Sportboat Roundup

I tried to fish this week from shore…not a lot of luck doing it unfortunately. The water was pretty cold and turned over from the last storm we had. My go to spots didn’t produce for me.

The captains and crews are telling me the same conditions affected fishing out on the water. That said, fish are still getting caught. It’s been two weeks since my last roundup, so it’s a good time to update what’s going on out there.

The San Diego Full Day

I titled this section The San Diego…because they seem to be the only full day boat consistently getting out.

They’re still banging away at it offshore with mixed results. The best of it was two Sundays ago (Oct. 10th) when they posted a count of 2 bluefin tuna and 146 yellowtail for a full load of 34 anglers.

The Malahini is offering an alternative and fishing the Coronado Islands. I’ll have to keep an eye on them in the coming weeks to see how they do.

Offshore Multi-Day

A lot of boats are still heading to the outer banks (Tanner/Cortez) in search of bluefin. It was kind of a rough go last week with the water still trying to recover from the storm I mentioned, plus the typical winter wind. The fish are still out there though, so if you get lucky with the weather, hopefully they’ll cooperate.

My buddy, Marty Kruskamp, got out last week on a 2 day aboard the Old Glory (returned Friday, Oct. 15th). It was Marty’s last tuna trip for the year and he was determined to bring home a big one. He told me it was really tough fishing during the day. Only one bite for the boat was had fishing bait. He was lucky enough to get it, but he handed off the fish to a 12 year old kid, Donnie, who would be celebrating his birthday on the boat the following day.

Marty’s act of kindness paid off later.

That night they were doing the heavy jig game for the big fish. The positive karma came back to Marty in a big way. Marty was fishing a prototype West Coast Jiggers 500g jig. Capt. Kley Williams said he was marking fish at 450 feet. Marty dropped in to 500 and started winding through the zone. Nada. Capt. Kley said the meat was now in the 250 range. Marty sped up his wind to catch up and the jig found a taker. He was fishing the right gear (Fishing Syndicate 760 2XH/Okuma Makaira 20) and quickly dispatched his fish in less than 10 minutes! Final result was this bluefin that taped out just under the magic 200 mark for a new personal best.

There were only 5 fish caught for the trip, so that good karma definitely helped.

Good job all around Marty!

With those kind of results, some of the multi-day trips are opting to head deep into Mexican water to find the elusive yellowfin tuna that we’ve been waiting on to show up. Boats are heading down more than 100 miles, but the counts are looking very promising. My buddy Will Brown is cooking on the Pacific Voyager. They returned yesterday (Monday, Oct. 18) from a 3 day trip that saw 190 yellowfin, 32 yellowtail, and 3 dorado hit the deck for 19 anglers. Will said they’re mostly getting stopped on the troll, so be ready at the rail to drop in a jig or bait on the slide.

Something to note…the fish processors are really swamped right now, so if you plan on using them, best to make a reservation BEFORE your trip. I wouldn’t want to be counting on them being available, get back from a trip loaded up, and not be able to use that service.

Long Beach 3/4 Day

Up the coast, deckhand Connor Cassota of the Enterprise checked in with this sea monster ling he caught on Sunday while they were fishing the local reefs. Only 9 passengers, so he had a chance to drop in a live bait. One drop. One fish. Congrats Connor!

He told me it’s been up and down. Again, weather has been an issue and they haven’t been on a consistent routine. One day it’s local, next day might be Catalina. They had a nice pop topwater for bonito on Saturday. Two yellows got hooked, but both were lost. Mixed bag, but the loads are light. You won’t know unless you go.

Channel Islands Variety

I mentioned in the last roundup how they have primarily been on a rockfishing program up north in the 805. While that’s mostly true, that doesn’t mean that the captains aren’t looking for other opportunities. The Graylight has had some interesting updates recently.

Two Fridays ago (October 9th), they posted this picture (below) of a beautiful white seabass caught on a day trip. To show it wasn’t a fluke, they got another one the following day. More recent counts have featured halibut to go along with the bottom grabbers.

Hopefully, the weather will settle out and the fishing improves on all fronts. All for now. 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 ...