SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA EXOTICS

By: Terrence Berg, 976-TUNA.com

The fishing out of San Diego is being described by many anglers and skippers as “once-in-a-lifetime-style” action on warmwater exotics. The yellowtail and dorado are thick on offshore kelp paddies, and the 350-mile-long mass of fish extends all the way up into the Catalina Channel — with the biggest volume of fish starting off Oceanside and going south. And more fish are moving into the region daily. Even half-day boats out of San Diego have landed these species. The overnight and longer boats out of San Diego are seeing the best fishing — and even overnight boats out of Los Angeles and Orange County landings fishing off San Clemente are getting into this action, as it moves north. There is also a good volume of bluefin tuna in this same region, and many of the overnight and longer boats are getting into a school or two of bluefin, too. The typical scores have been from 20 to 40 yellowfin and dorado on three-quarter day trips, 75 to 150 fish on overnight trips, and 100 to 300 fish on 1.5-day and two-day trips.

Just a couple of scores since the weekend to illustrate the quality of this fishing: New Lo An out of Point Loma Sportfishing was on a two-day trip with 25 anglers, and they returned with 110 dorado (full limits), 34 bluefin and 21 yellowtail. Dolphin II out of Fisherman’s Landing was on a two-day 976-TUNA instructional charter with 26 anglers, and they landed 98 yellowtail, 62 dorado and seven bluefin. Old Glory out of H&M Landing was on a 1.5-day trip with 21 anglers, and they caught 94 yellowtail and 42 dorado.

The Los Angeles and Orange County boats running to the west are posting similar scores. Thunderbird, Toronado and Freedom all have had overnight trips with scores in the 100 to 150 fish range. Bongos III out of Davey’s Locker, a six-pack charter boat, was out with four anglers Aug. 21, who landed 19 yellowtail, five dorado and one mako. Even the half-day boats out of this part of the coast are seeing fish, although significant counts haven’t been posted yet.

The yellowtail and dorado are mostly in the 10- to 15-pound class, with some smaller 5- to 8-pound fish; while the bluefin are mostly 25 to 40 pounds, with the odd smaller fish from 12 to 15 pounds.

The best news is simply that there is no dirty water out there, and the seas have been flat-calm for over a week. This is indeed “once-in-a-lifetime” fishing.

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