Loading up down deep

Best Bite of the weeks was at San Nicholas Island


While the damp weather left much of the fleet dockside, those that fished loaded up their gunnies. Perhaps the fullest bags in the fleet were aboard the Eldorado, fishing out at San Nicolas Island. However, local anglers also pulled in big numbers of the bottom biters.

Steve Phelps at Long Beach Sportfishing reported, “Local fishing has been excellent, with limits of nice rockfish being the rule just about every day this week. The 3⁄4-day boat Victory has been consistently sending their passengers home with full bags of fillets and on Thursday Captain Phil checked in with 6 quality lingcod, 80 rockfish (limits), 40 whitefish, and 1 sheephead. He turned around again on Friday, and after his 10 passengers limited out on quality rockfish (100), he went inside and found an excellent sheephead bite. They landed 30 sheephead, along with 54 whitefish, before heading home.

“The overnight boat Eldorado has been loading up on quality bottom fish at San Nicolas Island this week. Captain Jeff checked in Friday with 190 rockfish (limits), 170 whitefish, 13 sheephead, 4 sculpin, and 2 lingcod.

“The annual ‘BOGO’ trips aboard the Eldorado will start Wednesday, Dec. 11 (departing Tuesday night, December 10), and run until the end of the year. When an overnight ticket is purchased on any of these trips, the angler will receive a free pass for any open party overnight trip aboard the Eldorado departing out of Long Beach, in 2020 (some restrictions apply).”


Of the Harbor fleet the Long Beach Sportfishing boats made the most runs, with 8 outings for the week to their credit.

At 22nd Street Landing Sportfishing, the Native Sun fished Sunday with 18 anglers and put together a catch of bass and bottom fish. The Fortune was just back from a 1.5-day where 15 anglers bagged limits of reds, 12 ling and 10 sheephead. The Tradition fished 1⁄2-day morning and afternoon Saturday and limited on whitefish both runs, adding 63 keeper sandbass on the afternoon run.

BUG BONANZA ABOARD the Gail Force. The first 10-hoop round netted an amazing 41 keepers that evening. PHOTO COURTESY OF GAIL FORCE SPORTFISHING

At LA Waterfront Sport­fishing the Gail Force and Triton absolutely loaded up the hoop nets with lobster. Capt. Ryan Gengler reported, “Both boats have had excellent lobster fishing the past few weeks at the Island. Counts ranged from mid-20s to close to 50 quality bugs a night… (Yesterday’s group) ended the night with 46 legals in just two sets with the first set, 10 hoops, getting 41 legals!”

Trips leave at noon, Wednes­day through Sunday all season long. Gailforcesportfishing.com