LONG RANGE REMAINS EXCELLENT: Most of the boats are back at the docks this week with the Royal Polaris heading back down to the giant tuna grounds off the tip of Baja. In the past week, the fishing has been excellent on tuna averaging from 80 to 150 pounds with a steady number of 200 pounds on all the boats. The biggest fish reported on the most recently-completed trips were yellowfin in the 280-pound class.
MEXICAN ROCKFISH: The overnight to 1 1/2-day boats out of San Diego continue to report excellent rockfish. There have been fewer lings in the bag, but the quality of the red snapper and bocaccio has been very good. There is also usually a nice mix of sheephead and whitefish in the bag along with a few lings. The Old Glory out of H&M Landing was on a 1 1/2-day trip that returned Monday and the 21 anglers on board landed 110 red snapper, 69 rockfish, 48 lings, and three sheephead. The Tribute out of Seaforth Sportfishing returned from a 1 1/2-day trip on Sunday and the 27 anglers on board landed 135 rockfish, 115 red snapper, 10 lings, and 10 whitefish.
CORONADO ISLANDS YELLOWTAIL: The yellowtail bite has perked a little this past week at the Coronado Islands this past week. The Malihini out of H&M Landing has been making daily 3/4-day trips to the islands and getting a handful of yellows each trip along with good rockfish action. There were six yellowtail caught on Saturday, 10 on Sunday, five on Monday, but none on Tuesday. The rockfish made up for the lack of yellowtail on Tuesday with the 15 anglers on board landing 75 bocaccio, 38 red snapper, 34 rockfish, two lings, and one sheephead.
LOCAL COAST UPDATE: The half- and three-quarter day boats from Oceanside to Santa Barbara have been making very few trips with most of the boats prepping for the upcoming rockfish opener March 1. There continues to be a fair bite on perch, sculpin, and mixed bass for the few boats making runs in this region. The Western Pride out of Davey’s Locker was on a half-day run Tuesday with 10 anglers and they landed 71 perch, 12 sand bass, one calico bass (along with 25 caught and released), and seven sculpin. The Spitfire out of Marina del Rey was on a 3/4-day trip on Tuesday with 10 anglers who caught 45 sculpin, 35 perch, and six sand bass. In the Channel Islands, only a handful of boats per week have been going out and these have all been sand dab trips. The Speed Twin was out Sunday with 18 anglers on a half-day trip and they landed over 2,000 sand dabs.
LOBSTER STILL PRETTY GOOD: Lobster trips are continuing to produce from a one to three bugs per angler with the action improving this week on the stronger tides moving into the full moon. The Gail Force out of Pierpoint Landing had full limits of bugs by 10 p.m. on Tuesday this week.
INSTRUCTIONAL CHARTERS: The staff of 976-TUNA is hosting instructional charters throughout the year, offering advice to beginning or veteran anglers and on-the-water teaching of techniques for different saltwater species. The first trip of the season is a full-day day trip aboard the Pursuit to Catalina Island leaving Friday, May 2. Cost is $99 with a limited load of 30 anglers. Check the website for details or call (562) 352-0012. The website is 976-TUNA.com.