Southern CA Saltwater

Kelp's gone – bass turning on for Dana boats

BY MERIT McCREA/WON Staff Writer Published: May 15, 2019

DANA POINT/NEWPORT — Surface action continued to gradually ramp up for Dana Wharf half-day anglers. Most of the action remained catch and release, but bass scores crested 100 fish released on 1/2-day trips.

Capt. Brian Woolley reported, "Close to home on our 1/2-day trips we’ve continued to see the surface action improve. Days this week with some sunshine had things activated, as the bass have been up pretty good on the fly-lined sardine. Not much in the way of kelp up here on the spots so it’s been all about finding the right hard bottom or rock spot that the fish have oriented around. Also some nice sheephead and some sculpin for the 1/2-day stuff."

HAVING SUM FUN — This lucky angler dropper looped live sardines for this dandy 3/4-day deep-water red.

Those opting for a 3/4-day outing again saw some solid action, sacking limits or close on rockfish. Friday the Sum Fun carried 14 and limited on reds (140) adding in 25 sculpin and a handful of ocean whitefish. The day prior, it was 150 reds, 40 scullies and 10 whitefish for 16 anglers.

"Coltsniper jigs paid big dividends this week, accounting for some quality reds," said Woolley.

And of course, the best bite of the week was again out at San Clemente Island aboard the overnight boat Fury. They had a morning round of yellowtail Saturday, putting 20 in the 12- to 20-pound range on deck fishing fly-lined sardines and getting a few on the surface iron too.

From there it was off to fish calicos, sheephead and whitefish for the remainder of the morning and afternoon.

Also out at that island was the Thunderbird from Davy's Locker Sportfishing. And the yellowtail cooperated. In the end, the 37 fishing Sunday put 44 of the forks over the rail before heading off to sack 324 bottom biters – 207 rockfish, 113 whitefish and 6 goats.

Fishing out at Catalina Island, the Freelance also had live squid, baiting from the Long Beach Carnage along the way. On Sunday 55 anglers got the best of 18 yellowtail and went on to bag about 250 bottom biters as well, plus a lone barracuda.

The week had started with rumors of local bluefin and had the fleet making plans, which apparently didn't pan out. Otherwise, the local runs were remanded to bottom biters with cooler local waters and eager whitefish and rockfish out on the Long Beach Shelf.

JEFF RANDALL ON the long rod and surface plug aboard the Fury. He put this solid San Clemente Island yellow over the rail.

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