Southern CA Saltwater

Opah caught at Anacapa by Aloha Spirit

BY MERIT McCREA/WON Staff WriterPublished: May 17, 2017

OXNARD — Channel Islands Sportfishing spokesman Mike Thompson said, "Captain and owner of the Aloha Spirit was fishing for white seabass on an open trip at Anacapa Island last Friday. While "sight fishing" for white seabass, captain Shawn noticed something swimming slowly on the surface ahead of the boat. As the boat approached the fish, he noticed it was a large opah! This fish is rare anywhere and as far as we know the first one ever brought to the docks at CISCO's.

channelislandsopahCHANNEL ISLANDS OPAH! This one was seen by Aloha Spirit owner and skipper, Capt. Shawn Steward, swimming near the surface. He targeted it and got it, a 90 pounder.

He reported, "Starting right off with a lot of windy weather that either kept our boats at the dock or made for some tough fishing. Luckily, once our boats got through the Channel and to the islands, they were able to find refuge behind the island... Also fortunate, the fish were biting in these few locations.

Early morning boats are still focusing on game fish in the morning before finishing the day rockfishing. The later morning boats are catching mostly all rockfish simply because it's taken all day to catch a quality limit.

With that said, toward the end of the week we did see the white seabass bite pick up a bit. The fish are still outstanding quality, averaging 30 pounds, which is a very large average size. Larger models are pushing 40 pounds and the smallest fish are in the low 20s."

angelinapennysfirstANGELINA PENNY'S FIRST ever seabass, on the Aloha Spirit.

The Aloha Spirit pulled 10 seabass Sunday. Island Tak had a day for limits of calico again, and both Gentleman and Speed Twin managed to avail their anglers of rockfish limits most trips. Loads were relatively light. Before the wind started Thursday, the Mirage pulled ling limits for 17 Monday and 11 on Wednesday, along with their rockfish limits.

The windy conditions kept the Hook's Landing boats home most of the week, but the Hustler ran with just 3 Friday and limited on seabass.

Ed Guyette at Ventura said the Island Spirit had good rockfishing every trip, the Amigo had yellows a couple of days, from 15 to 32 pounds, while the Pacific Dawn managed limits of lings and rockfish at the outer islands before west winds blew the fleet off the area mid-week. Pacific Eagle was out Saturday with 17 fishing, for full limits of rockfish and a pair of lings. 

NEW HUSTLER seabass success.

CAPT. JEFF BUNDE and BD staffer Joe Sarmiento with Joe's 40 tanker aboard the Island Spirit at Anacapa.

CAPT. JOHNNY EWART with Dan's Amigo yellow on a crisp Channel Islands spring morning.

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