BLUEFIN TUNA BITE SURGES: Anglers are seeing fishing off the Southern California coast they would normally have to book a seven-day trip to experience. It’s almost like Guadalupe Island has traded places with San Clemente. The action on the big bluefin tuna surged over the past week on the new moon, with the biggest volume of quality fish off San Clemente Island. Most of the bigger fish are running from 60 to 120 pounds with some bigger fish up in the 200-pound class. There have also been schools of 20 to 40 pounds fish off Pyramid Head and Desperation Reef. There are also more and more yellowfin tuna within each reach of the San Diego fleet, along with a few dorado and yellowtail, mostly on floating kelp paddies. The scores are not bigger because the loss rate on the big Bluefin is from 50 to 75 percent.
The scores really tell the story. Out of San Diego, New Lo-An, berthing at Point Loma Sportfishing, had 28 anglers on its two-day trip returning Aug. 30, and they landed 60 bluefin tuna, four yellowtail, and one yellowfin. Pacific Queen out of Fisherman’s Landing had 33 anglers on its Tuesday 1 1/2-day trip and they landed 36 bluefin. Old Glory out of H&M Landing was on an overnight trip on Aug. 30 and the 20 anglers on board had 33 bluefin and one yellowfin. Legend, also out of H&M, was on a 1 1/2-day trip on Aug. 29 and the 30 anglers on board landed 32 bluefin, nine yellowfin, and six yellowtail. On Monday, Grande out of Point Loma was on a 1 1/2-day trip and the 25 anglers on board had 33 bluefin, 11 yellowfin, and one yellowtail. Dominator, on an overnight trip Aug. 30 with nine anglers out of Point Loma Sportfishing, returned to dock with 18 bluefin, limits.
The Los Angeles and Orange county boats are as close to the action. Thunderbird out of Davey’s Locker had 30 anglers on its Tuesday overnight trip and they landed 19 bluefin to 80 pounds, along with two yellowtail and 25 calico bass. Toronado out of Pierpoint Landing, had 21 anglers Aug. 30 and they landed 17 bluefin and one yellowtail.
Even the three-quarter day boats out of San Diego have been chasing the tuna some days rather than focusing all their time on the Coronado Islands and yellowtail, bass, and bottom fish. Mission Belle, out of Point Loma Sportfishing, was on a three-quarter day trip with 13 anglers on Tuesday and they landed one yellowfin tuna, two yellowtail, and a dorado. Liberty out of Fisherman’s Landing had 16 anglers on its Tuesday three-quarter day trip and they landed one yellowfin and one yellowtail. Meanwhile, Malihini out of H&M Landing had 13 anglers on its Tuesday trip and they landed 54 rockfish, 14 bonito, and one yellowtail. On the Monday three-quarter day, there were 18 anglers and they had 90 bonito and 27 rockfish.
CATALINA, NORTHER CHANNEL ISLANDS YELLOWTAIL GOOD: With green water and a major upwelling in allthe nearshore coastal waters, most anglers are heading to the islands where the fishing has been very good for yellowtail, bonito, and bass. The bulk of the yellowtail are 2 to 5 pounders, but there are some bigger fish from 16 to 25 pounds, too. Pursuit out of 22nd Street Landing was out Aug. 30 with 52 and they landed 24 better class yellowtail, along with 28 bontio, 14 calico bass, two barracuda, one sheephead, and one whitefish. Victory out of Pierpoint Landing, also at Catalina Aug. 30, had 37 anglers and they landed 11 yellowtail along with 31 calico bass, 43 bonito, 19 whitefish, 12 sheephead, three sculpin, one barracuda, 12 rockfish, and 79 perch.
While less crowded, Anacapa and Santa Cruz islands are also holding a lot of yellowtail and bass for the Ventura and Santa Barbara boats. Most of the yellowtail are 12 to 18 pounders in this area. Cobra out of Channel Islands, had five anglers on Tuesday and they had 10 yellowtail, three calico bass, three barracuda, and two bonito.
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 available trip is a 1 1 1/2-day jaunt aboard Triton out of L.A. Waterfront Sportfishing leaving Sept. 27. Cost is $225 for early registration. 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.