Malibu to Santa Barbara 2/12/09

by Chuck Melber

Removing the old bait tank from the Channel Isle

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First and foremost I want to offer my condolences to the Harris family and the crew of the Cornelia Marie for loosing their fearless Captain Phil Harris, of fame from the Discovery Channel series Deadliest Catch. You will be missed but never forgotten thanks to your strong willed and dedicated fishing spirit.

After a wet and wild January we have drifted into the worlds shortest month, February. The sun is shining, Humboldt Squid are attacking, and Rock Cod season is right around the corner. Now that the seas have calmed enough to allow us out on the water, the only question is where are the fish hiding, and what are they eating? With few people getting out on the water recently lord only knows were the bite is happening in the deep blue.

There is one thing for sure though, with all the new structure created by the pounding surf, Surf fishing should start going off in the near future. It is amazing the amount of structure there is along the coast, Huge holes have been cut out by the pounding swell, and literally hundreds of tons of sand has moved off the beach in its yearly migration. Give the Perch and other fish species a few days to get acquainted with their new surroundings and for all the junk to clear, and fishing should go off.

With one month of winter down, there is only one more to go until Rock Cod re-opens and its time for fish tacos. Keep up the hard work to get your boats all dialed in, and household chores squared away. I'm starting to have a feeling that this years season is going to be one for the books. Earlier I spoke of the absence of an el nino this year, and my belief that it was a bunch of hype. Well, after taking a look at this last storm and the destruction it reaped on our coastline I cant help but recant my previous statement. Especially when you look at the unseasonably warm waters we have off our coast and at the islands right now. I have heard reports of spots of 60+ degree water.

I for one cant wait to see what materializes with the tuna bite this season. The Shogun got the first short at Albacore this year, and at only 200 miles from the point, I cant help but feel that something big is in the works. Hopefully things will develop to the point in which we can get tuna just outside the island, the Tails bite wide and even some Dorado show up. 

Cleared back deck

There are rumors circulating that the Giant squid have found there way up into the channel. It was reported last week that a commercial squid boat dragged up a whole bunch of them, however I have not heard of any sport boats getting them yet. The Stardust went out last night looking, but struck out. Captain Jason has an idea of where they may be in the channel and is going to go looking this friday night. They will be departing the harbor at 5:30PM returning at midnight and the cost is $50. Give Sea Landing a call at (805) 963-3564 to make a reservation.

For this weeks sport boat update, we are going to take a look at the newest half day boat to join the fleet, The Channel Isle. As I mentioned a few weeks ago, Shawn Steward of the Aloha Spirit and Joe Villareal of the Mirage have teamed up this season by buying the vessel formerly known as The City of Redondo. These two will be diverging from their background of full day and overnight trips to slay the sea bass and bringing their reputation to the world of half day fishing.

The City of Redondo is an older yet sound vessel in need of some love and a bit of a face lift. Needless to say the fellas are taking full advantage of this off season to get the boat up to snub and christen her the Channel Isle.

This is the season for big projects for the boat, and as soon as they got her to Channel Islands Harbor they went to work removing the old Bait Tank, ripping up and re-skinning the deck.

The weather this weekend should be pretty nice to allow you to get out there, so get on the water and enjoy what the world of fishing has to offer.

Until next week, tight lines and scream'n drags. 

New Skinned deck on the Channel Isle

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