SAN DIEGO TROPHY BLUEFIN AND YELLOWTAIL: The San Diego three-quarter day to two-day boats continue to focus on the huge bluefin tuna in the 60 to 120-pound range — or even bigger with at least a couple of fish over 200 pounds. Bring 80-pound or heavier gear in addition to 60-pound class tackle if you go on one of these trips. The big bluefin are outside, while the 12 to 25-pound yellowtail are closer to the coast. Sometimes skippers are targeting both, going in and out. The better action is in Mexican waters requiring a passport for the trips south. Now, even a few yellowfin tuna are showing in this bite.
Some scores to illustrate how it has been: The biggest fish came on Pacific Queen out of Fisherman’s Landing June 3. While there were only two fish landed they weighed in at 205 and 207 pounds. New Lo-An out of Point Loma Sportfishing was on a 1 1/2-day trip that returned June 7 and the 17 anglers on board had 10 bluefin tuna — with the top fish at 183 pounds and four over 100 pounds. On Sunday’s 1 1/2-day trip, there were 29 anglers who landed 108 yellowtail on this same boat. Prowler out of Fisherman’s Landing with 15 anglers on its 1 1/2-day trip returning June 5 posting three bluefin. Condor out of Fisherman’s Landing had 16 anglers on its weekend 1 1/2-day trip, and they landed 72 yellowtail. Pacific Voyager out of Seaforth Sportfish was on a two-day trip that returned June 7 and the 21 anglers on board landed 111 yellowtail and four bluefin. The same boat was on a three-day trip over the weekend and the 19 anglers on board had 190 yellowtail, five bluefin, and a yellowfin.
Even the three-quarter day boats are getting in on bluefin. Malihini out of H&M Landing had 11 anglers on its June 7 three-quarter day trip and they landed 11 bluefin and three yellowfin. The June 6 trip with 21 anglers had one bluefin. San Diego out of Seaforth Sportfishing had 36 anglers on its June 7 three-quarter day trip and they landed one bluefin. The June 6 trip with 15 anglers produced nine bluefin and one yellowfin.
YELLOWTAIL AND WHITE SEABASS ON SQUID: At the nearshore islands for the Orange and Los Angeles County boats, both yellowtail and white seabass are focusing on the beds of spawning squid. Most of the seabass are 20 to 40 pounds, while the yellowtail are 15 to 40 pounds — at least the yellows are that big on the squid beds. There are 5 to 12-pound yellows in big schools on fin bait around all the islands and even along the coast. More squid are also starting to mass in little pockets along the coast, which has improved the bite on seabass, halibut, and local yellowtail. This bite stretches from Oceanside in the south well up into the Ventura-Santa Barbara region.
The Oceanside 95 out of Helgren’s Sportfishing was on an overnight trip with 25 anglers that returned Saturday, and the final tally was 16 yellowtail, five white seabass, and a halibut. A little further north, Fury out of Dana Wharf Sportfishing had 28 anglers on its June 5 full-day trip and they landed seven yellowtail, 39 bonito, 34 calico bass (plus 250 underside fish that were released), 11 whitefish, five barracuda, five perch, on sand bass, and one halibut. On Fury’s June 4 overnight trip, 32 anglers landed 77 yellowtail, 137 keeper calicos (250-plus released), 55 bonito, 40 perch, 39 whitefish, and one trigger fish.
In the Orange and Los Angeles counties region, Thunderbird out of Davey’s Locker finished up a two-day trip on June 7, and the 25 anglers on board landed 54 yellowtail, six white seabass, 128 sheephead, 107 rockfish, 95 perch, 49 calico bass, and four barracuda. Freelance, also out of Davey’s Locker, had 30 anglers on its overnight June 5 trip to San Clemente and they landed 72 yellowtail and 120 calico bass. On June 4 Toronado out of Pierpoint Landing had 36 anglers on its overnight trip and they landed 103 yellowtail, 130 rockfish, 68 calico bass, and 33 bonito. Enterprise out of Long Beach Marina Sportfishing had 17 anglers on its June 5 three-quarter day trip and they landed 12 yellowtail, a white seabass, 23 perch, and 17 calico bass. On the June 3 three-quarter day trip aboard this same boat 16 anglers had 25 yellowtail, released 30 calico bass, 10 perch, two bonito, and one barracuda. Pursuit out of 22nd Street Landing had 61 anglers on its June 7 full-day trip and they landed 75 yellowtail, 24 perch, 23 calicos, 12 barracuda, and two bonito. On June 6, Native Sun, also out of 22nd Street Landing, was on a three-quarter day trip with 28 anglers and they landed four white seabass, 19 calico bass, 11 sheephead, three whitefish, and a bonito. Betty-G out of Redondo Sportfishing had just three anglers on June 7 on a full-day trip, and they landed seven yellowtail, 15 calico bass (limits of keepers), and four barracuda. On its June 6 three-quarter day trip, the five anglers also had limits of calicos along with 11 yellowtail and 12 bontio.
In the northerly Channel Islands, Mirage out of Channel Islands Sportfishing returned from a two-day trip June 8 this week, and the 16 anglers on board had 22 yellowtail and one white seabass along with 244 whitefish, 232 rockfish, 44 sheephead, 36 Spanish jack, 22 lingcod, three halibut, and three sculpin. The Sea Jay, also out of Channel Islands, had 11 anglers on its full-day trip June 7, and they landed six white seabass and two yellowtail.
CALICO BASS, BARRACUDA, AND BOTTOM FISH: In looking at these scores, it is also pretty obvious that the calico bass bite is also really getting hot, but the bulk of the fish along the coast are undersize and have to be released. San Clemente Island has had much better calico action on bigger grade, keeper fish. In recent days, the barracuda have been caught and are showing in big schools under birds off the Orange County coastline. And, of course, the rockfish and sculpin are still providing very good action with third- to full-limits on most half-day trips, even in San Diego county. There are always a few surprises on these trips, especially as the bites get better. For example, the Daily Double out of Point Loma Sportfishing had 17 anglers on its Tuesday half-day trip and they had one white seabass and 42 rockfish.
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 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.