Fishing The Painintheass

Chark's Fishing Report - Fishing Dana to Laguna aboard the Painintheass with Dennis and Fred (01/16/99)

Gadzooks I'm a lucky cuss. This weekend I got to fish aboard Fred Leinweber's 26 foot SeaSwirl along with his long time fishing buddy Dennis DeBruyn. Dennis is a member of the Fish POETS group of internet connected fishing friends. And, Fred has been a contributor to the website for over a year. He's had some great catches to report this year, like a nice marlin, 43 lb. big eye, lots of albacore... But, he's never done much with sharks. That's how I got the invite, along with doing my best to take care of Dennis on a couple reels he purchased the previous week. So, our game plan was for me to meet up with the guys down at the Dana ramp 6 AM Saturday morning.

These guys are hard core. They fish the crap out of Fred's boat too. He's got well over 800 hours in a tad over three seasons use! Fred trailers his boat from Apple Valley, launching all over the coast, with frequent trips out of San Diego. This time we did Dana.

Here's Fred driving the boat out of the harbor while Dennis scans the horizon for bird activity.
Well, Fred and Dennis tried to make bait the previous night for nada, and that's about what we found trying to make macks outside of the harbor. Hey, we're tough do-it-yourself type fishermen, we don't buy bait! So, we tried for about two hours to make some bait. Macks were very hard to come by. We did however come across lots of small lizard fish. All of 'em were about the same size 8 inches. Cute little buggers, great big mouths, lots of sharp pointy teeth, copious quantitites of slime. Hmmm, wonder if we can use 'em for bait?
updateSure enough we had to try... Dennis rigged Lizard on a small Ballyhood Top Gun Jr. I guess we could call it a slime-trap. We trolled one Bait-O-Matic and a full size Ballyhood off the Scotty Long Arm downriggers, and the little Top Gun Jr. right down the middle on our flat line.
updateWell, as luck would have it, we quickly trolled up our first mako within about 10 minutes of putting our lines in the water. We noticed some bird activity between Dana and Laguna, that's where we started our troll. With Fred's old freezer burned fillets as chum, we slow trolled at about 3 knots. I noticed the knock down on the downrigger with the Bait-O-Matic rigged to my 30SW and Custom Grafighter. After a brief tussle, the fish was brought along side of the boat, tagged and released. We estimated the mako to be nearly 4 feet in length and a tad under 80 lbs. *
Well, I'd like to say we caught a whole bunch more fish, but that would be one major stretch. As things worked out, the early life we saw, with bird activity, porpoise schools and a perked up frigid sunfish, quickly disappeared. For the rest of the day we trolled the same area for nada. We went back in towards Laguna to fish bass at about 4:00, and ended up skunko on a couple reefs that can produce at times (just not this time).
So, we didn't find the BIG ONE this time, but we did find one nice scrappy female mako. That made the trip successful, producing the first mako tagged by the Painintheass. The company was exceptional, I'd fish with these guys any day of the week (that I can get off work).
Fred's craftAbout the Boat: This is the second SeaSwirl I've fished, and I've got some impressions. First off, it's a well laid-out design. I was really impressed with all the fishing room. The boat puts the priority on fishing room; three guys can fish very comfortably from this craft. The big 305 engine get's the 26 footer up on plane easily, and cruises comfortably at 20 + knots. The boat's rigged very well too. She's got two downriggers, Lee's outriggers like the one's I installed on my little skiff. And, the electronics package is exceptional. She's got long distance radar, Furuno color fishfinder, a Garmin GPS chartplotter, and some other devices I'm no doubt forgetting to mention. Fred mentioned that the boat was a value in the marketplace. The SeaSwirl Striper 26 was priced thousands less than other comparable craft, so it was a little easier to talk the wifie into the electronic upgrades... With 800 hours of hard use on the boat, she's been reliable and has produced a bunch of nice fish for Fred and Dennis, with a whole bunch more due this season.

* Okay, so it was more than a tad under 80 Paul Haley was quick to point out...!

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