Best Slow Day Ever - Cabrillo Mole Catalina 2/14/21

evanluck

Well-known member
#1
UPDATE:
After reviewing my GoPro footage final fish count by species was:
21 Sheephead
9 Calico Bass
6 Ocean White Fish
3 Senorita Wrasses
1 Blue Perch
--------------
40 Fish total

Went back to Catalina on Sunday 2/14. Did not decide to actually go until the evening the previous night and the website for the Catalina Express out of Long Beach would not sell me tickets for the 7:05AM ferry to Avalon and the 6:30PM ferry back from Avalon due to "limited availability."

Decided to try my luck anyways and walked up to the ticket counter without a reservation. I bought a standby ticket for the 7:05AM and was allowed on. They would not sell me a ticket for the 6:30PM return ferry at Long Beach but they said I could try to stand by on the 6:30PM and instead sold me a ticket for the 2:05PM returning boat. When I got to the Mole, I went straight to the ticket office there and they were able to get a me a confirmed ticket for the 6:30PM with a $5 change fee. Don't recommend try to go without a reservation but just letting you know what happens when you don't have one and try to go anyways.

The bite was slower today than any of the previous trips. On previous trips I would drop a high lo baited with blood worm and shrimp down to the bottom and almost immediately, there would be 2-3 assertive bites followed by one that was committed enough to set the hook. Today there was often 30 seconds to a minute of nothing followed by less assertive nibbling bites that would never commit and then you would reel up with empty hooks. I still caught an estimate of around 35 fish including two 15" sheephead but the size of the fish that I caught overall and the number was down.

15inchsheep-web.jpg

I saw four people throwing stick baits for bonito. Three of them fished for a couple hours, the other one all day. No fish for anyone. It was a very windy day on the Mole so throwing lures for bonito would not have been my choice in that wind. Every single piece of equipment needed to be shored down to keep it from being affected by the wind.

Once again sheephead were my dominant catch. I think I caught around 15 sheephead with five being keeper sized. I actually only kept four because one was right at 12" so I threw it back. What really changed the character of the day was the ocean white fish bite that started around 3:30PM. Once the white fish arrived the pace and rhythm of the fishing picked up and I was catching more fish and bigger fish. After that bite started I caught a 13" kelp bass, another 15" sheephead, a 14" catalina blue perch and around 8 ocean white fish.

It was fun catching one 15" sheephead with a full line of people waiting to board a boat around 5:15. People were very interested in the fishing and asked all kinds of questions. I also was able to let a young lady who has been thinking about learning how to fish hold a pole and feel some bites and hook a fish. Unfortunately the fish ran her into the kelp and she had to leave to board the boat before she was able to reel the fish in.
keepers-web.jpg
 

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#3
Went back to Catalina on Sunday 2/14. Did not decide to actually go until the evening the previous night and the website for the Catalina Express out of Long Beach would not sell me tickets for the 7:05AM ferry to Avalon and the 6:30PM ferry back from Avalon due to "limited availability."

Decided to try my luck anyways and walked up to the ticket counter without a reservation. I bought a standby ticket for the 7:05AM and was allowed on. They would not sell me a ticket for the 6:30PM return ferry at Long Beach but they said I could try to stand by on the 6:30PM and instead sold me a ticket for the 2:05PM returning boat. When I got to the Mole, I went straight to the ticket office there and they were able to get a me a confirmed ticket for the 6:30PM with a $5 change fee. Don't recommend try to go without a reservation but just letting you know what happens when you don't have one and try to go anyways.

The bite was slower today than any of the previous trips. On previous trips I would drop a high lo baited with blood worm and shrimp down to the bottom and almost immediately, there would be 2-3 assertive bites followed by one that was committed enough to set the hook. Today there was often 30 seconds to a minute of nothing followed by less assertive nibbling bites that would never commit and then you would reel up with empty hooks. I still caught an estimate of around 35 fish including two 15" sheephead but the size of the fish that I caught overall and the number was down.

View attachment 2003

I saw four people throwing stick baits for bonito. Three of them fished for a couple hours, the other one all day. No fish for anyone. It was a very windy day on the Mole so throwing lures for bonito would not have been my choice in that wind. Every single piece of equipment needed to be shored down to keep it from being affected by the wind.

Once again sheephead were my dominant catch. I think I caught around 15 sheephead with five being keeper sized. I actually only kept four because one was right at 12" so I threw it back. What really changed the character of the day was the ocean white fish bite that started around 3:30PM. Once the white fish arrived the pace and rhythm of the fishing picked up and I was catching more fish and bigger fish. After that bite started I caught a 13" kelp bass, another 15" sheephead, a 14" catalina blue perch and around 8 ocean white fish.

It was fun catching one 15" sheephead with a full line of people waiting to board a boat around 5:15. People were very interested in the fishing and asked all kinds of questions. I also was able to let a young lady who has been thinking about learning how to fish hold a pole and feel some bites and hook a fish. Unfortunately the fish ran her into the kelp and she had to leave to board the boat before she was able to reel the fish in.
View attachment 2004
Wow what you call a slower day I would call a miracle for me - still have lots to learn.

Great job.
 

Mahigeer

Well-known member
#7
I knew anglers who would come every Saturday.

I have seen a lot of anglers come for a while, then they stopped.

Some would bring big coolers to fill with bonito. Forget the daily limit. They were also excellent casters. Thus, they would catch a lot of bonito.
Maybe Covid has put their plans on hold.

As a retired angler, I now only go on weekdays.
 

Mahigeer

Well-known member
#9
When I was making my reservation for the trip on Monday with Skipper Jones, I was told that the boat was getting full. So I made one for him too.

On Mondays a lot of Contractors go to the island to start the week long work.

However, now with Covid issue, they had only one two boats per day leaving Long Beach during the week. Seems there might be a 2:05 Pm boat too.

More on the weekends.
 

Mahigeer

Well-known member
#11
They never sell all the seats.

They always have seats incase of emergency to have someone moved from island.

Now due to Covid, i am sure they are keeping more seats empty.