I’m not sure what’s going on with the weather this month, but I definitely don’t like it. Other than a few brief windows of good weather, it’s been a mix of offshore and northwest winds since last Friday.
The good news, well sort of good news anyway, is that the beach looks fishable in most areas on Saturday morning but the wind is going to take the islands out of play all day, and anyone planning to jump on a 1 1/2-day trip to Colonet this weekend, better pack their Dramamine as it’s going to make for a rough ride home in 20+ knots of wind.
This screenshot is from the forecast for Saturday afternoon, so keep that in mind if it’s calm when you launch in the morning so you don’t get caught having to make a long run home in lousy weather. Speaking of lousy weather, we had some of it on Saturday morning during the Saltwater Bass Series Tournament out of Long Beach. A brisk southeast wind in the morning made for tough fishing early but as you can see by the big bag of bass that Bobby Martinez needed help holding up, after taking third place in the tournament while fishing solo, the bass bite was pretty good. While the bass that Jimmy Decker and I caught during the tournament were a bit smaller, we had steady fishing all day on 2 to 3-pound fish, with one 5-pound stand out of a 7th place finish.
The biggest sand bass of the event, which weighed in at 8.5-pounds, was caught by Jake Boaz and his teammate Matt Moyer.
The sand bass bite was the same as its been for the last couple of months, with fish schooled up and biting well on some spots while other spots were deserted. Also worth noting, over the last two months the fish have been moving around quite a bit while feeding on squid, finbait, and pyrosomes. During the tournament, we also found schooling fish that were not associated with any structure but were following around schools of baitfish. Wintertime sand bass are a lot more mobile than most people give them credit for, so if you get out there and don’t find them where you left them last week, you should start looking around for other structures in the area.
In some more exciting news, a recent update from the long range fleet bodes well for this year’s bluefin bite. In a recent Facebook post, Larry Brown shared, “I just spoke with Tim Ekstrom and wanted to pass along this intel. He said there is a massive volume of BFT south of the US/Mexican border being seen by private yachts and the long range captains traveling back and forth through the zone during their 15-day winter trips. The concentration is between Colenet and 100 miles south of Colenet. There are all year and size classes of fish. The Mexican Seiner fleet began fishing for them on January 5 and captured their entire annual quota by January 16. Come Springtime these fish will begin their short move up the coast and hopefully settle in around the Southern California high spots and San Clemente. Get ready ladies and gentlemen for another amazing BFT season.” Sounds good to me!
What doesn’t sound good to me is the fact that the World Surf League and the Surfrider Foundation are trying to get people to support AB 3030 which will further restrict angling access in our waters. AFTCO made the following statement, “We urge World Surf League and Surfrider Foundation to put a hold on their petitioning that affects public access along with businesses and livelihoods that depend on ocean resources until they engage Coastal Conservation Association, Keep America Fishing, and the sportfishing community. While we agree that steps need to be taken to address core issues in marine conservation and sustainability, 30×30 is NOT the answer. There are practical solutions that fishermen have been working on for decades. It means getting involved in the details of resource management. While more difficult than supporting broad stroke bans, it is both more effective and inclusive. The sportfishing community looks forward to working with the WSL and Surfrider to ensure a healthier ocean for tomorrow.”
Bottom line is that if you see any pro 3030 petitions going around, DO NOT SIGN THEM! That’s about it for this week, hoping to have better fishing news to share next week. Good luck if you’re heading out and make sure to keep an eye on the weather.