Southern CA Saltwater

Slackening current boosts cod counts

BY MERIT McCREA/WON Staff Writer Published: Apr 25, 2018

DANA POINT — Local rockfish were the better call this past week, said Capt. Brian Woolley. As currents out of the shelf edge slowed some from previous weeks anglers' lines were better able to stay in the bite zone.

With 42 aboard for a 3/4-day trip, Clemente anglers saw 120 rockfish come over the rail on the lines. An additional 8 whitefish and 35 sanddabs rounded out the catch.

CAPT. CALVIN COOPER on the Helena found a nice local lingcod that jumped on a live sardine.

But the big scores came from San Clemente Island aboard the Fury on her overnight run. In fact that same day 38 anglers on that boat rounded up an amazing 341 ocean whitefish, along with 148 rockfish, 2 lings, 10 sheephead and 4 sculpin.

For the 1/2-day scene, the bit was a bit picky, what with cool green water inshore after the windy weather. Woolley commented, "Some of our regulars bring their own baits like shrimp and clam and that has helped a bit. We’ve seen some nice sheephead on it. In cooler water it’s all about capitalizing on bites so that bait has helped those guys quite a bit."

Newport Harbor boats saw better action for their 1/2-day boats, with local deeper water rockfish zones providing the source. For example, the Western Pride carried 51 Groupon getters and got them on 150 rockfish and 8 sculpin Sunday.

But Davey's Locker Sportfishing's overnight boat Thunderbird was out with just 14 fishing and stuffed sacks full of outer island grade bottom biters. They had 57 big ocean whitefish, 140 rockfish for full limits and a ling. It continued to be limits-the-rule fishing at San Clemente Island.

Twilight fishing aboard the Freelance had sculpin as the main attraction, with a few sand bass and rockfish as well. That boat's 3/4-day trips tended to fish Catalina Island and did well on those smaller ocean whitefish, rockfish and such. Friday 30 folks had 120 whitefish and 65 rockfish.

Newport Landing's boats saw similar results. The Aggressor fished 3/4-day for 99 whitefish and 47 rockfish with 26 aboard Saturday.

scottbiarnesenSCOTT BIARNESEN FISHED secret shrimp baits out of Dana Wharf Sportfishing to nail this knotty local sheephead aboard the Clemente's 3/4-day trip Sunday.

* * *

We hope you enjoyed this article on our no-charge website Of course, this site contains only a small fraction of the stories that Western Outdoor Publications produces each week in its two northern and southern editions and its special weekly supplements. You can subscribe to the print issue that is mailed weekly and includes the easy flip-page full-color digital issues, or you can purchase a digital only subscription. Click here to see the choice.

Advertise with Western Outdoor News
The Longfin Tackle Shop