The coast of southern California was engulfed in a gloomy fog during the first full week of June. However, the lucky anglers visiting Cedros Island were enjoying banner fishing while drifting aimlessly under sunny skies during the opening week of our 2019 fishing season. The primary focus so far has been on calico bass, which have been readily inhaling artificial baits, including plastics, hard baits, and flies.
Saltwater fly fisherman, Jordan Cavanaugh, from Fountain Valley, was on trip number 7 to the island; having become habituated to the fantastic fishing at Cedros many years ago. During his several days of fishing with a 9-weight fly rod and a variety of orange and red streamers, he ended up catching and releasing enough calico bass up to 5 pounds to wear his arms out by the time he got back into port each day. Cavanaugh also reported catching several small halibut on white streamers, which bodes well for the months to come as the water continues to warm.
SoCal fishing buddies, Jim Petrella from Palm Desert, and Fred Knilans of Orange County, were throwing some of Knilans’ hand poured plastic jigs and hard baits to hook and release nearly 150 calico bass on Wednesday that ranged upward to a whopping 7.5 pounds. Petrella indicated that the sea was blanketed by hordes of red crabs, which often will impair the bite after many of the fish become glutted with them. Nonetheless, the intrepid duo scored incredibly well; and also fished off of nearby Natividad and Benitos Islands where the red crabs were less prevalent, and they brought even more fish over the rail.
Even though we are barely into June 2019 appears to be full of promise, especially as the months progress and larger pelagic species behind that multitude of red tuna crabs begin to move into our region.