Southern CA Saltwater

San Clemente Island gamesters show

BY MERIT McCREA/WON Staff WriterPublished: May 16, 2018

DANA POINT/NEWPORT β€” After sitting dockside in decent weather with too few reservations on the books to make the long run out to San Clemente Island, the Thunderbird was on the roll with a charter group Saturday. When the dust had cleared Capt. Jeffrey Markland reported in 31 yellowtail, a nice seabass and a halibut, 14 calico and great bottom fishing for the day's efforts. It was just as he had predicted the previous week.

Along the coast as well, spring shallow water fishing was edging into the sport boat itinerary a little more with each passing day, as surface water temps edged upward and windy days gave way to foggy mornings and sunny afternoons.

DANA WHARF REGULAR Hieu Vo fished a 100g Colt Sniper aboard the Clemente to jig up this quality Box Canyon vermilion.

Yet as Dana Wharf 1/2-day catch and release bass fishing improved and 3/4-day anglers spent a little more time fishing shallow waters, they put in substantial effort on the deeper reefs. Sunday the Clemente was out with 17 fishers for over 100 rockfish. They also tapped local kelp beds for 40 calico and a sand bass, releasing 35 of the sportcoats.

WON source Capt. Brian Woolley reported from Dana Wharf, "Our 3/4-day trips were still catching rockfish and mixed bottom fish. Day to day type deal with the pesky red crab still mounted up strong in some areas. The savvy guys fishing the 80g or 100g colt sniper jig have had the edge on the guys fishing the live bait and have been catching some nice cod, both grouper and red rockcod."

He added, "(The) 1/2-day scene along the beach did see some better calico bass action towards the end of the week. Flylined anchovies and sardines caught fish real good as did the artificial stuff β€” swimbaits and rubber lures."

Between their two trips Sunday the Sum Fun caught over 150 calico, releasing all but 5.

The 1/2- and 3/4-day boats out of Davey's Locker and Newport Sportfishing found some good numbers of ocean whitefish and scorpion fish on the local Shelf waters. A few local trips knocked their spines off. Wednesday the Western Pride fin clipped over 100 of the spiny critters on the afternoon trip. Monday the Patriot sacked 125 coastal whitefish.

The really impressive numbers of our recently recruited ocean whitefish population came from the 3/4-day trips fishing Catalina Island.

Friday showed over 400 of them on the Freelance scoreboard β€” for 75 anglers. At the island each trip seemed to sack a yellowtail or two, a few bonito showed at times, 38 on Saturday and 1 to 5 keeper barracuda each day.

chuckfreemanjrCHUCK FREEMAN JR. and Sr of Dana Point, were aboard the Fury fishing San Clemente Is. and tag-teamed sacks full of quality rockfish.

SCI RAZORGILL ABOARD the Thunderbird out of Davey's Locker Sportfishing.

SAN CLEMENTE ISLAND'S yellowtail and even a few seabass went on the chew, just as Thunderbird skipper Capt. Jeff Markland had predicted last weekend.

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