Wide Open Action Marks 2021 Season Opener Cedros Island!

by Tom Gatch

August 7, 2021

August has finally arrived, and after more than a year of absence due to the global viral pandemic, groups of happy anglers are now returning once again to Isla Cedros in search of a fishing adventure of a lifetime.

Over this time, the rich waters surrounding the Island have received only a fraction of the normal recreational fishing pressure during any given year.  This unintended hiatus has allowed our local inshore species to rebound and provide even better fishing in the future.

So far, the 2021 fishing season on Cedros Island has been exceeding expectations, with visiting anglers encountering a bountiful plethora of hungry gamefish.  The first week produced a wide variety of species, including good catches of quality yellowtail in the 20 to 35-pound class.

As usual, the calico bass action was world-class near the north end of the Island, with many of the fish biting on orange, red, or root beer-colored plastics. Most of the calicos landed have been in the 4 to 6-pound class, with a few larger fish occasionally mixed in.  Since these fish grow at a notoriously slow rate, a vast majority of anglers choose to immediately release them after they come over the rail to help keep the Island’s local stock healthy and vibrant.

There have also been several nice white seabass taken, one of which weighed out at close to 70 pounds. There have been unusually high counts of California sheephead taken, along with a few black seabass under 100 pounds.

Noli Yan, from Orange County, reported that he and his group of 11 anglers got into some hot calico bass fishing on one of their days, and ended up catching and releasing over 100 calico bass near the northern end of the Island.

On another day, it was the halibut’s turn to take the spotlight and the group took a generous catch of flatties back to the dock, including a fat 30-pounder. Almost all of the halibut inhaled plastic swimbaits on the sandy bottom that lies just off of the Island’s eastern side.

To top things off, Yan reported that they encountered banner fishing for quality yellowtail up to 30 pounds on another day, and his brother was able to hook and land his first forktail.  In all, they took over 50 yellowtail on that trip, the majority of which came on the surface iron.

Yan concluded his report by saying that the fishing is so phenomenal at Cedros, he and his girlfriend took out their light gear at the end of their last day and did a little casting off the rocks at the marina while their day’s catch was being offloaded.

He indicated that they were hooking up with several croaker and small bass up to 2 pounds on pink GULP baits within a few minutes.

Also checking in was Alan Babin and his buddy, George, from Whittier, California. Although both anglers had been to Isla Cedros a few times previously, they really hit the jackpot this time.

Babin reported that he and George nailed so many quality-grade yellowtail up to 35 pounds on live mackerel and scrambled egg surface iron that they ended up losing count.

On their second day, the duo used plastic swimbaits to take limits of halibut weighing up to 23 pounds. On another trip, Babin and his buddy ran into a heavy-duty California sheephead bite, with fish that weighed out in the 10 to 12-pound class.

He concluded his report by saying that they topped off their trip with a sweet, 35 pound white seabass. Although photos of their quality catches were unavailable by this week’s deadline, they will appear in next week’s report.

As the old song goes, “It’s only the beginning”, but so far, things look extremely promising for the upcoming 2021 fishing season on Isla Cedros.

Tune in again next week.