South Saltwater

Updated June 29, 2020

CENTRAL COAST — A full week of calm weather saw the fleet fishing unhindered and unrestricted. Catches kept to full limits generally, and again, the longer trips accessed the larger fish and better lingcod areas.

Private boater numbers were way up over the weekend and those out of Avila’s Port San Luis Sportlaunch saw halibut catches climb into the teens with over 40 boats launched Saturday. Those who stayed salmon focused saw success, once again and those who caught, caught more than one.

Plenty of rockfish filled ice chests for those who fished them instead.

SANTA BARBARA/VENTURA COAST — Calm island waters drew almost all the effort off the coast, except for Monday. Squid nests off the Gaviota Coast produced bait for an overnight trip for Wendy Tochi’s crew, some big soupfin sharks and plenty of rockfish, but no seabass. Wes Boyle fished local and found the calico cooperating.

SANTA MONICA BAY — The bass bite got going in earnest, but the biggest numbers were whitefish and rockfish. In addition, some big seabass and yellowtail were landed.

LONG BEACH/SAN PEDRO LOCAL — Great barracuda and solid bass fishing plus limit-style sculpin on tap on the Shelf. The barracuda bite was from the Horseshoe Kelp to Izors. Yellowtail holed up in the heaviest of structure, making them a challenging quarry.

ORANGE COUNTY LOCAL — The local fleet of ½- and 3/4-day boats headed north from Newport for the barracuda and sculpin and bass bite on the Shelf. For the Dana Point Harbor boats the local action consisted of fast paced calico fishing with most fish released. The action included fly-lined live baits and hard baits like the SP minnow and Luckycraft. A few barracuda and yellowtail could be seen as well.

OCEANSIDE LOCAL — Similar to the Orange County coast, deeper water rockfish added an option to catch and release bass fishing. Local kelps also hosted a few huge seabass, some show and tell yellowtail and barracuda.

SAN DIEGO LOCAL — Local bass fishing continued strong for the 1/2-day fleet, some of the best in the Bight, including a good fraction of keepers.