Winter YT under the skiff

West Coast represent! Remember be vague on spots!

Winter YT under the skiff

Postby captchris » February 6th, 2018, 5:49 pm

So most of my dives aren't worth re-telling, since they mainly involve me lurking in what few strands of kelp I can find these days, scaring the crap out of some poor blacksmith or senorita fish when I return to the surface. Then, a few weeks ago, I had the luck of running into a solid Yellowtail right under the boat. I had anchored next to one of my favorite high spots in about 35 feet of water, a craggy reef full of holes and ledges. The visibility was great in the 30 ft range and I could see the hazy outline of the reef and a few Calicos hovering over it. Blacksmith picked copepods out of the water around me. On my second drop I saw some movement to my left and this yellow came shouldering through at about 25 feet. I turned to my right and kicked steady, hoping it would school up to me. He briefly turned, closing the distance, then quartered away, but it was too late, I was in range and I let the arrow fly, hitting him a little higher on the shoulder than I would have liked. I immediately thought of the reef and held tight on the float line as I pumped for the surface. Alas, the fish was much faster than me and I could see his beeline for the crags. Hitting the surface with my bands on my shoulder I tried to horse him up, but he was already in the reef, the line felt rock solid. I gave him line, hoping to keep the wear on the mono even, or even have him swim out of whatever he had hung up on, and give him a little time to cool off.

I breathed up and dropped down to check out the situation and it was as bad as I thought, my line went right under a ledge and through a small arch, then off towards the bottom at 55 feet. There in a small sand patch next my anchor was the fish, and it had done at least three loops around the anchor line. As I kicked back up to the surface I was chuckling to myself about the complete bird's nest the fish had made under my boat. But the wraps around the anchor line had probably saved my shooting line, slowing the fish's run and taking pressure off the turns of mono over the reef's sharp teeth.

I thanked the fish gods a few dives later after I had my hand in the gills of this winter yellowtail, it went an even 30lbs on the scale. No monster, but good eating and plenty for the wife and her family.
"...trickery remains the best method to get close." --Carlos Eyles
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Re: Winter YT under the skiff

Postby Donzi Paul » February 6th, 2018, 7:01 pm

Great story.In all my years I have never taken a yellow in Feb, that is so cool. Thanks mate. :greetings-clappingorange: :obscene-drinkingcheers:

Cheers, Don
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Re: Winter YT under the skiff

Postby Stath » February 6th, 2018, 7:24 pm

this is gonna be a great year..
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Re: Winter YT under the skiff

Postby Freeryde » February 6th, 2018, 7:57 pm

Nice mossback!
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Re: Winter YT under the skiff

Postby Trace » February 6th, 2018, 8:24 pm

Awesome!!!
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Re: Winter YT under the skiff

Postby Errin » February 7th, 2018, 9:04 am

Nice fish dude.

But what were you doing diving YT in February?
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Re: Winter YT under the skiff

Postby VangysWay » February 7th, 2018, 9:57 am

That is awesome. Congrats.
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Re: Winter YT under the skiff

Postby rhyne » February 7th, 2018, 10:03 am

Nice one Chris... that's some solid winter work
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Re: Winter YT under the skiff

Postby dam » February 7th, 2018, 10:28 am

Nice fish. Is that considered a home guard?
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Re: Winter YT under the skiff

Postby captchris » February 7th, 2018, 11:18 am

Errin wrote:Nice fish dude.

But what were you doing diving YT in February?


I was actually looking for WSB, which is my usual MO, but I won't turn away a nice YT.
"...trickery remains the best method to get close." --Carlos Eyles
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Re: Winter YT under the skiff

Postby captchris » February 7th, 2018, 11:25 am

dam wrote:Nice fish. Is that considered a home guard?


Thanks! I'm not sure. I have heard and read the term used to refer to Yellows that stick around local waters throughout the winter, though this fish never told me where he came from before his lights went out...
"...trickery remains the best method to get close." --Carlos Eyles
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Re: Winter YT under the skiff

Postby chris oak » February 7th, 2018, 11:47 am

30 lb local yellow in wintertime, EPIC!!! Congrats Chris, I'd be stoked to have fresh yellowtail right now, I'm craving poke and will have to thaw out some tuna but nothing beats fresh. My buddies were talking about doing a island search and I think I'm going to have to give in :)
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Re: Winter YT under the skiff

Postby dctrjayyy » February 7th, 2018, 2:35 pm

nice
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Re: Winter YT under the skiff

Postby John Hughes » February 7th, 2018, 3:52 pm

30lb winter yellow! You are STOKED!! Thanks for sharing the story. Makes me want to get wet.
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Re: Winter YT under the skiff

Postby jgrant » February 8th, 2018, 8:26 am

WTG Chris!

Are you still Capt on the Horizon???
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Re: Winter YT under the skiff

Postby captchris » February 9th, 2018, 4:44 pm

jgrant wrote:WTG Chris!

Are you still Capt on the Horizon???


Thanks, Buddy!

I retired from the Captain gig to 1. actually get some sleep 2. spend time with the wife 3. do some sailing, and now I teach high school. I do miss some of those Horizon destinations, though.

Spencer's running the ship now and she looks great.
"...trickery remains the best method to get close." --Carlos Eyles
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Re: Winter YT under the skiff

Postby jgrant » February 9th, 2018, 5:44 pm

Right on!
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Re: Winter YT under the skiff

Postby Beek » February 12th, 2018, 9:20 am

Atta Boy!!!!
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Re: Winter YT under the skiff

Postby spearthebigones » February 12th, 2018, 5:48 pm

Impressive catch for winter!
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