The Channel Islands while diverse all share a main component when it comes to fishing and that’s squid. Squid is a quintessential component of any fishing outing in the Channel Islands. Often referred to as “Candy” because of the insatiable reaction to it being presented to a variety of species in and around the island. While it’s not always easy to catch, know that when you do come across a squid bed it’s in your best interest to stock up for those days they go MIA.
There are a few basic tactics when it comes to fishing squid that covers the gamut while targeting some of the more common gamefish off the Channel Islands and those are Yellowtail, White Seabass, Halibut, and Rockfish. There are numerous more species that will fall victim to the below fishing techniques as well.
To explain some of these techniques we’ve partnered up with Duane “Diego” Mellor, who is a well-known captain in Southern California who runs a charter operation called Pinnacle Sportfishing, in addition, he is also an Ambassador for YETI. Duane uses the YETI 35 Hard Cooler to store his squid, it’s the perfect size to keep the squid fresh and school, and on deck is an accessible mobile seat.
TUTORIAL: LEAD HEAD
At times fishing with squid can be a little slow and timely, ultimately being a game of patience. By utilizing the Lead Head technique anglers are able to incorporate a more active method. Additionally, it allows for a quick reaction to fishing the water column based on where the fish is marking on your fishfinder.
TUTORIAL: DROPPER LOOP
The Dropper Loop, probably the most versatile of these methods in regard to catching diversity. The dropper loop rig is a great setup when targeting those less finicky deeper species like an assortment of rockfish, lingcod, and sheepshead. A must-have in your artillery of tricks for the Channel Islands.
TUTORIAL: SLIDING EGG SINKER
The Sliding Egg Sinker Rig is a favorite for those anglers specializing to target Yellowtail, Halibut, and White Seabass. This method allows for the stealthiest of the methods we’ve described when using squid. It allows the squid to flow and dance in the most realistic manner.
The species available to anglers at the Channel Islands is overwhelming. The zone is a transitional zone meaning it’s a crossover environment between water temperatures, upwelling, currents, and more. As a result there is a great number of resident species as well as species migrating through. Below are some of the usuals which only make up a fraction of the bending opportunities at the Channel Islands.