MEXICAN YELLOWTAIL EXCELLENT: The yellowtail fishing off Colonet in Mexican waters is excellent for the San Diego 1 1/2-day fleet with five-fish limits the rule on most trips in the past week. These are all 18-25 pound class fish with some upwards of 30 pounds, and frequently there is time to add some quality rockfish to the bag. On April 10, Pacific Queen out of Fisherman’s Landing was south with 34 anglers and landed 170 yellowtail (limits), along with 20 rockfish, five ling cod, and three bonito. Shogun, also out of Fisherman’s, had a 1 1/2-day trip that also returned April 10 and the 32 anglers had 160 yellowtail and 20 rockfish. Chief, out of H&M Landing, was on a 2 1/2-day trip that returned April 11 from this same region, and the 27 anglers on board had 135 yellowtail (limits), 281 rockfish, and three bonito.
BLUEFIN ON 60-MILE BANK: If the 1 1/2-day boats aren’t running south to Colonet, they are running to the west to the 60-mile Bank region and targeting the 20-40 pound class bluefin tuna that are stacked up in this area. There are also yellowtail in decent numbers here. On April 12, Pacific Queen out of Fisherman’s Landing was out with 30 anglers and had full limits of 60 bluefin. Shogun, also Fisherman’s, reported on April 13 with limits of bluefin for all anglers on board. Boat traffic on weekends can make the bluefin bite a little more problematic. Top Gun 80 out of H&M Landing was on a 1 1/2-day trip April 10, and the 25 anglers managed 11 bluefin and a yellowtail. Dominator out of Point Loma Sportfishing was on a 1 1/2-day trip with 25 anglers on April 11 and managed just 12 bluefin.
FIRST YELLOWFIN OF YEAR: Outer Limits out of Seaforth Sportfishing was on an overnight trip that returned on April 11. It was out to the west targeting bluefin, but the first yellowfin tuna of the year was caught on this trip. Overall, the 23 anglers had 33 bluefin and three yellowtail, in addition to the yellowfin.
TROPHY BLUEFIN ON HALF-DAY BOATS: It’s true. San Diego’s fleet has been getting into trophy bluefin tuna from 5-15 miles off Point Loma, making them accessible to the half- and three-quarter day boats this week. But the biggest news is that these are a much bigger grade of bluefin than those showing 60 miles off the coast; these are 40-80 pound class fish and the hook-to-land rate has been pretty brutal. On April 11, New Seaforth out of Seaforth Sportfishing had 17 anglers and landed six of the big bluefin, hooking at least 20 others. San Diego, also out of Seaforth, was on a three-quarter day trip with 48 anglers and managed to land just eight bluefin.
CLEMENTE YELLOWTAIL: Thunderbird out of Davey’s Locker and Freedom out of 22nd Street Landing have both been hitting San Clemente Island and finding better quality yellowtail than those showing at Catalina Islands lately. These are mostly 15-25 pounders with a 40 pounder showing on Thunderbird this week. Both boat skippers reported yellowtail up on red crabs on recent trips, but the bite has been hit or miss. The action on bottom fish has been filling anglers’ sacks on the miss days. On April 12, there were 23 anglers on Thunderbird’s overnight trip and landed three yellowtail along with 100 whitefish, 100 rockfish and six sculpin. On the April 11 trip the 24 anglers landed 23 yellowtail, 10 rockfish, four calico bass, and four bonito. Freedom on April 12 was on an overnight trip with 32 anglers and landed 53 yellowtail along with 150 rockfish, 60 bonito, 20 whitefish, six sheephead, and two ling cod.
CATALINA YELLOWTAIL AND BOTTOM FISH: A number of the Orange and Los Angeles county three-quarter and full day boats have been fishing Catalina for a very consistent pick on bottom fish and a few smaller yellowtail, mostly in the 4-6 pound range but some to 12 pounds. Pursuit out of 22nd Street Landing had 36 anglers on its full-day trip April 12 and it landed six yellowtail along with 247 rockfish, 150 whitefish, 48 red snapper, 38 bonito, 33 bocaccio, 18 calico bass, and 10 sheephead. On April 10, Truline, also out of 22nd Street, had 28 anglers and landed 30 yellowtail, 18 rockfish, six whitefish, four bocaccio, and one bonito. On April 13, Sport King out of L.A. Waterfront Sportfishing had 16 anglers on its three-quarter day trip and landed just one yellowtail, but had 67 bonito, 65 whitefish, 25 red snapper, 10 sheephead, and six calico bass.
ROCKFISH REMAIN EXCELLENT: The bottomfish bite from San Diego to the Channel Islands remains a main-stay for the near-shore half-day fleet with the action getting progressively better the further up the coast you travel. New Seaforth out of Seaforth Sportfishing in San Diego had 37 anglers on its April 10 half-day trip and landed 60 rockfish, 51 red snapper, and one sculpin. Spitfire out of Marina del Rey Sportfishing had 15 anglers on a near-shore three-quarter day trip and landed 150 red snapper (limits) and 20 whitefish. Redondo Special out of Redondo Sportfishing had 17 anglers on the April 12 afternoon half-day trip and caught 170 rockfish and 21 perch. Aloha Spirit out of Channel Islands Sportfishing in Oxnard had 21 anglers on its April 11 full day trip and landed 210 rockfish (limits), 63 lingcod (limits), and five bonito. Those have been pretty typical scores.
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 June 5, aboard Thunderbird out of Davey’s Locker. Cost per angler is $250 for early booking. 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.