GREAT FALL ACTION: The yellowfin tuna bite has been excellent for the San Diego 1 1/2 to 2 1/2-day fleet, and there are school schools of local yellowfin. The bluefin tuna remain on the two spots off San Clemente Island, and there is good yellowtail action around Catalina and up in the northern Channel Islands. It’s not El Niño, but it’s good, traditional fall fish with some perks.
SAN DIEGO YELLOWFIN: A new batch of yellowfin tuna has been the focus of most of the 1 1/2- to 2 1/2-day boats running out of San Diego. The spot is some 90 miles off Point Loma, and it is holding a good volume of yellowfin, dorado, and small yellowtail. Limits of both species (five yellowfin and two dorado per day) have been common. The yellowfin are mostly 8 to 25 pounds with the dorado 4 to 18 pounds. Most of the yellowtail are under 12 pounds and being released.
The scores tell the story. Pacific Queen out of Fisherman’s Landing reported in Sept. 28 with limits of yellowfin for all anglers on board along with 11 dorado on its 1 1/2-day trip. New Lo-An out of Point Loma returned Sept. 28 with 23 anglers who had limits of yellowfin (115) and 40 dorado. Condor, also out of Fisherman’s Landing, had 23 anglers on its 1 1/2-day trip that returned Tuesday and they landed limits of yellowfin, 82 yellowtail, and 17 dorado. At H&M Landing, Top Gun 80 and Ranger 85, both on 2 1/2-day trips returned Wednesday with two-day limits of both yellowfin and dorado, as did the 1 1/2-day boat Ocean Odyssey. Prowler out of Fisherman’s Landing came in Wednesday with five-fish limits of both yellowfin and skipjack on its 1 1/2-day trip. There was a special fly-rod trip aboard Fortune that came back early this week, and the fly-guys also all had limits of yellowfin, along with dorado and yellowtail, mostly released.
The yellowfin that had been in range of the three-quarter day boats is still in the area, but gets pushed around and broken up by boat traffic, especially on weekends. On Tuesday, Malihini out of H&M Landing had 16 anglers on its three-quarter day trip and they landed 41 yellowfin and one skipjack. The three-quarter day San Diego out of Seaforth Sportfishing had 32 anglers on Sept. 26 and they landed 16 yellowfin, that was after very tough trips over the weekend when only a couple of fish were landed.
CLEMENTE TROPHY BLUEFIN: The big bluefin tuna, running from 40 to 90 pounds this week, are still showing for boats fishing reefs near San Clemente Island (about 5 and 40 miles off the island). Bigger fish are still being hooked, but few landed. On Monday, the Oceanside 95 out of Helgren’s Sportfishing had 22 anglers on its 1 1/2-day trip and they landed 10 of those quality bluefin. Meanwhile, the yellowtail bite at Clemente slowed way down. Thunderbird out of Davey’s Locker was at the island for yellows Monday, but the 26 anglers only managed five yellowtail, but did land 107 rockfish, 83 bonito, 21 barracuda, 12 ling cod, and seven bocassio.
CATALINA ISLAND STILL GOOD: The Catalina Island bite has remained good for the yellowtail, bonito, calico bass, and a variety of bottom fish. The fishing pressure has also finally started to back off. Pursuit out of 22nd Street Landing had 34 anglers on its Tuesday trip and they landed 15 yellowtail — better grade fish from 8 to 14 pounds — along with 46 bonito and 12 keeper calicos.
SAN NICHOLAS UPDATE: The few boats making the long 90-mile run to San Nicholas Island are whacking the yellowtail. Freedom out of 22nd Street Landing had 36 anglers on its overnight trip on Wednesday and they landed 193 yellowtail, 23 calico bass, and 15 perch.
NORTHERN CHANNEL ISLANDS UPDATE: The yellowtail fishing has been good in the northern Channel Islands, especially at Anacapa and Santa Cruz with from 10 to 25 fish per boat. These are mostly quality yellows from 14 to 22 pounds. These fish are focusing on the squid that have started massing in this area in the past few weeks. Amigo out of Ventura Sportfishing had 19 anglers on its Wednesday full-day trip and they landed 18 yellowtail, four calicos, and one halibut. Island Spirit, also Ventura, had 20 anglers on its trip and they landed 47 yellowtail. Aloha Spirit out of Channel Islands Sportfishing had 22 anglers Wednesday and they landed 25 yellowtail. Even the half-day boats are getting in on some of this action. Speed Twin out of Channel Islands Sportfishing was out with 55 anglers on Wednesday and they landed 19 yellowtail along with 12 rockfish, four whitefish, three bonito, three sheephead, two calicos, and two barracuda.
NEARSHORE UPDATE: This bite continues to be pretty good all along the coast from the Santa Monica Bay to San Diego. The half-day fleet has been focusing on the very good rockfish action, and getting a pick on the bass and the occasional yellowtail (especially in the Santa Monica Bay). Half- to three-quarter limits on the rockfish have been pretty common on most half-day boats along with a smattering of the other fish. Monte Carlo out of 22nd Street Landing had 20 anglers on its Tuesday afternoon half-day and they landed 135 rockfish, while the morning trip with 11 anglers returned with 103 rockfish. New Seaforth out of Seaforth Sportfishing had 17 anglers on its Wednesday morning half-day and they landed 60 rockfish and two ling cod.
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 last instructional trip of 2016 was a 1 1/2-day jaunt aboard Triton out of L.A. Waterfront Sportfishing that left Tuesday this week. The trip fished San Nicholas Island and the early report was that over 100 quality yellowtail and two big halibut were on the boat at mid-day Wednesday. There are no more instructional trips this year, but they will resume next year. 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.