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.
#49, "RE: Stardust disappointment" In response to Reply # 0
SOUNDS LIKE SOUR GRAPES TO ME. JASONS PRICE IS COMPETITIVE WITH MOST HALF DAY OPERATIONS. THE 2 FOR 1 IS OFFERRED WHEN HE IS HAVING A TOUGH TIME MAKING A LIVING. ITS SUMMER TIME AND HE IS STARTING HIS TWO A DAYS. THE NICE THING ABOUT SANTA BARBARA IS HALF DAY FISHING CAN BE GREAT. HOWEVER IT IS STILL ONLY A FEW HOURS OF FISHING. I HAVE BEEN WITH THE STARDUST WHEN HE MAKES THE RUN TO NAPLES. IT IS ABOUT AN HOUR PLUS RUN. WHEN THEY BITE IT IS GREAT. WHEN THEY DONT THE DAY IS OVER. CANT GET MAD WHEN IT IS BAD. THATS WHY ITS CALLED FISHING AND NOT CATCHING. GOOD LUCK NEXT TRIP, THEY WILL PROBABLY BITE.
#50, "RE: Stardust disappointment" In response to Reply # 0
First thing is that it's called fishing, not catching. Sometimes your on and other times your off. I have been fishing with Jason on the Stardust for about three years now and he is one hell of a skipper.He always goes out of his way to put his passengers on the fish. Second thing is that most buddy passes have an expiration date, and if they don't it's always a good idea to ask when you make your reservation if they still honor them.
#51, "RE: Stardust disappointment" In response to Reply # 0
GET OVER IT GUY! IN S.B. YOU ALWAYS GET BAIT AFTER THE PASSENGERS, SO YOU CAN CATCH FLATTY'S AND SHORTY WHITE SEA BASS AT THE BAIT RECIEVER. $27.OO IS A GREAT PRICE? IT SOUNDS LIKE YOU NEED A BOX OF TISSUE OR TWO! WHY DON'T YOU COMPLAIN TO RICKY AND SEE WHAT HE HAS TO SAY. LATE!!!!
#52, "RE: Stardust disappointment" In response to Reply # 3
Whoa! Did I strike a nerve or what? Yeah, I got over it long ago, my man (or woman). Excuse me if I don't know your gender. Believe me, I am one of the first to admit that fishing can be good or bad on any given trip. And I have had my share of both! In response to your comment that in S.B., they always get bait on the boat after the passengers board so that they can fish for seabass or halibut in the harbor is completely bogus. They do it so that the crew doesn't have to wake up even earlier and get bait before the passengers board. I don't like it, but I can understand and do accept it. Deckhands (in general) certainly work their butts off and I don't blame them for wanting the extra sleep!
You are certainly entitled to disagree that $27 is too much for a 1/2 day (3 to 4 hours of fishing). I for one, and others I know as well, believe that this is a bit too high for the amount of time you are fishing out there. If you want to compare, just look at the 3/4 day prices in Ventura County (low to mid $30's). Then, for kicks check out what Sea Landing charges for their 3/4 day open party on the Seahawk. I think you'll be surprised... Or maybe you won't be? After all, we are talking about $$$ SANTA BARBARA $$$ here.
As I've said before, I think the Stardust is a great boat with an awesome skipper and crew. And, I've had good fishing days with them! If you think $27 isn't too much? Then by all means, go for it! Have a great time and I wish you the best of luck out there!
P.S. - Unfortunately, I no longer need that Kleenex. My tear ducts have just plum dried up.................