We’ve been lucky enough to have stable weather the last couple of weeks and the fish have been biting as a result. The bad news is that there is some serious wind forecast for Saturday afternoon and Sunday, so if you’re planning to fish this weekend, I’d shoot for Saturday morning. Let’s take a look at what’s biting this week.
The yellowtail are biting in several areas along the coast, but the most consistent scores are coming from down south. The best fishing this week was aboard the 1 1/2-day trips that made the run down to Colonet over the weekend. Most of those trips scored either limits or close to limits on quality yellowtail and big rockfish. If you’re interested in more information about these trips, I’d recommend reading this article by my friend Joe Sarmiento.
The Coronado Islands are continuing to produce yellowtail for the 3/4-day boats who are finding enough anglers to get off the dock. Wednesday’s trip aboard the Mission Belle out of Point Loma Sportfishing ended up with 47 yellows for 18 passengers. Most of these fish are coming off sonar schools and have been biting the yo-yo jig and live bait.
There are also spots of yellowtail scattered along the beach from San Diego up to the Santa Monica Bay, but you really need to be in the right place at the right time to get a shot at them. BD member Josh (Fly liner) reported fishing out of Oceanside on Saturday and having a couple shots at fish, one of which was a 30 to 35-pound fish he landed on the surface iron. The long and short of the yellowtail thing seems to be that there are scattered fish chasing bait schools around in deep water and they are occasionally popping up and biting. If you want a shot at these fish, go to an area that you’ve caught yellowtail in the past and give it a look. If you don’t find anything move on to the next area. If you find an area with sign of fish, but no biters, put in your time and see if it’s a time, of day thing or a tide thing, or something completely different.
Unlike last year, you’re going to have to put in some work to catch yellowtail right now, so it’s going to be up to you to draw on what you’ve learned and see if you can put something together.
The bass bite has been good to excellent along the beach and at the islands this week. I spoke to Captain Jimmy Decker, who did a goof off trip with his son on Wednesday, and he reported wide open fishing on the deep water structure off Newport and Huntington Beach. “We conservatively had 50 fish in a couple of hours, but we weren’t keeping accurate count; it could have easily been 60 to 70 fish.” According to Decker all of their fish came in 40 to 60-feet of water. “The fish were chasing bait schools around and the calicos were biting the Kicker 25L jig full speed. I’d cast it out, let it sink and if it made it to the bottom without getting bit I’d just get a couple turns before I’d hook one”.
The fish also bit the Alabama Rig well. “The calicos and sand bass were biting the A-rig. I finally had to quit using it because the sand bass had it so twisted up it was unfishable”. If you’re headed out to fish bass, Decker recommends bringing a surface iron rod and an Alabama rig in addition to your standard swimbait tackle. If you don’t have your own boat, or if you do and you’d like to learn from a pro, Decker has charter dates available over the next couple months and can be contacted through his website.
Please remember to keep a close eye on the weather if you’re headed out this weekend. If you’re unsure of whether it’s going to be too rough, always err on the side of caution. There will be plenty of good weather weekends to enjoy this year, so don’t hurt your boat or yourself while trying to fish in bad weather.