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Bay Yields Big Halibut, White Sea Bass

Halibut and white sea bass exceeding 40 pounds continue to provide local anglers with superior angling opportunities.

The Santa Monica Bay bite has been excellent at times recently for big halibut, white sea bass and calico and sand bass. Anglers on the Highliner out of reeled in several white sea bass and halibut—some exceeding 40 pounds—as well as found good calico and sand bass fishing over the weekend.

Private boater Cliff Friend recently caught a 45 1/2-pound halibut while fishing off Manhattan Beach. On Wednesday, 25 anglers on the three-quarter-day boat Spitfire out of Marina del Rey Sportfishing caught 215 calico bass, two halibut and 28 rockfish.

A quick look at the winners from the weekends Marina del Rey Halibut Derby further illustrates just how good the Santa Monica Bay bite has been at times. The top five anglers on the leader board at the end of the derby were:

  1. Daniel Ahman (halibut, 48.8 pounds)
  2. Paul Thompson (white sea bass, 46.6 pounds)
  3. Farney Brown (white sea bass, 39.8 pounds)
  4. Bob Palmer (halibut, 39.3 pounds)
  5. Jimmy Stathis (halibut, 36.9 pounds)

Long Beach boats see good action

Long Beach local boats have been catching excellent numbers of sand bass and barracuda recently. On Wednesday, the three-quarter-day boat Enterprise captured 286 sand bass, 93 barracuda and 1 halibut for 46 anglers.

Some of the best fishing continues to take place on the twilight trips, when anglers fish in the evening and nighttime hours. The Native Sun out of Long Beach Sportfishing had 176 sand bass and one halibut on Monday.

Matt Moore, who caught the lone halibut, said that the bass were best taken by using light line. “Twelve-pound test, a 2-O hook and a 2-4 ounce torpedo sinker was the hot rig,” said Moore. The best bait was a live anchovy, and those anglers who took the time to choose really lively bait fared much better than those who did not.

Quick bites

  • The Native Sun will be hosting a special Fathers Day weekend Fishing with Phil twilight tournament. There will be special prizes, sunglasses for all kids in attendance, a trophy for the top father-kids team, and pro-staffers on deck to help you enjoy your adventure. In addition, a new Phil Friedman Outdoors video will be shot—hopefully starring you! Call 562-432-8993 for a reservation. You can also call Phil directly at 424-237-0250.
  • More white sea bass have been caught at Catalina Island, but the bite has been largely hit-and-miss. As a rule, some of the smaller six-pack boats have had better fishing than the larger sportboats recently. Nevertheless, the three-quarter-day boat Pursuit out of 22nd Street Landing in San Pedro has reeled in as many as 15 white sea bass on a single trip this week. 

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