As many of you know I do not do much bottom fishing except for tile fishing in the deep canyons during the summer months and in recent year’s winter offshore jumbo sea bass fishing. One thing I have never done in the past when sea bass fishing was back trolling although I have occasionally back trolled when deep water tile fishing to slow down our drift and allows us to use less weight to get to the bottom. Yesterday in the morning it was a little windy with a slight chop that made getting a slow drift difficult and we were catching mostly dogs so a change to back trolling had to be made and it paid off immediately. At times when there is a decent amount of wind, my boat drifts a little faster than low profile boats because the high bridge and enclosures that act as a giant wind sock and causes us to drift faster than I would prefer, especially when fishing in 200 feet plus of water.
We ended the day with some of the largest sea bass I have caught on the Hooked Up II with quite a few in the 3-5 lb. range. The wind died down later in the morning and it truly was great day weather wise as well. I am pretty sure if we had started back trolling at daybreak when we first arrived on the sea bass grounds, we would have easily limited out by noon or even earlier, however, back trolling in a 50 foot plus boat is not an easy task so I only did it when I felt it was absolutely necessary to put a catch together. One problem when back trolling on my boat is it has 4 blade 36 inch wheels and the torque from the twin diesel engines can suck line right into the wheels and running gear when you go in reverse so you have to really be careful when doing this. Once the wind laid down and the drift slowed we didn’t have to back troll. I think almost every boat out there yesterday did really well. The general conversation on the radio was how large this class of sea bass was and that is exactly what everyone on my boat said throughout the trip. It’s a shame that the best of the offshore sea bass fishing is really rolling now just at the time when the season closure is coming up in few days.
I want thank Capt Phil on the Ductwork, Howard on the Goldfish, the Melody Ann, Miss Andrea, Lobster House, etc. for all sharing information yesterday to help everyone put a great catch together. There was also a non-charter center console boat that was friend of Capt Phil’s who we talked to throughout the trip and I would love to mention him as well but I forgot the name of his boat. I apologize for forgetting the boat and captain’s name. I just cannot say enough about how nice it is when anglers work together to assist one another, especially when you run 60 miles offshore to catch sea bass. I certainly will reciprocate next summer when we are tuna fishing to help others as much as I can. This was our last trip of the 2014 season so we wish everyone a Happy New Years and a great 2015 season. We look forward to seeing you all in the spring.
PS: Diana and I are planning on taking our 4 young grandchildren ice skating later in the week at the outdoor rink in Penn’s Landing. That should be one great adventure and a really fun a way to bring in the New Years.