Southern CA Saltwater

Great bottom biters on tap

BY MERIT McCREA/WON Staff Writer Published: Mar 05, 2019

VENTURA/OXNARD — It was indeed, “all that!” Though the weatherman threatened to bugger it all up, when the day came it was glorious. And the weekend that followed, it was damp but doable. The fish never noticed they were getting wet on deck.

The overnight boats all seemed to turn in limits of rockfish all across the board, but the big bonus was the fat scores of whitefish and sometimes sheephead and lings too, on top of it.

A TRIO OF lings and smiles in damp-but-calm conditions aboard the Seabiscuit.

The word from the staff at Ventura Sportfishing was, "The first few days of the season brought in rockfish limits in every trip despite a little rain. The overnight boat has had 3 days of 20-fish limits... mostly vermilion rockfish and whitefish, with a handful of lingcod, sheephead and other rockfish varieties. Squid has been our bait of choice. Fishing deeper allows us to explore more grounds, increasing our chance for success."

At Ventura, the Pacific Eagle rolled in with 23 easy limits of rockfish, topped by 47 whities and 8 sheephead. The Amigo's 20 anglers stuffed an extra 9 lings and 191 whitefish on top of their rockfish limits, 400 fish for the day – Cal-max sport limits!

On 3/4-day duty, the Island Spirit also racked up rockfish limits every day, 350, 310 and 240 cods for those first three days.

Mike Thompson at CISCOS said, "On the first day of fishing the early reports coming in are mixed but all boats had one thing in common and that was the quality was outstanding. As it always is during the first few days of the season, not only the fishermen, but the captains and crews have to knock off the rust. One thing is for sure, everyone involved is very glad to be fishing again."

Capt. Bobby Valney, owner of the Sea Biscuit out of CISCO’s, called in to say he'd dropped in on a particular deep spot which will remain unnamed, untouched for the past 18 years. The down on the stone resulted in stopped lines, far above the bottom, all hooked reds.

There are a few of these bordering the bank around Santa Rosa and San Miguel islands. By lines up, the crew of 22 had 220 rockfish, mostly red, 115 razor gills and 21 lings.

Sunday CISCO's 3/4-day boat Gentleman fished just east of Santa Cruz Island with just 23 anglers, sacking limits of cods, 6 lings and 88 whites.

Saturday the Pacific Islander came within a few fish of full 20-fish limits on their overnighter. The final was 220 cods for 22 fishers, plus 11 lings and 165 OWFs. The story was similar all across the CISCO's fleet.

Out of Hook's Sportfishing, the Chief spent the final hours of their outer island 2-day working just north west of the closure corner at Carrington Point, Santa Rosa Island. Their 33 anglers ended up with nearly 1,000 fish — 495 cods, 440 whites, 20 lings.

The Outrider, Endeavor and New Hustler all had rockfish limits for their day, each on overnight trips. They each averaged a bonus of 5 around on the bottom dorado too.

twinsiesredsTWINSIES — Reds aboard the Aloha Spirit.

ERIC PIERCE OF Bellflower with his 16-pound Santa Rosa Island ling aboard the 'biscuit.

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