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Something Different For SoCal Anglers

The bluefin bit really well this week…

I said in my article last week, “now is looking like it might be the best opportunity of the year.”  If you were lucky enough to get out over the weekend, or during this work week, you were rewarded with biting bluefin.  It wasn’t easy.  Hook to land ratios, at least what I’ve heard, are still tough.  One friend of mine, very fishy guy who I won’t embarrass here, said he went 1 for 8 this week.  Clearly you’d like to do better…but EIGHT bites.

SoCal anglersThere were a lot of the 50-70-pound fish getting caught.  That’s my buddy, David Lee (right – not the 8 bite buddy), who got his limit aboard the Fortune this week (out of 22nd Street in San Pedro).

These fish are typically biting 30# or 40# fluoro.  Several anglers and crewmembers are saying that the Blackwater 35# fluoro is the hot ticket.

Don’t leave home without a big setup though (80# or 100#) because the bigs are still definitely in the mix.  Again though, hurry and go now if you’re going to go.  While these Santa Ana winds are terrible for the wildfires, they’re great for on water conditions.  Take advantage of it!

You said something different?

Right.  While the bluefin bite is really good, I’m hearing a lot of folks say that they’re done with it and ready for something else.  Here are some ideas…

Just For The Halibut

SoCal anglersDana Wharf has kicked off their Halibut Derby.  The actual drift days are Fridays and Sundays 7am-4pm, although you can participate in the derby by paying $5 extra on any trip.  I recommend doing the actual drift trips because you cover a lot more ground, thus giving you a better opportunity at the target fish.

I believe the Native Sun will also be reviving their halibut trips (probably beginning January), and I hear the Dolphin will be doing it too.

Ready To Rock?

Bluefin and really most offshore fishing is stressful.  You have to be on edge, ready for those small windows of opportunity that may define the whole trip.  It’s kind of exhausting.

And for a lot of folks, tuna is great to eat for a day or two, but for me at least the rush of it quickly fades.

SoCal anglers
Ling-a-palooza last year

At the opposite end of the spectrum is rockfishing.  It’s very predictable.  I can also eat it every day!  If double dropper is too boring, you can add a degree of difficulty targeting lings with big swimbaits and jigs, which I absolutely love doing.

My favorite places to go are up in the Channel Islands out of Oxnard or Ventura.  I also like hitting San Nicolas on the Eldorado.  Overnight is the ideal trip length to get the best quality fish.

Road Trip!

Something different SoCal anglers
Monday on the California Dawn out of Berkeley Marina (SF)

I mentioned last week that I was headed up to San Francisco for a rockfish and dungeness crabbing trip.  Monday, I rode on the California Dawn out of Berkeley Marina with Captain James Smith.  When I went up last year, we fished the Farallon Islands before heading back in and picking up the crab pots.  Conditions on the water this time dictated we fish locally, so the actual fishing wasn’t great.  But the crabbing was predictably awesome!  There is a 10 day window (book-ended by last weekend and this weekend) where recreational crab begins, but before the commercial season opens.  Go in that window and you are essentially guaranteed a limit (TEN) of these tasty crustaceans. You’re probably not going to make that golden window if you are just now finding out. If you hurry though, you can still add dungies to your Thanksgiving table.

All for now. Good luck if you get out there.