GENERAL UPDATE: The Southern California Bite is simply jugged with fish right now. The volume of bait of all types has made fishing difficult because the fish are packed with food so you have to be in the right place at the right time with the right bait to get into the feeding window. One day the yellowtail are on sardine, the next squid, the next red crabs, the next nothing, and the next everything works. All that baitfish has everything in our local offshore and near-shore waters. It’s not an El Niño season, but it’s awfully darn good and the loads are light.
SAN DIEGO NEWS: The overnight, 1.5-day, and two-day boats are running down the coast and seeing generally good action on smaller yellowtail, mostly from five to eight pounds with some bigger and some smaller. There has also been a wonderful variety of tuna and sharks on these trips. The scores really tell the story.
Top Gun 80 out of H&M Landing returned from a 2.5-day trip on July 12 and the 21 anglers on board landed 207 yellowtail and three yellowfin tuna. Old Glory, also H&M, was on an overnight trip returning July 12 and the 23 anglers on board had 40 yellowtail, one dorado, and two mako sharks. Pacific Queen out of Fisherman’s Landing had 18 anglers on a two-day trip returning July 9 and landed 180 yellowtail, five dorado, one bluefin, and one yellowfin.
The three-quarter-day boats focusing on the Coronado Islands have been finding everything from a fair pick on those smaller yellowtail to full-limit style fishing. These boats are also seeing a decent pick on the three B’s, barracuda, bass and bonito, on these trips. On July 11, San Diego out of Seaforth Sportfishing had 28 anglers on its three-quarter day-trip and landed full limits of 140 yellowtail along with 81 barracuda, 35 bonito, and six keeper calico bass. The July 10 trip with 16 anglers returned with 35 yellowtail, 57 bonito, and eight barracuda. Liberty out of Fisherman’s Landing had 20 anglers on its July 11 three-quarter-day trip and the 20 anglers on board had 73 yellowtail, 20 bonito, and three barracuda. The half- and three-quarter-day boats sticking to U.S. waters are seeing much tougher fishing.
The bluefin tuna action is still pretty fair, but the action has mostly been tapped by private boaters who can fish all day for a fish or two and be happy and not have 15 to 30 anglers who don’t get a fish or a bite. The bluefin are still offshore in good numbers and, in just the past few days, private boaters have reported bluefin running from 20 to 289 pounds. The fish being caught are just filled with bait.
Of the sportboats still making bluefin runs, Condor out of Fisherman’s Landing had 14 anglers on a 1.5-day trip on July 9 and landed six bluefin. Liberty, also Fisherman’s, had a three-quarter-day trip offshore with 24 anglers July 9 and had three bluefin, while the July 8 three-quarter-day trip with 25 anglers produced seven bluefin.
OFFSHORE ISLAND NEWS: There are good numbers of yellowtail at all of the Channel Islands, especially Catalina and San Clemente, but boats making the longer runs to San Nicolas and Santa Barbara are also seeing a lot of yellowtail, including some quality fish to 40 pounds. There was also a flurry of good white sea bass action during the full moon this past week, but that has pretty much shut down in recent days.
Freedom out of 22nd Street Landing has been making the run to Clemente on overnight trips. On the July 12 run, the 18 anglers on board had 31 yellowtail, along with 90 rockfish, 21 whitefish, six sheephead, one barracuda, and six bonus halibut. The July 11 overnight with 25 anglers produced five yellowtail and four white sea bass in addition to 170 rockfish, 67 sheephead, 22 whitefish, four lingcod, two barracuda, and two calico bass.
Fortune, also out of 22nd Street, had 20 anglers on its July 9 overnight trip and caught the tail end of the good white sea bass full-moon bite with 20 anglers landed 36 sea bass. They also landed 22 rockfish, 12 keeper calicos, 11 red snapper, four barracuda, two sheephead, and two lingcod.
Sportking out of L.A. Waterfront Sportfishing has been making three-quarter day runs to Catalina most days. On the July 10 trip there were 18 anglers who landed three yellowtail along with 32 perch, 28 calicos, 16 whitefish, 13 bonito, and five barracuda.
LOCAL NEARSHORE UPDATE: The barracuda and bass have been pretty good for the half- and three-quarter-day boats fishing off the Orange and Los Angeles county coastlines. When you add in the bottomfish tallies, the action has been very good on these trips.
Native Sun out of 22nd Street Landing had 25 anglers on its July 11 three-quarter-day trip and landed 31 keeper calicos, 51 sculpin, eight barracuda, six sand bass, and one lingcod. The half-day Monte Carlo, also out of 22nd Street, had 18 anglers on its July 11 half-day and landed a yellowtail along with 13 keeper calicos.
Victory out of Long Beach Sportfishing had 22 anglers on its Tuesday three-quarter day trip and they landed 58 keeper calicos and 10 keeper sand bass, in addition to 91 sculpin, 10 rockfish, nine barracuda, five sand dabs, and three whitefish.
SANTA BARBARA-VENTURA NEWS: The white sea bass bite was good into the weekend for the Ventura and Santa Barbara overnight bites sitting on the good spots at dawn, but it has slowed since. The bottomfish action remains excellent and a few yellowtail also are showing in this region and these can range from five to 40 pounds.
Pacific Dawn out of Ventura Sportfishing had some of the best sea bass scores. On June 8, there were 15 anglers on the boat and landed 37 white sea bass, 59 rockfish, seven whitefish, five sheephead, and three calicos. The July 7 overnight trip with 20 anglers produced full limits of 60 white sea bass along with one yellowtail, 15 rockfish, and six sheephead. But the most recent trip on July 11 this week was a two-day jaunt with 19 anglers and only one white sea bass was caught along with 249 rockfish, 76 lingcod, six cabezon, five sheephead, three whitefish, and one halibut.
Mirage out of Channel Islands Sportfishing had 20 anglers on its July 11 overnight trip and landed 16 yellowtail, 167 rockfish, 18 whitefish, eight sheephead, four lingcod, one barracuda, and one halibut. Aloha Spirit, also out of CISCO, had 21 anglers on its Tuesday full-day trip and they landed 27 yellowtail, 44 whitefish, 16 barracuda, six calico bass, two bonito, and one triggerfish.
AVILA-MORRO BAY REGION UPDATE: The lingcod bite has remained challenging for the boats running out of Morro Bay and Avila Beach landings, but the rockfish action remains excellent. Conditions are always a crapshoot, but the early morning fishing was good before high winds came up in the afternoons this past week.
Virg’s Landing in Morro Bay had 15 trips make it out with 383 anglers and landed a total of 3,854 fish, including 105 lings and 796 vermillions. There were full rockfish limits on each trip. The top ling was a 17-8 landed by Josh Lamb, Bakersfield, on a private charter.
Rita G out of Virg’s got out on a July 11 morning half-day with 25 anglers and landed 167 rockfish, 83 red snapper, and one lingcod. Patriot out of Patriot Sportfishing in Avila Beach had 11 anglers on a July 10 three-quarter-day trip and landed 98 bolina, 19 lingcod, and 12 red snapper. Avenger out of Morro Bay Landing had 11 anglers on its July 11 trip and landed 110 rockfish along with 20 lings.
Shore fishing remains steady with lots of leopard sharks, skates and rays being caught on whole squid in the shallow areas of the bay. Some perch in both the bay and surf, with occasional quality fish to three pounds on Gulp! sandworms and shrimp.
GRUNION UPDATE: The next grunion runs are July 23-26, Aug. 7-10, and Aug. 21-24. The runs in late July and August start 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: https://www.wildlife.ca.gov/fishing/ocean/grunion.
INSTRUCTIONAL CHARTERS: 976-TUNA offers instructional charters throughout the season. The next available trip is a two-day aboard the Black Pearl out of Long Beach Sportfishing leaving Wednesday, Aug. 2. The early booking price is just $300. 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; Hookís 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.