Hopes are running high for a big weekend in sportfishing. The combination of a full moon and warming air temperatures has many thinking that a white seabass bite may be imminent.
White seabass have been called the gray ghost because of their penchant for appearing and disappearing at a moment’s notice. One day these hard fighting, great eating members of the croaker family are swallowing up anglers’ baits, and the next day they are gone. There are many anglers still waiting to catch their first white seabass, so erratic is their behavior.
They have shown a penchant in the past for biting during the full moon, so many think this may be the one. Windy weather Wednesday didn’t help justify such optimism as water temperatures tumbled again. The key will be if the water can warm up to 60 degrees or better by the weekend. If yes, then we may well see the first decent shot of seabass this year.
Rafael Servin from Bakersfield caught a 7.05-pound halibut on Monday to lead the Pot of Gold Halibut Derby out of Long Beach Sportfishing. The derby has another seven weeks to go as anglers compete for thousands of dollars in cash and prizes.
Fishing from Huntington Beach to Rocky Point consisted mostly of rockfish again this week. Good bottom fishing was reported from Marina Sportfishing in Long Beach as well as Pierpoint Landing. Twentysecond Street Landing in San Pedro had good catches of rockfish and sand dabs. But that all came to a halt on Wednesday as gusty winds once again made fishing next to impossible. The good news is that the forecast is much better for the rest of the week.
While there has been no barracuda seen in our local waters, this would be a perfect weekend for a few to start biting. Last week, the toothy critters showed up off Ventura for a few days. Many times, they will show up in this neck of the woods shortly thereafter. Private boaters should keep an eye out for birds pick at the water as many times they show the way to feeding schools of barracuda.
Surf fishermen found some outstanding action this week as there has been an abundance of sand crabs along the beaches. The sand crabs have acted as a magnet for a variety of surf fish. Louie Martinez was fishing Dog Beach at the Huntington Cliffs, when he caught a barred perch estimated at over 3 pounds. Martinez said it was the biggest perch he had ever caught.
Fourteenth Street in Seal Beach has been another hot surf-fishing spot this week. Fishing between the pier and the navy jetty has produced some yellowfin croaker, barred perch, cobina and spotfin croaker. Sand crabs and six pound test have been a super effective way to make a catch here. Fishing around the high and low tides produced the best action.
There is a grunion run from April 17 through April 20. Not only is catching grunion great family fun, but it’s a time when halibut move up into the shallows to feed. This gives surf fishermen a great opportunity to catch a flatfish. The best bait is exactly what they are feeding on: grunion. Swimbaits, small chrome lures as well as anchovies and sardines are also effective.
Around Palos Verdes, there has been excellent opaleye perch fishing around rocky areas. Most of the perch have been caught on frozen peas. Free divers continue to see lots of white seabass in the Rocky Point kelp. A few of these monsters over 40 pounds were speared again this week.
Anglers can only hope that water temperatures can climb back to 60 degrees and above so that the gray ghosts will start to bite.