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Bluefin & Yellowtail Lead SoCal Action

SoCal Action

It’s been another windy week over much of Southern California and it’s kept the coverage down over most of the outer islands. The good news is that the boats that have been getting off the dock have been experiencing pretty good SoCal action. The better news is that there’s good weather in the forecast for the entire Southern California Bight this weekend and I’d expect that by Sunday nights, the fish reports are going to be a whole lot better than they have been.

The bluefin continued to bite for boats this week and while the action has been far from consistent, these tuna caught aboard the Tomahawk out of Seaforth Landing over the weekend,  show the quality that’s swimming around out there. Even on the days when the boats are striking out, its rarely due to a lack of finding fish. Captains are reporting seeing lots of tuna and yellowtail on our local banks but say that the fish are very keyed in on micro bait. This can make for very frustrating fishing in the short term but it bodes well for improved fishing in the future once these fish eat their way through all of the tiny forage.

SoCal ActionThis week’s Navionics Chart shows lots of good fishing opportunities for the weekend. Starting up north, the wind put a damper on fishing much of the week at the Channel Islands, but with calm seas in the forecast, I expect to see those yellows and seabass start showing up in the counts again. Before the wind those fish could be found along the backside of Santa Cruz Island and from what I’ve heard you don’t need squid to catch them.

The rockfish are likely going to be biting at San Nicholas Island this weekend and I wouldn’t doubt that the yellows will too if any boats end up bringing live squid to the island. The yellows and seabass continue to bite for boats fishing Catalina Island. The most consistent SoCal action for yellowtail continues to be at the west end of the island and the seabass are biting on the east end in their normal zones. While the yellows will bite finbait and lures, live or fresh dead squid continues to be the hot ticket for the seabass. The Pacific Carnage should have live squid for sale in front of Avalon this weekend. As a side note, the seabass grounds may be a little crowded because the Tuna Club is having their seabass tournament this weekend.

SoCal ActionThe yellowtail have finally started to bite at San Clemente Island and the best bite has been early in the day with predawn bites reported. The Thunderbird out of Davey’s Locker has been catching fish the last few days and has reported heavy losses on these 20 to 30+-pound fish. The fish are biting squid as well as jigs near heavy cover so remember to bring a 40# live bait rod and a heavy jig stick if you’re heading out.

SoCal ActionThere’s not too much happening on the beach except rockfish, sculpin and the occasional bass for the sport boats that are fishing local. The bass guys I’ve heard from lately have been reporting fair to good calico bass fishing and sporadically good sand bass fishing in LA, Orange and San Diego counties. The yellows have started biting again at the Coronado Islands for the 3/4-day boats that aren’t fishing offshore. As this photo from the San Diego out of Seaforth Landing shows, these are better grade fish and are being caught on both jigs and live bait. There haven’t been any huge scores, but if you go out and fish hard you’re likely to get a couple shots or more in a day.

Be safe and have fun this weekend and wherever you fish, please remember to practice gang bang avoidance and enjoy some SoCal action!

Get fish reports and how to tips from Erik Landesfeind on BD.

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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.