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SoCal Fish Bite Before Holiday Weekend

SoCal fishAs has been the case with almost every column I’ve written over the last few months, I’m going to start yet another one lamenting the weekend’s weather forecast. The good news is that the wind is only supposed to blow on Saturday and this being a three-day weekend, you’ll still be left with a couple days of good fishing weather to chase these SoCal fish. The bad news is that this being a three-day weekend, and the unofficial start of the summer fishing season, you’re going to have to share the water with more people than you did last week.

Being gang-bang-adverse, my plan is to spend the 99 days that fall between tomorrow and Labor Day doing my best to avoid going anywhere near where the fish bit yesterday. While this takes a lot more work than following the fleet, it’s also much more rewarding and I highly recommend it to my fellow private boaters. If you’re a sport boat angler, go fishing during the week if you can get off and always spend the extra money on a limited load trip if you can’t.

SoCal fishThere are lots of fishing options on this weekend’s Navionics Chart but be aware that all of the islands, excluding Catalina and the Coronados, are forecast to be blown out on Saturday. Sunday looks better overall but Rosa and San Nick are still windy. By Monday, everywhere within the Southern California Bight should be in play.

Getting to our report, the seabass and yellows are biting for boats fishing the Channel Islands. On Wednesday the Aloha Spirit tallied 11 seabass and 9 yellows for 11 passengers. These fish are biting both jigs and bait, so make sure and bring your jig stick if you’re heading up that way. The rockfish bite is still excellent up there and along the beach around Santa Barbara.

The El Dorado out of Long Beach Sportfishing had a shot of big yellows to go along with quality rockfish over the weekend. BD Outdoor’s Joe Sarmiento was on the trip, so I’m he’ll have the details in his weekly column. Santa Barbara Island and I still aren’t talking but there may or may not be yellows biting there.

SoCal fishThe Pursuit out of 22nd Street Landing has been on the yellows at Catalina this week and has had several good scores including 51 fish on Monday. Private boaters have been catching yellows at the island as well and having live squid is making a big difference for these SoCal fish. The Pacific Carnage is currently sitting in front of Avalon and tanked up with live squid and should be there all weekend long.

SoCal fishThe calico bass are biting at Catalina Island as well. I fished there on Sunday and again on Wednesday afternoon and had good fishing both days. On Sunday most of the fish came from shallow boiler zones. By Wednesday the big south swell had the shallow spots rolled over but I was able to find biting fish in the kelp. You can read my full report on SoCal fish here.

I’m sure that the bass are also biting at San Clemente Island but between wind and island closures, it hasn’t gotten much coverage. The Navy has the island wide open this weekend and I might go and take a look on Sunday or Monday. If you’re heading across, I’d keep an eye out for yellows around Pyramid or off the west end.

SoCal fishThe bluefin and yellowtail are still biting for boats fishing out of San Diego. According to recent reports, it sounds like there are a lot more bluefin around than the counts would suggest. With the full moon on Tuesday, I wouldn’t be a bit surprised if these SoCal fish didn’t stop showing and start going, so if you’ve been holding off on booking a trip for this weekend, just go ahead and do it. You never know, I might be posting a picture of you holding the fish of a lifetime in my report next week.

Have a great weekend and go catch some fish!

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Erik Landesfeind is BD's Southern California Editor and has over 30 years of experience saltwater fishing for a range of species in both California and Mexican waters. Erik is also an active freelance writer and the author of the weekly column So Cal Scene, which BD publishes every Friday. In So Cal Scene, Erik keeps all of the BD readers up to date on what's biting in Southern California. Erik divides his fishing time on local boats, long-range trips and Mexico excursions. For the past eight years, Erik has been competing in the SWBA (Saltwater Bass Anglers) tournament series and has multiple tournament victories to his credit. His sponsors include Batson Enterprises / Rainshadow Rods, Robalo Boats, Tilly's Marine, Abu/Garcia, Penn Reels, Navionics, Raymarine, MC Swimbaits, Uni-Butter Fishing Scent and Bladerunner Tackle.