The local offshore fishing has been excellent. The boats that are going about 100-miles offshore to the Cortez Bank and offshore are catching plenty of yellowtail and big to bigger rockfish.
The sportboat Freedom from 22nd Street Landing recently landed two 50-pound yellowtail at the Cortez and a 10-year-old boy caught a 16-pound bonito. That is an amazing feat and has to qualify for some kind of record. The California record is 21 pounds caught in 2003.
Personally, I have never seen a bonito over six pounds but I will vouch for their fighting ability because pound for pound they are number one on my fighting list.
Jim Cutter of 22nd Street Landing said the landing will be sending the Freedom on a day-and-half trip next Monday and Saturday to the Cortez. Don Ashley at Pierpoint Landing reports they will also be sending boats in that direction.
Four sportboats from Pierpoint fished San Nicholas Island last week for limits of large tasty rockfish. When the weather eases up all the landings expect the super fish bite to continue. Ashley reports the local fishing is red hot with limits of 4-5 pound bonito being caught. There is no shortage of bait with all the receivers reporting plenty of firecracker sardines available.
The Central Section groundfish season is closing Nov 30. I can't help but feel remorse for the sportfishing fleet in the Central Section. In the past, the Central fleet switched to rockfish when the salmon season ended. The sportsboat fleet now has a rough time fishing because along with the rockcod closure the salmon season has been cancelled for the next two years.
There isn't any way the sportfishing guys can earn a living. There is some talk about fishing for sand dabs, which could help a little, but basically it's all over for the sportboats in the Central Section until next May when the rockfish season kicks back in.
I had an interesting conversation with Mitch Knauss at Patriot Landing. In the 1980s, Mitch brought his commercial salmon boat down here to fish salmon off
Newport Beach in that large, deep trench just offshore. For many years he supplied salmon to all the local fish markets and restaurants in the area. That was the time when the Long Beach breakwater kicked loose with an occasional silver salmon to anglers that fly-lined a hot live anchovy under the Long Beach light.
I personally saw a school of silver salmon swim by me while on a night Lobster dive. Many of the salmon the locals caught off the breakwater were mistakenly thought to be white sea bass because both sea bass and salmon have brilliant silver bodies. I haven't heard of any salmon caught in our area for many years.
Leader of the pack
The leader of the lingcod tournament at Patriot Sportfishing is Joe Torres of Arroyo Grande. Torres leads the pack with a 22.1-pound fish. The tournament closes Nov. 30 with the rockcod closure, it's not to late. First prize is $3,000, second $2,000 and third $1,000. The weather can be tough in Avila Beach, so call ahead for a prediction. This time of the year they get out to sea about twice weekly
Santa Ana River Lakes is holding a Trophy Trout Opener beginning today through Sunday. Catch the best of trout from the Mt. Lasson hatchery and the famous tailwalker rainbows from Nebraska. There are also many 20-pound plus rainbows in the lake ready to be caught.
Diamond Valley Lake has also been stocked with Mt. Lasson rainbows and the giant largemouth bass woke up to chase the new "dinners" around the lake. Although there is no private boat launching allowed, many rentals are available until the lake fills up. The striped bass are also on a tear and most of the linesiders are at least 15 pounds or more. Mike Long of Poway recently caught the lake record largemouth bass weighing in at 16.4 pounds, which is four pounds larger that the pending lake record. The California State record is 21.12 pounds.
Lake Wohlford has two new Bass Boat style rentals. They sport foot-controlled 40-pound thrust trolling motors, two swivel seats and a live well. They rent for $46 per day. That price cannot be topped anywhere that I know of.
The lake is unusually low and falling, now is the time for the serious bass anglers to identify lake structure that will be underwater in the future. Also, now is the time to find those structures that attract those giant Lake Wohlford crappie.
Free fishing derby
The Dan Hernandez Youth Foundation presents a free fishing derby at El Dorado Park, East Lake on Nov. 22. The Long Beach Parks and Recreation Department host the free event. All kids are invited with free tackle and bait provided. Registration begins at 8 a.m. and fishing starts at 9 a.m. and concludes at 1 p.m. with an awards ceremony.
The Park will be charging $7 for parking. None of the money goes to the Youth Foundation. Reminder, age 16 and older must have a California Fishing License.
Sav-On Tackle is presenting free seminars and workshops headed up by Gary Sato and Marlon Meade. Sato will be on tab Sat Nov 15, at 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Learn how to tie knots and splice with the new Spectra line to Fluorocarbon leaders. Marlon will be discussing how to catch trout at Irvine Lake and other urban lakes. Marlon will be onstage Nov. 20 at 6:30 p.m.-8 p.m., Sav-On is located at 9917 Orr and Day Road Santa Fe Springs. Phone (562) 864-2911.
John Bernath of the Compton Hunting and Fishing Club recently harvested a 250-pound boar on the Tejon Ranch in Lebec. It was a difficult 150 yard shot.
Don't forget to clean
The 30 Minute Beach Cleanup is this coming Saturday at 10 a.m. in the Granada Street parking lot. The last storm that passed through the Southland deposited many tons of debris onto our beach strand. All help will be deeply appreciated.