Thursday, April 25, 2013

Salt Water Bass Grand Slam

Spotted Bay Bass
With a full moon this week, the tides are excellent in the morning and again towards twilight so Chul and I decided to take his pram out for some salt water action.  We arrive at about 4 pm and headed toward the mouth.  The optimal tides, at least on paper, started around 5pm to about 7pm.  We fished for the first hour without so much a s a bump but when the tides started to move we fish began to bite.  Chul was the first to get a fish, a calico.  His first ever.  When he was about to take a picture of it with his iphone his girlfriend called and made a cardinal mistake and answered it.  The ultimate jinx and he paid for it for the rest of the day. 
Sand Bass
It took me awhile after about an hour and a half to finally get my first fish .  The first was an ultra dink calico.  I have caught San Gabriel trout bigger than that calico.  At about 6 the tides started to really move and the fish became more active.  For the next hour and a half I managed several salt water bass of every species completing the salt water bass slam- calico, spotted bay, and sand bass.  None of our fish were all that impressive with most in the pound range give or take.  Chul on the other hand paid for jinxing himself for answering the phone and didn't manage another fish until the very end and that fish was more of a fluke than anything else.  Not only was the calico an ultra dink but he took it because he left his line in the water while he was trying to clear my line out of the trolling motor propeller.  I wonder if this place will ever return to it's old glory with 100 fish days.  I've told Chul about those days and the lack of serious fish is starting make me look like I'm full of shit.
My second Calico (Kelp) Bass of the day.  Slam is complete.
Punishment for answering the phone on the boat.  When its time to fish the girlfriend can wait.
Earlier in the day I walked the dog at Irvine Regional Park.  Lately I've been walking the dog here because after we are done I throw a few casts at the ponds looking for a largemouth to bite.  It looks like the bass are in post spawn and no longer guarding beds.  It fact they are cruising throughout the ponds.  None are willing to bite in fact they spook anytime the fly comes near.  I managed to have one take on Saturday but I was too slow to set the hook.  One thing I really like about IRP is the statue of James Irvine II.  The city is named after him.  What is now a regional park was at one time his personal hunting grounds.  This statue depicts him hunting with a side by side and two setters. Its a proper monument to the man.
A proper monument to a man.
Afterwards I had lunch with the folks and they took me to Tan Cang Newport Seafood.  Its been at least a decade since we've eaten here and since then they have changed ownership.  We used to have to park a few blocks away and wait in line to get a table so we were worried that when we arrived the restaurant was only 20% full.  We hoped the food hadn't gone downhill.  Our worries proved unwarranted though.  The food was excellent.  They must have kept the same chef.  The lobster as I remembered it was perfectly cooked and excellent.  The chef showcases the lobster and enhances the natural sweet buttery taste of the crustacean.  We also had squab and fish stomach soup which were also excellent and a couple other dishes that weren't that impressive.  It was great fuel for the afternoon fishing.
Lobster done right.
Roast Squab
Fish stomach soup.

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