The big bluefin have continued to bite for anglers fishing the backside of San Clemente Island this week. While there were a couple of slow days, the fishing overall has been good to very good and sometimes ridiculous. If you’ve taken a look at social media this week you’ve probably seen the foamers of jumbos that guys have been seeing on most afternoons. And speaking of jumbos, there was a 388-pound fish caught this week, which as far as I know is the largest landed to date in this cycle. Going to be interesting to see if someone lands a 400-pounder soon.
As you can tell by this photo aboard the Thunderbird out of Davey’s Locker, the sport boats have been getting in on the action as well. Boats from San Pedro to San Diego are currently targeting these fish but as has always been the case, the more anglers there are on the boat, the less of a chance that anyone of those anglers is going to catch a trophy fish. So, if you’re truly interested in catching one of these big bluefin, your best bet is to book a trip with one of the 4-pack boats that are targeting them. You might want to grab a buddy to split the cost with you but I wouldn’t take four guys since you might not get that many shots in a day. Or you can do what I do and just avoid that fishery altogether. Those big bluefin pull way too hard and really aren’t much fun to catch.
I avoided including any coastal inshore reports in this week’s Navionics Chart because the fishing along the beach sucks for the most part. The fishing at the Channel Islands isn’t all that exciting either and while there were some yellows biting at the dirt clod earlier this week, they won’t be if you go out there so I’m not going to waste any more effort discussing it. The yellows are still biting at Catalina, but this being Labor Day weekend, unless you enjoy having drunken vacationers chopping up your chum line, you’d do well to avoid it.
The bluefin and yellowtail are still biting at the Cortes and Tanner Banks but it’s not quite as wide open as it was a couple of weeks ago. That might be because the fish have moved or it might be that the fleet of boats parked out there over the last few weeks has already caught most of the fish in that zone. There’s quite a bit of both bluefin and yellowfin tuna scattered around from the beach to San Clemente Island but they’re scattered around enough that you’re going to need to get lucky to find them on any trip. The marlin are still hanging around on the inner banks off Orange County. While we didn’t catch one on Sunday, Jimmy Decker and I saw two fish just outside Dana Point.
The San Diego based full-day boats are catching mostly dorado and while they’re frequently getting limits, the overwhelming majority of the fish are significantly smaller than the one in this photo. Speaking of smaller fish, there’s a lot of small yellowfin outside Ensenada along with small yellowtail and small dorado. If these fish continue to slide up the line it should make for pretty fun fishing for the guys who don’t mind catching smaller fish. But this being the unofficial end of summer, if those fish stay down there, the overnight and 1 1/2-day trips are going to have trouble getting off the dock because I’m not sure how much angler interest there is in spending that much money to target mostly sub-10-pound fish. Anyway, that’s about it for this week. Enjoy your three day weekend and good luck if you’re headed out fishing!