Looking at the prospects for last weekend, I was decidedly an islands vs. offshore lean. The seabass were hitting up north. Our local islands weren’t putting out numbers, but the counts were respectable on yellows with impressive size. Add to the yellowtail, a sprinkling of halibut and seabass and it presented a solid opportunity.
I don’t typically try to influence the destination or focus of a trip unless I’m the chartermaster. I did however check with Capt. Rick Slavkin of the Oceanside 95 out of Helgren’s in Oceanside before committing. I wanted to see which direction he was leaning on a 1.5 day trip leaving last Friday night (June 30th). “Definitely start at San Clemente and if it isn’t good, maybe look around offshore.” Satisfied we were more or less in the same headspace, I reserved my spot.
Turned out to be a good choice
If you want to read the full trip report, I posted it earlier in the week on So Cal Salty.
The short version is we plunked away all day and scratched together a solid count of 34 yellows for 15 anglers. The first round of fish were about 15 lbs. The rest were 30+ with the jackpot fish tipping the scale at 41 lbs. caught by Jon Hansen (right).
The fishing gods rewarded the hard effort and we lucked into a seabass opportunity at the end of the trip adding eight 25-30 lb. fish to the final boat tally (top).
Week old news…
But what about this weekend you ask? Well, I LOVE this weekend for targeting seabass. There were solid counts yesterday up north. There is a small craft advisory through Saturday night, but they’re biting local again, so I think Sunday on a day boat out of Oxnard/Ventura is a good call. Monday is the full moon, so if you have a chance to go midweek, I like it even better to give it time to settle out a little.
The offshore scene seems to be changing, hopefully for the better.
Still the same story in terms of low numbers, but the fish being caught are fish of a lifetime worthy.
Monday morning, the New Lo-An returned from a 1.5 day trip. The catch of the trip was this 224 lb. beast (shown at the Point Loma scale, right). The fish ate a Flat Fall jig on 80 to commence a 4 hour torture test of wills. The angler/boat won.
The more hopeful news though is that the mass of fish may finally be moving. They’ve been stuck on the 302 for months, but they seem to be starting to migrate north. The mass of fish includes yellowfin. The aforementioned Capt. Rick Slavkin ran a 2 hour whale watch trip midweek and caught a yellowfin on the troll!
Our own Fish Dope eye in the sky was up this week and spotted a big patch of 150 lb. bluefin in US water (above). Who knows if the move means they’ll be more willing to bite, but my hope is they finally depleted the bait in that zone necessitating a change of scenery.
I’m still in a wait mode, but I’d recommend booking prime weekend rides now if you haven’t already.
Good luck if you get out there.