Posts in Mothership Trip

San Clemente Island Mothership Recap

July 7th, 2015 Posted by Kayak Fishing, Mothership Trip, Uncategorized 0 comments on “San Clemente Island Mothership Recap”

Every June we round up the troops to head out to San Clemente Island for 2 long days of kayak fishing. The offshore island offers anglers the opportunity to seek quality bass, sheephead, halibut, whitefish, bonito and yellowtail all from their very own kayak. The journey is met with laughter, big fish tales and perhaps a few cold ones as we load up our gear, kayaks and coolers aboard the 88 ft. M/V Islander mothership a proven multi-use fishing and expedition vessel.

San Clemente Island is a popular fishing destination for the SoCal fishing fleet, but not all the boats are suited to maximize what the island has to offer. The advantage that kayakers have over ALL other boats is that we can go wherever we want. There is no cove too tight and shallow, there is no boiler too gnarly and there is no kelp forest too big for us kayakers. This advantage becomes quite evident when you see the big boats sitting well off the island’s shoreline and we are fishing within 10 ft. of the shore.clementeCalico

As we slowly make our way out of Point Loma we make a quick stop to grab some fresh live sardines and anchovies for the journey ahead. While the deckhands are processing live bait for us we sit down with Captain Jason to discuss the fishing format for the next 2 days. The boat starts to get excited about the prospects of targeting yellowtail and halibut. Our trips always have some die-hard saltwater bass’n anglers that seek the elusive double digit bass.

When you have serious bass anglers onboard you better believe there will be pounds of lead heads and plastics onboard as well. With that in mine the guys over at Fish Village partnered up with Mike Ryba of Reebs Lures and supplied our guests with Reebs Kelp Assassin swim jigs and Reebs Persuaders a beautifully molded plastic weedless swimbait. Mike’s oldest son Dawson came along for the ride to show us old guys a thing or two about how to fish Reebs Lures and land your toad. Not only was he a fine fisherman, but a fine young man as well.

Day one started out with a bang as Dawson snagged up a 2-3 lb calico bass right out of a boiler rock using what else… a Reebs lure. The VHF radios started blowing up with “I need a fish pickup” as the bite got hot. Yellowtail, bonito and bass for days. The majority of bass caught were in the 2-5 lb range making bass fishing a fun way to spend your first day kayak fishing at San Clemente Island. I hooked up to a decent halibut while sight fishing the bottom with a Pink Reebs Kelp Assassin, I actually watched it hover over my jig and inhale it. I had a great hookset and brought the flatfish up about three times before my reel seized due to an un-timely braid knot in my little baitcaster. For about an hour the halibut mocked me from the bottom with that damn pink Reebs lure still in its mouth. Redemption was around the corner though when I was lucky enough to be in the midst of a hot yellowtail bite and landed my first yellowtail off a kayak. I let out a huge roar and a few adult adjectives that expressed my happiness for landing my first yellowtail on a kayak. WOO-HOO!!! Yellows were being caught, but more rats than slugs, nevertheless they are still fun and delicious. Shelby Rothman’s yellowtail (her first on a kayak) was not only her own personal prize, but the day one jackpot as well.

With everyone worn out from the abnormally warm spring conditions and hard fishing, we all gather in the galley to enjoy a fine meal prepared by the chef Rick aka “Geezer”. The guys, Shelby and young man Dawson all shared stories, bragged, teased and bonded while stuffing their face with amazing culinary creations by our good pal Rick. This comradery makes these trips that much more fun and so does the wine, beer and booze… but you already knew that.

With rising winds and seas the captain decides to start day two tucked away near Pyramid Cove. This gave us the opportunity to target halibut, yellowtail and those grumpy ol’ bass. With my first cast of the day into a boiler rock, I snagged a 3-4 lb grass rockfish, my first one. I had to ask the deckhand what type of fish it was. Even though the weather wasn’t quite cooperating, the fish were biting. Within an hour of everyone getting on the water, Wayne Johnson hooked up to a nice halibut and landed it successfully. The yellowtail bite was slow and steady, if you put your time in trolling the waters you got a few nice yellows. The big yellow of the trip was landed right next to the mothership by Pete Wilk which just happened to be the biggest fish caught on the trip and jackpot for day 2. As the sun began to set the bass bite got really, really, really good. If you placed your kayak in the danger zone near the boilers, you were rewarded with high catch counts and BIG bass… I mean a 4-7 lb average with hookups about every 7-8 casts. You had to work to position yourself right, you had to cast into the foam… but if you did, you got a whopper on the other line. At that time you could throw any color plastic with any color head tied directly to white braid if you wanted and still get bit. My buddy Charlie and I laughed and screamed each time we hooked up another whopper, our thumbs were bloody and our voice was just about gone… what a way to end the trip.

The fishing might be over, but the fun and games continues until everyone is fed and asleep. That means Geezer has one more trick up his sleeve and knocks it out of the park with some amazing tri-tip followed up by vanilla ice cream over fresh baked brownies… what is not to love? To those that earned it… some fresh fish buttholes were served up before their main entrée. Let’s just call it a badge of honor and a little stupidity… nevertheless hilarious! To understand one would have to be a kayak angler!

This trip was a huge success because of multiple people, companies, conditions, gear, cooperating fish and a bit of luck. Fish Village ( is a company that serves the fishing industry both the angler and the trip provider. We helped anglers book and prepare for this trip so that they can get the most out of their adventure. Dana Point Jet Ski & Kayak Center ( connects kayak anglers of all ages and offers up their place as a meeting point for Hobie kayak sales, kayak fishing tournaments, outings and trips. Reebs Lures ( stepped up and supplied our guests with some of their amazing product custom to their fishing style, target species, location and let’s not forget that Dawson Ryba was there to lead the way for Team Reebs. And last but certainly not least Islander Charters ( for being the professionals you are, for your fine crew, fine boat and fine food!

2015 Mothership Trips Scheduled

May 2nd, 2015 Posted by Kayak Fishing, Local Events, Mothership Trip, Uncategorized 0 comments on “2015 Mothership Trips Scheduled”

Dana Point Jet Ski and Fish Village teamed up this year to bring SoCal kayak anglers another
opportunity at big island fish on a limited load 2.5 day kayak mothership trips aboard the
Islander. This trip targets nearshore favorites such as calico bass, sand bass, halibut, sheephead,
leopard shark and sometimes even yellowtail.
The Islander begins loading kayaks and gear at around 5:00 PM and will leave Fisherman’s
Landing in Point Loma around 7pm. From there we fuel and bait up and make a slow and steady
course for San Clemente Island. We fish for two full days and begin the journey home the last
evening returning to dock early in the morning at about 6am. The price includes live bait, food
and sodas. Not included are beers and tips. Because of space limitations, no Hobie Pro Anglers
will be allowed.
What: 2.5 day trip
How much: $625
Depart: Friday June 5th @ 5:00 PM
Arrive Back to Dock: Monday June 8th @ 6:00 AM
Where: Boat leaves Point Loma, San Diego, bound for San Clemente Island (conditions
What: 2.5 day trip
How much: $625
Depart: Thursday June 18th @ 5:00 PM
Arrive Back to Dock: Sunday June 21st @ 6:00 AM
Where: Boat leaves Point Loma, San Diego, bound for San Clemente Island (conditions
If you’ve been on these trips before, you know that there is no better way to fish from a kayak.
The maximum amount of kayakers on this trip is limited to 18 spots. Trips fill up fast. A $200
non refundable deposit (cash, debit, credit and checks) will hold your spot with the balance due 6
weeks before the departure date. Once paid, the fare is non-refundable, unless we have someone
waiting to take your spot.
Get your deposit in early to guarantee your spot.
If you’re not familiar with the Islander, check out their website. I can speak from experience, the
boat and crew are exceptional and have the reputation as the finest mothership boat on the west
Come on kayak anglers, jump on this!

Contact Mike Ponce for details (714) 658-4089 or email me at


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You are here Landing sizable halibut fishing Cook Inlet from a 12-foot kayak

July 15th, 2014 Posted by Kayak Fishing, Mothership Trip, Uncategorized 0 comments on “You are here Landing sizable halibut fishing Cook Inlet from a 12-foot kayak”

Alaske Dispatch News just posted this article.  Amazing what kind of fish people are catching on their kayaks!

The 57-pound halibut Rudy Tsukada caught last month in the Cook Inlet was no small feat. Sure, it wasn’t a barn door by Alaska halibut standards, but then Tsukada isn’t your standard Alaska fisherman, either.

The 48-year-old from Anchorage caught the flatfish from a kayak.

Instead of strapping on chest waders or hip boots like many anglers, Tsukada’s routine involves squeezing into a dry suit before heading out on his 12-foot Hobie Outback — a pedal-powered, sit-on-top kayak that provides more stability than a typical sea kayak. It’s rigged with a rod holder, a downrigger and even a fish finder. The geometry of the kayak allows anglers to catch a big one without getting dumped.

“These kayaks aren’t like the sit-inside kayaks,” Tsukada said. “These are ultra-stable. I catch fish with my feet hanging over the side.”

On June 20, the day he caught the 57-pounder, Tsukada kept his feet planted firmly in the front of the kayak.

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San Clemente Island – Team Dana Point Jet Ski

July 5th, 2014 Posted by Kayak Fishing, Mothership Trip, Uncategorized 0 comments on “San Clemente Island – Team Dana Point Jet Ski”

As Ken and I head down to the landing, the anticipation is killing us.  With kayaks in the back of the truck bed and our tackle, consisting of 7” and 8” MC swim baits  and weedless jigs, our hope is that we will be putting big Calico bass in our kayaks all day. Our journey begins on our sponsored 2.5 day trip with Dana Point Jet Ski aboard the beautiful Islander. This trip was a true VIP trip with only 10 anglers on board who were all looking to put that fish of a lifetime in their kayak. After the low down from the captain we were on our way to San Clemente Island.  We were told that we would be fishing the backside of the island.  I had never fished the backside, I had only heard stories of the big calicos and crazy structure that we would get to play in with our Hobie Revolutions.

Day one for me was a crazy one.  I loaded with four rods in my boat and I decided to get right on the hunt for the calico of a lifetime.  Ken and I headed straight for the intense boiler rocks of the island with crazy swells and crashing waves.  I stood back to make my move to get close enough to cast my 7’’ weedless bait coated with unibutter. As I was working my bait back to the boat I was trying to multi-task keeping my eye on the swell behind me and trying to stay a safe distance from the boiler rock.  Soon, I got rocked by a big bass.  I set the hook and begin to wind, fighting him to the boat.  At one point he spits it, only for him to return right at the boat. The combination of the last violent bite and the swell put my kayak upside down and me in the water, At all my seminars I always teach anglers to dress to swim and rig to flip.  Thankfully, I took my own advice and I only lost one rod and I managed to fight this fish in the water and landed him.  After Ken helped me back on my boat we were on our way to put more Clemente Calico bass in our boats.

The island has a forest of kelp beds.  We love to target these areas with weedless jigs tipped with Berkley gulp curly tail grubs. As we were fishing these heavy kelp areas, we found that the sheephead were taking our baits along with dozens of Calico bass. Bass after bass, our hands begin to take a beating from holding all these beautiful bass.  Our days consisted of us fishing boilers, potholing kelp beds and fishing kelp stringers with big baits. We ended our 2.5 days with well over 100 calicos with over half of them being legal and most in the 6lb range. I have to say we had a blast with the fist class service of the Islander, with gourmet dinners, confortable beds and VIP service.  It made our days go so smooth.  On these trips the crew does everything for you, from putting your boat in the water to bringing you a cold drink on the water. They even brought tackle from my bag to me on the water, keeping me from making the trip back to the boat.

We had a killer group of anglers on this trip and I enjoyed all of them.  If you haven’t been on a mothership trip before you need to contact Tim at Dana Point Jet Ski and get on the next one.  It will change your life.

6 Day San Felipe Kayak Mothership Trip

April 22nd, 2014 Posted by Kayak Fishing, Mothership Trip, Uncategorized 0 comments on “6 Day San Felipe Kayak Mothership Trip”

Fish Village has partnered up with Tim Boyer from Dana Point Jet Ski to offer a one of a kind kayak mothership trip out of San Felipe, Baja California for the most adventurous of kayak anglers. We will be fishing with the pioneers of Baja mothership fishing aboard the Tony Reyes of Tony Reyes Sportfishing Tours out of Orange, CA.

The Tony Reyes is a 107’ steel hull boat with air conditioned staterooms. Your catch will be well taken care of using theirice hold, flash freezer and commercial vacuum packing machine capable of sealing 5 bags at once. The Tony Reyes has 6 heads, 4 showers and a modern galley to enjoy your meals.

The fishing format will be a mixture of panga and kayak fishing so that every angler gets a chance to experience what Tony Reyes Fishing Tours is all about. The pangas are situated with live bait tanks, rod holders, ice chests and a fish holds. With 3 anglers and a guide per panga, you never have to worry about rubbing elbows and not having enough space to fight fish.

We will be targeting big fatty yellowtail, dorado, pargo, grouper, cabrilla, triggerfish, red snapper, white seabass and sheephead.

  • 4.5 days of fishing, 6 days out to sea
  • $1,095 per person, $300 deposit
  • Guides, fish cleaning, filet service included
  • Meals included, beverages are not included (OK to bring beverages such as alcohol, soda or water)
  • Coolers are allowed (please keep them to 86 quarts or less)
  • Final payment due July 13th, 2014, payment plans are available with Fish Village (up to 6 payments)
  • Bring your own bedding (pillow, sheets, blankets, etc.)

Departs San Felipe on Sunday Oct 26th, 2014. Anglers must arrive the day before and stay on the boat (at no additional charge) or get a cheap motel room for the night. We will be caravanning down to San Felipe so that no one has to drive alone.

Deposits hold spots, get this trip in the books before someone else does. Please make checks payable to Fish Village. Checks can be mailed to 1142 S. Diamond Bar Blvd Ste 337 Diamond Bar, CA 91765.

For booking information, contact any of the following:
Mike Ponce (714) 658-4089
Steve Ponce (949) 533-9505
Tommy Ponce (714) 916-4968

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