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By Zach Cavanagh

Sand bass have been a go-to catch on the deep-water runs during Dana Wharf’s half-day trips. Photo: Dana Wharf Sportfishing & Whale Watching

Captain Brian Woolley called it a “low-key week,” but there were still catches to be reeled in this week at Dana Wharf Sportfishing & Whale Watching.

In his weekly report, Woolley said the half-day trips were sticking with the standard winter cool-water approach and finding great results. With 58-degree waters all week, the trips focused on deep water structure to find their catches. Sand bass, calico bass and sculpin were all in the regular hauls as anglers opted for slow-rolling rubber lures along the seafloor. Some nice catches were found on the bottom with squid bait, as well.

Woolley said the three-quarter-day trips weren’t as full, but the boats were still finding good sculpin catches south of San Onofre. There, anglers were finding success using dropper-looped swim baits for plenty of catches, with anglers regularly hitting the five-fish limit. Woolley said some days were slower, as they deal with red crab moving along the hard bottom.

In the Halibut Derby, a tough stretch continues, with no new names added to the leaderboard. There are only 10 names on the leaderboard, and there have been no additions since Dec. 6, when six names were added. Among those six names is still the current leader, Frank Sahanas, at 24 pounds, 10 ounces.

The Halibut Derby runs through the end of March. The top five anglers earn cash prizes, and the top 25 anglers earn a spot in the Halibut Derby Fish-Off for an additional cash prize. The top angler each month also receives a Dana Wharf prize package.

Dana Wharf has brought back its half-price Tuesday special for half-day and three-quarter-day trips, and kids fish free on Sundays with a paid adult fare.

For more info on regular trips and Halibut Derby drift trips, check out

Dana Wharf regular Marc Ator shows off this scorpion fish catch. Photo: Dana Wharf Sportfishing & Whale Watching

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

Jan. 12 – 2 boats, 25 anglers: 65 sculpin, 3 blue perch, 2 calico bass, 2 sand bass, 42 bass released.

Jan. 11 – No trips.

Jan. 10 – 2 boats, 64 anglers: 146 sculpin, 6 blacksmith perch, 2 sand bass.

Jan. 9 – 2 boats, 32 anglers: 27 sculpin, 3 sand bass, 1 calico bass, 8 bass released.

Jan. 8 – 1 boat, 10 anglers: 3 sand bass, 2 calico bass, 2 sculpin, 16 bass released.

Jan. 7 – 1 boat, 14 anglers: 70 sculpin.

Jan. 6 – 1 boat, 10 anglers: 50 sculpin.

Jan. 5 – 1 boat, 8 anglers: No legal fish caught.

Jan. 4 – 1 boat, 11 anglers: 32 sculpin.

Jan. 3 – 2 boats, 27 anglers: 17 blacksmith perch, 9 sculpin, 5 sand bass, 21 bass released.

Jan. 2 – 2 boats, 51 anglers: 109 sculpin, 2 sand bass, 60 bass released.

Jan. 1 – 3 boats, 55 anglers: 56 sculpin, 19 calico bass, 13 blacksmith perch, 2 sand bass, 11 bass released.

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