TROPHY BLUEFIN SCATTER: The bluefin tuna started acting funky in the run up to the full moon this week and dispersed out of the hotspot 43 miles off San Diego. Some of these fish moved north, some moved inshore (as close as three miles off the beach), and some stayed put. All of them became far more skittish. That said, the private boaters that didn’t run over the fish and panic them — and a few of the sportboats — found the bluefin in an eating mood, and a good number of fish from 80 to 200 pounds were reported. Not a lot of great scores with from one to three or four fish per boat common. New Lo-An out of Point Loma Sportfishing was on a 1 1/2-day trip on July 15 with 31 anglers and they landed six bluefin from 60 to 100 pounds, along with one opah. Relentless out of H&M Landing was on an overnight trip with 19 anglers Tuesday and they boated one bluefin. Pacific Queen out of Fisherman’s Landing reported in mid-day July 20 with three bluefin on the boat at 124, 148, and 180 pounds and fish still hooked up.
SAN DIEGO FLEET HEADS SOUTH: The bulk of the San Diego overnight (and longer) boats heads south for the good yellowfin tuna, yellowtail, and dorado bite that has been developing. Most of the yellowfin are medium grade with from eight to 15 pounds with some to 40 pounds, while the yellowtail are all solid 15 to 25 pounders. The dorado have been running eight to 15 pounds. Anglers are jaded from last year’s spectacular fishing, even though most of these trips are returning with from three to five fish per angler. On July 19, Eclipse out of Seaforth Sportfishing was on a 1 1/2-day trip with 28 anglers and they landed 47 yellowfin and two yellowtail. Ocean Odyssey out of H&M Landing, also on a 1 1/2-day trip July 19, had 23 anglers who landed 21 yellowfin, 24 yellowtail, and two dorado. Prowler had just six anglers for its 1 1/2-day trip on July 18 and they landed limits of 30 yellowtail and eight yellowfin. Grande, out of Fisherman’s Landing, also only had six anglers on its overnight trip July 18 and they landed limits of 30 yellowfin, 13 yellowtail, and four dorado.
CORONADO YELLOWTAIL BITE SURGES: The Coronado Islands yellowtail bite has been very good in recent days with most of the fish in the 12 to 25-pound class. Liberty, the new three-quarter day boat out of Fisherman’s Landing, had 31 anglers on its July 19 trip and they landed 128 yellowtail. San Diego out of Seaforth Sportfishing, had 32 anglers on its Tuesday trip and they caught 97 yellowtail, 20 barracuda, and 17 bonito. Malihini out of H&M Landing had 27 anglers and they caught 135 yellowtail, 61 bonito, and 43 barracuda Tuesday. That’s full limits on the yellowtail.
HALF-DAY BOATS GETTING YELLOWTAIL: Even the San Diego fleet’s half-day boats are finding good numbers of smaller grade yellowtail from 2 to 8 pounds close to port, along with generally good bass and bottomfish action. The New Seaforth out of Seaforth Sportfishing had 28 anglers on its Wednesday morning trip and they landed 33 yellowtail, 14 calico bass, nine bonito, and one barracuda. The Dolphin out of Fisherman’s Landing had 66 anglers on its Monday morning half-day and they landed four yellowtail, 184 calico bass (100 released), 35 rockfish, and one sand bass. On the Tuesday afternoon half-day, there were 28 anglers who had 164 calico bass (106 released), 24 rockfish, eight bonito, and five sheephead.
BARRACUDA AND BASS FOR LOS ANGELES/ORANGE COUNTY BOATS: The half-day boats fishing all along the Los Angeles and Orange County coastline are finding very good barracuda, bass, and bonito fishing, along with some good snaps on the nearshore yellowtail some days. Southern Cal out of Pierpoint Landing had 20 anglers on its July 19 half-day and they landed 65 barracuda, four sand bass, and three calicos. Victory, also Pierpoint, had 41 anglers on its July 18 trip and they had three yellowtail, 205 bonito, 163 perch, 41 whitefish, 23 calico bass, 10 sheephead, three rockfish, two barracuda, and one sculpin. New Del Mar, out of Marina del Rey, had 42 anglers July 19 and they landed seven yellowtail, 83 bonito, and 35 calicos in the Santa Monica Bay. Spitfire, also Marina del Rey, had 42 anglers on a three-quarter day local trip and they landed 12 yellowtail, 120 rockfish, and 107 bonito. Most of the yellowtail have been smaller grade fish to eight pounds in this region, but more and more are showing daily.
CATALINA UPDATE: Most of the boats running to Catalina Island this past week have found a pick on the yellowtail and good action on bass and bottom fish. Most of the boats have reported from five to 25 yellowtail and the size range has varied from 2 or 3 pounds to 20-plus. On July 19 the Pursuit out of 22nd Street Landing had 65 anglers and they landed 70 yellowtail, 16 calico bass, 15 perch, and three barracuda.
CLEMENTE NEWS: The bite at San Clemente for the overnight boats that had been making this run was a little off this week, but this was mostly because the Navy had a majority of the island closed on any given day. The bite has been good, for both yellowtail and bass, when the boats get on the island. Many of the boats have redirected to San Nicolas and Santa Barbara Island where they found excellent rockfish action and good shots on quality 12 to 28-pound yellowtail.
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 available trip is a two-day jaunt leaving Aug. 14, aboard Toronado out of Pierpoint Landing. Cost is $350 for early registration. 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.