By: Terrence Berg
YELLOWTAIL EVERYWHERE: The unseasonably warm water conditions off the coast have brought a flood of yellowtail into Southern California waters this spring. Add in unusually mild April weather (wind usually blows out fishing 20 days of this month), and you have an exceptional fishing combination.
CORONADO ISLANDS YELLOWTAIL: This bite has continued to be very good, and while the average size this past week might have been off a little from the past month, the action remains top notch. Just a couple of scores from recent days to illustrate the point. The Malihini out of H&M Landing was out on Saturday with 40 anglers and they landed 81 yellowtail, 10 calico bass, one bonito, and one ling cod. The San Diego out of Seaforth Sportfishing had 23 anglers on Tuesday and they caught 52 yellowtail, 46 bonito, one sheephead, and one ling cod.
SAN CLEMENTE YELLOWTAIL: The bite on yellowtail at San Clemente Island just keeps getting better and better and the rockfish and bass add to this action for the overnight boats making this run. Most of this fish are 12 to 25 pounds with some fish to 40 pounds this past week. The Oceanside 95 out of Helgren?s Sportfishing reported in mid-way Wednesday with 81 yellowtail on board and still fishing. On Tuesday, the Thunderbird out of Davey?s Locker had 22 anglers and they had 92 yellowtail and a barracuda. On Monday, the Toronado out of Pierpoint Landing was out with 37 anglers and they landed 42 yellowtail, 150 rockfish, 34 calico bass, 31 bontio, 20 whitefish, and 10 sheephead. The Freedom out of 22nd Street Landing had 37 anglers on Monday who landed 81 yellowtail, 39 rockfish, 15 bontio, 15 calicos, two barracuda, two sheephead, and one whitefish. The Ultra, also out of 22nd Street, had four anglers on Monday and they had limits of 40 yellowtail along with 30 rockfish.
CATALINA YELLOWTAIL SURGE: There was a big surge of nicer-grade yellowtail from 14 to 30 pounds into Catalina Island this week, and the full-day boats fishing the islands had some very good scores. The Pursuit out of 22nd Street Landing was there Tuesday with 21 anglers and they had 19 yellowtail, 117 calico bass (75 released as underside fish), 40 whitefish, 30 perch, 17 sheephead, and three bonito. The Patriot out of Newport Sportfishing was at Catalina Tuesday with 21 anglers and they hade 26 of the bigger grade yellows, 36 barracuda, 28 whitefish, 13 rockfish, five calicos, and one bonito.
HALF-DAY BOAT UPDATE: There are even yellowtail close to the coast, and half-day boats fishing from San Diego to the Los Angeles County coastline are getting the odd yellowtail. Most of the bite for these boats continues to be bottom fish, but more and more bass are starting to filter into this bag. The Southern Cal on a half-day trip out of Pierpoint Landing had its anglers hook four big yellowtail and they managed to get two 25-pound class fish on the deck.
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 first of the year will be May 1. This is a three-quarter day trip aboard the Pursuit out of 22nd Street that will probably be chasing yellowtail the way this season is shaping up, but might also focus on bass. Cost is $65 per person and limited to 35. The next trip is a two-day jaunt aboard the Apollo out of Fisherman?s Landing that departs Sunday, May 31. Cost is $350 per angler. This trip could be targeting yellowfin tuna by the end of May. 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. Harbor 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.