SoCal Offshore Is Hot

Keeping an eye on Southern California fishing from afar, the thing that caught my eye last week was the slew of dorado in the counts.

dorado bite

Several boats posted limits (2 fish) of dorado over the weekend.  Capt. Kris Karpow of the Sea Watch hit me up on Sunday.  They found a magic kelp on Saturday’s full-day ride that yielded limits of dodos for 25 lucky anglers (right).  They added 7 solid grade yellows to their count to make for a very productive trip.

For me personally, it’s been a while since I’ve caught a good dodo.  It’s been great the last few years with all the bluefin that’s been around, but I miss “traditional” offshore fishing kelp paddies for dorado and yellowtail (the yellowfin have been mostly missing so far).  I’ve got my overnight charter on the Tbird rapidly approaching on September 19th, so hopefully, this opportunity holds up.

If you are able to go longer, you’ll likely find yourself fishing bluefin at the outer banks (Tanner and Cortez).

It’s a long drive, but the fishing is very good.

bluefin reportsA lot of that very catchable (20-40-pound) grade of tuna is being caught for limit style fishing.  It’s still the same game as what most of that Catalina fish that I mentioned last week was getting caught on…flylined sardine on 25# line, with very small hooks (size 4).  Naturally, that light line/small hook game is going to lead to its fair share of line failures and hooks getting pulled or bitten off, but it is what it is.

My buddy John Delisio, just returned yesterday morning (Monday, August 24) from a 1.5 day trip on the Freedom out of 22nd Street Landing in San Pedro.  He said the bait situation wasn’t as good as he saw fishing out of San Diego, but the results were the same.  Captain Tino Valantine reports that this bite has been consistent for his last 5 trips (left)!  Tino is also reporting that the grade of Tanner yellowtail includes fish up to 35-pounds, so be ready to pull hard.

rigging flying fishWhere are the big boys?

They are still out there.  If you find yourself on a 1.5-day trip or longer and get the job done early there may be time to target trophies.  If you are lucky enough to get your number called on a kite fish rotation, you may get an opportunity to pull on the fish of a lifetime.  That’s what happened yesterday on the Pacifica.  Owner/operator, Capt. Andrew Viola reported that this monster (below) was lured into biting a kite rigged flyer.  After a grueling fight, the beast was landed and taped out at a whopping 353-pounds!  Congrats to everyone involved.rigging flying fish

Quick PNW Update

salmon fishingI had an opportunity Friday of last week (August 21), but lost a nicer fish (probably 15-16-pounds).  I had followed the fish out to that far corner of the pier again and was frantically calling for a net while it was thrashing around on top.  It’s last gasp efforts resulted in my hook shaking loose.  Hopefully, that fish managed to avoid the sea lion mom and her cub that have been patrolling the pier and complete its journey upstream on the Puyallup River to spawn.  A lot of the regulars are saying that this year’s run has been one of the worst in recent memory, so I guess I’ve been lucky to get the two fish that I’ve gotten so far.  The payoff is so good though when it works.  I’ll keep trying.

All for now.  Book those trips early and 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 ...