Freelance-Twilight 7/10

Went out on a Twilight trip aboard the Freelance from Davey's Locker Sportfishing in Newport Beach. I arrived at the landing at about 6:00 pm, where the Western Pride had just returned from their half-day PM trip with limits of Sculpin. Shortly afterwards, the Freelance had docked at the landing after returning from a 3/4 day trip to Catalina. Reports from pasengers mentioned a steady bite on Calico Bass and Barracuda, with one Yellowtail being caught at about 12 lbs. The landing was a bit crowded due to a couple of whale-watching boats returning and departing, but we were off the dock and on our way to the fishing grounds at 7:30 pm.

On the way out, I noticed about 6 anglers at the end of the M Street Dock using very large sabikis. I'm not sure how successful they were, but even though the tide was incoming, I feel that their sabikis were too large. I also saw anglers attempting to fish the Newport Harbor Breakwall, but large waves prevented them from fishing the North side of the breakwall, so most of the fishermen were fishing the South side.

Our bait consisted of live sardines, anchovies, and frozen squid. We were met with a strong swell as we were leaving the harbor, which continued until we reached Huntington Flats. The ride out took about an hour and a half. As we arrived, the bite was instant and wide-open. I used a double-dropper loop rig with 65 lb spectra and a 25 lb mono leader consisting of a 1/2 oz B-52 Bucktail jig on the bottom and a size 2 live bait hook on top, with a 16 oz torpedo sinker (even though the captain recommended 8-10 oz, I found that the heavy weight made it easier to control my line and prevent it from being caught in the current), with squid strips on both loops. I had set up near the stern, where I had caught a few Sculpin, but after almost every other drop, my line would always be caught in someone else's line, as the current would pull the other angler's line right to where I was fishing. After several tangles, I was able to finally get back in the water and catch my limit of Sculpin in the last 10 minutes of the trip before we headed home.

Total Fish Count (for the Boat):
-40 Anglers
-200 Sculpin
-At least 80 undersized Sculpin

My personal fish count:
-5 Sculpin
-4 undersized Sculpin
Last edited:

Ken Jones

Staff member
Thinking back to my first first three trips on a Sportfishing boat (many, many years ago). All were out of Newport Beach:

1/2 Day boat Bonanza out of Balboa Pavilion
November 12,1962
Left 6 a.m. - fished 7-11:15 a.m. - arrived back 12 noon
Hours: 4.25, Fish: 25

24 Pacific Bonito
1 Pacific Mackerel

All-day boat Seahorse out of Davey's Locker.
Fished Catalina Island.
April 8,1963
Left 2 a.m. - fished 5:15-12:30 - arrived back 3 p.m.
Hours: 7.25, Fish: 20

15 Kelp Bass
5 California Barracuda (9 lb-2 oz, 7 lb-14 oz, the rest 6-7 lbs)

All-day boat Thunderbird out of Davey's Locker.
Fished Catalina Island.
May 13,1963
Left 2 a.m. - fished 4:45-11:30 a.m. - arrived back 2 p.m.
Hours: 6.75, Fish: 20

18 Pacific Bonito
1 Kelp Bass
1 California Barracuda

The bonito were plentiful in those days.