Islands Catalina - Mackerel Bank 7/22-7/23


  • Mar 11, 2021
    Los Angeles, California
    Albert Huang
    Boat Name
    1975 Hatteras 36C
    Hi all,
    Headed out of San Pedro at 7pm towards Long Point with my dad and brother. We wanted to try trolling the next day and check out some areas on the backside of Catalina. We are still learning offshore and islands fishing.
    It was slightly cloudy and the sea was flat on the way out. Water temp was ~72F and increased to ~74F as we neared Catalina. We arrived around 8:30 and anchored near the YMCA camp for the night. We did not have live bait so we set up with cut squid. There were tons of guppy sized fish in the area. I tried to make bait with no success. There were flying fish around and I hoped they would fly in the boat. We saw WSB breezers but they were not interested in our squid. The only catch during the night was a short Calico on a sinker rig. We called it at 2am.
    Next morning we trolled from Long Point to East end staying at a depth of around 300ft with a cedar plug and a DTX 165 minnow. The conditions were calm and water was blue and around 73F. I'm not sure if it's better closer or further from the island but decided to stay far enough from shore to avoid most of the boat traffic.
    After reaching East end we decided to troll/cruise to Mackerel Bank. About 2 miles off of East end our reel goes off and I thought we were on! It ended up being a big chunk of kelp on our deep diver minnow. Atleast we found out what it is supposed to sound like! Rest of the ride was smooth with slow swells and beautiful blue 72F water.
    At Mackerel Bank we saw half a dozen kelp paddies. One seemed like a big one to me:

    Near the paddy we saw marks but I don't know what I am looking at:

    Being our first time finding a large paddy we decided to focus on that. We tossed Tadys and swimbaits but no bites at the two largest paddies. We trolled around Mackerel Bank a bit longer with no luck then headed towards the Farnsworth bank area.
    We stopped at some structure north of Farnsworth MPA and started our drift with about 2.5 hours of daylight left. The conditions were choppy with NE drift. We landed five rockfish and a 5lb goat in 5 passes. All fish were caught on 6oz Bridgeport diamond jigs tipped with squid. We kept the goat and released the rockfish.

    We tried to anchor at Little Harbor but the only spot left was choppy so we decided to head home.