TUNA SEASON FINALLY OVER: While water temperatures are still in the 64 to 65 degree range at locations throughout the Southern California Bite — and in the 67 to 68 degree range off Ensenada — it is becoming increasingly difficult to get anglers to book an overnight trip to even look for tuna. Windy, cold conditions have also kept a lot of boats off the water, too. The most recent overnight or longer trip was last Wednesday when the Condor out of Fisherman’s Landing was out with 26 anglers and they had 58 yellowfin. So maybe the Fat Lady has finally sung, and maybe not.
ROCKFISH EVERYWHERE (AND A FEW YELLOWTAIL): With the two-month rockfish season closure looming (Jan. 1), the half- and three-quarter-day fleet all along the coast has been cashing in on the good to excellent bottomfish bite, but skippers are keeping an eye peeled for yellowtail and bass which continue to show in excellent numbers for mid-December.
The Sea Watch out of Seaforth Sportfishing was on a half-day trip Wednesday and the nine anglers on board landed four yellowtail, 34 rockfish, and two ling cod. The Spitfire out of Marina del Rey Sportfishing was on a morning half-day trip on Wednesday and 30 anglers on board landed three yellowtail, 48 rockfish, and 10 perch. The Pursuit out of 22nd Street Landing was on a three-quarter day trip Wednesday with 28 anglers and they landed one yellowtail, 89 rockfish, 89 whitefish, 84 bococcio, 46 perch, 24 calico bass, 22 red snapper, and 14 sheephead fishing off Catalina. On Sunday, the New Del Mar out of Marina del Rey Sportfishing was out with 24 anglers and they landed one yellowtail, 204 rockfish, and one bonito. The Victory out of Pierpoint Landing was on a three-quarter day trip Tuesday with 17 anglers and they landed 139 rockfish, 58 whitefish, 21 sheephead, three perch, and one bonito. The Gentleman out of Channel Islands Sportfishing, was on a three-quarter trip with 25 anglers and they landed full limits of 250 rockfish and one lingcod on Tuesday.
LOBSTER UPDATE: The lobster action has been consistent with nearshore sportboat trips averaging from one to two bugs per angler. The private boaters have been better, nearly doubling those counts, or posting limits or near-limits when fishing around the local islands. There are also still an awful lot of shorts in the catch. The Jig Strike out of H&M Landing was on a Tuesday twilight trip this week with six anglers and they had 15 legal bugs and another 219 shorts were released.
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. These trips are over for the season. 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. 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.