Southern CA Saltwater

San Pedro/Long Beach: Limit style sculpin and island gamesters

BY MERIT McCREA/WON Staff Writer Published: Jun 04, 2019

SAN PEDRO/LONG BEACH — Limit style local sculpin action, along with yellowtail bites at both Catalina and San Clemente islands set the pace for the San Pedro–Long Beach based sportboats this past week. Warmer waters filtered back north into the Bight following the big blowout the week prior. But it wasn't quite into the coast yet, so scorpions and other local bottom biters provided the best action for 1/2-day anglers.

eldoradowonwhopperELDORADO'S WON WHOPPER — Mauricio Penate's 31-pound yellowtail.

Meanwhile, the game fish action out at Catalina Island got good enough to draw the 3/4-day boats across the channel, rather than remain on the coast to load up on bottom fish.

A few charter boats on overnighters stealthily snuck on out to the cold water island for some solid codding as ling limits boosted to 2 fish this past weekend. One rig carried 11 to ling limits and cod limits, half reds, and did it after plan A produced only short croakers.

Aboard the Freedom, 22nd Street Landing's overnight boat, Capt. Jeff Jessop reported 45 yellows landed along with 14 bones and 10 barracuda, plus a halibut while fishing with a whole fleet of Parkers, etc.

And while the landing's daily Catalina Island special aboard the Pursuit crammed the bags with nearly 800 bottom biters Saturday, the Native Sun connected with yellowtail, their 36 anglers landing 37 and a couple hundred whitefish plus a few other bottom critters.

Sunday the Native was understandably crowded – 61 anglers. But the forks were all over the boat and biting. This resulted in 64 over the rail, and they didn't even bother to count up any incidental bottom critters for the count.

The Pursuit tapped the big game bite instead that day, 20-pound yellows and 3 white seabass to 55 pounds. They went 3 boated for 8 hookups on the big croaker and 12 for 25 on the yellows.

THE NATIVE SUN creamed the yellowtail over the weekend.

At L.A. Waterfront the Gail Force and Triton put island runs on their schedule, with the arrival of the summer gamefish action at Catalina Island. Sadly, there was no report from the Sport King.

At Pierpoint Landing Pasqual Roberto cashed in the Options charter certificate he bid for and won at the O.C. Chapter Safari Club International event. The boat donates one to them and another to CCA-Cal L.A. Chapter. The group scored all three island big game species — halibut, yellowtail and seabass, and plan B resulted in a fish box full of big reds and other bottom species.

Our very own WON Advertising Sales Rep, Dylan Depres, fished the Enterprise Catalina Island 3/4-day run and filed the following report:

"Today we left the harbor with high hopes of finding some biting yellowtail with the nice weather we've had this last week. Before heading to Catalina, we hit some coastal stones and loaded up with easy limits on some nice grade sculpin.

"Then we made the run to the island, set anchor... And the fish were right where they left them the day before. Right off the bat we hooked a few fish on fly-lined sardines and I got a modest 10-pound model on 30-pound Izor XXX (tipped by) 30-pound Blue Label fluoro.

"There were also some calico bass and barracuda mixed in here and there. Once the yellowtail really got in the chum it became more of a surface iron bite with more than half the fish hooked being taken on the surface plugs. The fish were a nice grade, 15- to 18-pound fish, with an average of about 12 pounds. We ended up in the high 20's on yellowtail for the 28 anglers."

Steve Phelps at Long Beach Sportfishing reported, "We have had a great week, from sacks full of quality bottom fish, to yellowtail, and even a few white seabass! Our 3/4 day boat, Victory... is currently into some good yellowtail fishing at Catalina Island. The mid-day report was 7 quality yellowtail, decent calico bass fishing...

"Captain George reported a lot of casualties, and estimated they hooked well over 20 fish to land what they have so far.

"The day prior, Captain Phil ran the boat, and had a great day local fishing. His 36 anglers sacked up 100 rockfish, 89 vermilion rockfish, 1 sand bass, 40 sanddab, 180 sculpin (limits), and 23 whitefish. On Saturday, the Ahra-Ahn, fishing Catalina Island, checked in with 121 rockfish, 36 vermilion rockfish, 30 salmon grouper, 7 sanddab, and 3 whitefish for 32 anglers.

"On the overnight scene, at the time of this report, Captain Jeff aboard the Eldorado checked in with 17 big quality yellowtail, with one tipping the scales at 31 pounds... The 6-pack charter boat, Chubasco III, checked in Saturday with 5 yellowtail, 5 calico bass, and 2 sheephead for his 5 anglers."

Phelps also noted the 6-pack Mar Diosa has joined the Long Beach Sportfishing fleet this season.

A 29.6 LING aboard the Outrider while returning from Nunya Island, there in the background — Capt. Greg Oby at the helm.

optionstrifectaOPTIONS TRIFECTA PLUS a red fish bonanza.

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