Wednesday, October 26 , 2016, 2:51 am | Fog/Mist 57º


Captain’s Log: Local Anglers Gearing Up for the Monster Saltwater Fishing Seasons

Impatience is a tangible and terrible thing this week. Every red-blooded saltwater angler fidgets and waits for the March 1 opener of groundfish season, which includes absolutely delectable fish, including red snapper and lingcod and cabezon, just to name a few. Most of us have run out of fish and are anxious to sink our pearly whites into some fresh-that-day tasty fillets.

I’m here to tell you that the taste and texture of fish caught and consumed in the same day are way, way different than anything you are going to buy in the store. The closest you can come is going to the Saturday morning Fisherman’s Market at the Navy Pier in the Santa Barbara Harbor.

But when you go out yourself and have a blast in the outdoors rigging, casting, hooking and bringing in your own fish, the dining experience takes on the magical aura of ancient times — sitting around camp/cook fires telling hunting stories while cooking and eating. Now this is living large!

All this week, before the season opener on March 1, anglers will be looking closely at rods, reels and tackle. Most will replace old fishing line with fresh line that can be trusted when fighting a powerful fish.

Fishing tackle boxes will be cleaned out, cleaned up and freshly stocked with hooks, swivels, weights, lures, leaders, pliers, cutters and myriad items that make for a good day of fishing and catching. New rods and reels will be purchased and readied. Those with boats will be servicing trailers, motors and machinery.

Capt. Tiffany Vague with a big red snapper. (Capt. David Bacon / Noozhawk photo)

Businesses will be involved and will be busy. For example, Hook, Line & Sinker fishing center at 4010 Calle Real in Santa Barbara will host a big sale on fishing gear Feb. 26-28.

“The better we can help prepare people with fresh gear, the better their early season experience will be,” said Capt. Tiffany Vague, store manager. “Our fish stocks here in the Santa Barbara Channel and around the Channel Islands are very robust, and we are expecting a fabulous season of fishing.”

The opening weekend features a new moon, good tidal current flows and a midmorning high tide. From a fishing captain’s perspective, it promises a great beginning. Santa Barbara’s partyboat, Stardust, will be running trips. Private charter boats such as my WaveWalker will be on duty.

Let the fishing seasons begin!

— Capt. David Bacon operates WaveWalker Charters and is president of SOFTIN Inc., a nonprofit organization providing seafaring opportunities for those in need. Visit to learn more about the organization and how you can help. Click here to read previous columns. The opinions expressed are his own.

Reader Comments

Noozhawk's intent is not to limit the discussion of our stories but to elevate it. Comments should be relevant and must be free of profanity and abusive language and attacks.

By posting on Noozhawk, you:

» Agree to be respectful. Noozhawk encourages intelligent and impassioned discussion and debate, but now has a zero-tolerance policy for those who cannot express their opinions in a civil manner.

» Agree not to use Noozhawk’s forums for personal attacks. This includes any sort of personal attack — including, but not limited to, the people in our stories, the journalists who create these stories, fellow readers who comment on our stories, or anyone else in our community.

» Agree not to post on Noozhawk any comments that can be construed as libelous, defamatory, obscene, profane, vulgar, harmful, threatening, tortious, harassing, abusive, hateful, sexist, racially or ethnically objectionable, or that are invasive of another’s privacy.

» Agree not to post in a manner than emulates, purports or pretends to be someone else. Under no circumstances are readers posting to Noozhawk to knowingly use the name or identity of another person, whether that is another reader on this site, a public figure, celebrity, elected official or fictitious character. This also means readers will not knowingly give out any personal information of other members of these forums.

» Agree not to solicit others. You agree you will not use Noozhawk’s forums to solicit and/or advertise for personal blogs and websites, without Noozhawk’s express written approval.

Noozhawk’s management and editors, in our sole discretion, retain the right to remove individual posts or to revoke the access privileges of anyone who we believe has violated any of these terms or any other term of this agreement; however, we are under no obligation to do so.

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.

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 >