelli was hooked up in the
back corner with a fish similar to Dana’s.
This wasn’t Dan’s first rodeo and it showed.
He skillfully swam the bass into my net and
then reached up and grabbed his swinging
sinker as I lifted the bass aboard.
“Nice fish Dan,” I exclaimed, flipping the
bass out of the net and moving up the rail
to net another pair of fish.
From the amount of numbered fish
tags gone from the rack we could tell that
we were close to limits and a quick count
revealed that we did indeed have full limits
of 62 stripers in the box with many of the
fish ranging from 6 to 11 pounds. It had
Chef Marc took a break from the galley on the
California Dawn and posed for a photo with
this beautiful 11 pound S.F. Bay striper that
was landed on June 29.
Photo by CAL KELLOGG, Fish Sniffer Staff.
only taken Captain
Smith 51 minutes to
limit the entire boat!
By 9 o’clock we were
motoring away from the
Golden Gate to go hunt
for halibut on the flats.
The intense action
I just described took
place on Friday June
30 and was basically a
repeat of the action we’d
experienced aboard the
Kristen and Dave loaded up on striped bass while fishing the Cal
Kellogg School of Fishing event aboard the California Dawn on
boat the previous day
with relief skipper Bryan June 29.
Photo by CAL KELLOGG, Fish Sniffer Staff.
Chan at the wheel.
The trips were
milestone events for me. I’ve hosted too
Since both trips were Cal Kellogg
many charter boat trips to remember over
my time at the Fish Sniffer, but June 29 and School of Fishing adventures, there were
lots of prizes up for grabs including rods
30 represented the first time that I’d ever
from PENN, Fenwick, Daiwa and Shimano
actually chartered a boat and booked my
and reels from PENN and Abu Garcia.
Plus, I had a variety of products from
Originally, I was only going to charter
P-Line including fillet knives, braided line
the boat for one day, but when the first trip
filled up within 6 hours of me advertising
In closing I’d like to thank Captains
it, I quickly booked a second day to
Bryan Chan and James Smith of the
accommodate the overflow and there was
California Dawn along with Mike and Chef
still a long roster of anglers that didn’t get
Marc for two outstanding