PLEGIC UPDATE FOR SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA: The fish is just stupid good, and as we approach the full moon, the bluefin tuna bite has surged back on strong. In general, there is an incredible volume of yellowfin tuna from the Los Angeles County coastline south. The fish are mostly schools of better quality fish above the Mexican border with most 15 to 40 pounds and some schools mostly holding 30 to 60 pounders. In Mexican waters, there are most school of smaller yellowfin from eight to 18 pounds, but also schools of bigger fish. The dorado are also really stacking up in the southern region, but more and more are showing all the way to Catalina. Skipjack are the smaller bonus fish, and if anyone still wants to target yellowtail, they are along the coast in droves. The scores really tell the story.
SAN DIEGO REGION: Even the half-day boats have been getting in on the tuna action over the past week. The New Seaforth out of Seaforth Sportfishing had 75 anglers on its morning half-day last Friday and they landed 115 yellowfin and eight skipjack. On Saturday, 76 anglers had 55 yellowfin and 12 skipjack. It has dwindled for the half-day anglers since the weekend, but it could surge back on any time. The three-quarter day boat the Malihini out of H&M Landing had 46 anglers on Tuesday and they landed 230 yellowfin, 150 skipjack, 46 dorado, and 28 yellowtail on what may be one of the most incredible three-quarter day scores in modern San Diego sportboat history.
The overnight and longer trips have just been hammering the fish, with some skippers going into Mexican waters and others staying in U.S. waters. The New Lo-An out of Point Loma Sportfish was on an overnight boat on Tuesday with 32 anglers and they had 64 bluefin tuna and 10 yellowfin. The Grande, also out of Pt. Loma, was on an overnight with 35 anglers and they landed 80 yellowfin, 70 dorado (limits), 22 skipjack, and six yellowtail. The Condor out of Fisherman’s Landing was on a 1 1/2-day trip with 32 anglers on Wednesday and they had 208 yellowfin, with three in the 60-pound class. The Legend out of H&M Landing was on a two-day trip that returned Tuesday with 23 anglers who landed 92 dorado, 63 yellowfin, 60 skipjack, and 57 yellowtail. The Ocean Odyssey out of H&M was on a two-day trip with 29 anglers and they landed 90 dorado, 82 yellowfin, 44 skipjack, and 22 yellowtail. The Pacific Star, on a 2 1/2-day trip out of Seaforth Sportfishing, had 27 anglers who landed 61 dorado, 50 yellowfin, 34 bluefin, 29 yellowtail, and nine skipjack fishing in American waters. The Eclipse, also out of Seaforth on a 2 1/2-day trip with 21 anglers, returned with 107 yellowfin, 17 skipjack, 13 dorado, and one yellowtail.
LOS ANGELES-ORANGE COUNTY REGION: The skippers targeting bluefin are focusing between Catalina and Clemente, while everyone has been targeting local waters or south just above the Mexican border. Scores have ranged from a half-tuna to several tuna per angler on the three-quarter day trips with the overnight scores much better. On Tuesday, the Freelance out of Davey’s Locker had 69 anglers on its three-quarter day trip and they landed 27 yellowfin and five skipjack. The overnight Thunderbird, also out of Davey’s Locker, had 25 anglers and they landed 112 yellowfin. The Freedom out of 22nd Street Landing had 36 anglers Tuesday on an overnight trip and they caught 108 yellowfin and 14 skipjack.
Some of the boats continue to focus on Catalina where the bite has been good for a wide range of fish, with yellowtail still the dominant pelagic species. The Victory out of Pierpoint Landing was out with 27 anglers on a full-day trip Monday and they had 58 yellowtail, 123 sculpin, 75 rockfish, 10 whitefish, four sheephead, three calico bass, two sand bass, and one barracuda.
CHANNEL ISLANDS NEWS: On Monday, the Erna B out of Channel Islands Sportfishing was on a three-quarter day trip with 22 anglers and they hooked, landed, and released four striped marlin, along with 35 yellowtail. On Tuesday, the two-day boat Mirage was out with 12 anglers and they landed 57 yellowfin, 26 bluefin, and 17 yellowtail. Almost all the boats here are now focusing on yellowtail instead of rockfish, and the scores have been very good. On Wednesday, the Sea Jay was on a full-day trip with 11 anglers and they had 55 yellowtail.
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 trip is a two-day trip departing on Sept. 13 aboard the Old Glory out of H&M Landing. Cost is $375 per angler. Check976-TUNA.com or call 562-352-0012 for details.
LANDING CONTACTS: 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 Sportfishin, 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.