Yes, you read that right.
You may recall from last week’s post, I shared about how I was on a typical Catalina Island trip aboard the Enterprise, when all of a sudden we ran into some bluefin tuna on the way home. That’s obviously very cool, but randomly running into these fish and landing one is a far cry from intentionally targeting tuna on a local trip and having success catching them.
Yet that is exactly what happened last week.
To lend some context to this story, at the front end of our last El Nino, I had the good fortune to be aboard the Spitfire when something like this last happened. That was one special day in September of 2014 (below). I don’t remember how many anglers were on the boat that day (the number has likely grown since 2014), but we finished up with 58 fish. I managed to get 4 myself.
Boats out of Long Beach and San Pedro have now caught tuna (both yellowfin and bluefin), for the last 5 days!
Things kicked off on Wednesday (October 23rd), when the Enterprise got on the board with 2 yellowfin tuna, limits of bonita, and added a striped marlin for good measure. That’s crewmember Connor Cassotta (right) with one of the yellowfin.
Thursday, the Native Sun crashed the party in a big way hooking over 30 fish to land 9 bluefin and 3 yellowfin for only 12 anglers.
The big catching day came last Friday. The Native Sun found them, and in a wide open 2 hour stop, hooked over 100 fish! They finished their day with 56 yellowfin, and 3 bluefin (for 37 anglers)! Before leaving the school, Capt. Jeff Walker called in the Sport King who managed to land 18 yellowfin for only 7 anglers.
Heavy skiff traffic over the weekend drove down the fish (and the counts), but there were still a few fish caught.
These fish are ranging from 15-50-pounds. A variety of methods are working, from a flylined bait on 30# fluoro, to sinker rigs, and even jigs.
I’ve worn being on that Spitfire trip 5 years ago like a badge of honor. Not many people can say that they have been on a Los Angeles county boat and caught tuna on a local trip. It was a very unique day in the boat’s and the local fleet’s history. Every time I walk on that boat, step into that galley, and I see the picture of that day (above) and it brings a big smile to my face.
This is exactly the opportunity that is available to you now if you decide to ride on one of these boats.
Your best bet would be to take a sick day and ride during the week to get your best shot at scoring one (or more) of these fish for yourself. Good luck if you get out there.