DECEMBER YELLOWFIN: For the first time in recorded history of the Southern California sportfishing fleet, yellowfin tuna are being caught in local waters in December. But it’s not really surprising anyone considering how this incredible fishing season just refuses to end. In the past week, yellowfin, skipjack, and even dorado continue to dominate the counts for the three-quarter day, overnight, and 1 1/2-day boats running out of San Diego-based landings. While fishing pressure is light, even a few of the Orange County and Los Angeles County-based boats still make runs for tuna are scoring.
In San Diego, Seaforth Sportfishing’s boat the San Diego was out on a three-quarter day trip on December 1 with 23 anglers and they landed Mexican limits of 115 yellowfin near the Coronado Islands. On Tuesday, the same boat had 47 anglers who landed 52 yellowfin and six skipjack. The Old Glory out of H&M Landing was on a 1 1/2-day trip that returned on Sunday and the 22 anglers on board had U.S. limits of 220 yellowfin tuna along with 34 skipjack. The Dolphin out of Fisherman’s Landing was on a three-quarter day trip Monday with 29 anglers and they landed 65 yellowfin, 11 skipjack, and one dorado.
Further up the coast, the Indian out of Redondo Sportfishing was out last Friday (Nov. 27) with 14 anglers who caught 37 yellowfin tuna. On Sunday, the same boat had 27 anglers who landed three yellowfin and 107 skipjack.
The yellowfin have been running from 12 to 40 pounds, and skippers are reporting schools of bigger grade fish up to 80 pounds they aren’t even bothering with because most anglers are fishing 20-pound test gear right now. The skipjack are running from eight to 14 pounds.
OTHER WARMWATER ODDITIES: The Victory out of Pierpoint Landing, while on a rockfish trip, had a 90 to 100-pound class opah this past week, and private boaters are still reporting good numbers of marlin the the California Bite. Both the opah and marlin are unprecedented for this time of year.
OTHER THAN TUNA-ROCKFISH: Outside of the unseasonable warm-water tuna bite, the fishing along the Southern California coastline is approaching normal with bottom fish dominating the ocean fishing scene. From San Diego to Los Angeles, most of the half- and three-quarter day boats are reporting from two or three rockfish along with a few other mixed bottom fish to the catch has been from four to six or seven fish per rod. Further north in the Channel Islands and for three-quarter day and longer trips all along the coast, limits or near-limits of rockfish have been the rule.
Native Sun out of 22nd Street Landing was on a half-day trip Tuesday with 21 anglers and they landed 106 red snapper, 40 perch, 40 rockfish, 23 whitefish, 12 bonito, 10 sheephead, and one keeper sand bass. They also released 10 calicos and five other dand bass. The half-day trip aboard the Speed Twin out of Channel Island Sportfishing on Tuesday had 18 anglers who had 180 rockfish, 35 whitefish, and one lingcod. The Freelance out of Davey’s Locker made the run to Catalina with 68 anglers on Sunday and they landed 145 whitefish, 100 rockfish, 12 red snapper, 10 bocaccio, and six sheephead.
SURF FISHING UPDATE: The barred surf perch action from Morro Bay south to San Diego has generally been good, especially on blood worms. Willie Dickerson, Bakersfield, had a limit of 10 barred perch from Pismo Beach and all were from 1-8 to 1-12.
LOBSTER UPDATE: The lobster action has been better about the same over the past week with nearshore sportboat trips averaging from one to two bugs per anglers, with trips to the local islands seeing from two to three lobster per angler. The private boaters have been better, nearly doubling those counts.
INSTRUCTIONAL CHARTERS: The staff of 976-TUNA is hosting instructional charters throughout the season, offering advice to beginning or veteran anglers and on-the-water teaching of techniques for different saltwater species. These trips are over for the season. Check www.976-TUNA.com or call 562-352-0012 for details.
Southern California: Virg’s Sportfishing, Morro Bay, 805-772-1222; Patriot Sportfishing, Avila Beach, 805-595-7200; Sea Landing, Santa Barbara, 805-963-3564; Harbor Village Sportfishing, Ventura, 805-658-1060; Channel Islands Sportfishing Center, Oxnard, 805-985-8511; Hook’s Landing, Oxnard, 805-382-6233 (Port Hueneme Sportfishing has merged with Channel Islands Sportfishing); Malibu Pier Sportfishing, 310-328-8426; Marina Del Rey Sportfishing, Marina del Rey, 310-822-3625; Redondo Sportfishing, Redondo Beach, 310-372-2111; Rocky Point Fuel Dock (skiff rentals for King Harbor), Redondo Beach, 310-374-9858; 22nd Street Landing, San Pedro, 310-832-8304; L.A. Waterfront Sportfishing, San Pedro, 310-547-9916; Long Beach Sportfishing, Long Beach, 562-432-8993; Pierpoint Landing, Long Beach, 562-983-9300; Marina Sportfishing, Long Beach, 562-598-6649; Newport Landing, Newport Beach, 949-675-0550; Davey’s Locker, Newport Beach, 949-673-1434; Dana Wharf Sportfishing, Dana Point, 949-496-5794; Helgren’s Sportfishing, Oceanside, 760-722-2133; Fisherman’s Landing, San Diego, 619-221-8500; H&M Landing, San Diego, 619-222-1144; Seaforth Landing, San Diego, 619-224-3383; Point Loma Sportfishing, San Diego, 619-223-1627; Islandia Sportfishing, San Diego, 619-222-1164.
Mexico Landings: Sergio’s Sportfishing, Ensenada, 011-526-178-2185; San Quintin Sportfishing, San Quintin, 011-526-162-1455.