Big Yellowtail Highlight
I’ve got good news and bad news for you. The good news is that the yellowtail bite is better than it’s probably ever been in April. The bad news is that it is April and that means the wind frequently going to blow. With one of the bigger blows scheduled to hit the coast this weekend, I’d take a close look at the weather forecast before deciding to make any long runs to chase fish. For a close look at this weekend’s forecast, check out Chris Dunn’s weather report
Getting back to the fishing, the big yellows popped up at Santa Cruz Island over the weekend.
These big fish came on both yo-yo and surface iron as well as live bait. The Amigo out of Ventura Sportfishing had the biggest score on Sunday with 23 fish from 28-36-pounds. The bite up there backed off as we came out of the new moon’s big tide swings, but there are still plenty of fish around so we may see a re-bite if the wind isn’t too bad up there this weekend.
San Clemente Island is still the best bet for yellowtail. Captain Jeff Markland on the Thunderbird out of Davey’s Locker has been averaging 50-75 fish per trip and yesterday reported wide open calico bass fishing, his passengers catching over 100 fish in an hour to go along with the 73 yellows he’d caught that morning. The fish at the island are still a mixed grade, but there are plenty of big ones in that mix. Kory Allen got one of the biggest ones this week, a 40-pounder that ate his jig on the Oceanside 95.
Speaking of big yellows, there are some absolute slugs biting on the beach right now.
As I’ve previously reported, private boaters have been on these fish for a while now but on Wednesday the sport boats picked up a few as well. The Enterprise out of Marina Sportfishing managed three fish to 30-pounds on the surface iron before continuing on to Catalina. The Southern Cal out of Pierpoint Landing had a couple as well on their half day trip. Capt Mitch Christiensen reported seeing lots of fish and said that the boat would be looking for yellowtail and falling back on rockfish if they don’t bite.
Catalina Island is still kicking out lots of yellows for the boats fishing there. The Victory out of Pierpoint Landing had 34 yellows for their 16 passengers on Wednesday’s trip. The sport boats have been concentrating on the backside of the island, but there are plenty of fish spread around. Private boaters can locate schools by slow trolling baits and looking for bird schools.
The final area of biting yellows is down around the Coronado Islands. The 3/4 day boats out of San Diego are averaging 50-100 fish per trip. The fish at the islands themselves are that same mixed grade that we’re seeing at San Clemente Island.
There are some spots of bigger fish scattered around for private boaters willing to drive away from the fleet and find their own. I spoke with Captain Duane Mellor of Seasons Sportfishing and he reported good fishing on all of his trips this week, with most fish coming on the surface iron fished on bird schools.