Ocean Fishing Report, Jan. 28 report

MEXICAN YELLOWTAIL: The San Diego fleet continues to have exceptional yellowtail fishing, both at the Coronado Islands for the three-quarter day boats and further into Mexican waters at Colonet for the 1 1/2-day trips. These are all quality yellowtail in the 18 to 25-pound range or bigger, and while most are on bait on dropper-loops or jigged iron on the bottom. There are flurries when the fish are on the surface, but there are also days when the bite slows a little. But there have been very few skunks in the past month. And even when the yellowtail are off, the rockfish are a great fall-back fish.

Pacific Queen returned from its 1 1/2-day weekend trip on Sunday and the 35 anglers on board had 175 yellowtail (full Mexican limits) along with 40 rockfish. The Eclipise out of Seaforth Sportfishing had 26 anglers on its weekend 1 1/2-day trip and they landed 118 yellowtail, 60 rockfish, and 26 lingcod. The Chief out of H&M Landing was on a 1 1/2-day trip that returned on Sunday and the 18 anglers on board had 62 yellowtail, 52 rockfish, 14 lingcod, and 10 bonito.

At the Coronado Islands, the three-quarter day boats continue to post excellent scores. The Pacific Voyager out of Seaforth Sportfishing was out on Saturday with 19 anglers and they landed 31 yellowtail, 40 rockfish, and eight bonito. The Friday trip had 25 anglers who landed 47 yellowtail and one bonito. On Monday, the Mission Belle out of Point Loma Sportfishing had 18 anglers on its three-quarter day trip and they landed 16 yellowtail and 10 rockfish, but the day before on Friday, there were 20 anglers on this same boat and they had 80 yellowtail. The Prowler out of Fisherman’s Landing was on a Saturday three-quarter day trip with 12 anglers and they had three yellowtail, five rockfish, and two bonito.

LOCAL YELLOWTAIL: With light fishing pressure all along the Los Angeles and Orange counties’ coastlines, few skippers have been targeting yellowtail. There have been exceptions. The Sport King out of LA Waterfront Sportfishing has continued to hit Catalina Island looking for yellowtail. It had light loads and a pick on the yellowtail on its Thursday, Friday, and Saturday three-quarter day trips this past week. On Thursday, when 12 anglers had nine yellowtail 37 calico bass, 10 perch, and two bonito, while the Friday trip with just seven anglers turned up seven yellowtail, 20 perch, 18 calico bass, and four bonito. Wednesday’s trip with 10 anglers missed on the ‘tails, but they landed 65 bonito, 53 perch, and 31 calico bass.

LOCAL BASS AND SCULPIN: Most of the half-day and many of the three-quarter day boats along the coast have been focusing on the generally good sculpin action. While there have been slow days, many of the trips are producing limits or near-limits of sculpin and a lot of bass. While most of the bass are below the 15-inch minimum keeper size, some of the counts have been surprisingly good. There have also been a lot of perch and sand dabs on many of these trips. 

The Electra out of Helgren’s Oceanside was on a half-day trip Wednesday this week with 16 anglers who landed full limits of 80 sculpin along with 23 sand dabs. The Western Pride out of Davey’s Locker ran a pair of twilight trips this past weekend, and the Sunday trip with 28 anglers produced 53 sculpin, 43 sand bass, one sargo, and one perch. The New Del Mar out of Marina del Rey Sportfishing was out Tuesday on a half-day trip with 28 anglers and they landed 119 sculpin and 85 sand dabs. On Sunday, the Redondo Special was on a half-day trip with 16 anglers and they landed 75 sculpin and 50 sand dabs. If you are into the sand dabs, the Ahra Ahn out of Long Beach Sportfishing was on a three-quarter day trip on Sunday and the 37 anglers on board had 2,540 sand dabs and four sculpin. 

LOBSTER UPDATE: There continue to be a ton of short lobster for the sportboats hoop-netting lobster near the coast. The Jig Strike out of H&M Landing was out Tuesday evening with seven anglers and they had six legal bugs and released 40 underside lobster. On Sunday, there were two anglers who had two legal lobster but released 147 sub-keepers. 

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 976-TUNA.com or call 562-352-0012 for details.

LANDING CONTACTS

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.