The Qualifier Kayak Fishing Trip E-mail
Thursday, 08 October 2009 07:16

For those looking to for an incredible kayak fishing adventure the Qualifier 105 might be the ticket. Below is my account of a recent trip on the Qualifier 105.

I have made many kayak fishing trips to cool and exotic place, but this was my first trip out to the place where kayak fishing was spawned. California is definitely the yak fishing capital. I might have taken the easy way to get into the west coast style of fishing - no launching through the breakers or big swells but I did get a taste of some of the great fishing by way of San Clemente Island aboard the Qualifier 105 Long Range Sportfishing Boat.

San Clemente Island is the southernmost of the eight California Channel Islands. It lies 55 nautical miles south of Long Beach and 68 nm west of San Diego. The island is approximately 21 miles long and is 4-1/2 miles across at its widest point.

The Qualifier has started doing kayak mother ship trips to places like San Clemente and Baja. The trips are usually between 3 - 8 days and include kayaks (you can bring your own if you like) lodging, bait and food. Our 3-day trip with 22 kayak anglers out to San Clemente was a great trip for me and for any kayak angler looking to get into large numbers of calico bass (AKA kelp bass). These calicos are about as much fun as you can have with a 1 - 5 pound fish. Their home is hard structure and kelp beds - the island is the perfect environment for them. I enjoy kayak fishing in places where the kayaks provide an advantage over fishing from a motorboat and this could not be truer when fishing for calicos. Being able to get in tight to the rocks or just anchored in the thick kelp is the best way to fish. On the way out to the fishing ground I was surprised to see the heavy tackle that was being rigged up, I soon realized that you need a stiffer outfit to yank these calicos out of structure or they will break you off - I found out this the hard way as a nice bass wrapped me in the kelp. I quickly gave up my spinner for a baitcaster and more pulling power. Most of the kayaks used by the Qualifier are Hobie pedal kayaks and these were perfect for dealing with the wind and holding in an area while fishing. I also found that when I was on a kelp bed I could extend the pedals to dig into the kelp to hold my position.


We were not blessed with great weather for this trip; we dealt with 20+mph winds the entire 3 days. The direction of the wind and swell made finding a protected area difficult. The weather pattern was very unusual for this time year but this is fishing and things never go as planned. Capt. John Klein did a great job in finding productive fishing grounds that offered some shelter and when we did the fishing was great. I had one run that I had fish in 10 straight casts. Many on board who had fished the island before said that the high winds had cooled the water temps and the fishing, having days of 50 to 100 fish is not usual, according to the regulars of calico bass fishing in this region. San Clemente is also known for being one of the best places for White Sea Bass and Yellowtail, even though yellowtail was taken on this trip, the fishing for this species was slow - mostly blamed on the unusual weather. Most anglers chose to toss plastic swim baits but a few used live bait.


The drill to get the on and off the water from the vessel was pretty easy with the crew there to help you load and unload gear and kayaks. Each group of anglers was given a marine radio and was under the watchful eye of the captain and crew - especially as the weather got nastier. There was even a support skiff in the water at all times to provide any assistance needed. Even though these kayak fishing trips are new to the crew of the Qualifier - they were professional and just a good bunch of guys that tried to make the trip fun and safe for all aboard. This trip also had two Hobie Pro Fishing Team members, Mike Allen and Den Farrier, both of them helped the handful of new kayakers who came on the trip get comfortable with their first kayak fishing experience.


Life aboard the Qualifier when not fishing is very clean and comfortable, with 6 staterooms that each accommodates 1 to 4 people. Each stateroom has a DVD player for down time amusement. The trip includes 3 meals a day and drinks. The food was great and there were also snacks and fruits available throughout the day. Each angler has the option to fish as much as they want, I would fish the morning and break up the day with a quick nap - then back on the water in the afternoon.


For more information please visit www.qualifier105.com

 

You must be registered to post a comment.


Login

Newsletter

Subscribe here to receive FREE email issues of Kayak Fishing Magazine.

Most Popular

Myrtle Beach Sharkin
I got back last night at about midnight after a great 8 days at Myrtle Beach. I brought my kayak down again and had perfect weather every day with temps in the low 90's with a...
Kiptopeke - the Cement Ships
I just returned from a trip with the Kayak Fishing Association of NY. It was to the Chesapeake Bay Bridge/Tunnel Area of Virginia. The system connects the Delmarva Peninsula to...
Kayak Fishing for White Seabass
Ghost Busting - When Hunting White Seabass, Silence is Only One of a Kayaker’s Weapons.Reprinted courtesy of KayakFishingZone.com: Paddling the U.S. Pacific Coast and Baja Each...

Random

Stealth Kayak Fishing – Mozambique Challenge May 2010
After a gruelling 17 hr drive, dodging corrupt cops, pot holes and the odd Mozambican, we finally arrive in Paradise. Paindane is one of the best and most beautiful fishing...
Costa Rica Trip Report
My name is Judd Schreiber.  I wanted to send you a report from a kayak fishing trip with kayak fishing guide, Ralph Solano, in Costa Rica.  I usually surfcast for stripers in...
Fighting the Cold and Wind is Worth it!
My last two trips have been very tough due to cold temperatures and strong winds. These are conditions a lot of kayak fisherman try to avoid; I've been guilty of this myself. High...

Latest Kayak Reviews

Feelfree Moken 12.5
 
5.0
Pelican Castaway 100
 
4.0
Ascend FS10
 
4.0
Sun Dolphin Excursion 10
 
4.0
Santa Cruz Kayaks Raptor SOT
 
5.0
Old Town Predator 13
 
5.0
RTM Kayaks Tempo Angler
 
4.0
Hobie Mirage Revolution 13
 
3.0
Stealth Pro Fisha 575
 
4.0
Stealth Pro Fisha 475
 
4.0
Santa Cruz Kayaks Raptor SOT
 
5.0
Native Watercraft Manta Ray 14 Angler
 
5.0

Latest Equipment Reviews

Body Glove 3T Barefoot Max
 
5.0
Body Glove 3T Barefoot Warrior
 
5.0
Body Glove 3T Barefoot Warrior
 
3.0
Columbia Drainmaker
 
5.0
Sperry SON-R Sounder Shandal
 
4.0
Garmin VIRB Elite
 
4.0
Polaroid XS100
 
4.0
Backwater Paddles Assault Hand Paddle
 
5.0
Backwater Paddles Assault Hand Paddle
 
5.0
Stohlquist Piseas
 
4.0
Wheeleez Tuff Tire Kayak Cart
 
5.0
Boga Grip
 
4.0