SoCal Scene Reports
After last week’s windy weather, it seemed like we’d dodged a bullet when the tuna, yellowtail, wahoo and marlin continued to bite when the weather improved on Friday. But after only a couple days of decent weather, a larger wind storm blew through and absolutely hammered the coast. The good news is that after a couple days of calm weather it looks like we may have dodged that season ending bullet one more time.
There hasn’t really been much fishing coverage over the last few days, so let’s take a look at what was happening before the wind and what we know to be happening after it.
The rockfish bite at the Channel Islands was good to excellent last week. I spoke to Captain Larry Heron of Calico Hunter Charters who fished shallow water rockfish at the west end of Santa Cruz Island on Saturday. He reported easy limits of big rockfish for his anglers fishing swimbaits in shallow water. The weather is forecast to be excellent this weekend and the rockfish should be biting. There are several sport boats online for rockfish trips this weekend, so call the landing and get out there.
The yellowtail were biting in the Santa Monica Bay prior to the storm. I fished them on Friday morning and my friend Chris Oakes hooked and lost a fish on the surface iron. There were big schools of fish in deep water on the rockfish grounds, but they just weren’t biting. The Redondo Special out of Redondo Sportfishing was the high boat in the area with six fish. The New Del Mar out of Marina Del Rey Sportfishing caught a handful of fish on both Tuesday’s and Wednesday’s trips, so it looks like the fish are still there. With the volume of fish I saw up there on Friday, the fishing could be pretty damned good if they decide to finally bite.
Palos Verdes was kicking out some small yellowtail and calicos before the blow. I fished there as well on Friday and had excellent calico bass fishing on fish up to 8-pounds. The trick was to find areas with conditions. All fish came off the leading edges of kelp beds with uphill current. This area got particularly hammered by the wind, so I’d expect the fishing to be a little tough until the conditions clean up.
Further down the coast, there are yellows biting on the deep water spots outside of Long Beach and below Dana Point. On Wednesday passengers aboard the Enterprise out of Marina Sportfishing got five of the bigger grade fish on yo-yo jigs. That same day, the Sum Fun out of Dana Wharf got a score on fish that ate mackerel on the dropper loop. These fish are acting just like they did last fall and winter, so let’s keep our fingers crossed that the bite improves as we approach the full moon.
The highlight offshore last week was the striped marlin bite that was happening around Santa Barbara Island. I fished there on Sunday morning aboard the Good Karma and we went 3 for 4 on the big striped marlin by 11:00 a.m. By noon the storm was upon us and we were chased home by heavy rain and 30 knot winds. By the time the wind stopped blowing, the 67-degree water that the fish had been holding in had dropped to 61. The good news is that the fish didn’t seem to mind. My buddies Jimmy Decker and Shawn Morgon, who I’d fished with on Sunday, headed back out on Wednesday with Dave Hansen and went one for two on the stripers in the same area.
Late breaking offshore news at this time on Thursday morning is that the San Diego out of Seaforth Landing has 80 yellowfin on their 3/4-day trip. These fish are reported to be 15 to 40-pounds, so it looks like the yellowfin have stuck around despite the wind. You’ll want to check with the landing for more information if you’re interested in getting in on this bite.