Fishing / Dan Stanton : Halibut Hitting in Shallow Water; Bonito Strike at Catalina

Another exceptional spring halibut and surface fishing run can be expected if catches this past week are an indication.

Halibut have moved into shallow water from Rocky Point to Santa Monica Bay.

Spring fishing patterns may be showing up early this year. On Monday big bonito surfaced at the east end of Catalina.

Bill Welsh at Redondo Sportfishing reports half-day and three-quarter-day boats fishing for halibut and returning with anglers catching the two-fish limit and the average weight of the flatties running from eight to 30 pounds.


The Reel Special from Long Beach Sportfishing with 12 anglers fished Hermosa Flats on Monday and within two hours had 24 halibut.

To coincide with the run the Marina del Rey halibut derby will be held Saturday and Sunday, with 1,200 anglers competing for prizes and cash.

The seventh annual King Harbor Marlin Club’s two-day halibut derby was held last weekend. Fourteen members competed, fishing Santa Monica Bay.

Chuck Ulrich of San Pedro won the individual award with a two-day limit that weighed in at 28 pounds, 9 ounces. The team event went to the boat Hasta-la-Crotche with Torrance anglers John and Sid Whittaker and Stan and Celinda Woodward catching a two-day limit that weighed 51 1/2 pounds.

In the Cabo Boat Owners halibut derby last weekend 101 anglers and 29 boats brought in a total of 52 halibut at Marina del Rey.

First prize in the men’s division went to Fred Hollander of Santa Monica for his 10-pound, 9 ounce halibut.

Grand prize in the women’s division went to Diana Field for her 13-pound, 12 ounce halibut.

South Bay Catches: Dan Stokley of Torrance, fishing aboard the Grande 85 at Cherry Bank, used a chrome jig to earn the whopper of the week, a 32-pound cow cod.


Del Ingram of Hermosa Beach won the jackpot aboard the Sea Spray at Twin Roads with a 30-pound halibut.

John Fullmer of Torrance, fishing aboard the Blackjack at Cherry Bank, caught a 26-pound cow cod.

Juan Badilla of Gardena, at Rocky Point aboard the Sharpshooter, caught a 22-pound halibut.

Dave Burn of West Los Angeles, fishing aboard the Spitfire in Santa Monica Bay, won the jackpot with his 11-pound halibut.


Barbara Hawks of Torrance was fishing in the surf for perch when she hooked a halibut that weighed in at 10 1/2 pounds.

Brian Foley of West Los Angeles, aboard the Spitfire off Sunset Beach, caught a 10 1/2-pound halibut.

Fish Reports

Squid are hard to find. Big anchovies have made a big difference and have improved fishing.


At Marina del Rey Sportfishing: The Happyman found the halibut with anglers catching 66, plus 25 sculpin.

The Spitfire fished the bay and chalked up 44 halibut and 10 sand bass.

Anglers aboard the Betty O, fishing deep water for rock cod, sacked 252 reds, two halibut and one salmon.

At Redondo Sportfishing: The Sea Spray fished Twin Roads and anglers garnered 44 halibut, 128 sculpin and six sand bass.


The Sharpshooter fished Rocky Point and anglers caught 43 halibut and 30 sculpin.

At 22nd Street Landing: The Monte Carlo fished Horseshoe Kelp for 165 sculpin, 29 sand bass, two cabezon and one halibut.

The First String fished Catalina Island and found the perch with 85 being sacked, plus 13 sheepshead and five halibut.

The Freedom worked San Clemente Island and returned with 325 rock cod and two lingcod.


At L.A. Harbor Sportfishing: The Top Gun tried Cherry Bank and collected 180 rock cod and seven cow cod.

The Grande 85 on a two-day trip to Cortez chalked up 400 rock cod, 24 cow cod and six lingcod.

The Matt Walsh on a half-day trip to the Rockpile returned with 29 sculpin, 25 sand bass and three sole.

The Annie B barge had a wide open mackerel bite with 1,460 caught, plus 596 queenfish and one black sea bass released.


At Long Beach Sportfishing: The Southern Cal fished the west end of Catalina in 700 feet of water and anglers caught 130 rock cod, 11 cows and four lingcod.

The Pacifica worked Cherry Bank and anglers cranked in 465 rock cod, seven cows and two lingcod.

Freshwater Notes: Fishing Santa Ana Lakes, Jeff Carpenter of San Pedro reeled in an 11-pound rainbow trout.

Also at Santa Ana, Jerry Airheart of Long Beach used power bait and landed a 9 1/2-pound trout.


Fishing Pyramid Lake, Bob Hanley of Westchester caught an 18-pound striper.