Author Topic: Redondo Canyon (7-9-2016)  (Read 1334 times)

BenCantrell

  • Leopard
  • ***
  • Posts: 627
  • catch all the species!
    • View Profile
    • Ben Cantrell's fish species blog
Redondo Canyon (7-9-2016)
« on: July 10, 2016, 05:11:25 PM »
The big day finally arrived!  Ruoxi and I drove up to the Redondo Beach area Friday night so we wouldn't have to get up so early on Saturday.  We made the mistake of eating an absurd amound of Korean BBQ for dinner, so we tossed and turned all night regretting how much we had eaten.  Alarm went off at 4:55 am, we grabbed ice and drinks, and we met Eli and the owner of the boat at 5:45 am in King Harbor.

We were well stocked with bait - boxes of frozen squid, a scoop of live sardines, a four gallon bucket of shark chum, and a big tub of pig's blood.  In hindsight all we really needed was the squid, but we erred on the side of being over prepared.  We hoped to use the last two items to attract pelagic sharks, but we only chummed a couple times, and I don't think we ever created a long enough slick to bring anything to us.

Before we headed out to the canyon we spent a little time dropping sabikis down to the bottom near the harbor entrance.  Every species I caught ended up being new for my lifelist, which is pretty darn cool.  My first catch was a Pacific jack mackerel.



Eli had found some information about a spot that divers frequently visit to see sarcastic fringeheads.  We each reeled one up at the same time!



I don't think I've ever seen a small fish with so much attitude.  He would sit upright with a look on his face that said, "I dare you to come closer!".



If I moved the camera too close to his face, he got angry!



Next we got into some lizardfish when we drifted over a sandy area.



Despite having sharp teeth, they have really weak mouths.  Pretty pathetic if you ask me, haha.



My fourth fish was a Pacific sanddab.  The new lifers just kept coming!



In the past I've used the cheapest sabikis I could buy in bulk online, usually a $1 apiece, but this time I picked out one a little higher quality.  I think the brand was Ahi.  It worked out really well, and the hooks were a good size for most of the fish we caught.



A little outside the harbor we got into some juvenile rockfish.  I got a calico, and Eli caught some other ones, but I forgot what species they were.



Each species had different patterns.  This was my first time seeing rockfish in person, and I really enjoyed them.



Finally we motored out to deeper water.  We started in around 300 feet.  Eli caught a few rockfish, and both of us caught plenty of sanddabs.



My deepest fish of the day ended up being a tiny sanddab from 480 feet of water.  My hook size and bait were intended for bigger fish, but that didn't stop him from fitting both inside his mouth somehow.



We did drops in 700, 900, 1000, and 1100 feet of water, but I didn't get any fish, and I think all Eli got were a couple of sanddabs.  I had upgraded to larger hooks, and I felt a few nibbles, but no hookups.  Probably more sanddabs.  We were using 2 lb cannonball sinkers, and we could feel them getting stuck in the mud on the bottom.  It took some serious effort to get them unstuck when they dug in.  We didn't feel rocks on the bottom, and I think that's why we didn't find any fish other than sanddabs.  It was disappointing, but we still had a great time and learned a lot for future trips.

In the afternoon we decided to quit trying in the super deep water and move in where we could see structure on the fish finder.  In 250 feet of water I hooked up with something that could actually make the rod tip bounce a little bit.  It turned out to be my second ever shark, a spiny dogfish!



I was using an 8/0 circle hook, and even he was a little too small for it.  I released him with a pretty big piercing on his chin.



The sanddabs managed to find us no matter where we went.  At one point I filled up my 4 hook homemade rig, and I turned to show Eli...



... and I looked over and saw that he had 6 of them on his 6 hook sabiki.



I switched back to the large hooks hoping to avoid the sanddabs, but they still managed to hook themselves.  One of them felt awfully light coming up.  I'm guessing a spiny dogfish around the same size as the one I caught earlier got a free snack.



We were surprised when a mola mola showed up and hung around the boat for about a half hour.  It stayed pretty close, and when we leaned over the edge of the baoat to look at it, it would turn its body so it could look back up at us.  It was the highlight of the day!



I dunked my camera under water to get some shots as well.  Most of them didn't turn out, which I expected, but a few turned out really well!



We finally had to head back to the harbor around 3:00 pm to refuel and wash the boat before returning it to it's owner.



With our remaining minutes, we dropped sabikis back down at the harbor entrance to see if I could add a couple rockfish species to my list.  It paid off, because I caught a gopher rockfish.



And then a bocaccio (or salmon grouper as the locals call them).



It was time to head back, so that was the end to our day.  I ended up with 8 new lifers, and Eli ended up with 4, which is excellent for him considering how many California fish he already has.



I should have taken some photos of the gear we were using, but I forgot.  For under 100 feet I used 10 lb mono and 2 oz of weight on a Penn Fierce 4000 reel and a medium 4-piece Ugly Stik travel rod.  Between 100 and 300 feet I used 65 lb braid and 1 lb of weight on a Saltist BG 40H star drag and a 6'8" 4-piece Penn Rampage travel rod.  Over 300 feet I used 65 lb braid and 2 lbs of weight on a Penn Fathom 40 lever drag 2-speed and a 1-piece 50-100 lb Penn Rampage jigging rod.  I did not use mono top shot with the braid, just tied the braid directly to the snap swivel and the top of the bottom rig.  I used the strobe light whenever we were over 300 feet, but I can't say whether it helped or not.  The bottom rigs were made with either 60 lb or 100 lb mono, and I used 25 lb mono for the length of line from the last 3-way swivel to the sinker.  Fortunately we did not lose any lead the entire day!

What I learned:
  • it's really awesome that Redondo Canyon is so close to King Harbor (the fuel gage on the boat barely moved after being out all day)
  • sanddabs are annoying
  • gloves are a must if you're going to crank 2 lbs of weight up from the depths and lay braid evenly on your reel all day
  • 8 hours goes by really quickly, especially when it takes 10 minutes to crank up your rig to de-sanddab your hooks and rebait
  • long sleeves and long pants and goofy hats are great
  • if we do this again, we need some info on rocky spots to try, because every time we blindly fished more than 500 ft down we only hit soft mud
  • if you want to fish for pelagic sharks, you really have to make them a priority
  • go easy on the Korean BBQ when you need a good night of sleep

Latimeria

  • Administrator
  • Tax Man
  • *****
  • Posts: 6255
  • Posted for Fame, Poached by Lame
    • View Profile
Re: Redondo Canyon (7-9-2016)
« Reply #1 on: July 11, 2016, 05:49:50 AM »
Great report, Ben.  It's funny, the spiny dogfish out in the pacific look somewhat different than the one's in the atlantic, yet they are the same genus/species.

Very cool write up.  Glad you are continuing to add to the life list!
You can't catch them from your computer chair.

Pinoyfisher

  • Sevengill
  • *****
  • Posts: 3185
  • The tug is the drug.
    • View Profile
Re: Redondo Canyon (7-9-2016)
« Reply #2 on: July 11, 2016, 03:22:35 PM »
What a cool report! Sandabs are good eats and equally great ling bait. They are all over in the deep in mud!!
« Last Edit: July 12, 2016, 10:02:23 AM by Pinoyfisher »
Batson Rod Winner 2017
      2018 SNBF Champ
          Forty Five (45)

BenCantrell

  • Leopard
  • ***
  • Posts: 627
  • catch all the species!
    • View Profile
    • Ben Cantrell's fish species blog
Re: Redondo Canyon (7-9-2016)
« Reply #3 on: July 12, 2016, 12:39:36 PM »
It's funny, the spiny dogfish out in the pacific look somewhat different than the one's in the atlantic, yet they are the same genus/species.

Actually it looks like the Pacific one was split off as its own species in 2010.  I need to fix that in my lifelist.

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/235659630_Ebert_D_A_et_al_Resurrection_and_redescription_of_Squalus_suckleyi_Girard_1854_from_the_north_Pacific_with_comments_on_the_Squalus_acanthias_subgroup_Squaliformes_Squalidae_Zootaxa_2612

Latimeria

  • Administrator
  • Tax Man
  • *****
  • Posts: 6255
  • Posted for Fame, Poached by Lame
    • View Profile
You can't catch them from your computer chair.