Umarex Gauntlet


Southern CA Saltwater

Santa Barbara: Best ling count on the coast for Coral Sea

BY MERIT McCREA/WON Staff WriterPublished: Oct 16, 2019

SANTA BARBARA — The Coral Sea posted the best ling counts on the coast this past week, with two 3/4-day trips posting full limits of lingcod. Tuesday, 22 anglers had 220 rockfish and 44 lings. On Sunday 25 anglers had 50 lings to top 236 cods. Angler Garry Turner of Los Angeles caught the largest ling of the week, a 25.6 pounder from San Miguel Island. It earned him WON Whopper of the Week honors in this issue. A live mackerel was his bait.

But that wasn't all. The local bass bite continued even as we slide into fall. A 1/2-day trip with just 14 fishing resulted in 195 calico caught and of those, 45 kept, plus a sand bass. The 29 whitefish and 7 sheephead rounded out the catch.

A SAN MIGUEL Island lingcod on a SEA Landing charter. The largest went 25 pounds that day.

The local rockfish bite was also very good, with the two 1/2-day trips run on the Stardust both kicking out full limits of rockfish averaging 70 percent reds.

Also in the news was the annual Santa Barbara Harbor Festival. A fisherman's festival of food, Stardust Sportfishing and Jaime Diamond had their booth next to Channel Keeper's, where they were soliciting support for Marine Protected Areas, which primarily protect fish from fishermen, feeding the ocean's other critters.

This writer helped grill over 600 pounds of albacore for over a thousand fish plates. Others in the fishing community cooked lobsters and crabs the public bought straight off the boats. Harbor staff cleaned cracked and plated all that delicious seafood.

There were live bands, throngs of people enjoying the warm weather, nick knacks, hats and souvenirs, promotional and informational materials from the DFW and other agencies and organizations. Boat tours and fire fighting demos with water cannons blasting across the fairway.

Capt. David Bacon said the Santa Barbara and Channel Islands Chapters of the CCA have teamed together to fund new nets for the Channel Islands white seabass grow-out pens at the old launch ramp there. They have set up a GoFundMe page. Search "fund-the-white-seabass-grow-out-pens" to help out.

With advice, tackle and bait in Santa Barbara, Hook, Line & Sinker fishing center Manager Capt. Tiffany Vague said, “Armed with squid and scrambled egg jigs, I’ve got some customers bringing me fillets of yellowtail, white seabass and halibut they caught at the Islands and wanted to show their appreciation. There are halibut along the coast too, off la Conchita and up off Hollister Ranch.”

A SANTA BARBARA local 1/2-day calico aboard the Coral Sea. They pulled almost 200 one morning, keeping 45 nice ones.

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