Ocean Fishing Report, Dec. 21

AWESOME BLUEFIN ACTION CONTINUES: The unprecedented fishing for bluefin tuna continues for boats running out of San Diego, Orange, and Los Angeles county landings to the 60-mile and Butterfly Banks off San Clemente Island. It has been limit-style fishing again over the past week with the fish running in the 15- to 25-pound range with a few to 30 pounds or so. There are still some of the even bigger bluefin around, but they have not been biting for the past month.

The number of boats making the run on overnight and 1.5-day trips has dwindled, as have the number of anglers on these runs, but the action is still pretty exceptional. Many mornings, two-fish tuna limits are tucked away early leaving time for the skippers to poke around and try to find other action. There have been some pretty good batches of pelagic yellowtail on floating kelp off the tuna banks, but most are small right now, 5- to 10-pounders.

The scores tell the story. Condor out of Fisherman’s Landing was out on an overnight trip with 22 anglers on Dec. 19 and had 44 bluefin on board. The Dec. 19 overnight with 36 anglers produced just 13 bluefin, but 140 yellowtails, while the Dec. 17 trip with 22 anglers returned with limits of 44 bluefin.

New Lo-An out of Point Loma Sportfishing had 13 anglers on its Dec. 20 overnight trip returning with limits of 26 bluefin along with 40 yellowtails. The Dec. 19 trip with 28 anglers produced 17 bluefin but 102 yellowtails, while the Dec. 18 overnight with 22 anglers put 44 bluefin and 32 yellowtails on the deck.

Tribute out of Seaforth Sportfishing had 23 anglers on its Dec. 20 overnight, and the 23 anglers had 35 bluefin.

Most of the boats will be knocking off these trips until after the Christmas, but a few are running right up into the weekend for anglers who want to get in on a trip this week.

SQUID TRANSLATE INTO QUIET SEA BASS BITE: The abundance of squid off the Southern California coast and at the local islands has translated into a quiet bite on white sea bass with the fish running from 25 to 60 pounds. Most of the action has been for private boaters and six-pack charters. There are also some yellowtails showing on the candy bait for this same crowd. The fish are showing in little pockets along the coast and at the islands.

ROCKFISH, BOTTOMFISH EXCELLENT: The bite on rockfish and other bottom species has been excellent for most Southern California landings targeting these fish. Skippers focusing on the offshore islands are really posting good scores on better quality fish, especially on overnight trips.

El Dorado out of Long Beach Sportfishing had 28 anglers on its Dec. 20 overnight trip and reeled in 185 quality whitefish, 150 rockfish, 40 red snappers, 15 sand dabs, three lingcod, and two sheephead.

Freelance out of Davey’s Locker had 40 anglers on its Dec. 18 three-quarter-day-trip and landed 103 rockfish, 86 whitefish, 76 perch, four sheephead, and three red snapper.

New Del Mar, on a half-day trip with 33 anglers on Dec. 19, returned to dock with 205 rockfish, 55 whitefish, one lingcod, and one sheephead.

VENTURA-SANTA BARBARA UPDATE: The Ventura and Santa Barbara area landings’ boats continue to have excellent rockfish action.

At Channel Islands Sportfishing in Oxnard, Gentleman had 13 anglers on its Dec. 20 three-quarter-day trip and landed 110 rockfish, 120 whitefish, and 18 sheephead. Mirage was on an overnight trip on Dec. 18 with 23 anglers and landed 230 rockfish and 22 lingcod.

At Hook’s Landing in Oxnard, New Hustler had 16 anglers on a three-quarter day trip Dec. 19 and landed 160 rockfish, 70 whitefish, and 10 sheephead. The Dec. 18 overnight on this boat had 11 anglers who landed 110 rockfish, 66 whitefish, 22 lingcod, and one sheephead.

At Ventura Sportfishing, Island Spirit had 19 anglers on its Dec. 19 full-day trip and landed 120 rockfish, 45 whitefish, 38 lingcod, and one sheephead. Amigo had 25 anglers on its Dec. 17 full-day trip and landed 200 rockfish, 57 whitefish, and two lingcod.

At Sea Landing in Santa Barbara, Coral Sea had 17 anglers on its Dec. 19 three-quarter day trip and caught 170 rockfish, 29 whitefish, nine lingcod, five sheephead, and two cabazon. The half-day trip on the Stardust on Dec. 19 had 18 anglers and they landed 180 rockfish, one lingcod, and one whitefish.

AVILA BEACH-MORRO BAY NEWS: Big swells knocked out Dec. 16 trips from Morro Bay area boats, but fishable conditions returned Dec. 17 and the hot rockfish and lingcod action has been the rule since. In the local surf, the barred surfperch bite remains consistent on better quality fish up to three pounds, mostly on live lugworms or bloodworms. The Rapala Shadow Rap jigs also are good bait.

At Virg’s Landing in Morro Bay, Rita G had 25 anglers on its Dec. 20 half-day trip and landed 212 assorted rockfish, 38 red snapper, and 25 lingcod. On Dec. 19, Fiesta had 24 anglers who landed 125 red snapper, 115 assorted rockfish, and six lingcod on its full-day trip. Top lingcod reported in the past week was a 20.5-pounder landed by James McKinney, Bakersfield, aboard Fiesta.

At Morro Bay Landing, Endeavor had 20 anglers on its Dec. 20 full-day trip and landed 80 red snapper, 30 rockfish, and 27 lingcod. Avenger had 15 anglers on its Dec. 18 three-quarter-day trip and landed 50 rockfish, 30 red snapper, and 16 lingcod.

At Patriot Sportfishing in Avila Beach, Patriot had 20 anglers on its Dec. 20 half-day trip, and they landed 167 rockfish, 11 lingcod, and five red snapper. Phenix ran a full-day trip on Dec. 19 with 11 anglers and landed 77 bolina, 26 red snapper, 18 lingcod, four assorted rockfish, and three Cabazon.

INSTRUCTIONAL CHARTERS: 976-TUNA offers instructional charters throughout the season. 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, 49-675-0550; 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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