SoCal Bluefin Are Back & Biting!

One time, on a boat I won’t name, a long time ago when I first started fishing the sportboats, I went offshore in June. The weather was horrible. We hit empty kelp after empty kelp. And when all was said and done, the net output…for the whole boat mind you…was 4 rat-sized kelp paddy yellows.

I vowed never again to go offshore that early again.

Well it’s the middle part of May. I mentioned a couple articles back how I wasn’t mentally ready to go offshore. It’s like there’s that angel on one shoulder saying, “It’s not even June and you want to do what?” And their counterpart on the other shoulder is yelling, “FOMO!”

Well, I won’t be going offshore in May. This week, I’ve got another Graylight charter on Friday. Then from there, I’m headed off to Venice, Louisiana to hopefully cross off a bucket list fish and get a big redfish.

When I get back though, I will be headed offshore here in Southern California.

bluefin tuna reports

SoCal was really good offshore this week. What first caught my attention was when The San Diego got limits of bluefin on Wednesday (May 12th). Capt. Ryan Bostian said the fish were in that 20-60-pound range and posted this picture (left). Ryan said that 40# flylined baits worked, but that “colt snipers, flat falls and knife jigs from 100-200 grams got the most bites.”

bluefin tuna reports

Then my buddy Nick Lam hosted a 1.5-day, Seeker Rods sponsored trip on the Polaris Supreme over the weekend. Nick told me that Capt. Aliyar Nabi got them onto a ripper night bite where Nick personally put on 10 fish on the knife jig (right). Nick destroyed them fishing 80# braid to 80# fluoro on his Seeker Hercules 70XH (that he built himself) and an Avet Raptor HXJ setup.

Several other boats reported limits over the weekend!

It’s been a while since I’ve caught a bluefin tuna, so I guess I’m due. I’ve got a back-to-back scheduled with a full-day, Fishing Syndicate sponsored trip on Monday, June 7th, and an overnight leaving Tuesday, June 8th. Right now I’m thinking 30# and 40# flyline bait rigs, 60# sinker rig setup, and the 80# jig setup. I’ll keep eyes and ears out and let you all know if that changes, but that seems to be the consensus for this range and the fish they’re catching now.

Since I’m going to be out-of-town next week, please reach out if you get out and update me on what you’re seeing. Good luck if you get out there!

Joe Sarmiento is the founder and primary writer of the So Cal Salty blog. The blog covers saltwater fishing, primarily aboard the many sportfishing boats of Southern California. In addition to writing his blog, Joe's writing has appeared in Western Outdoor News, The Log and Griffin Media. Joe is ...