The best time to catch calico bass can vary depending on several factors, such as the location, season, and weather conditions. In general, calico bass are most active during the warmer months of the year, typically between May and September.
During this time, calico bass are more likely to be found in shallower waters, such as kelp beds, rocky reefs, and jetties. Early morning and late afternoon can be particularly productive times to fish for calico bass, as they are often more active during these times.
However, it's worth noting that calico bass can also be caught year-round in some areas, especially in southern California where the water temperatures are relatively warm throughout the year. If you are unsure about the best time to catch calico bass in your area, it's always a good idea to consult with local fishing experts or do some research specific to your location.
There are several effective ways to catch calico bass in Southern California. Here are some popular techniques:
- Fishing with artificial lures: Calico bass can be caught using a variety of artificial lures, such as swimbaits, jigs, and topwater lures. Fishing with lures can be particularly effective in areas with rocky reefs, kelp beds, and other structures where calico bass like to hide.
- Fishing with live bait: Live bait, such as anchovies or squid, can be used to catch calico bass. This method can be particularly effective when fishing in deeper waters or when the water is murky.
- Drift fishing: Drift fishing involves using a drifting boat to cover a large area while fishing with artificial lures or live bait. This technique can be particularly effective when fishing in open water or when targeting larger calico bass.
- Fly fishing: Fly fishing for calico bass can be a challenging and rewarding experience. This method involves using specialized flies that imitate the baitfish or crustaceans that calico bass feed on.
When targeting calico bass in Southern California, it's important to pay attention to the tides, currents, and water temperatures. Calico bass tend to be more active during periods of moving water, such as during the incoming or outgoing tides. Additionally, calico bass tend to prefer water temperatures between 60 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit, so it's worth monitoring water temperatures in your area before heading out to fish.
Calico bass typically take about 2-3 years to reach sexual maturity. At this point, they will typically be around 8-10 inches in length. Once they reach sexual maturity, calico bass will spawn once per year, typically between May and September. The spawning season can vary depending on the location and environmental conditions.
Calico bass can live up to 20 years or more, but their lifespan can vary depending on factors such as predation, disease, and environmental conditions. It's worth noting that in some areas, such as Southern California, there are regulations in place to limit the harvest of calico bass to ensure sustainable populations. If you plan on fishing for calico bass, it's important to check local regulations and follow catch limits to help protect this important species.
If you plan on fishing for calico with the intent to keep, please be considerate of their growth patterns.