While many are hoping that a predicted El Niño will lure exotic species of game fish into Southern California waters, a resident sheephead was turning heads on Saturday.
The California sheephead, caught by Randy Beebe aboard the Reel Fun out of Dana Wharf Sportfishing in Dana Point, tipped the scale at 21.13 pounds.
It was the largest sheephead anyone at the landing had seen, and it’s much larger than the typical 3- to 7-pound sheephead caught by Southern California anglers.
However, it falls short of the International Game Fish Assn. world record sheephead, a 28-pound 6-ounce specimen caught at Mexico’s Revillagigedo Islands in 1999.
The California state record is a 30-pound 8-ounce sheephead off Newport Beach in 2009. That catch, however, was not approved by the IGFA.
California sheephead are found from about Monterey to central Mexico.
Beebe, who is from Laguna Niguel, was fishing with the Dana Wharf Rod and Reel Club. The fish was filleted and shared with other anglers.
The Reel Fun was captained by Chris Pica.