Trip News

Updated: San Clemente Island Kayak Mothership Trips Prep List

We have received multiple emails asking for some advice on how to prepare for the 2.5 day kayak mothership trip to San Clemente Island aboard Islander Charters. So here you go, a quick article to get you ready.

The schedule is the same for both Fish Village trips to San Clemente Island.

Thu – Arrive and unload gear @ 4:00 PM
Thu – Load boat @ 6:00 PM or whenever crew calls on us
Thu – Depart Fisherman’s Landing between 7:00-8:00 PM
Fri – Fish all day
Sat – Fish all day
Sun – Arrive at Fisherman’s Landing between 6:00-7:00 AM

Our first advice is probably the most important: LABEL EVERYTHING and know where your gear is. Though the boat is big… kayaks, gear and everyone on board makes the boat feel smaller than it is. If you label things, you will know with confidence if that black paddle (the same one that 10 other people have) is yours.

A few other tips: 1) If you have a lot of things to charge, bring a powerstrip because most rooms have no more than 2 outlets total. 2) Don’t over pack, San Clemente Island is primarily a bass, halibut and rockfish fishery with opportunities for yellowtail and white sea bass. 3) Leash everything that you care to keep in your possession. 4) Bring a towel for your showers.

As far as gear goes, here are some common setups amongst the regulars on board:

  • Daiwa Lexa 300 paired with a Phenix M1 Inshore 7’3 – 50 lb. braid w/30 lb. leader
  • Daiwa Lexa 400 paired with a Phenix M1 Inshore 7’8 – 65 lb. braid w/40 lb. leader
  • Shimano Talica 20 paired with a Shimano Terez 7’0 – 65 lb. braid w/40-50 lb. leader

Lures and other terminal tackle:

  • Plastics work extremely well here, bring a lot for the toothy grumpies (ask about custom Reebs Lures packages)
  • Irons, metal jigs such as Reebs, Tady, Shimano Flat Falls, etc. work equally as well as plastics
  • Depending on the live bait, bring size 1, 2, 1/0, 2/0 hooks and squid rigs (we usually try for squid on the 2nd night if conditions are right) – live bait is provided by the boat at no additional cost.

We would fail you if we didn’t talk a bit about safety. You need to bring a VHF handheld radio to communicate with the chase boat and the big boat. This is not a nice to have, in our opinion it is a requirement. You should wear a PFD at all times because it is the right thing to do, no other reason needed.

The boat will process your catch for you at no additional cost and the end of the trip. They will keep your catch in RSW (Refrigerated Seawater) until we get back to the dock. You can leave your cooler in your car and grab it when we arrive back to dock. Ice is available for purchase at the docks. If you are happy with the captain and crew, please tip them generously as they bust their butt to make your life easy for a few days. I would suggest $80-$100 if you can spare it.

Be at the docks by 4:00 PM on the Thursday of your departure date and be prepared to load your gear at a moments notice. If you want to grab a bite before you get on the boat, there is a great seafood restaurant right there at the landing (Mitch’s Seafood) – you can see the Islander from there. If you need any more info, please send us an email. The boat is based out of Fisherman’s Landing in Point Loma. We will see you there, look for the guys wearing a Fish Village hat.

Photo credit: Joseph Martinez