On a day when the bite was slow and the ocean was rough
By Gary Lewis
I don’t go anywhere without planning a fishing or hunting trip. So when it was time to visit daughter Number Two who makes her home on the northern California coast, I once again pulled out that excellent resource Northern California River Maps & Fishing Guide.
Daughter Jennifer lives in Fort Bragg, California, and works at the Point Cabrillo Lighthouse. Fort Bragg sits on a point of land with several trickles of water that sometimes have steelhead in them, but not in May or June. And the nearest trout fishing, as far as I can figure out is a white-knuckled two-hour drive.
Fort Bragg, is however, blessed with several charter boats. I booked a trip for the two of us and we set out upon the ocean with a bunch of other like-minded anglers. Classic California puker. Some of the anglers brought their own rods. They had their favorite places staked out even before the diesel engines were belching blue smoke.
The day broke windy, with showers forecast throughout the morning. Whitecaps were already showing about beyond the breakers.
It wasn’t long before we had a wounded soldier on the rail. Four teenage boys were among the first casualties, sharing their breakfasts with the mermaids.
I have never been seasick, but I confess, this was the closest I have ever gotten. There was something about the frequency of the waves that went to work on me. I steeled myself against it.
After a long run we stopped at our first spot. By this time we could count about a third of our anglers who had bent over the rails. Some had collected themselves and some would not even fish, heads slumped over, spittle on their chins.
Jennifer and I bellied up to the rail and put our baits over. We spread our feet to keep balance on the heaving deck.
Over the side went our feathered and plastic jigs on leadhead hooks. I had four flavors of Pro-Cure super gel but one of them – Fish Oil Krill – was the clear winner.
It was a hard day on the water. The bite was slow. No fault of the captain or the hard-working deckhands. It was just plain hard to catch fish. Except for me and Jennifer. We managed to catch a respectable bag of fish and out of some 20 anglers, we had the most.
Every time we brought in a bait we touched it up with Fish Oil Krill. And soon some of the other anglers sidled over to find out what we were doing. I handed out my remaining bottles of Pro Cure gel and soon there were a few more happy anglers on the boat, reeling in the ingredients for fish and chips.
If you have a charter boat trip in your future, bring the Pro-Cure. And take your seasick medicine.
Gary Lewis is the host of Frontier Unlimited TV and author of Fishing Central Oregon, Fishing Mount Hood Country, Hunting Oregon and other titles. Contact Gary at www.GaryLewisOutdoors.com