Summary of reports and wondering what's next

jsl

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BFT have always been around. I don't know why people act like BFT in local water is once in a century event. Read a history of Southern California fishing, or just go to page 600 in the off shore reports. You'll see that, with the exception of a few La Nina years when the water couldn't get past 65 in the summer, local BFT have always been caught. Local cow BFT are new, yes, but cow BFT like marlin have never been an average guy's game.



Yes, I've always thought that scientists who claim they don't know what happened to the albacore are being too conservative. There is an obvious association with the drop off in global albacore populations due to fishing starting from the early 1995, to the eventual disappearance of albacore in Southern California. I know people don't like reading these papers but they should: https://www.wcpfc.int/node/29522

You'll find that there's about a 30% drop off in global albacore population that happened starting from 1995 or so, but that efforts from Asian countries have not exactly decreased. So the result is that a larger fraction of fish are being caught at the west end of this path:



Since we in California are at the south end of the albacore distribution, this global decrease in albacore population probably caused the schools to concentrate in their prime habitat, which is towards the north and off shore. The spill over albacore we've been getting have thus disappeared. I know there are other explanations like water temperature being too high, but I don't think that's it. We got albacore more or less consistently for close to 100 years in Southern California through multiple warm and cold water decades, and yet they just all of a sudden decided they want to shift their migration path completely?

Can't be sure, but like you, I think it's the effects of commercial over fishing in Asia.



I hate to agree with this, but I think you're right. People who are calling the last two years, the best fishing we've ever had, are either talking only about cow BFT, or are new to off shore fishing. All you need to do, guys, is go back 600 pages to the off shore reports section of 2008 or earlier, and you'll see that the off shore fishing back then was better than it is today. Successful days were more common, no fish days were less common, and there was more variety: you could choose to target albacore, YFT, dorado, OR BFT.

I think 2014 and especially 2015 were indeed better than even the old days - I personally remember days at Catalina where a party boat of 30 people would almost limit out on 25 pound yellow. But starting from 2016, we've been on a down turn, and I don't understand why people insist on calling it an up turn just because of cow BFT. Cow BFT make up 1% of the fish people actually catch in California. Look at the fishing as a whole and you'll see an obvious drop off in the quantity of fish we're catching here in southern California.

It is what it is, and until the global commercial industry decide to get their head out of their collective ass, it's going to stay that way.
You made some excellent points! However, regarding albacore precence, it may be due shifts in migration or overfishing I don't nor does anyone else have a clue about it. Fish do shift migration routes like the adult bluefin we're seeing here. They usually do not occur in abundance as now as their main concentrations are far west .

Scott
 

SouthBayKiller

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Mar 27, 2003
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The theory that fishing is bad because there is a lower population of fish doesn’t hold water. Go on a boat, there is tonnage of tuna, it’s just not biting.

Also your theory’s of why there are no albacore doesn’t hold water each year. Your map from 1957 doesn’t indicate how the Washington fishing for albacore was then? Perhaps it wasn’t there at all then? It’s a highly migratory species, for it to not be here but be prevalent north of us to me indicates conditions are better north of us, not that a body of fish living in sun-prime water doesn’t exist because of commercial fishing. Get the tin hat off and go look offshore, tuna is there and it’s not hard to find. I haven’t seen one report this year where someone said they went offshore and didn’t see fish. Catching is tough, yes, but to me that is based on my own anecdotal evidence that is based on the tonnage of bait out there along with it. The doom and gloom prognosis couldn’t be further from the truth, our ocean is very healthy. Not to say let’s free for all abuse it, but it might be time to maybe just relax, let the fish settle in, fatten up and catch them when they are biting.
 
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Azarkon

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Aug 28, 2015
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The theory that fishing is bad because there is a lower population of fish doesn’t hold water. Go on a boat, there is tonnage of tuna, it’s just not biting.

Also your theory’s of why there are no albacore doesn’t hold water each year. Your map from 1957 doesn’t indicate how the Washington fishing for albacore was then? Perhaps it wasn’t there at all then? It’s a highly migratory species, for it to not be here but be prevalent north of us to me insidcates conditions are better north of us, not that a body of fish living in sun-prime water doesn’t exist because of commercial fishing. Get the tin hat off and go look offshore, tuna is there and it’s not hard to find. I haven’t seen one report this year where someone said they went offshore and didn’t see fish. Catching is tough, yes, but to me that is based on my own anecdotal evidence that is based on the tonnage of bait out there along with it. The doom and gloom prognosis couldn’t be further from the truth, our ocean is very healthy. Not to say let’s free for all abuse it, but it might be time to maybe just relax, let the fish settle in, fatten up and catch them when they are biting.
I hope you're right, but like I said, the association I see in global tuna population decline with worse fishing off of California is pretty obvious. There might be a lot of fish out there, but there were even more fish back in the day; and the balance between bait fish and game fish is mutually dependent: the less game fish, the more bait fish, for obvious reasons since the former eat the latter.

Also, although there are tons of bait off shore this year - more than usual - in 2016 that wasn't the case. Sardines collapsed in 2015, and they're still in their down cycle, so with only anchovies around, I doubt the slow game fishing in 2016 in 2017 could be due to too much bait alone. Not saying it's due to immediate commercial fishing, either - it doesn't work like that. But long term, the lower populations of game fish have an effect, as generations of young fish - the primary target of the commercial fleet - are wiped out and a general down turn begins.

That's just how I see it, and in this case, I actually hope that you're right, and I'm wrong, but the last three years have definitely been slow compared to, say, 10 years ago. Had there not been cow BFT to distract people, I think more would be talking about it.
 
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Tandem Assassin

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It's a traditional year - doesn't start to get good until about the 3rd week in August and goes until we get a big winter storm..Give it time.
 
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Azarkon

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Aug 28, 2015
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Party boats almost all share. Charter boats don't necessarily, but many still do. For example, I know Fortune caught 63 WSB for 21 people recently...
 

Croaker.Stroker

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Nov 28, 2015
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Normally, this time of year, the SoCal reports board is burning up with a bunch of reports every day. But needless to say, it's pretty quiet here compared to other years. It's easy to understand, because it seems that there are only two things happening... Take a shot at the jumbos or go scratching around for YTs and the odd small tuna.

To put this in perspective, in the most recent reports from the San Diego landings, there were 7 boats reporting for 1.5 to 2.5 day trips. The 111 anglers on those tripsI track the Marine Traffic site and while the occasional long range boat heads south, they generally end up swinging in to load on on the nicer grade YTs.
But we were talking about tuna...
Well, mostly. But the OP did mention Yellows...
 

Azarkon

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I see, for me that's a very different topic. Yellowtail fishing seem to be off and on and I don't think it's changed much over the last 10 years. I think we'll see the medium size fish turn on soon, and a late season bite on baby fish is still going to happen because those are like half year old fish - right now, you wouldn't see them because they're still bait fish size.
 
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Threads like this are really why I come to BD. Great discussion. The fact of the matter is if you look at the evidence, the fish reports historically, and most importantly make a point to talk to some of the veteran sport boat captains (guys in their 50s and 60s) its pretty clear that stuff is declining in the way of volume sport fishing. Big limits of albacore are gone (and that warm water theory is non-sense), Big boat limits of YFT are becoming much more uncommon and while I'm very aware that BFT are not new, the cows seem to be the biggest draw to sport boats right now, which despite popular opinions probably isnt good for business long term. This time last year the entire fleet was out killing baby yellowtail on paddies to pay their bills because nothing else was around.

The upside here is Yellowtail this spring at the nados was as good as anyone has ever seen it. Bird schools and biting fish for miles. Bass locally and down at the islands are also going full speed.
 

yellowfish26

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Threads like this are really why I come to BD. Great discussion. The fact of the matter is if you look at the evidence, the fish reports historically, and most importantly make a point to talk to some of the veteran sport boat captains (guys in their 50s and 60s) its pretty clear that stuff is declining in the way of volume sport fishing. Big limits of albacore are gone (and that warm water theory is non-sense), Big boat limits of YFT are becoming much more uncommon and while I'm very aware that BFT are not new, the cows seem to be the biggest draw to sport boats right now, which despite popular opinions probably isnt good for business long term. This time last year the entire fleet was out killing baby yellowtail on paddies to pay their bills because nothing else was around.

The upside here is Yellowtail this spring at the nados was as good as anyone has ever seen it. Bird schools and biting fish for miles. Bass locally and down at the islands are also going full speed.
Where did your degree in fisheries management come from?. Ive been fishing here longer than you have been alive. Ive fished commercially, worked on sport boats and have owned my own boat(s) for over 20 years. Your bold claim that the reason Albacore are not around because of warm water is nonsense is actually, well nonsense. There are probably many factors that play into why not but water too warm (67+) is a huge reason why they swim by us WAY outside. Several good Albacore seasons started really well when water temps were 63 - 65 degrees and if we got asummer storm down south that pushed warm water towards So Cal and drove water temps above 68 or so they'd bail real quick (and hopefully get replaced by YFT). Another example would be that traditionally Morro Bay has been as good or better for Albacore as to what So Cal experiences. Water temp in Central Ca almost neved got above 66 ever. But the last several years it has. And no Albacore either.

You can believe it or not but i have observed it first hand
 

jalapeno

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Nov 22, 2011
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Salt Mine
BFT have always been around. I don't know why people act like BFT in local water is once in a century event. Read a history of Southern California fishing, or just go to page 600 in the off shore reports. You'll see that, with the exception of a few La Nina years when the water couldn't get past 65 in the summer, local BFT have always been caught. Local cow BFT are new, yes, but cow BFT like marlin have never been an average guy's game.".
This guy was not fishing in the 70's, 80's, and 90's
 
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