Boats out of Santa Barbara fishing structure spots on out to 160 feet came up with more sheephead than is typical for this time of year. Shallow spots help hungry bass, both calico and sand bass. Deeper spots gave up big counts of impressive rockfish and lingcod for party and charter boats. Shore fishers caught perch and a few halibut.
Boats working inshore and mid-depth spots caught an impressive variety of fish. Capt. Tiffany Vague on 6-pack charter boat WaveWalker said, “I’m amazed at the number of sheephead we’re catching and the variety of baits they are biting… shrimp, squid, anchovies and Gulp! baits. Besides the sheephead, Santa Barbara nearshore waters are packed with bass and when we get a load of live bait, this place is going to bust wide open with bass.” One 9-year old birthday boy (Andrew Hansen) on Saturday got 3 sheephead all by himself.
At Hook, Line & Sinker fishing center in Santa Barbara Yvonna sold custom Vague rods in the 20 to 40-pound class to rockfish and lingcod anglers going out on their own boats, fishing on a friend’s boat, on a charter boat or on party boats Stardust and Coral Sea. Fishing was exceptionally good thanks to nice conditions so those Vague rods were frequently loaded up nicely with lengthy lingcod and chunky reds and coppers from Deeper spots off of Santa Barbara and off of Santa Rosa and Santa Cruz islands.
Surf fishing was still mostly about barred surf perch and sharks. Leopard shark activity picked up along the Cemetery and East Beach and fish up to nearly 5 feet were hooked. The bigger ones often broke off in the surf zone. At the entrance to the harbor a few halibut were caught on swimbaits and Lucky Craft 110 Flash Minnows. Everyone is waiting for a load of live bait to light up the halibut action.