Black Pearl skipper Ricky Perez was scanning the horizon at Pyramid Cove, San Clemente Island on Saturday morning, keeping a close eye on the dozen kayakers he had ferried over to the Island the night before. The group, organized by Andy Allen from OEX in Sunset Beach, makes monthly mother-ship voyages on the Black Pearl to a variety of Southern California fishing hot spots.
Perez had become concerned as three members of his flock had stayed out to sea, about a mile from the island.
"There's no reason to be out there," thought Perez as he tried in vain to contact the threesome by VHF radio on channel 71.
"They're not answering," said Perez. "Something is up."
Perez launched the Black Pearl's 10-foot zodiac and headed in the direction of the wayward kayakers. "What's up?," Perez cried from a distance. "There's nothing to catch out here."
Perez then noticed Anthony Pinner's rod bent over with something very big on the other end of the line ... towing him out to sea. "He was on Mr. Toad"s Wild Ride and there was no getting off," said Perez.
By the force of the creature at the other end of Pinner's line, Perez told the angler he was hooked to one of three things. "You either have a thresher shark, a mako shark or a giant black seabass."
Pinner then told Perez that he had been towed out to sea for the past 45 minutes, and that the beast was showing no signs of slowing up. Perez side-tied to Pinner's kayak and tightened the drag on his reel. Pinner was afraid that Perez was putting too much strain on the fish. "It's going to break," Pinner warned Perez.
Ten minutes later, a giant shadow emerged from the deep blue sea. Pinner yelled that it was the biggest white seabass he had ever seen. "It's a black seabass; 225-250 pounds," said Perez. Since black seabass are a protected species, Perez worked feverishly to extract the hooked monster.
"Once I got the hook out, it bolted back down towards the bottom and looked no worse for the battle," said Perez.
"I'm just glad the guys were safe," said Perez. "And now, they have a heck of a fish story to tell for the rest of their lives."
Thanks to Ned Wallace and Wallace Air Cargo Group, the boys from Adventure Crew in Menifee were treated to a magnificent day's fishing and fun on board the City of Long Beach out of Long Beach Marina Sportfishing.
The boys caught a wide variety of rockfish, saw dolphin, sea birds, oil tankers and so much more. Among the fish taken was a brightly colored fish you don’t see everyday in Southern California. " That's a threadfin (Pronotogrammus multifasciatus)" said Rick Feeney from the Los Angeles County Natural History Museum after viewing a photo of the fish. "They are rare in Southern California. Last year the Long Beach Aquarium sent me a picture of one. They are probably more common off Mexico and Central America." Read more and see the video
The Pacific Coast Sportfishing and Boat Show is this Saturday and Sunday at the Orange County Fairgrounds from 10am-6pm. The show features informative seminars, tons of tackle and equipment and a chance to ask the questions that will make you a better angler.
Twilight fishing on the Native Sun out of Long Beach Sportfishing was very good on Friday evening and equally as slow on Saturday. The Friday Fishing with Phil trip was highlighted by over 80 big sand bass. The fish were taken on a leadhead and squid.
Six month pregnant Brittany Nguyen caught the largest fish of the trip. It was a sand bass that weighed nearly six pounds. Over 20 free raffle prizes were given away including brand new Daiwa rod and reel combos.
On the Twilight trip, clouds of tiny market squid were observed as well as some adult squid. The squid have been absent from our local waters for over a month and are an essential component to the food chain.
The Native Sun will be at it again this Friday and Saturday, 6:30pm-midnight. Novices and experts are welcome as the weather promises to bring on more big sand bass. Reservations at (562) 432-8993.
The Westerly out of Long Beach Sportfishing was at San Clemente Island on Sunday catching limits of rockfish including lots of fat sheepshead, big whitefish and several nice lingcod.
The Toronado out of Pierpoint Landing in Long Beach has scheduled a great trip to San Clemente Island departing Saturday evening at 10pm, returning around 8pm on Sunday. Skipper Ray Lagmay will be on the lookout for surface fish and plans to put lots of great eating bottom fish in the sacks.
Great raffle prizes on this Fishing with Phil trip and a summerlike weather forecast promises to make this a very special adventure. Call 424 237 0250 to get on.
Excellent rockfishng has been the rule on board the Tradition out of Redondo Sportfishing. Vermillion rockfish to 7-pounds, lingcod to 15-pounds as well as many other species have been resulting in 10-fish limits for most anglers.
The Tradition will be running two special trips this Wednesday and Thursday, May 2-3. The trips will go for the same $60 price but will feature special raffle prizes, seminars and more. While limits of rockfish will be in the sights of the Tradition, warm weather could produce some other species. Barracuda have been known to show up in the Santa Monica Bay during this time of year. Reservations at 818 455 6566.
The annual quarantine of all sport-harvested mussel species along the California coast begins May 1, 2012, announced Dr. Ron Chapman, director of the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) and state health officer. This quarantine applies to all species of mussels harvested along the California coast, as well as all bays and estuaries.
“This quarantine is in place to protect the public against poisoning that can lead to severe illness, including coma and death,” said Dr. Chapman. “It’s critical that the public honor the quarantine because the toxins found in mussels have no known antidotes and are not reliably destroyed by cooking.”
More information about the quarantine, PSP and DAP can be found on the Mussel Quarantine Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) Web page.