For you Calico guys

PENN

lobzila

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May 2, 2007
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e-man
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Went out last Sunday to the Nado's looking for yellowtail. Picked up a good half scoop of bait at the receiver after waiting in the strangest shaped line I have ever seen there. Got to the North Island around 0830 and found a ripping current. Figured we were going to nail the tails. Started a drift around Pukey point and I hooked up on a mystery fish on the first bait. It started moving slowly and then ran off. Thought it rocked me at first, then it started moving again. It broke off at the leader knot. BSB maybe? Anyway, another drift and I hook something heavy. Feels like a bass and I get it to the boat. Monster Calico! I net it and bring it in the boat. Looking at it after taking out the hook, I know its the biggest one of these I have caught. I don't have a scale, but its over 26 inches long and very fat.
As I have not kept a Calico in years, I decide to keep it and into the fish bag it goes. I know that will piss off some people as its probably over 30 years old. But it will be eaten well. I know, I should of let it go, but I didn't. I don't even keep lobsters over five pounds anymore for the same reason. But I kept this guy. Can't remember the last Calico I kept. Haters are going to hate, but there is a pandemic going on!
Caught a bunch more, but let them go, including one that was 24 inches long and not a lot smaller than the one in the bag. The bonito bite was pretty steady, but not wide open by any means. All fish were caught on flylined deans. My buddy kept three Bonito and they were all smaller than the Calico I kept.
Dove the area once most of the boats took off. Water temp was 71.3, and we had 50-75 foot of viz. We saw schools of Bonito's come by, but no yellows. I saw a Calico that could swallow the one I kept, but could not get anywhere near it due to the raging current and only saw it once. Drifted the entire length of North Island twice (each side) while live boating it. Great conditions, but no yellowtail seen or hooked that day.
Two questions for you Calico guys,
1. Roughly how much does a 26" Calico weigh.
2. The one I saw had to close to a record of some kind, I am kind of surprised the serious Calico guys don't fish the Nados harder for them and pull a record one out.
Great day of fishing and diving all in all.
I know, BS with out pictures!

IMG_0233.JPG
 

dalurker

old skool rules
Dec 23, 2004
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#%^&) !!!
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my blood vessel
7ish lbs? can be much larger if fatter and pre-spawn.

i'd fish the 'Nados strictly for calicos if i had a way to fish there private boat style. boat paperwork, and living too damn far away have made it prohibitive.

... but i would! still lookin' for that double digit. been over 60 yrs and i'll probably die without one.
 
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the SLIDER

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Jun 11, 2015
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Well someone was going to kill it after all those years. At least you appreciate it and have in mind the common good.

Biggest Calicos I have caught are at SCI casting mackerel on the beach. A shorter, fatter fish may weigh 8-10 lbs. That one looks leaner, but as you said longer. So who the hell knows; I'm sure you gobbled it down by now. So we'll never know.

:rofl:
 
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NaClAddict

Member
  • Jul 18, 2008
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    torrance
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    Greg
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    22 glasstron
    I weighed a 28” that was 10 lb 12 oz. Ate a 26“ that was heavier but never weighed it. The girth can vary greatly as can stomach contents. My 10 lb’er had a mac that was at least a pound halfway down its throat. Head was half digested but tail was still hanging out. I didn’t weigh it with the mac in because it fell out. Might’ve gone 12 if I’d weighed it with the Mac.
     
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    fishkilr

    I Post A Lot But I Can't Edit This
    Aug 27, 2012
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    alby
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    Have no problem with you taking fish but here is my reason the truly big ones go back...
    As someone who loves bass fishin I and many others do it with the hopes of catching the true slugs ...its different for everyone but those 8+ lb fish truly get my heart racing and there is no eating experience that comes close to matching it....
    They are slow growing so those true giants are hard to come by these days.. I fish the same spots often and have caught the same fish in harbors and break walls several times so why would I want to take that opportunity out of the water not only for myself but someone else lookin for that experience....
    If we all released the largest ones more guys would have a shot at the mythical 10 lbers that used to be plentiful...
    When I see a dead slug calico I dont think about how good it would taste but of how hard it can fight....remember This is just how I feel about it and I realize I'm in a small minority that dont look at bass as food...
     
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    fsh4calico

    Paralabrax clathratus
    Oct 31, 2004
    107
    163
    Torrance, Ca
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    Pete
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    Long Range, Float Tube
    Went out last Sunday to the Nado's looking for yellowtail. Picked up a good half scoop of bait at the receiver after waiting in the strangest shaped line I have ever seen there. Got to the North Island around 0830 and found a ripping current. Figured we were going to nail the tails. Started a drift around Pukey point and I hooked up on a mystery fish on the first bait. It started moving slowly and then ran off. Thought it rocked me at first, then it started moving again. It broke off at the leader knot. BSB maybe? Anyway, another drift and I hook something heavy. Feels like a bass and I get it to the boat. Monster Calico! I net it and bring it in the boat. Looking at it after taking out the hook, I know its the biggest one of these I have caught. I don't have a scale, but its over 26 inches long and very fat.
    As I have not kept a Calico in years, I decide to keep it and into the fish bag it goes. I know that will piss off some people as its probably over 30 years old. But it will be eaten well. I know, I should of let it go, but I didn't. I don't even keep lobsters over five pounds anymore for the same reason. But I kept this guy. Can't remember the last Calico I kept. Haters are going to hate, but there is a pandemic going on!
    Caught a bunch more, but let them go, including one that was 24 inches long and not a lot smaller than the one in the bag. The bonito bite was pretty steady, but not wide open by any means. All fish were caught on flylined deans. My buddy kept three Bonito and they were all smaller than the Calico I kept.
    Dove the area once most of the boats took off. Water temp was 71.3, and we had 50-75 foot of viz. We saw schools of Bonito's come by, but no yellows. I saw a Calico that could swallow the one I kept, but could not get anywhere near it due to the raging current and only saw it once. Drifted the entire length of North Island twice (each side) while live boating it. Great conditions, but no yellowtail seen or hooked that day.
    Two questions for you Calico guys,
    1. Roughly how much does a 26" Calico weigh.
    2. The one I saw had to close to a record of some kind, I am kind of surprised the serious Calico guys don't fish the Nados harder for them and pull a record one out.
    Great day of fishing and diving all in all.
    I know, BS with out pictures!

    View attachment 1200043
    Nice fish. Since you kept it, why didn't you weigh it? Just curious. I had a skinny 28 incher that weighed 8-5 and a round 26 1/2 incher that weighed 10-12. Girth matters a lot. As a very general rule, a 22 incher is 6 pounds. Add a pound for each inch thereafter.
     
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    djd35de

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  • Jul 18, 2005
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    David
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    Nice fish, I had a friend catch one that weighted 11.0 lbs even the next day with a digital scale. I caught a 26 inch in Point Loma years ago. But did'n'
    t have a scale. There're lots of nice size fish in Coronado islands. They fight harder too.
     
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    SouthBayKiller

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    Mar 27, 2003
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    It’s funny people treat bass like they are a sacred cow, but would toss a 10lb red in a sack without the blink of an eye.

    Calicos taste damn good.

    Release them if you like. Especially a big one if you want.

    But one of the best fish meals I’ve ever had was a fresh grilled 5lb calico on a beach with no spices added. Just caught it and grilled it whole. So good!
     
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    dalurker

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    Dec 23, 2004
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    #%^&) !!!
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    It’s funny people treat bass like they are a sacred cow, but would toss a 10lb red in a sack without the blink of an eye.
    AIN'T THAT THE TRUTH!!
    but, a 10lb red would come up dead, so might as well "Sack 'Em" and eat 'em...
    too hard to fit into the steamer for this kid, but it'll fit in ma sack!!
     
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    Sand Patroller

    Almost A Member
    Jun 26, 2018
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    West
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    2020 World Cat “Knot Reel”
    No hate for keeping a couple to eat. I usually release. I was at the Coronado's 2 weeks ago and was fishing at my favorite Calico spot because nothing was biting and my 12 year old was getting bored. This spot was crazy wide open the week prior. This trip we could not catch a bass and was wondering what was going on? A mex panga pulls right up us 10 yards from us and pulls a gillnet in like 20 feet of water. The net was under our boat without us knowing this. The net is full of 8-12 inch calico's with a few larger fish mixed in. He loads up a couple large coolers and put the net back. My 12 year old was really mad he was keeping all the small bass. Tried to explain he was a commercial fisherman and we were in Mex, but he was still pissed. To make a long story short the spot was picked clean. Hopefully the bass come back at some point. Saw the same guys doing the same thing near shore at the lighthouse area of South island on a way back from the 371. Did not know they were taking Calico's at the Coronado's commercially. Fish taco's?
     
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    Jun 10, 2004
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    Jamul
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    I had a couple of toads last fall and kept one over 24" for dinner too. First time in about 30 years, so we probably aren't what is causing the depletion.
     
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    the SLIDER

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    Jun 11, 2015
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    It’s funny people treat bass like they are a sacred cow, but would toss a 10lb red in a sack without the blink of an eye.

    Calicos are a sportfish. Much more fun to catch since most of the time they are near structure, usually on the surface. Reds are on the bottom, heavy weight, and a long, boring, wind in.

    A cast and a catch vs letting out 200-300 ft for a bite.

    Which species do you want to catch on a regular basis?

    Sacred Cow is a stretch though.
     
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