Quote Originally Posted by Yearroundfisherman View Post
A buddy of ours has recently purchased a 21 foot Bayrunner and has been inviting my dad and I out on the bay for halibut for a month now. We've been out there in really nasty weather but the Bayrunner seems to do just fine. Given that information its only logical that we would get cocky and load up our 17 for Lund Rebel with a cooler and a crew of four. My dad, me, a cousin, and a good buddy of ours decided that we were going to take our little boat out to Alcatraz and fish for halibut.
On July 21 we dropped in at Loch Lomond and filled the live well with four dozen anchovy. It was 7:30 in the morning and the wind was already moving. With everyone seated down low and lifejackets on we headed out on our voyage. We passed all the boats in Paradise and made our way through Raccoon Straight. Keep in mind that we were already whet from that nasty section by Redrock.
We were feeling good in the straight and doing about 24 KNTS but as we got in to the open before approaching the island the water decided to slow us down. We became worried real quick when those big waves were off of our bow but we were in it too deep now so we spun the Mercury at 2k and picked that bow up out of the water. I can honestly say that I am amazed as to the performance of the boat in the water. Not one water cracked the bow that day and the only spray that we caught was from the wind blowing back at us. Otherwise, the boat did a great job of deflecting the water out.
On the first drop we hooked a 24 inch fish that was quickly netted and put on ice. It was my cousin's first halibut and he was thrilled! A few more passes and we had four keepers in the boat with the biggest coming in at 28 inches. We also released many small ones along with a few rocked. If anyone knows if its legal to take tcod from that area please let me know as we were getting some chunky ones that seemed like they belongs in Fort Ross. The conditions just kept on getting worse with bigger and bigger waves and stronger wind. There was a Bayliner with a family on board that lost their steering on there way back in and a call from a Northriver that was taking on water on the North Bar. For reasons unknown though, we just stuck it out.
2:00 PM came around and we decided to call it and head for home. Needless to say that we got soaked but even with the conditions being worse than we arrived we still did not have a wave crack the bow. The spray that came aboard did accumulate but the 1800 GPH bilge pump made quick work of draining the boat. We ended the day with a troll through Paradise for a few more shakers and one more 25 inch keeper. I'd love to share pictures of our day but the phone that we used was ran over so that was that.
Now for the good part... This passed Sunday, the 28, we went all out. We departed just like the week before except with just one extra on board. The forecast was calling for 10 to 20 KNT wind with gusts to 30 but we pushed it anyway. Amazing what an insurance policy and a GPS enabled VHF can do for your confidence. We took the same path out to Alcatraz as before except when we came out of the straight and into open water we emidietly had the first wave crack the bow. That one was spooky! The feeling didn't last long though and it didn't take long for the water to make its way back to the pump and activate the float switch. So of course, we pushed on through and made the same run as the prior week. My buddy hooked up on the second drift and brought aboard a nice 24, Then after that my dad hooked a heavy one that popped off next to the boat. We made that same drift for about 2 hours and burned through a lot of our bait between shakers and cod.
Around the third of fourth drop my buddy hooked into a beautiful 35 inched that put up a great fight and was put on ice. He was all happy about it! Once the bite started to slow down we decided to make the run to Berkley. The wind was really blowing now but we had to find out what the limits of the boat were. So far we were doing pretty good. We picked up and moved out and all the while we carried the nose in once or twice but it was due to our cockiness as we were seeing just how fast we could go in those conditions. When we were actually sensible though the boat did great and through the waves off to the side with now problems. The pump took care of anything that managed to come in so quickly that it was almost comical.
We made it to the flats and managed a few shakers. Then it really got rough and we headed for Paradise to rap up our day. Trolled a bit more and headed in. We almost lost our buddy under the bridge when a wave hit us from the side but he laughed it off as he had lost my dad's 15 plus pound halibut earlier but screwing up the net. We all made it back with fish and it is something that I will do again.
I don't think I want to find the limit of this boat anymore though as it was proved itself very capable and does exactly what we need it to do.youu

Years ago we took a big wave in my buddies 18ft boat outa Bodega, it put so much water in the boat I was skeered. Be safe out there.