GENERAL FORECAST: With better weather, the full moon on March 31, and ripping tides, the ocean fishing bite is set to make a major turn-around all along the coast. Local anglers are saying the white sea bass, halibut, bass and yellowtail bites are all poised to break open any day. Now is the time to start checking landing counts and 976-TUNA daily if cabin fever has set in and you need to get out.
SAN DIEGO LOCAL UPDATE: Rockfish, sculpin, and whitefish for most of the half-day boats running out of San Diego. The bite has been just fair at best, with three to seven fish per rod on boats with light loads, and about one fish per rod on busy weekend trips.
There has been very light coverage at the Coronado Islands and nearshore banks reached by three-quarter- and full-day trips, however there are quite a few yellowtails starting to accumulate. San Diego out of Seaforth Sportfishng had 15 anglers on a March 27 full-day trip and landed 49 yellowtails, 60 red snapper, 40 other assorted rockfish, and one bonito.
LOS ANGELES-ORANGE COUNTY UPDATE: The rockfish action has been better for the Los Angeles and Orange County boats than the San Diego fleet, with most trips getting from four to seven fish per angler, while many of the light-load trips have reported limits.
The half-day Redondo Special out of Redondo Sportfishing in Redondo Beach, for example, had just 12 anglers on its March 24 afternoon trip and landed 120 assorted rockfish and seven whitefish.
Freelance out of Davey’s Locker in Balboa has been running three-quarter-day bottom fish trips this past week, and seeing about three to four mixed fish per trip, even with big loads of anglers. On March 27, the boat was out with 78 anglers and landed 183 rockfish, 86 whitefish, 15 red snapper, and 10 sculpin – nearly a four-fish per angler average.
Also on March 27, Native Sun out of 22nd Street Landing in San Pedro had 20 anglers on a three-quarter-day trip and landed near limits of rockfish with 79 red snapper, 68 assorted other rockfish, and 38 bocaccio. They also had 12 whitefish, four scuplin, and one lingcod.
Very few boats are running full-day or overnight trips to the islands right, but El Dorado out of Long Beach Sportfishing had 32 anglers on March 28 overnight trip and hammered the bottom fish at the islands, catching 275 whitefish, 272 rockfish, 48 red snapper, 42 sheephead, and three lingcod.
OXNARD TO SANTA BARBARA NEWS: The rockfish bite continues to be excellent for the northerly Southern California Landings in Oxnard, Ventura, and Santa Barbara region. Limits have been the rule – even for half-day boats since the weather allowed boasts back out on the water in recent days.
At Channel Islands Sportfishing in Oxnard, Gentleman was on a three-quarter-day trip with 33 anglers and landed full limits of 330 mixed rockfish. The half-day Speed Twin with 54 anglers also returned with 540 assorted rockfish for limits along with 10 whitefish and one sculpin.
At Hook’s Sportfishing in Oxnard, Coroloma had a three-quarter-day trip March 28, and the 18 anglers on board had 180 assorted rockfish. On March 27, New Hustler made the three-quarter-day run with just nine anglers and had 74 rockfish and 43 whitefish.
At Ventura Sportfishing in Ventura, the full-day Island Spirit had 22 anglers March 28 and landed 220 assorted rockfish along with five lingcod. Amigo made a full-day trip on March 27 and the 13 anglers landed 130 rockfish, 21 whitefish, three sheephead, and three bonus lingcod.
At Sea Landing in Santa Barbara, Coral Sea had 26 anglers on its March 27 trip and landed 137 assorted rockfish, 123 red snapper, and 11 lings. The half-day Stardust had 20 anglers March 27 and caught 157 red snapper, 43 other assorted rockfish, and 22 whitefish.
INSTRUCTIONAL CHARTERS: 976-TUNA offers instructional charters throughout the season. 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. The next trip will be an overnight jaunt May 2 aboard Ultra out of San Pedro. The early booking price is just $245 (normal price is $295). Meals and permits are additional. For more information, check on www.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, 49-675-0550; 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 firstname.lastname@example.org and the information will be included in the weekly report. If you have questions or comments, please call Matthews at 909-887-3444.