Early season rock cod fishing trips have been put on hold. Traditionally in October, most anglers bring out their deep-water fishing gear. It's hard to believe they are keeping busy with so many late-season catches of game fish in all areas.
The one-to-three-day trips have been heralded as the best exotics fishing in four years, as the yellowtail and tuna continue to move closer to the South Bay fishing fleets.
The Shogun from L.A. Harbor Sportfishing returned from a trip to Cedros Island off Mexico and came upon a wide open yellowtail bite, plus tuna and some albacore that hit anything thrown at them.
Each day of fishing resulted in large catches. Bill Lawson of Manhattan Beach was the first-day jackpot winner with his 35-pound yellowtail.
Bob Denton's 34 1/2-pound yellowtail gave the Redondo Beach angler the second-day jackpot.
Mike Bontragen of Hermosa Beach, using 40-pound test line and after fighting his fish off the bottom, brought up the third-day jackpot winner and the largest fish of the trip when his sea bass weighed in at 77 pounds.
Walt Forman of Torrance caught 24 yellowtail and five tuna using 20-pound test line and every one of his fish weighed more than 25 pounds.
Gardena angler Mike Larose also used light tackle and decked 20 yellowtail, seven tuna and two albacore.
A record was set at last week's Catalina Island Marlin Gold Tournament as 67 marlin were weighed in during the two-day event. Four of the marlin went more than 200 pounds.
The winner was Mark Mitchell of Orange County, who weighed in a 230-pounder.
Second place went to San Pedro fishermen Gary Norby and Jim Stein aboard Norby's boat the Outerlimits. It weighed 228 pounds.
Marlin anglers fishing the 277 Spot report that tuna have been picked up while trolling for marlin. This has alerted South Bay sportfishing boats, which can make the trip in one day.
South Bay Catches: Jim Rodman of Harbor City, fishing aboard the Outerlimits on a two-day trip, caught the whopper of the week with his 38-pound yellowtail.
Dave Johnson of Long Beach, fishing aboard the El Dorado, won the jackpot with a 28-pound white sea bass.
First-time angler Christy Maver of Long Beach won the jackpot on the Victory with his 19 1/2-pound yellowtail.
Pat Spargus of Lomita, fishing aboard the El Dorado, caught a 16-pound halibut.
Marha Mchoi of Gardena, fishing aboard the G.W., caught an 11-pound sheeps head.
Fish Reports: The target for local boats is the scrappy bonito. Catalina Island catches have slowed except for bass and bonito.
At Marina Del Rey Sportfishing: The Spitfire fishing off Sunset Beach had a catch of 151 sculpin, 80 sand bass, 20 calico bass, six bonito and one halibut.
The Happyman on two half-day trips had a count of 510 sculpin, 15 sand bass, 10 bonito and five calico bass.
The Betty O rock cod special fished Santa Monica bay and anglers sacked 240 rock cod and one ling cod.
At Redondo Sportfishing: The Sea Spray fished rocky point as 102 bonito, 66 sculpin, 21 calico bass, 11 barracuda and one sheeps head went into the sacks.
The Redondo Special took a half-day run to twin roads and anglers sacked 77 bonito, three halibut and one barracuda.
The Blackjack worked Santa Barbara Island and chalked up 296 rockfish.
At 22nd Street Landing: The First String headed to Catalina and returned with a variety catch of 192 bonito, four white sea bass, four calico bass and three sheeps head.
The Monte Carlo half-day run to the horseshoe kelp and anglers sacked 134 bonito and 57 calico bass.
At L.A. Harbor Sportfishing: The Sportking fished the Rigs and found a bonito bite with 99 caught, plus 46 calico bass and 10 blue perch.
The Matt Walsh half-day run to the Rockpile resulted in a catch of 47 bonito and 29 rock sole.
The Outerlimits three-day trip to Cedros Island was a success as 190 albacore to 20 pounds were decked, plus 180 skipjack and three blue fin tuna.
The Annie B barge weekend count was 414 jacksmelt, 150 white croaker and two halibut.
At Long Beach Sportfishing: The Victory's Catalina run resulted in a catch of 240 bonito, 41 bass, two yellowtail and one white sea bass.
The Toronado returned from a three-day albacore trip and anglers chalked up 75 skipjack, 32 albacore, six blue fin and three yellowtail.
The Pacifica on a two-day tuna search had a count of 28 skipjack, 15 yellow fin tuna and one albacore.
Freshwater Notes: Bill King of Marina del Rey, fishing at Lake Piru, caught four catfish. Two weighed eight pounds and two weighed 10 pounds.
Fishing Pyramid Lake, Bob Hanley of Westchester landed a 10-pound striper.