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California Fishing Springs Into Action

California fishing halibut

California Fishing Springs Into Action: Last weekend I traveled up to the Bay Area to fish on the California Dawn with owner/operator, Capt. James Smith. They’ve been killing it up there the last couple weeks on halibut and striped bass.  I’ve been looking for a little change of pace, so I road-tripped north and fished their full day trip on Saturday.  On my way home, the plan was to find a beach and try to catch my first red tail perch off the sand.  A full round of California fishing.

Come to find out while I was gone that things kind of blew up here in SoCal…

California fishingBig Bluefin…They’re Back!

Sunday morning, Capt. Adam Williams (above, far right) of the New Lo An was returning from a day and a half trip offshore looking for bluefin and yellowtail. Adam had a solid hit with 16 bluefin tuna for 32 anglers.  It could’ve been more.  Adam said they were drifting for a steady pick on 40-60-pound fish when all of a sudden a vein of bigger fish swam through…150+ -pounds kind of bigger.  They got wrecked. Heavy casualties with only one of the bigger ones, a 160-pound fish landed (right) that is the high mark of the young season.

At least it was for a few days

The good times continued through the week. The picture above is from their trip that returned yesterday morning where they got 3 fish eclipsing 160 (big was 190).  They go out again on a sold out trip tonight.

Closer to home, both the Liberty and San Diego have found (and more importantly caught) bluefin within their full day trip range from San Diego this week. Congrats to Capt. Matt Bralla (below, right) who successfully connected Wednesday running his first trip at the helm of the San Diego.

California fishingLocal Yellowtail

The morning halfie has been a hot ticket on the Patriot (right) out of Newport Landing this week. They caught on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday mornings. Most of the fish are in the under 10-pound class, but there were a couple fish this week in the 20-pound grade.

The Native Sun out of 22nd Street (San Pedro) got a couple yellows on Wednesday. That’s Capt. Aaron Graham pictured with angler (and MDR deckhand) Eric Ullman, scoring extra style points securing his fish on surface iron.

California fishing

What happened on your trip Joe?

Capt. James warned me that the weekend might be tough fishing. As I mentioned, they’d been slaying stripers and halibut all week. I wasn’t quite sure what he meant. I was committed to going though, so I figured I’d find out soon enough. It wasn’t that the people on the boat were bad. They were fine. Even with a full load, I fished comfortably on the bow without issue. It was the boat pressure that a hot local bite brought out. All the local sportboats, private skiffs, sailboats drifting around, and even a jet ski were in the mix. There was one guy in a skiff running four poles. I joked with James asking if that “captain” was the San Francisco version of Wicked Tuna’s F/V Pinwheel. “No, that’s our version of a googan.” Lol.

Despite the heavy boat pressure, I managed to catch 5 each of stripers and halibut. One each were legal. Of course after I left, they rebounded during the work week (top). It was definitely a fun time, and I’ll be returning for sure. I want to come up when the salmon start going, and I already setup a date to do the rockfish/Dungeness combo in November.

Lots of good fishing to be had. It’s time to…

Spring Into Action!

Good luck if you get out there.