By: Terrence Berg
LONG RANGE SPECTACULAR: The Royal Polaris was wrapping up its current trip early this week and reported in with exceptional fishing on the giant yellowfin. Most of the tuna were in the 80 to 120-pound range, but fish over 200 were reported each day. Big fish of the trip was a 300-pounder caught by Susan Gentry, the first that size of the season. There was also a 277-pounder and several other from 200 to 230 pounds. It doesn’t get much better.
SAN DIEGO LOCAL FLEET FISHING MEXICO: The rockfish season may be closed in California waters, but the Mexican rockfish season is in full swing, and half-day to 1 1/2-day trips are running out of the San Diego Landings daily. The Old Glory out of H&M Landing has been hammering the rockfish and ling cod on its 1 1/2-day weekend trip. This past weekend, there were 24 anglers who had limits of ling cod (120) and the best was a 24-pounder, and there were another 15 fish in the 20 pound class with probably 50 fish from 10 to 15 pounds. Add in 65 reds and 55 other rockfish and you can understand why Skipper Joe Phillips said it “was the best cod trip I’ve ever been on.” The Tribute out of Seaforth Sportfish was out on a 1 ½-day trip over the weekend with 28 anglers who landed 20 whitefish, 140 rockfish, 20 lings, and 100 red snapper. But even the half-day and three-quarter day boats are seeing excellent scores. The Premier, also out of H&M, was out Tuesday with 19 anglers on a half-day trip and they landed 162 rockfish and one sheephead.
LOS ANGELES-ORANGE COUNTY COAST SCULPIN AND BASS: Light loads and little traffic has been what sportboats out of the Los Angeles and Orange county landings are seeing during the rockfish closure, but there has been a decent pick on both calico and sand bass and limit-style fishing on the sculpin for anglers jumping on local half-day and three-quarter day boats. The Spitfire out of Marina del Ray has been pretty typical of the action this week. On Tuesday, the 12 anglers on board had limits of sculpin (60), 26 legal sand bass, five legal calicos, 10 perch, and a halibut. The New Del Mar on a pair of half-day runs had limits of 175 sculpin for the 35 anglers on the two trips, along with 40 perch, three sand bass, and two calicos.
CORONADO ISLANDS YELLOWTAIL: The Mission Belle out of Point Loma Sportfishing continues to target the yellowtail on three-quarter day trips to the Coronado Islands. While 29 anglers on Tuesday had just five yellows and 10 rockfish, the Monday trip with 17 anglers had a score of 21 yellows, 15 rockfish, and one ling cod. On Sunday, 22 anglers had 21 yellowtail and seven rockfish. The yellows are all 18 to 30 pounds. This mid-winter yellowtail action just won’t seem to go away.
LOBSTER ACTION: The lobster action has continued pretty consistent for the sportboats running trips all along the coast with an average of about a bug per angler per trip and better scores some evenings. The Gail Force out of LA Harbor Sportfishing has been averaging better than two bugs per angler early this week.
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 charters are done for this year, but check the website for winter-spring charters this coming year or call (562) 352-0012. The website is 976-TUNA.com.