By: Terrence Berg
GENERAL OVERVIEW: Westerly winds have continued to plague the entire Southern California sportfishing fleet this past week with a wind chop most morning and much stronger winds in the afternoon that have made rides home bumpy. The winds have also turned over nearshore waters, especially from San Onofre north into the Channel Islands and the Tijuana to Ensenada region. There has continued to be a warmer bubble of water from Oceanside to La Jolla. Overall, conditions are still much warmer than normal with water temperatures in the California Bite from 57 to 67 degrees with the vast majority of the region still in the 62 to 64 degree range with only tiny pockets at different temperatures. These conditions haven’t changed the fish at the offshore islands of San Clemente and Catalina, but slowed the bite closure to the coast, especially the Coronado Islands. The same windy conditions are expected to continue at least through this weekend.
LONG-RANGE UPDATE: The long-range fleet out of San Diego continues to find excellent fishing on the 14 to 21-day trips on the giant tuna grounds off the cape of Baja. The Royal Polaris reported in late Tuesday with two yellowfin topping 250 pounds so far on this trip. They are getting 15 to 40 tuna per day that go in the hold along with a like number of wahoo. Most of the yellowfin have been 120 pounds plus that have been kept. This report has been duplicated for most of the boats fishing in this region.
CORONADO ISLANDS SLOWED: While there still have been a few yellowtail caught at the Coronado Islands this past week, the conditions have made for tough fishing. There was at least one day in the past week when no yellowtail were caught by the fleet at the islands. On Monday, the San Diego out of Seaforth Sportfishing was out with 21 anglers and they landed 15 yellowtail, along with six rockfish, five bonito, and one sand bass. On Tuesday, the same boat only had one yellowtail. The New Lo An out of Point Loma was on a three-quarter day trip on Saturday and the 20 anglers on board had 17 yellowtail and 11 bonito. The Legend, out of H&M Landing, was on a full day trip on Sunday and the 19 anglers on board only had six yellowtail. And those were the better trips. Continued wind doesn’t bode well for this bite to improve.
CATALINA AND CLEMENTE STILL GOOD: In spite of the tough wind conditions, the yellowtail (along with a few more white seabass) bite has continued good for the anglers toughing out the trips out to these two islands. The Toronado out of Pierpoint Landing was at Clemente Friday with 26 anglers and they returned with 44 yellowtail, 25 rockfish, 22 calico bass, 10 bonito, and three barracuda. The Thunderbird out of Davey’s Locker was on an overnight trip to Clemente with 12 anglers and they had 22 yellowtail. The Bongos III out of Davey’s Locker was at Clemente Tuesday and the four anglers on board had 11 yellowtail, 25 rockfish, seven calicos and one mako shark. The Victory out of Pierpoint Landing was at Catalina on the three-quarter day trip on Tuesday and the 24 anglers on board had eight yellowtail, 163 rockfish, 36 calico bass, 10 sheephead, six whitefish, five bonito, five sculpin and a barracuda. The islands have really come to life with more and more barracuda and bonito joining the yellowtail and calicos, and seabass to 40 pounds have been reported at Catalina this past week and one-fish limits for all anglers on board have been reported by several private boaters.
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) 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 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. 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.
Mexico Landings: Sergio’s Sportfishing, Ensenada, 011-526-178-2185; San Quintin Sportfishing, San Quintin, 011-526-162-1455.