WON Big Fish Challenge


Southern CA Saltwater

Sand bass and sculpin the meat

BY MERIT McCREA/WON Staff WriterPublished: Jan 15, 2019

Still seeing kelp paddy yellowtail and a few spots of bluefin offshore

DANA POINT/NEWPORT — Angling results aboard the party boats, working between the rain storms reflected those of the previous week, with sand bass and sculpin the primary targets and those wily bluefin and kelp paddy yellowtail tantalizing anglers venturing out past the shelf break.

EVEN WITH THE dark, stormy skies angler Danny Herg of Irvine was able to capitalize on some sandbass action aboard the Reel Fun last week.

Capt. Brian Woolley put it this way: "More of the same here this week as we’ve been out in the sculpin zones. Still some pretty good opportunity on these guys. That’s been the play for us, set up in the morning and catch some of these things then we’ve gone looking off the beach. Still some interesting sign on both the yellowtail and bluefin our there. We did see some of that 5- to 8-pound kelp paddy yellow in our counts this week from out there, and with that bluefin it’s pretty spread out and it’s been really dodgy, hard to get on right. With regard to weather this next week... we obviously will need to pick our windows to get back out there."

He also noted 1/2-day anglers did some decent catching and releasing of calico bass, at times putting back as many as 60 or 70 on a trip. As for gear setup, Woolley noted, "Dropper looped sardines fished well this week. We did have a little surface action on the live bait yesterday..."

Up the coast a bit the boats out of Newport Bay found similar results fishing their local waters. Some of the better results came on the Western Pride's Friday night twilight trip when 66 anglers piled aboard the popular rig and pulled 138 sculpin along with 28 keeper sand bass.

For those of you keeping tabs on the Dana Wharf Halibut Derby, nothing had changed as of press time. Apparently the big booming surf and muddy waters inshore made sure of that, for those already on the leaderboard.

THIS RATTLER ATE the rubber fished scully dropper-loop style aboard the Dana Pride.

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