Ocean Fishing Report, March 17 report

CATALINA ISLAND YELLOWTAIL AND BOTTOM FISH: Skippers running out to Catalina Island continue to see a pick on the yellowtail, but the good bottom fish action more than makes up for the hit-and-miss bite on yellows. Sport King out of L.A. Waterfront Sportfishing continues to make three-quarter day runs to Catalina Island targeting the yellowtail. On its March 15 trip with 22 anglers, they landed 22 yellowtail, 35 whitefish, 11 bonito, and four sheephead. On the March 14 trip, the 16 anglers on board had two yellowtail, 32 whitefish, 30 rockfish, 12 red snapper, eight sheephead, and two calico bass. These scores on the yellows are down from late last week when four anglers on March 11 had 18 yellowtail, 21 bonito, and five calico bass, and on March 10, 11 anglers had 35 yellowtail along with 42 whitefish, 32 rockfish, 27 red snapper, 21 bocaccio, 15 sheephead, 12 perch, five calico bass, five bonito, two lingcod, and one halibut.

Pursuit out of 22nd Street Landing was on a full-day trip to Catalina on March 15 and the 39 anglers on board had 25 yellowtail along with 102 rockfish, 34 whitefish, 29 bocaccio, 15 red snapper, six sheephead, two calico bass, and two bonito.

Freelance out of Davey’s Locker had 31 anglers on its March 15 three-quarter day trip and they landed a yellowtail, 85 red snapper, 75 rockfish, 33 whitefish, 12 bocaccio, and three sculpin at Catalina. Thunderbird, also out of Davey’s Locker, was on an overnight trip that returned on Sunday and the 29 anglers on board had limits of whitefish (290) and 232 rockfish.

SAN DIEGO UPDATE: Most of the overnight to 2 1/2-day trips have been put on hold for boat maintenance and the Fred Hall Show in Del Mar, and there have only been a handful of 3/4-day trips in the past 10 days, but it looks like the yellowtail action at the Coronado Islands is coming back on as we move toward the full moon next week. On March 15, Malihini out of H&M Landing was out on a three-quarter day trip with 14 anglers and they landed 41 yellowtail. On his boat’s March 13 trip with 19 anglers, 17 yellowtail and five rockfish were landed. All of the landings are running half-day trips, but the action has been slow to fair with most anglers getting a rockfish or two, a few perch or sand dabs, the odd sculpin, and the occasional calico or sand bass.

BASS OUT OF DANA WHARF: Targeting the bass, Sum Fun out of Dana Wharf was on a three-quarter day trip March 15 with 24 anglers and they landed 12 keeper calico bass, two keeper sand bass, and had another 85 short calicos. In addition to the bass, they landed 35 rockfish, 12 red snapper, six sculpin, one sheephead, and one calico bass. 

LOS ANGELES AND ORANGE COUNTIES ROCKFISH: The bottom fish bite for the sportboats out of Los Angeles and Orange counties has been very consistent over the past week with limits or near-limits pretty common, even on half-day trips. Redondo Special out of Redondo Beach Sportfishing had a pair of limit half-day trips on Sunday with 17 anglers on the morning trips getting 170 rockfish, and the 10 anglers on the afternoon gig also landed 10 rockfish each along with two sheephead. New Del Mar out of Marina del Rey Sportfish has posted near limits on all three of its most recent half-day trips. On March 15, the 29 anglers landed 235 rockfish and one lingcod. On March 14, the 28 anglers landed 255 rockfish. The March 13 trip with a crowd of 57 anglers still had 375 rockfish, and the March 12 junket with 61 anglers had 512 rockfish. Monte Carlo out of 22nd Street Landing was on a half-day trip March 15 and the 26 anglers on board had 124 red snapper, 28 rockfish, seven whitefish and 65 sand dabs.On Sunday, the afternoon half-day Southern Cal out of Pierpoint Landing had 44 anglers and they landed 220 rockfish, three sheephead, and three whitefish. The morning trip with 47 anglers had 271 rockfish. Also on March 13, Enterprise out of Long Beach Marina Sportfishing was on a three-quarter day trip with just 10 anglers and they had near-limits of the cod, tallying 50 rockfish, 35 red snapper, and 10 bocaccio, along with 12 sculpin and one whitefish. 

CHANNEL ISLANDS BOTTOMFISH AND YELLOWTAIL: The bottom fish action is wide open and there are enough yellowtail on the prowl to make this perhaps the best fishing in the ocean fishing in the whole region this week. Limits on rockfish have been the norm for three-quarter day and longer trips, and yellowtail are popping up all over the northern Channel Islands. On March 15, Aloha Spirit out of Channel Islands Sportfishing in Oxnard was on a full day trip with 22 anglers and they landed 220 rockfish (limits), 14 lincod, and three whitefish. The three-quarter day Gentleman out with 50 anglers brought back 500 rockfish (limits), 30 whitefish, four sculpin, and a sheephead. And also on March 15, the half-day trip aboard Speed Twin with 13 anglers produced 13 yellowtail. On March 13, Sea Jay, also out of Channel Islands, had 11 anglers on a full day trip and they landed 21 yellowtail, 40 rockfish, and two whitefish. Coroloma out of Hook’s Landing in Oxnard was on a three-quarter day trip March 13 with 39 anglers and they landed 210 rockfish, 175 whitefish, 15 sheephead, and five sculpin. Coral Sea out of Sea Landing in Santa Barbara had light loads and limits of rockfish March 14-15. With seven anglers on March 14, they landed 58 red snapper and 12 rockfish, while the 10 anglers Tuesday had 90 red snapper and 10 rockfish.

The staff of 976-TUNA is hosting instructional charters throughout the season, offering advice to beginning or veteran anglers and on-the-water teaching of techniques for different saltwater species. The first trip of 2016 will be a three-quarter jaunt aboard Pursuit out of 22nd Street Landing on April 29. Cost is $75 per angler. Check 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.