Oh February…the dog days of the fishing year. Last year at this time, we were enjoying an early season run (or was it a late season extension of the previous year?) run of tuna out at the Tanner and Cortes Banks. I don’t know if anyone has even looked out there anytime recently. I haven’t heard a thing.
Other than the 1.5-day trips headed to Punta Colonet (or much longer range), not a lot is going on right now. Most of the boats are in boat work mode, getting ready for the March 1st opener. If you ride local to get a fishing fix, expect to catch sculpin and maybe a sand bass would get you a jackpot.
There are a couple notable options, Long Beach Sportfishing has resurrected the Halibut Derby. The 2016 version started last weekend with the Black Pearl doing 9am to 4pm runs on Fridays and Saturdays. Angler Jim Willard kicked things off with a legal flattie (pictured above) on the inaugural run last Friday the 29th.
Further south, if you don’t have the scratch or the time to make a Colonet run, you can get your cod on aboard Premier Sportfishing out of H&M Landing. They are doing daily 8am to 3pm “extended half day” runs fishing cod in Mexican water. Also of note, the Malihini is going back online this coming Saturday doing daily Coronado Runs. Both trips require a passport, so if you didn’t heed my earlier advice to get your passport situation squared away…well, I told you so.
Speaking of Colonet, I got around to filing a trip report on the blog. I posted a couple videos as well in the report so be sure to check that out.
The Pacific Queen hit it big down there last weekend with 153 yellowtail, so even without optimal weather conditions, the opportunity to pull hard on some deep-water jacks is there. The clock is ticking down on these trips, so if you want in, you need to book your trip now.
If you are getting ready to go, make sure and check out my last article detailing the gear you’ll need to be successful down there. One thing I wanted to mention, a lot of people have asked me about the Slim Jim weights (pictured right) I talked about in the article. The damn things aren’t so easy to find are they?
I asked my buddy Tim Shiau where he got his and he said it was at Young’s Tackle in La Palma. The weights are made by Lead Master of Hesperia (no web page), so you can try calling them (760-949-6566) to see who else might have them.
If you didn’t get your passport, and sculpin holds no allure for you, take heart, we’re less than a month away from the rockfish opener and the Fred Hall Show.