| Catalina seabass make their spring showing leading up to the weekend’sWON/Yamaha White Seabass Jackpot
Any doubts over Catalina’s spring white seabass bite not being worthy were erased leading up to the full moon, as skiffs joined the six-pack Options in getting a piece of the island’s squid/seabass scene (although all the boats to connect did so with no other boats around).
“We had a great group of guys on Saturday that wanted to get over to Catalina and give it a go at catching a seabass and for some of the guys it has been a fish they have been in search of for a very long time,” reported Jamie Thinnes on the 25-foot Parker, Seasons.
“I got an email the day before that read ‘Our expectations are tempered a little with the reports (or lack of) of seabass, but we are up for anything.’"
In the world of Catalina white seabass fishing looking and trying and staying focused is a big part of the equation, and having a group that had the right frame and state of mind gave the Thinnes what was needed to get the boat’s seabass season started.
“The conditions (Friday) were not pretty with a steady 10 knots from the south and a good blow pretty much in the whole day which made most of the island pretty jacked up conditions,” added Thinned.
Squid has been available at the island. In fact, several different areas on both end and side of the island have had bait. Thinnes was able to get what the trip needed from the light boat Marie Clarie.
“We kicked it off with some short seabass and halibut which put these into perspective for the guys and told them we needed to put our time and we just might be rewarded,” added Thinnes.
“As we moved from spot to spot I finally found a spot of conditions that looked as good as it gets and told the guys that we were going to give it hell.
We had a good go around on some bass and then the fish moved in and the party got started. We would hook a fish it seems every 30 minutes or so and high fives all around as the gaff went into another.
The trip ended up with 3 white seabass to go with a legal halibut and 15 calico bass.
Mark Wisch at Pacific Edge was on a charter Friday, running the Pacifica that has the same name as the shop. The trip fished the barracuda in the Santa Monica Bay in the morning for a dozen or so barracuda before bending it towards Catalina.
“We kept a few and released a bunch. They were all that good grade ‘old school’ barracuda,” said Wisch. He added that they hooked a big yellowtail that got off at color and then hooked a seabass that did its thing before getting away.
“It was tearing around and shaking its head before it got away,” said Wisch.
From there, some deep drifts out in 40 to 45 fathoms (240 to 270 feet) gave up a nice mix of rockfish that got turned into fillets. Included in the catch Wisch-caught red that he said was the biggest he’s ever seen. “Our cleaning board is 24 inches wide and it was wide than the board,” said Wisch.
Windy weather come Sunday/Monday kept private boaters from getting back to Catalina Island early in the week leading up to the tournament. But a break in the weather mid week has “Winds variable 10 knots or less” in the forecast for Wednesday morning.
Dave Hansen said that the wind Monday morning cancelled his trip with clients to go after the thresher sharks that have been around from the Aliso Pipe to Laguna Beach. He said threshers have been caught from 60 to 400 feet of water. The shallow water threshers have been eating the sardines fished on the drift with a 2-ounce sliding sinker. Hansen heard of a 338-pound thresher being caught off the Laguna Hospital on the Dream Catcher by Loren Dee on a trolled Rapala.
Hansen was out on Sunday morning with Tony Sabatino on his 38-foot Riviera Jersey Devil looking to put Tony’s daughter, Victoria, on a line class record barracuda for the women 16-pound record. The trip went up Redondo Canyon where Victoria used 16-pound test to land a 6-pound, 10-ounce barracuda. The fish was weighed at the Balboa Angling Club.
Chasing barracuda with light line for a record is a big draw for record seekers. Paul Hoofe weighed in a 7-pound, 7-ounce barracuda caught on 2-pound at the BAC.
San Clemente Island has been drawing a few private boaters. Bob Vanian at 976bite.com said that he got a report from the boys on the Black and Blue saying that they had a yellowtail from the frontside of Clemente on the anchovy midweek.
“Private boaters Jeff King and Tony Del Monte reported spending the morning at White Rock where they caught a nice mix of calico bass, rockfish, barracuda and bonito, said Vanain. “The middle part of the day was spent fishing rockfish around the 9 Fathom Spot up at the West End and that area provided excellent, limit style fishing on the rockfish and sculpin.They finished up the day back at White Rock where Del Monte topped off the day in style by catching a 10 pound yellowtail on an anchovy.They reported varied water temperatures during the day that ranged from 59 to 67 degrees with 63 degree water being the most common temperature.”