Ocean Fishing Report, Dec. 28

BLUEFIN ACTION CONTINUES: While most boats have laid off for a few days at Christmas, some skippers have continued to run overnight and 1.5-day trips out to the 60-mile and Butterfly Banks where the bluefin tuna continue to show in very good numbers. These are mostly 20- to 40-pound class fish. The bluefin have been a little more picky biters the last few days as we build into a full moon, there is a good fall-back option: The 5- to 10-pound yellowtail have been stacked up on floating kelp paddies, and they have been extremely reliable back-ups. The scores paint the picture:

Chief out of H&M Landing had 22 anglers on its Wednesday overnight trip this week and landed two bluefin tuna and 130 yellowtails.

Condor out of Fisherman’s Landing called in Wednesday with just two bluefin tuna on the boat, but there were 150-plus on the yellowtails.

Aztec out of Seaforth Sportfishing was on a 1.5-day trip that returned Christmas Eve, and the 29 anglers on board had 58 bluefin and 89 yellowtails.

New Lo-An out of Point Loma Sportfishing had 32 anglers on its Wednesday overnight trip and caught 61 yellowtails.

SAN DIEGO YELLOWTAIL: The San Diego half-day fleet has been hammering the smaller, schoolie yellowtail the last few days. The bite took off over the weekend for the morning boats (while the afternoon half-day werenít getting any yellows. These are small-grade fish running 4 to 5 pounds mostly, with a few to 10 pounds.

Dolphin out of Fishermaní’ Landing had 74 anglers on its Wednesday morning half-day and caught 76 yellowtail. The Tuesday morning trip produced 52 yellowtail and two bonito for 53 anglers. It’s biggest score this past week came on Saturday morning’s trip when 22 anglers landed 110 yellowtails, six rockfish, two bonito, and a bonus halibut.

On Wednesday, Sea Watch out of Seaforth Sportfishing had 41 anglers on its morning half-day trip and landed 85 yellowtails. The Tuesday trip with 48 anglers produced 80 yellows.

Premier out of H&M Landing had 63 anglers on its Wednesday morning half-day and landed 37 yellowtails, 22 rockfish, and one sheephead. The Tuesday morning trip with 37 anglers produced 51 yellowtails and 25 rockfish.

ROCKFISH SEASON WINDS DOWN: The mid-winter closure of the rockfish season will begin on Monday, Jan. 1, 2018. South of Point Conception, the closure last until March 1, 2018. North of Point Conception, the season doesn’t reopen until April 1, 2018. Rockfish season remains open in Mexican waters, and some San Diego-based boats will start making overnight runs for bottom fish in January.

NEARSHORE UPDATE FOR LOS ANGELES-ORANGE COUNTIES: The bite on rockfish and other bottom species has continued good to excellent over the past week for most sportboats targeting these fish out of Los Angeles and Orange county landings. Skippers focusing on the offshore islands are really posting good scores on better quality fish, especially on overnight trips. A couple of typical scores:

Freelance out of Davey’s Locker had 80 anglers on its Wednesday three-quarter-day trip, and managed to land 143 rockfish, 30 whitefish, 12 perch, eight red snapper, three sheephead, and three bonito, a respectable two-plus fish per angler.

Monte Carlo out of 22nd Street Landing had 39 anglers on its Tuesday half-day trip and caught 132 rockfish, 12 red snapper, 11 bocaccio, and two lingcod. Meanwhile, Freedom, also out of 22nd Street, had 21 anglers on an overnight trip Sunday and landed limits of 210 rockfish, 130 whitefish, 42 lingcod, and 38 sheephead.

New Del Mar out of Marina del Rey Sportfishing had a mob of 67 anglers on its Tuesday half-day trip and landed 412 rockfish, five whitefish, and one sheephead.

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

At Channel Islands Sportfishing in Oxnard, Sea Jay had eight anglers on Wednesday’s full-day trip and had limits of 80 rockfish and 20 whitefish. Aloha Spirit, also on a full-day trip, had 17 anglers and caught 141 rockfish, 96 whitefish, 85 sheephead, 13 lingcod, three Cabazon, and two calico bass.

At Hook’s Landing in Oxnard, New Hustler was on an overnight with 24 anglers on Wednesday and landed 200 rockfish.

At Ventura Sportfishing, Amigo had 13 anglers on an overnight and caught six white sea bass along with 40 rockfish, 23 lingcod, 20 whitefish, and three sheephead. Pacific Dawn was also on an overnight trip with 17 anglers on Wednesday and caught limits of 170 rockfish, 115 whitefish, 34 lingcod, two sheephead, and one sole. The full-day Island Spirit trip on Wednesday had 24 anglers and landed 240 rockfish, 160 whitefish, 28 sheephead, and 12 lingcod.

At Sea Landing in Santa Barbara, both Coral Sea and Stardust ran three-quarter-day trips on Wednesday. Coral Sea had 25 anglers who landed 90 rockfish, 53 red snapper, and 35 lingcod. The 20 anglers on Stardust landed 181 rockfish and 23 lingcod.

AVILA BEACH-MORRO BAY NEWS: There has continued to be excellent rockfish and lingcod action for the Morro Bay and Avila boats all of the past week. In the local surf, the barred surfperch bite remains consistent on better quality fish up to three pounds, mostly on live lugworms or blood worms. The Rapala Shadow Rap jigs also are a good bet.

At Virg’s Landing in Morro Bay, Rita G had 25 anglers on its Wednesday morning half-day trip, and they landed 222 assorted rockfish along with 28 red snapper for limits. They also had a lincod. Fiesta had 24 anglers on a full-day trip and caught 200 red snapper, 40 assorted rockfish, and nine lings.

At Morro Bay Landing, Avenger had 43 anglers on its Wednesday three-quarter-day trip and put 410 rockfish and 20 red snapper on the boat for full limits. Endeavor had 19 anglers on the Wednesday half-day and landed 110 red snapper, 40 assorted rockfish, 20 bocaccio, 20 bolina, and 36 lingcod.

At Patriot Sportfishing in Avila Beach, Phenix had 17 anglers on its three-quarter-day trip, and they landed 82 rockfish, 77 bolina, 17 lingcod, 10 red snapper, and one Cabazon. Flying Fish had 23 anglers aboard for the half-day trip Wednesday and caught 186 rockfish, 13 lings, three red snapper, and two bocaccio.

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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