Southern CA Saltwater

San Pedro: Big yellows rule!

BY MERIT McCREA/WON Staff Writer Published: Oct 10, 2019

SAN PEDRO/LONG BEACH — From Catalina to the Cortes, monster yellowtail were on the feed, busting tackle or feeling the iron. Capt. Mike Morrison said they were even seeing them at the Horseshoe Kelp right out front.

Capt. Jeff Jessop posted, “Limit-style yellowtail fishing, most 20 to 25 pounds.”

WON advertising Rep Dylan Depres was aboard the Freedom for the bite out at the Cortes.

ON THE IRON! That was the deal for Dylan Depres. A well-placed mint surface iron presented on his Calstar GG90J was the hot ticket for him aboard the Freedom out at the Cortes Bank.

Depres said the a.m. iron bite was the best for him. He penned the following:

“I went out with Freedom Sportfishing out of 22nd Street Landing on a 1.5-day trip... Our trip proved to be great... We put up a solid score of 84 yellowtail for 26 anglers. They were all nice fish, ranging from 15 to over 25 pounds.

“Captain Dave located some yellowtail early in the day and these fish were active and boiling on our chum. Our first several stops of the day were quick as we kept up with the fish. The crew would create a chum line, in came the boiling yellows, and a well presented surface iron would get a few bites each time before the fish moved on. This went on through the morning and we picked up about 25 fish before noon. I landed 5 healthy 15- to 25-pound forktails on the surface iron during the morning bite.

“Later in the day the yellows hung around comfortably in our chum slick, which changed the bite pattern. Over the next few hours we proceeded to download about 60 more yellowtail on fly-lined sardines. I got two more on bait in the afternoon flurry. We rode it out until the bite slowed down and closed out our day with an hour of decent rockfishing... All in all this outing with Freedom Sportfishing was a late-season yellowtail trip for the books!”

Saturday was a good one out at Catalina as well. The Pursuit was out with 32 anglers landing 41 bonito and 33 yellowtail, while the number of hook-ups was at least twice that. The Native Sun also tapped into the bite, 20 anglers decking 32 the day prior.

The Tradition got an early start on sanddab season, as 10 anglers loaded up full stringers of the tasty critters in this no-limit fishery for the Bight’s most ubiquitous flatfish.

The 10 anglers loaded up on 900 before throwing in the towel Saturday. Sunday 13 dabbers dropped ganion gear for 1,350 more.

At Long Beach Sportfishing Steve Phelps reported, “Our local 3⁄4-day boat, Victory, has had a consistent week filling up the sacks with quality rockfish, as well as some fun afternoon action on the calico bass.

THE TRADITION GOT a head start on sanddab season, cranking up 900 of the tasty flatfish for just 9 anglers.

“On Sunday, Captain George checked in with 150 rockfish, 12 vermilion rockfish, 102 salmon grouper, 5 sheephead, 25 whitefish, 2 barracuda, 21 calico bass, and 103 calico bass released.

“The overnight boat, Eldorado, fished San Nicolas Island on Friday, and ended up with 1 yellowtail, 106 whitefish, 3 sheephead, 131 rockfish, and 1 barracuda for 15 anglers. For the entire month of October, the Eldorado is running a $149 Overnight Island Freelance Special.

“The 6-pack boat, Pacific Raider, has local lobster hoop net trips every Friday and Saturday night, departing at 6 p.m. All bait and gear is included in these trips, and you must have a valid California fishing license, along with a 2019 lobster report card (available at the landing). These trips are limited to only 5 anglers, and each angler gets the use of 2 hoop nets.”

The 6-pack Mardiosa pulled 21 keepers plus caught 10 whitefish and 2 yellows on its twilight hooping trip Saturday.

Saturday saw the Eldo on the run for the Tanner Bank. The 18 anglers slammed 20 monster lings, 71 whitefish, 26 sheephead and 103 rockfish, all outer banks grade. Plan B proved a solid one.

From L.A. Waterfront Capt. Ryan Gengler reported, “Triton ran their first Catalina lobster combo of the season yesterday with great success!

“We started the day off on the yellowtail grounds picking up 3 nice ones. As the sun went down we put the hoops in the water and ended the night with 24 legal lobster for the small group.

Triton and Gail Force are running 12 p.m. to 12 a.m. Catalina Island lobster trips every Wednesday thru Sunday. These trips are limited to 10 passengers fishing/hooping Catalina Island. All gear is included! Book your spots online for either boat at Gailforcesportfishing.com.”

There Capt. Bruce Root on the Sport King reported continued Island yellowtail catches coupled with big numbers of bonito and calico action too with some keepers in the mix.

At Pierpoint Landing in Long Beach, the Toronado wrapped up scientific work with the NMFS Southern California Shelf Rockfish Hook and Line Survey, on the outer banks.

Both the City of Long Beach and Enterprise turned in amazing local rockfish numbers on both 1⁄2- and 3⁄4-day trips as anglers hauled up their limits of rockfish accompanied by lots of ocean whitefish Sunday.

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