SQUID AND WHITE SEABASS: The white seabass bite has been very good, probably the best it has been in the past three or four seasons, with a lot of fish showing around the local islands and even spots along the coast. Most of the fish are 30 to 40 pounds and even the smaller fish are in the 20-pound class. One-fish limits have been common on boats targeting the seabass (limit goes back to three fish June 15). Until the weather got bumpier with wind this week, Pacific Quest out of Pierpoint Landing had a string of full-limit trips on the seabass. On May 25 the 12 anglers on its overnight trip had three white seabass, two yellowtail, six sheephead, four calico bass, and two barracuda. At Ventura Sportfishing, Amigo had 14 anglers May 25 and they had 14 seabass, a yellowtail, 50 rockfish, three lingcod, two whitefish, a sheephead, and a sculpin. Island Spirit, also on a full-day trip out of Ventura, had 19 anglers who landed 12 seabass, two yellowtail, 75 bonito, six whitefish, and one halibut. While most bait receivers have been getting squid for bait, it has been selling out quickly.
ISLANDS YELLOWTAIL STILL HOT: The yellowtail bite throughout the Southern California bite remains very good, especially at the local islands — Catalina, San Clemente, and most of the other Channel Islands open to fishing. The quality of the fish is also increasing with probably half of the fish in the 15 to 25-pound class, instead of the 5 to 7 pounders that have been the norm for the past several weeks. Thunderbird out of Davey’s Locker had 30 anglers on an overnight trip May 24 and they landed 45 yellowtail, 50 calico bass, five sheephead, and five bonito. On Wednesday’s trip, they reported in with 167 yellowtail. Pursuit out of 22nd Street Landing had 45 anglers on its three-quarter day trip Wednesday and they landed 54 yellowtail, 43 calico bass, 33 bonito, 12 barracuda, and 10 sheephead. On the off days, the average has been from 10 to 20 yellowtail per trip, while on the good days, the catch has frequently topped 100 fish. All of the islands are also producing a lot of quality calico bass, bottom fish, a few halibut, and bonito. In fact, some toad bonito to7 and 8 pounds were reported this week off San Clemente.
SAN DIEGO YELLOWTAIL: The yellowtail bite at the Coronado Islands has continued to be up and down, but the fish are still in the area in good volume. On May 25, Malihini out of H&M Landing was out with 11 anglers and they landed 14 yellowtail, 34 rockfish, and one barracuda. San Diego out of Seaforth Sportfishing had 17 anglers on its Wednesday trip and they had 15 yellowtail, two barracuda, and one bonito. Point Loma out of Point Loma Sportfishing had 12 anglers on its Wednesday trip and they landed 15 yellowtail. Those scores have been pretty typical for the past 10 days.
BLUEFIN TUNA UPDATE: There are still a lot of bluefin tuna around with most skippers and private boaters seeing lots of fish, and even hooking a lot of fish. The quality simply means that a large number of fish hooked are not landed. Those making it to the deck are mostly in the 40 to 50 pound range, with most of the 60 to 100-pound-plus fish going on their way. Daiwa Pacific out of H&M Landing was on an overnight trip May 25 with nine anglers and they landed five bluefin and a yellowtail. Top Gun 80, also out of H&M, was on a 2 1/2-day trip that returned May 23 with 17 anglers and they landed 10 bluefin and 170 yellowtail. Pacific Queen out of Fisherman’s Landing had 21 anglers on its 1 1/2-day trip returning May 24 and they had four bluefin. New Lo-An out of Point Loma Sportfishing had 20 anglers on its Sunday 1 1/2-day trip and they landed just one bluefin. There was also an albacore landed on a boat fishing out to the west on the bluefin grounds, along with a couple of yellowfin.
NEARSHORE ACTION — BASS AND BOTTOM FISH: The bite is breaking wide open all along the coast, and while many of the half-day boats are focusing on the good rockfish, sculpin, and other bottom fish action, there has also been some good action on calico bass. Sum Fun out of Dana Wharf Sportfishing had 13 anglers on its morning half-day trip on May 25 and they landed 48 keeper calicos, releasing 112 smaller fish, along with a sheephead.
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 the 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.