Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Leffingwell Landing Kayak Trip 08 Dec 2012

My limit of Lingcod

   The past few months have been pretty hectic, between my responsibilities at work and home combined with the weather I have not been able to get my kayak on the ocean as much as I would have liked. Last week the weather looked like it was going to cooperate so I made sure I had my school work done well before the weekend. Derrick, Jeff, and I were supposed to hit the beach at sunrise. Jeff ended up having more important matters to take care of and rain checked us. I must have checked the forecast 1000 times that week, praying the conditions would be favorable. Thankfully everything worked out. I woke up prior to my alarm on Friday morning and got up to meet Derrick at the Harris Ranch, and before we knew it we were at the Leffingwell launch ramp by 0630.

This picture didn't turn out right, but it shows the surf well
   Driving down 41, I made a short list of the things I forgot: fishing crate, GPS, stringer, rod leashes and trash bags. The only thing Derrick forgot was his seat, which made for an interesting outing. When we got to the beach it was still about an hour before dawn, the tide was high with 4 foot waves crashing on the beach. Derrick had his new Hobie and is not fully set up yet so he put his rods and gaff in my hull for the launch. I have to admit the Hobie Revo 13 looks pretty sweet, and I experienced a bit of jealousy to be honest. The lack of storage seems to be the only problem I can see with it. Once the sun came up it was time to launch, my first attempt a wave pushed my nose down and filled my leg wells with water. I paddled hard but it was not enough, before I knew it I was pushed sideways and in the water. I realized the "self draining" scupper plugs were failing me, I pulled the two form the leg wells and tried again. This time I sank to the bottom and another wave washed me back on shore. I pulled the plugs from below my seat, I looked inside and saw more water than I would have liked to see. I drained it quickly and made another attempt, this time I was successful. Problem was since I forgot my crate I brought along a 5 gal Home Depot bucket for storage. It came ajar during the launch attempts and was hanging out catching water, pulling me hard back and to the right. I was heading right towards some rocks and rough breaking water before Derrick came up got the bucket out of the water. Thank God the rest of the day was much less eventful.
My first fish of the day was a 25 inch Lingcod, he hit my squid in about 70 feet of water. Today was a bad day for artificials for me. Most the bites came on frozen squid, I got a few on a Stankx Tube and one on a Swim Bait.
Derrick's impersonation of the CCKF logo. Here he was hooked up with his first fish of the day, a keeper Ling.
For those of you that think kayak fishing is all extreme, getting tossed around and paddling for miles; here is what it normally looks like.
Derrick was a little upset the only ling picture I took of him was of a short Ling. I say if he wasn't off Hobie'n around I would be close enough to take a decent shot.
The Gopher fish were numerous, I ended up taking home 6. They were delicious crusted in Panko and pan fried. Watch out for these guys though, I stabbed myself in the pinkey moving one to put another on the stringer. An hour and a half later my arm cramped up and spasmed on me.
Derrick caught this nice Vermilion on a swimbait. I was pretty jealous, having never caught a red myself.
But catching this Canary made up for not catching a red. It was a beautiful fish, I wish a picture could do it justice. I kept it under the water while setting up the camera and let him go right after the picture. I was relieved he swam straight back to the bottom. He made it up to the surface from 97 feet down and back, that is pretty cool.
I caught a few more short lings and this barely legal one, but I was waiting for a larger one to fill my limit. We decided to move and fish the shallower water for a bit before heading back in. I had to tie another rig as Derrick peddled in. I got rigged and started heading towards Derrick when he called me on the radio, the swells were getting higher and he thought it would be a good time to head in. I agreed, when I looked down at my fish finder I saw a rock with what looked like a fish above it. I dropped down and got a bite as soon as it hit the bottom. I pulled up a 26 inch ling and made my limit.  
We secured all of our gear and made the landing easy. I used my Lucid Fish Grips on all the Lings and got through a trip with only one stab and one cut (from fishing line). What a great day,  I got to fish and was going to be home in time to cook fresh gopher fish for dinner. Most of the time I get home so late by the time I clean the fish it is time for a shower and bed.
I learned a few lessons:
-Radios are handy
-Buckets are bad
-Seats are good
-The trip is as good as the company

I got to thank Derrick for being a great fishing buddy, a good fishing buddy means not dying on the water. We didn't see any sharks but an Elephant Seal hauling through the water got our hearts pumping for a minute. I don't think I will be able to make another trip out, it is going to feel like a long time until the season opens again.

And one more time if you didn't understand me the first time; leave your bucket on the shore.

Thanks for reading,


  1. Cool report. Try puncturing that gopher's eyeball and smearing the goo where you got stabbed by its quill.

    1. Is that supposed to work? I think I rmember Catfish slime cures the pain from a Catfish sting. Not sure if I want to be rubbing Gopher eye goo in a fresh wound... :I

      Thanks for reading and commenting.

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