By: Terrence Berg

LONG RANGE REMAINS EXCELLENT: The long range fleet fishing off the tip of Baja continues to see excellent fishing on yellowfin tuna averaging from 130 to 180 pounds with a few over 200 and some approaching 300 or bigger. The Royal Polaris finished up its recent trip this week with a 282-pounder the top fish. Most of the other boats have also returned in the past few days and will likely stay in port through next week’s Fred Hall Show in Long beach.      

MEXICAN ROCKFISH: The three-quarter to 1 1/2-day boats out of San Diego continued to hammer rockfish in Mexican waters this final week leading up to the reopening of the local season on Saturday. If this action is any indicator of how good the local U.S. fishing will be come Saturday, it will be excellent. The three-quarter day boats running toward the Coronado Islands have generally had rockfish limits or really close to it, and the bag has included a good number of lings, red snapper and bocassio. On Tuesday this week, the San Diego out of Seaforth Sportfishing was on a 3/4-day trip with 11 anglers and they landed 103 rockfish, six sheephead, and one lingcod. The Premier out of H&M Landing was out Tuesday with 21 anglers and they landed 210 rockfish. The weekend 1 1/2-day trips are even better. The Old Glory, also out of H&M, was on a 1 1/2-day trip with 15 anglers and they returned on Sunday with 285 rockfish. The Apollo out of Seaforth Sportfishing returned on Sunday with 25 anglers who caught 134 rockfish, 102 red snapper, and 14 lings.     

The yellowtail action at both the Coronado Islands and off the La Jolla Kelp has been far more sporadic again this past week with only a fish or two reported in total. One of those fish happened to come in Tuesday aboard the half-day New Seaforth, but it was the only fish landed by the 15 anglers on board.     

ROCKFISH OPENER SATURDAY: The rockfish season reopens Saturday all along the southern California coastline. For the past month, the half- and three-quarter day boats from Oceanside to Santa Barbara have been making very few trips, mostly forcusing on the fair to good perch and sculpin fishing along the coast. Rockfish will be the order of the day now until the spring bites kick into gear.     

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