It’s saltwater bass time; local kelp fishing report


A good buddy of mine, member, long time friend of the local fishing community; member of The East County Bassmasters, part-timer at Barnacle Bill’s Bait and Tackle, ex-Navy, and all around good guy, David Ischy will be moving away from San Diego soon. I thought it was only right that he and I go do some fishing together.

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  • With my guide service keeping me busy, I don’t always get out and fish much. But over the last several years, whether it’s been to check out a particular bite, to prep for an upcoming tournament, or to get the boat off the trailer to do repairs on it, David has always been there to help. So how fitting we go see what the Calicos were up to.

    Recent Calico trips have produced quite a few in the two pound class, and our trip was no different. It was great getting away from our Bonefish and Leopard Sharks long enough to appreciate the awesome bass fishery that our local kelp has to offer. With the grunion runs coming, I assumed we would see active fish. You know what they say about assumptions. There was a lot of bait around though. As typical, we had to adjust. We did get a few bumps on hard baits like the Lucky Craft Flash Minnow 110, but by far the best bite was on soft plastics. Most of what I like to throw are the Western Plastic’s Swimtails attached to a Phenix leadhead. The new Vengeance Kelp Heads are awesome! Because it is a local product, and it works, I like to dip my baits in Uni-Butter. Having worked with the company at trade shows, David, is also a fan. He was throwing the MC Swimbaits’ Weedless Bait.

    We found some fish hanging in the boiler rocks during the high tide, got a few, but they weren’t really active. We then worked around the MLPA areas, and went into the Point Loma kelp beds, where we got a few more smaller models along with Johnny Bass. Seeing the tide change getting away from us, we decided to head back into the bay where I knew we would find some Barred Sand Bass in small spawning aggregations. We did just that. We also found Sculpin chomping away quite well. Vertically dropping a spoon into the deep water spawning aggregations worked really well for David, especially on the colorful male Sand Bass.

    It was great being on this side of the bay. Again with my current schedule, and the desire for my customers to catch our shallow bay species like Bonefish, and Leopard Sharks, I don’t always get on this end of our wonderful fishery. All that said, it is easy to see the upcoming Saltwater Bass bite; Calico, Barred Sand Bass, and Spotted Sand Bass, is only going to get progressively better as the deep water spawning season comes to fruition.

    We had a great dock-up lunch at Pizza Nova, then back out to catch more fish… we had to fill our Lizard Fish quota, dontchaknow.

    Bottom line: Get out there and get fishing.

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