Shark Fishing - California Kayak Thresher Shark Fishing
I had been reading the reports on the various websites with great interest this week, as I do every week to decide where and what to fish for. For a couple of days mid-week it looked like Malibu was the hot bite on Thresher sharks, but when a friend of mine went there Thursday he only caught two very small ones. More important he told me that he didn't think it would be back "on" for a few days, as the water seemed off.
I considered fishing my home waters between San Clemente and Laguna, but things had been slow out there for several trips as well. Looking at the reports coming from La Jolla I saw a pattern that I decided to investigate. The fishing reports from La Jolla had been slow for more than a month, with no Yellowtail and very few White Sea Bass being caught. One thing struck me, however. A number of anglers had been bitten off quickly by what seemed to them to be very large fish. Even more obvious several had seen a Thresher either slap their baits or jump before breaking or biting them off.
The Ocean weather models also showed very favorable conditions
at La Jolla, with very little swell and warmer water than my Northern spots.
I also just happen to love fishing La Jolla from a Kayak. It has an easy and nostalgic launch, just drive right onto the sand, tremendous scenery and life in the water, and a short paddle compared to my usual fishing haunts. So La Jolla and Mr.T became my targets for Saturday the 28th of June.
I launched in the dark by myself. Jim H was waiting for me to finish rigging, but I am very slow and methodical, and he couldn't stand it anymore. I told him he should watch me pre-flight my plane before I fly it. That would really drive him nuts. One small wave rolled over the bow of my kayak and I was past the break. I headed straight out towards the yellow preserve buoy with flying fish skipping along the surface on both sides of me seemingly as an escort to my passage. I took this as a very good omen, as I had never seen them there before, and really enjoyed their amazing company. As soon as I passed the no-fishing area of the preserve, I got out the rods and started trolling parallel to the kelp, with the sky becoming lighter.
In no time at all I had one of the most exciting hook-ups I can remember. My Penn 4/0 with 30 pound mono and a 12 foot leader of 100 pound mono dragging a Rapala CD14 via my old Sabre stroker starts screaming. I mean screaming.
As I pick up the rod turn off the clicker and tighten the drag in the dim grey light of pre-dawn, I hear a splash and look up to see a thresher madly airborne about 30 yards from me. In the ghostly light he looks huge and when he crashes down with a tremendous splash my heart practically jumped out of my body. It was great! Then the Thresher was off and running, hard.
It was a great fight that went about 45 minutes, and the
thresher jumped three more times before sounding and trying to dog me. When
I brought her to leader I could see she was a female and about exactly the
same size as the 62 pound one I caught a few trips before.
checking the Rapala for trim, I continued trolling along the kelp line in
about 60 feet of water and slowly getting deeper. What seemed like a very
short time later the Rod gets smacked, and then about five more paddle strokes
and the clicker is howling again. No jumps this time, but a nice fight with
long shallow runs and no dogging me down deep like they usually do. This
one took about 30 minutes or so and was slightly smaller, maybe 50 pounds
or so. She was another female, and was hooked and wrapped around her right
pectoral fin, a first for me.
Bam! Third fish on! Yah! This one immediately got my attention as the first
run took more than half my line while getting my kayak up to speed following.
It was really thrilling, my feet jammed into the rests; butt down tight
in the seat and the rod jammed down into the hatch latch like the gimble
in a fighting chair, which my whole kayak had become.