Fishing Reports

Coastal Bite Improves As Offshore Action Continues

While not as exciting as the big bluefin that have been biting offshore, this week’s headline is that there’s finally some decent fishing happening along the beach in multiple areas.

SoCal Yellowtail

There have been some yellows popping up along the coast in San Diego and the New Seaforth out of Seaforth Landing managed twenty of them on Wednesday afternoon’s trip. Moving up the coast to Orange County, boats are having good calico bass fishing and there are schools of bonito scattered. along with the occasional yellowtail scattered around. As you can see by this week’s Navionics Chart, the yellows are biting in the Santa Monica Bay as well.

fishing charts

The New Del Mar out of Marina Del Rey has been fishing the south end of the bay this week and has been seeing consistent action on bass, bonito, yellowtail, and the occasional white seabass. As anyone who’s spent time fishing this zone knows, the bite is very current dependent, so private boaters looking to get in on the action should focus their attention on finding good conditions instead of worrying about looking for boats to fish next to. Look for areas with current going parallel to the beach, with bait on the outside edge of the kelp beds and you’re likely to catch something. Also, keep an eye out for terns and gulls working the edge of the kelp.

White seabass

Heading offshore, there are still some yellowfin tuna biting between Catalina and San Clemente Islands. Captain Gerry Mahieu ran a trip out in that zone on Tuesday and found fish that were more than willing to come up and bite the popper. His clients went five for nine on good grade yellowfin before calling it a day and leaving them biting. The fish in this zone can be difficult to find, but they tend to be willing to bite if you find them. Gerry has some openings in the coming days if you’re interested in heading out and doing some run and gun tuna fishing close to home.

tuna reports

The big bluefin are still biting and while the fishing has been tougher, there have been some absolute giants brought to the dock in recent days. The big fish of the week was this 379-pounder caught aboard the Condor. While the big tuna bite is hit and miss, there’s a steady bite on smaller bluefin happening at the Cortes and Tanner Banks. These fish are mostly sub-50-pounds but they are biting pretty good and the yellowtail on the banks are biting as well. You’re going to need to do a minimum 1 1/2-day trip to fish this zone but I recommend jumping on a 2  or 2 1/2-day to maximize your fishing time.

bluefin tuna counts

Finally, the smaller yellowfin, dorado, and yellowtail are still biting well within full-day range of San Diego. As usual, Captain Ryan Bostian of the San Diego summed the hit and miss action up perfectly when he reported, “The best part about fishing offshore is our result today has zero effect on tomorrow. The worst part about fishing offshore is our result today has zero effect on tomorrow. 135 yellowfin tuna 99 yellowtail, 100 skipjack tuna, 8 dorado.” We’ve got great weather in the weekend forecast so it should make for a nice day on the water regardless of whether you hit or miss. Good luck out there!

Erik Landesfeind
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 an...