Sanddabs Off PT Jan 23rd

Discussion in 'Southern California Inshore & Islands Fish Reports' started by Halibut Howie, Jan 24, 2018.

  1. Halibut Howie

    Halibut Howie Member Since 2003

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    Halibut Howie
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    Earlier I asked about fishing for sanddabs since rockfishing is closed until March 1st. Weather has been shitty so could not get out to look for them until yesterday. I figure I'd go out to the north end of the Nine-Mile Bank to where I have some ancient WPs from when you could fish at any depth. Took me an hour to get out there due to 3-7 ft swells at fairly close period. Going home was a breeze going down swell but getting out there by myself was a bitch. Had to make sure you had your feet securely around you.

    My 1st sanddab WP at 576' was slow with only a few in the box after 3 short drifts. Then off to the 2nd WP. Each of these WPs were in the flat sandy areas well away from the drop-offs so as not to fish in a rockfish environment. Found all I wanted there at 600' mainly two at a time using long-shanked 2/0 hooks that I put a small twist in. I used a Penn 16scv 2-speed with 80lb dacron line and a home-made 2lb weight from tire weights.. Used small pieces of squid strips for bait with a flashing squid-lite above a two hook ganglion.

    Took home 24 and cleaned them the next morning with 3-cuts with a stout knife. Kept 10 for eating now and vacuum sealed the rest. I just dusted 4 in flour and fried them in hot peanut oil. Served with drawn butter and lemon. Reminded me of blue crab pickin' times back east. Use your fingers, eat the fins and dip the filet parts in butter with lemon. Wash down with a cold beer. Four sanddabs made an awfully darn good lunch. Now time for a nap.

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    Last edited: Jan 24, 2018
  2. mshsu

    mshsu Well-Known "Member"

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    Nice job! Do you get alot of little bones throughout the meat? The last time I caught an incidental sand dab while rockfishing in LBC, it had so many little bones throughout the meat that I couldn't eat it. Maybe I cleaned it wrong or maybe it wasn't a sand dab?
     
  3. T-Tang

    T-Tang Far from newbie, but lifetime learner

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    If you cook it in a frying pan, the meat usually just comes off the bones. I've never had a problem with getting fishbones in my sand dabs cooking them that way.
     
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  4. NoLDR

    NoLDR OG BD member

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    AWESOME. Really do not understand why so many people pass on them. YUMMY.
     
  5. Azarkon

    Azarkon I've posted enough I should edit this section

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    Thanks for the report.

    A couple of comments...

    First, you don’t need to go that deep. The most abundant concentration of sand dabs are at 200 to 350 feet...

    Second, two hooks at 600 feet makes me in pain just thinking about it.

    Fish less deep and with many more hooks, it will be more fun and efficient use of your time and effort.
     
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  6. Halibut Howie

    Halibut Howie Member Since 2003

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    I do not have any WPs at that depth. Care to give us a few. I've got one at 175' but they are small in size. Most of these are big enough to filet but I like to eat them whole.

    Can not use more than 2 hooks.



     
  7. Hismosa

    Hismosa I've posted enough I should edit this section

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    If you only have sanddabs aboard the boat you can use more than 2 hooks. But if you have other species aboard than yes you would be correct
     
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  8. charliecat

    charliecat on a fishin' mission

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    Yes quite delicious and often overlooked!

    You can definitely use more than 2 hooks, that’s only for rockfish. Try a sabiki with big hooks like for catching horse mackerel. And like the other guy said, try in 300’, anywhere sandy between Alaska and Baja! Guarrens’ ball bearins’ !
     
  9. Azarkon

    Azarkon I've posted enough I should edit this section

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    I'm not in the San Diego area so can't give you exact locations, but I would expect any where in the 200 to 350 feet range to be productive, as long as it isn't rock fish territory. Since rock fish territory is generally limited to areas with rocks and sharp drop offs, this isn't usually an issue - there is much less rock fish territory than there is sand dab territory, so experiment a little and you will find them.

    I'll assume that you don't have an up to date electronics depth map like Bluechart or Navionics, since these make it easy to find flat bottom. So instead, I'll recommend you print out or buy a few of these for the areas you fish: http://www.charts.noaa.gov/OnLineViewer/18772.shtml, then use it to figure out locations to look at.

    The hook limit is only for certain species of fish. Sand dabs are not one of those species.
     
  10. shinbob

    shinbob Member

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    Yeah, with 2 lbs of weight also!

    Being on a private boat gives us a lot of advantages over those on the party boats. I found all I could catch at only 180' near the LB oil rigs. Six hooks meant I only had to drop 4 times to catch a decent, not wasteful amount, and I only had to use 4 oz of total weight (3 on the bottom, 1 on the top), which makes for a much more pleasant way to the surface. Using a ganglion that allows the hook lines to spin around the main line ensures you don't get a horribly twisted mess also as they helicopter their way up.

    My last trip I was able to catch my target within 30 minutes total, which freed up that much more time to get skunked by the sculpin.
     
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  11. JustOneCast

    JustOneCast Arnold

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    Nice work getting out there Howie!
    My arms hurt thinking of reeling in 600' of line with a 2lb ball LOL
     
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  12. the SLIDER

    the SLIDER https://multimediabylj.com

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    Good Job, "Sanddab Howie"
     
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  13. fishboy93

    fishboy93 Well-Known "Member"

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    No hook limit for non game fish. Most guys who fish them use 10-15 hooks with a weight on top and bottom to lay the line flat on the sand. 180-360’
     
  14. RockyGizmo

    RockyGizmo Member

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  15. colemans224

    colemans224 Member

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    Haha, I'd be ready for a nap too. Thanks for posting.
     
  16. dktool

    dktool Member

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    A few Catalina trips ago we were catching them a @250' near the west end using 6 hooks with squid chunks.
    My bro in law and I ate 17 of them that night on the boat, egg dipped, rolled in seasoned breadcrumbs and fried ................ Delicious

    After that I have been thinking of a trip to just load up on them little fellers.
     
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  17. Unassailable

    Unassailable Professional Amateur

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    Thanks for the informative post. Also like you used the infrared thermometer to check your oil.

    I've never targeted sand dabs...for those that do, are you simply looking for a large sandy bottom at the 100-350 ft ( I know you fished DEEP)? Do you mark them? I can't imagine they do unless they were really concentrated...
     
  18. PHT

    PHT Member

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    tasty
     
  19. mark johnsen

    mark johnsen Ichthus

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    Nice report! Thanks. Delicious....
     
  20. Can't Parker

    Can't Parker Me

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    Howie, First of all, nice job! Wow, and thanks for the great info.

    Now on to my stupid question..

    How do you tell the difference between a sand dab (with no size or qty. limits, is that correct?) and a short halibut? I would like to try it sometime but keep having nightmares of making a mistake and a million dollar dfg ticket...

    Doug
     

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