My colleague, Erik Landesfeind, wrote a great article on Friday. The gist of it was that as a group, Southern California anglers have gotten a little spoiled here in “Year Two” of El Nino. To illustrate his point, Erik talked about an unnamed angler complaining about “only catching one bluefin” just a few miles from home. How quickly we forget that only a couple years ago, we were collectively bemoaning how Mexico shut us down from fishing the pens and calling for government intervention to resolve this international dispute.
So while the counts have dropped off somewhat, Erik encouraged us all to “not worry about results and celebrate the opportunities.”
I couldn’t agree more. Not once within my relatively recent experience with Southern California saltwater fishing can I remember another time where local boats from San Diego to LA counties ALL had opportunities to catch yellowtail, yellowfin tuna, bluefin tuna and dorado. That happened last week!
Early Friday morning (July 24th), the New Lo An returned to Point Loma Sportfishing with the cow bluefin tuna pictured above. The beast weighed in at the landing scale at an eye-popping 189-pounds after being gut and gilled. So while not officially a cow, I’m going to call it and say that fish was an easy 200-pounds whole.
The next day, another lucky angler landed a swordfish on the Thunderbird’s overnight trip.
In my personal experience this last weekend; I went overnight on Commander Sportfishing Saturday night, fishing on Sunday out of Fisherman’s Landing. As a boat, we counted only 6 dorado and 1 skipjack for the trip.
Toward the end of the trip, we were out at the 43 high spot just north of the border. We fished in the same vicinity as long-ranger The Shogun, and also the Pacific Voyager out of Seaforth.
We rolled into the area and Captain Steve Kugler stopped on a sonar mark. “Thirty four fathoms down, I’ve got good bluefin marks” he advised. We drifted it and landed none. You know what though? I was ecstatic about the experience of the trip. The reason why is because I was one of 3 anglers on the boat to hook into a big bluefin tuna that could not be stopped. It was thrilling to feel utterly helpless against a fish. I’ve only had that feeling a handful of times ever. An angler on the Shogun got his fish and it weighed in at 143-pounds.
Who knows, if I get another shot, I might get that fish. But if I don’t, I’ll tell that story again and enjoy reliving the moment.
Embrace and enjoy all the Opportunities for Fishing this 2015 season affords you. It won’t be like this again for a long time.