Fish Bite Despite Unsettled SoCal Weather

Sitting here watching the rain fall outside of my office window this morning, it’s a little tough to get excited about this week’s fish report. I gave the windy app a check a few minutes ago and it looks like the rain will likely still be falling by the time you read this on Friday morning. The good news is that there isn’t much wind associated with this system and it looks like the weekend will at least be dry-ish. The bad news is that there’s another storm waiting to slide in Monday night bring the better part of a week’s worth of rain. All that being said, the fishing has actually been pretty good for the guys that are getting off the dock, so let’s take a look at what’s happening.

fishing charts

This week’s Navionics Chart tells the same basic story as last weeks, with a couple of interesting additions. As you can tell by the photo at the top of this column, there are some seabass to be caught at Catalina. Bill Batson and his son Keller were each lucky enough to catch one during a post Fred Hall trip with a friend. The 3/4-day boats fishing the island earlier this week also stumbled into some exotics while rockfishing and managed several yellowtail. The fish appeared to range in size from under 10 to over 20-pounds and while they only caught a few, it’s a good sign of things to come. As for the bass fishing at Catalina, it really sucks right now, I spent the morning there recently and struggled mightily despite excellent looking conditions. If you’ve been thinking of doing a bass trip, I recommend engaging in social distancing from that island.

rockfish reports

The only boat I heard about making the run to Nic last week was the Freedom out of 22nd Street Landing and they reported excellent fishing with lots of big reds in the mix. The rockfish are also biting well for boats fishing out of Santa Barbara and the Stardust has been loading up on quality fish every time they’ve gotten off the dock. If you’re looking to jump on a 3/4-day rockfish trip, they’re your best option right now. The reds are also biting at San Clemente Island and I’m sure the Thunderbird out of Davey’s Locker will be online this weekend if you’re interested in giving it a shot.

rockfish reports

In other news, there are still bluefin to be caught in Mexican waters. The San Diego out of Seaforth Landing found schools on several trips last week and hooked multiple fish but I’m not sure that any of them made it into the boat. I spoke with Captain Ryan Bostian the other day and he said that the boat will return to targeting yellowtail at the Coronado Islands until the bluefin become more cooperative. While the islands haven’t gotten much coverage this week, there are some fish being seen down there and we’ll find out how well they’re biting when the boats call in their reports on Saturday. If you want to be part of that report, I recommend jumping on a boat Saturday morning instead of waiting to fish with the crowds on Sunday if the fish bite.

socal bluefin

Finally, the bluefin are still biting for the 1 1/2-day trips. These fish are mostly in the 30 to 50-pound range but there are some bigger ones in the mix. There haven’t been any recent reports simply because no one has gotten off the dock to go down and take a look. There are boats online this weekend and considering we’re coming off the full moon I’m guessing they’ll find cooperative fish. Last week the fish were willing to bite a sardine but I’d also bring a variety of lures if you’re heading out. Good luck wherever you’re fishing this weekend and make sure to keep an eye on the weather forecast!

Erik Landesfeind
Erik Landesfeind is BD's Southern California Editor and has over 30 years of experience saltwater fishing for a range of species in both California and Mexican waters. Erik is also an active freelance writer and the author of the weekly column So Cal Scene, which BD publishes every Friday. In So Cal...