Season Opener
La Jolla, CA White Sea Bass by Johnny Ceviche

I arrived at the boat launch at about 0530 AM and a short time later I was joined by another hard core veteran kayak fisherman who spoke to me momentary and then launched his kayak while I was getting ready to rig mine. By the time I hit the water it was about 0600 AM. I saw the veteran fisherman from a distance positioned by the edge of the kelps at a depth of 65 feet. This I know as I explored and fished this area well.

The water temperature is showing 58 degrees so I headed to the deeper waters at 180 feet where the bait fish would be hanging around the thermocline. Upon arriving at the canyon it did not take long to find baits. I was able to land two mackerel at twelve inches long each. Without wasting time I immediately headed to my fishing ground which was about two football fields away. It's now past seven o'clock I checked the tide condition, it's an hour and a half before ebb tide.

The water condition is great, there are plenty of baits jumping all the conditions a fisherman could hope for when fishing. As the trailing line straightens out from making the turn I looked back and was quite worried that the bait had drifted too far into the kelps because the clicker on the reel started to go off very slowly so I paddled two strong strokes when all of a sudden the clicker went off continuously for three seconds and my first thought was I got hung up into the kelps or it was a hit. I grabbed the fishing pole out of the rod holder and waited a moment then the clicker went off a second time I waited a few more seconds to make sure the fish have swallowed the big bait that I used. 

When the line was taking off non-stop I lowered the tip of the fishing pole and violently whipping it upwards thereby setting the hook. The fish took off  violently towards the deeper water about 95 feet, my line was peeling off the reel fast as I hung on tightly with both hands on my fishing pole. I dangled my legs outside the kayak for stability and to act as drag as this big fish gives me a sleigh ride. I made drag adjustments, I checked the screen of the FF for signs of kelps at the bottom and so far all is clear but I know the kelp line is not far from where I was about hundred yards behind me. 

The first run was about seventy yards and then a tug-of-war that lasted ten minutes. The current and the wind was drifting me towards the south where the kelp line is. I was getting desperate to get this fish to color as I started seeing signs of kelp just below me on the FF. By now the fish is about forty feet below me and I can feel that the fish is hanging up on the kelps every once in a while. The only thing going for me was I have fought the fish for twenty minutes now so it must be tiring. Minutes later I steadily gained some lines so I made the gaff ready. When I finally get the fish to color I just now realize how big this fish is a thirty ponder I thought. My heart started pounding even faster as I get ready to gaff the fish. As I concentrated to gaff the fish I can't get off my mind the thought of missing the fish and the fish getting off the hook and swimming away. It had happened to me more than once before. On my first attempt I missed and made another try before finally getting the fish under control after 24minutes of fighting .

After, I put the fish on the stringer and tied it secured in my kayak that I was finally able to relax and rejoice my accomplishment on my season's opener. It was 0750 AM when I started putting my gears away, headed back to shore and I was off the water by 0815 AM. 

My thoughts are on my fishing friends.  Where are they when the conditions are right? Hope to see you in the water soon.

Tight lines,

Johnny Ceviche