TROPHY BLUEFIN TUNA: Most of the San Diego overnight fleet continues to target the trophy bluefin tuna that are in good volume off the coast right now. Most of the boats are heading south, so a Passport is a must to book most of these trips that fish Mexican waters, but some trips are staying in American waters. In both cases, the quality of the bluefin is exceptional with most running from 60 to 120 pounds. Most skippers are fishing bluefin early and late in the day and then targeting yellowtail in the middle part of the fishing day. Most of the sportboats are not getting great volume bluefin (unless they run across a school of smaller 30 to 40-pound bluefin), but the opportunity to hook and possibly land a trophy class fish is what is attracting so many anglers.
This bite has come back on strong on the backside of the full moon, and both fee sportboats and private boat anglers are getting into these fish. The sportboats have been averaging from three to five per trip. New Lo-An out of Point Loma was on an overnight trip Monday with 16 anglers and they landed four bluefin. Prower out of Fisherman’s Landing was on a 1 1/2-day trip with 18 anglers and they had just one bluefin and three yellowtail. Condor, also out of Fisherman’s, was on a 2 1/2-day trip with 24 anglers over the Memorial Day weekend, and they landed 220 yellowtai, but no bluefin. Pacific Queen, out of Fisherman’s, was also on a 2 1/2-day trip over the weekend and the 25 anglers had 18 bluefin to 120 pounds. One of the best scores was aboard the Pacific Voyager out of Seaforth Sportfishing. On a 2 1/2-day trip over the weekend with 22 anglers, they landed 36 of the smaller grade bluefin along with 90 yellowtail. Fishing aboard a private boat, Rick Maxa, Fisherman’s Landing, had a 205-pound bluefin over the weekend.
SAN DIEGO THREE-QUARTER DAY UPDATE: Many of the three-quarter day boats out of San Diego are also targeting the bluefin tuna, but the Coronado Islands yellowtail bite has been up and down with the bite improving in recent days. On Tuesday, the San Diego out of Seaforth Sportfishing had 33 anglers on its three-quarter trip and they landed seven bluefin. On the Sunday trip, there were 47 anglers who landed 121 yellowtail. Malihini out of H&M Landing had 11 anglers on its Tuesday three-quarter day trip and they landed four yellowtail, 72 rockfish, two sheephead, and two barracuda. On its Monday trip with 18 anglers, there were eight yellowtail and 10 barracuda landed. Vendetta, also out of H&M Landing, its Tuesday three-quarter day trip with 14 anglers produced 15 yellowtail and 35 rockfish. On Sunday’s trip, the 13 anglers had three bluefin tuna and one opah.
CATALINA AND CHANNEL ISLANDS SEABASS AND YELLOWTAIL: Throughout the Channel Islands, there have been good pockets of squid which have attracted 20 to 40-pound yellowtail and white seabass. The bulk of this action on these bigger grade fish has all been on the live candy bait before the sun comes up. And the white seabass are mostly showing for private boat anglers. There are also large schools of mixed grade yellowtail showing on all the islands, but especially at Catalina and Clemente. More and more bonito and calico bass are also showing in this bite. On Wednesday, Thunderbird out of Davey’s Locker was on an overnight trip with 34 anglers and they landed 87 yellowtail, limits of 170 keeper calicos, and 108 bonito with the yellowtail running from 5 to 25 pounds with most on the smaller end. The day before, 29 anglers on this boat has 67 yellowtail and 30 calico bass. Enterprise out of Long Beach Marina Sportfishing had 40 anglers on its Tuesday three-quarter day trip and they landed three yellowtail, 25 calico bass (190 released), 210 perch, 19 rockfsih, 13 sheephead, eight bonito, seven sculpin, six barracuda, and four sargo at Catalina. Native Sun out of 22nd Street Landing was on Wednesday’s three-quarter day trip with 20 anglers, and they returned with eight yellowtail, 132 perch, 33 calicos, six bonito, five sheephead, three barracuda, and three sculpin. On a full-day trip, the Pursuit, also out of 22nd Street, had 43 anglers and they landed 40 yellowtail, 44 perch, 33 calico bass, 14 sheephead, seven barracuda, and six sargo. One of the best yellowtail scores of the week was posted on the Pursuit on its Sunday trip when 73 anglers had 84 yellowtail. At Channel Islands Sportfishing, the Island Tak had nine anglers on Tuesday’s full-day trip and they landed one yellowtail, one white seabass, 90 rockfish, four sheephead, and two lingcod.
HALIBUT UPDATE: Mixed in with the white seabass and yellowtail in feeding on the squid, but staying tight to the bottom, are halibut, and private boat anglers and skippers target these flatfish are seeing some pretty good results with live squid. Freedom out of 22nd Street Landing was at Catalina with 44 anglers on an overnight trip and they landed six halibut along with 16 yellowtail, 22 calico bass, 12 whitefish, and 150 rockfish.
NEARSHORE ACTION — ROCKFISH AND SCULPIN: Most of the nearshore fleet from San Diego up to Santa Barbara still is focusing on the bottom action for sculpin and rockfish. The calico bass bite has been hit and miss and most are under the minimum size in the nearshore waters. Monte Carlo out of 22nd Street Landing had a pair of half-day trips on Monday. The morning trip with 57 anglers produced 235 sculpin and six whitefish, while the afternoon trip had 30 anglers who landed 60 sculpin, 32 rockfish, 19 whitefish, and 16 red snapper. Southern Cal out of Pierpoint Landing had 29 anglers on its morning half-day Tuesday and they landed 135 sculpin (five-fish limits), while the afternoon trip with 15 anglers produced 70 sculpin and two barracuda. The Sum Fun out of Dana Wharf Sportfishing had 42 anglers on Tuesday and they landed 30 red snapper, 19 rockfsh, five sculpin, and two bocaccio.
INSTRUCTIONAL CHARTERS: The staff of 976-TUNA is hosting instructional charters throughout the season, offering advice to beginning or veteran anglers and on-the-water teaching of techniques for different saltwater species. The next available trip is a two-day jaunt leaving Sunday, July 10, aboard Thunderbird out of Davey’s Locker. Cost per angler is $300. Check 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.