By: Terrence Berg
SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA PELAGIC UPDATE: The Southern California Bite is pelagic soup this year, and it just keeps getting better and better each week. Weather this past week has made for some difficult fishing conditions and put fish down as storms moved through, but the bite has come right back on with even more fury in its wake. The storm just pushed even more warm water into the region and another wave of warm-water fish. Joining the yellowtail and bluefin this week are even more yellowfin tuna and dorado. It is simply pelagic soup out there and all of the local sportboat fleet — from half-day boats from San Diego up into Orange County and Los Angeles waters; to the three-quarter and full-day boats fishing locally or at the local islands; to the overnight and longer trips that are coming back with incredible mixed bag catches. The fishing is more like what you’d expect to see this time of year off Central Baja California.
OVERNIGHT AND LONGER TRIPS ARE ALL PELAGICS: With almost the entire Southern California fleet fishing in U.S. waters, the overnight and longer trips on boats from San Diego into the Channel Islands are seeing incredible mixed bag action, whether they are fishing offshore or around Catalina and San Clemente islands. Even with the tail end of the hurricane hammering on anglers on trips this past week, the fishing has been exceptional on yellowtail, yellowfin tuna, and bluefin tuna, and dorado. Almost lost in this news is the big schools of barracuda and bonita that are also in these same waters. How good has it been? A few score from recent days paint the picture. In San Diego, the New Lo-An out of Point Loma Sportfishing was on an overnight trip on Tuesday with 21 anglers and they landed 39 yellowfin tuna along with three dorado. The Grande, also out of Point Loma, returned from a 1 1/2-day trip on Tuesday and the 11 anglers on board had 33 yellowfin tuna and 17 bluefin, all from U.S. waters. The Aztec out of Seaforth Sportfishing was on an overnight trip Tuesday with 28 anglers and they landed 55 yellowtail, 23 dorado, and 13 yellowfin tuna. In Oceanside, the Oceanside 95 out of Helgren’s Sportfishing was on an overnight trip Saturday with 34 anglers and they landed 39 bluefin and 40 yellowfin. In the Los Angeles and Orange county region, the Thunderbird out of Davey’s Locker was on an overnight offshore trip Monday with 26 anglers who landed 116 yellowfin tuna and eight bluefin. The Toronado out of Pierpoint Landing was on an overnight trip on Sunday with 34 anglers and they landed 145 yellowtail, 68 bonito, and one dorado. The Pursuit out of 22nd Street Landing was on a full-day trip to Catalina on Tuesday with 53 anglers and they landed 60 yellowtail, 87 bonito, 49 calico bass, 48 perch, and nine barracuda.
THREE-QUARTER DAY BOAT UPDATES: The boats that are not running overnight (or long days) are also getting into this phenomenal action, and the dorado seem to be stacking into the nearshore waters in better numbers each day, with the storm surge moving even more into the region. Bluefin have been reported as close as a mile off the coast this week. In San Diego, The Mission Belle out of Fisherman’s Landing was on a three-quarter day trip Tuesday with 16 anglers and they landed 12 yellowtail, 10 bonito, five barracuda, one calico bass and a ling cod. The San Diego, out of Seaforth Sportfishing, was on a three-quarter day trip Monday with 38 anglers and they landed 34 yellowfin tuna, 23 dorado, and nine yellowtail. On Monday, the same boat was out with 46 anglers and they landed 37 yellowfin, 24 yellowtail, and one dorado. The Malihini out of H&M Landing was on a three-quarter day trip Tuesday with 31 anglers and they landed 77 yellowtail, 15 yellowfin tuna, and four dorado. On Monday, the Diawa Pacific, also out of H&M, was out on the three-quarter day trip with 34 anglers and they landed 52 yellowtail, 12 yellowfin tuna, and three dorado. The Native Sun out of 22nd Street Landing was out Tuesday on a three-quarter day trip with 35 anglers and they caught 38 yellowtail 155 calico bass, and 41 bonito.
HALF-DAY YELLOWTAIL AND BASS: The local half-day boats have been found very good bass fishing this past week, with boat calicos and sand bass showing in better numbers and of keeper size. When you add in that on any given day, a school or two or three of yellowtail will pop up and that barracuda, bonito, and even tuna are in the same waters, and the half-day boats are full of surprises. In the San Diego region, the New Seaforth had 60 anglers on its afternoon half-day trip Tuesday and they landed 58 yellowtail and two calico bass. In Orange County, the Western Pride out of Davey’s Locker was on an afternoon half-day trip Tuesday with 42 anglers and they landed five yellowtail, 149 calico bass (including about 200 released), and three perch. In Los Angeles County, the Southern Cal, out of Pierpoint Landing was on its afternoon half-day Tuesday with 27 anglers and they landed 61 calico bass and one barracuda. The morning trip with 60 anglers netted 120 sculpin. On a Sunday twilight trip, the same boat was out with 23 anglers who landed 68 sand bass and 14 barracuda. The Monte Carlo out of 22nd Street Landing was out Monday on an pair of half-day trips. On the morning trip, 17 anglers had 44 sand bass, 27 barracuda, seven calico bass, and one sculpin. On the afternoon trip, 17 anglers had 46 calico bass and 44 barracuda.
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 jaunt aboard the El Dorado out of Point Loma Sportfishing in San Diego leaving Monday, Aug. 31. Cost is $400 per angler. Check 976-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.