This has been the first off week of fishing we’ve had in quite some time. While I don’t particularly like it, I really doubt that this is the beginning of the end of our offshore season. It’s more than likely just a byproduct of weather among other things. Let’s take a look at what’s happening.
First off, the tuna fishing is as slow as it’s been in months and the reason for this is two-fold. First off, there aren’t a lot of tuna on the beach right now and the ones that are around are small and not biting all that well for the most part. The other reason the counts have been down is because the weather has been up at the offshore banks like the 43 and the Cortez, so not many boats have been making the run.
With an improved weather forecast for the weekend, I’d expect the tuna scores to bounce back a bit. If you’re a sport boat anglers, I’d suggest looking at an overnight or 1 1/2 day trip as it will give you your best shot at getting some fish. Private boaters should make it a point to check Fishdope before planning their trip to find out just how far they’ll need to run to get bit. The tuna fishing isn’t going to be as easy as it was a couple months ago, but what do you expect? It’s almost November.
The yellowtail are still biting all over the place, but in most areas the bite isn’t nearly as good as it was in previous weeks. This bite may improve in the next few days as we are approaching the October full moon and if you’ve been following my reports this year, you already know the yellows have been biting best on the lunar extremes. Any of the islands from Santa Barbara down to the Coronado’s should offer a good shot at getting bit. Like I said, it’s probably not going to be wide open, but if you put in your time, you should be able to find some fish.
The problem for the weekend anglers is that they haven’t been responding well to all the boat pressure the popular areas have been getting. And the fish that bit during the week are MIA come the weekend.
I took my Dad out for a few hours on Saturday morning and we decided to commit 45 minutes to trying to catch a wahoo. While we were unsuccessful, I did observe something that might be of assistance to anyone going out this weekend. Having launched out of Long Beach, I decided to look at a canyon that was below the rigs and when I arrived I found that I was the only boat for a couple miles. The area on the other side of the rigs, which is connected to the zone I was fishing by an underwater ridge and had the same water temp and clarity, had several dozen boats chopping each other up and try to get in on yesterday’s hot wahoo bite.
So, if you’re out and you find more than one or two boats within a mile of where you’re fishing, you need to get out of there and look for something else. These fish are not established on spots, they are following bait schools or hanging out around paddies. So you don’t need to be where they bit yesterday to catch one. You just need to read conditions and find a fishy looking zone to work by yourself.