If you fish in California, rockfish season is closed January 1st until March 1st. Target species options become more limited, but do not fret!
The epic fishing season of the summer has rolled into 2015.
If you still have the itch, BD gives you a top 5 list of fish and places you can find decent fishing this offseason.
#5 The Channel Islands are known as a rockfish mecca, but for the next few months rockfish is closed, but don’t dismiss the area! Sandabs and sheepshead are consistent between the yellowtail and halibut bites at the islands and coastline. The sport boats out of Channel Islands Sportfishing can get you there.
#4 Calico bass Fishing!! For some anglers this fish should be number one on the list. Bass are fun to catch year round, and by this time of the year, if you’ve never been into it before, you might just catch the fever. A popular place to catch a giant calico bass is San Clemente Island, but you can find excellent bass fishing up and down the Southern California coast. A skiff is best for this type of fishing.
#3 Depending on your time constraints, you might want to think about planning a little vacation down south to Puerta Vallarta. Hop on the Journeyman, Matador, Maximus or Maverick and start praying to the tuna gods because you could end up catching the tuna of a lifetime! The yellowfin tuna in the area can be over 300-pounds with an average of 120-pounds.
Make sure your back and gear can take the fight.
#2 If you really want local tuna, head out to the Tanner/Cortes banks, a few bluefin tuna and yellowtail are still being caught on the high spots. With new bluefin regulations in place, you can only keep a couple, but tuna through Christmas and into the New Year is a rare treat. Oceanside’s Helgren’s Sportfishing boat Oceanside 95 with Captain Rick Slavkin is still running trips to the outer banks.
#1 The top places for yellowtail this winter has been Box Canyon out of Dana Point or around the 270 high spot in La Jolla. The consequences of this year’s El Niño may be wreaking havoc on Mid West weather, but we are benefitting immensely with this prolonged yellowtail bite. The Sum Fun out of Dana Wharf has been the top boat at Box Canyon.
In San Diego private boaters have been catching yellowtail at the 270 using dropper loop mackerel, sardines and fresh dead squid.