Went out on the Stardust on Saturday morning with some buddies. When I went to pay for the tickets, I was astonished to find out that they were no longer accepting the 2 for 1 buddy passes. The day before (June 30) was the last day! Great timing, huh? Well, we weren't going to go home at that point, so we paid the $27 each anyway. The boat was packed! But, I realized that was to be expected since it was a holiday weekend. We get to the first spot, 10 mins. or so outside the harbor. The boat was picking a few bass here and there but nothing to write home about. So, the skipper (Jason) decides to head south for about 1/2 hour. That was a little disheartening since 1/2 hour out meant 1/2 hour back to harbor which totalled 1 hour less of fishing in an already tight time frame. Keep in mind we had already wasted 15 or 20 minutes just getting bait before we left the harbor! Why don't sport boats get bait onboard before the passengers get on? Not only would it prevent passengers from getting in the way but it would also give the passengers more time to fish!
Anyway, we get to our next spot and fish in about 100 feet of water. Apparently, there were lots of sand bass and calicos showing up on the meter. Only problem, the sea lions were keeping them from coming up. So, again we just picked them here and there. The bite never got going the rest of the trip. I managed only one fish despite being at a prime spot on the stern. A guy next to me appeared to be a very good fisherman and he got skunked!
What ticks me off is that we paid twice as much as people did last week to fish! Apparently, they were getting limits of bass last week and we got hardly any. I gave the Stardust high marks last time I went out (see 6/26 posting). But, my opinions have changed somewhat. I still think it is a quality boat with a great crew! But, I can't see them justifying $27 a person for only 1/2 day! I think I'd rather pay a couple bucks more and fish 3/4 day out of Oxnard.
On another note, the sea lion problem is getting out of control! It seems wherever sport boats go, the sea lions are there waiting to harass. See the front page of the LA Times Sports section on Saturday for a good discussion of this problem.