ITS OWN FISH TO FLY PACIFIC CLIPPER FINDS LOCAL SPOTS TO OCEAN FLY-FISH.Byline: Bill Becher Special to the Daily News
Read a fly-fishing magazine and you'd think you need a passport and have to travel to an exotic tropical lagoon to catch saltwater fish on a fly.
Southern California fly anglers know that's not true.
Barracuda barracuda, slender, elongated fish of tropical seas. Barracudas have long snouts and projecting lower jaws armed with large, sharp-edged teeth. They are ferocious, striking at anything that gleams, and are considered excellent game fishes. , sand bass, calico bass, halibut halibut: see flatfish.
Any of various flatfishes, especially the Atlantic and Pacific halibuts (genus Hippoglossus, family Pleuronectidae), both of which have eyes and colour on the right side. , yellow fin croaker croaker, member of the abundant and varied family Sciaenidae, carnivorous, spiny-finned fishes including the weakfishes, the drums, and the whitings. The croaker has a compressed, elongated body similar to that of the bass. , blue perch, bonito bonito: see mackerel.
Swift, predaceous schooling fishes (genus Sarda) of the mackerel family (Scombridae). Bonitos, found worldwide, have a striped back and silvery belly and grow to about 30 in. (75 cm) long. and mackerel mackerel, common name for members of the family Scombridae, 60 species of open-sea fishes, including the albacore, bonito, and tuna. They are characterized by deeply forked tails that narrow greatly where they join the body; small finlets behind both the dorsal and - even yellowtail and white sea bass - have been caught by fly-rodders in local waters on the Pacific Clipper, a ``six-pack'' charter boat that operates out of Channel Islands Harbor in Oxnard.
Bruce Dexter, captain of the Pacific Clipper, has been refining his technique for getting local fly fishers hooked up for more than 10 years.
On this day he decided to skip the run to the Channel Islands and take a group of six anglers organized by the Pasadena Casting Club along the coast near Malibu.
At ``secret spot number two,'' Dexter maneuvers the 65-foot Pacific Clipper next to an underwater rock that supplies cover for calico bass. It's tricky to get the boat set exactly so anglers are in the right spot considering wind and current, but after a few small moves we're on the honey hole.
The six fly fishers form a conga line. One casts from the starboard corner of the stern, then moves to the port side as the sinking line drops to where the fish are. Then he strips in the line.
Then the next angler casts, following the first. By the time you reach the port side you've either stripped in all the line or hooked a fish.
Stripping baskets strapped around the waist provide a place for the line to go without tangles. Usually.
The anglers are using sink tip or shooting head lines on heavier rods than are used for trout. The lines themselves are weighted and carry the flies down, though not as far as gear fishers can get, so the fly fishers target fish that inhabit the first 30 or 40 feet in the water column.
If you hook a fish, you try to maneuver it to the side of the boat until it can be landed. Many are released, as per fly angling ethics.
The fishless anglers mutter, move to the starboard side and cast again, and the rotation continues.
There are more yells of ``Fish on!'' than muttering - fishing is excellent.
Several large calicos are caught and released. Some mid-sized fish are kept for dinner.
Deckhand Teddy Spear, who's been crewing for Dexter for five years, says he likes to keep calicos from about 14 to 18 inches long. Larger calicos are let go to make more fish and the smaller calicos free to grow bigger.
The anglers also hook Johnny bass, sand bass, and even an undersize lingcod lingcod
Commercially popular fish species (Ophiodon elongatus) that is strictly marine, found along the Pacific coast of North America. It is a voracious predator with a large mouth and caninelike teeth. which goes back in the water. Dexter checks out several spots near the kelp beds that hold fish.
The calico bass don't seem too picky pick·y
adj. pick·i·er, pick·i·est Informal
Excessively meticulous; fussy.
[pickier, pickiest] Brit, Austral & NZ about our flies on this day - Deceiver and Clouser style flies all work.
Actually, fly is a misnomer misnomer n. the wrong name.
MISNOMER. The act of using a wrong name.
2. Misnomers, may be considered with regard to contracts, to devises and bequests, and to suits or actions.
3.-1. ; the artificial baits are tied to resemble anchovies anchovies
a cause of diarrhea, vomiting, salivation, lacrimation, depression, miosis, polypnea, tachycardia, hypothermia in cats. or sardines. The Clouser style have weighted dumbbell Dumbbell
An investment strategy, used mainly for bonds, where holdings are heavily concentrated in both very short and long term maturities.
This is also known as a barbell, charting on a timeline gives the appearance of a barbell or dumbbell. eyes that help them sink and then jerk in a wounded baitfish bait·fish
n. Chiefly Chesapeake Bay & North Atlantic Coast
A small fish, such as a minnow, used for fishing bait. motion when retrieved. The Deceivers are unweighted and somewhat easier to cast.
The retrieve is a strip - a short tug of the line repeated several times, then paused. The idea is to make the fly act like a baitfish. Often the bass strike on the pause.
Spear throws out some chum to help get the fish in a feeding mood. The anglers are in a feeding mood, too - we've brought goodies on which to snack and plenty of drinks in the cooler.
Mike Forrest of the Pasadena Casting Club said, ``I come for the relaxation. It used to bug me if I didn't catch fish. When you get older, you learn catching fish is bonus.''
It's a good challenge fly fishing for yellowtail, white sea bass and big barracuda,'' Forrest said. ``Its quite an accomplishment to bring these fish to the boat on a fly rod.''
Forrest feels fly-fishing in the ocean is tougher than in freshwater, as the ocean fish can be leery of artificial bait. He praises Dexter's skill as a captain, saying he works hard to get anglers into fish.
On the ride home, the fly anglers enjoy a view of the coastline as Spear fillets the bass we've kept.
Who needs tropical lagoons?
When fly-rodding on the Pacific Clipper, come prepared with:
--Rod: 8- to 10-weight
--Reel: A matching disc-drag outfit capable of holding at least 200 yards of 20-pound Dacron or 50-pound multifilament backing.
--Fly line: Sinking shooting head or sink tip 300 to 400 grains to match the rod.
--Leader: 6 to 9 feet of 15- to 20-pound test.
--Stripping basket: A commercial product that straps around the waist to keep the flyline off the deck, or just make one with a plastic dishpan dish·pan
A flat-bottomed basin for washing dishes.
Noun 1. dishpan - large pan for washing dishes
pan - shallow container made of metal or small shopping basket and a belt.
--Flies: Clouser minnow minnow, common name for the Cyprinidae, a large family of freshwater fish which includes the carp (Cyprinus carpio), and of which there are some 300 American species. The European minnow is Phoxinus phoxinus. with heavy lead eyes, calico bugger, squid pattern or other weighted baitfish imitations in hook size Nos. 1 to 3/0. Blue (for anchovies) and green (for sardines) are the predominant colors, with some flash added to mimic the fish's shiny scales.
--Trips: Call Mike Forrest of the Pasadena Casting Club at (818) 843-7907 or John Stevenson of the Sierra Pacific Fly Fishers at (818) 998-1542 for information about club trips. To set up your own charter on the Pacific Clipper, call Channel Islands Sportfishing sport·fish·ing
The sport of catching fish using a rod and reel.
Noun 1. sportfishing - the act of someone who fishes as a diversion
field sport, outdoor sport - a sport that is played outdoors at (805) 382-1612.
2 photos, box
(1 -- 2) Saltwater fly anglers John Stevenson, right, Mike Forrest, middle, and Jim Wilt enjoy a day of fishing on the Pacific Clipper oof the coast of Malibu.
Bill Becher/Special to the Daily News
TACKLE BOX (see text)