Warm water currents from Horseshoe Kelp to Santa Monica Bay resulted in a wide-open barracuda bite during the holiday weekend.
Anglers aboard party and private boats were rewarded with some of the best fishing of the year. Barracuda had been spotted in local waters for several weeks, but only a few had been caught.
Los Angeles Harbor, 22nd Street Landing, Long Beach and Redondo sportfishing boats accounted for an average of more than 1,000 barracuda a day.
The fish were being hooked with blue and white jigs and small sardines.
The overnight fleet fishing the outer islands got into the act, coming into South Bay waters to take advantage of the wide-open bite.
Among the anglers who returned with barracuda were Zeb Collier of Long Beach, who caught a 9 1/2-pounder while aboard the Southern Cal.
Mario Gutierrez of Carson, aboard the Matt Walsh, caught his limit, with the largest at 7 1/2 pounds.
Jake Connelly of Torrance, aboard the First String, and Long Beach fishermen Troy Sherer and Marc Larson, aboard the Matt Walsh, also caught their limits.
Ben and Doris Grover of Wilmington trolled in their skiff Chat and Nibble from Horseshoe Kelp to Portuguese Bend and caught their 10-fish limit within an hour. Their largest barracuda weighed 8 1/2 pounds.
Island Update--The waters off Catalina and San Clemente islands have been rated as excellent for calico bass fishing. Seabass and barracuda were rated as fair.
Grunion season will be open again from June through August.