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With everyone aboard and gear loaded, the crew of the Excel stocks up on live bait and departs San Diego Harbor for the tuna grounds.
By Tim C. Smith
Tags: special

We awoke in San Diego to a crystal clear morning and no wind. The anglers for the first leg of the trip gathered at Fisherman's Landing where they checked in and the last of their personal gear was stowed aboard the Excel.

Casting off at 8:30am we headed toward our first destination, the bait barge. These long range fishing boats require a tremendous amount of bait and can take several hours to fill their live wells. Today we loaded up on sardines and mackerel. The floating bait barges are located just inside the harbor making them a convenient stop when headed out to fish. The Excel will load up with nearly a ton of bait or about seven hundred scoops.

The barges are not only popular with fisherman but also with sea lions, pelicans and cormorants. These opportunists compete for the bait that doesn't make it into the well.

After the wells were topped off we headed out the harbor past Point Loma on a southerly course to Cabo San Lucas.