Editor’s Note: Local Islands may be the hot ticket this weekend according to Joe’s article below. Get the scoop.
Last week, I gave a seminar to the Challenger’s Angling Club in Monrovia. The topic of the seminar was fishing for white seabass from a sportboat. As it turned out, their trip last weekend was going to be on the Pacific Dawn, out of Ventura. Target of their trip would be white seabass. The full moon was last weekend too. So as I gave the seminar, I got myself worked up to give it a go.
They didn’t have any room left on their charter, but I was able to secure a spot aboard the Pacific Islander. I was working on gear Saturday afternoon when I got the call. Trip cancelled. My fourth already of this young season. UGH!
My backup plan was to fish the beach Sunday morning to continue my shore halibut quest. Then my buddy, Nollie Castaneda, hit me up. “Want to ride on the Native Sun tomorrow?” Why not?
I’m glad I went…
Native Sun – Full Day Catalina Trip
There had been some yellowtail action reported down the beach off the Mussel Farm area, off the shore from Huntington Beach. That’s where Capt. Aaron Graham had scored the yellowtail I reported on in my article last week. Given that’s where the last gamefish action had occurred and the predicted windy conditions outside, I was a bit surprised to find out we were going to make the crossing to fish at the island. I don’t know if Aaron had some new dope, or just wanted to take a look because he hadn’t been in a while, but that was the plan for the day. We spent most of the day rockfishing for pretty good results. Action on some nice reds and chuckies was immediate from the first drop. It was looking like one of the nicer ones would take jackpot.
We got past the lunch hour and Aaron decided to check out one last spot before calling it a day. As we made the approach, he said he was marking a few yellows below us, and advised that a yo-yo jig was probably the best bet as they were hanging out lower in the water column.
Since he was only seeing a couple marks, I decided to fish a 100g Flat Fall in the Blue Sardine color (the orange and blue one). I figured I’d give myself the opportunity to catch something besides yellowtail if that didn’t work out. Aaron told me later that those few marks exploded into many more as soon as we threw bait on it!
I was fishing towards the bow on the starboard side of the house when it broke loose. Angler Isai Avalos (right) was fishing a dropper loop with a squid strip to my left and was the first to get bit. I was just yelling, “Fresh one!” for his hookup, when I got hit on the flat fall. Another guy to my right got bit as well at the same time.
That initial flurry settled into a steady pick before we had to leave. Isai’s fish ended up being the big fish (he said it weighed out at 22 on his spring scale). I ended up getting another one, and the boat finished out with 15 (top). Most of the fish were in say the 10-12-pound range. One interesting thing I noted was someone picking up some squid eggs on their yo-yo, indicating a squid nest below us.
All in all, Cat looked better than on my Chief trip a couple weeks ago.
Live Candy This Weekend
The Long Beach bait barge is reporting availability of live squid this weekend. Apparently, more than the one little spot we found is producing enough that it’s available for sale. It’s been windy all week, and it looks like we won’t be getting enough of a break that I’d consider booking an outer island trip. But hey, with live candy in play, why not just fish local and see what happens?
You might get lucky like I did last weekend.
Good luck if you get out there.