Southern CA Saltwater

San Pedro: Sculpin grind full speed as local bass come on line

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

SAN PEDRO/LONG BEACH — The local summer spawn bite kicked off with 70-degree blue water flooding in over the local spots. Aboard the Victory, 14, 3/4-day anglers stayed local to score limits of the red devils before retiring to the shallows for a wide open bass bite which resulted in limits of bass too.

bobbyBOBBY SCOGNAMILLO SCORED this WON Whopper 47-pound croaker aboard the 6-pack boat Options while fishing San Clemente Island where squid nests on the island's east end continued to power on.

Steve Phelps reported, "The 3/4-day boat, Victory fished local on Monday with their 14 anglers, and started out in the deeper waters to fill the sacks, and had excellent fishing for quality sculpin. Once limits were reached (70 sculpin), Captain George headed inside for some fun calico bass fishing. They spent the rest of the afternoon in a wide open bass bite, and when it was time to pull the hook for the final time, the final count was 70 sculpin, 60 calico bass, 10 sand bass (limits on bass), 10 rockfish, 6 sheephead, and 2 barracuda."

That kind of action was reported across the board for the local fleet. The Monte Carlo had good catches of sculpin regularly and added some bass fishing as well.

Thursday the Enterprise pulled nearly 39 limits of scullies and kept 40 bass – 26 calico and 13 sand, in addition to releasing a bunch, plus added 4 yellows, a dozen barracuda and more including a mako.

Pierpoint Landing's 1/2-day boat the City of Long Beach consistently loaded on scorpion fish when there were 20 or more anglers but skipped it a couple of times for some straight bass action with lighter loads.

There was both live squid and sardines in the bait supply, which helped things out again.

It was the live sardines that bit best aboard the Native Sun fishing Catalina Island Monday, the beginning of a great week of grande sized yellowtail on tap. That day the 35 anglers put on 63 jumbos from 85 or 90 hookups. But for a single 12 pounder the grade was 15 to 35 pounds.

The recommended tackle was small sliders on big hooks and 25- or 30-pound line. For those fishing the iron, 40- or 50-pound was the recommendation.

BIG GAME ANGLE at Catalina Island aboard the Native Sun early last week.

Over the weekend the Catalina bite favored a bit of deep dropping — plan B action. We saw rockfish catches soar to near limits and Saturday the Native took 41 folks to 390 cods plus 92 whitefish.

For the overnight fleet the weekend saw them slide west to the little island and despite a concerted effort to keep a lid on the bite, there was a fleet of private boaters plus a horde of hungry sea lions to contend with nevertheless.

Steve Phelps at Long Beach Sportfishing said, "Capt. Jeff aboard the overnight boat Eldorado has had a great week with consistent numbers of yellowtail, along with quality bottom fish to round off the sacks. On Saturday, his 35 anglers came home with 26 yellowtail (out of over 40 hookups), 131 whitefish, 7 sheephead, 1 sculpin, 151 rockfish, 7 calico bass, and 2 bonito."

There were also a few seabass in the mix and the Freedom managed to add a trio of croaker to their Sunday 35 jack and bags full of big bottom biters score.

Meanwhile the 6-pack fleet found some jumbo seabass lurking at San Clemente Island too, including Bobby Scognamillo's 47 pounder aboard the Options.

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