BLUEFIN ACTION CONTINUES: While few boats have made the run out to the offshore tuna banks during the past week, those making the run are still finding excellent, often limit-style action on the bluefin. These are not the huge bluefin of earlier in the season, but they are solid 25- to 35-pound fish for the most part. There is also usually a pretty good bite on yellowtail when the bluefin aren’t cooperating (or everyone had their two-fish limit).
The most recent trip was the Jan. 2 run by Chief out of H&M Landing. The 24 anglers on that overnight trip caught 48 bluefin tuna and 16 yellowtails.
On Sunday, Oceanside 95 out of Helgren’s Sportfishing had 21 anglers on its 1.5-day trip and landed 34 bluefin and eight yellowtails.
These fish usually bite best on the backside of the new moon, so this week could see hot action.
SAN DIEGO YELLOWTAIL: With the closure of rockfish season in California waters, the San Diego half-day fleet has mostly been focusing on yellowtail and sculpin, and the morning yellowtail bite has been very good this week.
Sea Watch out of Seaforth Sportfishing has been pounding the yellowtail on its morning half-day trips this whole week. On Jan. 3, 38 anglers had 43 yellowtail and 12 keeper calicos. On the Jan. 2 morning trip, there were 49 anglers who landed 91 yellowtails and one halibut, while the Jan. 1 trip with 19 anglers produced 51 yellowtails.
Dolphin out of Fisherman’s Landing had 18 anglers on its Jan. 2 afternoon half-day and caught 37 sand bass, 25 sculpin, and 10 calicos. The morning trip with 58 anglers produced 115 yellowtails.
Daily Double out of Point Loma Sportfishing had just three anglers on its Jan. 3 half-day trip this week, but they landed three yellowtails, seven sand bass, six calico bass, three bonito, and one sculpin.
Josie Lynn out of Point Loma Sportfishing had six anglers on its Dec. 29, 2017 overnight trip and landed full-limits of 60 yellowtails.
MEXICAN ROCKFISH: The rockfish season, which closed all along the Southern California coast on Monday, is still open in Mexican waters. Premier out of H&M Landing has been running half-day trips into Mexican water (you will need a passport for these trips) for rockfish since the California season closed Jan. 1, and the action has been very good. On an. 3, 23 anglers landed 115 red snapper, 110 assorted rockfish, and five lingcod. The Jan. 1 trip with 23 anglers produced 227 rockfish, two lings, and one sheephead.
SCULPIN TIME: With the closure of rockfish season, most of the sportboats running out of Los Angeles and Orange County landings have been focusing on sculpin and sand bass, and with good success. The scores really tell the story.
New Del Mar out of Marina del Rey Sportfishing had 34 anglers on its Jan. 3 half-day, and caught 170 sculpin, 15 sand bass, one calico bass, and one bonus halibut. Spitfire, also Marina del Rey, had 19 anglers on its three-quarter-day trip and landed 95 sculpin, 32 keeper sand bass, eight calicos, and seven triggerfish.
Freelance out of Davey’s Locker had 69 anglers on its Jan. 3 three-quarter-day trip and landed 102 sculpin, 40 perch, and three sand bass. The Jan. 2 trip with 61 anglers returned with 155 sculpin and 51 perch.
Monte Carlo out of 22nd Street Landing had 24 anglers on its Jan. 3 morning half-day, and caught 41 sculpin and 19 sand bass. The Jan. 2 trip with 11 anglers produced 25 sculpin, 15 perch, and nine sand bass.
VENTURA-SANTA BARBARA UPDATE: The last day of rockfish season was Sunday, and the action was excellent right up until the closure for boats running out of Ventura and Santa Barbara area landings. Most boats will be laying off and doing maintenance until March 1s opener.
At Channel Islands Sportfishing in Oxnard, no boats have been out since Dec. 31, 2017, but the final week was excellent. Mirage finished the season with an overnight trip returning Dec. 31, 2017, and the 24 anglers on board had 240 rockfish, 48 lingcod, and 48 whitefish.
At Hook’s Landing in Oxnard, the final rockfish trip was a three-quarter-day jaunt aboard New Hustler, and the 35 anglers on board had 310 rockfish, 120 whitefish, and 32 sheephead.
At Ventura Sportfishing, Island Spirit had 23 anglers on its full-day Dec. 31, 2017 trip and landed limits of 230 rockfish, 120 whitefish, 38 sheephead, 11 lingcod, and one Cabazon.
At Sea Landing in Santa Barbara, both Coral Sea and Stardust ran three-quarter-day trips on the final day of rockfish season. Coral Sea had 26 anglers who landed 180 rockfish, 52 lingcod, and 17 whitefish. Meanwhile, the 39 anglers on Stardust landed 213 red snapper, 117 rockfish, and 53 lingcod.
AVILA BEACH-MORRO BAY NEWS: The rockfish season closed on this section of the coast on Sunday, but the bite was excellent right up to the end. 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 a good bet.
At Virg’s Landing in Morro Bay, Fiesta ran the final rockfish trip of the season on Dec. 31, 2017 and the 23 anglers on board had 170 red snapper, 60 assorted other rockfish, and 46 lings.
At Morro Bay Landing, Avenger had its final trip of the season on Dec. 30, 2017 and 46 anglers landed 460 rockfish and one lingcod on a half-day trip.
At Patriot Sportfishing in Avila Beach, Phenix, Flying Fish and Patriot all ran final-day trips on Dec. 31, 2017. Patriot’s full-day trip had 34 anglers who landed 159 bolina, 153 assorted rockfish, 22 red snapper, 19 lingcod, five cocaccio, and one Cabazon. The full-day Phenix had 18 anglers and landed 66 bolina, 63 red snapper, 32 assorted other rockfish, 16 bocaccio, 12 lingcod, and one Cabazon. The half-day Flying Fish had 24 anglers and landed 180 assorted rockfish, 24 red snapper, and 15 lingcod.
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.
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.