It’s been just another week of mostly mediocre fishing for Southern California anglers, but the good news is that it didn’t rain for a change. I may be wrong, but I think this is the longest we’ve gone without rain in the last three months and for that I’m thankful. Looking at the long range weather forecast, we’ve got another rain free week ahead but the northwest wind will be periodically be blowing across the outer islands. Based on that, I’d keep close tabs on the wind forecast if you’re planning a trip to Miguel, Rosa or San Nic. With the weather report out of the way, let’s take a look at this week’s unexciting fishing report.
As you can tell by the Navionics Chart, rockfish is the name of the game. And as is always the case, not all rockfish zones are created equally. Now that we’re almost a month into the season, the 1/2-day boats and private boat fleet have beat up the local spots enough that I’d rate the fishing somewhere between, “so so” and “don’t bother”. I’m not saying that you won’t be able to go out, have fun, and catch a bag of delicious fish to take home and eat, just be aware that the effort to reward ratio isn’t going to be in your favor.
The photo at the top of this column shows the results of a recent trip aboard the Aloha Spirit. As the big smile and fistfuls of big reds indicates, longer runs to areas with less boat pressure, makes for fat rockfish and happy anglers. Following that line of logic, the best way to guarantee you’ll have a big smile is to fish as far away from the fleet as possible. For example, the El Dorado out of Long Beach Sportfishing fished San Nic on Wednesday and reported the rockfish bite as being as good as it gets. Just make sure and follow my advice about watching the weather though or you might end up with a seasick grimace instead of a smile on your face.
The Saltwater Bass Series held a tournament in Long Beach on Saturday and as you can probably tell by this photo of the winning bag, the fishing was pretty good. While this 22+ pound bag of five fish, caught by Doug Bury and Eugene Roberts was the exception, there were a bunch of teams that scored 15 to 17-pound bags. Jimmy Decker and I fished the tournament as well, and while we only managed 19-pounds and third place, we had really good fishing on 3+ pound sand bass on 8-inch MC Swimbait Slugs as well as on the Alabama Rig. Teams reported good bass fishing from Long Beach to Newport and I’d imagine that the bite will have improved coming off the full moon, so a local bass trip will be a very good angling option this weekend for private boaters.
Finally, there are some yellows being caught by the 3/4-day fleet out of San Diego right now, but they’ve been more show than go the last couple trips. While I can’t confirm it, I’d imagine the full moon had something to do with them biting a little better over the weekend. At any rate, the fish are there and could start biting again any time, so why not give it a shot. At worst you’ll take home some of the nice-sized rockfish they’re catching in the yellowtail area. Private boaters considering the run should be aware that these fish are not at the Coronado Islands and unless you’ve got sonar you probably aren’t going to find them. So, save yourself the frustration of driving around blindly, and save the sport boats the frustration of having to drive around trailing a line of skiffs like a mother duck and her ducklings. I’m going to be fishing bass at the Coronado Islands on Saturday and will report on what I see there next week. If you’re thinking about jumping on a sport boat I recommend reading Joe Sarmiento’s report from last week.
That’s about it. Get out there and catch some fish this weekend!