WINDY AND WILD: Ocean fishing is blowing up, even with water temperatures still in the 50s. Yellowtail action taking off and the bluefin tuna bite already starting to gain traction. The bite is just going to get better, what with tons of red crap and anchovy in local waters. Also picking up steam: white sea bass and halibut bites. The only thing slowing the spring bite has been the weather, as nasty winds roughed up much of the final week of March. Conditions were almost unfishable March 27 and 28 after a moderate weekend; the 29th was a calm day and the bites were exploding.
SAN DIEGO BLUEFIN TUNA AND YELLOWTAIL: The bluefin tuna have been from 8 to 45 miles off of Point Loma, mostly in Mexican waters. The sport boat fleet caught fish into the 50-pound class, with most of the catches on three-quarter-day boats. Private boaters found fish in U.S. waters and have landed fish up into the 200-pound class. There have been good catches on open water yellowtail on the surface around floating kelp. Most of these yellowtail are small, however, 3 pounds and under, but some are up into the 8- to 12-pound class.
Midday reports on March 29 were good. Sea Adventure II had 21 bluefin to 50 pounds by 2 p.m. Liberty had 13 bluefin and 15 yellowtail at midday, while San Diego reported in early with six bluefin to 50 pounds and 10 yellowtail.
San Diego out of Seaforth Sportfishing had 44 anglers on its March 28 three-quarter-day trip, but only landed 40 yellowtail due to tough conditions. The same boat on March 26 with 37 anglers returned with 185 yellowtail (limits).
Mission Belle out of Point Loma Sportfishing had three bluefin tuna and 67 yellowtail on its March 25 three-quarter-day trip with 22 anglers. Liberty out of Fisherman’s Landing had 22 anglers on its March 26 three-quarter-day and landed limits of yellowtail (110) along with two bluefin. Malihini out of H&M Landing on a March 26 three-quarter-day trip had 33 anglers who landed 165 yellowtail and two bluefin.
CATALINA AND CLEMENTE UPDATES: More and more yellowtail and white sea bass are starting to show around San Clemente, and Catalina is starting to produce one-fish limits for private boaters. Fortune reported in midday on March 29 with a 50-pound class white sea bass and 20 yellowtail. Dreamer, a six-pack charter out of Pierpoint Landing, had nine anglers on Sunday and landed nine white sea bass to 40 pounds or better at Catalina. Thunderbird out of Davey’s Locker reported in on the same day with 44 yellow, just less than 30 pounds, at Clemente on its overnight trip. The 11 anglers on board a March 26 trip landed 102 yellowtail.
LOCAL ROCKFISH UPDATE: The best bite continues to be up in the Channel Islands, but the bite off the Los Angeles and Orange county coastlines had also been excellent, especially on three-quarter-day trips, which have been returning with full limits or nearly so. The overnight trips targeting rockfish have been exceptional with limits of quality rockfish, along with good catches of whitefish, lings, and sheephead adding to the bag. The more northerly Channel Islands are still the best bet, with boats from the Oxnard to Santa Barbara landings seeing the best action and highest quality fish. Speed Twin out of Channel Islands Sportfishing had 24 anglers on its March 29 half-day-trip and landed 240 rockfish, 110 whitefish, three sculpin and one sheephead.
INSTRUCTIONAL CHARTERS: 976-TUNA offers instructional charters throughout the season. While all of the April and May trips are booked, the next available trip will be a two-day jaunt aboard Pacific Queen, leaving Friday, June 9 out of Fisherman’s Landing. The early-booking price is just $450 (normal price is $550), and a passport is required for this trip. 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 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.