Record crowds, fishing from boats and along the shore around the Salton Sea, caught numerous limits of large corvina and croakers as the California Department of Fish & Game declared Saturday a free fishing day. Fishing licenses were not required to fish.
Another hatch of pile worms during the full moon last week kept croakers and corvina feeding close to shore. Most corvina caught weighed more than 5 pounds. Local Game Warden Carol Sassie commented that all the corvina she checked last week exceeded the 18-inch minimum size.
Black Rock continued to be a hot spot for boaters drifting mudsuckers and vertical jigging Hopkin's spoons in 7 to 12 feet of water.
Jackie Hart and Tunney Williams of Brawley limited out by 7:30 a.m. Saturday. They kept the five largest corvina, which weighed 13 to 20 pounds. Williams was excited as he showed me his 20-pounder, the largest he has caught in many years. Both Hart and Williams caught their fish by vertical jigging Hopkin's Spoons in 12 feet of water. The technique is to jig the spoon up and down off the bottom until a croaker is hooked, then allowing it to stay on the bottom. The croaker's frantic action soon draws a large corvina, which inhales both the croaker and jig, and the fight begins.