Ocean Fishing Report, March 23

CORONADO ISLAND YELLOWTAIL BITE: Another jag of good weather and better tides and the Coronado Islands yellowtail bite is expected to break wide open. The action over the past week has been up and down, but there have been some good scores for the San Diego three-quarter day fleet.

San Diego out of Seaforth Sportfishing had 15 anglers on March 21 who landed six yellowtail and 15 rockfish. Also on March 21, Malihini out of H&M Landing had 19 anglers who landed just three yellowtail and 23 rockfish. Mission Belle, out of Point Loma Sportfishing, had 15 anglers on Monday’s three-quarter day trip and they landed 36 yellowtail and 18 rockfish before the weather soured.

COLONET YELLOWTAIL: The 1.5-day and longer trips running out of San Diego to the Colonet region continue to find pretty good yellowtail and bottom fish action. The scores have mostly been from two to five yellowtail per rod over the past week.
Dominator out of Point Loma Sportfishing had 17 anglers on its 1.5-day trip that returned March 19 and landed 80 yellowtail and 85 rockfish. Pacific Queen out of Fisherman’s Landing returned on March 19 from its weekend 1.5-day trip, and the 20 anglers landed 52 yellowtail and 100 rockfish. Relentless out of H&M Landing had 21 anglers on its 1.5-day trip this past weekend, and caught 16 yellowtail, 105 red snapper, 73 rockfish and 16 lingcod.

LONG RANGE UPDATE: The long-range trips running out of San Diego or fly-in, fly-out trips out of Cabo San Lucas have been seeing excellent fishing on the giant yellowfin tuna. Royal Polaris‘ crew out of H&M Landing reported in March 22 and said there were three 200-plus yellowfin caught the day before, including fish at 210 and 224.8 pounds by one angler. Other fish caught were in the 160- to 185-pound range with only a few smaller. Constitution, also out of H&M, reported five fish at more than 200 pounds on its most recent fly-in, fly-out trip with a 277-pound the biggest.

SAN CLEMENTE NEWS: Thunderbird out of Davey’s Locker has been making overnight runs out to San Clemente Island the past couple of weeks. The trip returning March 19 with 29 anglers had seven yellowtail along with 174 whitefish, 107 rockfish, 17 sheephead, nine perch, six sculpin and one lingcod.

LOCAL ROCKFISH UPDATE: While the best bite continues to be up in the Channel Islands, the bite off the Los Angeles and Orange county coastlines had also been excellent, especially on three-quarter day trips which have been returning with full limits or nearly so. On Monday, the Spitfire out of Marina del Rey Sportfishing had 22 anglers on its three-quarter day trip and they landed 220 rockfish, 35 sculpin, and one lingcod. Saturday and Sunday trips also had limits of rockfish. The Betty-O, also out of Marina del Rey, had also posted rockfish limits on every day this past week on its three-quarter day trips, usually with a nice mix of red snapper and bocaccio in the total bag. The Freelance out of Daveyís Locker had 48 anglers on its Monday three-quarter day trip, and they landed 178 rockfish, 85 red snapper, 75 perch, 45 whitefish, 22 bocaccio, seven sheephead, and one calico bass. On Tuesday, the Victory out of Long Beach Sportfishing had 15 anglers and they landed 75 rockfish, 75 whitefish, 47 sculpin, five sheephead, and 25 bonus sand dabs.

OVER-NIGHT AND LONGER ROCKFISH TRIPS: More and more boats are now running overnight or longer trips targeting rockfish on the weekends now, and that bite has been exceptional, with quality whitefish, lings, and sheephead adding to the bag. The Eldorado out of Long Beach Sportfishing had 36 anglers on Sunday, and they landed 352 rockfish and eight Cabazon for full limits, but they also had 63 sheephead, 52 lingcod, and 47 whitefish. The Saturday overnight score with 36 anglers was almost the same with 358 rockfish, two Cabazon, 80 sheephead, 60 whitefish, and 50 ling cod. The Toronado out of Pierpoint Landing had 30 anglers on its Sunday overnight trip and they landed 300 rockfish, 91 whitefish, 60 lingcod, and 10 sheephead. The Saturday overnight with 24 anglers had a bonus yellowtail along with 240 rockfish, 50 whitefish, 48 lingcod, and 35 sheephead. The Blue Horizon, on a two-day trip out of Pierpoint, had 14 anglers and they landed 280 rockfish, 43 ling cod, and 30 whitefish.

CHANNEL ISLANDS ROCKFISH: Up in the Channel Islands, the rockfish bite for the Oxnard to Santa Barbara landings has been excellent, although buffeted by winds and rain at mid-week. The Amigo out of Ventura Sportfishing had 23 anglers on it Monday full-day trip and they landed limits of 230 rockfish, 46 lingcod, 38 whitefish, and four sheephead. On Sunday, the half-day Speed Twin out of Channel Islands Sportfishing, had 52 anglers and they came home with limits of 520 rockfish, 40 whitefish, and two ling cod. The Mirage, also out of Channel Islands, was on an overnight trip on Monday and the 16 anglers on board had 160 rockfish, 51 whitefish, and 16 lings.

ARE THE BASS STARTING?: Well, maybe the sand and calico bass bites are kicking into gear a tad early. There have been some pretty good scores off the Orange County coast this week.

Western Pride out of Davey’s Locker had 20 anglers on it March 20 afternoon half-day and landed 59 sand bass, 20 perch, 17 sculpin and four sheephead. Nautilus on a March 21 half-day trip out of Newport Landing had 10 anglers who landed 15 sand bass and 10 calicos along with five sculpin and two rockfish. A March 20 half-day had 17 anglers who caught eight keeper sand bass, five calicos (releasing another 75 or so undersize fish), six rockfish, two sheephead and a sculpin.

WHITE SEABASS ARE MORE THAN RUMORS: Dreamer out of Pierpoint Landing had nine anglers out on an overnight trip and they had limits of nine white sea bass.

INSTRUCTIONAL CHARTERS: The first 976-TUNA instructional charters of 2017 will be a two-day trip aboard The Chief out of H&M Landing fishing for yellowtail, bass and rockfish off the northern Baja coastline. This trip will depart Sunday, March 26. The early-booking price is just $300 (and a passport is required for this trip). 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; Hookís 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; Daveyís 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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