Fishing Notes / Dan Stanton : Barracuda and Calico Bass Hit the Hooks at the Horseshoe

Surface action at the Horseshoe is now under way. The shoe, which has been missing normal spring and summer bass and barracuda action, has perked up.

The Sportking checked out the Horseshoe, and anglers caught limits of calico bass going to 7 pounds.

It was a busy afternoon with a steady chum line going. Barracuda moved in at 8 to 10 hookups at a time, and while this steady bite was going on, white sea bass moved in and some heavyweights landed on the deck.

Catalina Island continues to be the hot spot for yellowtail. The Toronado made live squid on Monday and 35 yellowtail averaging 18 to 25 pounds came aboard.

After catching three yellowtail, Gus Bustamanti of San Pedro changed his hook. He set up using a large hook and 3 ounces went to the bottom with a live squid. He hooked a black sea bass.

Bustamanti thought he landed the day's jackpot, but alert deckhands removed the hook and immediately returned the bass--estimated at about 45 pounds--to the water. It is illegal to keep black sea bass caught in California waters.

Twilight trips for sand bass continue to produce limits on most trips with the sandies in the giant economy size, the 3-to-5-pound range.

Evidence that the barracuda bite is improving in local waters: Fishing on a twilight trip aboard the Matt Walsh, Gary Nishida of Gardena caught the largest barracuda reported this year. It weighed in at 9 1/2 pounds.

South Bay Catches: Lothar Boettcher of Torrance, fishing aboard the Sportking at Horseshoe kelp, had a limit of calico bass then went to the bottom with a double anchovy and caught the whopper of the week--a 33-pound halibut.

David Delucce of Long Beach, using a scampi at Catalina aboard the Toronado, caught a 28 1/2-pound yellowtail.

Charles Williams of Lomita, using 12-pound test line at the Horseshoe aboard the Sportking, battled 22 minutes and landed a 26-pound white sea bass.

David Warner of Long Beach, fishing at Catalina aboard the El Dorado, hand-lined his 15-pound yellowtail when he lost his handle on the reel.

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