Much of the spring featured strong winds offshore but that was fine because inshore fishing perked up for Santa Barbara and Goleta anglers, especially for charter boats, skiffs and kayaks. Out a little deeper the rockfish and lingcod responded well to live bait.
With inshore fishing gaining seasonal steam, bait and tackle sales were brisk. Capt. Tiffany Vague at Hook, Line & Sinker fishing center in Santa Barbara said, “The reports I’m getting from our boat and kayak customers are fun because they have lots of smartphone pics to show. We are selling hooks, weights, swimbaits (brown, blue and Christmas Tree have been great colors) and squid, shrimp and anchovies to them. Surf fishers are picking up Lucky Craft 110 Flash Minnows and Gulp! Sandworms.”
Private charter boats WaveWalker and Rock Steady worked inshore spots and the skipper of WaveWalker reported a surprisingly good sand bass bite predominately comprised of keeper size units. Calicos came up in good numbers too, however the ratio of keepers was lower. It was nice that on most trips the bass of both species were released. Coral Sea also plied local waters on half-day trips and came back in with good counts of rockfish plus some lingcod. Stardust went long for rockfish and lingcod at Santa Rosa Island when the weather permitted.