Steady Fishing Despite Unsteady Weather

Watching the clouds roll in and the palm trees sway outside my office window this Thursday morning, makes me glad that I’m not out on the water today. While today’s storm isn’t forecast to bring all that much rain, there’s another, and much bigger, system scheduled to roll in on Monday. The good news is that today’s storm won’t be strong enough to put a damper on the good late fall fishing we’ve had and we’ve got a couple days of great fishing weather to look forward to this weekend.

The bluefin are still biting for the few boats still fishing the Cortes and Tanner Banks. The only two boats that I heard of making the run this week were the Toronado out of Pierpoint Landing and the Freedom out of 22nd Street Landing. Both boats had successful trips and both reported seeing a large volume of bluefin tuna from 30 to 150 pounds. There is quite a bit of wind blowing out there right now but it’s forecast to back off on Friday and be calm over the weekend, so if you’re looking to get one last shot at bluefin, I’d try and jump on a trip as that zone is going to be blown out for at least a week starting on Monday.

In other really long boat ride news, the rockfish bite at San Nicholas Island continues to be excellent and anglers aboard the El Dorado, out of Long Beach Sportfishing, had shots at some big halibut on a recent trip. You can read that trips full report here. It looks like the El Dorado is all booked up this weekend, but those fish will still be biting once the weather straightens out enough for them to make the run again.

Rockfish continue to make up most of the catch for both sport boats and private boaters and the fishing up north continues to be the best. There is a good weather window around the Channel Islands on Saturday but it’s going to start getting windy again on Sunday. If you can’t make the run up north, your best bet for having good fishing anywhere else is to get some live or fresh dead squid.

In non-rockfish news, the sand bass bite along the coast has been pretty good around smaller rocks as well as artificial reefs and with the Orange Count coast having been reopened to fishing, you’ve got plenty of good options. My plan this weekend is to fish the coast out of Newport as the cost of gas is prohibitive enough to keep me from running out to San Clemente, which hadn’t been biting all that well anyway recently. There are also a few yellowtail being caught on the coast in San Diego but you’re going to need some luck to find them. Good luck if you’re heading out this weekend and keep an eye on the forecast before doing so!

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...