Ocean Fishing Report, July 20

SAN DIEGO NEWS: The overnight and longer trips running out of San Diego landings have been hammering the smaller-grade yellowtail over the past week. But there also have been a few dorado and bigger bonito showing up on the offshore kelp, and the odd yellowfin. There have also been a few shots of bluefin tuna, but most of that action has been on private boats who are targeting the big bluefin.

Some of the more recent scores put the bite in perspective. Pacific Queen out of Fisherman’s Landing was on a 1.5-day trip July 18 and the 18 anglers on board had 11 bluefin tuna, limits of yellowtail (90 total), six bonito, and five dorado. TheJuly 15 overnight trip on this same boat, the 20 anglers landed five bluefin tuna.

New Lo-An was on an overnight trip on July 15 and the 16 anglers on board had limits of 80 yellowtail along with three dorado. Old Glory out of H&M Landing ran an overnight trip on July 18 with 36 anglers and landed 180 yellowtail (limits), 42 dorado, and eight bonito. Top Gun 80, also out of H&M Landing, finished up a 2.5-day trip on July 17 and the 24 anglers on board landed limits of 240 yellowtail along with three dorado.

The three-quarter-day boats have either been fishing local waters – mostly the Pont Loma kelp – for bass or running out to the Coronado Islands for yellowtail and other mixed bag catches.

Mission Belle out of Point Loma Sportfishing was on a three-quarter-day trip July 18 and the 14 anglers on board caught 24 yellowtail, 31 keeper calico bass, and 19 bonito. Point Loma, also out of Point Loma Sportfishing, had 16 anglers on its three-quarter-day trip fishing in U.S. waters on July 18 and landed 53 keeper calicos (releasing another 106 under-size fish) and one rockfish. Liberty out of Fisherman’s Landing had a packed boat on its July 18 three-quarter-day trip, but the 75 anglers landed 75 yellowtail, 22 bonito, six barracuda, five calico bass, three sculpin, and one lingcod. San Diego out of Seaforth Sportfishing had 24 anglers on its July 18 three-quarter-day trip and landed seven yellowtail, 59 barracuda, 30 sand bass, 13 bonito, and eight calico bass.

OFFSHORE ISLAND NEWS: There continues to be good mixed bag fishing at Catalina, San Clemente, and other islands in the Channel Island chain. The overnight boats targeting the further offshore islands are seeing some of the best fishing, but Catalina also remains consistent, albeit very crowded on weekends.

Thunderbird out of Davey’s Locker had 28 anglers on its July 18 overnight trip to Clemente and landed one bluefin tuna, five yellowtail, two white seabass, and two halibut, along with 43 whitefish, 41 calico bass, 17 sheephead, and three barracudea.

Freedom out of 22nd Street Landing had 42 anglers on its July 18 overnight trip, also to Clemente, and landed 27 yellowtail along with 185 rockfish, 84 lingcod, 36 whitefish, and one black sea bass (released). The July 17 trip with 30 anglers produced 25 yellowtail, three white sea bass, and one halibut along with 32 sheephead, 25 rockfish, and 24 whitefish. The July 16 trip with 45 anglers had 29 white sea bass, two halibut, and one yellowtail in addition to 214 rockfish, 52 lingcod, 31 sheephead, 15 red snapper, and three black sea bass (released).

Toronado out of Pierpoint Landing had 12 anglers on its July 17 overnight trip and landed 14 yellowtail, seven white sea bass, and two halibut, along with 20 calico bass, 12 barracuda, and 10 bonito.

At Catalina Island, Native Sun out of 22nd Street Landing had 28 anglers on its July 18 three-quarter day trip and landed 34 yellowtail, 12 calico bass, and one halibut. Victory out of Long Beach Sportfishing had 21 anglers on its July 18 three-quarter-day trip and landed 74 calico bass (56 of those released), 45 sculpin, 12 rockfish, nine sand bass, and six whitefish.

SAND BASS TWILIGHT TRIPS: The evening sand bass fishing started to kick into gear in the past week, especially since the weekend as tidal movement increases going into the new moon. Freelance had 40 anglers on its July 18 twilight trip and landed 200 keeper sand bass – that’s limits! – and 55 barracuda. The July 17 twilight trip with 36 anglers produced 131 sand bass. Enterprise out of Pierpoint Landing had 27 anglers on its Monday twilight trip and landed 102 sand bass and one barracuda. On the July 15 trip, 26 anglers landed 130 sand bass.

SANTA BARBARA-VENTURA REGION NEWS: Yellowtail, white sea bass, and the three Bs – bass, bonito, and barracuda – and of course good rockfish action are all in the mix for boat out of the Ventura and Santa Barbara landings. Loads have relatively light, especially at mid-week, and the fishing has been good.

New Hustler out of Hookís Sportfishing had a two-day trip returning July 15 and the 15 anglers on board landed 19 white sea bass, five yellowtail, two-day limits of 300 rockfish, 30 lingcod, 10 whitefish, and one sheephead.

On July 18, Cobra out of Channel Islands Sportfishing had 12 anglers on a full day trip, and landed 73 barracuda, 46 rockfish, 12 whitefish, five calico bass, and four sculpin. A July 17 trip had 10 anglers who landed two white sea bass along with 100 rockfish, 35 whitefish, 15 barracuda, seven calicos, and five sculpin.

Sea Jay, also on a full day trip out of CISCO on July 18, had 10 anglers who landed four yellowtail, 20 calicos and five barracuda. Pacific Eagle out of Ventura Sportfishing had 25 anglers a July 17 full-day trip and landed eight yellowtail, 109 rockfish, 12 whitefish, six calico bass, six barracuda, two sculpin, and one sheephead. Coroloma out of Hook’s Sportfishing had 17 anglers on a July 18 three-quarter-day trip and landed eight yellowtail, 32 barracuda, 13 whitefish, four calico bass, and a perch.

For skippers targeting just the calico bass, the bite has been good. Island Tak out of Channel Islands Sportfishing was out July 18 on a full-day trip with just eight anglers and had full limits of 40 nice keeper calicos.

MORRO BAY-AVILA BEACH UPDATE: The rockfish bite is still very good in the Morro Bay to Avila Beach stretch of the coast. Limits of a nice mix of rockfish are not uncommon, and there are usually at least a couple of nice lingcod landed on each trip.

Rita G out of Virg’s Landing had 21 anglers on its July 18 three-quarter-day trip and landed 147 red snapper, 62 mixed rockfish, and one bococcio. The two lings were bonus fish. On July 16, Fiesta had 20 anglers on a full-day trip and landed 130 red snapper, 70 rockfish, and three lings. Patriot out of Patriot Sportfishing in Avila Beach had 34 anglers on its July 18 half-day and landed 175 rockfish, 150 red snapper, 15 bocaccio, and five lingcod. Avenger out of Morro Bay Sportfishing had 27 anglers on its July 18 trip and landed 189 rockcod, 27 other bottom fish, and 22 lingcod.

GRUNION UPDATE: The next grunion runs are July 23-26, Aug. 7-10, and Aug. 21-24. The runs in late July and August start to thin out with fewer and fewer fish showing on beaches. The hand-catching season is open except during April and May. More information at this link: https://www.wildlife.ca.gov/fishing/ocean/grunion.

INSTRUCTIONAL CHARTERS: 976-TUNA offers instructional charters throughout the season. The next available trip is a two-day aboard the Black Pearl out of Long Beach Sportfishing leaving Wednesday, Aug. 2. The early booking price is just $300. 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, 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.


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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