Fury-Overnight 6/21-6/22

I know that this isn't about pier, surf, or jetty fishing, but I feel like this report might still be useful. Unfortinately, I do not have any photographs.

Went out on the Fury out of Dana Wharf Sportfishing on an overnight trip to San Clemente Island. We left at about 8:00 PM on Tuesday, 6/21. At the dock, there were lots of Opaleye and a few Garabaldi swimming around, with some anglers unsuccessfully attempting to catch them using crankbaits. I fished the bait barge using a Big Hammer Swimbait, but did not receive any action, apart from a few Topsmelt that swam alongside it.

The boat had just returned from a 2-day trip to San Clemente Island, in which the boat experienced wide-open Bonito fishing, with some Yellowtail and Calico Bass mixed in, and encountered a flurry of White Sea Bass at sunset. Our bait consisted of Sardines, Anchovies, and Squid, with the objective of targeting White Sea Bass in the morning, and moving to target the pelagics in the afternoon.

We arrived at the island at about 4:45 AM, and used a single-dropper loop rig with 40 lb mono and a 4/O live bait hook with a live squid and a 8-oz torpedo sinker. We fished for about two hours, with the boat only catching (and releasing) one juvenile Giant Sea Bass and we received one hookup. Afterwards, we made a move towards the northern side of the island to fish for pelagics. I changed my rig to a fly-line with a 25 lb flurocarbon leader and a 2/O live bait hook with a live sardine and a 1/4-oz egg sinker. For the rest of the trip, we would alternate between fishing at three spots at the island, where we would move after about a half-hour when the bite would shut down, either due to a lack of fish activity or sea lion interferance. The Bonito were not as wide-open as we were hoping for, but the Calico Bass were biting strong. I was surprised at the amount of legal Calico Bass that were being caught. Some Yellowtail were hiding amongst the Bonito, and the boat was able to land 6 (I personally did not catch any, although I did hook up on one), with several more being lost due to the rocky environment of the island. Bottom fishing was slow for most of the day, until the last stop when we found a big school of Ocean Whitefish. For the bottom, I used a double dropper-loop rig consisting of a 1/2-oz B-52 Bucktail jig with squid strips on the bottom, and a size 4 live bait hook on top with squid strips, with 25-lb mono and a 10-oz torpedo sinker. We left at about 2:00 PM. The weather was partially cloudy the entire time, with no wind, until we arrived at port to light rain.

-When fly-lining, always wait at least five seconds when you believe you have a fish and when you believe a fish has gotten off. It gives the fish time to swallow the bait and bite the hook.
-When fishing for pelagics, always have a bottom-fishing setup ready in case the surface action becomes slow
-Ocean Whitefish are too small to be caught on jigs, so use a bare hook when fishing for them

Total Fish Count (for the Boat):
-28 Anglers
-66 Calico Bass
-36 Bonito
-6 Yellowtail
-5 Ocean Whitefish
-1 Finescale Triggerfish
-1 California Sheephead
-1 Pacific Barracuda
-1 Jack Mackerel
-At least 30 undersized Calico Bass
-At least 15 undersized Pacific Barracuda
-At least 1 undersized California Sheephead
-1 Giant Sea Bass

My personal fish count:
-5 Calico Bass
-2 Ocean Whitefish
-2 undersized Calico Bass
-1 undersized Pacific Barracuda


Well-Known Member
Sounds like good fishing. Hopefully, you can catch a yellowtail next time.

Are plugs at all used on these trips? I never been on a boat hence I'm wondering how well they can do.
Sounds like good fishing. Hopefully, you can catch a yellowtail next time.

Are plugs at all used on these trips? I never been on a boat hence I'm wondering how well they can do.
Plugs can be used, but on this trip, nobody was using any. I think a plug would be successful if you are able to cast out far enough to avoid a tangle.