OCEAN FISHING REPORT
By Terrence Berg
BAJA YELLOWTAIL: The weather during the final weekend of February was pretty dismal with rain, wind and high swell. However, it didn’t slow the action for yellowtail and rockfish for the 1.5-day boats running south out of San Diego to the Colonet region. Pacific Queen out of Fisherman’s Landing had a light load of just 15 anglers on its 1.5-day trip and landed 34 yellowtail and 116 rockfish. As the weather calms and more boats get back into this region, the limit-style fishing for both species should return.
BLUEFIN ON THE BANKS: There are still bluefin tuna and yellowtail in good numbers on the Cortez and Tanner banks. The one boat that made the run this weekend — Tribute out of Seaforth Sportfishing — went out into storm with 29 anglers on a 1.5-day trip and landed two bluefin, seven yellowtail and 20 big bonito. They reported big schools of fish, but wind and swell made it difficult to get on the tuna.
YELLOWTAIL, ROCKFISH ALL ALONG THE COAST: From Coronado Islands and nearshore waters around Point Loma all the way up the coast into Channel Islands, there continue to be good spots of yellowtail. Yellowtail action has surged around the full moon. The reopening of rockfish season March 1 added another element to the coastal trips. While most of the boats have started focusing on rockfish, they all have been taking at least some time to target the yellows because this bite has been so good. Malihini out of H&M Landing was out at Coronado Islands off San Diego with 11 anglers March 1 and had a great mixed bag catch of 34 yellowtail, 15 rockfish, seven bonito, two barracuda (yes, you read that right), two ling cod, two sculpin and one sand bass. In Huntington Beach and Long Beach, the bite was good early in the week on yellowtail. There was a hail ‘tail event March 2 when 31 anglers aboard Southern Cal out of Pierpoint Landing caught 31 yellowtail while the hail hammered down. In Santa Monica Bay, there have been yellowtail catches all week on New Del Mar and Spitfire out of Marina del Rey Sportfishing and Redondo Special out of Redondo Sportfishing. Native Sun of 22nd Street Landing was out March 4 with 48 anglers and reported more than 300 rockfish and 10 yellowtail. The yellowtail and rockfish also remain good at the local islands, but most are getting little pressure this week because of near-shore action. Thunderbird out of Davey’s Locker ran to San Clemente on overnight trips. The 24 anglers aboard the charter on March 2 had the best score, landing 53 yellowtail, limits of 240 whitefish and 150 rockfish.
There have also been a lot of ling cod on these jaunts. A typical trip was posted by Aloha Spirit, whose 22 anglers reeled in 218 rockfish, 35 ling cod, four whitefish, two cabezon, two sole and one sheephead on a full-day trip.
SURF PERCH NEWS: Not much change in the surf fishing. The barred surf perch continue to provide almost unprecedented action, with both the volume and size of fish excellent. The bite has been particular good all along the central coast from San Simeon to Ventura with a lot of two to three-pound fish reported. The bite is best on blood or lug worms or the Berkley Gulp! sand worms.
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 first of the year will be May 6, a limited load overnight trip on Ultra out of 22nd Street Landing. The trip is limited to 10 anglers and the price is $300 per person. The charters are done 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.