Umarex Gauntlet


Southern CA Saltwater

Rockfish, halibut steal the show

BY MERIT McCREA/WON Staff WriterPublished: Dec 06, 2017

DANA POINT — The word from Dana Wharf Sportfishing was that the rockfishing on 3/4-day trips provided the best action, as the coastal bass bite eased further. For 1/2-day anglers, there were a few bass to be had, but more and more the locals in the know fished exotic shellfish baits for local sheephead.

Capt. Brian Woolley said, "Our ¾-day trips right now are pretty much solely fishing the deep, hard bottom areas for rockfish." They had some great bottomfish action this past week.

THIS BURLY COASTAL copper bit the Coltsniper off San Clemente for Robert Daugherty of Capo Beach.

Woolley continued, "There has been an enormous amount of bait down in the area we’ve been fishing, so the fish have moved around a bit. For the most part it’s been fairly consistent. Dropper-looped baits and jigs have been the ticket. Same as the last few weeks, 100g coltsniper continued to be the moneymaker out there. But good mixed rockfish filled bags plenty of days..."

Regarding the bite closer to home, he said, "As for the 1/2-day trips, the water along the beach has been fluctuating a bit from 62 to 65 degrees, so the surface action has been a bit tricky."

Dropper-looped baits, either squid or sardine, worked for the sand and calico bass. Woolley noted, "Some passengers like to bring the shrimp and clam for the sheephead and have been catching some real nice ones on it."

As for Dana Wharf's halibut derby, another half-dozen flatties filled spots on the leaderboard and tightened up the field considerably. For the month of December, up to two kids fish free with a full-fare paid adult for the entire month...on both ½- and ¾-day trips.

Here's a December bonus. An adult paying full fare for 1/2- or 3/4-day fishing can bring as many as two kids at no charge.

At Davey's Locker Sportfishing, the Parade of Lights appeared to have taken over a portion of the fleet. Their week began with the Thunnderbird turning in full limits of bluefin tuna on a 1.5-day trip – 48 for 24 anglers.

Thursday the Western Pride blasted the bonito, boating 133, but it was soon back to abundant bottom biters for the following few days.

THIS HELENA HALIBUT was one of 6 new flatfish on the leaderboard at Dana Wharf Sportfishing.

* * *

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.

The Longfin Tackle Shop