Once again squid is the determining factor in the success of hooking that prized game fish, the white sea bass.
The El Dorado from Long Beach Sportfishing put the lights on at Catalina Island and brought to the surface enough squid to fill the bait tanks.
At daybreak 25 anglers tossed squid into the kelp and the result was a wide-open calico bass and barracuda bite.
Capt. Dave Peters urged anglers to lower the bait toward the bottom to get past the calico bass. This method worked, as rods started to bend and tackle was breaking off with big white sea bass.
The anglers continued tossing the bait and going to the bottom. This paid off as all the anglers put the one-fish limit in the bags.
Eider Martinez of Long Beach brought the jackpot fish, a 31 1/2-pounder, out of the kelp.
Don Ames of Redondo Beach caught a 29-pounder. Ames said he hooked five before he could bring one to gaff.
Ron Randy of Redondo Beach added a 27 1/2-pounder to his sack of calico bass.
Tommy Hendron of Redondo Beach had to reel his 26-pounder fast to avoid a meal for a seal.
Gerry Brianscombe of Long Beach caught a 25 1/2-pounder.
Ed Martinez of Long Beach caught a 19-pounder.
The one-fish limit on white sea bass ends June 15. Starting on the 16th, anglers may keep three a day.
The first Santa Monica Bay Top Rod Tournament was held Sunday by the Santa Monica Yacht Club. Eleven clubs and 88 anglers participated in the Heal the Bay Tournament.
Top Rod Club awards were given on a point system. The Douglas El Segundo Rod and Gun Club won the halibut division with six 12-pounders. Second place went to the L.A. Rod and Gun Club for most calico bass.
The individual Top Rod award went to Ellsworth Orr, fishing from his kayak off Rocky Point. He won with a limit of calico bass.
Eight-hundred dollars was contributed to the Heal the Bay Fund.