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Bluefin Tuna, Yellowtail and Wind

12376364_10154729738237564_2873553703890248592_nLooking back over my last few columns, I can’t help but notice a distinct pattern. The pattern consists of a few days of wind, followed by a few days of good fishing, followed by another round of wind and then more good fishing. Well, this week was no different. After a good weekend of fishing, we were treated to several days of heavy wind. As soon as the wind stopped, the fish resumed biting for the boats that did make it off the dock.

12321274_10154729738277564_7472015350630294567_nOne of the first boats to get out this week was the Aloha Spirit out of Channel Island Sportfishing. They ran out to Santa Cruz Island on Wednesday and relocated the big yellows that had gone missing last week. Despite suffering heavy losses on the 25 to 38-pound fish, the boat managed 25 for the day. This is the same deep water yo-yo jig bite that was happening earlier in the month. We’ll have to wait and see if the fish will stick around a little longer this time but with good weather forecast for the weekend, I’m sure the area will get plenty of attention.

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The smaller yellows are still biting for the 3/4-day boats making the run to Catalina and I don’t expect that to change any time soon. No one has been to San Clemente Island the last few days but the island will get some pressure this weekend from overnight boats out of LA and Orange County Landings. If I had to guess, I’d say that the yellowtail are probably still going to be biting in the deep water off the east end, so make sure and bring a yo-yo rod if you’re heading out. If you’re looking to get on a limited load trip, the Pacific Quest is running out of Pierpoint Landing and still has a few spots available on a trip leaving Saturday night.

IMG_20160328_133117_436There are still some yellowtail being caught by both sport and private boats along the coast in San Diego. People fishing down there are reporting tons and tons of bait along the beach, with the yellows occasionally popping up and biting. Most of these fish are being caught on mackerel or jigs. This area will probably be pretty crowded this weekend, so it might not be worth the frustration.

The area below the Coronado Islands hasn’t gotten any coverage in recent days due to wind, but the yellows were biting down there prior to the blow.

The fish are far from home and if they’re deep you’re going to need sonar to locate them, so in my opinion your better off jumping on a sportboat than making the run in your own boat. All of the San Diego landings should have 3/4-day trips online this weekend.

12909517_10153507407441769_5589561887751654131_oFurther south, the yellowtail bite continues at Colonet. Last weekend’s trips resulted in good scores on the yellows, with several boats reporting limits, and excellent fishing on the quality rockfish. With good weather in the forecast, a 1 1/2-day trip this weekend might be a good choice.

12524139_1145934665426532_753918361622440330_nFinally, there is more and more bluefin tuna making its way into our waters. Last weekend, the Top Gun 80 had limits of smaller bluefin at the 60-mile bank. At the same time, a private boat out of Long Beach also had limits while fishing a different area. Another boat fishing out of Ensenada found a school of breaking fish inside Todos Santos and landed a single tuna on a jig.

There have been multiple reports of boats seeing fish from San Clemente Island down into Mexican waters. One of the most interesting reports was from a boat making the crossing from Clemente to San Diego who reported seeing 100-pound class bluefin jumping less than 10 miles from Mission Bay. While none of these sightings resulted in fish hooked or landed, their still a good sign of things to come. There are several boats running exploratory tuna trips out of San Diego this weekend, so I recommend calling your favorite landing and seeing what they have online.

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Erik Landesfeind is BD's Southern California Editor and has over 30 years of experience saltwater fishing for a range of species in both California and Mexican waters. Erik is also an active freelance writer and the author of the weekly column So Cal Scene, which BD publishes every Friday. In So Cal Scene, Erik keeps all of the BD readers up to date on what's biting in Southern California. Erik divides his fishing time on local boats, long-range trips and Mexico excursions. For the past eight years, Erik has been competing in the SWBA (Saltwater Bass Anglers) tournament series and has multiple tournament victories to his credit. His sponsors include Batson Enterprises / Rainshadow Rods, Robalo Boats, Tilly's Marine, Abu/Garcia, Penn Reels, Navionics, Raymarine, MC Swimbaits, Uni-Butter Fishing Scent and Bladerunner Tackle.