Malibu to Santa Barbara 3/12/10

by Chuck Melber

Santa Barbara Sea Bass

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On your marks, get set, ready, GO! And there off to a roaring start. The fishing season has begun, and the fish are biting (at least when the weather god co-operates). Boats throughout the zone have been getting into the fish with great success, putting on not only great catches of Rock Cod, but also Bass, and even some Sea Bass.

Last week two Santa Barbara anglers, Scott Schell, and my buddy Nick Shalhoob, headed out for the rock cod opener. Rather than make the long run out to the islands, they opted to stay local and see what all the birds and bait in the water would provide. There were a few commercial guys working the area hard, and the boys metered what looked to be White Sea Bass. This early in the season its a toss up if they will actually eat a hooked bait, but they stopped and gave it a shot. What an openeing to 2010 for them. After a spirited battle with both Scott and Nick taking turns on the fish, and narrowly avoiding a crab pot they boated a toad local Sea Bass. The Ghost weighed in at 33 pounds.

After starting the day out with a bang they went looking for some of the bottom dwellers. As iceing to the Sea Bass Cake they came home with a mixed bag of taco meat. Sand Bass, Blue Bass, Browns, White Fish, and Sheepshead were all on the menu. Great start to the Santa Barbara season guys!

Those who hoped on the party boats for the opener, things are off to a bang. All boats who headed out to the islands for the past week have been greatly rewarded with some great Cod fishing. The main limiting factor right now is the fact that the weather can't make up its mind.

The Stardust fished Santa Rosa for the opener and fishing was wide open. With 21 eager anglers on board luke knew he needed to impress, and he knew santa Rosa was just the place to do it. From the moment the lines hit the water in the morning, till the time they had to turn and head for home the fish were jumping in the boat. They returned just shot of limits on White Fish, and with full limits on quality Rock Cod.

The Mirage made the journey up to San Miguel on an overnight for the opener, and were greatly rewarded as well. After making quick limits in the morning in beautiful conditions, they headed in to search the shallows for Whitefish, and any other potential preditors. While they didnt find the Sea Bass or Halibut, they did come up with 70 big fat white fish for their 20 anglers.  

Lots of life in the water

On the Private boating front there is plenty of excitement going on as well. Sea Bass on the coast in Santa Barbara, Bass biting in the kelp along the beach, and who knows what the islands have in store. Weather has been difficult to say the least, but with all these good signs locally, I can only imagine what is happening at the islands. If the el nino really develops, you can expect things to come earlier this season. As the water heats up faster, game fish will kick into their feeding mode earlier, as well as their spawning. If all goes as planned, that also means the squid will move into the flats sooner, and the Sea Bass bite will come with it.

There is currently a contest for a free scoop of Live Squid n the Private Boaters board of Captain Tim on the Outerbanks was gracious enough to offer up the reward for this trip, and since he is most often in the Channel Islands area, the contest is limited to fish caught in our zone. You have from now until the end of april to catch your fish, measure its fork length, snap a photo, and post a report on the Private boaters board. For more information check out this link [url=][/url]

New Regulation Update!

As of March 1st the DFG has released a dozen or so new regulations for the sport fishing community. Of the most pertinent for most of us is the fact that it is no longer required to display your license at all times while fishing. This is especially nice for those of us who fish the beach, or loose stuff if you cant neatly file it away at all times (me). Now you will only be required to have your license with you, and easily accessible.

Unfortunately the weather for this weekend looks to be about on par with the rest of the season. Crummy. The winds are peaking at anywere from 20-35 knotts every night and laying down for the morning and early afternoon. Thinks may work out if your trying to make a quick day of it, but the winds are picking up again every afternoon. The bad thing about the nightly winds is they do a good job of stirring the ocean up and leaving you in bumpy conditions in the morning.

Until next week tight lines, and screamn drags

Please feel free to contact me with any questions, comments, reports or photos at [email protected] 

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