Fish Report for Tuesday, June 10th:
Coastal Seabass: Fun fishing for most that are getting out and putting in the time. Follow some simple guidelines for success, and you’ll have a tanker hanging just like everyone else. A. Chum. Don’t expect to be able to just sit and get a free bite. B. Be kinda stealthy. Yes, there are boats with generators running and lots of guys making noise catching fish, but the odds are in your favor if you at least try to be a little quiet. C. Use your eyes! I keep seeing guys drive right past breaking seabass and not even looking at anything but their GPS. Hey man, the GPS cannot see the seabass that just rolled under the tern birds right next to you at 30kts. D. Get out of the crowd, think outside the box, and get off the computer and the phone and go hunting.
Offshore: Stuff is at 90 miles and closing slowly. Tough bite for the private boaters without sonar and lots of chum. Kelps will be holding again soon and we will have backup plans if the BFT’s don’t bite for us.
Islands: Enough seabass spread around to keep crowds manageable. Enough seabass and yellows on the front of Catalina, to keep the backside almost empty of boats. BITCHEN. Find out where everyone is, and go the other way. Seriously.
Barracuda: Like the yellows on the kelps and the spawning sand bass, barracuda are a very good thing. They give the guys that might run over your chum line or hit you in the dark something to do other than ruin seabass bites. Pray for more barracuda, for now they are at Catalina and on the Flats/Horseshoe.
Fish Report for Friday, May 16th:
Offshore: Things are getting rolling early with yellows on kelps and a couple opah already. As of right now, every kelp from the Catalina channel South might be holding. The bluefin are out front of Ensenada and to the outside, but until we get some good coverage we won’t know to what extent. Maybe this weekend.
San Clemente Island: One common theme for the “fair” fishing is the lack of a dependable volume of live squid. SCI would be more than fair fishing if live squid was more available, and it the Navy was not closing key spots daily this month.
Santa Barbara Island: Same deal, with squid it might be epic here. Not really, but there are the resident big halibut and a few yellows and seabass around. A score here and there keeps us reminded, then the wind makes things start over.
Catalina: Man oh man what would happen if everyone had live squid here? Tourney starts tomorrow so I have to be careful, but stick to the truth. Exotics east and west, but come to think of it, there are exotics in the middle too. Front has not done much, but has not been fished much, so there is the mystery. Get in with the crowd and see what happens? Or blaze and new trail and find something not yet discovered? Possibilities.
Coastal: It has been cool to watch really nice guys take their beloved skiffs out and catch a tanker with no drama at all. Somewhere along the line, guys decided not to blow it up on the internet, or tell their “less than trustworthy” friends, and the results have been what can only be described with one word. FUN. Add 10 more boats to any coastal bite, and its over. Most are going one time and scoring a giant seabass, and maybe going again in a few days, then they are satisfied. That also is great to see. Not whores taking a week of work with multi day permits and catching nothing more than what will be a slaughter photo of wasted meat on a hot day with not enough ice.
Speaking of not enough ice, I am leaving for the land of ice and cold waters. Be back after June first, as I am heading for the Eastern Sierras with my family and lots of good friends. Snow in the forecast, and big duffel bags of thermal underwear and ridiculous winter coats. Switching gears from tying knots in 40-60 flouro to 2-4lb test is always fun, especially when your hands are so cold you can’t feel enough to pick your nose. Man, that sounds really good right now. See ya.
Fish Report for Thursday, May 8th:
Catalina: Stiff winds may or may not have done damage to the conditions holding fish along the V’s and up west at West Cove. More than likely, the fish down East are still there and just fine. That Western sector takes more of a pounding, but I think the fish have no problem going around the front to hide, then come right back. Squid in several areas, including the V’s area and in the Isthmus. There was bait at West Cove before the blow. Bass should be biting pretty good along the front by now, and a few exotics have made the front as well, no doubt.
Squid: Couple light boats working Catalina over the weekends now, and making that call on channel 11 might just get answered. Also, San Pedro bait has been getting squid into the receivers up in LA Harbor and Newport. Don’t bank on it, call first.
San Clemente Island: Pyramid Cove has been the spot, and does not get too hammered by winds and weather. The Navy has taken over for most of this month, making it hard to plan a trip out here to spend any amount of time to check things out. Watch now as guys venture out and look at new spots with great success. Yellows should be all along the front by now.
SBI: Way over due.
Coronados: Private guys will continue to quietly do their work here, staying away from the fleet and bragging when its over.
Local: Exotics lurking up and down the coast, and SMB is unusually quiet. Threshers on the bait along the south coast, and some big ones too. Stock spots kick out a seabass or yellow just as soon as the crowd thins. There is now some squid along the coast as well, “which is nice”. Next week look for stellar weather and some big scores.
Halibut: They’re biting, and have been biting. Just go.
Fish Report for Monday, May 5th:
Coastal: The fish are there, stock spots and more. Thing is, its just not that easy to catch one. Some squid on the coast too, and that is a very good thing. You may notice I am being even more vague this year, and for good reason. Its time guys just knew whether the fish were biting or not, and decided to go. Details of where someone else found fish are counter productive, and doesn’t do you or anyone else any good. Want to catch a big coastal seabass? One thing is for sure, you can’t catch one sitting in front of your computer.
Islands: Took a shit, thank god. Last Friday and Saturday was sickening. Now we have a little weather coming and the fish decided not to bite yesterday or today. Back to talent fishing, just the way we like it. More and more squid around, even at San Pedro Bait Receiver. I will say this; Guys that left the crowd and fished away from the pack caught almost nothing during the big bite. Odd. After the blow, watch things pick back up with good tides and back to stable weather. Soon, the masses will be offshore fighting over kelps, and the Islands will quietly become fun again.
Offshore: First scouts found kelps with yellows off Ensenada. A few big BTF’s blowing up and those that were hooked were lost (except one). Now this I find hard to believe. Bluefin to 100#’s are VERY catchable on 30# tackle with well tied knots and quality gear. Who did not bring a 40# or 50# outfit on an exploratory offshore trip? Mind boggling. Not to suck myself off or anything, but my biggest tuna on 30# is a 189lb bigeye. “Fish lost due to guys fishing too light of tackle?” Yea, right.
Fish Report for Thursday, May 1st:
Coastal: Seabass on the chew with no squid around. Good thing they bite the mackerel just fine, and there is plenty of that around. Divers had their share last few months, now its time for the rod and reel guys to get a whack. Stock spots are biting, but so are the spots up the line, and that is what is being kept quiet. Overall a very different year as far as word getting out, and I will not be the one to change that. Get out, make the effort to find fish on your own, the fish are there waiting for you.
Islands: Catalina, SBI and SCI are all biting now. Squid is at Catalina, but lets hope that changes. Signal of squid at SCI, its just not dependable. There may be some at SBI, I just have not heard. Catalina is stupid good, with seabass and yellows from one end to the other on the back. Find a spot of conditions, and the fish are there, just like old times. What is really different here is the deep water bite down East. With no volume of squid attracting the seiners, the deep water seabass are there and biting. This is really easy fishing, dropper loops and a chair, drifting or anchored on a good meter mark. If you start hooking barracuda, you are in the area.
Fish Report for Tuesday, April 29th:
Coastal: Seabass. No secret spots, the typical places you’d expect, and the usual suspects getting it done.
Islands: Catalina survived the blow, a sprinkle of seabass biting along the back, East. Middle of the Island back is holding too, with less pressure. Tough to fish beaches today with the offshore wind, it blows you off everytime. SCI survived as well, and a handful of private boat croakers were caught around the corner this morning. SBI got looked at and its hammered, dirty cold and ugly. San Nic is worse.
Fish Report for Tuesday, April 22nd:
Coastal: A little blow today and tonight, and the coast will be the least damaged by it. Islands are going to get hammered. Thing is, you will do much better here with the squid, and the squid is at the islands.
Catalina: Back to its old self, humbling everyone. It would seem that batch of seabass moved on to SCI and SBI. Its the same grade and school I was looking at. I could be wrong. Be aware of bum dope and bad rumors circulating on the internet about Catalina, I have great contacts that looked hard at the island, and never saw any of the shit that is being reported. Squid is what this island is good for right now.
SCI: Squid here too, and a good volume of seabass. The stuff is moving around, but today is the last quarter moon and we are at the beginning of a prime moon phase. If these fish settle down and the wind does not do too much damage, watch for big scores.
SBI/San Nic: Next on the list of places we can expect some huge scores. The divers and quiet killers are already on it.
Fish Report for Sunday, April 20th (Happy Easter)
Seabass: All three islands are biting. The coastal guys are not calling me for dope, so that means the coast is biting. All good stuff.
Squid: The squid I have been seeing deep finally finished the staging process and moved in, several areas. Word of light boats selling and maybe even a receiver having it. Again, all good stuff. Forget the mackerel, get the squid!
Fish Report for Thursday, April 17th:
Cold, windy all day and backside of the moon. “Who wants to stay home today?” (Me, raising my hand)
Fish Report for Wednesday, April 16th:
Catalina: Nothing new today, all I know is one of my good friends fished where we got the seabass on Monday and got two, then fished another 5 hours without a bite. Overall, the island is cold, quiet and humbling. Nicer weather this weekend, but waning tides and moon. Doesn’t look good, I am not going back until the next set of good tides.
SCI: There is enough squid in the cove to make a tank, but you’ll have to outsmart the seals. Talk of fish up the back and maybe more squid up West? Who knows. So far every guy that has tried to say he was not in the Cove was lying, unless he was talking about rockfish.
SBI: This one is next. Watch, someone will make the run and put up a good score. Happens every year. Clockwork.
Coastal: Divers are happy as heck with big seabass in multiple areas. There are a few being caught here and there, but nothing compared to what the divers are doing. A really smart guy would find some live squid and bring it back to the coast.
Halibut: Its about that time for the flatties to start to spawn and bite. Backside of the moon means some will be really shallow early mornings, might even catch one surf fishing.
Fish Report for Tuesday, April 15th:
Catalina: Before you plan anything here or at SCI (or SBI), figure out how and where you are going to get live squid. Without it, you are wasting your time. Plan the whole trip around catching bait. If you do not have a proper crowder and 110V underwater light, just stop reading here. (I’m not making or selling any, so don’t think this is a sales ploy)
Still Here?: Lets proceed. For the seabass think warmer water. These fish are spawning, I saw it with my own eyes when a drove over a spot of free swimmers in skinny water on the back. The beaches with the conditions are holding, and I had to put the boat in very shallow water and make long casts right onto beaches to get a bite. Not for the faint at heart. The yellows are up west, I had a chance to look around after we caught our limit of seabass, and scored a couple little 10-12# fork in 75′ of water. Doesn’t sound good? Consider we had less than an hour to fish before I had to have the owner home, and the tide was crap. It would have gotten better, no doubt.
SCI: Like Catalina, no slam dunk here. There are seabass here up the back, and a few yellows (with WAY TOO MANY seals) in the Cove. My last chat with a boat over there was “its not worth it.” That may change.
Local: I honestly have no idea.
Fish Report for Saturday, April 12th:
Catalina: Someone pulled off the bum dope bullshit of the century and sent the world looking for squid at Silver Canyon. This one was so widely believed that every source I called had their version of confirmation. If I had been able to go Thursday night as planned, I would have caught it sooner. Unfortunately way too much fuel was burned by too many on a lie. If you want to keep your shit secret, just don’t say anything. Don’t make shit up. Anyways, Catalina still has hot spots of good conditions, and might be ready to pop. My guess is it IS ready, and nobody has found the wad yet. Stay tuned.
SCI: A little squid in the Cove, and some fish with it. Again, more BS rumors of the yellows being somewhere else. I have seen this for years and years, guys that get caught slinging bum dope get it ten fold in return. Better just to say nothing at all.
Coastal: This stuff IS being kept quiet and I have just a taste of what is happening. That being said, just go and find it. This dope is not mine to give away.
Typical: Spring style fishing with more rumors than actual fish caught. Don’t get me wrong, there are some exotics around those in the know are getting it done quietly. If you hear about a bite, its either too late or a complete lie.
Fish Report for Thursday, April 10th:
Squid: Finally, a spot of some volume showed up at Catalina. Around the East End and up the back, get there early. The whole world will be tanking up there middle of the night on the way to SCI for the yellows. Watch the fog.
SCI: Yellows East, but check the Navy Website and be prepared to have to move around. Not to worry, the yellows are up the back and along the front too, just get away from the crowd and find the conditions, which are improving fast. Now the game is to find the new batch of fish, and get them while you are all alone.
Why Am I Not Fishing? Slight mechanical problems and a part that was unavailable, thats why. If the part was local today, I’d be gone. Learn how to turn a wrench guys, nobody can call themselves a full service Captain if they can’t fix the boat when it breaks.
Fish Report for Tuesday, April 9th:
No Change: Nothing new and exciting to report. Rumors flying and some may be true. If the fish are biting somewhere, its being kept quiet. I can respect that.
Fishing: Leaving tomorrow to fish overnight, so I will have more first hand dope when I get back. Stand by………
Fish Report for Sunday, April 6th:
Weather: A stable forecast with a warming trend and not much wind for this coming week coupled with a killer set of first quarter moon tides means things might just take off. I say might, but I honestly think this is “it”. Watch the yellows bite at SCI, a few seabass will be found at Catalina and SBI will kick out a few big yellows in the anchorage and possibly a good score on the seabass. One or more of these will happen. The Coronado’s will have a few huge days on the yellows this week, and a good score or two will happen on the coastal tankers. Its time, and the conditions are coming together, and the fish are here. Big prediction, total guess. I’m rolling the dice across the craps table now.
Look at Wednesday and Thursday, great tides early morning and late afternoon. Nearly perfect tidal conditions. Prime.
Fish Report for Saturday, April 5th:
Local: Fished local last three days as a minor fuel problem turned into a starter problem and we had to make due on one engine. That ruled out Catalina for our first day. Set up on the outside portion of Izors, my thought was deeper water=bigger bass. It paid off. Frozen San Pedro Bait Co. squid fished on a 3/4oz glow leadhead RIGHT ON the bottom scored us consistent bites. With the sun up it was mostly sculpin, but once the sun went down it was straight legals on the sand bass. After the midnight high tide, it got better.
Friday we chugged (one engine) inside to the LCI and down to Newport Reef. Water temps were a chilly 55-58 degrees, and there was little life in the brown rolled over water. We set up on Newport Reef and had one good bite on the ballon rigged mackerel. Got the bait back and never figured out what the bite was. Line was peeling, then nothing. We ran back up to Izors and once again picked away at the sand bass. Add in some sheepshead, a halibut, a sole, one calico bass and some brown rockfish and we made lemonade out of rotten lemons.
Islands: Still a scratch bite on the yellows at the Nados, with a better bite below that at Todos Santos. A single yellowtail caught at SCI today, still waiting for a report from Catalina. Water is cold, the swell is tight and conditions are set to improve with stable weather next few days. For now, rockfish rule the counts.
Fish Report for Monday, March 31st:
Local Report: Did another sea trial on the “Fresh One” today after some work on the port transmission. Trans worked perfect again, but the water is cold, bitter cold. We hit 4 different wrecks, finally setting up on the old “Georgia Straights” wreck, inside part of the Horseshoe in 80′ of water. Lots of little bites right on the bottom, and a handful of keeper sculpin later and it was time to head in and beat the wind. Felt good to wet a line, but I never sensed we were missing anything. Mini macks at Nacho’s empty bait barge, 4 at a time on the Sabiki rig. 3 drops, 12 baits, done. Sculpin were caught on San Pedro Bait Co. frozen squid from Big Fish Tackle in SB. $4.50 a pack, nice to know its there and affordable.
Yellows: On a side note, a few more yellows in the SD counts today. These fish are below the Rockpile, near the Finger Bank. Breaking fish and bird schools, but the fish are not biting all that good. Just an indication of the volume that is there.
Fish Report for Saturday, March 29th:
Tough day: Nice little bunch of earthquakes last night with many aftershocks today AND limits of annoying and cold winds are making things tough on the water.
Islands: We’ve seen this before, haven’t we? Unseasonably nice weather early, only to get “the winter that never was” late. Cold winds and water turns over, erasing what looked like a great start to spring fishing. No way to tell if this pattern will last for a week, or until the end of May. Sorry Charlie, my crystal ball is not that good.
Coastal: The cooler water (caused by the winds) will typically trigger the squid to move in and spawn along the coast. Question is, where? Will we see another nest off HB and heaps of seabass on it? SMB? Rocky? Barn?, San Clemente?, Domes? Bull Ring? Or maybe Ormond Beach? County line? Or Ventura? Dude, if I knew this stuff I’d be running charters for $1,000 a head and guaranteeing each passenger a tanker seabass.
Rockfish: Lots of fish, but poor quality compared to before the closure. But it was pretty good before the closure.
Mexico/Coronados: Fresh batches of the fork coming up the line steady. San Martin are to Punta Banda and into San Miguel Reef then up to the Finger and lower edges of the Rockpile and finally to the Coronados. Hot one day, cold the next. You know the deal. Where these fish are going when they leave the Nados is anyone’s guess. Guys hook and get a few off La Jolla and Point Loma, but not the volume that you’d expect. A few fish at SCI, but again no volume. Someone finds where these fish are going, and its game on!!!
Fish Report for Thursday, March 27th:
Strong winds yesterday dropped water temps everywhere.
Coastal Seabass: They are biting. Several spots of fish responding more to the prime last quarter moon phase and good tides than the effects of the cooler waters. Small crowds beginning to gather on at least one of the spots. Morning bite is better, still a bit of afternoon winds. If you are reading this, and have not gone yet, you probably missed it. Word is spreading like wildfire.
Islands: Nothing to report. Anything I write would be a guess after that little blow yesterday.
Fish Report for Tuesday, March 25th:
Weather: A band of showers in creeping into Southern California but rainfall is not guaranteed. What is forecasted is a bit of wind. We had a little wind in the afternoons last few days and it has done a number on the 64-65 degree water temps we had. I was at Catalina Sunday and water temps were 61-62 degrees.
Catalina: Very good signal on the seabass dissolved when the water temps dropped. What little bit of yellowtail was biting ended as well. Squid looks to be very makable on the front and I saw signs up the back that are very promising. Making bait was not easy, we used underwater lights and a custom crowder to fill the tanks. Please do not go over with a toy squid light and expect to catch much bait (or even see any).
SCI: Same deal here with cooling water temps. Its only a matter of time before a big batch of Coronado Islands yellowtail shows up at SCI, and some of it already has. As always, this island will come alive with no warning and one lucky boat that took a chance will make a big score. With the weather coming at the same time as the good tides end of this week, I think we have to focus on the next 1st quarter moon phase and hope for stable weather.
SBI: A few big yellows before water temps dropped, and a handful of seabass as well. Kept very quiet, but the fish are still there.
Coastal: Its been an amazing year for the coastal seabass if you are a free diver. Some real monsters on just a couple spots. Anglers are resorting to mackerel for bait with little to no squid around. Once the squid shows up, it will become very obvious where these tankers are and have been. This has been going on for over a month now.
Fish Report for Monday, February 10th:
Weather: A band of showers slipped by, sparsely sprinkling over the Southland. Behind it is some wind but probably not as much as was originally forecasted. Days should be warm and getting nicer through the week.
Winter Bass: Fair to good bass fishing for winter style along the coast. Having anchovy will get you plenty of shorts and helps to get things going as chum. Find the live squid and the bigger bass show. Sculpin can be found on all the structure spots.
Catalina: Slow except the bonito along the front (mostly East) and tonnage of squid. Watch this squid deal closely, as when it fades away the seabass will bite. Yellows could show anytime now…….
Coronados: Some mondo big yellows at North Island are being found with the sonar and are biting the yo-yo iron deep. Current paperwork snafu’s are making fishing the Coronado Islands on anything other than a sportboat a complete waste of time. Don’t even bother…….
Coastal Seabass: Waiting for squid nests to form, but that will take some looking by trained eyes. Like always, the first to find new squid gets a shot at the really good seabass scores. A little showed back up off Mission Bay recently. The seabass are here, just spread out and waiting. Put in the time and effort, and you may be rewarded.
Fish Report for Wednesday, November 14th:
Weather: It looks like maybe the first big west wind of the season is bearing down upon us. This weather system forecast has changed so much in the last couple days, its really hard to say if it will do anything at all. Only time will tell. Possibly some rain, and maybe lots of wind.
Fishing: Rockfish and lots of squid are the basics right now. Bonito continue to cover the front of Catalina, pleasing lobster hoop netters for its quality as bait. The threshers are still out front of Newport. If this wind does happen, all of this will change.
Fish Reports for Monday, November 12th:
Threshers: Dawn and Joe Davis took their boat out yesterday, around mid day, and caught a thresher right out front of Newport Harbor. Literally caught one mackerel, rigged it and began a 30 minute soak, and were tight after that short wait. This bite has been going on for a while now, from Newport to Long Beach.
Coastal Seabass: Still around and biting every once in a while. Mostly from below Dana to the La Jolla area, on the squid nests. This is a night time bite, and far from a sure bet.
Rockfish: Better and better quality all the time. Live squid is unanimously the best bait for the quality except the amazing amount of lingcod this year. For that (to target lings) you may want some mackerel. At the outer islands the depths are shallower, like 120-150′. On the coast the better depth are right at the legal limit of 300′. Maybe 230′-300′ on really good structure.
Lobsters: Coastal stuff is slow but the island bugs are crawling good. Catalina especially.
Island Exotics: Very few and far between now, water temps have dropped even without a big west hoot. Remarkably, the last few go arounds on the seabass and yellows have been at the Channel Islands! I for one have hopes of that stuff moving down to Catalina or SCI next.
Moon Phase: Killer tides now as we are in the 1st quarter moon phase. Best tides are early morning, a rare thing only happening a short time of each year. Full moon is on the 17th (Sunday). Take advantage of this if you can, even if its a quick before work trip down to do some surf fishing.
Fish Report for Thursday, November 7th:
Weather: Short days and cold nights but some wonderful fall days right now. Warm today and a little cooler tomorrow, then warm again for the weekend, and mild. Classic fall.
Islands: We are now in full winter mode meaning there are exotics at the Islands that are holdovers, fish not leaving. There will be a snap here, a single fish caught there but really its winter and very slow on the exotics. If someone puts up a score on the fall yellows at SCI, there is a great chance it will not happen again the very next day, just how it is. Rockfish is excellent, lots of lings this year. The rockfish are definitely moving in shallower now with cooler waters, and there is plenty of squid to make for bait or to fill the freezer.
Coastal: Same deal here, a few exotics around but very hit and miss. Sit on perfect conditions, perfect time of day and perfect tide, and you still probably won’t get a seabass or yellow to bite. The halibut are around, but the rockfishing is your best bet. Lots of squid along the coast as well, no big surprise here either.
Offshore: Still some bluefin on the outside for those will to look around, but its a luck game now. Down the line below Cedros and Benitos its a great fall season with lots of wahoos and wolf packs of marlin. I wish I was there.
Fish Report for Friday, November 1st:
Great Weather: Good tides and great weather with lots of interesting things going on. If anyone actually gets out, who knows what will happen. Read on……
Coastal Squid: Gaviota, Deep Hole (and that whole area) is coming alive with squid. Absolutely no doubt there are seabass up that way. Middle grounds from Newport to below Dana there is more possibilities, check out Barn Kelp. Lots of squid and seabass discussions. This in one of those deals where they are probably catching fish and keeping it real quiet. Right about now, they are wishing they had called me and told me what was happening so I could keep it a secret. Lesson learned. Below that, the La Jolla area has more of the same but the seabass have been there for months.
Threshers: Really fun fishing off Newport and all the way up through the inside of the LA/LB Breakwall and up into Santa Monica Bay. Find the balls of anchovy, and its game on. Lots of small guys around, almost a slam dunk.
Colonet: Still the bluefin here, and all around the area. Nice weather this weekend, I’d make the run if I had a ride. Sitting on the anchor catching BFT’s, rockfish and lingcod and big yellows at the same time. Heaven on earth boys.
Halibut: Fall spawn is starting, and its going to get really good. Most never even know there is a fall spawn and bite, so it never gets fished much. Shallow waters along the coast and at the islands.
Catalina: Squid is up the back from Church to Salta Verde, with yellows and seabass on it. When the conditions are right, the fish will bite.
San Clemente and Santa Barbara Islands: SCI has the squid in Pyramid holding the yellows and seabass at the Caves and to China Point. Again, if the conditions get right, this will bite. SBI has the big giant yellows in the anchorage wanting the squid on the dropper loop early in the morning. You’ll hook a few, but its no bonanza. Then what do you do from there? Maybe some halibut or sheepshead fishing.
Fish Report for Wednesday, October 30th:
Quiet: Almost too quiet, and I don’t even know what that means right now. Drove by Davy’s Launch Ramp in Long Beach, empty. Kinda says it all.
Fish Report for Tuesday, October 29th:
Catalina: Squid was tough to find on the Shoe, and on the spots along the front. Around back East however, its all you want. Too much almost. Big schools of barracuda around but not biting real good. Seabass and yellows are on it too, but again, not biting (divers seeing them). So for now its bonito on the East End and rockfish. Just a few reports of some yellows on the front, very few and far between.
Threshers: Lots of pup threshers from Newport to inside LB Harbor. Fun to catch, but be a hero and let the little ones go. They release just fine.
Bird Schools: Spots of bait out front of Newport and below are a mix. Some chovy that has the threshers all ganged up, and some of it is squid. This did not go unnoticed by a few guys out fishing the bird schools spring style trying to get a seabass bite on the iron. Sounds good, but nothing to show for it so far.
Surf Fishing: Good set of tides now, especially mid morning. If you have never done this, its a blast. Bring your trout rod with 2-4lb and rig it like you are going to fish Power Bait. You know the deal, sliding sinker to the swivel and 18″ of light leader below that. Instead of Power Bait Dough, use a Berkley Power Sand Worm with a small bait holder or Octopus style hook. Make long casts and slowly retrieve. At times the bites will be out far, while other times the bites will be in the trough just past your feet. The action (on surf perch) can get hot and heavy at times, and 20-30+ perch caught and released an hour is not uncommon. Halibut, corbina, spot fin croaker, yellowfin croaker and others are possible. Maybe even a white seabass or stripped bass.
Rockfishing: Hit the deeper structure for big sheepshead and whitefish now. 120-150′ spots that are pronounced wrecks or rocks with high relief. Use live squid and hang on tight. Best rockfishing is at the Channel Islands right now, Catalina will get you a sample of smaller rockfish for the most part, SCI is a little better.
Offshore: Fun fishing on the Colonet High Spot right now. Amazingly a small spot of bluefin is parked there along with fun rockfishing. The Royal Polaris stopped here on the way back from a multi day, and got it started. The Shogun has been on it since.
Fish Report for Sunday, October 27th:
Rain Delay: At the end of every summer season we see the first of the storms roll down out of cooler waters up North and bring a few sprinkles. The rain does little to change things around here, and often there is a Santa Ana condition that follows. Its the storm with the big NorthWest Hoot behind it that ends the season. Nobody knows if this is THAT storm until it passed. Stand by………
Fish Report for Saturday, October 26th:
1st Quarter Moon Today: Reports of yellows biting at Catalina this morning, seabass biting along the coast, sand bass, halibut and better rockfishing. Nice to hear from all that called me. Thanks.
Coastal Squid/Seabass: A couple squid nests are starting to slow down on the squid, and for those of you who pay attention this means the seabass get a little hungry. Last night was no exception to this phenomenon and some beauties were caught. The stuff on the Horseshoe is drying up but still no scores on the croakers that I know of. Last one caught on the Shoe was by me weeks ago.
Islands: Squid getting tough in spots at the islands too, and the fishing is improving. Possibly some devastating weather coming early next week so get on this fast. I have friends leaving tonight and do not want to send them off to meet a crowd, so you’ll have to figure out where on your own. Sorry guys, I protect my clients and friends.
Rockfish: Slow no matter what you read anywhere else. To get the best out of it make sure you have good bait, use lighter line and fish these things like they are tough to catch. Then, you may see some quality and have fun. 50# leaders and giant circle hooks with smelly frozen squid will not do right now.
Lobster: Mostly slow for the guys trying inside LB and LA Harbors. Again, prime bait is making a big difference for those catching more than others. Guys I know that are getting limits no problem every time out, are doing a mix of diving and hoop netting. By diving first they are seeing with their own eyes where the lobsters are and placing nets accordingly. Rocks and wrecks filled with shorts have bigger lobsters nearby.
Halibut: Very quietly a select few are hammering the big halibut along the coastline. The trick here is big baits. When you are catching lots of shorts, its simply because the small ones are getting to your bait before the big ones do. Switch to mackerel with 1/2 the tail cut off, sardines, brown baits or smelt. Squid are a snack for small halibut, and catching the big ones is more by chance that by design.
Offshore: Still going. Amazing. Some of that 40-100 bluefin still down below that 80 mile mark but everyday someone find a sample closer to home. Guys out of Ensenada are catching their share, but the guys out of San Quintin are doing better. Kelps are loaded. Its October, don’t get me wrong. No slam dunk here, but more than enough scores everyday to say its still alive and well.
Fish Report for Wednesday, October 23rd:
Gone Tomorrow: No fish report tomorrow night, I’ll be out of town.
Local: Really flat set of tides this week and the fishing shows it. Great time to get out and find spots. Bring a rod or two and head out, metering around for new spots to put in your GPS. Look for lobster pots as the commercial guys set their traps on spots that typically fish well. Grab that book or chart you purchased at Fred Hall last year and dial things in. You do know that the #’s you purchased are going to be a little off, right? Now is the time to get it right on the money, so when its necessary you can set up in the dark.
Islands: All three of our local islands have yellows and seabass. Breaking fish, breezers and reports from divers confirms it. They just are not biting. We’ve had mild winters in the past where everything from yellows and seabass to albacore stayed all year. Best part is, no crowds.
Offshore: Waning full moon and wouldn’t you know it, some pretty good scores from that 70-150 miles zone. My buddies out of Ensenada have been getting it done this whole time within 30 miles of Punta Banda. Just a few of those bigger bft’s around, but all you want on the yellows and peanut yft’s. Even a few dorado still. Should you go? Shit, I am not going to tell anyone to go when it could be over any day now. My guess? We still have another round of warm Santa Ana’s coming before the big West hoot shuts things down.
Lobsters: Another side effect of the waning full moon is better lobster scores. I watched a commercial lobster guy pulling traps in 75′ of water on the Shoe earlier in the week, and the traps had lobsters in them. So there is your depth. Bait seems to be even more important than in years past, and seal proof bait cages. Like anything else in fishing, when things get tough, its time to get a little more technical.
Fish Report for Tuesday, October 22nd.
Local: I fished local today and it was really slow. Bounced around and metered fish on the wrecks on the Shoe in 66 degree blue water, but struggled to get a bite. On the 150 it was a 50/50 mix of reds and sand dabs, small. By 50/50 I mean we got one red, and one sand dab. The Patriot and Freelance were out there as well, struggling. Good signal on the squid though, from San Pedro Canyon all the way to Sand Bass Junction, all in that 90′ zone.
Islands: Silent. Only reports are of the bonito at Catalina. Horrible tides and moon phase, stay home.
Offshore: Some finding a scratch of fish long, most are not. Its almost over.
Coastal Seabass: Again, horrible tides and moon phase. Watch this time next week, things should pick up if the weather holds.
Fish Report for Sunday, October 20th:
Marlin/Swordfish: A common tale these days is guys fishing kelps and hooking striped marlin or swordfish. A few days ago it was cute, then it was coincidence, now its just plain commonplace. From the 182 to the Lower 500 (yes I know thats a big stretch, but thats how it is).
Squid Nests: Another popped up off San-O, so that makes 7 that I know of. Many are kicking out a seabass or three per night. Nothing during the day that I am hearing about.
SCI: Yellows in the Cove, AGAIN!!! That Caves Spot has been hot so many times this year.
Catalina: Hard to read, the guys I had going over did not make it, I did not make it either. I have no doubt there are seabass and yellows up the back, someone just needs to go make a score. Don’t be afraid to tell the world, nobody is going anyways.
Offshore: Mixed reports means more and more guys are doing the swing-and-miss thing. Still some yft’s around and plenty of yellowtail on the kelps, and more the further down you go.
Fish Report for Saturday, October 19th:
San Clemente Island: Now this is one of those deals where we’ll never know how long the yellows have been biting in Pyramid, because nobody has been fishing it. Little bit if squid here to make it work, but hard to catch unless you have the right equipment. Signs of yellows along the front, but so many lobster pot buoys that its hard to fish it.
Catalina: Yellows and seabass around back, East. Word is now out on this in some circles, so there you go. Little yellows on the front, even mixed in with the bonito. A well presented bait gets the bite, so its a talent deal. Look at structure spots where they live, like the outside rock at Little Gibraltar and the hard bottom in 17 fathoms at Empire. If you do not know where these spots are, don’t waste your time.
Local/Coastal: Gaviota, SMB, Carlsbad, La Jolla and Tijuana Flats all have squid nests with seabass on them. A few yellows too on some of those spots. Not great fishing, but there is a shot if you put in the time and fish the night bite. Tonnage of squish on the Shoe, but other than the big sand bass and a few daytime halibut, no exotics to speak of.
Offshore: Bluefin jig strikes for boats coming home from the 110-160 mile zone. These are on the inner banks off Ensenada. You know, the 238 and 295? Again, this is the northern (upper) most chance at a tuna or exotic, otherwise you are running down the line quite a ways. From Benitos and Cedros down, things are lining up to be a great fall. Wolf packs of striped marlin, lots of skinnies and some cow yellowfin just below all of that. Its a great year to make the fall run down to Cabo, or just go to Mag Bay and stay a while.
Fish Report for Friday, October 18th:
Little Change: Look at the last few days reports and that what it is. Very few guys fishing all week, but I have several friends fishing tonight and all weekend. Stay tuned for updates. I will add reports as I get them. Sorry for the short report, just not feeling 100% tonight. Wish me well. G’nite guys.
Fish Report for Thursday, October 17th:
Moon Phase: In true first quarter moon phase style we have seen an interesting week on the inshore and island fronts. Stable weather and less boats on the water helped. Its been a tough week for me doing reports. Those of you I communicate with can rely on my trust to keep your secrets, but it seems you guys are the only ones getting out! A fish report filled with secrets is admittedly not very interesting. Trust is more important that information, so we continue on with the vague (you read between the lines) report. Enjoy.
Coastal: As I have been saying all week, there are squid nests popping up from Point Conception to below the Mexican Border, and most have seabass on them. Gaviota has squid and big seabass I know that for a fact, but I suspect there is some squid and seabass below that where it was in the spring. Santa Monica Bay is doing a repeat, as is La Jolla and TJ Flats. Its the spots in between that I have to keep quiet. I will say that the Horseshoe squid does not have seabass, so don’t waste your time.
Islands: Catalina is kicking out some exotics for those staying overnight and fishing the sundowner and grey bites. Head over for the day and the Island will hand you a fat slice of humble pie. SCI and SBI, same deal. A quick look at a tide table and it tells the story clear as glass. I am hoping to get over to Catalina this weekend (only time my schedule allows) and check it out for myself. Best thing about Fall, a great weather weekend still has less traffic than a crappy weather weekday mid summer.
Offshore: Friends fishing out of Ensenada are now beginning to struggle. The Lower 500 is no longer “far enough”, and you will need to start at LEAST as far down as Colonet. Tonnage of huge, beautiful kelps along the way down. Do not waste your time, you have somewhere to be.
Fish Report for Wednesday, October 16th:
Catalina: All the talk about bonito all over the Eastern Sector and apparently more going on than meets the eye. More and more evidence about seabass and yellows in several areas. I think I might just have to make a trip over, and see for myself.
SCI/SBI: Both of these islands have the exotics. They have reserved themselves for those not wanting to post photos or brag on the forums. Very early morning bites, live squid and tight lips (the way is usually is). Fall fishing at its finest with the hardcore getting it done and the internet, armchair anglers not having a clue.
Springfall seabass: Yes, I just made up a word. “Springfall”. It October and the coastal seabass fishery reads like something from May. Squid nests popping up with seabass on them, big boys too. The difference is, its not going to last long enough for word to get out and ruin the bites. Most guys have their gear put away for the winter, and are not even listening.
Offshore: Its all long now, with even the tuna pens beyond the 100 mile mark. With weather like we had today, even a skiff could make the run down past the Lower 500 and get a sample of the action. Reality is, you’ll need a yacht with some bait capacity to do any real damage.
Fish Report for Tuesday, October 15th:
Offshore: BIgger bluefin showed back up and many SD boats scratched out a few. Long down the line is the main area, off Colonet and San Martin Island. Inner banks off Ensenada still have some exotics around, and where the tuna pens were parked there is still some bluefin around.
Catalina: There are yellows here, no doubt about it. Very early mornings where you find the conditions. Guys looked at fish today, and possibly there was a yacht catching yellows on the East End. Lots of bonito. Still tonnage of squid where it has been for months, but you will need the right gear to get it done. No above water lights! Too many seals. Drift with the underwater light and use the crowder. This is what works guys, catch up.
Coastal Seabass: Now just below the border there is a new bite. From Ensenada to Point Conception, find the squid and the seabass will find you.
Fish Report for Monday, October 14th:
Cha Cha Changes…: Tuna Pens a moving and overnight boats beginning to struggle. Day and a half boats dealing with the smaller tuna and not finding the bigger bluefin. Seabass showing up in more places (probably because guys are fishing for them). Still, things keep on keepin’ on.
Catalina: “Tonnage of bonito” one report says. Guys I talk to say they have been there all along. Big yellows still roaming around down East, but few know where to look. Squid deal is super easy if you have the right gear.
SCI: Yellows baby, big ones. Somebody is having some fun!
Local: Now I am not going to be the one to drop the bomb on where the seabass are, just know that a new spot seems to spring up every couple days now. Prime moon phase means this might almost be ready to slow down. (after the full). Just go. Use those skills from all the books and seminars and go.
Fish Reports for Sunday, October 13th:
First Quarter Moon Madness: Prime moon phase right now and the fishing shows it. From big grumpy sand bass on the squid nest in front of Queens Gate to the seabass bite off La Jolla. Never underestimate the power of the moon. Full is on the 18th.
Offshore: Marlin caught between the 181-182. Double turned single in a batch of feeders. Tuna pens are very consistent for the sportboats with the chum for the long soak. Private boats that are chunking are doing well also. Otherwise, you’ll have to run past the Lower 500 for whats left of some fun fishing. Quietly, I have a few friends fishing out of Ensenada that are picking away at all species on the inner banks. Less dorado, but plenty of yellows and tuna. Shhhh.
Local: Big sand bass on the squid nests like I said. Run 180 degree out of Queens Gate and look for the birds and meter marks (blue fuzz=squid). Start in 90 feet and look around. About time for the fall halibut spawn and my wife has been fishing in the local harbors and catching a few. My guess is, with a tank of live smelt it would be pretty good fishing. Nobody really does this anymore.
Catalina: A few yellows on the front, early morning and late afternoon deal. Live squid it the go-to but a tank of mackerel would be a good bet. Divers now seeing some seabass around, its time.
SCI: One REALLY good score from here by a friend of mine at Gold Bluff. Right at dawn with a tank of live squid they put the wood to a couple handfulls of yellows and 4 big seabass. By 8:30am it died, like nothing ever happened. Few other guys I know over there saying its slow, classic. Lobster buoys were brutal, but they managed.
Channel Islands: Got word from up here that there is squid at Santa Cruz and Santa Rosa. A few guys picking away at the seabass at night and even found some yellows during the day. Same deal, the rest of the world is all stoked on the sheepshead up there.
Lobster: So tired of hearing hard luck stories about tough hoop netting. Lobsters are up shallow, actually a foot or two under water for the divers working the break wall. Best bet would be to get out of that inner harbor area completely and go deep. Try an area where nobody else hoops, and is too far for the bugs to travel to get shallow. Get my drift?
Fish Report for Saturday, October 12th:
Warm Water, Cold Anglers: Still plenty of fish in the ocean, but you’d never know it now. Launch ramps are empty, and tackle stores are talking about winter hours. I always liked this time of year, mostly because I hate crowds so much. Not anything is as good as a month ago, but with no crowd its better in my eyes. I need to sneak out.
Catalina: Plenty of bait to catch where its been all along, and bass, halibut, sheepshead and rockfish to capture with it. Spot the right conditions and set up for yellows or seabass, they live there you know. Great time of year to just enjoy the island without having to get pissed every five minutes at the guy dropping anchor 5 feet from you.
SCI/SBI: See above with less crowds and a better shot at an exotic. (minus the lobster pots)
Local: Captain Gabriel has this knack for finding the big mondo sized turd rollers on the local wrecks and reefs on his twilight runs on the “Native Sun”. Why? Glad you asked. First and foremost he knows how to set up on a wreck properly to catch these fish. I have fished with him plenty, and its how the boat is sitting, pure and simple. How do I know that? Glad you asked again. Because he chums very little if any at all. You can do this too you know, just practice setting up on spots and get it wired. Fishing twilight on a private boat is a blast. Plenty of squid around but do not expect the light boats to show you where, they have reached their quota for the season, and are docked. Yes, there are still some seabass around.
Offshore: Very little boat traffic and all I heard today was the yachts traveling down the line had to wind in the jigs to get past the area below the Lower 500. Too many small yellowfin to make any headway. SD boats finding bigger bluefin still. If you have not gotten out to catch one of these bigger BFT’s and are one of the guys sitting at home this whole season bitching and complaining about the lack of albacore, I do not feel sorry for you. Albacore do not pull as hard as any of the other tunas, so what gives? You like eating albie more? Go buy a can of tuna from the grocery store! These bigger bluefin PULL HARD, and have been within one day range for MONTHS now. Get it while you can, because its almost over til next year. And I hope we get it again next year.
Fish Report for Friday, October 11th:
Offshore: Jump on the tuna pens before they bail. No, they do not stay there all winter. Some indicators that the stuff on the Airplane never left, good news if its true. Otherwise long is the only other option. 110-150 miles from Point Loma for the last of the wad. No doubt there are still a few marlin around, and if the stuff gets all ganged up, it could go off. Also a chance most have left the area, as boats running down the line are having some epic fishing short of Turtle Bay.
Local: Squid, and seabass around. Still can’t say where.
Islands: Another set of hints that there are some yellows at Catalina. No real evidence, but I would not be surprised at all. I know there are fish at SCI, but with all the lobster traps along the front, it would be impossible to enjoy a fun yellowtail bite there right now. Not without a sharp knife and a kayak to paddle around cutting off pot floats (please do not do this).
Fish Report for Thursday, October 10th:
Islands: Nothing exciting from those fishing any of the islands today. Rockfishing already, not what I wanted to hear. A nice wad of seabass is heading back down the coast and just might make a stop at Catalina. Check the edges of the squid grounds for “worms” when scoping out your lobster spots. Also, check standard hot spots for migrating seabass. Spots like West Cove, Johnsons and Ironbound up West, and Palisades, Slide Kelp and under the East End light down East.
Local: Squid stacked up out front of Queens Gate and getting hammered by the seiners. Hopefully its spawning unabated nearby and going unnoticed. Seabass close by that needs a squid bed to live on for a while, so if you see signs of squid, do not tell a soul. These seiner guys will rape it and there will never BE a seabass bite.
Offshore: From Colonet to San Martin there are spots of that big bluefin still. If you get the opportunity to jump on a day and a half boat, GO!!!! Otherwise still some scraps left at the tuna pens, and that may end at any time.
Fish Report for Wednesday, October 9th:
Rain: Nice little bands of wind and rain coming through this afternoon. First rain in months so there will be some major runoff effecting the local fishing. Water temps will have dramatic changes in most areas. On some years this stacks the fish up for the slaughter, and on other years it just over. Only time will tell.
Catalina: No doubt there are some yellows at the Island. With kelps loaded one day, then empty the next, I would have to think more than a few of these fish now reside at Catalina Island. Also, its about time for the seabass to visit on their way back down the coast. Typically this happens and nobody even catches one, because they are not fishing for them.
Local: Solid intel on some seabass around, but this weather will most likely change it in some way. They may really go on the chew, or disappear. Its so hard to predict, but that is part of why fishing is so great. If we knew everything, it would cease to be fun.
Offshore: Still some boats out of San Diego finding the big bluefin and their buddies (so TIRED of writing “yellowtail” “Yellowfin” and “Dorado”!!!!!!). Can I just write “offshore exotics?” Please. Its like when I write or say “good kelps” and someone asks me what that means. Really? Boats heading down to Cabo are enjoying some incredible fishing. On the 6 (very top of the ridge) the wahoo are chewing, and the famous wolf packs of striped marlin are off Mag Bay and biting. More striped marlin just above Cedros and Benitos, and the yachts are putting up good score while straight lining it to Turtle Bay (low on fuel). The big yellowfin are off Punta Tosca, just above Mag Bay. If you are planning on heading South, run offshore and drift with the lights out to catch some of that bigger squid we have around, and take it down to fish the cows. So killer, just be sure your gear is in top condition.
Fish report for Tuesday, October 8th:
Seabass!! Yes, someone caught a seabass and my heart skipped a beat. Not mine to talk about, and honestly I know very little. Just nice to know they are STILL around.
Offshore: Possibly the BIG BLOW that ends it all is coming, but the zones and scores remain the same. Out to the Airplane zone for more yellowfin now than bluefin, or down the beach to below the Lower 500 for tiny yellows, a few dorado, mixed bag yellowfin and some of the bluefin. Get down in front of San Martin, and its pretty good fishing. Tuna Pens are still an option.
Islands: Catalina yellows along the front. The right guy with the live squid and its really good. For most, they are not even there, just a bunch of micro bonito. No word from SCI today, but last I heard the lobster pots were so thick, fishing yellows was a total waste of time.
Local: Squid and…………….(what usually goes with squid?)
Fish Report for Monday, October 7th:
Lobster and Rockfish: Yes, its just about come to that. Depressing.
Offshore: Sliding into slow right now. Nothing close to home and even the long bite has slowed a little. If you want a good shot, it better be outside the Airplane (good luck in this wind) or below Colonet. The real question is: “will we get another re-bite like in years past on the next round of Santa Ana’s?” We’ll have to wait and see.
Islands: Slower still, except for rockfish, sheepshead and a few lobsters. Once again a select few can still find a yellowtail or seabass, but please do not plan a trip because I wrote that. They’re always there. **UPDATE** The yellows bit again on the frontside of Catalina today. All it took was someone willing to actually try.
Local: Squid. Go re-load the freezer and catch a few sand bass while you are there. Can’t miss it, just look for the lights.
Fish Report for Sunday, October 6th:
Offshore: (it’s about all I know, since I just came from there). The fat lady is warming up. We ran to the promised land and found the bigger bluefin, but not what I expected. We found the yellowfin too, (nice big grade of fish) but again no real bonanza. Kelps were plentiful but most were empty, and I covered a LOT of ground. Bluefin were outside the Airplane Bank, 140 miles from Long Beach. Yellowfin were just outside the Butterfly Bank. On the VHF it sounded like VERY tough fishing for the private boat fleet, the few that went out due to the weather reports. By the way, it was flat calm. I mean FLAT!
Fish Report for Wednesday, October 2nd:
Offshore: Kinda sounds like it winding down a little. Either that or just less people are fishing. Go the extra mile for anything close to a sure bet these days. I am going out, you go down, and we’ll compare notes next week.
Catalina: Big Yellows on the live squid. Another bit of solid intel these things are biting.
SCI: No solid intel…..
Marlin: Down day, but again not many out. Everyone is waiting for this Santa Ana deal to start, then it will get some coverage. No doubt the stripeys are still around, they usually are just about the last to leave.
*Please do not forget I am leaving tomorrow and will not be back on here until Monday at the latest. Check back in for a full report.*
Fish Report for Tuesday, October 1st:
Quiet: I mean like, scary quiet. Not many guys on the water today at all, and hopefully its because we have some amazing weather coming and guys are gearing up.
Catalina: Not a word from here today.
SCI: Same thing, nobody talked to me about anything today.
Coronados: Lots of yellows here and biting really good. Breezing fish moving about, so its run and gun with bait or jig and git’r’done style fishing. Little better quality too, with guys talking about 10-12 (maybe 15#) fish. So what, are they really 6-8 pounders?
Marlin: Spot of fish moved South a little, or someone just found a nice little postage stamp of conditions. Nice little snap 25 miles below SCI according to the VHF today, with multiple fish caught.
Offshore: Nice scores coming from long outside and long down the line. Close to home its hit or miss with still some good scores coming from places as close as the 9 Mile Bank to the 182. (Bluefin)This great weather coming should tell the whole story, and if the fish are bailing we’ll know from the crybabies. Shit, I may be one of them. End of the season trip and I have to get it done for a tournament, no pressure. At least I won’t get my ass kicked trying.
Fish Report for Monday, September 30th:
Offshore: Mixed reviews today means its getting sparse out there. One guy goes to the ends of the earth and catches nothing, while another goes right to a kelp and loads up. We like it when its like this, it serves the “humble pie” to those who rely on luck. All kidding aside, it sounds good out West. “what the heck does that mean Jeff?” Well, “out West does not mean outside Point Conception on the San Juan Seamount, strangely enough. It means straight out basically. 1010, 213, Airplane Bank, Dumper, Cortes and Tanner, like that. I call it “the outside” and everything else is “on the beach” or “Down the beach”. GOt it? Good.
Catalina: Nice moon phase and some fish to go with it. Neptunes tourney coming up so I cannot say where. Its mostly diver stuff anyways.
SCI: Yellows on the front and in the Cove. That stuff in Pyramid is always there this year. Its dependent upon conditions to bite. It would always be a good idea to check out the Cave Spot and China when you can. No boats there at all, that’s when it could be REALLY good. Do not judge those spots by the crowd (or lack thereof).
Local: Heading back out tomorrow to fish local on a corporate charter. Its been stable for a while now and should be fair picking on the bass and sculpin. I’ll let you know.
Leaving!: Just FYI, I leave Thursday for Mexico and will be gone until Monday. No reports, but that means you have to check back Monday evening for the report. Last time I left you guys bailed on me for a few weeks and you missed out on some key reports. Fresh reports next couple days then I am gone South (down the beach) boyz!!!!!
Fish Report for Sunday, September 29th:
VHF: Great radio reception today. We had the Icom on SCAN all day and listened to guys South of the border like they were down the street.
Offshore: Bluefin early on the 181 under the terns. Later in the day it was all about the kelps in US waters. Just about any kelp could be loaded.
Catalina: Some BIG yellows around, with the small more catchable ones along the front. Divers spearing these guys found mini macks in their bellies. Interestingly, the yellows were found around spanish mackerel, but were eating pacific mackerel. WIth everyone fishing with live squid, no wonder its been tough.
SBI: Tragedy at sea. A very accomplished free diver lost his life last night here. Always tough to hear about such things, always. RIP
SCI: Yellows on the front and up into Pyramid. Whether they bite or not depends on the conditions. This is the place I would not be surprised to find out the fork wanted fin bait. I’ve seen it before, yellows crashing all around the boat and they would NOT EAT a live squid. Hate that.
Marlin: Depending on who you talk to its either a really good year or just a couple are caught a week. I listen to the VHF and go on how many jumpers, tailers, sleeper and feeders are seen each day. Jig bites that fall off, skiff guys hooking marlin while on kelps and losing them. Mike “Beak” Hurt had 7 fish in the Pesky’s tourney. SEVEN STRIPED MARLIN. Its good, I do not care who you talk to.
The End: We are now seeing the stable offshore conditions with a dominant high pressure keeping the short days warm. The wind is going to blow (one of these days), but it just does not seem to be slowing down (the fishing). Days are getting very short, the air is crisp and you can hear things differently (according to Joe Davis, and I agree even though I am deaf), nights are brisk but comfortable, which means my wife wants to snuggle (which means I do not sleep well). All this is a lot of babble but I do not see things ending anytime real soon. Shit, bluefin on the 181 today! It could get better!!
Fish Report for Saturday, September 28th:
Offshore: Made good because of incredible weather this morning. Kelps were holding and those who went the extra mile were rewarded. Wind did come up mid-day but I did not hear complaining. I heard boasting, which means biting fish.
Catalina: Just know that there are some REALLY BIG yellows on the front. I cannot say where, but two friends (and VERY good fishermen) let me know tonight that they both got their personal best yellows today. That………is amazing. I cannot wait to see the photos. Otherwise I head lackluster reports from Catalina. “Mackerel and seals” I heard from Shawn and Bryan. Man, Catalina can be a bastard.
SCI: Typical yellowtail reports from along the front. This is, and will always be a constant.
Lobster: Reports I got were just like all other opening days. “Crowded”, “Inconsiderate”, “Dangerous”, “Fish and Wildlife were all over us”, “Divers suck”, “Hoopnetters suck”. Get over it guys. I am saying now that I will not cover the lobster thing much in these reports. Every once in a while I will say what I said all last year “find new areas where there are no other boats, and you will catch more and bigger lobsters without being hassled by the DFW.” Now read it again (agitated voice). For those of you who what to hoop inside the Federal and expect ice cream and orgasms, you’ve all lost your mind. Please do not call me with lame excuse lobster reports. “The moon was too full”, “it needs to rain”, “they did not crawl until after 2am”, “Divers stole the lobsters out of our nets” or my personal favorite “we could not find salmon heads.” Dude, they’re LOBSTER! Not fricken swordfish.
Fish Report for Friday, September 27th:
Offshore: Way better fishing today than yesterday, especially early this morning. Find a kelp and it will most likely have those rat yellows on it, and maybe some dorado. Listing the areas with this type of possibility would take pages and pages. Tuna today on the 43, 390, 425, Upper Hidden, Hidden, 238/295, Double 220’s and outside to the 385/500. Then there is the area further South, and it gets even better.
Marlin: Spread out all over yet ganged up in certain areas at the same time. 298 is still hot. Now do not drive to the 289 as a waypoint on your GPS! When you get close START LOOKING FOR LIFE! Fish the life, not the waypoint. Same with the 14/267, the 43 and the East End of Catalina to the 277 and the 209. Find the life and grind it up.
Local: Wrecks and Reefs have the bigger sand bass and there is squid all over. Don’t try to get a bite with the fin bait, it probably won’t work. Mystery deep water bites for the sand bass are break-offs that sound distinctly like thresher bites. Could be?
Catalina: Yellows bit again on the front, and there is still heaps of squid at Hen Rock and in the Isthmus. More than a few boats here tonight for the lobster opener. Should be interesting to hear all about it.
San Clemente Island: Yellows on the front, no big surprise there. Bass fishing has been amazingly slow for most. Set up on a kelpline and chum like mad only to get a few short bass and maybe a legal or two. The bass are there, big boys, but not really biting for a while now. Time for some night time big bass fishing at SCI!
What would I do?: Get asked this a lot. With a tank of live squid I would run out to the inside sector of the 150 and catch some perfect marlin sized mackerel for the other tank. Then run at 10kts through the night to the area outside the 390 for the grey bite. Put the jigs in and break out the gyros while heading South over the 213 and across the 1010 Trench on my way to the Double 220’s. Hopefully I would never make it that far, but if I did I would continue through the night and end up outside San Martin Island next morning and fill everything I could with tuna. Then run back to Ensenada with the marlin jigs out and fuel up for the ride home. Leaving next Thursday to do just that.
Fish Report for Thursday, September 26th:
Windy!: While the tuna continued to bite in certain areas, the amount of reports from friends and clients was way down today. Some tried and turned back, while others went and did okay while getting a little wet.
Catalina: More yellows on the front, same spots. Live squid. Still no crowd and many just “driving by” as others are wailing on them. Cool.
No Change: Read yesterdays report and add wind. I waited all day for “something different”, and it never came.
Fish Report for Wednesday, September 25th:
Catalina: Another good day of yellowtail fishing along the front of Cat. Live squid is what you want to get the most bites, but one of the boats that did well may not have had the squish today. Surprising how few people know about this bite! A very small fraction of those who know about it, are fishing it. Better than SCI yellow fishing right now. Hen Rock, Salley’s Galley, K20, Little Gibraltar and Yellowtail Point. Probably some YT’s in the Isthmus too.
Offshore US Waters: Marlin caught on the 289, kelps outside of that holding mostly yellows in sloppy conditions. Along the beach the kelps were few and far between, with few holding. Still, some scores were made.
Offshore Mex Waters: Down day yet a few of my buddies got out and found good kelps. From the sound of it, it was mostly yellows with little of anything else. Closest tuna were just outside and below the 390, and at the tuna pens. Tuna pens are kinda in “no mans land” inside the Hidden Bank and between the Upper Finger and the 238. Get down to Colonet offshore and it gets good. Kelps with yellows and dorado, yellowfin and bluefin on jig stops and long drifts.
Local: Finally, someone went out with a tank of live squid and fished the sand bass. Wrecks, reefs and structure is what holds these fish this time of year, so you better be up to speed on your anchoring techniques. Drifting is a lousy way to get a bite, when you could get limits anchored and chumming. Wife went float tubing inside Alamitos Bay today and caught two short halibut before hooking a monster. Mr. Sea Lion decided to steal her catch before she could net it, so we have yet another in total disagreement with the Marine Mammal Protection Act.
Fish Report for Tuesday, September 24th:
Offshore: Off day today for the most part. Those who went long did better that those who tried to find good fishing close to home. That’s not to say nothing was caught close, just not nearly as good as it has been. Think long down the beach or outside the 390 for any real volume of biters. Marlin showed but no-go’d today. Big spread of fish, but not ganged up and biting anywhere.
Islands: Catalina yellows along the front. Say Red Bluff but really mean the outside rock at Little Gibraltar, Empire Landing Hard Bottom and Yellowtail Point (downhill current). Sure there are fish at Hen Rock and Salley’s Galley too, I just did not hear about someone catching them. SCI certainly has yellows along the front too, but again, nobody I know fished it.
Local: Water is clean and warm, but no reports. Lousy Moon Phase? You bet.