Posted by: socalsalty | October 25, 2012

Calling It

Year of the dodo

This week and last, I’ve held on tightly.  I’ve been looking for signs…rationalizing…but the inevitable is happening.  We are definitely on the down side of what will be a fishing year to remember.  So am I done for the year?  Don’t be ridiculous.  There are new challenges and opportunities for the rest of 2012.  It’s just that the high summer season, culminating in the offshore kelp paddy scene is now fading in the rear view.  What’s next?  Here are some ideas…

Tuna?

Photo courtesy Eclipse Sportfishing

If you haven’t done the tuna, dodo, firecracker yellow thing yet (I can’t imagine anyone reading this who hasn’t), then this is your last chance.  Most of the boats that summered in San Diego have made their way back up the coast.  Of the ones left, some are taking their last trips of the season this weekend.  You can still pretty much count on bringing home a limit of smaller yellowtail (4-10 lbs mostly).  They’ll still pull hard for their size, and taste great.  The good news is that of the tuna and dorado left, they’re coming in big.  The Eclipse had a 135 lb. bluefin tuna on their 2.5 day trip last week!

White Seabass and Yellowtail

They’re always around, but with the water cooling, there have been some pops of squid along the coast.  Whenever there is a squid spawn and you have live squid or fresh dead, good things can happen.  As I documented last week, the New Seaforth, fishing off La Jolla, has been getting regular hits on larger local yellows, seabass and halibut.  Brandon Hayward of One Man Charters got a 52 lb seabass launching out of Dana Point this week.  We even had 5 seabass here in Santa Monica Bay on Monday between the 2 morning half day boats, the New Del Mar out of MDR and the Redondo Special.

Halibut

Juj with the Halibut Derby champ, Peggy Stein

Speaking of halibut, aside from the action in San Diego, Dana Wharf is gearing up to start their Halibut Derby.  Beginning next Friday, Nov 2nd, they’ll be doing their halibut drifts.  The pot reached almost $6000 last year and Peggy Stein took top honors with a 43lb, 10oz beast.

Rockfishing

And then of course there’s rockfishing.  I have to admit, I like rockfishing.  I enjoy fishing for rockfish and I enjoy eating rockfish.  If doing a double dropper loop with squid is too boring for you, try dropping a jig.  Jake got his first jackpot throwing a butterfly jig this year.  I had a blast throwing a jig while shallow water rockfishing on the Pacific Islander recently.  And for me, rockfishing affords the opportunity to get a “real” sheephead (as opposed to this pinky) and that other elusive goal, a hitchhiker ling!

Another nice sheepie I didn’t catch 😦

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