Some local bites stutter, others fall, while some new summer prospects pop up for local half- and ¾-day boats
REDONDO BEACH — The first yellowtail of the year, some samples on the calico bass and great barracuda fishing made the Santa Monica Bay go from sleeper to highliner last week, while the bite along much of the coast on the bass and barracuda either stayed steady or petered out.
Triple digit scores on the calico bass to go with the best barracuda fishing of the year in the Santa Monica Bay made the bay the place to be on a half- or ¾-day trip.
“We had our first yellowtail of the year last week,” reported Jimmy Bass at Tradition Sportfishing, which runs ¾-day trips out of Redondo Sportfishing. “We saw a lot of yellowtail locally on Friday, (we) went 1 for 2.”
The yellowtail was a 15 ponder caught by Robert Westphalia. The yellows popped at Rocky Point. What also popped was the calico bass earlier in the week. Good conditions made for a killer Thursday half-day trip for the afternoon anglers. The 42 folks nailed 144 calico bass, 3 sand bass, 3 sheephead and 12 rockfish. The barracuda really popped around the upper end of the Bay for the New del Mar. On Saturday 112 anglers on the pair of half-day trips on the New del Mar nailed 276 barracuda and 15 sand bass. And then there is the calico bass bite up the coast from the bay. It’s been very conditions dependent, but the bass scores on the Spitfire have been the best along the coast. On Monday when 25 anglers scored 250 calico bass.
Moving down the coast, the twilights have been best on the bass out of San Pedro and Long Beach landings. 22nd Street Landings Matt Walsh put 138 sand bass for 49 anglers on Saturday night to go with 1 sculpin and a halibut.
There’s been some going back to rockfish as well. Pierpoint Landing’s Victory took 47 anglers for 138 rockfish, 3 barracuda and 10 sculpin — a far cry from the 123 barracuda they put on the boat earlier in the week.
It’s been mostly bottom stuff for the Newport boats, in fact, it takes getting below Dana Point to get into good calico bass fishing and look at some yellows. Patrick Gee was on the Dana Pride last week when he plucked a 25.5-pound yellowtail. There has been signal on a few big yellows at most of the kelp lines along San Diego County. The bass fishing has been up and down along all of San Diego coast, but on the days it’s good it’s really good.
Above Oceanside there has been signal on yellowtail, and every few trips get a yellow or two. Like on Helgren’s Sea Star on Sunday. It nailed 2 yellowtail to go with 29 calico bass, 6 sand bass and 10 rockfish.
Still, the best shows on the yellows — what little is around — is to jump on the New Seaforth out of Seaforth Landing. Sunday afternoon the boat put 2 forkies on deck to go with its calico bass action. The Point Loma bass bite got tough, with the Premier going back to rockfish over the weekend.
GEE GOES OUTDOORS — Patrick Gee scored this yellow in the mid 20s while fishing on the Dana Pride out of Dana Wharf Sport fishing last week. Along for the ride was young angler Alyasjah Mayfield, who Gee tries to get out with him on every trip.