SOUTH CAL Private Boater Report
While warm water along the beach continued to kick out some great small boat fishing for sand bass and barracuda with the bonus of a big seabass or yellowtail thrown in the mix, all eyes are turned offshore hoping the mass of albacore and bluefin will a) move closer and b) start biting nails.
Meanwhile private boaters with the range to run past 100 miles managed to scratch up some offshore action. The best fishing was during the early part of the week, with the bite tapering off some over the weekend, according to Bob Vanian at 976bite.com. Boats found action at spots like the Dumping Grounds, Bell Bank, 300 Fathom Bank and Worm Bank. “There were also a few albacore reported around the Mushroom Bank and the 60 Mile Bank during the middle of the week,” noted Vanian.
The albacore ranged in size from 8 to 35 pounds with most of the fish in the 15 to 25-pound class. Good colors for trolling feathers have been black and purple and Mexican flag. Cedar plugs have also been effective in the natural wood color and in black and purple. The green and gold X-Rap Rapalas have also been reported to be effective on the troll in size 15.
Vanian said Mike Seymour of the Pa’u Hana fished a two-day trip on Friday and Saturday and found 6 albacore for the first day of the trip while fishing outside of the 300 Fathom Spot at 112 miles, 220 degrees from Point Loma. On the second day of the trip Seymour did some looking around to other areas and found an area of biting albacore down between 100 and 115 miles, 202 degrees from Point Loma. He said they caught 20 albacore from this area and that they had one bait stop where the fish came to the boat and bit.
Ron Bowers of the Salt Fever made a two-day trip over the weekend and his anglers pulled in 12 albacore for Saturday’s fishing and caught one more in a couple of hours of fishing time on Sunday morning before heading for home. Bowers found his best fishing on Saturday while working outside of the 300 Fathom Spot at 115 miles, 219 degrees from Point Loma.
Steve Ross of the Bad Dog fished for albacore outside of Punta Colonet on Saturday on a trip out of Marina Coral in Ensenada. Ross was fishing with his friends Juan Lu and Jovan. Ross said there was bait available when the left the harbor on Friday night and that they went down and fished the area of the Squiggles and the Boot and caught 4 albacore and 1 yellowtail. All the albacore came from jig strikes and the yellowtail was caught from a kelp paddy. Their best area was down around 110 miles 153 degrees from Point Loma.
The surface fishing at the Coronado Islands has been producing a good mixed bag catch of barracuda, calico bass and yellowtail along with a few 20 to 30 pound bluefin tuna. Most of the fishing is being done on the anchor at spots such as the Middle Grounds, the north end of South Island, the Ribbon Kelp, 5 Minute Kelp, South Kelp and the Lighthouse at the south tip of South Island. Sardines have worked well for the yellowtail, bluefin tuna and barracuda. Anchovies and the small firecracker sized sardines have been best for the calico bass.
Seabass continue to highlight the fishing along the Southern California coastline, with calico bass, barracuda and sand bass all biting in the warm water on the beach.
Scott Knoop called WON to report he left Saturday afternoon with son Mark on his PV Apollo out of Mission Bay and fished the northwest corner La Jolla. Their bite came 5 a.m. Sunday when a 36-pound white seabass ate two squid on a dropper loop rig.
John Rowe of Friends of Rollo reported fishing at La Jolla on Saturday in the Bill Poole Memorial White Seabass Tournament. Rowe was fishing with Pete Vasiliou and said that Pete’s winning catch of a 50-pound white seabass taken from the upper end of La Jolla while fishing in 80 feet of water with a dropper loop rig that was baited with two live squid. (For more information on the Poole tournament, see Pat McDonell’s column on p. 30)
Jeff Gaebel and Grant Hunner fished with Dave Schaffer on his 40' Tiara off of La Jolla on Wednesday. After getting to their numbers around 7 p.m. they were harassed by mackerel to the extent that they were forced to turn off every non-essential light. A couple of hours later the macs backed off and they started getting decent squid marks on the meter. The white seabass bite began around the same time and while not wide op, it was enough to keep things interesting. By early Thursday morning they had their limits to 42 pounds and had successfully released one black seabass and broke off a second.
Old school sand bass and barracuda action topped the fishing off the Orange and L.A. County coastline.
Cory Visser said he fished Saturday, July 10, with friend Lal on Lal’s 18-foot boat Rubber Ducky out of Alamitos. Seas were calm with no wind. They started out on Newport Pipe for a few mixed bass, and then elected to run up to Izor’s Reef. On the way they found a big bird school.
“When we got closer to the diving birds we saw barracuda jumping and boiling everywhere. I reached for my jig stick and I was bit on almost every cast for the next ten casts, and a couple of the Barracuda were in the 30 to 33-inch range,” said Visser. “Lal got hammered on his plastic a few times before getting bit off. He put a Tady 45 on his 20-pound outfit and after catching and releasing a few good sized barracuda, he let the jig sink a little bit deeper and hooked what first we thought was a seal, then maybe a shark, perhaps a thresher. Finally Lal hollers for the gaff, and I look over the side, holy smokes it’s a giant white seabass. It weighed 45.5 pounds.”