GENERAL UPDATE: The fishing throughout Southern California has been fair to good during the final days of spring 2017, but the dock counts hasn’t really shown what’s happened in local offshore fishing. The reality is the California Bite is jugged with fish, both gamefish and baitfish. The variety is also phenomenal. Anglers are still likely to catch everything from bluefin tuna running from 20 to 200 pounds, yellowfin tuna to 40 pounds, yellowtail from 5 to 30 pounds, the three B’s (bass, bonito to 5 pounds and barracuda), along with hammerhead, thrasher or mako sharks. There is also still a large volume of white sea bass in the northern Channel Islands, and no one is talking much about the halibut action. Rockfish have been excellent just about everywhere. Anglers are reporting fish everywhere, but finding eager-biting fish (like has been so common the past two seasons) has been difficult. Catches have been more “normal” for average “good” year. Good numbers of bluefin tuna remain off San Diego (although picky lately). Catalina, Clemente, and Coronado island boats have been reporting 12 to 20 yellowtail per trip, which is good as a historical average. The calico and sand bass bites have been good, especially if you count the number of sub-legal (14-inch minimum size) fish being landed and released. And then there are improving catches of yellowfin tuna.
SEPTEMBER IN JUNE?: There has been an influx in the number of yellowfin tuna out of San Diego in the past week. Are these local fish responding to warmer water and lots of bait, or is it the leading edge of fish already moving up the coast earlier than normal? The jury is out on that, but they are starting to be more than an occasional catch. In fact, skippers have found themselves in big yellowfin schools when chasing bluefin or yellowtail in the past week. The bluefin and yellowtail are still the dominant species for the San Diego offshore boats.
Vagabond was on a 1.5-day trip out of Point Loma Sportfishing on June 18; the 20 anglers on board had 14 yellowfin and one yellowtail. Pacific Queen out of Fisherman’s Landing had 10 anglers on its June 18 overnight trip and landed 10 bluefin tuna. Pacific Voyager out of Seaforth Sportfishing had just eight anglers on a 2-day trip and caught 84 yellowtail, 44 calico bass, 14 barracuda, and 10 bonito. Top Gun 80, on a 2.5-day trip out of H&M Landing through June 19, had 24 anglers who landed 126 yellowtail, four yellowfin tuna, and five bonito.
The three-quarter-day fleet has been seeing far few bluefin this week, but the yellowtail and yellowfin are taking up the slack. San Diego out of Seaforth Sportfishing was on a three-quarter-day trip June 20 with 14 anglers and landed 24 yellowtail, 21 bonito, 10 calico bass, four barracuda, and one lingcod. A June 19 trip with 21 anglers produced two yellowfin, while the June 18 trip with 27 anglers results in one yellowfin and 53 keeper calicos. Mission Belle out of Point Loma had 12 anglers on a three-quarter-day trip June 20 and landed five yellowfin tuna, one bluefin, and two bonito. Liberty out of Fisherman’s Landing had 12 anglers on its June 18 three-quarter-day and landed two yellowfin.
CLEMENTE-CATALINA UPDATE: Yellowtail, bass, bonito, and barracuda has been the game for anglers fishing San Clemente and Catalina islands this week – along with a helping or of bottom fish.
Freedom out of 22nd Street Landing had 13 anglers on its June 20 overnight trip and landed nine yellowtail, 32 rockfish, 23 bonito, 22 calico bass, and eight barracuda. Thunderbird out of Davey’s Locker had 29 anglers on its June 20 overnight trip to Clemente and landed 25 yellowtail and 60 calico bass. The June 19 trip with 30 anglers returned with 38 yellowtail. The June 19 overnight had 30 anglers who landed 33 yellowtail, 53 calicos, and two sheephead. Eldorado out of Long Beach Sportfishing had 19 anglers on a June 19 overnight trip and landed 25 yellowtail, 80 rockfish, 40 whitefish, 22 bonito, seven calico bass, three sheephead, two perch, and one bonus halibut.
At Catalina Island, Pursuit out of 22nd Street Landing had 56 anglers on its June 20 full-day-trip, and landed 30 yellowtail, 50 keeper calico bass, 45 bonito, 22 perch, 15 whitefish, 10 barracuda, and eight sheephead. Sport King out of L.A. Waterfront Sportfishing has been making daily three-quarter-day trips to Catalina. On June 20, there were 31 anglers on the boat and they landed 46 yellowtail, 44 calico bass, 42 bonito, 28 perch, and three barracuda. A June 19 trip with 24 anglers produced 11 yellowtail, 96 bonito, 35 calicos, 25 perch, 20 whitefish, and nine barracuda, while the June 18 trip with 27 anglers returned with just one yellowtail, but added 120 bonito, 14 calicos, 10 perch, and five barracuda to the sacks.
LOS ANGELES-ORANGE COUNTY LOCAL: The boats fishing the nearshore waters in Orange and Los Angeles counties have seen an upswing in the number of keeper-sized bass over the past week to 10 days, along with continued good bottomfish and sculpin action. There have also been flurries of barracuda action and the occasional yellowtail or halibut on these trips to add variety.
Native Sun out of 22nd Street Landing had 28 anglers on its June 20 three-quarter-day trip and landed 125 sculpin, 87 sand bass, and 42 calico bass. New Del Mar out of Marina del Rey Sportfishing had 24 anglers on a June 20 half-day trip and landed two yellowtail, 45 bonito, 31 calico bass, and two sand bass. Spitfire, also out of Marina del Rey, had 18 anglers on its June 20 three-quarter-day trip and landed 157 whitefish, 15 bonito, 12 keeper calico and two keeper sand bass. They also released more than 80 undersize calicos and sand bass. Clemente out of Dana Wharf Sportfishing had 50 anglers on its June 20 three-quarter-day trip and landed 64 keeper calicos and another three legal sand bass, but released more than 225 undersize bass.
VENTURA AND SANTA BARBARA NEWS: The white sea bass action has really come on in the northern Channel Islands in the past few days during the dark of the moon. This joins the ongoing good rockfish action for anglers fishing this region. Some examples of this bite:
Amigo out of Ventura Sportfishing was on an overnight rip on June 20 with 20 anglers and landed 18 white sea bass, limits of 200 rockfish, 15 whitefish, and six lingcod. Pacific Dawn, also out of Ventura, had 16 anglers on its June 20 overnight and landed 32 white sea bass, 100 rockfish, 12 whitefish, and four lings. The June 19 trip on Dawn had 19 anglers and returned with 46 sea bass, along with 86 rockfish, 18 whitefish, one barracuda, and a bonus halibut. Mirage out of Channel Islands Sportfishing had 16 anglers on its June 20 overnight and landed 46 white sea bass, 113 rockfish, 18 lings, five whitefish, two sheephead, and a calico bass.
MORRO BAY UPDATE: The rockfish action has been excellent for boats running out of the Morro Bay and Avila Beach landings. The almost-constant winds also moderated over the weekend, allowing for better fishing conditions.
At Virg’s Landing, there were eight trips last week and the 171 anglers on those trips had 1,378 fish, which included 49 lings and 500 vermillions. Fiesta went up above San Simeon on a three-quarter-day private charter June 17 and hammered the reds, with 17 anglers landing 170 quality reds along with 15 lingcod. The jackpot was a 19.2-pound ling landed by Clint McEllfiesh, Sanger.
William and Rick Both, a father-son team from Ontario, were in Morro Bay for 10 consecutive days of fishing. Avid lingcod anglers, Rick managed to win three consecutive jackpots, using an alternating combination of 11-inch swimbaits and trap-rigged mackerel. The biggest of the three was a 15.5-pounder.
At Morro Bay Landing Avenger had three consecutive days of limits for all anglers on board.
At Patriot Sportfishing in Avila, the June 20 half-day Flying Fish with 22 anglers returned with 184 rockfish, 35 reds, one bocaccio, and one ling. The three-quarter-day Patriot had 26 anglers on June 20 and they landed 111 rockfish, 36 red snapper, and eight lings.
Inside the bay, leopard sharks are biting well in the boat channel close to Morro Rock, mostly on whole squid. There are also quite a few bat rays showing, and the perch bite remains good on lugworms in the local surf.
GRUNION UPDATE: The next grunion runs are June 24-27, July 9-12, 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 back open again after a season closure in April and May. More information at this link: 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 Ocean Odyssey out of H&M Landing leaving this coming Sunday, June 25. The booking price is $400 (normal price $550). 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 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.
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.