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Tuesday, October 24, 2017
Phenomenal halibut fishing


Another good week of classic fall fishing
The halibut bite continues strong on the beaches and in the harbor, reported Hook, Line and Sinker in Santa Barbara. East Beach, Goleta and Carpinteria were all good stretches. Flash Minnows have been the top baits. In the harbor and at the sand spit, the halibut were taking 3- and 4-inch Big Hammer swimbaits in smelt and anchovy patterns. The rocky spots kicked out a mix of calico bass, chocolate rockfish and sandbass also on small Big Hammers in red calico hunter and x-mas tree patterns. The perch bite is also improving with more and better quality fish showing on most beaches. The better models have been pushing 1 pound. Gulp! Sandworms and grubs have been tops.

MALIBU — The halibut bite perked up this week, reported Wylie’s. Anglers reported a good bite on smaller fish topped by a 4-pound, 12-ounce fish caught by Dave Johnson from L.A. The fish took a frozen anchovy fished off Pina Creek. The sargo bite was good off Coastline Dr. A shop regular reported fast action on the scrappy fish along the reef. Squid was the bait of choice. The stretch near Leo Carrillo was good for a mix of calico bass and perch. Most of the fish were on the smaller side. An estimated 200-pound black seabass was caught and released off the Malibu Pier. The mackerel and smelt have also been on the bite off the pier.


REDONDO BEACH — Still some quality corbina along Torrance Beach, reported Just Fishing. The trick has been to get one to bite. Best bet would be a ghost shrimp, or a bloodworm. With the water cooling, this may be the last chance to get one. The quality bonito that have been in and around the harbor thinned out this week. With a warm week forecast, they may pop back up. Barred perch anglers are finding more and more fish on south bay beaches. Most of the fish have been palm-size with a few kickers mixed in. There have been some nice leopard sharks on the bite. Dockweiler has been a good place to look.


SEAL BEACH — More bonefish were reported taken off the shoreline along Marine Stadium, according to Big Fish Bait and Tackle. Shore anglers have been pitching bloodworms in the evenings for 1- to 1½-pound fish. This is the first time the shop has verified a bone fish caught along this stretch. On the beach, the perch bite has been picking up with more fish showing on grubs, mussel and Gulp! Sandcrabs. Most of the fish have been palm size with a few pushing a pound. Bolsa Chica has been holding. Best bet for a halibut has been the stretch along Cherry Beach and Shoreline Drive. There have been lots of shorts but some legal fish mixed in. The bay bass bite continues strong on drop-shot Zoom Flukes.


NEWPORT BEACH — The excellent stretch of corbina fishing may be coming to an end, reported Ketcham Bait and Tackle. Anglers are still seeing fish but they were much more touchy this week. A warm weather forecast may offer a last chance to get one. The bonito bite was the top draw this week with 3- to 5-pound models breezing the piers. A few kickers to 7 pounds were also reported. Bubble and feather rigs, Krocodiles and Megabaits have been producing. With the water cooling, this bite may also be on its last leg. A few perch were showing on the grub at River Jetties. The halibut bite has been decent for mostly shorts.


DANA POINT — Catch of the week was a 27-pound halibut taken off the outside harbor jetty, reported Hogan’s Bait and Tackle. The fish ate a frozen anchovy. Overall, the halibut bite was good along Capo Bay and Cottons Point. Krocodiles, hard jerkbaits and drop-shot white Zoom Flukes were taking fish. The stretch near the pier has been good for a mix of perch, croaker and the occasional corbina. Bloodworms have been a top bait. For the most part, anglers are still seeing corbina but few are taking. Last week’s bonito bite off the pier also slowed. Another fine catch was a 20-pound sheephead taken off the short jetty at Doheny. A mussel held to the hook with thread was the ticket.


OCEANSIDE — The best bet along this stretch was the halibut bite on the beaches, reported Pacific Coast Bait and Tackle. Anglers reported a good mix of short and legal fish. X-Raps in 8 and 10 sizes and Coltsnipers hard jerkbaits in the 140mm size have been working with the Flash Minnow shortage. The Oceanside Jetty, Army/Navy Academy and the mouth of Hedionda Lagoon. Barred perch have been showing in better numbers mixed with yellowfin croaker. Bloodworms and mussel fished on a Carolina rig has been tops. Anglers are still spotting corbina but the fish are off the bite and difficult to hook. Best bet would be a ghost shrimp or bloodworm. The bonito bite on the pier slowed this week.


SOLANA BEACH — There were lots of sharks active along this stretch, reported Blue Water. Anglers reported catching big leopard sharks, bat rays, shovelnose and even an 8-foot seven-gill shark caught and released. The beach bite has also been good for a mix of small perch and chunky yellowfin croaker with the occasional corbina. The sand crabs are getting hard to find and so are the corbina. Anglers have been finding plenty of halibut but the trick has been to get a legal one. A live smelt fished at a lagoon or river mouth would be a good way to get a better one. No sign of striped bass this week.


Compiled by Gundy Gunderson


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