By: Terrence Berg
SAN DIEGO TUNA: While tuna, both yellowfin and bluefin, are showing up well into the California Bite, most of the action remains in the San Diego and Oceanside region with everything from three-quarter day to two day trips focusing on the local offshore waters for the tuna. The skippers are mostly staying in U.S. waters so they don’t have to deal with the bluefin fishing closure and the Passport issues that exist in Mexican waters. The anglers on these trips are also seeing yellowtail and an increasing number of dorado. For example, the Grande out of Point Loma Sportfishing was on a two-day trip that returned Tuesday, and the 24 anglers on board had 107 yellowfin tuna, 22 yellowtail, four dorado, and three bluefin. The New Lo-An, also out of Point Loma, was on a 1 1/2-day trip with 25 anglers and they landed 115 yellowfin to 55 pounds and 10 bluefin to 65 pounds. The Malihini, a three-quarter day boat out of H&M Landing, was on a trip Tuesday with 35 anglers and they landed 45 yellowfin, six bluefin, and two yellowtail. Private boaters targeting the tuna in this same region have reported bluefin to 125 pounds in the past week, most taken on iron.
CORONADO ISLANDS YELLOWTAIL: The yellowtail bite at the Coronado Islands is as good as it has been this entire season, and the three-quarter day boats out of San Diego running with passengers who have Passports are just hammering the fish. Yes, there are more smaller fish than there have been in previous weeks, but the bulk of the yellows are still in that 18 to 25 pound range. There are eight to 12 pounders in the mix, but there are also still 30 pounders, too. The San Diego out of Seaforth Sportfishing was out Tuesday with 55 anglers, and they landed 218 yellowtail. This boat has been returning with from 180 to 220 yellowtail per trip over the past week with anglers averaging three to five (limits) yellowtail per trip.
CATALINA AND CLEMENTE YELLOWTAIL: The overnight boats running out of Los Angeles and Orange county landings have continued to focus on Catalina and San Clemente islands for the excellent yellowtail fishing that has been ongoing at the islands. Wind has continued to be a problem some days, but the anglers on these trips are still mostly landing yellowtail from 18 to 25 pounds with only a few smaller or bigger. Most boats are getting from 40 to 100-plus yellowtail per day along with a mix of bass (which have been very good), bonito to 5 pounds, and barracuda. Some of the skippers are also making a few stops for bottom fish (if the surface bite slows) and getting good numbers of rockfish, whitefish, and sheephead. On Tuesday, the Thunderbird out of Davey’s Locker returned from its overnight trip, and the 28 anglers had 63 yellowtail, eight calicos, five bonito, and one halibut. The Pacific Quest out of Pierpoint Landing had 11 anglers on Tuesday and they landed 29 yellowtail, a calico bass, and a sargo. The Freedom out of 22nd Street Landing had 32 anglers and they landed 82 yellowtail, 107 calico bass (90 released), 25 whitefish, seven bonito, four barracuda, and two halibut. Some of the three-quarter day boats are also making the run to Catalina and getting in on this action. The Sport King out of L.A. Waterfront Sportfishing had 32 anglers on its Tuesday three-quarter day trip and they landed 11 yellowtail, 32 calico bass, 15 perch, two bonito, and two barracuda. On Sunday, the Gail Force and Triton, also out of L.A. Waterfront, had scores of 72 and 101 yellowtail for 24 and 21 anglers respectively on three-quarter day trips.
LOCAL YELLOWTAIL SLOWS: An upwelling of water along the Los Angeles and Orange County coastline the past couple of weeks has really slowed down the yellowtail action for the half-day boats in this region, and most have been focusing on bottom fish or jumping on the barracuda when schools show up. The Southern Cal out of Pierpoint Landing had a pair of half-day trips on Tuesday. The 27 anglers on the morning trip had 101 sculpin, while the 27 anglers on the afternoon trip landed 88 sculpin along with 61 barracuda. The yellowtail are still in the region and the bite was picking up. The New Del Mar, on a half-day trip Tuesday with 40 anglers, returned with 15 yellowtail along with 110 bonito, 52 rockfish, five calicos, and one sand bass.
CHANNEL ISLANDS UPDATE: Winds have also plagued the Channel Islands off and on this past week and have made targeting yellowtail and white seabass difficult much of the time. However the rockfish action remains excellent with most boats reporting limits of fish on three-quarter day or longer trips, and even many of the half-day boats in this region are getting limits. When conditions allow, a few white seabass and yellowtail continue to be caught. On Sunday, the Mirage out of Channel Islands Sportfishing, was on an overnight trip with 24 anglers and they landed 48 white seabass, along with five barracuda, and one each on the halibut, lingcod, sheephead, whitefish, and rockfish. That was the best and one of the only seabass counts in the past week. The best yellowtail counts have been in the three to five range.
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. The next trip is a two-day jaunt aboard the Freedom out of 22nd Street Landing leaving Sunday, July 26. The trip will target yellowtail or tuna, or both. Cost is $350 per angler. Check 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 Sportfishin, 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.
Mexico Landings: Sergio’s Sportfishing, Ensenada, 011-526-178-2185; San Quintin Sportfishing, San Quintin, 011-526-162-1455.