In last week’s article, I wrote how there were signs that the season was starting to heat up. One of those signals was that the Old Glory had limits on bluefin last weekend, the first non-long-range boat in the fleet to hit this year. Their success spurred other boats to get off the dock this weekend looking for them. Quite a few found their intended target. The Old Glory led the charge with 26 on a day-and-a-half trip returning Sunday morning (right).
Many of the captains reported that the numbers caught weren’t representative of the opportunity available.
Lots of fish were seen. Fewer were caught.
One factor was simply bluefin being bluefin. Seldom is it easy to elicit a bite from these fish and this weekend’s fishing ran true to form. The other factor wasn’t the typical light line/small hook casualties common when fishing for bluefin tuna. I was told 40# fluoro was the right line size that balanced getting bit, and still having a solid chance of landing these fish. The “problem” was that mixed in with the 50-60-pound fish getting caught, there were fish over 100-pounds in the mix. Another issue was that right now the bait is on the smaller side at an average of 4 inches. Tough to get these little baits to swim away from the boat dragging 40# line. Circle hooks are a definite must, but you might want to avoid the ringed hooks to keep the weight down for the bait. Flylined baits weren’t the only method of catching however. The kite was another successful boat tactic to get bit. There were also some fish caught at night on the big glow flatfalls. Prepare accordingly.
These fish are in day-and-a-half range, so book the appropriate length trip to get your shot. It’s still early in the season, so it should only get better as these fish get closer in range.
First Big Show On Seabass!
A couple weeks ago, the Island Tak out of Channel Islands Sportfishing hit on the first good score of sportboat caught seabass this season (above). That boat always likes to fish tight to the islands for calicos and there were some seabass caught in the process of doing it. Their first big day of this season was April 3rd, when they captured limits of seabass and calico bass (9 and 45) for nine anglers fishing anchovies in the kelp. In the following days, there have been 1’s and 2’s every other day in their daily counts.
This weekend though had multiple boats getting in on the action.
The big score came aboard the Endeavor with Capt. Tucker McCombs (left) at the helm. The Endeavor is Tucker’s new, bigger boat and Sunday was the first big trip aboard it. His other boat, the Outrider, is now being run by Capt. Tino Martinez. Both boats scored limits (30 and 10 respectively) fishing Sunday on overnight trips. As of this morning, Tucker was on them again and had already limited out by 10am.
We are in that golden window right now of 3 days prior/3 days after the full moon. Is it worth taking a (cough cough) sick day from work? Only you can answer that question, but the opportunity looks very good right now. You know how these things go. Just that quick it could shut off.
Personally, my throat is feeling a little rough (wink wink).
Good luck if you get out there.