Oceanside Sportfishing, Whale Watching, and an Albatross?

Sea Star Charters is busier than ever during our 31st fishing season from Oceanside, California.  Most of our summer days are 3/4 day trips fishing for calico and sand bass, barracuda, bonito, halibut, rockfish, and of course the prized yellowtail and dorado.  For the past several months, we have used small 3 – 5 inch anchovies for live bait and chum, which the calicos gulp down!  Thanks to our sponsor Pure Fishing, we use Berkley Gulp Baits to further our fishing success.  Check out our Facebook page for more photos like this one!


While, in our opinion, the anchovies make great bait, the live bait company in Oceanside diverted their anchovy catch efforts and caught large 8-10 inch sardines.  Along with the new California Department of Fish and Wildlife bass length requirements, using sardines as bait makes catching calico bass more challenging.  However, Captain Joe uses his 40 plus years of on the water experience to find the fish willing to bite.

Over those more than 40 years of experience, Captain Joe developed a keen eyesight for ocean wildlife.  He can spot whales and dolphins from miles away and ensures the Sea Star passengers get a chance to witness nature up close.  Take a look at the National Geographic quality show put on by a pod of blue whales just a few summers ago.


Captain Joe spotted an unusually large seagull the other day while fishing.  After looking more closely and doing some research, he determined it was a Laysan Albatross.  The bird with detailed eye makeup and an elongated bill has some interesting facts associated with it:

  • The near threatened bird is found across the Pacific Ocean but breeds near the Hawaiian Islands, specifically between Midway and Laysan.
  • Their biggest threat is being caught as by-catch in longline operations.
  • They mainly feed at night on squid near the surface.  Our bird, however, ate five sardines before deciding it was content.
  • “Wisdom” is the name of an Albatross tagged in 1956 by the US Geological Survey.  She holds the record for being the oldest wild bird in the Northern Hemisphere.

Viewing a Laysan Albatross is very unusual around Oceanside.  During our Sea Life Adventures and Ocean Classrooms, a marine environmental field trip for school children, we tend to focus on the local marine fowl such as seagulls, pelicans, and egrets.

Call 760-966-0111 and schedule a charter with Captain Joe so you, too, might have the opportunity to spot a Laysan Albatross.

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