View Full Version : Trip Report: Newport September 20, 2009

09-21-2009, 11:38 PM
Still in Newport from my house painting trip, I had planned another dive for Saturday, September 20th with Tyson aka: seawolf on spearboard.

Tyson and I have dove together before, so I knew it would be another good experience.

Last time we dove together, we both limited on rockfish. This time we were out for big lings.

We met at the dive site at 11, two hours before high tide. In our last dive experience, we got in the water just before high tide and the vis was excellent. As soon as slack hit, the water murked up, and got worse as it started moving towards low tide. We figure we'd see if we could reproduce that success.

Water temp was 62*. We suited up and hit the water, this time at a different location. Our new spot was supposedly "ling city." Vis was an awesome 5', with a stiff, 3 knot current.

We began our dives 10' off the bank, in 10' of water. as we moved out the finger, the depth increased steadily to 40'. Unlike the first finger, we did not have anything to rest on against the current. I got in the habit of swimming past where I wanted to dive, and doing my breathe-up during the float back. 20-30min produced no fish. I hadn't even seen more than a few 2-5" reef fish. Tyson however saw a good sized salmon! We let him go unscathed, mostly because we both needed our rigs, and all of our diving gear. After another 10 minutes fishless, I came upon a good sized greenling. I took the shot, and stoned the little guy. He later measured 14". Feeling refreshed, I moved out to do some deeper diving. Ironically enough, I shot my next fish in less than 10' of water.

As I passed over some rocks on my way out, I saw a nice shelf down 5 - 10'. not wanting to leave any stone unturned, I breathed up and dropped down. To my surprise, I saw a pair of eyes looking up at me. The fish was a shade of red, and was almost a perfect match to the red sea plants surrounding it. I was only a few feet away, so was able to bury the shaft in his head, making the two eye triangle. as I rammed the shaft all the way through, an identical fish swam off. Identical except for being nearly double the size. :eek:

I surfaced, showing Tyson the fish, and told him about the second one. As I untangled myself, and worked on stringing the Cabezon, we drifted off of the finger. We never saw that big boy again, despite Tyson's best efforts.

On a drop shortly thereafter, I shot a copper rock fish that was almost as big as my toad black from Wednesday. At this point, I think Tyson started beating himself up. I can't be sure if it was just him clearing his snorkel, but I kept hearing him making guttural sounds! We started hunting a bit further apart, so i'm not sure how his fish kills happened. Hopefully he'll chime in with it later.

I shot another Cabezon, and an decent black. I took a break, getting re-hydrated, and put my fish on ice. Tyson kept hunting like a mad man. When I got to the car and laid out my fish, I noticed that the second Cabezon didn't look anything like the first one. Upon further inspection, I decided that it was a ling! The only problem was that this guy was just shy of 20", when the minimum req. for lings is 22":stupid:.

I told Tyson about it when I got back in the water. We hunted for another 30 min, and then called it a day. We had been in the water for almost 4 hours straight. 62* sure does feel nice:thumps:

we lined up and took our pics. Tyson wanted to see my short ling. When he looked at it he said that it was a Cabezon, and that my first cab, was actually a Sculpin! Thank god for that one, 5 legal fish!

I took one cab, one sculpin, one black, one copper, and one greenling. Tyson took one toad black, and two other decent sized blacks. Another great day on the Oregon coast! Vis and current could have been MUCH better, but it's nice to know that we can kill fish regardless of the conditions - within reason.

Here are some pics.

Group photo


Tyson and his blacks


Me with the mixed bag


The mixed bag. L to R: Copper Rock Fish, Cabezon, Bull Sculpin, Black Rock Fish, Greenling.


09-22-2009, 12:53 AM
Nice Job Guys. The bull Sculpin is that the fish that looks like it has horns? if so we caught several of those in our crab pots last month out there in the bay, since we were low on bait we cut him up and put him in for bait. believe it or not but for the hour that it was in there we got nothing while the other 2 pots came up full every time soon as we through him out got a full pot, mostly small ones, but at least they were in that time. Good Job i hope to get out there this week.

09-22-2009, 01:02 AM
One more thing what do you guys think about free diving the ocean side of the south jetty? I know its usually pritty rough out there but i have been out there when its fairly calm.

The "Fisher"
09-22-2009, 01:18 AM
nice catch!!! what kind of rockfish is the one on the left? that bull sculpin looks awesome, well... at least the belly does.

09-22-2009, 09:19 AM
what do you guys think about free diving the ocean side of the south jetty?

I'd give it a try. I'd be more cautious about the current than the swell. getting tossed around wouldn't be too bad if you're not getting hammered against the rocks. Getting pulled out to sea in a rip would be another issue.

what kind of rockfish is the one on the left?

It's a copper rock fish.

09-22-2009, 10:24 AM
Big colour (canadian spealling) difference in the copper rockfish up here. I had to look really close to the photo to confirm. We call your bull sculpin a Staghorn Sculpin up here. How did the cab taste?

09-22-2009, 10:33 AM
Cabezon is great! It can be a bit unnerving when you fillet them if you don't know what to expect. The meat has a blue tint, which is perfectly normal.

It took me a few searches on the net to verify beyond a reasonable doubt that it was a copper.

09-23-2009, 02:29 AM
One more thing what do you guys think about free diving the ocean side of the south jetty? I know its usually pritty rough out there but i have been out there when its fairly calm.

Rumor has it, that several divers have died on the ocean side of the south jetty. Flat conditions with a slack tide might be safe though.