OCEAN FISHING REPORT
By Terrence Berg
LONG RANGE EXCELLENT: The 14 to 16-day trips out of San Diego fishing off the top of Baja and finding exceptional yellowfin tuna action, along with a good wahoo bite. The Royal Polaris was about back to port on Wednesday and reported full holds with yellowfin averaging 130 to 180 pounds, along with 20 fish over 200 pounds, and the biggest at 364 pounds. The Independence reported that it has excellent fishing for it’s anglers on its last day of fishing Tuesday with a 220-pound yellowfin on a kite and a hold also filled with 130 to 180 pounders.
SAN DIEGO YELLOWTAIL WIDE OPEN: The yellowtail fishing has broken wide open this week at the Coronado Islands for the three-quarter day fleet fishing out of San Diego landings. Until Friday, the bite had been good for one day and then off for a couple of days. Friday through Monday, the scores were off the charts. The Malahini out of H&M Landing had 24 anglers on Friday and returned with full limits of 120 yellowtail weighing from 16 to near-30 pounds. The counts the next three days were 81 on Saturday, 85 on Sunday, and 98 on Monday. The San Diego, out of Seaforth Sportfishing, was out on Friday with 45 anglers and they landed 178 yellowtail, and their counts have been from 50 to 70 per trip since. The Mission Belle out of Point Loma had 53 yellows on Friday and 50 to 90 fish per day since. The counts dropped back down Tuesday with a major weather change, but the scores were still from 22 to 25 yellowtail per boat, which is hardly bad fishing.
SAN CLEMENTE ISLAND UPDATE: The yellowtail are showing in good numbers throughout the region, not just at the Coronado Islands. The Newport to San Pedro boats are making the run to Clemente (overnight or 1 1/2-day trips). The Thunderbird out of Davey’s Locker, the Toronado out of Pierpoint, the Commander and El Dorado out of Long Beach Sportfishing, and the Freedom, Fortune, and Ultra, all out of 22nd Street Landing, have all been at Clemente in recent days and have been averaging from 20 to 120 fish per trip. In addition, many skippers are splitting the trips between surface yellowtail and bottom fish so anglers bring home full sacks of fish, even if the yellows are slower. For example, the Commander out of Long Beach Sportfishing finished up its 1 1/2-day trip on Sunday with 18 anglers who landed 46 yellowtail, 125 rockfish, and 20 bonito. The Thunderbird out of Davey’s Locker was on an overnight trip Tuesday with 30 anglers and they landed 22 yellowtail, 41 rockfish, 36 whitefish, 13 barracuda, nine bonito, and eight sheephead.
CATALINA ISLAND YELLWTAIL: The yellowtail bite has improved at Catalina Island over the past week. The Enterprise out of Long Beach Marina was on its first trip of season Saturday and 26 anglers on the three-quarter day trip to Catalina had 29 yellowtail, 79 rockfish, 48 whitefishing, six sheephead, six calico bass, two bonito, and one ling cod. On Sunday’s trip, the 19 anglers had 19 yellowtail, 140 rockfish, 41 whitefish, 21 sheephead, three bonito, two sculpin, and one calico bass. The Victory out of Pierpoint Landing had 40 anglers on Monday and they landed 14 yellowtail, 247 rockfish, 19 sculpin, 16 calico bass, 12 bonito, 12 sheephead, and one barracuda. The Pursuit out of 22nd Landing was out Sunday with 61 anglers and they landed 73 yellowtail, 25 whitefish, five bonito, four sheephead, and three calico bass. Meanwhile, the Native Son, also 22nd Street, had 40 anglers on Sunday and they caught 20 yellowtail, 90 rockfish, 80 whitefish, 30 red snapper, 25 bocaccio, five calico bass, five sheephead, and one halibut.
WHITE SEABASS NEWS: A handful of private boat anglers are targeting the white seabass both along the coast and at Catalina Islands and finding a pick on 25 to 50 pound fishing. The best action at Catalina has been on live squid (if you can find it), while the fish along the coast are mostly showing on mackerel. Both are being fished on a dropper loop.
ROCKFISH EXCEPTIONAL: The rockfish bite all along the Southern California coastline remains good to excellent. For the half-day boats from San Diego up into Los Angeles County, most of the boats are getting three to five or six fish per angler. From Ventura north, most of the trips are returning with full 10-fish rockfish limits for all on board, along with a few lings, whitefish, sheephead, and sculpin. The Southern Cal out of Pierpoint Landing had 45 anglers on its Sunday morning half-day and they landed 301 rockfish. The Island Spirit, on a full day trip with 30 anglers out of Ventura Sportfishing Wednesday, returned with 300 rockfish and two ling cod.
UNSEASONABLE WATER TEMPS THE NEW NORMAL?: Surface water temperatures are already from 64 to nearly 70 degrees throughout the Southern California Bite. The water conditions look more like August or September than April. There was a marlin spotted and baited (but a non-taker) at San Clemente this weekend, and bluefin tuna were reported crashing at the Nine Mile Bank off San Diego. While the bluefin have been no-shows at the Cortez and Tanner banks for the past couple of weeks, the Josie Lynn landed five bluefin within one-day range of San Diego.
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 1. This is a three-quarter day trip aboard the Pursuit out of 22nd Street that will probably be chasing yellowtail the way this season is shaping up, but might also focus on bass. Cost is $65 per person and limited to 35. The next trip will be May 6. This is an overnight trip on the Ultra out of 22nd Street Landing. The trip is limited to 10 anglers and the price is $224 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 Sportfishin, 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.