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CALIFORNIA'S ONLY SPORTSMAN'S NEWS SINCE 1953

Southern CA Saltwater

San Pedro: Great bassin’, yellows pace island action

BY MERIT McCREA/WON Staff WriterPublished: Aug 07, 2019

SAN PEDRO/LONG BEACH — The calico bite at both Catalina and San Clemente islands was hot and heavy, while yellowtail and lots of big bottom biters provided in the cooler waters surrounding Santa Barbara and San Nicolas, where newly opened reefs provided lots reds and whitefish.

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A SAN CLEMENTE ISLAND yellow aboard the Freedom made this happy angler's day.

It was aboard the Freedom, 22nd Street Landing Sportfishing's overnight boat, where one of the most impressive post-14-inch bass catches came in, when 32 anglers limited on the keeper grade calico, catching at least 160 of them while spiriting aboard 14 good grade yellowtail among a supporting cast of barracuda and others. A subsequent outing resulted in a 127 keeper score on the sportcoats.


Capt. Jeff Jessop advised anglers to bring a solid 2-speed setup spooled with 30-pound mono on top – saying, "The right tackle is key," with the 20- to 40-pound yellows they were tackling.


The Outrider posted one of the best outer island scores of the week when 11 anglers put aboard 55 calico, 39 yellows plus more. Aboard the Pescador, 10 anglers took 28 yellows to task and Capt. Mike Jimenez posted they'd had lots of casualties fishing heavy structure.


The bass bit well at Catlina Island as well with the Pursuit in fast action, releasing hundreds and sacking substantial numbers too. The 3-Bs bite was on with barracuda and bonito plus bass on the chew. The Native Sun had a strike for 40 skinnies Saturday.


Over the weekend the Eldorado made the run to fish San Nicolas Island's famed fishery. On Saturday, 35 anglers filled sacks full of reds – limits of vermilion – 350 of them, plus 19 lings. They finished the day looking for yellows, finding 18 mossbacks to add to their final count.


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CASEY BURWICK WITH Philip Kapaun and his beautiful Catalina Island yellowtail on a fly-lined sardine. They were aboard the yacht Tin Man, a 55-Viking.

Steve Phelps was back with us with a full report for Long Beach Sportfishing. He submitted: "The ¾-day boat Victory checked in Thursday with 180 sculpin, 2 sheephead, 37 whitefish, 40 sanddab, 2 sand bass, 19 salmon grouper, 67 rockfish and 1 calico bass for their local private charter with 36 anglers. The full-day boat Ahra-Ahn found some nice calico bass fishing at the island (Catalina) on Friday. The 14 anglers ended the day with 48 calico bass, 150 calico bass released, 4 blue perch, 2 barracuda and 1 opaleye.


The 6-pack charter boat, Chubasco III, was also at the island on Friday, and Capt. Daryl found his 3 anglers limits of calico bass (15), 2 barracuda and 1 yellowtail. The full-day 6-pack boat, Pacific Raider, had 6 anglers turn in limits of calico bass (30) along with 30 calico bass released. The 6-pack charter boat, MarDiosa, fished the island on Saturday with a rent rod charter, and the guys had a fun day landing 5 big yellowtail, 3 calico bass and 10 calico bass released."


Over at L.A. Waterfront, in the last building standing during the renovation at Ports O' Call, the word was the Triton and Gail Force continued to have island success on their 5 a.m. open party and charter trips to Catalina Island. Aboard the Triton. Thursday's limited load open party group hooked 38 of the big yellowtail to land 26.


Capt. Bruce Root on the Sport King said the yellows were all big and getting smart, less willing to go for baits on heavier line at Catalina. Great bass fishing coupled with ample chances for yellows characterized the week's results. Thursday, with 17 fishing, they kept 67 of the many calicos caught, managed to salvage 4 big yellows and added perch and more to their score.


Finally, over at Pierpoint Landing, the Toronado spent the weekend 2-day trip targeting the San Clemente Island yellows, bass and rockfish.


Their 3/4- and 1/2-day boats each took a swipe at the excellent coastal sculpin snap, scoring limits often, with the 3/4-day then heading across to the island for the remainder of their fishing.


The 6-pack Options made the run to San Nicolas Island and slaughtered the big goats while putting on a PB 26-pound halibut for Long Trinh of Rancho Cucamonga. His largest sheephead, also a personal best, weighed in at 17 pounds.


We also had a Catalina Island report from the Yacht Tin Man with Casey Berwick and Dean Oliver of the Huntington Harbour Fishing Club at the helm, along with Izorline's Wendy Tochihara as the fishing director on deck. A quick run to the Long Point area resulted in excellent bass fishing just about anywhere, along with lots of barracuda. A complementary yellowtail for angler Philip Kapaun made their day and they were back under the PCH bridge by tea time.


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LONG TRINH ABOARD the Options with his new PB halibut – a 26 pounder.

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