Well, last weekend’s storm came through with the vengeance that was promised. High winds, heavy rains and extremely rough seas were the name of the game. I spoke with Captain Larry Heron of Calico Hunter Charters this morning and he said the weather stations on Santa Cruz and Santa Rosa Islands were reporting sustained winds of 60 MPH and gusts approaching 80.
While it wasn’t nearly that bad down this way, you can see in this pic that was taken at the Long Beach breakwall on Friday afternoon, this storm was no joke. I also saw a video filmed by Captain Chris Smith in Newport Harbor that afternoon that showed big rollers tearing up the docks of the multi-million dollar homes near the mouth of the harbor. Thankfully the SWBA cancelled the inner harbor tournament they had scheduled for Saturday morning as I was really not looking forward to fishing in that weather. The tournament is rescheduled for March 18th, so I’m keeping my fingers crossed that what seems like a constant series of storms will start to back off a bit by then.
Speaking of storms, there’s another one forecast to come in on Saturday night but the weather should be fishable over the weekend.
Not much to report this week as most sport boats stayed at the dock and the private boats sat in the driveway. The Pacific Queen was one of the few boats to make it out and had a successful 1 1/2-day trip to Punta Colnett. The boat returned to the dock on Tuesday morning with 58 yellowtail and 30 rockfish for their anglers. They are booked up for this weekend, but there are several other boats with trips online, so call you favorite landing to see about getting down there. As you can see in this weather forecast, conditions look good on Saturday morning along the Baja coast. The wind does come up a bit on Saturday night, but it dies down again on Sunday. There is a good chance of rain late Saturday and all day Sunday but there’s not a lot of wind associated with the system so just remember to pack your foul weather gear and you should be fine.
The sand bass and calicos are biting for the half day boats fishing in the Santa Monica Bay as well as out in front of Long Beach. Private boaters are also catching fish in all of the usual wintertime bass locations. Saturday’s weather should make for decent conditions along the beach and I might even try to sneak out to Catalina and fish bass if the weather cooperates.
The good news is that we’re only a few days away from the rockfish opener on March 1st. Once some of the 3/4-day and overnight boats start getting off the dock in the LA and Orange County areas, I’m sure that we’ll start seeing some yellowtail showing up in the counts again as they are still at the islands even though no one is currently fishing for them. Speaking of rockfish, I want to invite everyone to join me for a rockfishing webinar that I’ll be hosting at 6:00 p.m. on March 23rd. To attend, 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.