1. The Channel Islands rockfish bite is staying in the top spot. It is simply wide open for the boats running out of the Oxnard to Santa Barbara landings. The season reopened March 1, and the bite has been excellent since with anglers on everything from half-day to overnight boats getting 10-fish limits. The longer trips hit spots further offshore and get better quality fish and more variety, adding a few more whitefish and lingcod to the bag. Bottom line: You will return home with a full sack of great-eating fillets. For an update on this action, check with Channel Islands Sportfishing in Oxnard at 805-985-8511, Hook’s Landing, also in Oxnard, at 805-382-6233, Sea Landing in Santa Barbara at 805-963-3564, or Harbor Village Sportfishing in Ventura at 805-658-1060.
2. While largemouth bass bites are really exploding everywhere, the number 2 pick this week is the striper action in Topoc Marsh on the Colorado River near Needles. A report from Cliff McDonald, well-known in the hunting community, said 30 and 40 fish evenings have been common this week with stripers to three pounds on sardines. Ten fish limits are easy. For an update on this action, check with Riviera Marina in Bullhead City at 928-763-8550.
3. The sleeper pick was a bomb last week (Isabella crappie which fizzled), but this week’s pick is more of a sure thing: The striped bass bite in the California Aqueduct near Taft. The flows are still high, but clearing, and anglers are reporting 30 to 40 fish days. While many are under the 18-inch minimum keeper size, it has been pretty easy to get a two-fish limit of bigger stripers. Sardines and blood (or lug) worms have been the best bets. For an update on the action, contact Bob’s Bait Bucket in Bakersfield at 661-833-8657.