ROCKFISH SEASON’S LAST HURRAH: With the exception of anglers rushing to get in one last rockfish trip and a few more fillets before the season closes the end of the month, the landings all along the coast have been pretty quiet this past week. There are likely still bluefin tuna and yellowtail in local waters, but they simple aren’t being targeted right now. Rockfish are the name of the game from San Diego up into the Channel Islands, and the action has generally been good.
For the San Diego boats one to two bottom fish per rod on half-day trips has been the norm, while the further up the coast your travel or the longer the trip you take, the better the counts. There is also still a chance for a yellowtail in the San Diego region.
Liberty, the three-quarter day boat out of Fisherman’s Landing, had 17 anglers on a Dec. 26 fishing trip and landed three yellowtail, 85 rockfish and 82 red snapper.
The three-quarter day boats from landings in Los Angeles and Orange counties have been posting half- to three-quarter limits on average, with some limit days.
Freelance out of Davey’s Locker had 69 anglers on its Dec. 27 three-quarter day trip and landed 180 perch, 150 rockfish, 80 whitefish, 70 sand dabs, 15 red snapper and 10 sheephead.
Victory out of Pierpoint Landing had 29 anglers on Dec. 27 and landed 212 rockfish, 103 whitefish, 19 sheephead, six sand bass, three perch and one calico bass.
Sport King out of L.A. Waterfront Sportfishing had 12 anglers who landed 65 whitefish, 18 red snapper, 16 rockfish, 11 sheephead, and two calico bass on Dec. 27.
Some of the consistently better rockfish scores have come out of Marina del Rey Sportfishing this past week. New Del Mar had 48 anglers on its Dec. 27 half-day trip and caught 185 rockfish, 16 sheephead and nine sand bass. On the Dec. 26 half-day with 105 angles the tally was 755 rockfish.
But it has been the Channel Islands boats that have reported by far the best and most consistent action.
Gentleman out of Channel Islands Sportfishing had 60 anglers on its Dec. 27 three-quarter day trip and landed 480 whitefish, 100 rockfish, eight ling cod and two sheephead.
Amigo out of Ventura Sportfishing was on a full-day trip Dec. 27 with 19 anglers and landed full limits of 190 rockfish along with 37 lings.
MEXICAN YELLOWTAIL: Anglers who haven’t had their fill of surface action this year can still get in on some good yellowtail action taking place south of the border around Punta Colonet.
Old Glory out of H&M Landing returned from a 1.5-day trip south of the border on Dec. 28. Running with just 12 anglers, they landed 53 yellowtail in the 15- to 20-pound class on Dec. 26. They also had 47 rockfish, eight bonito and eight ling cod. As of noon Dec. 28, Pacific Voyager out of Seaforth Sportfish had 35 yellowtail in this bite.
LOBSTER FISHING IS A WORLD OF SHORTS: While hoop-netters fishing for lobsters are seeing a lot of bugs, there are an inordinate number of short bugs right now. This changes for private boaters who are fishing at the islands and in deeper water.
Jig Strike out of H&M Landing had eight anglers on its Dec. 27 twilight trip and caught just one legal bug — but they released 75 shorts.
Alicia, also out of H&M, had five lobster anglers out Dec. 27 and they didn’t get a single legal lobster but released 126.
INSTRUCTIONAL CHARTERS: The last of the 976-TUNA instructional charters for 2016 has been completed. These trips are held from early spring through fall, offering advice to beginning or veteran anglers and on-the-water teaching of techniques for different saltwater species. These trips will resume next spring. For more information, check on 976-TUNA.com or call 562-352-0012 for details.
Southern California: Virg’s Sportfishing, Morro Bay, 805-772-1222; Patriot Sportfishing, Avila Beach, 805-595-7200; Sea Landing, Santa Barbara, 805-963-3564; Harbor Village Sportfishing, Ventura, 805-658-1060; Channel Islands Sportfishing Center, Oxnard, 805-985-8511; Hook’s Landing, Oxnard, 805-382-6233 (Port Hueneme Sportfishing has merged with Channel Islands Sportfishing); Malibu Pier Sportfishing, 310-328-8426; Marina Del Rey Sportfishing, Marina del Rey, 310-822-3625; Redondo Sportfishing, Redondo Beach, 310-372-2111; Rocky Point Fuel Dock (skiff rentals for King Harbor), Redondo Beach, 310-374-9858; 22nd Street Landing, San Pedro, 310-832-8304; L.A. Waterfront Sportfishing, San Pedro, 310-547-9916; Long Beach Sportfishing, Long Beach, 562-432-8993; Pierpoint Landing, Long Beach, 562-983-9300; Marina Sportfishing, Long Beach, 562-598-6649; Newport Landing, Newport Beach, 949-675-0550; Davey’s Locker, Newport Beach, 949-673-1434; Dana Wharf Sportfishing, Dana Point, 949-496-5794; Helgren’s Sportfishing, Oceanside, 760-722-2133; Fisherman’s Landing, San Diego, 619-221-8500; H&M Landing, San Diego, 619-222-1144; Seaforth Landing, San Diego, 619-224-3383; Point Loma Sportfishing, San Diego, 619-223-1627; Islandia Sportfishing, San Diego, 619-222-1164.
Mexico Landings: Sergio’s Sportfishing, Ensenada, 011-526-178-2185; San Quintin Sportfishing, San Quintin, 011-526-162-1455.
YOUR FISHING REPORTS
Please feel free to send your freshwater or saltwater fishing reports and fishing photos to Jim Matthews, Outdoor News Service, at email@example.com and the information will be included in the weekly report. If you have questions or comments, please call Matthews at 909-887-3444.