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Discussion Starter #1
I've been without a boat for a year and fished out of San Diego for the previous ten years. I just bought a boat again and thinking about using ventura as a home base as it would be shorter travel to get to the boat. I'm hesitant to start in new waters and be so far from the mexican offshore runs.

Please comment on general fishing opportunities for coastal and Channel Islands compared to San Diego, San Clemente island, ect.

Is there a bait barge in Ventura Harbor?

Thanks for the comments,
Tom
 

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Hi Tom,

Well, let me start by saying, that the weather up here off the Ventura coast is generally is rougher than San Diego and points South. So it would be reasonable to assume that the amount of days you could fish, would depend on the sea condition, the sea worthiness of your boat, and the physical condition your in. Having said that, The ventura coast, and the channel Islands, at different times of the year, can have some of the most exciting and rewarding fishing you'll ever experience. I personally have seen, encredible Sea Bass, Yellow Tail, Halibut, and Rockfish bounties in the Winter months, when the squid moves in. In the spring months, you might try your hand at slow trolling for a beautiful King Salmon in the morning, then drifting for Halibut in the late morning tide switch at the Islands, and ending the day with some shallow water Rockfishing in the afternoon, before you head for the barn. In the Summer and Fall months, You would have your choice of many exoctics, like monster Yellows at SBI, or Albies, in the triangle, or off the Rodrigez San mount, along with some huge Rockies, Reds, and lings, depending on the closer dates. I have had some experience with Ventura Harbor. I think it is one of cleanest harbors on the coast, and I recently heard some good things about the boat yard there. There are many restuarants and shops to keep you busy, while your in port, and it is centrally located to most of the fishing in this area.

Hope this helps, Tom

Rick/Tugfire

26ft Glacier Bay Cat
 

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I can understand your hesitation. It is quite a trip from Ventura to get down into southern waters. I am fortunate to have a boat on a trailer as well as a place to store it. With that being said, I keep my boat in Chatsworth and I live in Valencia. I generally use Ventura Harbor as my home base launch ramp. I'm assuming you have a larger boat that can't be towed? There are two things I like about launching Ventura. First, the bait and fuel dock are located 25yds from the launch ramp. Second, it is a short motor to the mouth of the harbor and takes less then 5 min. It is also nice to have a local dive store to fill your SCUBA tanks in the marina. I imagine it's much cheaper to keep your boat in Ventura marina then many others further south. From Ventura, you can access Anacapa and Santa Cruz Islands fairly quickly. I can make it to Yellowbanks in under 1 hour (on a decent day). Santa Rosa, San Miguel and Santa Barbara are all accessable on good days as well. While you certainly won't find Dorado or Tuna roaming these waters, you will find yellowtail, WSB, halibut and ling cod. Another great thing about Launching Ventura is in the spring time when Salmon season comes around. We have caught many large King Salmon heading north towards Santa Barbara not to far off shore. If your looking for coastal fishing you can head north to Arco Island or Rincon and find some nice kelp beds holding bass, sandbass, perch and all your standard inshore fishes. Or you can head south around Point Magu for some GREAT halibut fishing. We also fish Deep Hole around County Line for rockfish and love to fish around Point Dume for flatties. The only drawback (besides the lack of warm water fish) is the wind and NW swell seam to be more of a factor then lauching further south. I hope this helps. Good luck!
Musicalmike
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Tom,

CIH is a much better choice than Ventura IMO. It would put you closer to anacapa, SBI, San Nic and if you venture to Miguel and Rosa most would take the back of Santa cruise as a route due to rougher water in the front of cruise. Also more live bait options are available in CIH. Check the charts it will all make sense.
 

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Good point Ofer! It is a great launch ramp. I use it often when going to Point Dume. The only thing I don't like is the long motor out to the mouth of the harbor.
Musicalmike
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Discussion Starter #6
Hello Rick, Mike, and Ofer -

Thanks for the comeback. The boat is a 30' pursuit w/ outboards and is in a slip in Ventura harbor. After no fishing last year i am fired up to be back on the water.

Review of the charts shows lots of hard bottom spots along the coast and at the islands. I'm getting over the shock of unfamiliar waters and looking forward to some exploring. After all fishing is all about the adventure.

Hope to see you on the water, Tom
 

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> After
>all fishing is all about the adventure.
>
Yes I seem to like the adventure over the actual fishing....

It will be some adventure trying to cross the channel on windy days :)
 

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I live in Ventura and trailer my Grady from home to Channel Islands Harbor and/or Ventura Harbor depending on where I'm going and what I am fishing with. In my opinion, there are several differences one should consider:
1. Bait - it has been my experience that the bait coming from VH lasts longer than CIH. Perhaps I am the only one with this experience but I have the data to show it
2. Parking & Washdown - the parking and washdown at CIH are superior to Ventura; More parking and more washdown stations although parking at Ventura is $1 cheaper... Additionally, CIH parking is all paved and if you don't want to pay... you can park on the street... not so with Ventura
3. Launch ramp angles - the ramp angles at Ventura are extremely steep; most trucks are spinning their tires at Ventura while trying to pull their boat out (I do); the ramp angles at CIH are not nearly as steep; you have to be comfortable with this.
 

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Fin bait is consistently excellent at Ventura Fuel Dock. I have had mixed luck with CIH bait sellers but I have heard they have gotten better.
 
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