St. Croix


Southern CA Saltwater

Ventura/Oxnard: Calm waters and bulging gunnies

BY MERIT McCREA/WON Staff WriterPublished: Jun 11, 2019

VENTURA/OXNARD — The gunny-fuzz was flying as anglers lined up to take advantage of some great fishing weather out at the Channel Islands this past week. And fill those big bags anglers did, limits of rockfish or real close was standard. Some added piles of ocean whitefish, others, lots of lings. Aboard the Endeavor, a 2-day added daily white seabass limits too.

While Capt. Tucker McCoombs (Hooks, Endeavor) was fairly far afield for his croaker, others did the same quite close, most notably the Aloha Spirit, Island Tak and Sea Jay (CISCOs).

BRIAN CAUGHLIN OF San Clemente caught this 20-pound lingcod on the Pacific Islander.

Those fishing the local croaker found best success with red and yellow plastics, those that sank more slowly, according to Mike Thompson at CISCO's. At the outer islands, live squid was the best bet.

It was Friday when the 19 anglers aboard the Aloha Spirit left the cod grounds to score 19 seabass, 8 yellowtail, 6 calico, 2 barracuda and a few incidentals. The Island Tak managed to put its highly skilled charter groups on full-boat limits of seabass four days in a row.

By far the most consistent snap and bag filling came with maintaining focus on the excellent grade bottom biters available on all day and overnight trips, however.

Fishing a 1/2- or 3/4-day also filled quotas, but with fish a bit smaller on average. However, Capt. Sonny Haendiges took the Island Spirit full-day run up past the West End of Santa Cruz Island and found some solid outer island grade fish.

His 34 folks Sunday had limits of rockfish, 36 lings, 39 ocean whitefish and a cabezon. Anglers on the Amigo'sovernight run limited out on rockfish and lings, which with the return to 2 lings was 44 gators, fishing a bit farther up the island chain.

On the Pacific Dawn's overnight trip, a try for the game fish produced a pair of white seabass and a handful of barracuda, followed by full limits of rockfish.

As we look to the coming weekend, the full moon in June will be upon us (June 17), and with it, the likelihood of seeing some solid seabass counts come out of the Northern Channel Islands is very high.

jameskentofJAMES KENT OF San Jacinto caught this 25-pound yellowtail out at the Channel Islands aboard the Ranger 85.

June 15 the seabass daily bag limit returns to 3 fish per person. That means you're much more likely to have to catch your own rather than getting someone else's second seabass, so the post-game fish bottom biter fishing becomes much more of a big deal for those less fortunate anglers.

On the other hand, the way seabass bites tend to be either scratchy or ballistic, we’re likely to see some huge numbers roll in when the snap is on. This weekend is the one not to miss out on and the seabass flu may hit epidemic levels during the following week.

The published information says the one-fish limit applies south of Point Conception between March 15 and June 15, leaving those dates themselves as part of the 3-fish season.

catalinaislandscoreCATALINA ISLAND SCORE aboard the Pursuit Friday. The afternoon connect kicked down 33 yellow to 25 pounds and 27 seabass to 40.

JIM KAISER'S 48-pound white seabass aboard the Island Tak.

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