Ocean Fishing Report, April 20

SAN DIEGO BLUEFIN AND YELLOWTAIL: The San Diego sportfishing fleet has continued to hammer on the bluefin tuna that are showing in excellent numbers, and the bite surged back on Monday and Tuesday this week after being spotty for most of last week. The overnight and 1.5-day boats are not the only boats posting good scores on the bluefin; with the three-quarter-day boats also still getting in on this bite and posting scores as good on some days. The bluefin are mostly 30 to 50 pounds, but fish to 80 pounds or bigger are being landed each week. Mixed in with the bluefin are schools of smaller yellowtail, mostly three to seven pounds. Wind came up and hampered the bite on Wednesday, but this action is not expected to go away any time soon.

Some of the best scores this week were posted by Pacific Queen out of Fisherman’s Landing. The boat had 30 anglers on its April 18 overnight trip and had full bluefin tuna limits at 60 fish. The April 17 overnight with 16 anglers also returned with limits of 32 bluefin along with two yellowtail.

The scores on three 1.5-day trips show has the bluefin take ramped up this week. Old Glory out of H&M Landing was on a 1.5-day trip on April 16 and the 16 anglers on board had one bluefin, 80 yellowtail (limits), and two bonito. Tribute out of Seaforth Sportfishing was on a April 17 overnight trip with 20 anglers and they had one bluefin, nine yellowtail, and 12 bonito. Then on April 18, Oceanside 95 out of Helgren’s Sportfishing had 13 anglers on a 1.5-day trip, and landed 11 bluefin, 21 yellowtail, and 31 bonito.

The top scores for the three-quarter-day were posted by San Diego and Liberty.

San Diego out of Seaforth Sportfishing had 28 anglers on its April 18 three-quarter-day trip and landed limits of 54 bluefin. This boat’s April 17 trip with 25 anglers produced 18 bluefin and 11 yellowtail. Also on April 18, Liberty had 15 anglers on its three-quarter-day trip and also had limits of 30 bluefin. The April 17 trip with had 12 anglers who landed seven bluefin, one yellowtail, and 20 bonito.

Malihini out of H&M Landing had 24 anglers on its April 18 three-quarter-day trip and caught four bluefin, one yellowtail, and 79 bonito. The April 17 jaunt with 16 anglers returned with three bluefin and four yellowtail, while the April 16 trip with 21 anglers produced 40 yellowtail.

On April 16, Mission Belle out of Point Loma Sportfishing had 15 anglers on its three-quarter-day trip and landed five yellowtail and 17 bonito. The April 15 trip with 29 anglers returned with just eight yellowtail and one bonito.

LOS ANGELES-ORANGE COUNTY OVERNIGHT NEWS: The overnight boats running out of the Los Angeles and Orange County landings had been focusing on the white sea bass bites at Catalina, Clemente, and Santa Barbara islands. That bite really slowed way down this week, and the overnight boats focused on rockfish on the banks off Clemente and Catalina and then moved inshore to pick at yellowtail.

Thunderbird out of Davey’s Locker had 30 anglers on its April 18 overnight trip and landed six yellowtail, 250 rockfish, 50 red snapper, and 12 calico bass. On the April 17 overnight, 30 anglers landed three yellowtail, 60 whitefish, 180 rockfish, and three ling cod.

Toronado out of Pierpoint Landing had 20 anglers on its April 15 overnight and landed one yellowtail, 22 sheephead, 15 calico bass, six sand bass, four halibut, and two barracuda.

While most of the yellowtail on these trips are the smaller grade fish, a few bigger yellows are showing at Clemente and more northerly Channel Islands.

CATALINA ISLAND UPDATE: The full-day boats fishing Catalina Island saw the white seabass bite fade this week, but there is still a very good bite on bottom fish, a few yellowtail, and an occasional halibut.

Pursuit out of 22nd Street Landing had 36 anglers on its full-day trip April 18 and landed 33 yellowtail, 200 rockfish, 70 red snapper, 63 whitefish, 55 bocaccio, seven sheephead, two barracuda, two calico bass, and one bonito.

NEARSHORE STILL MOSTLY ROCKFISH: The half- and three-quarter day boats from Dana Point to Santa Barbara are mostly focusing on rockfish and other bottom species in a pretty good bite. There have also been a few more bass showing .

Sportking out of L.A. Waterfront Sportfishing had 10 anglers on its April 18 three-quarter-day trip and they landed 59 perch, 58 red snapper, 22 rockfish, 10 bonito, eight whitefish, seven sheephead, two lingcod, and two calico bass.

A very good half-day score was posted on April 17 by Western Pride out of Davey’s Locker. This half-day trip had 18 anglers and landed 47 keeper calico bass, 16 sand bass, and 20 scluplin. The April 18 trip with 23 anglers, however, produced just 15 sand bass and four sculpin.

Up in Ventura and Santa Barbara, the rockfish still are dominating, but there are yellowtail and still a few white sea bass showing. On April 17,  Erna B out of Channel Islands Sportfishing had 22 anglers on a three-quarter-day trip, and landed four yellowtail and three white sea bass along with 15 rockfish, six whitefish, and a sculpin. That was the last day this week any white sea bass were reported in this region.

MORRO BAY ROCKFISH WIDE OPEN, SURF PERCH: The rockfish bite out of Virg’s Landing in Morro Bay has been wide open since the season reopened on this part of the coast April 1. The surf perch has been good on the beaches at San Simeon and Cuyucos.

Fiesta, out of Virg’s, had 15 anglers on its three-quarter-day trip April 19 and landed 100 red snapper, 50 other rockfish, and 30 ling cod. Rita G, also a half-day boat, had 19 anglers on its morning April 19 jaunt and landed 114 red snapper, 79 assorted rockfish, and four ling cod.

INSTRUCTIONAL CHARTERS: 976-TUNA offers instructional charters throughout the season. While all of the April and May trips are booked, the next available trip is a two-day aboard the Thunderbird out of Davey’s Locker leaving June 11. The early-booking price is just $275 (normal price is $400). These trips are held from early spring through fall, offering advice to beginning or veteran anglers and on-the-water teaching of techniques for different saltwater species. For more information, check on www.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.

Please feel free to send your freshwater or saltwater fishing reports and fishing photos to Jim Matthews, Outdoor News Service, at odwriter@verizon.net and the information will be included in the weekly report. If you have questions or comments, please call Matthews at 909-887-3444.

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