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Kelp Bass aka Calico Bass
Seriola lalandai californicus


While the official name is kelp bass, this fish is almost universally known as the calico bass, or calicos in the plural. The dark and light pattern on the side of the fish has also earned them the name of checkerboards, while a really big calico is a bull bass. Calicos hit like a ton of bricks and can be taken on a wide variety of top water and subsurface lures.

In recent years a tournament circuit of two-man teams in skiffs has been built around fishing calicos and many of the top teams use techniques normally found on freshwater lakes. While all those approaches can work in ideal conditions on the big party boats, traditional saltwater lures like swim baits and surface iron are preferred due to the ease of casting and reaching the target zone. The name kelp bass would make you think that the target is always a kelp bed, that’s not true. Calicos favor any form of structure and can be targeted along breakwaters, reefs, boiler rocks and oilrigs. They also aggregate in deeper water to spawn and can be found pushing bait or simply grouped up by looking for bird activity.

Except for peak feeding periods, calico bass are known as a “talent fish” on the party boats due to the need to be able to fish a sardine in the weeds or have the technique to set the hook when a bull bass swoops in to snatch a squid away from nagging perch.







Kelp Bass Daily Report for Jan 18, 2017




Boat
Trip Type
Anglers
Kelp Bass
Kelp Bass Per Angler
Electra1/2 Day AM
13
4
0.31
Daily Double1/2 Day AM
11
2
0.18
New Del Mar1/2 Day AM
13
2
0.15
Reel Fun1/2 Day AM
25
2
0.08
Spitfire3/4 Day
23
2
0.09



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