THE AMAZING SEASON CONTINUES: The sportfishing fleet from San Diego up into the northern Channel Islands continues to see unprecedented fishing for pelagic species. The yellowtail continue to be a staple for everything from half-day boats fishing close to the coast to the offshore islands and floating kelp paddies. While more smaller yellowtail have moved into the local islands, fish under 10 pounds, the bulk of these fish continue to be 18 to 25 pounds or bigger. Yellowfin tuna are also scattered throughout the California bite and south into Mexican waters with the bigger fish north of the International boundary. It seems like schools to the south are mostly eight to 15 pounders, while the schools of yellowfin further north are 20 to 40 pounds with some fish to 60 pounds. The bluefin continue to show in good numbers in U.S. waters, primarily on the outside of San Clemente Island, and these are all better grade fish from 40 to 60 pounds. Bigger fish continue to be hooked, but most anglers simply don’t have the gear to handle the bigger fish. Lastly, more and more dorado continue to flood into local waters. Many of the overnight and longer San Diego region boats are returning with limits of dorado in the 18 to 25 pound range, and a 50-plus was caught this past week. And no one even talks about the big schools of skipjack and bonito.
SAN DIEGO UPDATES: The recent counts for the San Diego landings continue to show just how spectacular the fishing has been on both sides of the border. The Tribute out of Seaforth Sportfishing was out on an overnight trip Tuesday with 31 anglers and they landed 76 yellowfin, 10 skipjack, and one dorado fishing U.S. waters. The Pride, also out of Seaforth, was on an overnight trip Tuesday with 20 anglers and they had full limits of yellowfin (100), 30 skipjack, 18 dorado, and 12 yellowtail. The Old Glory out of H&M Landing was on an overnight trip Tuesday with 22 anglers and they landed 96 yellowfin, three dorado, and two skipjack. The Pacific Queen out of Fisherman’s Landing was on a 1 1/2-day trip with 29 anglers and they landed 145 yellowfin (limits), 62 dorado, and two skipjack. The Pacific Star, out of Seaforth on a 1 1/2-day trip, was out with 24 anglers and they landed 120 yellowfin, 48 skipjack, and 37 dorado. The New Lo An out of Point Loma was on a 1 1/2-day trip over the weekend with 28 anglers and they landed 56 dorado, 21 yellowfin, and 14 yellowtail. The Old Glory out of H&M Landing was on an overnight trip Tuesday with 22 anglers and they landed 96 yellowfin, three dorado, and two skipjack. Even some of the Orange County boats are heading south to Mexican waters. The Thunderbird out of Davey’s Locker was on a 1 1/2-day trip over the weekend, and the anglers on board had limits of both dorado and yellowfin.
The three-quarter day trips are also still seeing great scores. The Pacific Queen out of Fisherman’s, after returning in the morning from a 1 1/2-day trip on Tuesday turned right around and ran a three-quarter day trip with 22 anglers and they landed 44 yellowfin, five dorado, and two skipjack. The Malihini out of H&M Landing had 39 anglers on its three-quarter day trip and they landed 47 dorado, 11 yellowtail, and three yellowfin. On Wednesday, the San Diego out of Seaforth Sportfishing had 24 anglers on its three-quarter day trip and they landed 69 yellowfin and 22 skipjack.
WHERE ARE THE BLUEFIN: With the take of bluefin still closed in Mexican waters, the sportboats targeting bluefin are targeting the area on the backside of San Clemente Island, and many of the multi-day San Diego boats finish their trips in this region to add bluefin to the tally. The Pacific Queen out of Fisherman’s Landing was on a two-day trip with 12 anglers and they landed 27 bluefin, 45 yellowtail, seven yellowfin, along with two calico bass and one rockfish fishing off Clemente. The Pride out of Seaforth Sportfishing, also on a two-day trip with 22 anglers, had 22 bluefin and 107 yellowfin. The Thunderbird, Freedom, and Toronado have been averaging from 10 to 40 bluefin per day fishing the Clemente region.
LOS ANGELES-ORANGE COUNTY UPDATE: The boats running out of Los Angeles and Orange County landings are either fishing Catalina or the local waters along the coast. The half-day boats are still seeing excellent yellowtail action, along with a mix of bonito, barracuda, some bass, and even yellowfin and dorado. The Southern Cal out of Pierpoint Landing was on a morning half-day Tuesday with 31 anglers and they had 24 yellowtail, 63 bonito, and one sand bass. While the Catalina bite is still very good, it’s not as wide open as it has been the past couple of weeks. The three-quarter and full day boats are only getting from 40 to 80 yellowtail this week, as opposed to 100-plus the past couple of weeks.
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, and the final instructional trip of the season, is a two-day jaunt aboard the Commander out of Fisherman’s Landing leaving Sept. 27. Cost is $350 per person. 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.