Discussion in 'San Diego Long Range fishing Reports' started by Artois, May 17, 2019.
Not LR but good. They're catching 70-150LB Bluefin in Monterey (CA not Mex). and its not El Nino.
After attending Dr. Barbara Block's presentation in March, its now known that bluefin are in the Monterey area often, and hang around as late as November.
In most cases, nobody was looking for them.
Hopefully that will change going forward.
Bluefin come to Oregon, not just the small ones we get trolling.
Here's a fish story for ya. One of my buddies from the Newport / Depoe area posted this quite a while back. But it still gets the juices going.
O-K now that the tuna season has started I really feel compelled to tell you about an adventure while albie fishing out of Newport in October of 2000, and hopefully get you even more fired up. We were headed offshore for a late tuna hunt trying to find a temperature break that clearly showed up on the Terrafin map about 40 miles out. In a little more than an hour we were 36 miles out in glassy flat seas when we hit an temperature break that was 52.3 on the cold side and 57 on the warm side. There was floating debri, kelp paddies and an unmistakable current line with tuna birds cruising back and forth. On the cold side of the break we noticed some splashes in the distance and since we had a newbie on board I headed over to let him see the jumping porpoise or pilot whales that frequent this area(or so I thought). To my utter amazement we saw jumping tuna the size of small volkeswagens. O-K I have to stop here and tell you I have chased tuna in Hawaii, Calif. and in Mexico 3 or 4 times a year for the last 25 years. Meaning..........I know the species and have caught tuna approaching 100 lbs numerous times. This is just to let you know I wasn't seeing things or hitting the tequila bottle harder than usual. O-K back to the story...............These fish were 80lb to 250lb bluefin tuna (some I know were even bigger) and they were blowing up on fast moving 10 to 12" baits. They seemed to be in packs of 20 to 30 fish and were spread out in a large area. Many of the fish were clearing the water by 6 or 8 feet. We would first see a 30yd by 30yd area of bait all trying to jump out of the water at the same time, which was incredible enough, but a second later the tuna would launch thru the middle of the bait schools going 40 mph like some runaway missile. The rest of the tuna would tear into the bait from all sides and create an actual oil slick from the dead and injured bait. The tuna would come up for no more than 10 to 20 seconds in an area of foam and spray and then go down, only to come up again 100 yards away. At times we would have fish all around the boat, but never closer than 50 yards. We never knew which way to look as there would be huge fish boiling, greyhounding, leaping and splashing in all directions. I just can't put into words the visual awe and spectacule of spashes and white water eruptions of foam from 200 plus size tuna hitting the water. We trolled through the area for almost 2 hours and witnessed literally hundreds of jumps, splashes, boils and general carnage without any takedowns or strikes. I later found out that we needed to troll 100 to 200 yards behind the boat to have any chance at hooking the shy bluefin. Plus we didn't have any gear that had prayer of bring fish this size to gaff. I have seen plenty of tuna blowups, but the carnage that we witnessed will forever be ingrained in my mind, but after two hours we decided to head outside to blue water and get some albies. We had gone about 10 or 12 miles when I stopped the boat and told my partner that we would most likely never see anything like that again..........so we turned around and went back for another hour long show of mayhem. The tuna finally went down and in a daze we continued west and hit an area of feeding albies to fill the boat.
When we got back to shore we both ordered new fishing gear that would have a chance at catching fish of this magnitude. I just hope I get the opportunity again. Bluefin are frequent visitors to Northern California and have been caught in the 250 lb. range, with fish much bigger being lost. I have been told that in the late fall these fish will move into Oregon and Washington and feed on the plentiful offshore bait. So......... on those late season tuna trips be sure to bring one extra big rig and troll way, way back.............and maybe you also will be able to witness 'the big show'. Plus......be sure to bring a movie camera because very few people will believe you.
What's strange (at least to me) is how close they are. I've caught them before about 25 mi outside the bay, but they're getting fish between Santa Cruz and Monterey - at Soquel Hole. Temps were about 57 last week. Not sure what they are now.
Seems like an El Niño to me.
About 3 years ago I caught 40-50 pound bluefin about 2 miles offshore off Davenport ( just north of Santa Cruz). Also have caught Albacore around 40 - 50 pounds... yes giants in December off Santa Cruz around 20 years ago.
Catching bluefin in green waters is really odd, but happens off Santa Cruz/ norcal
That's when you need to launch a stickbait right in the middle of the feed and more than likely, you'll get tight.
Many a long time SF area albacore fisher has stories of being spooled/almost spooled-broken-off by big fast mystery fish that were never seen but had the distinct tail beats of a pelagic fish.
Both albacore and BFT are considered cold water tunas, and are frequently mixed in schools.
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