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Good Afternoon Everyone!
Sorry about missing last weeks report, but I spilled a bowl of chili on my new laptop and it wasn?t working to well after that. Well, I?ve gotten it cleaned up and it?s working fine, but it does give off just a hint of chili smell every time I hit the return key.
Well, enough about that. Lets get down to business...

The Provider made the run to Catalina last night and caught plenty of squid. They loaded up the Long Beach Carnage and brought the rest back to the receiver.
Our receiver is currently loaded with live squid, hook sized anchovies and medium (bait sized) sardines. If you?re heading out give us a call at (562) 455-9928 or on Channel 11 on your VHF radio. If you need help finding our receiver, please check out the map on the ?Location? page of our website.

We also have the Long Beach Carnage at Catalina this weekend. Paul is anchored in front of Avalon and is jugged with live squid. If you?re heading across, give him a call at (562) 714-8103 or on Channel 11 on your VHF radio. Paul normally heads around to the backside to catch more bait just before sunset (he?s usually back in front of Avalon by 4 AM). If you?re heading across after dark, make sure and give Paul a call once you come around the east end. He will be happy to bait you up even if he?s trying to catch bait.

On to the reports...

Offshore
There are a few albacore, bluefin and yellows to be caught offshore (371 and surrounding banks), but the weather is not looking good for the weekend and I wouldn?t recommend making the run from up here. If you?re going to do it, I?d probably launch out of SD. Better yet, I?d fish the islands and put the offshore thing on hold for a couple weeks. With the price of fuel these days, it would be an EXPENSIVE boat ride.

San Clemente Island
The good news is that conditions at the island have finally straightened out and there are a few yellows and seabass to be caught on the front side. The bad news is that NOAA is calling for 10-20 knots of west wind and a mixed swell (out of the west and south). The swell is fairly small and at a long interval, so if the wind stays on the lower end of the prediction it shouldn?t be too bad, but if it blows 20+ get ready for some serious washing machine conditions on your crossing. Over the last couple of weeks, there have been some yellows and seabass on the backside east end (between Lost Point and the East End). I haven?t heard any recent reports out of that area, but this week there were some fish caught on the front side (east half of the island). There are run and gun yellows to be had on jigs or squid (look for bird schools). The seals have been really bad lately due to a lack of boats at the island to spread them out, so if you?re fishing yellows, fish the heavy line so you can land them before they become seal-chow. There is also some really good calico fishing to be had on the kelp lines on the frontside and backside east end. If you?re fishing bass, make sure to anchor far enough away from the kelp and in deep enough water that you will have a chance if you hang a yellow or croaker. There is nothing worse than realizing too late that you anchored to close to the kelp.
Most of the exotics at Clemente have been caught midday lately, so if you don?t get bit in the early morning, don?t lose hope...

Santa Barbara Island
A couple sport boats have gotten good scores on the seabass fishing the coves around the island lately, so it may be worth a look if the weather cooperates. If I was looking to go out and try to get my 3 fish limit on seabass, SBI would probably be the place I?d look. The fish are smaller than the ones being caught at Catalina and Clemente, but if you can find the fish, you can usually whack a few before they swim off. There have also been a few yellows on the ridges off the island, but I haven?t heard of anything but the occasional fish being caught.

Catalina
The bite is still happening. It?s not as wide open as it was a couple of weeks ago, but there are still plenty of fish to be caught. Over the last couple of weeks, more and more yellowtail have moved into the squid grounds and most boats are catching more yellows than they are seabass.

If I were heading across, I?d start at the squid grounds and give it an honest try until a couple of hours after graylight. If that doesn?t pan out (or you need a few more fish to fill out your limit), I?d head west and start looking for conditions and fish marks starting at Salta Verde.

If that doesn?t work out, you can check the east end again late in the day.

I know that I posted this last time, but here is a little tutorial on how to fish the area (for those of you that missed it last time).

If your going to fish the squid ground bite, the key is to anchor up on some bait marks before dawn and put some lights out. The bait hasn't been floating well at all, so you should definitely buy bait (unless you have fresh frozen). The reason to put the light out is to get some bait under your boat which will hopefully act as chum once it gets light...
Most of the fish have been caught in front of the Palisades in 90' of water. If you find bait marks in the 80-100' range, you should anchor on that.

Come gray light, you'll want to have at least two rigs out. One on the bottom (dropper loop or squid and jig) and the other covering the rest of the water column. My advice would be a 1/8 to 1/2 oz slider (depending on current) or a 1/4 - 1/2 oz lead head with a big Owner hook. Pin a squid on this rig and cast it out then let it sink slowly to the bottom. Once you reach the bottom, retrieve the bait with long (slow) strokes of the rod followed by reeling in the slack that is created when you drop the tip. When you get the bait back to the boat, cast and repeat. NOTE!!! Be ready to kick the reel in free spool while you retrieve your bait as the fish will often grab it at the most inopportune time. If you get bit and pull the squid out of the fishes mouth, kick it in free spool and drop it back. More often than not, they'll come back for it.

A lot of times the sea bass come through early and hoover all the dead and dying squid off the bottom (that is when the bottom rig works). Other times, they cruise up high (often with yellows) picking off the spawned out squid higher in the water column (that is when your other rig comes into play).
One of our friends caught a yellow on the yo-yo at the squid grounds last week, so if you?re marking fish mid water column, it might be worth dropping your favorite scrambled egg yo-yo jig.

The fish at the squid grounds continue to be gorilla size, with sea bass in the 30-60 lb range and yellows in the 25-40 lb range, so do yourself a favor and fish the heavy line. I would fish at least 30 lb line and preferably 40 or 50.

When fishing the other parts of the island, look for areas that have the following 3 components; structure (kelp, rocks or hard bottom), junk thats biting (calicos, perch, spanish mackerel) and conditions (current and tidal movement). Once you find these things, anchor up in deep enough water that you won't get rocked or broken off in the kelp and start a chum line of squid chunks.
Fish the light slider or lead head and keep an eye out for big fish on the meter. If you're catching a lot of junk and marking fish, give it some time, if not, move on to the next likely looking spot.

The calico bass have started to bite pretty well at the usual spots on the frontside of the island. There are also some barracuda and bonito in the mix. If you?re fishing the front, check out the reefs and other structure spots that are tight to the island. These spots tend to hold more fish than the kelp lines do, so take some time to look for structure instead of just plopping down the anchor when you get to the island. It will definitely be worth the effort.

Local Fishing
The barracuda have finally moved onto the Horseshoe and have been biting pretty well for the people that get on them, but it?s kind of a right place at the right time thing. There are some calicos and sand bass to be caught on the Horseshoe as well, but if you?re targeting bass, I would go down and fish the hard bottoms, wrecks and artificial reefs on the top end of the Huntington Flats. If you can find a spot that is holding fish, the bass have been wide open and are readily taking anchovies, sardines, whams and swim baits. The best bet is to anchor up and get some chum in the water. A friend of mine was out earlier in the week and he said that the sand bass had the chum pushed up o the surface and looked like barracuda up boiling around under the birds. He also said that the bass were biting the swim baits right on the surface. The fish are good sized with a 2-3 lb average and fish up to 7 lbs caught.

The bass were biting off the Palos Verdes Peninsula earlier in the week, but the water temp dropped significantly on Tuesday and I haven?t heard any reports since then. It might be worth a look though...

That?s about it for this week. Good luck if you head out there and watch the weather if you?re heading offshore.

I want to thank everyone who has submitted photos of the fish that they caught on our bait so far! I've been flooded with photos the last couple of weeks and I haven't had a chance to post them yet, so here are some of our recent catches...
 
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