TUNA BITE STILL GOING: The yellowfin tuna bite, despite recent rainy and overcast conditions, has held up off San Clemente Island. A few of the bigger bluefin continue to be hooked as well. This bite also seemed to be getting stronger as the week progressed and warmed up. That is the good news. The bad news: a colder front is moving in for late this week.
The counts from Oct. 26 this week show how the bite was coming back on, but also how angler participation in this terrific fishing is declining. Freedom out of 22nd Street Landing was on a 1.5-day trip Oct. 23 with 36 anglers and landed 71 yellowfin tuna, 65 rockfish and four bonito. An Oct. 25 expedition featured 36 anglers who had 11 yellowfin and 140 rockfish. There were 91 yellowfin on board, all of them running 25 to 55 pounds, on an Oct. 26 overnighter.
Thunderbird out of Davey’s Locker was out Oct. 23 on a 1.5-day trip with 26 anglers and landed five yellowfin tuna; another 10 yellowtail were landed when Thunderbird went inshore to Clemente. The 28 anglers aboard an Oct. 25 overnighter landed two bluefin tuna and 33 yellowtail. The final tally Oct. 26 was 43 yellowfin to 45 pounds.
Skipper Greg Gawitt of Aztec out of Seaforth Sportfishing called the tuna action “the best it’s been all year” when he reported in at mid-day (Oct. 26) with 103 yellowfin to nearly 70 pounds and 10 or 12 fish hooked up when he called 976-TUNA. This bite had obviously surged back on. There were just two yellowfin and 11 yellowtail landed on an Oct. 25 trip with 13 anglers, while 25 anglers one day earlier had two bluefin and 24 yellowfin caught.
Most skippers on these trips are recommending anglers bring everything from 20- to 50-pound test tackle, circle hooks and fluorocarbon leaders to give themselves the best chance at hooking up and landing fish. The hook-up to landing ratio is about 50-50 on the smaller yellowfin to 40 pounds, while the bigger yellowfin weighing more than 60 pounds and all bluefin, which are mostly running 60 to 120 pounds, are seeing higher loss rates of one in 10 landed or fewer. Most of the action is on porpoise schools.
CATALINA STILL HOLDING YELLOWTAIL: While the boat pressure is declining, there is still a decent number of yellowtail at Catalina (and all the other offshore islands), but the fishing pressure is dropping off, even though the yellowtail are mostly eight to 12 pounds with a few bigger and some smaller. Even when the yellowtail aren’t showing in decent numbers the bottom fish action is excellent.
Pursuit out of 22nd Street Landing has continued to fish Catalina. The 32 anglers aboard an Oct. 24 trip had 54 yellowtail, 69 bonito, 18 rockfish, five whitefish, five calico bass, three red snapper, two sheephead and one bocaccio. One day later there were 28 anglers who landed 30 yellowtail, 71 bonito, seven calicos, two whitefish and one sheephead.
ROCKFISH SEASON IN FULL SWING: The rockfish action all along the coast is starting to take over the show with landings from San Diego up into the Channel Islands posting good to excellent scores on the bottom species. Spitfire out of Marina del Rey was out with 14 anglers on a three-quarter day trip and landed 100 red snapper, 40 rockfish and 30 whitefish. Victory out of Pierpoint Landing had 15 anglers and landed 100 whitefish, 20 rockfish, two sheephead, a sand bass and a bonus halibut. Southern Cal, also out of Pierpoint, had a pair of half-day trips on Oct. 23. The morning trip had 33 anglers who caught 250 rockfish, 48 bocaccio and one sheephead; the afternoon trip with 53 anglers produced 210 rockfish, 52 whitefish, 29 sheephead and 12 perch. Enterprise out of Long Beach Marina Sportfishing was out with 15 anglers on its Oct. 23 trip and landed 65 rockfish, 34 bocaccio, 22 bonito, five whitefish, five sheephead and two calico bass. Pacific Islander out of Channel Islands Sportfishing was on an overnighter Oct. 25 with 24 anglers and landed 240 rockfish, 72 whitefish, 67 sheephead and 12 lingcod.
INSTRUCTIONAL CHARTERS: The last of the 976-TUNA instructional charters for 2016 has been completed. These trips are held from early spring through early fall, offering advice to beginning or veteran anglers and on-the-water teaching of techniques for different saltwater species. These trips will resume next spring. 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 email@example.com and the information will be included in the weekly report. If you have questions or comments, please call Matthews at 909-887-3444.