A giant basking shark—one of the world's biggest fish—was spotted cruising off the bow of the San Pedro-based sportboat Sea Anglers around 12:30 p.m. on Saturday.
“It was big,” said Capt. Mike Blue of the three-quarter-day boat Victory out of Long Beach’s Pierpoint Landing. "I am guessing somewhere between 18-25 feet."
The Christopher out of Harbor Breeze Cruises in Long Beach also arrived at the scene and treated its passengers to the incredible sight.
The basking shark is the second-largest living fish after the whale shark. While the sight of a basking shark may strike fear in to those who encounter it, it truly is a docile creature. It is a slow-moving and generally harmless filter feeder and has anatomical adaptations, such as a greatly enlarged mouth.
Barracuda bite busts open for Redondo anglers
The barracuda bite jumped into high gear for Redondo Beach-based boats Wednesday as the best fishing of the year broke loose. The half-day Redondo Special had over 90 barracuda for 25 anglers—but that only tells a fraction of the story.
“We lost over 50 percent of the fish we hooked because they were too darn big,” said Redondo Special galley cook Mark Zagha. “Our jackpot fish was a 13-pound monster caught by Time Warp (that’s his name) from Eagle Rock … We had another 25 barracuda over 10-pounds.”
That would make this some of the best barracuda fishing anglers have seen in many years in terms of the size of the fish. Warp reportedly broke two rods on this trip and lost at least 10 fish before catching his 10-fish limit of barracuda.
Jimmy Bass from Tradition Sportfishing said his three-quarter-day boat experienced similar fishing this week.
“We had an angler try to bounce a barracuda, and he snapped his rod in two,” said Bass. “All I can say is that anglers should call for a gaff if they have one of the monsters.”
Many private boaters also saw tremendous action on Wednesday. Giant schools of the hard-fighting gamefish were seen throughout the Santa Monica Bay.
Barracuda aren’t the only fish biting. Capt. Gary Lacroix of the Highliner out of Redondo has seen some fat halibut taken recently, too.
“A couple of the guys at the marina have been catching some nice halibut lately. They have a small patch holding some very nice fish—several over 30 pounds,” said Lacroix. “It is not a rumor either; I saw them come in with five fish, with two over 30 pounds.”
There have also been more white sea bass weighing up to 60 pounds taken by free divers out of the rich Palos Verdes kelp forests.
In short, the Santa Monica Bay is going great guns and still has the potential for still more gamefish in the future.
Want to fish the Santa Monica Bay? Fishing with Phil will be on the Tradition out of this Friday for the same price of $60. There will be a free raffle, pro-staff on board to help you out, and a new Phil Friedman Outdoors Video will be shot that you can be the star of. For reservations call the Tradition Information and Reservation Line at 818-455-6566 or Phil directly at 424-237-0250. It’s always a thrill to go Fishing with Phil!
Native Sun sees excellent twilight fishing
Great twilight fishing last Saturday on the Native Sun out of Long Beach Sportfishing, as 24 anglers sacked up 75 sand bass and 52 fat sculpin.
The bite turned on around 10 p.m., when the vast majority of the fish were caught. Once again, a two-ounce leadhead tipped with squid was the best way to get a bite. Lots of big sculpin and some nice sand bass made for some of the best surface action of the weekend.
Rachel Chiu and her husband Kevin brought Kevin’s father all the way from Malaysia to make this trip. They had a ball, and even though they didn’t catch a ton, a group of anglers on board donated some fish and sent the trio home with a bountiful seafood feast.
Make sure you check out the attached video to see all the action.
There is more twilight action this Friday and Saturday night from 6:30 p.m. until midnight. For reservations, call 562-432-8993 or 424-237-0250.
Long Beach angler shares halibut secret
Tim Rand from Long Beach loves to surf fish more than anything else—maybe because he's so good at it. Rand and three buddies were fishing an undisclosed beach on Friday when they caught nine legal halibut and released over 40 short (less than 22 inches) of the fine-eating flatfish in less than two hours.
"I had the biggest and it was just under 15 pounds," said Rand. He attributed much of his success to fishing light tackle, using live bait and fishing the high tides. "We fish eight-pound test with a 10-pound test leader and a 1-0 mosquito hook.”
Rand and his fishing posse also take the time to catch live bait, mostly smelt and fish when the tide is high.
On Friday, a huge school of big sardines swam into the area when Rand and his friends were fishing. Unbelievably, as the bait school came into the shallows, there were halibut clearing the water in pursuit of a quick meal. "It was crazy; (halibut) were jumping out of the water," said Rand.
While the light line results in more bites, Rand says that if you hook a fish more than 30 inches in length, you will have your hands full. "They will bull you up and down the beach," said Rand, who has also had a rod snapped in half.
For Rand and his friends, surf fishing is not only fun, challenging, and economical—it can be very productive, too.
Says Rand, "Where else can you walk to a beach and go home with a meal for the family?"