By: Terrence Berg
APRIL IN MARCH?: Winds and wildly fluctuating weather conditions that have been more like April than May have cooled ocean temperatures throughout the Southern California Bite this past week. Few temperatures above 64 degrees now, and most of the water is from 62 to 64 degrees, which is actually closer to normal for this time of year. This really hasn’t slowed down the bite much, but winds have made fishing difficult and the action very high and miss.
LONG RANGE UPDATE: There has been windy weather on the giant tuna grounds off the tip of Baja this past week making for more difficult conditions. Most of the skippers reported in at mid-week with just fair action. On the Independence, anglers were just getting a scratch on the yellowfin tuna with just one big fish at 165 pounds on Tuesday. The Excel reported in with the anglers on that boat landing a total of 26 yellowfin on Tuesday with a 190-pounder the best there.
EXPLORATORY BLUEFIN TUNA TRIPS: Several boats made exploratory overnight to 1 1/2-day trips over the weekend into the bluefin tuna grounds 40 to 60 miles off San Diego in U.S. waters — and they all found fish. The Shogun out of Fisherman’s Landing was on a 2 1/2-day trip and they had 36 bluefin to 30 pounds. The Producer out of H&M Landing reported three fish to 50 pounds. A couple of other boats also had bigger fish in the 80- to 120-pound or bigger bluefin that were simply unstoppable. This is a good early signal for this season.
YELLOWTAIL NEWS: The yellowtail bite has been a little better this past week, but the action has been hit and miss with the weather so variable. When the bite is on, it has been really on. When it has been off…. For the San Diego fleet fishing the Coronado Islands, the scores have shown that pattern. On Wednesday, the Malihini out of H&M Landing was out with 28 anglers and they had 102 yellowtail, three bonito, and a halibut. On Tuesday, the same boat had 24 anglers and they landed 16 yellowtail and five rockfish. On Monday, the score for 15 anglers was 64 yellowtail. On Wednesday, the San Diego out of Seaforth Sportfish was out with 24 anglers and they had 92 yellowtail. On Tuesday, the 29 anglers on the same boat had just 14 yellowtail, while the Monday trip had 19 anglers who landed 26 yellowtail and 43 rockfish. While on Sunday, the 24 anglers had 64 yellowtail. For the boats running out to San Clemente, cooler water and winds made for very difficult fishing, but it was obvious the fish are still there. The Thunderbird, on a two-day 976-Tuna Instructional Charter, with 25 anglers at Clemente had 27 yellowtail, 88 calico bass, 40 bonito, one barracuda, 243 rockfish, 26 whitefish, 15 sheephead, and five sculpin. Meanwhile, at Catalina Island, the bite on the yellows remained pretty good, in spite of conditions. The Pursuit out of 22nd Street Landing was out on Monday with 32 anglers and they had 60 yellowtail. The Sportking out of L.A. Waterfront Sportfishing check in at mid-day on Wednesday and already had 14 of the bigger grade yellowtail on board. Most of the yellowtail have been the 12 to 18-pound range, but there are a lot of bigger grade fish from 22 to 30 pounds or better.
NEARSHORE NEWS: The local half-day fleet working off the Los Angeles and Orange county coastline and the boats up in the Channel Islands continue to see a pretty fair pick on the rockfish. The Redondo Special out of Redondo Sportfishing had full limits of rockfish on its half-day trips Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday this week. The Southern Cal out of Pierpoint Landing has had very good picks on the bottom fish and has picked up an occasional yellowtail this past week. On Sunday, 19 anglers landed 100 rockfish, 45 sculpin, and 13 whitefish on a half-day trip. The Western Pride out of Davey’s Locker has been focusing on sculpin and on Tuesdays half-day, the 40 anglers on board had 154 sculpin. On Mondays half-day, the 41 anglers had one yellowtail along with 205 sculpin and two red snapper. Up in the Channel Islands, the Aloha Spirit on a full-day trip out of CISCO?s had 14 anglers who had two white seabass along with 120 rockfish, three sculpin, a sheephead, and a whitefish.
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 Apollo out of Fisherman?s Landing that departs Monday, June 1. Cost is $350 per angler. This trip could be targeting yellowfin tuna by the end of May. Check 976-TUNA.com or call (562-3) 2-0012 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 Sportfishin, Marina del Rey, (310) 822-3625; Redondo Sportfishing, Redondo Beach, (310-) 72-2111; 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)m496-5794; 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.