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Orcas Kill Baby Gray Whale

A group of orcas kills a baby gray whale. In the meantime, rockfish and white sea bass are biting, and the barracuda should show up at any time.

In an extremely rare occurrence for Los Angeles County waters, about a dozen transient killer whales attacked and killed a baby gray whale off Point Vicente on Wednesday afternoon.

According to Captain Carl Mayhugh aboard the whale-watch vessel Christopher out of Long Beach’s Harbor Breeze Cruises, the baby gray whale was already dead when he arrived, and the orcas had begun towing the whale’s carcass away.

"At one point, the baby's face came out of the water, (its) jaws open, followed by a swirl of blood," Mayhugh said.

The orcas, commonly known as killer whales, tried to drown the mother; however, she escaped, Mayhugh said.

This is an extremely rare occurrence for the waters off Los Angeles and may well be the first documented orca kill of a gray whale here. Most of these kinds of attacks take place in the Northern California waters off Monterey and in the Arctic Sea.

Read more at Philip Friedman Outdoors.

Tradition sees good bite

The Tradition out of has been limiting out on rockfish and sculpin on almost every trip. The three-quarter-day boat has been providing anglers with hefty sacks of filets, including a variety of rockfish species that inhabit the Southern California coast. A few of the most recent catches have included lingcod weighing up to 15 pounds.

Some of the rockfish caught have topped seven pounds. A recent check at many fish markets puts fresh bottomfish at around $14 per pound—meaning a seven-pound catch is worth nearly $100. Aside from that, many claim that you will never get fish as fresh—and therefore as delicious—as when you catch it yourself.

While the great bottom-fishing assures anglers will be going home with a seafood bounty, the Tradition crew continues to watch for signs of surface fish. They recently took their first calico bass off the Rocky Point kelp, and water temperatures suggest that a barracuda bite can’t be too far away.

Additionally, the Tradition has planned a very special Fishing with Phil Trip on May 18. The trip will depart at 6 a.m. and return around 4 p.m. The price of the trip remains $60, but there will also be great raffle prizes and Phil Friedman pro-staff on deck to help you catch more fish. Of course, we will be shooting a new Patch Fishing Video that you can star in. To get on this great trip, please call 818-455-6566 or 424-237-0250 for reservations.

Sea bass biting at Catalina; yellowtail, not so much

Captain Jeff Jones from Captain on Board reported one-fish-per-angler limits of white sea bass at Catalina Island, with some of the fish caught Friday weighing up to 36 pounds. That was followed by a very slow day of fishing on Saturday and another productive day on Sunday. The six-pack charter boat Options also had several days of limit-style fishing of the big, hard-fighting, great-eating members of the croaker family.

On Wednesday, Corona del Mar resident Scott Buchert was on board the Thunderbird out of Davey’s Locker in Newport Beach, and he reported huge schools of yellowtail chasing baitfish near West Cove at Catalina Island.

Unfortunately, “they just didn’t want to bite,” Buchert said.

‘A sport fisherman’s worst nightmare’

Indiscriminate killing of a myriad of sea life appears to be taking place in Zihuatanejo, Mexico, according to a fishing report from Ed Kunze recently sent to Pete Thomas Outdoors.

Kunzes made a recent visit to Manzanillo with one of his captains, named Cheva.

"What Cheva and I discovered in Manzanillo was a sport fisherman's worst nightmare,” Kunzes told Pete Thomas Outdoors. “I personally saw 30 longlines, rigged and ready to go, and the local captains told us there were as many as 200 long lines in the pangas fishing in the area."

Kunnzes reports that the long-liners are indiscriminately killing sharks, turtles, dolphins and other marine life.

Read more at Pete Thomas Outdoors.

Quick bites

  • Barracuda fishing has remained nonexistent for local landings; however, conditions—such as water temperature and bait—seem ideal for a bite to erupt at any time.
  • Thanks to Wallace Air Cargo Group, 129 children and adults went on a whale-watching adventure on Cinco de Mayo out of Harbor Breeze Cruises in Long Beach. Great families from Angels Step In, Long Beach Memorial Hospital and 61st Street School in Los Angeles, as well as dozens of other families, were fortunate enough to see a mom-and-calf pair of gray whales just outside the kelp line off Point Fermin.
  • There was very slow fishing on the Native Sun twilight trip on Friday night, though it was followed by a much better bite on Saturday night. while anglers fished in the glow of the Super Moon. Anglers fishing under the glow of the supermoon took several fat sand bass on leadhead and squid. In addition, there were lots of smaller market squid gathering under the boat’s massive lights. The Native Sun will be at it again this Friday and Saturday from 6:30 p.m. until midnight. For reservations, call 562-432-8993 or book online at Long Beach Sportfishing.
Suzie Castillo May 10, 2012 at 01:46 PM
It's scary that the whales food supply is so low that they are getting closer to point Vincente
Kathy May 10, 2012 at 09:02 PM
THIS HAPPENED YESTERDAY, WEDNESDAY NOT THURSDAY WHICH IS TODAY
Nicole Mooradian May 12, 2012 at 05:05 AM
Just added a YouTube video of the aftermath of the gray whale calf kill! It's pretty amazing.

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