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Fish Bass For Tuna Success- SoCal Fishing Advice

Fish Bass Tuna SoCal Fishing

tuna bassSomething that has me excited fishing-wise right now is that the bass bite seems to be heating up. There was a time when that wasn’t the case.

There’s kind of a progression to the fishing we do. Rockfishing was the first style of fishing I became proficient in.

Bass fishing however is an entirely different animal.

calico bass - Fish Bass Tuna SoCal FishingThere isn’t the comfort of feeling your weight hitting the bottom to know you are in the right zone. There’s the importance of knowing how to pick a good bait and being able to properly handle it so that it’s still a good bait when it gets on your hook.  And then there’s casting a flylined bait.  A lot goes into having a successful outcome.  And that doesn’t even cover the part of actually getting the bass into the boat once it’s hooked if you happen to be fishing deep in the kelp.  Needless to say, it was a frustrating growing process in my fishing learning curve.  Now that I’ve achieved a solid level of proficiency, it’s one of my favorite kinds of fishing to do.

I can’t get enough of it.

It’s a lot of fun, so go fish your local boats. Bass fishing is enough fun on its own that I could just leave it there and call it a day, but I have an ulterior motive.  And this year more than ever you’ll want to take me up on this idea before you spend your hard earned money on offshore trips.

Bass Fishing Helps Your Offshore Success

All the things I talked about above: picking a good bait, proper bait handling, casting etc. are all skills you should be proficient in to maximize your chance of a successful outcome offshore.

Sure, you can get lucky and you happen to go when the tuna are licking the paint off the boat.  Those magical times you’ve heard crewmembers talk fondly about when they were jack-poling tuna on a pickle chip are possible.  But are you going to count on that happening?

Tell me if this sounds familiar…there’s an angler on the boat who pins on a bait before you’re even stopped on a paddy.  The angler in question then proceeds to drop said bait right in front of them into the water.  Bait doesn’t swim away from the boat.  Angler doesn’t get bit all day.

While I feel badly for that guy not catching fish, they have to accept some blame for being out there without at least some level of proficiency in the essential skills.

Bass fishing saltwater
Fat Catalina Island calico

Where can you start to acquire these skills? One of my most popular YouTube videos is crewmember Randy Kramer giving an on-the-water seminar talking about How To: Flyline A Live Sardine. 

A better way though is to go on these local trips, get hands-on instruction from the crew, and actually practice these skills while you’re on water.

Aside from giving you the opportunity to get some cheap practice in ($40-65 vs. hundreds for offshore).  You just might catch a toad calico like my buddy Marcus Fain (left) did this week on the Native Sun.  Or even better, possibly hook into other inshore species like yellowtail, white seabass, and halibut!

Uh Oh! Anchovies

Fish Bass Tuna SoCal FishingAnother thing you should be thinking about is the possibility of having anchovies for bait. I was a little taken by surprise last weekend to find that the only live bait we had on my Pacific Islander 1.5-day trip was anchovies.  Luckily, I brought my bass rod in anticipation of fishing live squid on the Light Leadhead setup.  I had the hooks already in my bag and was able to easily switch over.  Even then, I realized I hadn’t fished anchovies since 2015, so I was really glad to have the opportunity to get it dialed in.

Shameless Plug

Next week, I have a 2-day So Cal Salty charter on Tomahawk Sportfishing, sponsored by Trendsetter Jigs. While I was up in the 805, the Tomahawk was on a 2.5-day United Composites charter.  They were the big offshore winner of Memorial Day Weekend with 3 fish topping 100-pounds (150, 175, and 184 – pictured top)!  Still room on our limited load trip if you would like to join in on the fun.

Either way, if you decide to join us on that trip, or you’re planning to get offshore later in the season, I’d highly recommend getting in some of that local bass fishing to dial in your gear and practice those essential skills.

Good luck if you get out there.

Joe Sarmiento
Joe Sarmiento is the founder and primary writer of the So Cal Salty blog. The blog covers saltwater fishing, primarily aboard the many sportfishing b...