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Old 03-23-2009, 02:12 PM   #1
THE DARKHORSE
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Ghost Fever...

Well, it's that time of year again as we transition from sixty-five degrees and sunny everyday to seventy three degrees and sunny everyday...spring is here. The water temp is holding right around sixty, but you can just feel the change in the air. The first wave of Barricuda has showed up with what seems like a new wave of life. I'm still hopeful we'll get that last big Northwest swell, but the way most of the winter went I'm glad I have fishing to keep my mind off the swells that never came. That said, I'm thankful we had a lackluster surf season because the fishing from last fall through the colder months has been spectacular. I'm not saying you could just plop yourself in front of the condo with a dead-stick iron or simply drag around some Mackerel to no avail, but for those who pay attention to the ever changing patterns and willing to hunt, the stock of fish in La Jolla is thriving. As of late I could see beautiful bird piles outside that would of had me pedaling as fast as I could two weeks ago, but Yellowtail are available year round and I try to prioratize my trophy hunts. This is the time of year to put that fresh spectra on. Maybe spend a little more time with the weighted carolina rigs along the kelp and hunt for that elusive fish who might take you years to catch. White Seabass are the Bluefin Tuna of kayak fishing, equally annoying as they are beautiful. Fishing for them reminds me of when I was a deckhand on private boats with Bluefin jumping all around the boat and boiling on all the Anchovies I threw in the water, but wouldn't even touch 15 lb flourocarbon...smart fish. White Seabass are much smarter than most will ever know. Sure, during a squid-bite in water over a hundred feet, with live squid on the bottom and a limited amount of light in the early morning hours, your chances go up a notch. But, for those who have spent years waking up at 4:00 a.m. and trolling the kelp until they're blue in the face with nothing to show, you probably get the Bluefin analogy.


Some people tend to confuse the amount of White Seabass swimming around by the small number of them caught. We all know the stock of these fish has been on the rise since the gill nets have been pulled, but the hard work from the awesome people at Hubbs is obviously working. Being a sight fisherman, trust me, over the years I'm blown away by the increasing numbers of fish I see swimming below. White Seabass in particular are so damn smart, even with the skilled divers who have quite the advantage over the guys with spectra and patience, their numbers are without a doubt destined to explode in the years to come. Even if we didn't close one inch of precious coastline from "the only people who really care about this fishery", the fisherman themselves.


Here's a fish who let his guard down for a split second, the question is will you be there for that moment in time?



A local angler who I respect for more than his fishing skills recently mentioned the proposal of a possible plan B, maybe focusing on the legal route to save our precious fishery from the obviously corrupt, over funded bias jury we face. I know quite a few anglers who'd be willing to donate a healthy chunk to something that made us feel like we have a shot. From what I've gathered we have plenty of evidence from investors who would qualify as having a "conflict of interest". Not to take away anything from what our great representatives are doing for the kayak community now, but a battlefield has many fronts to cover. Paul you cover the front, we'll flank them from the back.


Here's a fish of a lifetime that even though they're in great numbers most will never see one attached to their hook.

Released to fight another day...probably paired up by now with an attractive male.

I'm well aware of the survival rate of these fish, even though supposedly properly handled with circle-hooks, netted and carefully taken to large fish tanks a percentage of them don't survive. Some will say "you see, even if you let them go they will die". My opinion is if you take a magnificent, brilliant fish, away from their home with the schools of fish they consider family I'm surprised any of the larger smarter fish survive the shock of relocating to a confined tank. I'm very thankful to the awesome people at Hubbs for the obvious effect they've had on the current White Seabass stock. The fish that are relocated to tanks are responsible for more fish being put back into the system than a whole school in the wild if you consider the quantum leap advantage they have by taking away the predators during the formative years the fingerlings face. I'm in no way saying you should lift a big White Seabass out of the water for a photo opportunity, especially if you haven't handled thousands of fish before. This fish was brought to the surface in a minute, hooked in the corner of the mouth, dragged with oxygen rich water for a couple of minutes, then carefully lifted for a super quick photo opportunity. This fish had a giant belly that I would of loved to show off with a lifted pose, but notice that belly is fully supported by my leg and hidden. If done properly and quickly it's possible to slide the fish up and over your leg with a tiny fraction of their weight and less stress on the fish. I've heard the crap about "oh she came to the surface belly-up, I had to take her", but so do Black Seabass even if brought to the surface in a couple of minutes from 30' of water. I think it's the instinct of playing Opossum as much as it could be fatigue. I've released countless Black Seabass without ever having to puncture the air bladder (a big no-no due to the probability of infection) and plenty of trophy White Seabass over the years. I'm confident that any white Seabass who didn't have to endure baby-drag for an extended period of time will release just fine with proper handling. Especially if caught from shallow water and dragged for a while with fresh oxygen over the gills.


Here's video of the best possible feeling derived from a fishing adventure, a feeling most will never let themselves enjoy.
http://larryl.com/images/WhiteSeabas...Spring2009.wmv
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Old 03-23-2009, 02:28 PM   #2
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You da man!

F work! Next time I leave my phone in the car.

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Old 03-23-2009, 02:33 PM   #3
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Way to push the Limits!
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Old 03-23-2009, 02:37 PM   #4
esdees
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Very cool vid. Thanks for sharing.
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Old 03-23-2009, 03:36 PM   #5
Sebastian
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Awesome video!
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Old 03-23-2009, 03:54 PM   #6
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Great Video... especially the end

Jim
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Old 03-23-2009, 04:25 PM   #7
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double!

Well done!
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Old 03-23-2009, 04:29 PM   #8
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Nice fish Josh. Just amazing to watch.

Better Quality Remix - http://larryl.com/images/WhiteSeabas...Spring2009.wmv


Well, it was like a dream to watch her swim away like that. Happy.

Obviously I got to witness this unique event, and the timing is perfect. I'm
looking forward to presenting three Kayak White Seabass Seminars at
the Fred Hall Show, Del Mar, this weekend.

Show times are this Friday at 5:30 pm, Saturday at 12:30 pm and Sunday at
12:30 pm

Lots of great speakers and information, new kayaks and gear, I encourage
everyone to come join the fun. (Waterboarding is strictly prohibited, I
actually saw nothing.)


It's time.


Larry

Last edited by blackcloud9; 03-24-2009 at 06:10 AM. Reason: Shameless plug; new video
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Old 03-23-2009, 04:53 PM   #9
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Very cool photos and video!
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Old 03-23-2009, 05:24 PM   #10
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Very cool stuff right there Sir!!!!!!!!!!

JP
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Old 03-23-2009, 05:58 PM   #11
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Thank you for filming and posting that video! Feels like I was there!
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Old 03-23-2009, 06:32 PM   #12
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Insane! Nice Release Josh! I got's to get me one of them this year. 45# is my biggest. Absolutely Fish Porn....

Moyer
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Old 03-23-2009, 06:41 PM   #13
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Blumpkin, reasoning was probably that he was helping friends catch bait,
and got bit reeling the bait in.

I seen it.


[Josh fwiw don't take the bait, act like a WSB]
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Old 03-23-2009, 06:52 PM   #14
Matt
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Well Josh, doesn't need to take the bait. The fish was released and swam off just fine. I know Josh and will hands down say he is one of the most ethical fisherman I know plain and simple. Larry was there and just testified to what happened 'nuff said.



OH YEAH NICE FISH, BETTER THAN THE DINNER I WENT TOO!!!
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Old 03-23-2009, 06:52 PM   #15
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Nice feeesh there Josh...see ya soon...
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Old 03-23-2009, 07:19 PM   #16
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So that's what i missed out on. I should of just dealt with the wind and gone for it and met you at the spot. WOW! catch and release - the fish Gods are smiling. Thanks for helping me hook up my first 50 lb WSB last Wednesday. Did you like the way i realeased it? im sure it survived to live another day. Your fishing techniques are very methodical and definetly not main stream. Which for me now makes the WSB, and in the words of Hemingway, "elusive but quite attainable"!

ps - My wife says that I need to keep the next one I catch because she loves WSB.
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Old 03-23-2009, 07:51 PM   #17
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way to go Josh... you should think about starting a guide service...i am just saying


and the video was cool
thanks blackcloud9 i could not get the first link to work
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Old 03-23-2009, 08:11 PM   #18
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Magnificent! Thanks for taking time to present such a thoughtful post with video & photos.
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Old 03-23-2009, 08:47 PM   #19
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what a day ...I hope to get to come down and play again soon...
the fish will just have to wait for the work to get done...

great story and awesome release...
two years ago...
the fish in my avatar was a result of an epic two week bite...
I had the good fortune to experience some C&R on some nice WSB..
what a great feeling...thank you for reminding me of my experience...
can't wait for the day I get to release a 40lb yellow...
'cause if I do, it'll mean the freezer's full....
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Old 03-23-2009, 08:54 PM   #20
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That's amazing work with precision of a surgeon. Awesome!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by driftwood View Post
So that's what i missed out on. I should of just dealt with the wind and gone for it and met you at the spot..
Too bad you did not meet up with Josh. That fish could have been yours. Come to think of it, Josh's last 2 WSB could have been yours.Stop putting off your trophy hunt and get out there!!!
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