I wish that I had some great fishing to report on today but this has been one of the windier weeks in one of the windier months we’ve had in a very long time. March tends to be windy in general but this seems like the first real March we’ve had since the Blob showed up back in late 2014.
While the rough conditions have kept most of the fishermen home this week, I believe that the change in weather patterns from previous years indicates that something bigger is happening. With the coldest water temps we’ve seen in years along the beach and weather patterns returning to normal, I wouldn’t be surprised if we’re witnessing the beginning of a change in the fishing cycle.
It would be silly to try and guess at exactly what’s going to happen this year, but those big bluefin that have been our mainstay the last few years are definitely taking their time making their way up the coast. Last year at this time they were already biting in U.S. waters and the year before that bite started in January. While I’m sure those fish will slide up the line and bite once the weather settles down this spring, the colder water may keep those fish farther from the coast next year and all of the big bluefin experts are going to need to figure out what to do with all their flying fish.
While the potential of the big bluefin leaving may be disappointing to some, I’m fairly excited about the fishing that might follow in their wake.
When the big bluefin left for good in the early 1900’s big schools of albacore moved in to take their place. We might also see a shift from sardines to anchovies which might usher in the return of barracuda and migratory sand bass. And with cold water prompting kelp growth we might see much better fishing for calico bass and maybe even more white seabass. We’ll just have to wait and see what happens.
In the meantime, we can look back on the week we had and look forward to the coming weekend. It seems like the boats that made it out during the week had good fishing for rockfish despite the rough weather and the San Diego caught yellowtail at the Coronados every time they got off the dock this week. The good news is that we’ve got good weather in the forecast this weekend and so far next week’s forecast looks calm all the way through Saturday.
I’m sure conditions are going to take a few days to recover in shallow water but the rockfish should be biting in most areas. I’d imagine that the boats fishing the Coronados will continue to catch yellowtail and I’d bet the 1 1/2-day trips will run into more bluefin tuna down the coast this weekend. Hopefully, they will decide to bite for a change, and hopefully, our current fishing cycle holds on just a little longer.
Good luck if you’re headed out this weekend!