Ocean Fishing Report, May 4

BLUEFIN TUNA UPDATE: The San Diego and Oceanside boats continue to target the vast schools of bluefin tuna in offshore waters within range of even three-quarter-day boats. The bite has been hit and miss. Anglers are seeing lots of fish, but the trick has been finding a school of fish that will bite. Most of these bluefin are 15 to 25 pounds, but fish of 100 pounds or larger are caught almost daily, with the big fish bite best early in the morning. There are also yellowtail bites on these trips (found under birds and around floating kelp). These are mostly 5 to 8 pounds.

The boat scores tell the story. Pacific Queen out of Fisherman’s Landing had 34 anglers on a May 2 overnight trip and landed 17 bluefin, but two of the fish were 100-pounders. The May 1 overnight trip with 33 anglers produced three bluefin, while the April 30 1.5-day trip with 34 anglers returned with 4 bluefin and 170 yellowtail.

New Lo-An out of Point Loma Sportfishing had 23 anglers on an April 30 overnight trip and landed 28 bluefin. The April 29 overnight with 28 anglers returned with just five bluefin.

Tribute out of Seaforth Sportfishing had 15 anglers on its May 1 overnight trip and landed three 20-pound class bluefin. The April 30 overnight with 13 anglers produced 17 yellowtail, while the April 29 trip with 30 anglers returned with 4 bluefin.

Old Glory out of H&M Landing had 22 anglers on its April 30 1.5-day trip and landed 18 bluefin and two bonito. Legend, also out of H&M, had 17 anglers on an overnight trip April 30 and they caught 70 yellowtail, while the April 29 overnight with 28 anglers returned with 16 yellowtail and 1 bonito.

The three-quarter-day boats are mostly focusing on the smaller grade yellowtail, but a few tuna are in the mix and some days the scores are pretty decent.

San Diego out of Seaforth Sportfishing had 40 anglers on its May 2 three-quarter-day trip and landed 18 bluefin tuna and 31 yellowtail, but the trip on May 1 with 42 anglers produced just 1 bluefin.

Mission Belle out of Point Loma Sportfishing had 11 anglers on the May 1 three-quarter-day trip and landed 25 yellowtail. On the April 30 trip, there were 20 anglers and 1 bluefin tuna was landed. The April 28 jaunt with 27 anglers produced 41 yellowtail and six bonito.

Malihini out of H&M Landing had 14 anglers on its April 30 three-quarter day-trip and landed just 1 bluefin tuna. The April 28 trip with 23 anglers returned with 2 bluefin and 11 yellowtail.

CATALINA AND CLEMENTE UPDATES: The yellowtail bite has been improving at both Catalina and San Clemente islands this week and these fish are showing in a wide variety of sizes, from 5 to 30 pounds, with most 8 to 15 pounds. While it doesn’t show up in the sportboat catches as much, there has also been a good no-, low-light white sea bass bite for the private boaters at Catalina with these fish running from 25 to 50 pounds.

Thunderbird out of Davey’s Locker reported in late May 3 on its overnight trip with full limits of yellowtail for its 15 passengers. The 30 anglers on its May 2 overnight trip landed 42 yellowtail, and the May 1 trip with 20 anglers produced 53 yellowtail.

Outrider, out of 22nd Street Landing, had 11 anglers on its May 3 overnight jaunt and had limits of 110 yellowtail, along with 30 keeper calicos, 16 whitefish, 12 sheephead, and a bonus halibut. On a May 2 trip, the 10 anglers on board landed 71 yellowtail, 100 rockfish (limits), 5 sheephead, and 1 lingcod.

Eldorado out of Long Beach Sportfishing fishing at San Clemente had 16 anglers on its May 3 overnight trip and landed 23 yellowtail, 3 white sea bass, 71 keeper calicos, 92 whitefish, 27 rockfish, 11 red snapper, 6 sheephead, 28 perch, 3 barracuda, and 1 black sea bass that was released. The 24 anglers on the May 2 overnight landed 33 yellowtail, 25 whitefish, 17 sheephead, 15 calico bass, 12 rockfish, and 7 perch.

At Catalina, Pursuit out of 22nd Street Landing had 33 anglers on it May 2 full-day trip and landed 31 yellowtail, 25 calico bass, 20 whitefish, 10 sheephead, 2 barracuda, and 1 halibut. The May 1 trip with 19 anglers produced 20 yellowtail along with 110 rockfish, 43 red snapper, 22 bocaccio, 22 whitefish, 8 calico bass, 5 sheephead, 1 halibut, and 1 barracuda.

Sport King out of L.A. Waterfront Sportfishing had 28 anglers on its three-quarter-day trip and landed 125 perch, 38 whitefish, 32 calico bass, 22 sheephead, 10 rockfish, 1 halibut, 1 barracuda, and 1 sargo. The May 1 trip with 15 anglers had 16 yellowtail along with 73 perch, 20 bonito, 6 calico bass, and 5 sheephead.

Freelance out of Davey’s Locker had 35 anglers on its May 2 three-quarter-day trip and landed 103 whitefish, 82 perch, 21 keeper calicos, 16 sheephead, 3 rockfish, and 2 halibut.

CHANNEL ISLANDS WHITE SEA BASS: The white sea bass bite has surged on May 1 and 2 week up in the northern Channel Islands, with a number of boats posting one-fish limits and then loading up on rockfish. Ventura Sportfishing boats really cashed in on this bite, but it appeared to wane again May 3 for these 25- to 40-pound fish.

Island Spirit out of Ventura Sportfishing had 34 anglers on a May 2 full-day trip and landed 18 white sea bass, 8 yellowtail, 1 halibut along with 121 rockfish, 20 whitefish, and 1 lingcod. The May 1 trip with 20 anglers produced full limits of 20 white sea bass, 200 rockfish, 8 whitefish, 2 sheephead, and 2 lingcod.

Also out of Ventura Sportfishing, the overnight Pacific Dawn had eight anglers May 2 and had limits of white sea bass. The full-day Amigo, with 21 anglers, returned with 21 white sea bass, along with 40 barracuda, 2 whitefish, 2 bonito, 2 scuplin, and 1 released black sea bass.

On May 2, Sea Jay out of Channel Islands Sportfishing had 10 anglers on its full-day trip and landed two white sea bass along with limits of 100 rockfish. Gentleman, also out of Channel Islands, had 20 anglers on its three-quarter-day trip May 2 and caught two white sea bass, 300 rockfish, 10 whitefish, and 1 lingcod.

LOCAL ROCKFISH: The rockfish bite has continued to be good for most of the half- and three-quarter-day boats fishing along the coast. Three fish per angler to the south, five to 10 per angler as you travel north up the coast. At Marina del Rey Sportfishing, the three-quarter-day boats Betty-O and Spitfire both had limits of rockfish for all anglers on board on May 1 trips with light loads. On busier weekend trips the average has been around seven fish per angler.

GRUNION UPDATE: While catching grunion is not allowed in April and May, there are runs May 10-13, May 25-28, June 9-12, and June 24-27.

INSTRUCTIONAL CHARTERS: 976-TUNA offers instructional charters throughout the season. While all of the April and May trips are booked, the next available trip is a two-day aboard Thunderbird out of Davey’s Locker leaving June 11. The early-booking price is just $275 (normal price is $400). 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.


Please feel free to send your freshwater or saltwater fishing reports and fishing photos to Jim Matthews of 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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