Fish Report for 1-4-2020
Channel Islands Sportfishing Sat. 01-04-2020
by Channel Islands Sportfishing
Today’s Fish Count: 1 Boats and 35 Anglers
3,200 Sand Dabs
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The first days of Sand Dab fishing has been better than expected but this is only the beginning. Counts like today may sound like a lot, but can soar even higher. Sand Dabs can be caught in good numbers all over the Channel Islands and surrounding coastal waters but finding the biomass is what the big fishing boats look for. It can sometimes take several trips to find the best spots but it seems this year they hit the first pitch. With only two trips on the books, the Sand Dab numbers are looking more like mid-season form. Also, judging by photos and what anglers say as they departing the boat, the quality has been great too. As all fish do, Sand Dabs range in size but are commonly 6 to 8 inches with large models pushing 10 or 11 inches. These fish are often initially mistaken as juvenile Sole or Halibut by the untrained eye, and nobody will disagree they look very similar in many ways. But a 10 inch fish in the Sand Dab world is noteworthy. And besides have the same basic body shape and coloring most of the similarities end there with the exception of being excellent eating! The regulations on Sand Dabs are hugely different from most other species in California. Probably the most noticeable differences are they have no bag limit and very little tackle restrictions. Anglers with a valid fishing license can virtually catch and take home as many as they can handle!
This fishery may be little known and reserved to seen only outside the usual fishing season, but it has slowly grown in popularity. Over the past several years a growing demand for Sand Dab trips has increased because of a small community of fisherman affectionately known “Dabbers”. These fishermen will often drive great distances to fish on the boats out of Channel Islands. These trips are also excellent for many other fisherman, but particularly the novice angler or kids hoping to catch a lot of fish. Anglers doing they’re first Sand Dab trip are often shocked by how easy it is and the amount of fish they caught in a day. Many say “it was like downloading fish!” But it is not that easy without an experienced captain at the helm. Knowing the spots and setting up the boat on the perfect drift to make sure everyone catches fish is an art few have mastered. But doing exactly this on a consistently basis throughout the year is what the captains at Channel Islands Sportfishing do every day. The type of fish may change as the seasons go on, but the task is always the same. Captains and crews want nothing more than to see smiles on their passenger’s faces, sending them home with lots of fish and a memory that lasts.
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