Angler reels in 45.6-pound yellowtail at Mission Bay

Parimal M. Rohit

LA JOLLA — The yellowtail bite is so hot right now anglers are reeling in the species from jetties. An angler in La Jolla could attest to the yellowtail action so close to shore, as Jarred Davidson reeled in a 45.6-pound tuna while fishing from a jetty near the San Diego suburb.

The Marlin Club in San Diego reported a massive yellowtail caught near Jedi Rocks in Mission Bay on Sept. 14. Davidson reportedly spent 20 minutes battling the fish before catching and bringing it ashore. He used a 25-pound test.

“My friend Nate and I decided to go catch some shore yellows that day and when we arrived everything lined up perfectly. No wind, crystal clear water and bait everywhere. I have always fished and snorkeled the Mission Bay channel area. The visibility gets insane there on the right tide and a lot of bait gets pushed in during the incoming tide,” he said. 

He added both him and his friend noticed yellowtail schools frequenting the waters near the local reefs during the past few weeks.

“I have been seeing yellows pushed up on the beach for a few weeks now. After snorkeling with schools of up to 100 in 20 feet of water on the La Jolla reefs and spearing two in the surf … I figured they would be up and down the coast where the conditions were right,” Davidson said. “As I walked down the jetty I noticed a perfectly flat rock to fish off of and made it my starting point. As soon as I got to the water line I saw a bunch of bait get pushed into the shallows and start boiling. Then I saw the bigger game fish following behind. How often do you get to see yellows from shore?”

The yellowtail bit on Davidson’s line after several casts.

“I felt the typical head thumps of a yellowtail but little did I know it was going to be a 45-pounder, the biggest yellow I would ever catch,” Davidson said. “After 15 minutes of fighting the fish I finally saw him come up to color and my jaw dropped.”

Davidson needed his friend’s help to get the yellowtail out of the water.

“I told my friend Nate to get in the water to grab the thing. We did not bring a gaff because little did we know we would need one. Nate grabbed the fish and handed it to me and it was a full blown scream fest and celebration,” Davidson said. “I think the beach goers thought we got attacked by a shark or something because we were going so crazy.”

The euphoria continued all the way to the weighing station.

“We immediately knew it was going be some type of record or the biggest yellowtail I’ve ever caught, so we packed up, drug the fish down the jetty and went straight to the Marlin Club to weigh it,” Davidson said. “Nobody believed me but I didn’t care. It was the greatest catch of my life.”

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