Weather: Warm, breezy, T-70s
Moon Phase: 6% Moon
Location: El Capitan Reservoir
Best Bait: Live crawdad pinned to a 2/0 Owner mosquito hook.
Who Went: Dunc
It’s my last week working in San Diego, and I have fished hard the last 4 1/2 months and had an absolute blast. To finish off my trip, I decided that I was going to take it easy, buy some live crawdads, and go find a nice rock to sit on at El Capitan Reservoir. I wanted time to enjoy the beautiful scenery that I have learned to love here in Southern California. Little did I know, I was about to have two of the best nights of fishing that I’ve ever experienced!
I found a great rock along the shoreline of El Cap to sit on. It provided a comfy seat and a beautiful view of the surrounding mountains and sunset. I tossed my first crawdad out to wander around the lake bottom. My hope was that a large bass might come and pick it up, but that never happened. Instead it was the Blue Catfish that wanted to play. Currently they are spawning and in shallow water. I was using 6 lb test line and found out that it doesn’t hold up well to the big kitty cats and the first few bites ended with my line being cut right at the hook. It was getting frustrating, but on the fourth bite of the night I finally got a hook to hold and was able to see what I was working with. It was an albino blue catfish over 10 pounds! I didn’t have a scale, but it was big, and after looking at the sharp little teeth that lined its mouth, I understood why my 6 lb test wasn’t holding up.
So, I added some 40 lb braid as leader and that was the ticket! No more break offs. I continued to catch monster blue cat one after another. It was so much fun. They would run forever on my 6 lb set up, but it held strong and the braided leader kept the razor-sharp teeth from breaking me off. I also had something happen that I’ve yet to experience. I hooked into something big and I will never know what it was. I only had about a half a spool of 6 lb test on my reel and this fish had no intentions of stopping. I tried to tighten my drag, but nothing seemed to work. I played it as long as I could but finally ran out of line and heard the dreaded pop! No more line on my reel and the fish was gone. I will never know how big it was, but I now have a fish story to tell for years to come. With catfish in this lake up to 60 pounds it’s anyone’s guess.
I bumped up my game and went to my baitcaster reel rigged with 40 lb braid and no leader. I didn’t get many bites on the bigger braid, but finally a good one ran away with my crawdad. I set the hook and another epic battle was on. This time my heavier rod and line stood up to the task and the biggest cat I have ever caught was landed. I had no way of weighing the fish, but my guess is around 20 pounds.
I will forever remember my epic blue cat battles, and what a great way to end my fishing adventure in San Diego!