Well, we finally had a fairly non-windy week and it resulted in surprisingly good fishing up and down the coast for SoCal anglers. From yellows and rockfish at the Channel Islands to bluefin and yellows south of the border, everyone caught fish. Good fishing aside, it seems we’re back to a normal springtime weather pattern and that means there’s going to be some wind. Sadly, this week’s wind is scheduled to blow all weekend long resulting in some areas being small boat unfriendly and taking others out of play for everyone.
As this week’s Navionics Chart clearly illustrates, wind is the biggest news this week. The wind is forecast to blow in the 20-knot range both Saturday and Sunday along the Channel Islands. The stronger winds are hugging the outside edge of the bight meaning that San Nicholas Island and San Clemente Island are going to be blown out. Clemente might be sport boat fishable, but I wouldn’t take my skiff there if the forecast holds true. If you want to jump on a sport boat, the Thunderbird out of Davey’s Locker is online and has been on the big cod and lings like the ones pictured at the top of this report. The wind isn’t forecast to blow as hard down south so the offshore banks will still be in play though it may be a wet ride for private boaters.
Private boaters looking to fish this weekend are going to have some limited options. There are the usual rockfish and some bass biting in the Santa Monica Bay but neither are wide open. The yellows are biting out of Long Beach and I’d imagine that area is going to get a ton of pressure over the weekend. Though considerably smaller, the fish are acting a lot like the yellows that were biting in this zone a couple years ago. That being said, I’d try to avoid the crowds while looking for birds schools or other signs of fish in the general area. If you’d like more info, here’s an article that explains what to look for Bird School Basics.
SoCal anglers are catching yellows at Catalina as well and the weather is forecast to be fishable over the weekend. There have been reports of squid at the island and I’d imagine that having some for bait would have a very positive impact on your chances of catching yellows. The bass fishing at the island has been on the slow side, but Captain Gerry Mahieu reported good by-catch action on Lucky Craft DD100 hard baits fished along the beach. Going shallow resulted in a steady halibut bite that include four legal fish.
Finally, the offshore banks off San Diego are starting to bite for SoCal anglers with yellowtail coming off paddies and schools of bluefin being seen in several areas. The 1 1/2-day boats are fishing down south and getting shots at bigger bluefin every trip. The New Lo-An returned from a 1 1/2-day trip on Thursday and reported seeing lots of big fish. Their 11 anglers tallied three bluefin weighing in at 170, 180 and 191-pounds. The southern zone is going to see some wind this weekend but should be fishable if the forecast doesn’t change.
Closer to home, the 3/4-day fleet have been catching a mix of yellows and bluefin on their recent trips. Captain Taro Takeuchi of the Liberty out of Fisherman’s Landing reported this after Wednesday’s trip. “We landed 10 bluefin tuna (30-60lbs) and 23 yellowtail for 10 anglers today. We were in the right place at the right time! We caught fish a couple different ways today. 160-250 gram Shimano Flatfall with a short 2-3 foot leader of 130-200# fluorocarbon, fished on a 2 speed reel with 60-80# line. A flylined bait on 35-60# Blackwater fluorocarbon, with a 2/0-3/0 circle hook. Please also come prepared with a mindset that you may only get one shot and you need to stick with your guns to get bit.”