Barracuda fishing is setting the pace this summer.
Fishermen are enjoying one of the best runs since 1977 when a 28-inch limit went into effect.
According to marine supervisor Don Schultze of the Department of Fish and Game, if the size limit had not been established, this year's big run may never have occurred.
"The catches now being made are similar to those recorded in the 1950s and '60s and may go higher," Schultze said.
Before 1971 there was no size limit, Schultze said. Marine biologists pushed for limits because they were concerned about future barracuda stocks.
Barracuda is a migratory fish that puts up a good fight when hooked. It is one of the most sought after spring and summer game fish.
The bite continues in a wide area. South Bay anglers have been catching the daily 10-fish limit on day and twilight trips to Rocky Point, the Horseshoe Kelp Beds and at Catalina Island.
Traditionally, July is albacore-watch month. The tasty white-meat tuna could arrive at any time and rumors often fly as to their whereabouts. But no big sightings have been made yet and private boat and landing owners are getting nervous.
The Redondo Sportfishing half-day boat City of Redondo returns to the landing Saturday after a year-and-a-half of refurbishing. The boat was heavily damaged by the storms that wracked King Harbor and destroyed part of the breakwater in January, 1988.
The American Bass Assn. is sponsoring its first On-The-Wall Saltwater Tournament at Cabrillo Beach on Saturday night. Check-in time for skiffs is 4 p.m. at the Cabrillo launch area. Fishing begins at 6. Weigh-ins will be at 1 a.m. Sunday. Two fishermen are allowed per skiff and $500 in prizes will be awarded. For more information call Dave at 376-1026.
CATCHES OF THE WEEK:
William Miller of Gardena, fishing aboard the Hitless Miss at the Rigs, caught the Whopper of the Week when he hooked a 31 1/4-pound yellowtail using sardine as bait.
Al Contreas of Santa Monica, fishing aboard the Happyman in the bay, caught a 25-pound halibut.
Jeff Dubuys of Torrance, aboard the Sea Spray at Twin Roads, hooked a 23-pound halibut.
Wilber Johannes of Long Beach caught 21-pound white sea bass at Catalina Island on the El Dorado.
Surface action for sand bass and barracuda remains steady. Catalina white sea bass action has slowed, with calico bass and barracuda making up most of the catches.
At Marina del Rey Sportfishing, the Happyman on two half-day trips brought in 225 sand bass, 75 barracuda, nine bonito and one halibut. The Spitfire fished the bay and anglers hooked 260 sand bass, 80 bonito and a halibut. The Betty O rock cod special totaled 225.
At Redondo Sportfishing the Sea Spray went to Rocky Point and sacked 440 sand bass, 18 bonito, three barracuda and two halibut. The Redondo Special on a half-day trip to Twin Roads hooked 70 sand bass, 47 bonito and 28 barracuda. The Blackjack fished Catalina with successes of 75 barracuda, 62 bonito and 45 calico bass. The weekend total at the barge was 320 bonito, 310 mackerel and 45 sculpin.