The big bluefin that had gone MIA about a month ago where recently relocated by boats making the run south to fish yellows at Punta Colnett. There had been a few scores by both yachts and long range boats, but the first good score was aboard a trip on the Shogun last week. According to their report the boat fished Colnett before heading to Guadalupe Island and found a good temp break about 30-miles off the beach. The decision was made to leave the island a day early and look for bluefin along the break.
According the boat’s report, the decision was the right one. “As the sun rose over the horizon we searched the area and quickly found a few fish with the meter. Our first drift produced one big bluefin tuna coming in at a whopping 155-pounds and it was the only bite of the first drift so we continued hunting and soon found a real school. Crew members Todd and Karl heaved bait over the side and the water erupted with big bluefin tuna jumping all around the boat. Our second drift lasted the rest of the day with steady action on 50-70-pound tuna with a couple peanuts in the mix and one 90-pounder. As we ran out of bait and time we had 54 tuna in the well.”
These tuna bit approximately 140-miles from the dock (based on the boat’s report) but the zone is definitely in range of boats fishing Colnett. The big question is if that hit was an anomaly or if it was a sign of things to come. I guess we’ll have to wait and see. In the meantime, there are some yellows biting at Colnett and boats making the run are also reporting good rockfish action.
Closer to home, the smaller bluefin and yellowtail are still biting on the 60-mile bank. This stuff is in one day range but you’re going to need to do at least a 1 1/2-day trip to get a shot at the stuff down south. If you’re planning to jump on a trip this weekend I’d confirm with the landing where the boat will be fishing just so that you don’t get surprised with a long boat ride to chase the big ones if you’re expecting to target the smaller ones or vice versa.
The small yellowtail are still biting for boats fishing the coast off San Diego and the 1/2-day boats have been getting some good scores. The Dolphin out of Fisherman’s Landing had 115 yellows on their Tuesday afternoon trip. These fish are feeding low in the water column for the most part and yo-yo jigs are working great. According to a report I got from a friend, the same grade of yellows are biting at Catalina. He was fishing seabass at the island over the weekend and complained that the 5 to 12-pound yellowtail were biting well enough to be a nuisance. Being an uber-secretive seabass guy I didn’t press him for info on where exactly he was fishing, but I don’t think it would be a stretch to guess that it was around one of the squid beds at the island. I’m sure if you invested some time driving around looking it wouldn’t be that hard to figure out where to catch one.
With rockfish closed until March 1st, most sportboats that are getting off the dock are targeting bass and sculpin. In most places that comes in the form of bottom fishing with live or frozen squid. If that doesn’t sound like fun, I’d checkout the Aloha Spirit out of Oxnard. The boat has island bass fishing trips scheduled all weekend. The calico bite at Santa Cruz Island can be excellent at this time of year, so give it a shot. Finally, private boaters fishing calicos at San Clemente Island over the holiday reported slow fishing but good quality as you can see in the pic of Abu/Garcia pro-staffer Matt Florentino. The good news is that the slow fishing was more than likely due to the full moon, so it’s probably going to be a lot better this weekend.