Southern CA Saltwater

Dana Point: Great local sculpin fishing

Colder water a drag for bass action

BY PAUL LEBOWITZ/WON Staff WriterPublished: Jan 22, 2020

DANA POINT/NEWPORT — Colder water put the chill on local bass fishing, yet there were still standout days, and sculpin more than picked up the slack.

Regarding the bass, Capt. Brian Woolley of Dana Wharf said half-day fishing is still focusing on them, and although action was slowed by colder water this week, there were a couple of days when the fish could be caught on live sardine and rubber lures.

CAPT. CALVIN COOPER of the Helena was out Saturday and helped youngster Logan Herzog use a live sardine on a reverse dropper loop connect with this eater size halibut.PHOTO COURTESY DANA WHARF SPORTFISHING

“Some days with the right tide and some water movement we were able to have some good action, and then other days we were fishing the sinkers for the sand bass and sculpin,” he said.

Dana Wharf 3⁄4-day trips are still on the sculpin program. “It’s been great fishing for these things,” Woolley said. “As has been the case the last few weeks that same 5- to 7-inch swimbait fished on the dropper loop is still out fishing anything else. We’ve been getting what we need on the sculpin and then sliding into the beach and finishing the day fishing bass. Same program though in the lower kelp zones with some days of mixed action.”

The Sum Fun’s best sculpin count of the week came Saturday, when 29 anglers caught 86.

Although there were no large halibut to challenge for the Dana Wharf Derby this week, Woolley said some fish are showing in 20- to 25-fathom areas where they have traditionally caught some nice ones.

“This is some good signal for sure as halibut fishing had definitely slowed the last couple weeks,” he said. “The was out yesterday and he had 3 smaller legal halibut, not derby eligible since it was a private charter. Then today on the Clemente’s halibut derby trip they had 2 legal fish and 5 short fish, the keepers being a 4-pound and 7-pound fish. It’s nice seeing some fish starting to show.”

helenhongofHELEN HONG OF Huntington Beach used the rubber swimbait fished above an 8-ounce torpedo sinker to catch an easy limit of sculpin aboard the Sum Fun on Thursday. PHOTO COURTESY DANA WHARF SPORTFISHING

Dana Wharf is offering weekly kids’ clinics Sundays prior to the afternoon half-day trip. Woolley explained, “During this clinic the captain goes over various things that pertain to that trip,” he said. “This includes what fish species may be caught, bait types used on that trip, useful hints and helpful techniques and standard boat etiquette. Simply put, it’s an ice breaker for the kids before they head out and it gives them a great foundation. With each paid adult a child fishes for free on this trip as well. It’s a perfect opportunity for young first time anglers to come out and feel comfortable fishing with their accompanying adult or parent.”

At Davey’s Locker the Western Pride continues to carry the load. The boat was on the water for half-day trips more days than not. Saturday’s two trips, both p.m. and twilight, socked away sculpin, with the downloads going 131 and 101 each for some 40 anglers.

halibutdriftHALIBUT DRIFT REGULAR Jeff Randall was aboard the Clemente on Sunday and added his name to the derby leader board with this nice halibut. PHOTO COURTESY DANA WHARF SPORTFISHING

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