Southern CA Saltwater

Rockfish the prime target

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

OXNARD — CISCO's spokesman Mike Thompson reported a week of nice weather and a bite that featured some shots at big game, but a better bet chasing the region's ample reef fish resource. He said anglers were topping the season's tuna catch with a round of reds and other rockfish, coming from far and wide to do so.

It was the chance to catch a monster yellowtail at the Santa Rosa Islands squid grounds, coupled with better-than-average rockfish results there that kept the over night boats from heading straight for San Miguel's bottomfish zones.

jordanbarshayJORDAN BARSHAY OF West Hills with a 32-pound outer island yellowtail aboard the New Hustler. He got one on anchovy and another on a green and white Salas 6x.

Thompson wrapped up with, "Loads are mellow right now, but soon it will get busy with visitors flying in from all over to spend the holiday in sunny Southern California. Locals will notice that their freezers are not as stocked as they would like for the off-season. Combined with our regular clientele, the last two weeks at CISCO's are sure to be "hopping.”

Ventura Sportfishing's Robert Meyer added a concise summary of the week's results there. "The Island Spirit this week has been targeting rockfish and lingcod with some good numbers. The Amigo targeted bottomfish with great results. The Pacific Dawn had a couple private charters with a yellowtail the other day and limits of rockfish and lingcod. The Pacific Eagle did not get out all week."

However, it was at Hook's Landing that the coast's best yellowtail score came ashore aboard the Outrider, as the 11 fishing rounded up rockfish limits, nearly straight red, and 8 lings... to go with 24 yellowtail. And as nearly as this writer can tell, he drove right past three other landings to do it, while hiding from the west wind Sunday.

Surf angler Russ Hasagawa strolled into Hook's with an interesting catch for the scale — a 6-pound striped bass.

Highlights included the New Hustler's limits of lings and rockfish on Saturday, with 60 bonus whitefish and sheephead on top. All landings are in holiday mode with hats, jackets and gift passes stocked up.

JAY LEVITES OF Port Hueneme on the Mirage. This Santa Rosa Island cold-water slug weighed in at 38 pounds.

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