Core Criteria Of Calico Bass Fishing Described

But, with the season beginning its two month closure on December 31st, it's the right time to begin looking at some other fishing options. Probably the most thrilling of these alternatives is the wintertime calico bass bite at San Clemente Island.

I need to warn you however, in case your notion of wintertime bass fishing entails a day of soaking a squid on a leadhead, you are in for a huge surprise. The wintertime bass bite at San Clemente is anything but leisurely, but it could be your best opportunity of the year to catch the Calico Bass Fishing of a life.

Earlier this week I spoke with Chris Lilis, who has spent the last couple of months fishing the island in preparation for the upcoming SWBA California Offshore Challenge, a 2-day event, hosted out of Two Harbors at Catalina Island on January 5th and 6th.

While Lilis was understandably unwilling to give up some of his secret spots, he was more than happy to clarify the nuts and bolts of fishing for big Calico Bass Fishing at San Clemente Island. "Weather and naval closures are the two most important factors to consider when planning a trip to the island," Lilis said. "San Clemente is about a 60 mile run from Long Beach, so if the wind starts to blow while you're out there it is going to make for a really long and wet ride home. Always check the weather forecast for the whole day before venturing out as well as recall that just because it is quiet on the shore does not mean that it is not going to be rough and windy offshore."

If you are thinking about making the operate in a center console, like Lilis does, it truly is best to try and schedule your trips on days forecasted for 10 knots or less of wind and in seas which have an interval of at least two times the swell height. When there's a large swell you can go out, you just do not want to do it when the big swells are actually close together.

San Clemente Island is home to a naval base and subject to closures, so it's vital that you check the position of the part of the island you intend to fish before making the long run. Island closures can be viewed at

"A large amount of times, the parts of the island that are shown as red are simply closed for part of-the day." Lilis clarified, "If you click on the red parts of the map, it'll show you the times during which each section is closed."

Regarding fishing techniques, Lilis says the conditions order his strategy. "The fish bite otherwise in the early hours, or on an overcast day than they do when the sun is out. You can catch fish within the exact same locations, but you have to change up your strategy," he said. "At this time of year, we invest lots of time fishing kelp beds to the backside of the island in 20 to 40 feet of water. Within the early hours, or when it is cloudy, the fish seem to stay deeper in the column, so I will typically throw a swimbait on a heavier head and let it sink for the bottom before winding it back at a reasonable speed."