Southern CA Saltwater

Seabass scores spike at islands

BY MERIT McCREA/WON Staff Writer Published: May 14, 2019

VENTURA/OXNARD — Over the weekend, the white seabass snap ramped up as we approached the full moon phase this week. It appeared several zones played a part in the increasing catches, both at Santa Cruz and Santa Rosa Island. Both the full-day and overnight boats pulled down some limit scores. Of course, the area's excellent bottom biter resource stacked up nice scores all week, as usual.

From Hook's Landing it was their overnight run aboard the Endeavor that scored, with 26 anglers putting up a 19 croaker count on the seabass. A pair of halibut added to the action, and looking at the numbers, it appeared to be inner island action. A couple hundred or more bottom biters kept the complement all catching and 140 of those were ocean whitefish.

orangeirondidORANGE IRON DID the trick for Aloha Spirit owner Capt. Shawn Steward.

However, the rig’s Friday score included 20-fish limits of cod and razor-gills in combo, along with 5 seabass, outer island style.

"Corvette" Carlson reported Jeff Katz as claiming our WON Whopper of the Week honors aboard the Estella with a 10-pound lingcod. Angler Krista of Bakersfield fished the 6-pack Legit with Capt. Bryce Herman for her WON WOW winner, a 58-pound tanker seabass.

At Ventura Sportfishing, Crystal Ying penned, "The white seabass are back! Our white seabass count has been climbing as the weekend has gone on." She turned in Whoppers for: "...the Amigo, with Capt. Jon Ewart and Capt. Steve Chesley, our whopper of the week goes to John Roussel with a 43-pound white seabass! On the Pacific Dawn, with Captains Pat Cavanaugh and Mike (Dogg), our whopper of the week goes to Jerry Scotton with a 50-pound halibut. On the Pacific Eagle, with Capt. Mike Ming, our whopper of the week goes to Paul Ramirez with a 15-pound lingcod!"

Over at CISCO's, the Mirage finished up with limits on the big outer island croaker Sunday – 12 for 12 anglers to go with over 100 rockfish and more than 100 whitefish, plus 3 lings and a sheephead.

In the landing office, Mike Thompson also reported a solid uptick in seabass results over the weekend, saying, "This past week the game fish action was slow but picked up some by the weekend. And the bottom fishing at the Channel Islands is almost always epic. Good quality rockfish reported on local day trips, as well as overnight trips to the outer islands. But this is the time of year that anglers come hoping to catch seabass, halibut and other game fish. Although the boats have caught some already this year, the yellowtail don't usually bite until the early summer. So, the fact that the boats have caught any is simply a bonus. As for the white seabass, boats have been seeing schools of them everywhere. This weekend, they popped up again. We will see how this next week progresses."

Weekend counts again reflected limits of lings and rockfish for several outer island charters, including the Pacific Islander and Seabiscuit.

With the full moon Thursday, that's estimated seabass bite time center and it was forecast calm and damp as the weather window. Anglers who wait for dry weather will have to beware for west winds, which just might follow. Best bets looked to be bringing slicks and fishing the calm.

However, the croaker concentrations were wide-spread, and protected waters options held the true tankers, should the breeze kick up. Surprisingly, it hasn't much at all this spring.

LEGIT PIGS WITH Capt. Bryce Herman. The biggest seabass was a 58 pounder caught by "Krista" of Bakersfield.

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