By: Terrence Berg
TUNA STILL EPIC: While there was a slight downturn in the tuna action on some days in some areas this past week, overall the bite has continued epic with this slight downturn still better than most the best bites in previous years. Interestingly, much of the San Diego overnight to two-day fleet has actually been fishing to the north off Catalina Island this week because the grade of yellowfin tuna has been better to the north. In San Diego and south into Mexican waters, the tuna have been running from 15 to 25 pounds, while the yellowfin off Catalina have been from 22 to 40 pounds. The limit in Mexican waters is also half (five) of what it is in local waters (10). There are more dorado to the south, and yellowtail are thick throughout the region. Some scores to show how good this bite has been.
A late report from the Grande out of Pt. Loma Sportfishing on Wednesday afternoon had 158 yellowfin to 40 pounds already on the boat on the overnight trip. The New Lo Ann, also Pt. Loma, returned Wednesday from a 1 1/2-day trip and the 30 anglers on board had 231 yellowfin, six skipjack, and one dorado. The Condor out of Fisherman’s Landing was on an overight trip Tuesday and the 15 anglers on board had 75 yellowfin and 30 dorado (limits of both species in Mexican water). The Islander on the two-day trip with 22 anglers returned on Tuesday with 220 yellowfin from Mexican waters, while the Fortune, also from Fisherman’s Landing, was on an overnight trip with 18 anglers in U.S. waters off Catalina and they landed 121 yellowfin to 40 pounds on Monday.
The Los Angeles and Orange County-based board are also obviously cashing in on the yellowfin near Catalina Island, including
the three-quarter and full-day trips. The Thunderbird out of Davey’s Locker was on an overnight trip on Tuesday with 28 anglers and they landed 64 yellowfin and 12 skipjack, while the Bongos II was on a three-quarter day trip with five anglers who caught 30 yellowfin, 25 yellowtail, and four skipjack. At 22nd Street Landing, the Native Son has been running three-quarter day trips for the past week. On Tuesday, 21 anglers had 100 yellowtail, but the big hit was on Friday when 25 anglers had 110 yellowfin tuna, 15 yellowtail, and two skipjack. The Pursuit, also 22nd Street, was out Monday on a full-day trip with 48 anglers and they landed 130 yellowtail, 71 yellowfin, 16 skipjack, and one dorado. The Toronado out of Pierpoint Sportfishing was out Tuesday on an overnight trip with 34 anglers and they landed 165 yellowfin and 10 yellowtail.
BLUEFIN: Yes, the bluefin are still massed off the coast from Cedros Island in Mexico all the way along the California coast clear into Oregon waters. The problem has been that with the mass of yellowfin, few skippers are running through and past the yellowfin to get to the slightly bigger but more temperamental bluefin 40 miles further offshore. The few private boats and the odd sportboat doing just that are reporting bluefin to 70 pounds and bigger.
CHANNEL ISLANDS YELLOWFIN: The yellowfin tuna have pushed well beyond Catalina with a big mass of fish between Catalina and Santa Cruz, putting them finally within range of Los Angeles and Santa Barbara-area landings. The Indian out of Redondo Sportfishing ran with eight anglers on the three-quarter day trip Monday and they landed 80 yellowfin, 46 skipjack, and 25 yellowtail. The Mirage out of Channel Islands Sportfishing has been running overnight trips for the tuna. On Sunday, 20 anglers had 50 yellowfin, 42 yellowtail, four skipjack, and a dorado. On Monday, 23 anglers landed 87 yellowfin and seven skipjack, but the weather came up a little on Tuesday and the 24 anglers had 37 yellowtail, eight skipjack, and five yellowfin.
INSTRUCTIONAL CHARTERS: The staff of 976-TUNA is hosting instructional charters throughout the year, offering advice to beginning or veteran anglers and on-the-water teaching of techniques for different saltwater species. The next trip is set for Sept. 16. This is a 1 1/2-day trip aboard the Legend out of H&M Landing. The trip is limited to 28 anglers and costs $275 per angler. Check the website for details or call 562-352-0012. The website is www.976-TUNA.com.
LANDING CONTACTS: 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. Harbor 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.