Posted by: socalsalty | January 30, 2012

Trip Report: Great Saturday on the New Del Mar

A dolphin catches air as we head south

Going into the weekend, I didn’t think I was going to get to fish.  I stayed home from work Friday sick (while Dana Wharf teased me all day with pictures of halibut).  The kids weren’t feeling great either.  Jake also had basketball practice (Saturday) and a game (Sunday), so I went into the weekend just accepting it wasn’t going to happen.  Well Saturday morning rolls around and Jake says, “Dad, can we go fishing after my practice?”  It was going to be tight, but hey, Jake asked to go.  How can a dad deny his son asking to fish?

So we prepared everything to go and as soon as practice was over bombed out to Marina del Rey.  On the way, I called ahead.  I wanted to make sure that given all this effort, we’d get to fish.  It was kind of windy inland.  I had heard that the Santa Ana’s might be back and wanted to make sure the boat was going out.  “Come on out!” they told me.  The kids and I made the boat in time and we were glad we did.  What a beautiful winter day on Santa Monica Bay.

Lots of life in and on the water

Shortly after we exited the harbor, we encountered a massive pod of dolphins.  They seemed headed in one direction with purpose (or porpoise as the case may be 😉 ).  Anytime you see that kind of activity in the water it bodes well.  We followed them to the south end of the bay where a huge flock of birds were sitting on a massive ball of krill.  The water was so thick that when we looked down, it looked like we were a couple feet over a gravel bottom.  Amazing!  The birds and dolphins weren’t the only ones attracted to the krill, we saw two (maybe more) gray whales loading up as they headed south on their migration.

South Bay Gray Whale

We only paused briefly on this spot while Eric and Julian (deckhands) tried to net some squid that was on the krill.  Maybe Capt. Danny didn’t want to press his luck getting too close to the whale?  Anyway, we quickly moved on to a deeper water spot.  In about 180 ft. of water we dropped anchor to do some sculpin fishing.  Saturday, Juliana decided she wanted to fish…meaning I spent most of the time untangling birdnests and rebaiting her line instead of fishing myself.  I only brought 4 rods, so it also meant I was trying to use my bass rod in deep water, which didn’t work too well.  It was ok though, we all had a good time.  Juj ended catching 4 while Jake chipped in 2, and I only managed 1.  All pretty nice size though.

Juj with her buddy Eric, Jake, and her big sculpin

Trigger fish

After the boat loaded up on sculpin, we spent the last hour or so of the trip in a shallow water spot to see if we could pick up some bass and maybe get lucky with a halibut (they caught a couple shorts on the morning ride).  Not a whole lot happening there.  One pretty nice calico that ended up winning jackpot.  One or two barely legal sand bass, and a trigger fish (dude didn’t enter jackpot #FAIL).  Here’s the official count (combined AM and PM rides).  I’d heard of people catching trigger fish here in Santa Monica Bay before, but never actually seen one myself.  I’d always thought of trigger fish as a tropical species, so that was really cool to see.  Overall, the fishing wasn’t spectacular, but the sights on the water and the whole day itself was really fun.  For a January, and given I didn’t even think I’d be going out, it was a win.  Tight lines!

Check out those teeth



  1. Wow! What a great day!

    • Not the fishing madness that summer is, but just a really nice day on the water. Even better that the kids had so much fun. Thanks for stopping by!

  2. Correction! 3 sculpin. 😉

    } -J

    ^ squid

    • Sorry to short you buddy. 3 sculpin for Jake everyone!!!

  3. What a beautiful day! Nice for on the fly and saw a lot of life out there. And dinner too. That trigger was cool to see. Look’s like a great day with the kids!!!

    • Hey Perry! Great to hear from you. How’s Bryce doing? I’ll hit you up on email. Got a trip coming up. Would be great to see you both.

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