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CHASING THE BIG ONES OUT OF HALF MOON BAY

By: Ron Wilson

August 25, 2015.... Spent the weekend with Captain Mark Seaters on his 18 foot Lund trout boat at Half Moon Bay. Saturday we started at the green can and worked our way to the red one where we put a quick two fish in the boat One on a watermelon Apex and the other on bait. We trolled around the area until darn near dark without another strike.

Sunday we started in the same area and Mark hooked up immediately with one in the 20 pound class. I got the net ready just in time to see this beautiful fish jump a good 4 feet in the area shaking its head and throwing the hook! We set back up and no hits the next 30 minutes. Mark reeled in his pole to find that he had no hook on his new Apex. It must of been a factory de3fect where the hook was not put on properly!

Mark put on a new lure and proceeded to put on a new hook! Once finished I picked up the lure and put it on the pole I was using. After another hour with no action Mark said lets go put some white meat in the boat.

Mark went south a couple three miles to an underwater hump and the rock fish were there. We quickly put in a limit. On the last fish I noticed mackerel on top and threw a jig at them and hooked up a double. Mark grabbed one and dropped it down on a live bait rig and quickly put in a keeper ling cod Dropped it down and number two was in the boat.

We reset and Mark lost a toad that was hanging onto the almost 2 pound mackerel he was using. Catch me another mackerel Ron! I quickly put in a half dozen squirming fish in his livewell bucket and we were off and running.

Fish on fish off lost a lot of hitch hikers and netted a couple. From as long as one fish peeled line back to the bottom, back up half way spitting the bait then grabbing it again and heading for the bottom again before finally deciding he did not want the bait anymore making me guess it to be one in the 20 pound class. It was sure fun for a change of pace from the drudgery of trolling and not getting a bite. We quit with 5 ling cod and headed back to troll for pink meat again.

The sun was out and Mark put up the top and I kicked back for a quick nap. Somewhere in dream land I suddenly opened my eyes to see a strike on my rod. Maybe it was Mark moving but I could see there was a fish on before he got to the rod. No monster but an 8 pounder was better than nothing.

I was now wide awake and reset the rod with Marks wide watermelon Apex. About 15 minutes later the rod goes off again and I am on it. Real good fish Mark I said, all he is doing is just giving me that old familiar head shake. Round and round we went, up to the boat and then a wild run when he saw the het. Fought him back and he headed deep burning drag, Worked him back up and he was thrashing on top by the motor trying to throw the hook when Mark put him in the net. Wow that fish has to go 20 pounds I said!

15 minutes later it was fish on again on the same pole. Another good head shaker. The fish charged the boat on top but I kept steady pressure on it and when it got to the back of the boat Mark turned the fish by hitting it on the head. The fish burned line for 20 yards before going skyward, man what a thrill. I kidded Mark about that being an old albacore fishing trick and he chuckled. We boated the fish and while nice it was 12 or 13 pounds with no shoulders like the first fish I caught.

We trolled for a couple more hours before Mark decided to pull the plug. I figured it would be dark thirty before Mark gave up but I am pleasantly surprised as I hate driving at night anymore.

It was a great FAC day, no chop nice slow swells and hardly any breeze. Thanks Mark for a great exciting catching weekend.

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