New-look Big Fish Challenge powered by Mercury in celebration of event’s 10th running
Western Outdoor News » Saltwater Fishing
by WON Staff
6d ago
BY MIKE STEVENS SAN CLEMENTE— The 10th anniversary of the Big Fish Challenge (BFC) brings a whole new “Race to catch 6” format to the popular Big Fish Challenge powered by Mercury. In the 2024 Big Fish Challenge, it will be a chase to catch six out of 10 designated species. That makes the BFC more of a variety contest than a big fish tournament.The species categories include the original five: tuna, yellowtail, white seabass, halibut and lingcod and new species for the 2024 installment of the BFC include: barracuda, bonito, bass (sand or calico), rockfish and sheephead. In order to stick with ..read more
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Ocean Recreational and In-River Salmon Sport Fisheries in California Closed for Second Consecutive Season
Western Outdoor News » Saltwater Fishing
by WON Staff
1w ago
The California Fish and Game Commission (Commission) voted unanimously this week to close in-river salmon sport fishing in the Klamath River Basin and Central Valley rivers for the second consecutive year. As part of its annual process for adjusting seasons and bag limits, the Commission voted to: Prohibit the take and possession of Chinook salmon in the Sacramento, American, Feather and Mokelumne rivers and their tributaries. Prohibit the take and possession of fall-run Chinook salmon in the Klamath and Trinity rivers and their tributaries. Adopt emergency closures of the spring Chinook salm ..read more
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The Wheelhouse Scoop: Too close to home – Captain in dive boat fire sentenced
Western Outdoor News » Saltwater Fishing
by WON Staff
2w ago
BY MERIT MCCRAE This past week Jerry Boylan was sentenced to 4 years in prison followed by 3 years supervised release for his part in the fire aboard the dive boat Conception out of Santa Barbara. I remember I was still writing to meet the Monday morning deadline in the wee hours when the first news of the fire that would kill 34 people arrived. With a narrow peak at the ocean through my window, the view looks right back into Platt Harbor where the tragedy was still unfolding. But that morning the fog was thick. First on scene were harbor patrol vessels from Santa Barbara, I understand. Early ..read more
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New rockfish regulations active in state waters
Western Outdoor News » Saltwater Fishing
by WON Staff
1M ago
BY MERIT McCREA SACRAMENTO — On April 19, the California Office of Administrative Law (OAL) approved the regulations adopted March 26 by the California Fish and Game Commission which conforms our state waters regulations with those in federal waters which went active April 1. At this writing, Department of Fish and Wildlife staff is hard at work updating web resources to reflect the change. The basics are the waters from Point Lopez, Big Sur, south to the Mexican border are open all-depth for rockfish now. The vermilion sub-bag limit is now 2 fish from Cape Mendocino south to the Mexican borde ..read more
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WON/Ventura Harbor Sportfishing annual Rockfish Rumble: another instant classic
Western Outdoor News » Saltwater Fishing
by WON Staff
1M ago
BY BOB SEMERAU VENTURA —In the fight game, you just must have a plan. And that plan will either knock ‘em dead or maybe land you on the mat. This year’s Western Outdoor News-Ventura Harbor Sportfishing-Rockfish Rumble (RFR) showed amazingly differing results for all the boats in the competition. Ventura Harbor Sportfishing owner-operator and legendary sportboat captain, Tucker McCombs, sent out three boats to go the distance and fight for a win in the 2024 WON RFR. Scheduled as an early season bout, the 2024 iteration of the WON-RFR, had boats fishing down to 100-fathoms, or 600-hundred-feet ..read more
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North Salt: Deepwater rockfish season open for business
Western Outdoor News » Saltwater Fishing
by WON Staff
1M ago
BY KENNY PRIEST The statewide rockfish season opened April 1, but you’d be hard-pressed to find any type of announcement because the month of April is only open beyond the 50-fathom line, this falls under federal jurisdiction. Hence, the only notification that went to the public came from National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). And if you’re not signed up to receive email notifications or you don’t routinely check their website, you’re likely in the dark like most anglers. How it went down: Early morning April 1, NOAA, along with National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) sent ou ..read more
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Monterey rockfish anglers tap federal waters
Western Outdoor News » Saltwater Fishing
by WON Staff
1M ago
BY ALLEN “BUSHY” BUSHNELL MONTEREY— The California Department of Fish and Wildlife has approved the rockfish, lingcod and greenling (RCG) regulations for the 2024 fishing season, finally. Apparently one final submission and legal approval is due before the season goes into full official effect. Anglers in the Monterey Bay have been fishing “Federal Waters” all week, with the tacit approval of DFW. State waters stop at a line three miles from shore. Unfortunately, Monterey Bay like San Francisco Bay legally is a “closed bay.” This means state waters extend to the narrowest point of the bay. In ..read more
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California Department of Fish and Wildlife recommends 2024 ocean salmon closure
Western Outdoor News » Saltwater Fishing
by WON Staff
1M ago
BY DAVE HURLEY SACRAMENTO– The California Department of Fish and Wildlife recommended Alternative 3 – Salmon Closure during the final days of the Pacific Fisheries Management Council (PFMC) meeting mirroring the opinions of commercial and recreational charter boat anglers. The department’s position is a significant change from early March. The PFMC meetings are being held in Seattle from April 6 to 11, and the final recommendations of the council will be forwarded to the California Fish and Game Commission in May. Marcy Yaremko, Environmental Program Manager, Marine Region (Region 7) presented ..read more
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Bass Pro Shops announces March 27 Grand Opening for new mega Outdoor World in Irvine with Special Evening for Conservation
Western Outdoor News » Saltwater Fishing
by WON Staff
2M ago
IRVINE – Bass Pro Shops today announced plans to celebrate the official grand opening of its new Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World in Irvine, Calif. with a special Evening for Conservation, open to the public, on Wednesday, March 27, 2023. Grand Opening Night’s “Evening for Conservation” To Support Local Organizations The outdoor and conservation company invites the Irvine and greater Los Angeles community to a special ribbon-cutting ceremony and weekend-long celebration for the conservation company’s new premier location, highlighted by fishing and hunting celebrity appearances, leaders in co ..read more
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Things are looking up – halibut strategies
Western Outdoor News » Saltwater Fishing
by WON Staff
2M ago
BY MERIT McCREA  SAN PEDRO/LONG BEACH — It was just a month ago, Valentine’s Day to be exact, when this writer went before the Fish and Game Commission to ask on behalf of the Sportfishing Association of California and SoCal anglers that they not change the halibut regulations to a two fish limit state-wide. That was what was being proposed. The primary reasoning was having a 2-fish limit wouldn’t change the SoCal catch because anglers seldom if ever reached an average of 2 halibut per rod for the entire boat anyway, and having the bigger limit was inspirational, just like the 10 dark goo ..read more
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