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By Zach Cavanagh

The Halibut Derby leaderboard continues to fill up, with 24 of the 25 spots taken as the first month of the competition nears a close. Photo Courtesy of Dana Wharf Sportfishing & Whale Watching

Solid shallow-water action and growth in the Halibut Derby made for a decent week of fall fishing over Thanksgiving at Dana Wharf Sportfishing & Whale Watching.

In his weekly report, Captain Brian Woolley said that the half-day trips saw more clean water close to shore at about 65 degrees that made for good bass and sheephead catches. The sheephead responded to exotic baits such as shrimp, clams and mussels, and the bass were a nice size coming off flyline catches.

The three-quarter day trips did well with the fish along the bottom. There was a haul of whitefish and rockfish on Black Friday, as the whitefish were drawn to squid strip bait and the rockfish taking to the sardines. Woolley said that coltsniper jigs were a solid option for those not fishing with bait.

The trips also pulled in a few bonito in deep water, but less than previous weeks.

In the Halibut Derby, the leaderboard continues to fill up, with 24 of the 25 spots now filled. The leader continues to be the 25-pounder caught on the opening weekend, but there are now eight catches of 10 pounds or more. There is plenty of time remaining to challenge for the top spots as the Derby runs until the end of March.

For more information on the Halibut Derby, check out

Here are the latest fish counts from Dana Wharf Sportfishing & Whale Watching:

Nov. 28 – 1 boat, 15 anglers: 4 calico bass, 3 sand bass, 1 sheephead, 6 rockfish, 1 trigger fish, 46 bass released.

Nov. 27 – 2 boats, 46 anglers: 9 calico bass, 5 sand bass, 5 sheephead, 100 rockfish, 60 vermillion rockfish, 40 bocaccio, 8 whitefish, 8 bonito, 45 bass released.

Nov. 26 – 3 boats, 46 anglers: 5 calico bass, 2 sand bass, 5 sheephead, 45 rockfish, 50 vermillion rockfish, 45 bocaccio, 85 whitefish, 1 bonito, 1 triggerfish, 65 bass released.

Nov. 25 – 3 boats, 93 anglers: 2 calico bass, 8 sand bass, 13 sheephead, 2 whitefish, 2 bonito, 6 halibut, 1 thresher shark, 59 bass released.

Nov. 24 – 5 boats, 129 anglers: 54 bonito, 7 calico bass, 12 sand bass, 5 sheephead, 57 whitefish, 66 rockfish, 55 vermillion rockfish, 30 bocaccio, 146 bass released.

Nov. 23 – 5 boats, 149 anglers: 22 calico bass, 34 sand bass, 5 sheephead, 113 whitefish, 115 rockfish, 75 vermillion rockfish, 26 bocaccio, 43 bonito, 169 bass released.


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