ENDLESS SEASON CONTINUES: This has been the week of the wahoo with the more than 50 of the tropical predators landed in the past 10 days. For the entire fleet so far this season, there have been 90 wahoo caught on sportboats within the past month or so, all within one-day range of Southern California sportboats. Thunderbird out of Davey’s Locker and the Phantom out of Pierpoint Landing both record the first wahoo for those boats and those landings in the past week. Blue marlin have become commonplace for billfish anglers in local waters and most of the blues are from 300 to 500 pounds. The volume of yellowfin tuna continues to be incredible, and they are still being seen with dorado, skipjack, yellowtail in nearshore, offshore, and around the local islands.
WINDS BATTER ACTION THIS WEEK: While it doesn’t really show in the counts, winds early this week have really started to make the local, offshore, and island fishing more difficult and the forecast is for those winds to continue into the weekend. The winds have and will continue to affect the boats from the more northerly landings (Ventura and Santa Barbara) or those boats that have been making runs further out into the more open ocean 50 to 90 miles offshore.
SAN DIEGO UPDATE: Until winds whipped up Tuesday and Wednesday this week, limits of yellowfin tuna have been the rule for the sportboats in the San Diego and Oceanside region this past week. Add in skipjack, dorado, and other exotics and most boats again had exceptional scores. While the yellowfin are smaller grade fish running from 5 to 15 pounds on average, there seems to be a new batch of bigger fish to 30 pounds pushing up into the San Diego zone this week. Bigger fishing have also been showing at the Tanner, Cortez, and Osborn banks to the west. The skipjack are nearly as big as the smaller yellowfin, and the dorado are mostly 20 to 30 pounds with only a few fish under 15 pounds. The yellowtail caught in open water under kelp are mostly dinks now (under three pounds), but the nearshore yellowtail around local kelp or at the local islands continue to be mostly the better grade fish from 18 to 25 pounds or better.
A few scores illustrate how good the bite has remained. The Grande out of Point Loma was on an overnight trip returning Tuesday and the 22 anglers had 110 yellowfin (limits), along with three skipjack and three dorado. Also out of Pt Loma, New Lo An returned from a 1 1/2-day trip on Monday and the 32 anglers had 143 yellowfin, nine dorado, and two wahoo. The Pacific Queen out of Fisherman’s Landing was on an overnight trip with 15 anglers Tuesday and they landed 75 yellowfin, 29 dorado, and one yellowtail. The Fortune, also out of Fisherman’s on an overnight trip Monday, had 19 anglers who landed 95 yellowfin and eight dorado. The Old Glory out of H&M Landing was on an overnight trip on Tuesday and the 21 anglers had limits of yellowfin (105), 35 skipjack, and 11 dorado. The Chief, also out of H&M, was on a 1 1/2-day trip Tuesday fishing in U.S. waters, and the 29 anglers had 237 yellowfin, 91 skipjack, three dorado, and three yellowtail. Winds hampered the fishing for Eclipse out of Seaforth Sportfishing with 25 anglers getting just 12 dorado, but also landing four wahoo on Tuesday.
LOS ANGELES-ORANGE COUNTY UPDATE: Most of the local overnight boats are focusing on offshore water (less than 50 miles from port) and targeting floating kelp paddies or making the run to the Cortez Bank for bluefin. Thunderbird out of Davey’s Locker was on an overnight trip Tuesday with 22 anglers and they landed 42 yellowfin, 19 skipjack, one dorado, and one wahoo. On Monday, the Freedom, also out of Davey’s, had 25 anglers and the made the long trip to the Cortez Bank, but they managed to catch 15 bluefin tuna (yes, they’re still there), 135 yellowtail, 125 rockfish, 57 bonito, 15 sheephead, 10 whitefish, two ling cod and two skipjack.
HALF AND THREE-QUARTER DAY UPDATE: The half- and three-quarter day boats from San Diego to Los Angeles county are still mostly fishing nearshore waters for yellowfin, skipjack, dorado, and yellowtail. There have even been wahoo caught on these boats. On Tuesday, the Malihini out of H&M Landing was out with 51 anglers and they landed 127 yellowfin, 53 dorado, 11 skipjack, and four yellowtail. A few of the Los Angeles and Orange County boats are running to Catalina Island and continue to find excellent yellowtail action along with a mixed bag of other species. The Sport King out of LA Harbor Sportfishing was at Catalina on Tuesday with 15 anglers and they landed 79 yellowtail, 30 bonito, and five calico bass. Most of the boats have been seeing an average of at least two yellowtail per rod and most are from 12 to 25 pounds.
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 tentative over for the season, but with the incredible action other 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.