INCREDIBLE SEASON CONTINUES: The exceptional saltwater fishing has continued throughout the Southern California Bite over the past week with more blue and black marlin (to 600 pounds), wahoo, and more common pelagic species still here in force. There have been some hickups in the nearshore yellowfin tuna action (could it have anything to do with the fact that purse seiners wrapped 250 ton in local waters this week), but the action was still generally good for the tuna. The action at the outer banks (Cortez and Tanner) was still good for yellowfin to 70 pounds with an average in the 20 to 30 range. Bluefin were also starting to show back up again on these banks. The Osborne Bank for the Orange, Los Angeles, Ventura, and Santa Barbara boats had been good right up until the commercial wrap at mid-week. The bite here slowed as of Wednesday. Here it is mid-October and this action has continued incredible.
WAHOO EVERY DAY: While individual boats scores are usually not more than one or two per trip, the wahoo bite has continued to improve with these fish showing throughout the region. From half-day boats in San Diego to private and party boats fishing the oil rigs off Long Beach (and everyplace in between), wahoo are being caught daily and a lot more biting off anglers not set up to handle these toothy fish. Doug Brinks of Long Beach fishing on his private boat Tuesday has three wahoo.
SAN DIEGO UPDATE: The overnight and longer trips out of San Diego continue to see excellent fishing for pelagic species, mostly yellowfin, dorado, and skipjack, but the action for the half and three-quarter day boats has been tougher over the past week, with lesser counts consisting mostly of dorado, juvenile yellowtail, dorado, and the a few wahoo each day. The short trips are producing decent numbers of calico and sand bass, but from 75 to 90 percent of the fish are shorts.
Here are some half- and three-quarter day boat scores to illustrate the point. The Malihini out of H&M Landing was out on a three-quarter day trip Monday with 50 anglers and they landed just seven dorado, but had one wahoo. On Tuesday, the 43 anglers landed just three dorado. The New Seaforth, out of Seaforth Sportfishing, was on a morning half-day with 31 anglers on Tuesday and they landed 15 yellowtail, seven mackerel, six sand bass, four bonito, one barracuda, and one sheephead. On the afternoon trip, the 27 anglers on board had 33 yellowfin tuna, two sand bass, and one barracuda. On Monday, the San Diego, also out of Seaforth, was on a three-quarter day trip with 51 anglers and they had 20 yellowfin, one dorado, and two wahoo. In Oceanside, the Oceanside 95 out of Helgren’s was out Tuesday with 27 anglers and they landed one yellowfin, 61 calico bass (51 released) 30 red snapper, five whitefish, three sheephead, and one bonito.
The overnight and longer trips continue to see exceptional tuna action, mostly on the Cortez Bank. The Tribute out of Seaforth Sportfishing returned from an overnight trip on Wednesday and the 33 anglers on board had 209 yellowfin and 40 skipjack. On its Monday overnight, 36 anglers had 60 yellowfin, 37 skipjack, and 31 dorado. The Aztec, also Seaforth, was on a three-day trip with 22 anglers that returned Tuesday, and they landed 237 yellowfin, 44 yellowtail, five dorado, and one wahoo. The New Lo-An out of Point Loma Sportfishing returned Wednesday from a 2 1/2-day trip and the 24 anglers on board caught 127 yellowfin, 21 yellowtail, and 189 dorado. All were quality fish, running 15 to 35 pounds. The Grande, also out of Point Loma, was on a 1 1/2-day trip Sunday and the 36 anglers landed 53 dorado, six yellowfin, and one wahoo. The Invicta, out of H&M Landing, was on a two-day trip with 16 anglers and they landed 154 yellowfin, 51 skipjack, seven yellowtail, and one dorado. The Ranger 85, also H&M, was on a three-day trip with 26 anglers who landed 350 yellowfin, 75 skipjack, and five yellowtail. The Pacific Queen out of fisherman’s Landing was on a 1 1/2-day trip with 26 anglers and they landed 164 yellowfin.
LOS ANGELES-ORANGE COUNTY UPDATE: The big news of the week was the yellowfin tuna commercial catch at the Osborne Bank. This is the spot where most of the sportboats in this region had been fishing, and fishing with exceptional success (see counts below), but the action tanked after the commercial boats wrapped 250 tons of yellowfin.
There is still exceptional volume of yellowfin at the islands, along the coast, and offshore of floating kelp, but the highest volume was at the Osborne. Dorado, yellowtail, skipjack, and wahoo continue to show in the catch for 3/4-day and overnight boats, while the half-day fleet has been focusing on yellowtail and bottomfish — and some days both.
For example, the half-day Southern Cal out of Pierpoint Landing, was out Tuesday with 17 anglers and they landed 24 yellowtail, 58 rockfish, 30 bocaccio, 20 red snapper, and 12 barracuda. The Monte Carlo out of 22nd Street Landing was on an afternoon half-day Tuesday with 18 anglers and they landed 163 red snapper, 17 bocaccio, and one sheephead.
Before the seining, The Toronado out of Pierpoint Landing was on an overnight trip to the Osborne on Monday with 15 anglers and they landed 76 yellowfin and 22 skipjack. On the Tuesday overnight, 22 anglers had 106 yellowfin and 14 skipjack. The Freedom out of 22nd Street Landing was on an overnight trip Tuesday with 36 anglers and they landed 112 yellowfin and 27 skipjack. The Pursuit, also out of 22nd Street, was on a full-day trip Sunday with 54 anglers and they landed 121 yellowfin. The Bongos III was on a full-day trip out of Davey’s Locker with four anglers and they had 27 yellowfin, three yellowtail, and one dorado. The Thunderbird out of Davey’s Locker was on an overnight Monday with 28 anglers and they caught 187 yellowfin to 40 pounds. The Victory, on a three-quarter day trip out of Pierpoint Landing on Tuesday, had 18 anglers and they caught 43 yellowtail, 50 rockfish, 25 bonito, and 23 barracuda. The Mirage, on a two-day trip to the Osborne out of Channel Islands Sportfishing, was out with 18 anglers and they caught 137 yellowfin, three yellowtail, 12 skipjack, 25 bonito, 180 rockfish, and 176 whitefish.
LOBSTER UPDATE: There continues to been good lobster hoop-netting, especially for private boaters in both nearshore and island waters. Limits have not been uncommon. The sportboats in San Diego running twilight hoop-trips have been averaging from just one to two keeper bugs per anglers, but about three to five times that many shorts. On Tuesday, the Alicia out of H&M Landing was out with seven anglers and they had eight legal lobster and 161 released bugs. The Sea Adventure II, also H&M, was out Monday with 10 anglers and they had 15 legals and released 107 shorts.
SURFPERCH RECORD: Rick Kelsey of Bakersfield landed a 7-14 barred surfperch fishing a bloodworm near Cambria this past week. This is/was potentially the California state record (currently listed at 4-2), but the fish has already been eaten.
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. These trips are tentatively over for the season, but with the incredible action other trips may be scheduled. 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 Sportfishing, 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.