February 7, 2008
I got the opportunity to enter Capt. Brett's world on our last trip off the coast of northern Baja. We dove on a kelp bed looking for white seabass. What I didn't realize is that northern Baja doesn't share the same climate as southern Baja or even southern California for that fact. It's overcast and cool and the water temp. is down right cold. The visability is not so good and being in a kelp forest with a lack of sun makes the water seem black. The current was strong and Capt. Brett went over the plan of attack. He was going to work the kelp bed from the up current side and drift in. The water is clearer there which gives an opportunity to see predatory fish hitting the bait balls. This is where he took his yellowtail. As we drifted deep into the bed in search of the elusive white seabass, the water got darker and to my suprise the kelp had a very soothing effect on me. It's very peaceful amungst the seaweed extending from the black bottom. I just relaxed, flowed with the current and scoped for anything moving. I stayed just close enough to Capt. Brett to watch him, but not so close as to ruin any chance of him shooting a very spooky seabass. I had a hard time seeing any fish but Capt. Brett saw a couple nice size bass just out of reach. He mainly did his hunting in 15 to 20 feet of water but I took the opportunity to go down deeper to check it out. At around 35 feet or so I hit the thermocline and it got really cold. A little deeper and it was basically pitch black. The white seabass beat us that day but I gained some valuable experience watching Capt. Brett's every move.
Chef David Olsen