Yellows Bite Below the Border

Yellowbites - yo-yo fishingAs of the time of this writing on Thursday morning, there haven’t been any reports as to whether or not the bluefin stuck around the Tanner Bank through the Christmas weekend weather. The Oceanside 95 is scheduled to make a run out there tonight, so we’ll find out what, if anything, is happening on the bank. The bad news is that even if the fish are still there, we’ve got another round of storms scheduled for the weekend so the area will likely be unfishable until early next week.

With the tuna out of the picture (for now anyway) the big news this week is the yellowtail bite that’s happening south of the border.


Yo-Yo Fishing Tips

The Old Glory out of H&M Landing ran down to Colnett earlier this week and managed 53 yellows for their 12 passengers. The crew reported good deep water yo-yo fishing for 15 to 30-pound yellows. The Old Glory is back down there today and if the fish bite again I’m sure that lots of boats will have trips online next week.

YellowsDue to its distance from San Diego, you’ll need to jump on a 1 1/2-day trip to fish Colnett. The trips usually arrive shortly after dawn and spend the morning fishing yellows. Sometime the fish will bite all day, but often the yellows dry up around midday and the rest of the trip is spent targeting rockfish. So make sure and bring some heavy sinkers and a rockfish set up to go along with your heavy yo-yo rod and reel. I recommend fishing at least 60-pound test on a Penn Baja Special or Fathom 40N 2 speed if you’ve got one. You’ll be fishing deep so you’re going to want a reel with a tall spool to maximize your retrieve rate. On the same token you’re going to want to bring some large yo-yo jigs that will get you down to the bottom if there’s current. My favorite is a Tady 4/0 Heavy in scrambled egg or mint and white. The reefs around Colnett can be very snaggy so bring at least three or four jigs in each color. There’s nothing worse than losing the only color they’re biting and not having another one to tie on.

The yellowtail have also been biting well in San Quintin over the last month and with the U.S. rockfish closure going into effect on Sunday morning, now’s a great time to take a road trip and get in on some great winter fishing. Captain Kelly Catain of K&M Sportfishing is offering a winter special on his boats for as low as $100 per person. You can contact him through his website for details.

Bass fishing  - yo-yo fishingThe rockfish bit well for boats out of Ventura and Santa Barbara Landings this week but that doesn’t really matter because they’ll be off the menu until March 1st. So, unless the tuna or yellowtail show up in U.S. waters, the next couple months are going to be bass and sculpin fishing for private boaters and the sport boats that do manage to make it off the dock. The bright side of this is that our local islands can kick out some excellent bass fishing during the winter months and cold weather often means no afternoon west wind which makes for a nice run home. Captain Gerry Mahieu fished San Clemente Island earlier this week and reported good calico fishing on the hard baits. He has plenty of available dates for the next couple months, so contact him through his website if you’d like to get in on the action. That’s it for this week. Don’t forget to get your 2017 fishing license and have a Happy New Year!

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...