|With good weather and strong tides, the perch bite turned the corner this week, reported Hook, Line and Sinker in Santa Barbara. Lots of fish showing on most beaches. The quality has also improved with more and more fish approaching the 2-pound mark. Most presentations are effective. Grubs, Gulp! Sandworms, 2-inch Big Hammer swimbaits and Lucky Craft are all working for artificials. Lugworms, shrimp, cut anchovy and mussel for bait. Good scores were reported from Jalama, Carpinteria, Gaviota, Goleta and East beaches.
MALIBU — A very good week of fishing topped by some big barred perch, reported Wylie’s. Good weather and full moon tides kicked the perch bite into spring mode. The traditional big perch beaches like Ventura, Oxnard and Hueneme all kicked out fish. The Uptown Perch Derby was held on Saturday. Kurt Nakano from L.A. bested the field with a 2-pound, 9½ ounce pie tin. His father Kenny had a 2-pound, 6 ounce and a 2-pound, 4 ounce. A fourth fish was in the 2-pound class, at 2-pound, 2 ounce. All the big fish were taken on 110 Flash Minnows during a brief 30-minute period at the top of the tide. The halibut bite has also perked up along this stretch with anglers reporting good numbers of short to just legal fish moving in tight.
REDONDO BEACH — An early corbina was taken on a grub by an angler perch fishing, reported Just Fishing. The perch bite has been good but mostly for smaller fish. Both Manhattan and Hermosa beaches have been holding schools. Look for better quality to start showing as the spawn approaches. A few striped bass were also reported taken on cut anchovy fished outside the breakers off El Segundo. Halibut are starting to move into the shallows off Torrance Beach. Anglers throwing Lucky Craft or bouncing Krocodiles are scoring more and more fish.
SEAL BEACH — The halibut bite off the Long Beach shoreline was excellent this week according to Big Fish. Big numbers of short to just legal fish have shown from the 72nd place jetty to Shoreline Drive. Most of the legal fish are running up to 25 inches with a few kickers mixed in. 110 Flash minnows in the metallic sardine pattern have been hot. The yellowfin croaker bite has been good off Bolsa Chica and Surfside. The fish are pushing bait and can be taken on spoons or 3-inch grubs fished on a bullet head. The opaleye bite was good this week off the Long Beach breakwater.
NEWPORT — With some nice contours formed by winter storms, River Jetties was a hot spot for an emerging halibut bite reported Ketcham Bait and Tackle. Good tides and calm waters drew lots of halibut into the beach. Slow-rolled Krocodiles and Kastmasters and drop shot flukes were top offerings. The fish have been mostly shorts but look for some better hens to move in as spring approaches. Some barracuda were also taken outside the surfline on small Megabaits. The fish have been chasing anchovy schools.
DANA POINT — The San Clemente Pier and the stretch below have seen the best fishing this week, reported Hogan’s. Good numbers of halibut have moved in tight to the surfline. At least 2 legal fish were taken off the pier on live smelt fished just outside the breakers. Other fish were taken along the beach south to Cottons. Flash Minnows and Krocodiles have been the best baits. Look for signs of bird activity to locate the bait. The lugworm bite has been improving off Doheny. A mix of barred perch, yellowfin croaker, spotfin croaker and the occasional striped bass have been bending the long rods.
OCEANSIDE — The halibut bite in the lagoons and Oceanside Harbor was excellent this week, reported Pacific Coast Bait and Tackle. Although no big fish were reported this week, anglers were hanging several fish in a session. Flash Minnows, spoons, small swimbaits, cut anchovy and live smelt were all working. Look for more quality fish to filter in as spring approaches. An 11-ounce perch still clings to the Shimano Perch Derby lead.
SOLANA BEACH — Anglers report lots of calico bass have been active just outside the surfline. Anglers throwing swimbaits and flukes on the reefed beaches have been scoring fish to 3 pounds. The spotfin specialists have been scoring fish to 3-pounds soaking lugworms and bloodworms at the top of the tide. Table Tops, Ponto, Del Mar river mouth and Torrey Pines have all been kicking out fish. The perch have been biting strong off Mission Beach. The trick has been in finding a good one.
Compiled by Gundy Gunderson