Editor’s Note: The Coronado Islands yellowtail bite may be the shining star in Erik Landesfeind’s SoCal Scene this week, but they are not the only option if the wind slacks up for the weekend.
Coronado Islands Yellowtail Bite
The good news, based on Wednesday’s early report of quick limits for 9 anglers aboard the San Diego out of Seaforth Landing, is that the yellowtail decided to bite again at the Coronado Islands. According to Captain Ryan Bostian, the fish were biting yo-yo jigs, surface iron and fly-lined sardines. At 6 to 12-pounds, the fish aren’t giant but I’d gladly choose fun-sized surface iron biting yellows over rockfish any day.
Any time I start an article with the “good news”, you can expect the bad news isn’t far behind and this weather picture pretty much sums it up. The wind blew Wednesday night, is still blowing as I write this on Thursday morning and is forecast to continue through much of Friday. Things are forecast to calm down a bit after that and conditions look calm over the entire Southern California Bight for the weekend.
This wind forecast from Saturday morning looks promising, but it doesn’t show the residual sea state after three days of strong wind. Based on buoy reports on Thursday, I’m predicting some fairly rough waters once you get more than a few miles off the beach on Saturday and washed out conditions on the weather side of the islands. The seas should calm a bit by Sunday but this is probably a good weekend for private boaters to stick close to home. Unless something changes, the only places that might not be sportboat fishable this weekend are San Nic and Rosa or Miguel.
Let’s take a look at what was biting and is hopefully still biting once the wind stops.
Rockfish and Bass Elsewhere
The rockfish bite continues to be the main draw for boats fishing out of Ventura and Santa Barbara landings but there are some yellows at the Channel Islands as well. No one has caught any since the Aloha Spirit did last week but they may bite again going into Monday’s full moon. The run to and from the islands this weekend is likely to be sloppy this weekend but I’m sure that boats will be able to find comfortable places to fish once they arrive.
The rockfish are also biting at San Nic but the island may or may not be fishable this weekend. The quality reds have been biting at San Clemente Island and I’d expect they’ll still be doing their thing this weekend. The bass were biting for private boaters fishing Clemente, but I doubt the crossing is going to be doable this weekend. Not much has been happening at Catalina but conditions were looking good on the backside when I fished there on Saturday and I wouldn’t be surprised to see some seabass being caught there soon. You can read my trip report here.
There are a few bass biting along the coast but rockfish are still offering the most consistent action this week. Private boaters looking to catch something else might want to consider the Coronado Islands yellowtail bite. It’s probably going to be a little rough getting there but it should be fishable on Saturday and Sunday should be better. Finally, the bluefin are still biting and they’re still far from the dock. Fish were caught this week at 190 miles, which is a stretch for a 1-1/2 day trip. Hopefully the boats fishing this weekend find something closer.