Tuesday, March 20 , 2018, 2:38 pm | Light Rain 59º


Captain’s Log: Monster Sheephead at Santa Rosa Island

The big brutes make for great fishing

Sheephead fishing is great at the Channel Islands.

For example, I had a charter group out last week. They wanted to target sheephead. I was more than happy to oblige since that is one of my own favorite fish. They fight powerfully and they taste great. Come to think of it, they look great in photos, too.

We fished the front side of Santa Rosa Island, in shallow water (less than 35 feet) over a reef zone, using squid strips and shrimp for bait on dropper loops. Our rigs were Penn Torque rods with Penn International 975LD reels spooled with 25 pound Trilene Big Game line. These were the perfect rigs for this kind of fishing.

We baited up, dropped the rig to the rocks below and waited. The bites were not at all subtle. Instead, these big brutes would danged near yank an angler off the boat. The fish would be ahead in the battle and then we would slowly turn the advantage to the angler. That was a good trick since many of these fish were in the 15-pound range.

If you fish for sheephead, you know those are very nice fish. Well, they did seem nice until a monster 21-pounder came aboard. Suddenly those 15-pounders didn’t look quite so magnificent. But I still have a tremendous appreciation for a 15-pounder.

Santa Rosa Island doesn’t get a lot of fishing pressure because of the distance and the prevailing wind and seas. A fishing trip out to this special Channel Island is always a treat, though not always attainable. I wish I could be out there twice a week. Enjoy the fishing photo.

— Capt. David Bacon operates WaveWalker Charters and is president of SOFTIN Inc., a nonprofit organization providing seafaring opportunities for those in need. Visit softininc.blogspot.com to learn more about the organization and how you can help.

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click here to get started >

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made through PayPal below, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments.

Thank you for your vital support.

Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.

Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.

Sign Up Now >