By: Terrence Berg
For most of the landings from San Diego into Orange County and Los Angeles area waters, the fishing report is sounding like a broken record: light loads and excellent bottomfishing. Skippers are reporting more red rockfish this season than in a long time, and they are making up three-quarters of the catch, in many instances. With red snapper selling for $13 to $16 a pound, anglers can again make a cast to go on these half- and three-quarter day trips to get a few dinners of prime filets in a cost-effective way. While the bite has mostly been on rockfish, there is also a nice mix of sculpin and whitefish, and a smattering of lingcod and calico bass in the bite. That’s mostly because live squid is available for sportboats all along the coast. The squid are here in huge numbers. Just a couple of examples of how good this bite has been: Sum Fun out of Dana Wharf Sportfishing was on a three-quarter day trip with 15 anglers, and they landed 89 rockfish, 51 red snapper, 20 sand dabs, 19 sculpin, 15 sheephead, 12 whitefish, 10 bocaccio, three perch and two triggerfish. That’s 15 fish per angler. Victory out of Pierpoint Landing was out with 12 anglers on Dec. 16, and they landed 93 rockfish, 38 sheephead, 21 whitefish, 19 perch, eight sculpin, seven calicos and seven sand bass.