OFFSHORE BLUEFIN UPDATE: While the bluefin bite is not wide open, there is a real possibility an angler can get the tuna of a lifetime current offshore fishing trips. The problem is most anglers are bringing inadequate gear to handle bigger fish. There are two grades of bluefin tuna in the blue water off San Clemente Island. The smaller grade fish are 20 to 60 pounds, and then there are bigger grade fish from 80 to 200 pounds – with some real pigs topping 300 pounds or more.
There was a 400-plus over the past week. Anglers with 40-pound class gear are getting spooled or broken off. The 60-pound rigs are the bare minimum, and anglers should have bigger gear.
The second negative is most of the best action is mid-week because there are 300 to 400 boats out on the tuna grounds running over the fish during the weekends, and the bite pretty much shuts down. The mid-week fishing is much better.
Toronado out of Pierpoint Landing was on an overnight trip Aug. 2 and the 10 anglers landed 14 bluefin to 100 pounds.
Freedom out of 22nd Street Landing was at the other end. The Aug. 1 trip had 35 anglers on an overnight jaunt and landed just one bluefin. The July 30 overnight, also with 35 anglers, produced nine bluefin, one yellowtail, 189 rockfish, 77 red snapper, five calico bass, four barracuda, three bonito, and one lingcod. Thunderbird out of Davey’s Locker had 30 anglers on an Aug. 1 overnight and landed six bluefin – this has been an ‘average’ score, if there is such a thing in fishing.
San Diego fleet has also been getting in on this bluefin action because of the broad spread of fish in the offshore grounds. The three-quarter-day Liberty out of Fisherman’s Landing had 26 anglers who landed 40 bluefin, 20 yellowtail, and 30 bonito on Aug. 1. The July 31 trip with 14 anglers produced 11 bluefin and 12 yellowtails.
SAN DIEGO OFFSHORE: By far the most consistent and productive fishing for Southern California offshore anglers has been for the yellowtail, dorado, and now yellowfin tuna on boats running into offshore Mexican waters down the coast from off Ensendada to 50 to 70 miles further south. There has been a big influx of yellowfin tuna in this bite as we come into the full moon, but yellowtail and Dorado have been providing the bulk of the action on floating kelp paddies. Most of the yellowtail are from five to eight pounds, but about one-in-four have been in the 18 to 25-pound class. The Dorados are mostly 8 to 15 pounds, and the yellowfin are mostly 12- to 20-pound class fish.
Condor out of Fisherman’s Landing had 24 anglers on an overnight trip July 31 and landed 120 yellowtails (limits), nine Dorado, and three yellowfin. Producer out of H&M Landing had 27 anglers on an Aug. 2 overnight trip and landed 135 yellowtails (limits), 20 Dorado, and two yellowfin. Oceanside 95 out of Helgren’s Sportfishing had 36 anglers on its July 30 1.5-day trip and landed 215 yellowtail and 22 Dorado.
CATALINA UPDATE: Catalina Island continues to hold a lot of bass, bonito, and barracuda, and the single day trips are also getting into a few smaller grade yellowtail. The problem is sea lions have been a horrible nuisance. One boat skipper reported his anglers landed 15 yellowtail on a recent trip, but lost another 100 to sea lions.
Enterprise out of Pierpoint Landing had 48 anglers on its Aug. 1 three-quarter-day trip to Catalina and landed four yellowtails along with 86 calico bass, 39 Spanish jacks, 28 barracudas, 25 whitefish, and five sheepheads – a pretty typical score at Catalina during the final days of July and early stages of August.
TWILIGHT SAND BASS: City of Long Beach and Enterprise, both out of Pierpoint Landing, ran twilight trips this past weekend on Saturday and Sunday respectively. On the July 29 trip, 25 anglers landed 78 sand bass and seven barracudas. On the July 30 trip, 15 anglers had full limits of 75 sand bass.
VENTURA-SANTA BARBARA UPDATE: The rockfish bite for the Ventura, Oxnard, and Santa Barbara boats running both near-shore and island spots have been finding continued excellent rockfish action with some decent surface action for calico bass, barracuda, and a few yellowtail.
Island Tak out of Channel Islands Sportfishing had a full-day surface trip with nine anglers Aug. 2 and landed full limits of 45 keeper calico bass. On Aug. 1, the three-quarter-day Erna B was out with 22 anglers and landed five yellowtails, 27 barracudas, and two bonitos, also focusing on surface species. At Hook’s Landing, Coroloma had 35 anglers on its Aug. 2 three-quarter-day trip and landed one white sea bass, 61 barracudas, 14 whitefish, five calicos, three perch, and one sheephead. The Aug. 1 trip with 18 anglers returned with 24 yellowtails, 72 barracudas, 16 calico bass, 12 whitefish, and one sole.
AVILA BEACH-MORRO BAY UPDATE: For the boats running out of Avila Beach and Morro Bay landings, the bite on rockfish continues to be very good with a lot of big reds showing in the catch, and enough quality lings that at least a few show up on all trips.
On Aug. 1, Patriot out of Patriot Sportfishing in Avila had 24 anglers and landed 195 rockfish, 25 red snapper, 10 bocaccio, and three lings. On July 31, Endeavor out of Morro Bay Landing had 27 anglers on its trip and landed 270 assorted bottomfish. Top fish was an 8-pound red landed by Albert Silva, San Luis Obispo. Fiesta out of Virg’s Landing had 24 anglers fishing at Ragged Point on a July 28 full-day trip and landed 240 reds along with 14 lings. A 23.8-pound ling caught by Mary Barzeale, Fresno, won the jackpot on the trip.
The local surf, pier, and bay fishing have been excellent for perch, and there have also been some striped bass in the surf at Dog Beach and at Studio Drive in Cayucos.
GRUNION UPDATE: The next grunion runs are Aug. 7-10 followed by the final run of the season on Aug. 21-24. The runs are really starting to thin out with fewer and fewer fish showing on beaches. The hand-catching season is open except during April and May. More information at this link.
INSTRUCTIONAL CHARTERS: 976-TUNA offers instructional charters throughout the season. The next available trip is a two-day aboard Toronado out of Pierpoint Landing leaving Aug. 13. The early booking price is just $350. These trips are held from early spring through fall, offering advice to beginning or veteran anglers and on-the-water teaching of techniques for different saltwater species. For more information, check on 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.
YOUR FISHING REPORTS
Please feel free to send your freshwater or saltwater fishing reports and fishing photos to Jim Matthews, Outdoor News Service, at firstname.lastname@example.org and the information will be included in the weekly report. If you have questions or comments, please call Matthews at 909-887-3444.