Socked in fog was the name of the game for most of Southern California this week. What was the most persistent fog in recent memories kept many anglers off the water this week but the ones who did brave the limited visibility reported good fishing. There is fog forecast all the way through the weekend but the good news is that winds are forecast to be light across the entire Southern California Bight.
As you can see from this screen shot of my Navionics Boating App, there will be ten knots or less of wind on Saturday afternoon and it’s forecast to be calm through Monday. Localized heavy fog will be a factor for private boaters but sport boat anglers can confident that their trips will have good weather from the Channel Islands to the yellowtail grounds below Colnett. Private boaters concerned about the fog should check the beach webcams before heading out to see how the fog looks in the area they’re planning to fish. If you encounter unexpected fog on the water, just slow down and keep your eyes peeled for boat wakes and your ears open to the sound of other boat’s engines. If you are underway in an area that might have other boat traffic you should sound your horn with one prolonged blast every two minutes. With the weather disclaimers out of the way, let’s take a look at what’s biting.
There weren’t any yellowtail reported by sport boats fishing the Channel Islands this week but they did catch plenty of big rockfish. Boats from Ventura Landings reported limits of quality rockfish with lots of reds and plenty of big lingcod in the mix. We’re coming off the full moon and the tides are getting less extreme so current should not be a problem on the rockfish grounds this weekend allowing boats to fish more effectively.
The bass and rockfish are biting along the Santa Barbara coast as well. Captain Nick Tharp of El Tiburon Charters reported on Sunday’s trip ” Easy limits of quality reds and chuckleheads followed by bass fishing. The sand bass were biting the 5-inch Big Hammer in Calico Hunter Red and the 1.5-ounce Revenge spinnerbaits in Chartreuse Shad.”
The big bass being held by Abu/Garcia pro-staffer Matt Florentino at the top of this article was one of several big fish he caught while fishing on Sunday with his dad Captain Benny Florentino who reported, “We started above Deep Hole near the north end of Santa Monica bay and worked our way back towards Marina Del Rey where we launched. It was a dreary foggy day, but, the fishing was great! We managed some quality Calico Bass the way like fishing them, uptight and shallow! Really don’t need to always go to the island to explore when it’s right in your own back yard.”
Rockfish was the main target for sport boats all the way down to San Diego this week, but some yellowtail did bite at the Coronado Islands. The yellowtail bite has been hit and miss but as you can see from this photo from the San Diego out of Seaforth Landing, the fish they are catching are good ones. With stable weather through the weekend, these fish should continue to bite, but with a storm forecast for early next week it remains to be seen if they are here to stay. Finally, the yellows are still biting for the 1 1/2-day trips fishing the Mexican coast. There are lots of boats with trips online this weekend, so call your preferred San Diego landing and jump on one for a shot at some yellows and big rockfish.
Finally, I’ll be offering a rockfish webinar next Thursday at 6:00 p.m. If you haven’t already signed up, simply click on this link and register. The webinar is hosted by Navionics and will cover everything you need to know about finding and catching rockfish on your own boat. There will also be a question and answer segment at the end of the seminar and I will have some prizes to give out to attendees.