TUNA SWANSONG UPDATE: It looks like the fat lady has finally started to sing the tune that will end this year’s incredible Southern California tuna (and other exotic, warm-water species) fishing season. In the past week, the water temperatures at the Cortez Bank, finally dropped down to around 66 degrees sending the last of the tuna heading south. There are still pockets of water up to 68 or even 69 degrees, but there have been only a handful of yellowfin and skipjack reported by the San Diego fleet and private boaters in the past week.
CORTEZ YELLOWTAIL STILL GOOD: While the tuna may have skedaddled from the Cortez and local islands, there is still very good volume on the yellowtail at these places. Most of these fish are 8 to 15 pounds, and they have made up the bulk of the overnight and 1 1/2-day boat catch in the past week. The Tribute, on a 1 1/2-day trip to the Cortez out of Seaforth Sportfishing on Sunday, returned with 173 yellowtail, 18 bonito, 16 sheephead, and seven skipjack for 33 anglers. The Commander out of Fisherman’s Landing, also on a 1 1/2-day trip to the Cortez, had 23 anglers who managed 121 yellowtail, 180 rockfish, 12 bonito, three lingcod, along with three straggler yellowfin and eight skipjack. The Pacific Queen was on a 2 1/2-day trip out of Fisherman’s Landing, and the 25 anglers on board had 110 yellowtail and four bluefin tuna.
ISLAND YELLOWTAIL AND ROCKFISH: While yellowtail are still a possibility at Catalina, the Channel Islands, or even along the coast, they have become bonus fish to the excellent bottom fishing action that is taken place throughout the region. The Pursuit out of 22nd Street Landing has been hitting Catalina regularly on full-day trips, and the Tuesday trip this week with 24 anglers netted 125 rockfish, 24 bocaccio, 10 red snapper, seven whitefish, and seven sheephead. The Native Sun, also out of 22nd Street on the local three-quarter day trip, had 19 anglers on Saturday and they landed eight yellowtail, 70 bonito (limits), 70 red snapper (limits), 44 bocaccio, 41 whitefish, 12 sheephead, 10 barracuda, three rockfish, and one sand bass. The Victory out of Pierpoint Landing was also on a local three-quarter day trip with 31 anglers on Sunday and they caught one yellowtail, 126 rockfish, 58 whitefish, 10 bonito, five sheephead, and one sand bass. The Island Tak out of Channel Islands Sportfishing was on a full-day trip with 11 anglers on Wednesday and they caught 81 whitefish, 60 rockfish, 32 sheephead, and calico bass, and one yellowtail.
LONG RANGE UPDATE: The 12-day and longer trips out of San Diego are focusing their efforts on the big fish grounds of the Hurricane Bank and Alijos Rocks. All of the boats current in this region have reported tough conditions this week due to winds. The Independence reported in with 30 tuna from 70 to 145 pounds. The Excel reported a scratch on school yellowfin Tuesday and were heading offshore from Alijos Rocks looking for bigger fish. The Royal Star reported a decent bite on wahoo Tuesday, but slower tuna action.
LOBSTER UPDATE: Not a lot of change on for the local sportfishing boats making lobster runs. Most are still seeing a ton of shorts and average from a half-bug to two lobster per angler, while the private boaters continue to get from three to five per angler if they work deeper water.
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.
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.