6/26-7/3 Inshore and Catalina INTEL/Report



Catalina-worthy Center Console Rentals
Sep 19, 2016
Riverside, CA
Alum. Center Console Bajas
Well. We all must be doing SOMETHING right in our lives, because Poseidon, Neptune, Maui (insert mythological Greek/Roman/Disney water god here) has been blessing us all greatly lately. Our hopes are that you’re reading this while relaxing with family and friends on the 4th and planning your inshore or offshore attack for the long 3-day weekend or the week ahead. From MDR, down to the border, we have some intel, numbers, suggestions, blah blah blah… to help get YOU on the fish. For you Channel Island guys and anything north of Santa Monica, we don’t have much, as we focus our rentals on OC and LA waters primarily.


Other than having to deal with some cross-swell and some wind-fueled white caps, there are ample opportunities for smaller craft and inshore boaters to get on some cuda, bass, halibut, rockfish, etc. Over the week, some spots that have been hitting pretty well up north include: Southbank and Inside Bank outside of El Segundo and some of the Redondo Canyon structure. Almost all of the reds, some lucky lingcod, boccs, etc. have come from double dropper loops with squid, simple as that. With the recent ripping current and winds keeping most skiff anglers on the drift, it is pretty darn important to have 12 oz+ torpedoes. We suggest 16 oz to help keep your line vertical and prevent tangling your fellow boat-goers. We STILL suggest Owner Aki Twist hooks (from 2/0-6/0), which will not only place a strong solid hook in your arsenal, but will increase your chances of winning the battle with any large white sea bass you may encounter while structure fishing some the spots just outside of kelp lines. Whole squid do well on 5/0-7/0 Akis.

A bit further south, we’ve had a few VERY decent days on Izors Reef, the 150, and the ¼ acre spot. Most fish were hooked on plastics (swim baits topped with squid strips, 1.5 oz+ tube baits, and 5”-7” plastic jerk shad/fluke plastics. You SERIOUSLY can’t go wrong with a fluke being tossed into suspended bass or ripped on-and-off the bottom for all species of bass and halibut.

We haven’t been fishing much at the Newport Reefs or down south to Dana Point/South OC waters, but if you’ve got little ones and light line set-ups, you can have a GREAT 50+ fish day by anchoring on the edge of kelp lines and throwing small plastics and live sardines/anchovies. If you’ve never done this, try anchoring so your boat is nearly on the edge of a kelp line that is “facing” or “running” AWAY from you. (Imagine a downhill current causing the kelp to lean “south,” with your boat JUST “north” of the kelp line.) A little chum never hurt anybody. If you’ve got small kids or bored wives that were forced to get on the boat with you, ever tried hooking up a sabiki or two and get them on some mack and small calico action? You get to toss for chunky kelp bass while they get the action of constant bites … especially if you chum.


If you’ve got the day open and an island-worthy boat, this is where you need to be if chasing offshore tuna is not your game. All around the damn island, there are schooling yellowtail that are willing to bite if you’re willing to hunt. The battle plan has been VERY simple, and our small rental fleet has seen some the best numbers ever over the last 7-10 days. The set-ups that have worked for US require classic island anchoring, with the promise that you’ll only anchor in clean, blue, moving water that has current. Our magic depth has been 120’-60’ with a flyline sardine OR ¼ oz sliding sinker above a flyline sardine on 15-30 lb fluorocarbon line. This is not a guarantee, but it has been what’s working for us. Without spot-burning or giving intel, we can safely say that Yellowtail can be found on both the front and backside of the island. If you have been anchored for more than 30 minutes and have not had a single run or have not seen ANY surface action … MOVE! There is way too much water to fish and schools in other places. Don’t be afraid to move from a stale spot. We know, anchoring up and down constantly is annoying, but when you find the right spot with current and you start hooking up, you’ll thank us. Stay away from the MASS amount of boats that will gather near the west end cove and backside from the transition up to China. You will see 100s of boats, anchored way too close to one another, and all of that engine idling, pump running, music playing, and stomping around pushes the fish DOWN. Don’t chase sport boats, and don’t EVER anchor within casting distance to ANY boat. (Keep in mind, some are slinging 10’ rods and can cast 200 feet and more)

If you’re just after a bite and aren’t only targeting YT, try going deep at the SV rockfish spots and West Humps numbers – THEY HAVE BEEN PRODUCING!!! Use the same double dropper loop set-up with 12 oz + torps and squid. There are also calico in spawn mode all around the island. You’ll find them … trust me. Squid, sardines, swim bait, tubes, spinner baits, etc. are all working.

Lastly, in crossing the channel, please note that the swell and winds can make it a washing machine, and it’s VERY VERY VERY important that everyone on-deck has their vests on and you’ve got VHF on channel 16. Especially, if you’ve got children and unexperienced guests on board, keep them safe and secure. It has gotten gnarly out there than last 3-4 days, both in the AM and on the cross back. If you don’t have Boat US Tow or Sea Tow, I’m just gunna say it … you’re dumb. It’s literally just over $120 anually and a single tow for 20+ miles could cost you a quick G. No joke.


If going to preface this last part of the report by stating clearly, we are NOT a tuna charter or tuna rental company, but have some advice if you’re going to go chase. If you’re planning to hit the YFT and BFT that are close, don’t launch any further north than Dana Point. If you were to draw an imaginary line from Oceanside to San Clem island, the pelagics are all SOUTH of that line. Don’t go in undergunned. Too light of a set-up and you’re toast. There are BIG bluefin within 50 miles of our coast, and some schoolie-sized yellowfin also. Have an arsenal and don’t lose the fish of a lifetime. Nothing more to say here than some advice on handling your fish once it’s been gaffed and on-deck:

Gaff as near to the head as you can to prevent piercing the fillets and introducing foul blood into your fillet areas

Properly-placed spikes or bat beat-downs will save your ankles, shins, and bait tanks, and are necessarily right away

It is very important to de-gill/gut the fish immediately to stay away from and try and prevent bacteria growth

Get the fish on fresh ice right away to keep your meat out of the temperature danger zone. This means cold, deep ice with the fish completely submerged. Just like food service, it’s necessary to keep your fish as close to 30-40 degrees as possible to get the MOST quality out of your fish

When it’s time to fillet your kill, remove all blood spots and bones when cutting. Use a consistent stream of fresh water to keep your fillets free from these contaminants

Unless you are consuming right away, vacuum seal and freeze fillets right away. Storing the fish at a freezing level will prevent bacteria from harvesting and will allow a GREAT tasting fish months down the road

Lastly, pay attention to your senses! The smell and look/touch of your fish will tell you numbers! If it has a hint of rotten smell or is soft, too deep of a red, etc. ditch it. Why risk explosive Monteczuma’s Revenge?

If you're interested in taking out your OWN island-worthy center console for a 3/4 or full day, give our fleet a try at www.slaydaysocal.com or call/text 714.914.4979 and enjoy our new touchscreen Garmin ECHOPlus Navionics units with over 300 pre-loaded fishing spots. Are you a veteran or first responder? We offer FAT discounts ALL year!

Slay on!


-SlayDay SoCal, LLC

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