Long loop out of Newport Beach. Bluefin and yellowfin report 6/29

get some

So Cal Editor
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May 1, 2005
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Erik
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Robalo 226 Cayman
After dealing with the ridiculous crowds at Catalina last Saturday, Decker and I decided to do an exploratory offshore trip out of Newport this week. We were hamstrung by not having a current SST shot to work with due to offshore clouds so we we were going in blind and forced to use the bank to bank search pattern, which isn't usually the most productive way to look for fish.
map.jpg

With the high slack tide at 8:30 a.m. we wanted to leave early enough to give us time to find a high percentage zone to look at through the slack tide, so we cleared the harbor at 5:30 a.m. and set a course for the 277. The water from just a few miles off the beach all the way to the 277 was all the same temperature (67 degrees) and lifeless, so we just blew by the bank and headed for the 289. The water temp dropped to 65 degrees on the backside of Cat but there was a hard break just before the 289 where it jumped to 66.5 degrees. There was lots of bait and rizo's on the bank along with a couple rafts of sheer waters but no signs of tuna so we decided to continue on and take another look at it before we headed home.

We continued on to the top of the Clemente Ridge with the intention of running down it to the 43 where there had been some bluefin caught the previous day. The ridge was alive with bait and rizo's as well but the current was smoking uphill making for steep swells that made it impossible to get anywhere in a hurry even if we did see fish pop up so we decided to head outside the ridge and down. It was a little calmer outside the ridge and as we rolled down the line we started to see a few yachts, a couple sportboats and even a long range boat. A few of the boats were stopped but there were no birds and the area looked lifeless through the binos so we just kept heading down the line.

As we approached the 43 we saw a few birds and the occasional small spot of yellowfin or bluefin pop up for a couple seconds before sinking out. It was enough sign to give the area a hard look through the tide but it never got together so we kept going. I should qualify this by saying that we probably could have caught yellowfin by trolling or both species by soaking sardines but we don't troll of fish live bait so we're pretty much looking for fish that are willing to bite a cast and retrieved lure and will allow us to get close enough to show them that lure.

After the tide, we ran inside to the 43 and the current still had the swell standing straight up so we decided to run towards the calmer water inside the ridge and then head back up to the 289. As we got off the ridge, the water temp jumped from 67 to 68 so I stopped the boat to have Decker glass around. He spotted a foamer a mile or so above us but it sank out by the time we got there. The birds were still looking around so we just waited until they got together again and followed them to the next foamer which resulted in my catching a yellowfin on the Yo-Zuri Hydro Pencil.
65314349_10211362476137685_3563427575424352256_o.jpg

Decker was throwing a slightly larger bait and did not get bit. Our next foamer was the same deal, I hooked one and Decker didn't, so he cut off the popper he'd been using, tied on the Hydro Pencil and hooked one on his first cast. When these fish are up foaming on anchovies, fishing a small lure can make all the difference in the world. There were some bluefin mixed in with the yellowfin and I hooked on on the next foamer we hit.
65744483_10211362475897679_6856197796597334016_o.jpg

I know that I've talked about this before, but the Rainshadow Judge Series 810ML matched with a Revo Beast 50 and 65-pound spectra to a short 60-pound leader is perfect for throwing smaller baits at fish up to 50-pounds. It casts well, has plenty of pulling power and the glass tip is soft enough that you won't rip the smaller trebles out if the fish surges.

65913607_10211362475777676_5038246094203518976_o.jpg
We left them biting at 11:30 because six 15-20 pound yellowfin and a bluefin were already more than we wanted to process when we got home. A couple of observations if you're heading out. We had several spots of straight bluefin that came up boiling but they were their typical lazy selves and wouldn't bite a lure, but when they were mixed with yellowfin they acted much more aggressively. Also, these fish are not relating to banks as much as they are to temp breaks, so pay close attention to your temp gauge, a hard one degree temp break is a piece of structure that these fish will relate to better than any bank or ridge. Finally, the water temps from the Catalina ridge to the beach were all over 70 degrees on the way in going as high as 72.7 degrees just below the 14 so I wouldn't at all be surprised if these yellowfin slid in tighter to the beach soon.

Ended up running a 166 mile round trip, left them biting and were back in the harbor before 2:00 p.m. Sure beats the hell out of fighting the crowds at Catalina last week. lol
 

Danny

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May 17, 2009
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SS FAT GUY
OUT FRIGGIN STANDING!!!!
 
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SouthBayKiller

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Mar 27, 2003
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Awesome report Erik. When you are working the lipless stick baits is there any particular way you are fishing them?
 
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get some

So Cal Editor
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May 1, 2005
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Erik
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Robalo 226 Cayman
Awesome report Erik. When you are working the lipless stick baits is there any particular way you are fishing them?
I use a fast walk the dog retrieve in open water. If I cast into a foamer I’ll use a slow walk the dog and if I get to the edge without a bite I’ll burn it back to the boat as that will often trigger a reaction bite. That’s how I hooked the bluefin. That fish was swimming so fast at me when it ate the bait that I thought it bit me off until I could catch up with the slack line lol.
 

Paddyman

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Jul 10, 2006
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Tiara 33 flybridge "Go Time"
I'll be in that zone tomorrow. Switching it up and leaving late in the am to stay through sunset.
 
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flyliner

@thereelflyliner
Aug 19, 2007
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Awesome Erik. That's pretty much my ideal day of fishing - light tackle top water for tuna under 60 pounds.

I am with you on Catalina - there is no way I am fishing that Island on a weekend right now. That being said, we did hit the Island last Friday (28th) and found the bigger yellows pretty much to ourselves. I am sure Saturday was a cluster though.
 

Northeastfshman

I see OJ
Dec 20, 2008
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Brett Weinberg
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Awesome Erik. That's pretty much my ideal day of fishing - light tackle top water for tuna under 60 pounds.

I am with you on Catalina - there is no way I am fishing that Island on a weekend right now. That being said, we did hit the Island last Friday (28th) and found the bigger yellows pretty much to ourselves. I am sure Saturday was a cluster though.

Good stuff Eric. Thank you for the detailed info!


Shockingly Saturday was great at the island. Plenty of room to spread out and the YT and bass fishing was really good. Saw picks of your fish on Friday Johnathan those were slugs.

There were fleets in 3 spots everywhere else was devoid of people.
 
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_Ferbz_

i came i saw i conquered
Sep 3, 2014
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Furby
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Master Baiter 19' Trophy CC
Outstanding report per usual thank you for the info headed out Friday from Pt Loma
 
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Hungone

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Jan 14, 2012
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thought I was losing my mind when I saw my FF read 71 degrees on the way home from cast Saturday. Like you said, I'm hoping the fish move in tighter. Great report
 
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diseasedscrotum

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Mar 17, 2007
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water wings
Thanks for the report-- always learn something from your info!
Was the Yo Zuri that you were using a "sinking" or a "floating" model?? Do you have success with either type lure or do you use one type exclusively?? Thanks.
 

get some

So Cal Editor
BD Writer
May 1, 2005
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3,687
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Erik
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Robalo 226 Cayman
Thanks for the report-- always learn something from your info!
Was the Yo Zuri that you were using a "sinking" or a "floating" model?? Do you have success with either type lure or do you use one type exclusively?? Thanks.
Not sure if the hydro pencil comes in a sinking version but I use the floating.
 

MannyOjai

I've posted enough I should edit this section
May 28, 2019
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Manny Molina
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SandWish
After dealing with the ridiculous crowds at Catalina last Saturday, Decker and I decided to do an exploratory offshore trip out of Newport this week. We were hamstrung by not having a current SST shot to work with due to offshore clouds so we we were going in blind and forced to use the bank to bank search pattern, which isn't usually the most productive way to look for fish.
View attachment 1042522
With the high slack tide at 8:30 a.m. we wanted to leave early enough to give us time to find a high percentage zone to look at through the slack tide, so we cleared the harbor at 5:30 a.m. and set a course for the 277. The water from just a few miles off the beach all the way to the 277 was all the same temperature (67 degrees) and lifeless, so we just blew by the bank and headed for the 289. The water temp dropped to 65 degrees on the backside of Cat but there was a hard break just before the 289 where it jumped to 66.5 degrees. There was lots of bait and rizo's on the bank along with a couple rafts of sheer waters but no signs of tuna so we decided to continue on and take another look at it before we headed home.

We continued on to the top of the Clemente Ridge with the intention of running down it to the 43 where there had been some bluefin caught the previous day. The ridge was alive with bait and rizo's as well but the current was smoking uphill making for steep swells that made it impossible to get anywhere in a hurry even if we did see fish pop up so we decided to head outside the ridge and down. It was a little calmer outside the ridge and as we rolled down the line we started to see a few yachts, a couple sportboats and even a long range boat. A few of the boats were stopped but there were no birds and the area looked lifeless through the binos so we just kept heading down the line.

As we approached the 43 we saw a few birds and the occasional small spot of yellowfin or bluefin pop up for a couple seconds before sinking out. It was enough sign to give the area a hard look through the tide but it never got together so we kept going. I should qualify this by saying that we probably could have caught yellowfin by trolling or both species by soaking sardines but we don't troll of fish live bait so we're pretty much looking for fish that are willing to bite a cast and retrieved lure and will allow us to get close enough to show them that lure.

After the tide, we ran inside to the 43 and the current still had the swell standing straight up so we decided to run towards the calmer water inside the ridge and then head back up to the 289. As we got off the ridge, the water temp jumped from 67 to 68 so I stopped the boat to have Decker glass around. He spotted a foamer a mile or so above us but it sank out by the time we got there. The birds were still looking around so we just waited until they got together again and followed them to the next foamer which resulted in my catching a yellowfin on the Yo-Zuri Hydro Pencil.
View attachment 1042519
Decker was throwing a slightly larger bait and did not get bit. Our next foamer was the same deal, I hooked one and Decker didn't, so he cut off the popper he'd been using, tied on the Hydro Pencil and hooked one on his first cast. When these fish are up foaming on anchovies, fishing a small lure can make all the difference in the world. There were some bluefin mixed in with the yellowfin and I hooked on on the next foamer we hit.
View attachment 1042520
I know that I've talked about this before, but the Rainshadow Judge Series 810ML matched with a Revo Beast 50 and 65-pound spectra to a short 60-pound leader is perfect for throwing smaller baits at fish up to 50-pounds. It casts well, has plenty of pulling power and the glass tip is soft enough that you won't rip the smaller trebles out if the fish surges.

View attachment 1042521We left them biting at 11:30 because six 15-20 pound yellowfin and a bluefin were already more than we wanted to process when we got home. A couple of observations if you're heading out. We had several spots of straight bluefin that came up boiling but they were their typical lazy selves and wouldn't bite a lure, but when they were mixed with yellowfin they acted much more aggressively. Also, these fish are not relating to banks as much as they are to temp breaks, so pay close attention to your temp gauge, a hard one degree temp break is a piece of structure that these fish will relate to better than any bank or ridge. Finally, the water temps from the Catalina ridge to the beach were all over 70 degrees on the way in going as high as 72.7 degrees just below the 14 so I wouldn't at all be surprised if these yellowfin slid in tighter to the beach soon.

Ended up running a 166 mile round trip, left them biting and were back in the harbor before 2:00 p.m. Sure beats the hell out of fighting the crowds at Catalina last week. lol
Sounds like you guys had a great time. Which is the point. And caught fish, even better. Have you ever tried the SP minnows for the same application they seem to be similar size and weight . Was wondering if that would work. Thx. MAnny
 
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