Offshore 8/14 Mackerel Bank/SCI Ridge


Capn Caboose
  • May 18, 2020
    Mission Viejo, CA
    Boat Name
    Combat Wombat
    Headed out of Newport around 6:30 ish. Left the harbor around 7, calm seas and very little wind. Boat traffic was apparent on the way out to the grounds.

    On the way past the 14 there were about 15 boats parked, not moving didn't appear to be trolling/lines in the water. Couldn't.t figure out what they were doing. Continued past the 277/slide/East End Catalina and it was stuffed with boats. At least 50 boats on the slide alone, saw one or two appear to be bent but the rest were just chasing each other and coming dangerously close to us and others.

    Yep moving and got to the Mackerel Bank around 10:30. Right away had foamers all to ourselves. Tried throwing poppers/coltsnipers and trolled a madmac and a halo max through a few but could not get any to go. Mostly looked like schools of 40-80 lb. fish with some larger models mixed in. Had one short bite on the madmac but did not stick. Did the run and gun thing for about an hour until the slack tide had completely ended and then kept moving in towards the island to try and get out of the wind for midday. On the way into the ridge saw multiple schools of breezing bluefin and likely some yellowfin mixed in. They were flashing/rolling/shining etc and would bust out of the water every now and then in groups. Saw breeders of large schools in every direction and had them all to ourselves, every other boat was out at the Mackerel bank or in tight to the island. Long story short, threw the kitchen sink at em. Trolled the Macs/halcos, cedar plugs, feather, jigs, etc. and threw colt snipers (40g - 120g in every color we had), irons, stickbaits ,poppers, zakana jigs and everything else we had in our boxes for one bite that ended up popping off after about 20 min (looked like the fish had tail wrapped itself somehow) and lost the jig with the fish. The freezers were not apparently boat shy as we were able to get within 15 yards of them at each pass, close enough with our long rods to bomb the jigs into the frenzy (they were actively feeding but very lazily). After some time decided to put the jigs back out and could only get 2/3 lines in the water before we were bit. Thought we lucked out on some jig strike tunas but turned out to be a pair of very nice cow mahi. Continued trolling up and down the ridge for nada and turned back towards the Mackerel Bank to hid the bottom slack tide on the way in. Wind picked up in the channel but the foams were up all the way from the Mackerel to just before the slide. Not another boat in sight, we did the same deal dragging the trollers through some and casting into other for nada. Ended up pulling lines in just after the 14 to call it a day. Beautiful day on the water except for the parking lot style fishing.

    For reference, the foamers between Mackerel/Slide in the afternoon were NOT boat shy at all. Could pull up right onto them if we wanted and they were going crazy. Only other people in sight were the aircraft carrier off to the south. Crazy that we could find these fish all to ourselves and not even get a sniff on anything. Oh well, maybe next time. For now, its a mahi taco Tuesday.


    • IMG_0386.MOV
      862 KB · Views: 0
    Upvote 0


    Long Time Tuna Abused Member
  • Aug 11, 2006
    Costa Mesa
    Boat Name
    Great report and info/pic of ??? At least a couple of Mahi a good thing. Bluefin being Bluefin again.
    Jugged most likely. Next time!!
    Upvote 0


    May 25, 2016
    Huntington Beach
    Boat Name
    Seahunt 225 Ultra
    Did the same thing Sunday, they were not being fooled into biting anything. Couldn’t believe the amount of fish up close to the island. That’s bluefin for ya
    Upvote 0