Wind Hampers SoCal Offshore & Island Fishing Action

While it’s been pretty nice along the beach this week, the wind has been blowing steadily at the islands and offshore. The good news is that the wind, which peaked on Wednesday, is forecast to come down over the weekend and stay away for at least the next week.


That being said, the damage already having been done, it might take a few days for fishing to bounce back in the hardest-hit areas.

white seabass fishing

Two of the areas hardest hit were the Channel Islands and San Nicholas Island. While the wind is coming down across most of the bite, it’s forecast to be windy at both Santa Rosa and San Nic through at least Thursday of next week. With that amount of wind, I’d imagine that the seabass and yellowtail bites from last week will likely be a distant memory by the time the wind stops.

calico bass fishing

San Clemente Island got a bit of wind this week, but I don’t think it was enough to impact the fishing. Jimmy Decker and I made the run to Clemente on Saturday and found the big calicos biting shallow on the east end of the island. I’m not sure what had the big fish schooled up in there but for over an hour it was almost a bite per cast on weedless swimbaits cast into a foot of water in the boiler zone. The bite dried up once the tide dropped so we decided to take a look offshore.

bluefin tuna reports

The water at San Clemente Island was 58-59-degrees and dropped to 57 a few miles below the island but cleaned up and got warm a few miles below there. We made it as far as the 43, where the water was purple and 64-65-degrees and loaded with bait and whales but no tuna. I’m not sure how that water looks after the wind, but from what I saw, there’s no reason that the fish below the border shouldn’t slide right up onto the Clemente Ridge.

bluefin tuna reports

Speaking of the fish below the border, as you can see in this photo, they were catching big ones right outside the Coronado Islands earlier this week. While the wind kept the boats off it on Wednesday, I can’t imagine that the fish won’t still be biting down that way this weekend. And with good weather in the forecast, I’m sure there will be plenty of boat traffic.

bluefin tuna reports

The fish down in this zone and the ones farther down off Ensenada are a variety of sizes, so you’re going to want to bring gear appropriate for anything from 30-pounders to 200-pounders. If I were heading out on a sport boat I’d bring a 30 or 40# set up, a 50# or 60#set up, and an 80# or 100# set up. When I say “set up” I mean a rod and reel capable of maximizing the line weight your fishing. So when I say an 80# set up, I don’t mean a Shimano TranX full of 80# spectra on a 10-foot jig stick. As far as tackle goes, you’re going to want to bring a variety of hook sizes, as well as 4 to 8-ounce torpedo sinkers, and some Colt Snipers and Flat Fall jigs. If you aren’t sure what tackle you need, check with the landing tackle shop before heading out.

Good luck if you’re fishing this weekend!

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...