YELLOWTAIL AND BARRACUDA NEWS

By: Terrence Berg

There continues to be a huge volume of yellowtail off the local coast and at all of the offshore islands. The fish are in a ribbon of water from off Ensenada north up into the Channel Islands. Unfortunately, the bite has not been all that hot this past week. You can blame boat traffic, windy conditions and changing tides, but the fish are still there — and there continue to be a fair number of fish caught, because water and bait conditions are otherwise very good. The San Diego three-quarter-day boats fishing Los Coronados islands are still getting five to 10 yellowtail per trip that average 12 to 15 pounds. There has been a big flush of barracuda into our waters with the yellowtail, and the skinnies have been picking up the slack in the action. For example, San Diego out of Seaforth Sportfishing was out May 27 with 35 anglers, and they landed 40 barracuda, 12 yellowtail, one calico bass and one lingcod. The barracuda counts have been from 40 to 80 per boat most days this week. The barracuda showed up in Los Angeles and Orange County waters last week, too — but the bite didn’t start in this region until May 29, when most of the boats were chasing bird schools and hammering 3- to 4-pounders. Boat pressure made the yellowtail fishing tough May 25 at Catalina and throughout the Channel Islands, but as the pressure slacked off the wind picked up.

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