San Clemente Island Report Sunday 1/29/17

Discussion in 'Southern California Inshore & Islands Fish Reports' started by get some, Jan 31, 2017.

  1. get some

    get some So Cal Editor BD Writer

    Location:
    LBC
    Name:
    Erik
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    Robalo 226 Cayman
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    With Santa Ana winds forecast for the weekend, Matt and I decided to take advantage of the weather window and run out to San Clemente Island. Our plan was to spend the first couple hours looking for yellows before fishing bass the rest of the day. I've become a bit soft in my old age so based on how cold it was I decided to forgo a a freezing pre-dawn run and waited until 6:30 to launch.

    The offshore winds were definitely blowing on the way out and the ride from the harbor to just past Catalina wasn't great. The wind waves were stacked up and we spent the whole time plowing into the back of them and getting spray blown in our faces every few minutes. Not horrible, just annoying. The wind died down a couple miles past cat and it was grease the rest of the day. Even the ride home was gorgeous.

    Anyway, we arrived at the east end of the island before 9:00 a.m. and headed out to Desperation Reef. We marked some bait schools deep but didn't see much so we headed in towards some of the shallower reefs near China Point. This was my first time fishing the area since I'd installed Navionics Sonar Charts and the added contour detail made it easy to find high spots and ridges that I didn't know where there.

    IMG_8169.PNG
    This is just a screen shot off my phone app but you can see Desperation Reef at the bottom and the other pinnacles above it. There's much more detail when you zoom in closer. Anyway, there were lots of tightly grouped bait schools in 150-200 feet of water in that zone and at the high slack tide the birds got active and started picking crab. Over the next half hour I metered several schools of yellowtail but they wouldn't bite the yoyo jig. Based on how the birds were jumping around from spot to spot, the fish were moving fast and keyed in on the crab. After about an hour of not catching anything we decided to shine it and go fish bass.

    The conditions looked incredible tight to the island despite last week's storm. Water temp was 60.3 to 60.5 from the east end to Eel Point and the water was blue with at least 25 foot visibility. The good downhill current and lots of bait and birds in the kelp had us thinking it would be easy fishing, but it was anything but that. After an hour and a half of fishing multiple prime kelp beds, both deep and shallow, we had 2 followers and a 12-inch tail biter to show for our efforts.
    16422847_10206416101721416_5586602529500906155_o.jpg
    This is a shot of the fish finder over one of the deeper kelp beds we fished. Good current, lots of bait and no bass.

    Giving up on the kelp we made the run in tight and fished every beach, rock, boiler, point and hard bottom on the east end of the island for one hooked and lost calico on a crank bait. We threw the kit in there and never saw another fish. Giving up on the backside, we made the run around to the front of the island and covered at least a mile of water for one 2-pound calico on a Daiwa SP Minnow up tight. Finally out of boredom I broke down and tied on a 5-inch MC Viejos Swimbait with a 3/4 ounce head and cast it out into deeper water, where it was inhaled by a nice calico a couple feet off the bottom. Next cast, same thing. So Matt tied one on too and it was a bass a cast until we got tired of catching them a few minutes later.
    16423004_10206416102001423_1369777762926453242_o.jpg
    Probably could have stayed there and caught fish all afternoon, but it felt more like sand bass fishing than it did calico fishing so we called it an early day and had the boat back on the trailer by 4:00 p.m. Not what I was hoping for but I'll take it over sitting on the couch and watching the rain fall any day. Might go and fish PV this weekend if the weather permits. Lots of potential at SCI right now but I think it's going to be a few weeks before anything exciting happens there.
     
  2. sealskinner

    sealskinner Retired Pimp

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    Mike
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    Franks ho
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    Nice detailed report.
     
    mmmark78 likes this.
  3. Second Row

    Second Row You Should Have Been Here Yesterday

    Location:
    Newport
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    Scott
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    21' Grady White - Rusty Hook
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    Great read bud.. Thanks for puttin in the effort!
     
  4. RyanErb

    RyanErb Love to fish!

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    Ryan
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    So the fish were down deep and near the bottom... not on the surface ready for a reaction bite. Kind of sounds like winter freshwater bass :)

    Great pics, thanks for the report!
     
    rick rouland likes this.
  5. get some

    get some So Cal Editor BD Writer

    Location:
    LBC
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    Erik
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    You're right about that but there will usually be a surface bass bite at SCI during the winter when we get periods of stable weather. It seems like the recent storms coupled with the amount of crab at the island had the fish feeding deeper.
     
  6. RyanErb

    RyanErb Love to fish!

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    You would know best as you fish much more than I do. Fish can be funny, you can't always predict them! Glad you found them in the end!
     
    get some likes this.
  7. Ali

    Ali Master of Nothing Admin

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    That Guy
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    Glad someone got out in that nice weather. It was killing me looking out there and not able to run.
     
    get some likes this.
  8. jscrib

    jscrib Whale Cock

    Location:
    Santa Monica
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    j
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    VS
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    Nice!

    We were over at Avalon Sunday and Monday for Evan's B-Day(non fish trip). Weather was epic. No problem seeing Clemente on the ride back either.

    j
     
    get some likes this.
  9. jigfisherman

    jigfisherman Well-Known "Member"

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    Josh Huffstetler
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    We are going to try desperation after scouting for black cod and black gill next week so thank you for a starting point
     
  10. matthew schaefe

    matthew schaefe Member

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    Mission Bay,CA
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    matt
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    38' topaz express "TAILCHASER"
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    Looks like a nice day. What APP is that?
     
  11. get some

    get some So Cal Editor BD Writer

    Location:
    LBC
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    Erik
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    Robalo 226 Cayman
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    It's the Navionics Boating App.
     
  12. Tunaslam

    Tunaslam I've posted enough I should edit this section

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    Cory Visser
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    Glad you caught some, bored with a fish a cast is rather strange?
     
  13. get some

    get some So Cal Editor BD Writer

    Location:
    LBC
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    Erik
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    Robalo 226 Cayman
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    Bottom fishing for mostly small calicos gets boring pretty quick lol. Especially when you've got a fifty something mile drive home ahead of you...
     
    One_Leg likes this.
  14. T Shark

    T Shark Member

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    Michael
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    My Medication
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    Great report! Thanks
     
  15. princefredo

    princefredo Member

    Location:
    Lakewood, Ca
    Name:
    alfredo
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    Hobie Mirage "Master Baiter"
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    Thanks for the info. Hopefully the yellows start biting soon
     

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