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By Zach Cavanagh

The annual Halibut Derby returns to Dana Wharf and will run through March. Photo: Dana Wharf Sportfishing & Whale Watching.

The regular trips continue to pull in the regular catches, but the annual halibut derby has opened to spice up the schedule at Dana Wharf Sportfishing & Whale Watching.

In his weekly report, Captain Brian Woolley said the half-day trips pulled in more calico bass, with the flylined sardines remaining the best bait for those catches. The rubber lures had some good action this week as well, but the sardines still brought in the bigger legal fish. Sheephead made it into the catches as well, with clam and shrimp baits earning the bigger catches.

The three-quarter-day trips were still going with deep fishing and getting some nice catches of rockfish and sculpin. Colt sniper jigs have been productive.

The overnight trips continued to produce tuna catches, including yellowfin and Bluefin. Woolley said that the bluefin are very fast and usually after their own bait, so hooking them on the line with the anglers’ bait is tough.

Finally, with the calendar turning to November, the Halibut Derby returns to Dana Wharf.

The Halibut Derby runs from November through March with special halibut trips on Fridays and Sundays. The trips run from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. and are $69 per person.

 For more information on the halibut derby and other trips, visit or call 888.224.0603.

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

Oct. 30 – 2 boats, 31 anglers: 9 skipjack tuna, 3 sheephead, 85 bass released.

Oct. 29 – 2 boats, 29 anglers: 10 calico bass, 2 sand bass, 5 sculpin, 2 sheephead, 10 whitefish, 47 rockfish, 92 vermilion rockfish, 45 bocaccio, 68 bass released.

Oct. 28 – 4 boats, 69 anglers: 47 yellowfin tuna, 15 skipjack tuna, 3 yellowtail, 11 calico bass, 4 sand bass, 105 sculpin, 9 sheephead, 39 whitefish, 65 rockfish, 70 vermilion rockfish, 15 bocaccio, 105 bass released.

Oct. 27 – 7 boats, 201 anglers: 10 calico bass, 19 sand bass, 189 sculpin, 6 sheephead, 205 whitefish, 168 rockfish, 155 vermilion rockfish, 77 bocaccio, 10 bonito, 5 blacksmith perch, 289 bass released.

Oct. 26 – 11 boats, 234 anglers: 50 yellowfin tuna, 1 bluefin tuna, 30 skipjack tuna, 21 calico bass, 8 sand bass, 191 sculpin, 4 sheephead, 16 whitefish, 97 rockfish, 236 vermilion rockfish, 47 bocaccio, 1 barracuda, 50 sanddab, 1 triggerfish, 396 bass released.

Oct. 25 – 5 boats, 75 anglers: 5 yellowfin tuna, 16 calico bass, 64 sculpin, 8 sheephead, 2 whitefish, 59 rockfish, 59 vermilion rockfish, 30 bocaccio, 7 sanddab, 114 bass released.

Zach Cavanagh

Zach Cavanagh is the sports editor for Picket Fence Media. Zach is a California Journalism Award winner and has covered sports in Orange County since 2013. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram @ZachCav and follow our sports coverage on Twitter @SouthOCSports.

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