The Southern California rockfish bite continued strong over the weekend as several boats caught prized vermilion rockfish, a delicious fish that can be prepared in so many delectable ways.
"It's rare to catch so many reds (vermilion) is such shallow water along the coast," said Don Ashley from Pierpoint Landing. "I think it's a combination of a cold water cycle which rockfish thrive in as well as anglers' conservation efforts."
Ashley says this is the best local fishing for the delicious bottom grabbers he has seen in 30 years.
Larry Moore from Westminster and Sergio Fainsztein Costa Mesa were on board the Enterprise out of Long Beach Marina Sportfishing and reported excellent fishing.
"Drop after drop produced big fat reds," said Fainsztein.
Moore echoed Fainsztein's remarks. "We were fishing in 150 feet of water and catching reds that you would normally have to run 40-60 miles to catch. Great fishing," said Moore.
Will Ebersman was on the half-day boat Southern Cal out of Pierpoint Landing in Long Beach on Sunday where he took the jackpot with a 6 1/2-pound red.
"Depth averaged about 150 feet," Ebersman said. "Bottom current kept changing, so we had to make very short moves to reposition the anchor to keep us over the spot. Not much in the way of the very small 'aquarium' fish."
Boats fishing out of Newport Beach, Marina del Rey, Redondo Beach, near the Palos Verdes Peninsula and elsewhere are all reporting the best bottom fishing they have seen in many, many years.
Besides excellent catches of rockfish in the Santa Monica Bay, there has also been some good lingcod fishing.
Southern Cal skipper Mitch Christenson said the fish have been biting like this for several weeks now.
"The fish are so big that you only need a few to make for a great meal," he said. For more tips and information, check out the video above.
It might be wise to plan a quick trip; the rockfish season closes Jan. 1.