Where do they come from and where do they go? It's these questions about sand bass that captain Russ Izor of 22nd street Landing in San Pedro has obtained support to find the answers.
Very little is known about the habits of the mature sand bass except that they travel the waters between Baja and Southern California's sandy beaches.
There is no documented biology on the bass that invade our beaches up to 150 feet of water every summer to spawn and then disappear.
Izor met with the Los Angeles County Fish and Game Commission recently and generated money to do a three-year survey. Izor has gotten together with the California Fish and Game and has set up a tagging operation using his boat, the First String.
Last week the first tagging trip was made with 26 volunteer anglers along with biologists Paul Gregory and Mac Oliphant of DFG, who observed the first of three trips planned this summer.
Utilizing flood lights after dark, the boat fished several areas along south beaches, caught and tagged small fish then placed them in the bait tanks and transported them to Santa Catalina Island.
The fishes were released at Lone Point Catalina. Izor said it is a hard-bottom spot good for a possible sand bass fishery. The next tag and release trip is being planned for next month at Portuguese Bend and other South Bay Beaches in the future.
Oliphant, DFG biologist, will be heading up the tagging program and this should answer some questions which the DFG seeks, he said.
Anglers, when catching sand bass or any other tagged fish, are urged to turn in the tags and tell where and when the fish was caught.
Local Fish Report: Steve Sutter of Panorama City, fishing at Catalina aboard the Freedom on his first cast with squid, landed a 39-pound white seabass.
Chuck Kwasny of Ventura, fishing at Catalina aboard the Sea Spray at rocky point, caught a 28-pound white seabass.
Jon Flack of Studio City, fishing at Catalina aboard the Toronado, won the jackpot with his 30-pound ling cod.
Robin Gulvin, fishing aboard the First String tagging trip, caught a seven-pound sand bass and the Chatsworth angler returned it with a tag.
Valley Fresh Water Reports: The bass bite is on at Lake Castaic. Fish is being caught in 15 feet of water.
Russ Partee of Oxnard used plastic worms to land a 12-pound bass. Dave Brink of Granada Hills caught a 10-pound bass and Joseph Deefuss of Ventura landed a 17 1/2-pound catfish.
Sandy Unga of Canoga Park, fished Lake Piru with a night crawler and landed a 9 1/2-pound catfish.
News Note: The Cabo Assn. of Boat Owners is having its second fishing tournament of the 1989 season Sunday. Fishing will be in the horseshoe kelp area. Fish targeted for the event are bass, yellowtail, halibut and white seabass.
Information: tournament director Bill Thompson, (714) 894-1537.
Fish Reports: On the local scene sand bass and barracuda make up most of the surface action. White seabass catches continue to set the pace at Catalina.
Port Hueneme: The Erma B chalked up 200 rock cod and two ling cod.
Oxnard: The Island Tac out of Cisco's Sportfishing caught 130 calico bass, five halibut, 12 bonito.
At Marina del Rey Sportfishing, the Spitfire found the calico bass eager to grab the baits. Anglers returned with 170 calicos and 15 sand bass.
The Happyman, on two half-day trips, chalked up a count of 275 calico bass and 4 halibut.
The Betty O Rock cod trip resulted in 250 deep water reds plus two sole and one cow cod.
At Redondo Sportfishing, the Sea Spray, on a twilight trip, scored 47 calico bass and 113 barracuda.
The Redondo Special, on a half-day trip to rocky point, returned with 225 calico bass.
The Blackjack fished Catalina with success and 80 calico bass, 52 barracuda and seven white seabass went into the sacks.
The Isle of Redondo had a weekend count of 1,120 mackerel, 37 rock fish and 12 barracuda.
At 22nd Street Landing:
The First String worked Catalina and anglers caught 147 barracuda, 112 bonito and 75 calico bass.
The Monte Carlo, on a half-day trip to the horseshoe, had a variety of 30 calico bass, 23 barracuda and 19 sand bass.
L.A. Harbor Sportfishing:
The Sportking fished the flats and anglers sacked up 255 sand bass, 112 barracuda and 75 calico bass.
The Outerlimits fished Catalina successfully with tanks of squid. Anglers totaled 120 calico bass and 12 white seabass, all over 25 pounds.
The Matt Walsh, on a half-day trip, worked the horseshoe kelp and returned with 89 calico bass, 37 sand bass and six sculpin. The Annie B Barge weekend count was 140 mackerel, six halibut and three bass.
The Shogun headed to Catalina with squid and anglers caught a variety of 181 calico bass, 15 barracuda, two white seabass, one yellowtail and one black seabass.
At Long Beach Sportfishing:
The Victory fished the flats and anglers chalked up a count of 391 sand bass, 39 barracuda and one halibut.
The Aztec worked Catalina for a count of 170 barracuda and two white seabass.