Last weekend, a kayak angler got more than he bargained for when he snagged a giant black sea bass.
Black Pearl skipper Ricky Perez was scanning the horizon at Pyramid Cove on San Clemente Island on Saturday morning and keeping a close on the dozen kayakers he had ferried over to the island the night before. The group, organized by Andy Allen from OEX in Sunset Beach, makes monthly mother-ship voyages on the Black Pearl to a variety of Southern California fishing hot spots.
Perez had become concerned as three members of his flock had stayed out to sea, about a mile from the island.
There's no reason to be out there, thought Perez as he tried in vain to contact the threesome on Channel 71 by VHF radio.
"They're not answering," said Perez. "Something is up."
Perez launched the Black Pearl's 10-foot Zodiac and headed in the direction of the wayward kayakers. "What's up?" cried Perez from a distance. "There is nothing to catch out here."
Perez then noticed Anthony Pinner's rod bent over with something very big on the other end of the line, towing him out to sea. "He was on Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride, and there was no getting off," Perez later said.
Judging from the force of the creature at the other end of Pinner's line, Perez told the angler he was hooked to one of three things: a thresher shark, a mako shark or a giant black sea bass.
Pinner told Perez that he had been towed out to sea for 45 minutes, and the beast was showing no signs of slowing up. Perez side-tied to Pinner's kayak and tightened the drag on his reel. Pinner was afraid that Perez was putting to much stain on the fish. "It's going to break," Pinner told Perez.
Ten minutes later, a giant shadow emerged from the deep blue sea. Pinner yelled that it was the biggest white sea bass he had ever seen—but it wasn’t a white sea bass.
"It's a black seabass; 225 to 250 pounds," said Perez. Because black sea bass are a protected species, Perez worked feverishly to extract the hooked monster.
"Once I got the hook out, it bolted back down towards the bottom and looked no worse for the battle," said Perez. He later added, "I'm just glad the guys were safe … And now, they have a heck of a fish story to tell for the rest of their lives."
Adventure crew hooks unusual fish
Thanks to Ned Wallace and Wallace Air Cargo Group, the boys from Adventure Crew in Menifee were treated to a magnificent days fishing and fun on board the City of Long Beach out of Long Beach Marina Sportfishing.
The boys caught a wide variety of rockfish, as well as spotted dolphin, sea birds, oil tankers and so much more. Among the fish hooked was a brightly colored creature you don’t see every day in Southern California.
Rick Feeney of the Los Angeles County Museum of Natural History identified it as a Pronotogrammus multifasciatus, more commonly known as a threadfin.
"They are rare in Southern California,” Feeney explained. “Last year, the Long Beach Aquarium sent me a picture of one. They are probably more common off Mexico and Central America." Read more and see the video.
Native Sun twilight trip yields 80+ sand bas
Twilight fishing on the Native Sun out of Long Beach Sportfishing was very good on Friday evening and very slow on Saturday. Anglers on Friday’s Fishing with Phil trip caught more than 80 big sand bass using a leadhead and squid.
On the Twilight trip, clouds of tiny market squid were observed, as well as some adult squid. The squid, which are an essential component to the food chain, have been absent from our local waters for over a month.
Brittany Nguyen caught the largest fish of the trip—a nearly six-pound sand bass. Additionally, 20 raffle prizes were given away including brand new Daiwa rod and reel combos.
The Native Sun will be at it again this Friday and Saturday, from 6:30 p.m. until midnight. Novices and experts are welcome as the weather promises to bring on more big sand bass. Call 562-432-8993 for reservations.
Tradition plans special rockfishing trips
Excellent rockfishing has been the rule on board the Tradition out of . Catches of vermillion rockfish weighing up to seven pounds and lingcod up to 15 pounds, as well as many other species, have resulted in 10-fish limits for most anglers.
The Tradition will be running two special trips next week on Wednesday and Thursday. The trips will go for the same $60 price but will feature special raffle prizes, seminars and more.
While limits of rockfish will be in the sights of the Tradition, warm weather could also produce some other species. Barracuda have been known to show up in the Santa Monica Bay during this time of year. Call 818-455-6566 for reservations.
Mussel quarantine begins Tuesday
The annual quarantine of all sport-harvested mussel species along the California coast begins Tuesday, announced Dr. Ron Chapman, director of the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) and state health officer. This quarantine applies to all species of mussels harvested along the California coast, as well as all bays and estuaries.
“This quarantine is in place to protect the public against poisoning that can lead to severe illness, including coma and death,” said Dr. Chapman. “It’s critical that the public honor the quarantine because the toxins found in mussels have no known antidotes and are not reliably destroyed by cooking.”
More information about the quarantine, PSP and DAP can be found on the Mussel Quarantine Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) Web page.
- The Pacific Coast Sportfishing and Boat Show is this Saturday and Sunday at the Orange County Fairgrounds from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. The show features informative seminars, tons of tackle and equipment and a chance to ask the questions that will make you a better angler.
- The Westerly out of Long Beach Sportfishing was at San Clemente Island on Sunday. Anglers caught limits of rockfish as well as lots of fat sheephead, big whitefish and several nice lingcod.
- The Toronado out of Pierpoint Landing in Long Beach has scheduled a great trip to San Clemente Island. The trip departs Saturday at 10 p.m. and returns around 8 p.m. Sunday. Skipper Ray Lagmay will be on the lookout for surface fish and plans to put lots of great-eating bottom fish in the sacks. Additionally, this Fishing with Phil trip will offer great raffle prizes, and the summerlike weather forecast promises to make this a very special adventure. Call 424-237-0250 for reservations.