Posted by: socalsalty | March 4, 2013

Weekend Wrapup: Rockfish Opener and Early Yellows

Jake working the King Harbor jetty

Jake working the King Harbor jetty

I’ll let you in on a little secret…when I do a weekend wrapup, it’s typically due to the fact that I wasn’t able to get out myself 😦  Thankfully it doesn’t happen often.

This weekend the original plan was to ride the extended halfie on the Speed Twin out of Channel Islands Sportfishing.  Unfortunately, Juliana is very sick and has all sorts of treatments in order to get right.  Not something I want to deal with in the middle of the ocean.

Jake and I were able to get out for a few hours while she napped at her mom’s on Saturday afternoon.  We went down to Redondo and fished off the rocks.  We spent time on both the inside and outside.  While inside, I was able to try out some Rapalas and Lucky Craft lures that I picked up recently.  We saw several garibaldi’s (our state fish) in the water near us.  Very cool, as I had never seen one before outside of an aquarium.

No bites, but I wasn’t really expecting any…pretty big lures for where we were.  I was more interested in seeing how they swam, so I would know what sort of situation to employ them in.  The highlight of this testing session was Jake threw the LC and got divebombed by a seagull on the retrieve.  It caught one of the trebles in its face, and I had the pleasure of unhooking it.  Then we moved outside and tried our luck with dropper loops and a strip of squid.  We felt some perch pecks, but no takers.  Onto the wrapup…

Vance with 2 of his 4 legal lings on the PI

Vance with 2 of his 4 legal lings on the PI

Rockfish Season Opener

January and February is when many boats are off the water for annual maintenance.  It’s a slow time of the year and usually there are only single digits of boats going out any given day.  This weekend often marks the opening not just of rockfish season, but also the season for many boats, captains, and crews.  Over 50 boats were out up and down the coast and limits of rockfish were the norm.  Lingcod and sheephead punctuated the rockfish counts and won the jackpots.  The Pacific Islander, out of Channel Islands Sportfishing, did particularly well on the lings getting 32 on Friday, 37 Saturday, and 40 on Sunday!  My buddy Vance rode on Saturday and scored 4 legals including the 2 pictured.

Early Season Yellows

The San Diego found their first yellowtail of the season on Wednesday.  They metered a school by the Coronado Islands on their way out to the rockfish spots and 3 lucky anglers scored.  I was told that a Salas 6x Jr in blue/white was the yoyo jig to have.  Saturday, they found them again, and 4 lucky anglers took home yellows (13-19 lbs.).  All four were on the yoyo.  It’s too early to say if there will be any sort of consistency to the yellowtail bite, but 7 in a week is a pretty respectable number at this point of the year.  I’ll definitely be keeping an eye out.  The SD finding yellows is great, but you expect it since they are consistently the top yellowtail boat in the fleet.  However Saturday, another yellowtail was caught on an overnight trip to San Clemente Island on the Thunderbird out of Davey’s Locker.  One of the anglers on my facebook page (how about a Like) was on the boat and said the guy who got bit got his forkie on a strip of squid when retrieving his line at the end of a stop!  Sometimes it’s better to be lucky than good.

There are always going to be some homeguards out there, but I’ve been hoping that more stayed after the warm water we had this last Summer and Fall.  The Clemente yellow could be an early sign of something good.

Editorial Note

I’m going to be out of town this Thursday through Tuesday of next week.  Hopefully, I’ll have my copy of Brandon Hayward‘s new book before I go and can post a review.  Either way, I’ll be keeping an eye out to see what’s going on and will report what I’m seeing and hearing out there.  Tight lines!

The SD's 4 yellows from Saturday

The SD’s 4 yellows from Saturday (photo courtesy The San Diego)


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