GENERAL UPDATE: Continued cooling water conditions and an increasing lack of anglers interest/pressure has finally ended the epic tuna and surface fishing season that has been ongoing for more than two years. While there are still bluefin tuna at the Tanner Bank and schools of yellowtail at Catalina Island (and other island spots), the Christmas break and conversion to rockfish by boats still making runs is almost complete now.
BLUEFIN TUNA STILL THERE: Schools of bluefin tuna continue to lurk around the Tanner Bank because of the readily available squid, but the number of boats making the overnight or longer trips to reach these fish has diminished over the past week.
The most recent run was Dec. 11 when Fortune, out of 22nd Street Landing, had 18 anglers on its 1.5-day trip and landed 13 bluefin, along with 220 whitefish, 25 rockfish, 12 sheephead and two bocaccio. Toronado, out of Pierpoint Landing, was on a 1.5-day trip Dec. 11, and the 14 anglers on board had four bluefin. A Dec. 12 overnight trip with 29 anglers the focus turned to bottom fish and landed 290 rockfish, 87 lingcod, 32 sheephead and 15 whitefish. Last Thursday (Dec. 8), Oceanside 95 out of Helgren’s Sportfishing made its most recent 1.5-day trip and the 18 anglers on board had 12 bluefin.
The bluefin bite usually surges on the backside of the full moon, so it remains to be seen if weather conditions and interest draws any more boats out for the bluefin (most all still running from 80 to 100 pounds or more).
THREE-QUARTER DAY UPDATE: Boats running to Catalina Islands for yellowtail and other surface fish have switched over to rockfish for the remaining two-plus weeks of the bottomfish season.
Sport King out of L.A. Waterfront Sportfishing had seven anglers on its Dec. 13 three-quarter day trip and landed 31 red snapper, 30 rockfish, eight bocaccio, five whitefish, two ling cod and one sheephead. Victory out of Pierpoint Landing had a three-quarter day trip on Dec. 12 and the 12 anglers on board landed 101 rockfish, 63 whitefish, 12 sheephead, three sand bass, two perch and one barracuda. Enterprise out of Long Beach Marina Sportfishing was also on a three-quarter day trip on Dec. 10. The eight anglers landed 77 rockfish, 31 sand bass, 23 whitefish and four sheephead.
Up in the Channel Islands, Gentleman was on a three-quarter day trip out of Channel Islands Sportfishing, and the 31 anglers on Dec. 13 landed full limits of 310 rockfish along with 10 lingcod.
HALF-DAY ROCKFISH: The half-day boats from San Diego up into the Channel Islands are focusing on bottom fish. Scores run from three or four mixed fish per rod up to near-limits with the better scores further north.
In the San Diego region, New Seaforth out of Seaforth Sportfishing had a pair of half-day trips on Dec. 13. The 19 anglers on afternoon trip, had 90 rockfish, four sheephead, four whitefish and one red snapper. The morning trip with nine anglers returned with 48 rockfish, six sheephead, three whitefish and one red snapper.
In the Los Angeles and Orange county coast region, the bite has been a little better. Spitfire out of Marina del Rey Sportfishing had 20 anglers on its Dec. 13 half-day and they landed 100 red snapper, 90 rockfish, 30 whitefish, 15 sheephead, five sand bass, two calico bass and two sole.
And up in the Channel Islands, it has been nearly limit-style fishing every for the half-day fleet. Speed Twin out of Channel Islands Sportfishing had 20 anglers on Dec. 13 and landed 184 rockfish, 15 whitefish, 11 lingcod and two sheephead.
INSTRUCTIONAL CHARTERS: The last of the 976-TUNA instructional charters for 2016 has been completed. These trips are held from early spring through early fall, offering advice to beginning or veteran anglers and on-the-water teaching of techniques for different saltwater species. These trips will resume next spring. For more information, check on 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.
YOUR FISHING REPORTS
Please feel free to send your freshwater or saltwater fishing reports and fishing photos to Jim Matthews, Outdoor News Service, at firstname.lastname@example.org and the information will be included in the weekly report. If you have questions or comments, please call Matthews at 909-887-3444.