By: Terrence Berg
SAN DIEGO YELLOWFIN-DORADO STILL EXCELLENT: The bite for the San Diego fleet on yellowfin tuna and dorado is still pretty much off-the-charts wide open for the overnight and longer boats. While the boats have continued to be busy on weekends, the angler interest has dropped off and mid-week trips are all going with very light loads. So now’s the time to go to get a limit of yellowfin along with a few dorado. Most of the yellowfin remain in the 12 to 18-pound class. Some scores from recent days to illustrate just how good it remains: The Pacific Queen out of Fisherman’s Landing was out on an overnight trip Monday and the 33 anglers on board had 165 yellowfin tuna. On Wednesday, the Prowler out of Fishermans’ phoned in with limits of dorado for all on board in the afternoon and the Eclipse out of Seaforth phoned in with limits of yellowfin for all on board. Both were on overnight trips. The 2 1/2-day trips this past weekend were generally jugged with two-day limits. The Pacific Star out of Seaforth had limits of both yellowfin and dorado on a weekend trip, while the Seeker out of H&M Landing was on a 2 1/2-day with 33 anglers and they landed limits of yellowfin (170) and dorado (68).
CORTEZ BANK YELLOWTAIL AND BLUEFIN: The bluefin tuna and big yellowtail remain stacked up on the Cortez Bank and both the Freedom out of 22nd Street Landing and the Thunderbird out of Davey’s Locker have been making the run this past week and getting easy limits of yellowtail from 18 to 25 pounds with some bigger and a handful of bluefin tuna each trip up into the 60-pound range.
YELLOWTAIL EVERYWHERE: The yellowtail are just thick along the Southern California coastline and the local islands. At the Cortez Bank and San Clemente, there are a bigger grade of yellowtail from 12 to 30 pounds. Catalina is simply polluted with five-pound yellowtail and three-pound bonito, and the local coast from San Diego up to the Deep Hole in the Channel Island region are also quality yellows from 14 to 25 pounds with some even bigger. Most skippers are recommending anglers fishing 30 to 40-pound test when fishing the bigger yellows. The near-shore fish are accessible for the half-day fleet while it takes full-day or three-quarter day boats for the stuff a little further offshore. In San Diego, the New Seaforth out of Seaforth Sportfishing had a pair of half-day trips on Tuesday. The morning trip had 33 anglers who landed 34 yellowtail, 15 bonito, and four calico bass, while the afternoon trips ran with 31 anglers who landed 144 yellowtail, a calico, a sand bass, a sheephead, and one bonito. At Pierpoint Landing, the Southern Cal was out of a half-day Tuesday with 16 anglers who had 74 yellowtail, while the Enterprise out of Long Beach Marina Sportfishing was on a three-quarter day trip with 51 anglers and they caught 116 yellowtail. The Island Tak out of Channel Islands Sportfishing was on a full-day trip on Monday with 10 anglers and they landed 39 yellowtail and full limits of calico bass. The near-shore fish can be put off by too much boat pressure, so the mid-week trips are the best bet for numbers. The weekend trips are tougher.
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 charters are done for this fall and won’t start again until early spring. 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. 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.