Southrn CA Saltwater

Boardroom boats hali in 350 feet

BY MERIT McCREA/WON Staff WriterPublished: Dec 11, 2018

DANA POINT/NEWPORT — While fishing for rockfish with the Okuma team aboard, a hefty halibut was hooked in 350 feet of water — quite a surprise catch. The halibut bite was on in general and the Clemente's Sunday drift trip pulled 9 keepers from local waters, with a 23 pounder topping the day's efforts.

Capt. Brian Woolley mentioned the 23 pounder had slid into second place in the Dana Wharf Halibut Derby. With the leaderboard already full, the bigger catches were already bumping others off the bottom of the list.

sundaysdrifttripaboardSUNDAY'S DRIFT TRIP aboard the Clemente connected with the halis. The big fish was JB Delvert's 22 pounder, 2nd from left, the new 2nd place fish in the Dana Wharf halibut derby.

As of late Sunday it took a nearly 5-pound fish to stay afloat. There were only two anglers still qualifying with fish under that 5-pound mark.

Woolley commented, "We had a shortened week with the rain and weather mid week but the days that we did get boats out we had some pretty fun wintertime action." Wednesday and Thursday, no boats ran due to the southeast winds and wet weather.

Those anglers opting for the regular 3/4-day run targeted the bottom biters mostly, bagging 7 around on rockfish on average. About 1/3 of these were reds.

The 1/2-day runs stayed in the shallow waters fishing bass, most of which were released, and perch, trigger fish and some whitefish too. "...we’ve poking around finding action on the bass and sheephead. Some whitefish as well and even a few trigger fish in the counts. The shrimp and clam paid off for the anglers that brought it," said Capt. Brian.

Dana has a killer promotion going for kids. Two under 15 can fish free when chaperoned by a full-fare adult.

Up in Newport Bay, the holiday harbor tours were in full swing and Davey's Locker Sportfishing's fleet was fully involved. But the boats at their Newport Landing docks were indeed fishing. The San Pedro Shelf provided ample opportunity for the fishers aboard the Patriot and Aggressor.

Highlights included the Saturday 3/4-day trip aboard the Patriot. With 26 anglers fishing they hauled in a pair of sheephead, 8 perch, 83 whitefish and 208 rockfish. Tuesday the boat limited out on rockfish with 20 anglers, adding 115 whitefish, 7 sheephead and 3 keeper sand bass.

fingersontheFINGERS ON THE trigger, Danny and Tochen Herg doubled with an MCAL (blue perch, half-moon, Catalina blue) and a fine-scaled triggerfish fishing the local shallow spots aboard the Dana Wharf 1/2-day boat.

58-FATHOM FLATTY for the Okuma crew aboard the Boardroom. The 16 pounder slurped down a live sardine intended for a chucklehead, dipped deep in over 350 feet of water.

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