Althought weather has been a little shitty at Catalina and squid hasn't been plentiful, we still have loads of bait!
LONG BEACH CARNAGE- Plans on trying for squid again tonight at the island. Give Paul a call on Channel 11 or at (562) 714- 8103 to see if he has squid when you head across.
RECEIVER- Full of great quality CHOVIES and SARDINES for the weekend. Call Martin on Channel 11 or at (562) 455 -9928 to get live receiver updates throughout the weekend.
FRIDAY FISH REPORTS:
There are still some seabass to be caught at the usual spots on the backside of Catalina if you can get some squid (frozen works fine). If you find conditions and fish the tide swings, you have a good chance at a croaker (all of the recent catches have been big fish). Don't just fish the beaches and major spots. Most of the fish lately have come off of small spots. Try looking for some kelp and hard bottom that meets up with some off color water. You don't need to be in the off color water to get bit. A lot of fish are caught by boats set up along the kelp. The seabass tend to travel along the outside of the kelp line as they move to the beaches to feed (and usually consume anything in their path while travelling). If you find a spot with some current and bycatch (bass, perch, etc.), get a chumline of cut squid going and stick it out through the incoming or outgoing tide swing.
There is also some good bass fishing on the frontside of Cat along with a few smaller yellows. You don't need the squid to catch these fish. Just set up on some structure (don't drift) and throw some chum. If the bass are there, they should bite immediately. The yellows will swim through occasionally and bite when they do. I haven't heard about a significant volume of yellows at the island, so if you drive around all day looking for schools of yellows, you probably won't catch anything...
There are still quite a few yellows on the backside east end from China up to Lost Point. The water temp dropped out there yesterday and the fishing was down, but I've heard some reports of sportboats getting bit there today, so conditions might be straightening out again. Don't be afraid to go over there without squid. If you have good bait capacity, take a couple scoops of chovies for chum and some dines for hookbait. Meter around the area and anchor up on any structure that has some yellowtail marks on it. Most of the fish have been caught in 80-120 feet of water. Once you start your chumline, you should start to see some birds gathering and you can tell if there are yellow around if the birds clump up and focus on particular spots in the chumline. Sometimes you won't see any boils, but the birds give away the yellowtails presence. The fish have been eating the surface iron readily and have been hitting the mint an white best. If the fish boil around but don't bite, switch to a fluoro leader on your bait or jig and be willing to give them some time. A buddy told me that he sat watching the fish boil around for almost an hour before they hooked their first fish.
The calicos are biting pretty well on the standard spots on the frontside and backside, so if the yellows aren't showing, you can bail out and catch bass.
The barracuda have shown up in force in the last couple of days, and there are fish from the Horseshoe Kelp all the way down to Dana Point. The fish are biting the iron readily, but it being early in the season, it's worthwhile to have a tank of chovies on the boat to use as chum. The sportboats have been doing really well on the gar, but if you decide to follow the fleet, please make sure to keep a safe and considerate distance from the sportboats (at least 200-300 yards). If you are on your own boat and run down to the fleet, I would advise you to run to the edge of it and find your own spot outside of the fleet. Usually, the fish outside the main fleet bite better than those in it as they are not being chopped up by a bunch of boats.
If any of you have fishing or bait info you wish to share.... feel free to post comments or email me.
LONG BEACH BAIT COMPANY wishes you the best of luck!