La Jolla Black and White
by Andy "Iceman" Allen

Paddled out in near perfect conditions around 5:30AM.  Birds, bait and Barracuda everywhere.  Had a tough time making Macs, the Barracuda were so thick.  They kept hitting the torpedo sinker and I managed to get one Scooter with all 5 Sabiki hooks.  Finally hit an area that was loaded with 1 1/2" Barracuda Fry and Green and Spanish Macs underneath.  Talked to one kayaker who got a 34# YT yesterday on a dropper loop Mac in that same area.  Heard the New Seaforth pulled up anchor out on the northwest and ran over to a spot of YT and picked up a couple.  A 30#, 35# and a 50# plus WSB were caught by kayakers today.
I had a Mac on the bottom and 1 on the surface, the baits on the bottom were getting alot of action, just couldn't connect.  I had a 8" Spanish on the bottom, 8oz, 2/0 on 30#.  Something picked it up and I let it run a long time, swung and thought I had the bottom, until it pulled my rod tip into the water.  After 10 minutes I decided this had way too much left to be a WSB, was thinking I had the toad YT.  I was getting 10 and giving 9. One of my buddy's, Phil, came over to offer assistance and take some pictures.  1/2 hour later I had color, I went from disappointment, that it was not a keeper, to awe of the size of this fish, to concern.  How was I going to revive this thing?  I didn't have enough lead to sink it.  I tried hailing any boater for assistance on my handheld, no comebacks.  I remembered the last Black Sea Bass thread, someone had said to tap them on the head to send them down.  
He was belly up, so I grabbed the mouth and turned him downward and pushed down hard on his head with the palm of my hand and he took off like a shot.  We hung around for 1/2 hour to make sure he didn't float back up.  A few months ago I caught my first BSB, a juvenile, 10# on a Fish Trap out in front of Scripps Pier and I thought that was too cool.  Hard for me to estimate the weight of this one, in the water, but I am saying 80#. Just a little fishing before work.
The weatherman was making me feel that fishing, today had a certain sense of urgency with the impending storm.  I arrived at the Shores around 5:15AM and a 1/2 dozen guys were making ready to head out.  I paddled out with my buddy, Phil, who was still recovering from a 44" Halibut bucking off his kayak after paddling 20 minutes with it secured with a stainless game clip. It broke the clip and was back in the water before he knew what happened.  I had 3 break-offs in the last 2 weeks.  We got beyond the buoys and started looking for bait.  I saw a few puddling and cast out and pulled in 6 in 1 shot, perfect little 7" Greenbacks. I was paddling over to Phil to offer up a couple, so we could fish the prime time. He got his bait before I got there.  I put 1 on top and 1 on a dropper loop with a 3oz torpedo and slowly started paddling north west.  6:30 my top bait spooks and as I turn to pull that rod and the clicker on the bottom rig sounds like it really needs attention. 
Big fish is ON, I yell out to Phil and as he is paddling over I hear his clicker and a minute later I hear "I'm on, too" I don't know if it is the cold water or what, but this fish really worked me. 20 minutes later I sunk in the gaff and stuck my heart back in my chest.  7 AM fired up an Arturo Fuente and savored the moment before paddling in together. We weighed the fish on a spring scale and Phil's went 33#, mine bottomed out the scale.  Called Robert at Fisheman's Landing to see if the scale was up and he said if it wasn't he'd get it set up.  I have brought a few of my bigger fish there. Nice to get a certified weight on the big ones and oh yeah, to show off. Weighed 53#.  That is the first fish I have caught that weighed more than I thought.

Driving to work from there I get the call from the water that tops it all.  Donnie, a friend of Al's, that has only been kayak fishing for 3 weeks was trolling a Rapala heading in and hooked up and landed (with some help) an 80# Thresher.  That 1 is very high on my list of things to do.......and it is only April 10th with 59 degree murky water. Anyway, I picked up a big smile today that will be around for a long while.