Catalina mid-week report 7/10 to 7/13

mhanson59hb

Fear No Fish
Apr 22, 2013
2,014
3,206
Huntington Beach
Name
Mike
Boat
2008 Trophy 1802 "Mako My Day"
I took my son Sean to Catalina this week for a few days of fishing. I uncovered the boat Monday morning to discover some cat took a giant dump in the cockpit. Lovely. Not a good way to start the morning. After cleaning up the mess, we got to the Huntington Harbor launch ramp and there is construction on the bridge. After a short wait, we were able to cross it. At the ramp, there was a coyote nosing around. Where was he when I needed him to keep the cat out of my boat?

We picked up a full scoop of squid and some sardines from Mario and headed over in OK conditions. There was a south swell coming into the island which was stirring up the water, making it off-color, although it was still 68 to 71 degrees. Slow trolling sardines on the back side east put us on all the big bonito and nice barracuda you could ask for – all released except one bone that was hooked in the gills.

But where were those big yellows from recent trips? Nowhere to be found. Sean did finally pick up a small yellowtail, but that and some more released calicos was it for the day. We moored up in Avalon for the night. By the way, Avalon was all washed out green from the swell, and it was 62.5 degrees in the harbor. Yikes!

Tuesday morning, we were at the Palisades right at grey light. Drifting the squid grounds produced nothing but short calicos. Moving up to Salta Verde, we picked up more bones and cuda on the troll. The Fury was pulling out of the west end of the area so we trolled through that spot. This where I got hammered hard and the fish totally rocked my 30 pound outfit. It was the only zinger I was to get the whole trip. The chaffed fluorocarbon told the sad story. The good news is that the kelp is really starting to come back at this spot. Coming back down the line, the fleet was set up between Orange and Church rocks. It seemed they were nailing plenty of bonito and cuda, but we already had our fill of those.

After grabbing some lunch and ice in Avalon and anchoring up for a nap and a swim, we headed over to Empire. Slow trolling there produced nothing, but the water was 69 and cleaner. The wind started blowing out from over the island, so we bailed back to Whites Landing to pick up a mooring. $49 bucks. Rip off!

Wednesday morning found us back at Empire slow trolling, again for nothing. Either the yellows were not there, they had lock jaw or we were doing something wrong. Either way, it boiled down to the same thing: Zero target fish! We moved over to a shallow water rockfish spot and I caught a nice sheephead and Sean caught a big red. Taco material! At noon, we anchored up in front of Indian Rock, and Sean was kept busy catching smelt for bait and fly-lining squid. He ended up catching a big calico that was released and another sheephead that went into the fish hold.

That afternoon, we trolled Spanish mackerel and smelt at Eagle Reef, where I released another large calico. We then went around Arrow Point to the Parsons Landing area. The kelp has really come back here as well. Again, beautiful conditions, but no fish. The wind started howling, so we picked up a spot on the string line at the Isthmus for the night.

Thursday morning we hit the rockfish spot for two more sheepshead, mine being around a 6-7 pounder. We are now set for the beer battered fish! We crossed back in flat calm conditions. At Angles Gate, we were blue lighted by the police. They asked where we were headed and where we had been and let us leave without boarding us. There were police, navy and coast guard all over the entrances to the outer Long Beach harbor. We even saw a boat with “FBI Dive Team” on it. Maybe they were on a drill or some kind of security alert – but there was a heavy presence out and about. Make sure you have all your safety equipment and paperwork in order.

Anyway, we did not catch anything of note on this trip, but we had a good time and made it back safely with some fillets. I shot some video but have not had the time to edit it yet. If it came out OK, I may post it here later.

Good luck and be safe out there!

Sean's small yellow - the only one of the trip
DSCN1537.JPG


Two headed squid. The smaller one was fully formed inside the mantle of the larger one. How did this happen? Your guess is as good as mine!
DSCN1539.JPG


Sean's nice calico
DSCN1542.JPG


My calico
DSCN1544.JPG


My last sheephead
DSCN1545.JPG
 
Last edited:

sickcat

Silverback
Aug 5, 2003
3,491
1,535
64
LA
Name
Kerry
Boat
Yellow spot
Maybe not the targeted species but those checkerboards and sheephead are certainly notable! Looks like a great father/son outing.
 
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af dreamer

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Apr 16, 2007
4,703
2,371
long beach,ca
Name
tom
Boat
44 luhrs dreamer
I took a easy trip wed to Cat,started at Frog rock,bass and cudas tried to bite,if we threw any dines they bit but the dogs took over.Worked west all day,had a little action but not much current.Fished rippers and empire for nothing.Looked at the high spot for nothing,looked a eagle but there was a boat on the spot that had young kids catching and releasing the bass.Went back to the shoe,good cuda action but again the dogs took over,had 5 on us at one time.Called it a day with a few bass and cudas and a lone bonito.Great day on the water,could have used more current and way less dogs.Tom
 
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sealskinner

Retired Pimp
Apr 24, 2005
13,706
8,306
in the Hood
Name
Mike
Boat
Franks ho
Sounds like you tried your ass off. Sorry all you got was dog love.
When is open season on those things?

Looks like 2 squid in the same sleeping bag.
 
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mhanson59hb

Fear No Fish
Apr 22, 2013
2,014
3,206
Huntington Beach
Name
Mike
Boat
2008 Trophy 1802 "Mako My Day"
I took a easy trip wed to Cat,started at Frog rock,bass and cudas tried to bite,if we threw any dines they bit but the dogs took over.
What's weird is we did not have any problems with the floating fur balls this time. Usually they are all over us, harassing our trolled baits and trying to steal hooked fish.

Maybe they could sense we were not catching much anyway, so they did not want to waste their time hanging around us! :D
 
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af dreamer

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Apr 16, 2007
4,703
2,371
long beach,ca
Name
tom
Boat
44 luhrs dreamer
We only took dines.I have not had them bother much on the squid until we actually caught a fish
.They were chasing and eating the chum.Tom
 
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Cheech

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Sep 11, 2008
409
251
Tustin, CA
Name
Jeff Cheechov
Boat
Skipjack 24FB, AD41P diesel
Great report, and fun times with your son.
And that's all good :-)
 
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Azarkon

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Aug 28, 2015
1,714
1,325
36
California
Name
Joe
Boat
N/A
Nice job on the sheep. Always a nice time at the island even without any fish.

That said... Catalina has been so bad this year. Don't know what's up with it.
 
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mhanson59hb

Fear No Fish
Apr 22, 2013
2,014
3,206
Huntington Beach
Name
Mike
Boat
2008 Trophy 1802 "Mako My Day"
Nice job on the sheep. Always a nice time at the island even without any fish.

That said... Catalina has been so bad this year. Don't know what's up with it.
I don't know about bad all year. In June my son caught 35 and 26 pound yellows at Catalina.

https://www.bdoutdoors.com/forums/t...a-6-5-to-6-8-big-yellows.658255/#post-4349306

Guess we were in the right place at the right time. Catalina can be totally frustrating though - been there done that many times, so I know where you are coming from!

Maybe you'll have better luck next time! I hope we will!
 
Last edited:

Long Beach Bob

I've posted enough I should edit this section
May 13, 2004
454
532
74
Long Beach and points due west
Name
Bob Ballew
Boat
2520 Parker with twin 200 Yamahas
Thanks for confirming my guess to leave Parker at home and enjoy Avalon for a week as a tourist oggling bikinis at Descanso beach bar!...south swell and wind messes up both sides of the island for weeks at a time.....time to chase tuna...
 
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sealskinner

Retired Pimp
Apr 24, 2005
13,706
8,306
in the Hood
Name
Mike
Boat
Franks ho
I took my son Sean to Catalina this week for a few days of fishing. I uncovered the boat Monday morning to discover some cat took a giant dump in the cockpit. Lovely. Not a good way to start the morning. After cleaning up the mess, we got to the Huntington Harbor launch ramp and there is construction on the bridge. After a short wait, we were able to cross it. At the ramp, there was a coyote nosing around. Where was he when I needed him to keep the cat out of my boat?

We picked up a full scoop of squid and some sardines from Mario and headed over in OK conditions. There was a south swell coming into the island which was stirring up the water, making it off-color, although it was still 68 to 71 degrees. Slow trolling sardines on the back side east put us on all the big bonito and nice barracuda you could ask for – all released except one bone that was hooked in the gills.

But where were those big yellows from recent trips? Nowhere to be found. Sean did finally pick up a small yellowtail, but that and some more released calicos was it for the day. We moored up in Avalon for the night. By the way, Avalon was all washed out green from the swell, and it was 62.5 degrees in the harbor. Yikes!

Tuesday morning, we were at the Palisades right at grey light. Drifting the squid grounds produced nothing but short calicos. Moving up to Salta Verde, we picked up more bones and cuda on the troll. The Fury was pulling out of the west end of the area so we trolled through that spot. This where I got hammered hard and the fish totally rocked my 30 pound outfit. It was the only zinger I was to get the whole trip. The chaffed fluorocarbon told the sad story. The good news is that the kelp is really starting to come back at this spot. Coming back down the line, the fleet was set up between Orange and Church rocks. It seemed they were nailing plenty of bonito and cuda, but we already had our fill of those.

After grabbing some lunch and ice in Avalon and anchoring up for a nap and a swim, we headed over to Empire. Slow trolling there produced nothing, but the water was 69 and cleaner. The wind started blowing out from over the island, so we bailed back to Whites Landing to pick up a mooring. $49 bucks. Rip off!

Wednesday morning found us back at Empire slow trolling, again for nothing. Either the yellows were not there, they had lock jaw or we were doing something wrong. Either way, it boiled down to the same thing: Zero target fish! We moved over to a shallow water rockfish spot and I caught a nice sheephead and Sean caught a big red. Taco material! At noon, we anchored up in front of Indian Rock, and Sean was kept busy catching smelt for bait and fly-lining squid. He ended up catching a big calico that was released and another sheephead that went into the fish hold.

That afternoon, we trolled Spanish mackerel and smelt at Eagle Reef, where I released another large calico. We then went around Arrow Point to the Parsons Landing area. The kelp has really come back here as well. Again, beautiful conditions, but no fish. The wind started howling, so we picked up a spot on the string line at the Isthmus for the night.

Thursday morning we hit the rockfish spot for two more sheepshead, mine being around a 6-7 pounder. We are now set for the beer battered fish! We crossed back in flat calm conditions. At Angles Gate, we were blue lighted by the police. They asked where we were headed and where we had been and let us leave without boarding us. There were police, navy and coast guard all over the entrances to the outer Long Beach harbor. We even saw a boat with “FBI Dive Team” on it. Maybe they were on a drill or some kind of security alert – but there was a heavy presence out and about. Make sure you have all your safety equipment and paperwork in order.

Anyway, we did not catch anything of note on this trip, but we had a good time and made it back safely with some fillets. I shot some video but have not had the time to edit it yet. If it came out OK, I may post it here later.

Good luck and be safe out there!

Sean's small yellow - the only one of the trip
View attachment 850706

Two headed squid. The smaller one was fully formed inside the mantle of the larger one. How did this happen? Your guess is as good as mine!
View attachment 850707

Sean's nice calico
View attachment 850709

My calico
View attachment 850710

My last sheephead
View attachment 850711
Awesome report Mike. That goat is majestic.
 
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