Rockfish season opened on the first of the month to good fishing in several locales. Fishing along the coast was good to excellent, while island fishing was superb. The Toronado was at San Nicolas Island on Sunday on a Fishing with Phil adventure for excellent shallow water bottomfishing. More than 20 lingcod were caught along with lots of big sheephead and whitefish.
An interesting fact about the California sheephead is that all members of the species are born female. Around the age of 7 or 8 years old, they morph into males and live out the rest of their 50 or so years that way.
When they change gender, the sheephead also change color. The females are a light red, while males are black with a broad red stripe down the middle.
There are a myriad of regulations that anglers must follow during rockfish season, so please make sure you are up on current Department of Fish and Game Regulations. For example, you can keep vermillion rockfish at San Clemente Island but not at San Nicolas. At Catalina Island, you can fish up to 360 feet in depth while at San Nicolas Island, anglers are prohibited to fish deeper than 120 feet.
‘Ultimate outdoor experience’ debuts at Long Beach Convention Center
The Fred Hall Show, which opened Wednesday at the Long Beach Convention Center, will run through March 11. Known as “The Ultimate Outdoor Experience,” the show marks the beginning of spring and all the great outdoor opportunities that come with it.
The show is already the largest boat show in the western United States and California’s largest travel show. This year’s show will be add more hunting and shooting sports and will feature more than 400 seminars. You can even learn to scuba dive on the show floor.
Fishing will be an integral part of this year’s show, as it always has been. You can meet your favorite long range skippers, learn about catching a giant Alaskan halibut, find out where to catch a tarpon in Costa Rica, or take your kids to the free trout pond to feel that magical tug at their line. Inevitably, the first big spring bite for yellowtail or other gamefish in Southern California seems to break loose during the show each year, creating a buzz throughout the building.
You can also pick up fishing tackle at a big discount; book your next outdoor adventure; check out camping gear, boats and marine accessories; and get cooking lessons on how to prepare your catch.
For more information or to purchase tickets online, visit FredHallshow.com.
- If you would like to volunteer to help kids go fishing, the Philip Friedman Outdoors Youth Program has two opportunities on the horizon. On Monday, more than 150 children from 75th Street Elementary in Los Angeles will be out on the water, while on March 18, kids from the Friendship Circle in Redondo Beach will be out. If you would like to be part of these very special days, please call 424-237-0250.
- Good twilight fishing continues out of Long Beach Sportfishing on the Native Sun, where anglers have reeled in a few big sand bass, good sculpin fishing and even some nights where the octopus come out to play. The bite has been best when the weather has been warmer, so this weekend bodes well for some good fishing.
- Southern California whale watchers are spotting lots of northbound gray whales as they make the return journey from the lagoons of Baja California to Alaska. Also in the mix have been some fin whales, humpback whales, lots of dolphin and even a few blue whales.