Bluefin Bite Rebounds

Though far from being wide open, the bluefin bite has rebounded at the Cortes and Tanner Banks. Sport boats fishing on 1 1/2 to 3 day trips had multiple shots at good size fish that have been biting both during the night and day. There have been some really big fish in the mix, with several topping the 300-pound mark, mostly being caught on flying fish. With good weather in the weekend forecast, I’d imagine that this area will see considerably more boat pressure, so it will be interesting to see how much fish there is to be caught out that way.

If you want to get in on this action your best bet is to book a 4-pack charter, but it might be tough to find one with an opening this weekend, or to jump on a 1 1/2 day (or longer) trip.

Swordfish continue to offer another offshore option and while they aren’t biting all that well either, there are fish being caught on most days with most bites coming from the San Diego area. If you’re looking to fish the IGFA Swordfish Open you have until Sunday to register. The light winds that we’ve got in the forecast will make for some easy fishing for the deep drop guys this weekend.

The Fury out of Dana Wharf fished Clemente on Wednesday and scored some quality yellowtail as well as limits of rockfish. The big yellows were biting both live squid and jigs and judging by the average size of the fish, I’d bet they lost as many as they landed. I fished Clemente over the weekend and the bass fishing was slow by the island’s standards. I’d imagine that the slow surface fishing was due to a combination of lack of swell, gin clear water and overcast skies. While I’m sure we could have caught some more fish using a lead head and swimbait, we stuck to weedless swimbaits and hardbaits and managed a decent morning of fishing, with a few big ones in the mix, before having a grease ride home. I may be getting old, but I’m happy to trade good fishing for a nice ride home in the skiff lol.

In other island news, the rockfish bite up at the Channel Islands has been excellent this week with the Aloha Spirit loading up the bags with quality reds on Tuesday. The weather up that way is not nearly as nice as it is down south but it looks plenty fishable at both Rosa and Santa Cruz Islands this weekend. If you’re someone that likes to fish artificial lures for rockfish, you should check out this lead head modification I made. It will greatly increase your hook up ratio and allow you to get more life out of your swimbaits and slugs.

Full day boats fishing out of San Diego are still scoring some small kelp paddy yellowtail but the bite is hit and miss. If you can find the right paddy it’s going to be easy limits but if you don’t it’s going to be a long day of looking for a few bites. There are still some yellowfin down south, but I’d imagine that most of the longer trips will be targeting bluefin this weekend instead of looking for yellowfin. And speaking of down south, I’ll be heading down to Mag Bay on Friday morning to fish with my friends on the Bad Company, so I wish you all the best of luck this weekend and I’ll let you know how we do when I get back.

Erik Landesfeind is BD's Southern California Editor and has over 30 years of experience saltwater fishing for a range of species in both California and Mexican waters. Erik is also an active freelance writer and the author of the weekly column So Cal Scene, which BD publishes every Friday. In So Cal...