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Full Moon Spurs Bluefin Bite

full moon bluefin bite aboard the FreedomWell, as of Thursday morning it looks like my prediction about tonight’s full moon bluefin bite was at least partially correct in that the bluefin bite has improved over the last few days. But as of the time of this writing, I was incorrect when predicting the big ones would be biting as most of the fish currently being caught are considerably less than 100-pounds. The good news is that there were some jumbos caught this week and I’ve still got about 8 hours left until the official October full moon so I’m going to hold out hope.

Finger crossing aside, let’s take a look at what’s biting this week.

where to catch bluefin, where to catch yellowfin, and where to catch yellowtailSince most of the week’s action is occurring around the islands and offshore banks, I’m going to start my report way outside and work my way in from there. There have been some bluefin, yellowtail and big bonito biting at Tanner Bank the last couple weeks but it hasn’t been getting much boat pressure due to the distance from the dock and viable fishing options closer to home. BD Member Corey fished there on Tuesday and posted a very complete report that you can read here. His results are pretty consistent with what’s been going on out there for most boats. If you’re interested in fishing Tanner or Cortes, I’d look for at least a 1 1/2-day trip or longer and be sure to ask the landing if they’re planning to fish there as there are a lot of other options available right now.

big yellowtail bite on the FreedomThe bluefin photo at the top of this article and the yellowtail photo above were both taken aboard overnight trips on the Freedom out of 22nd Street Landing this week. Depending on the day and which parts of the island the Navy allows boats to fish, anglers fishing San Clemente Island can expect anything from big yellowtail and bluefin tuna that range anywhere from 10-pounds to 100 or bigger. The weather looks good for the island this weekend, so I’m expecting continued good fishing as long as the Navy doesn’t kick everyone out.

Private boaters interested in looking for bigger yellowfin have a good chance of finding some between Catalina and San Clemente Islands. The most recent report was from Friday when BD member Jonathon did some damage with the popper, you can read his report here. The area hasn’t gotten much coverage this week but a friend who fished Clemente yesterday reported baiting a marlin and seeing another while crossing from Catalina to the east end. While they aren’t tuna, those fish indicate the water quality is good and there is still enough bait around to keep things interesting. If you’re looking around out there, keep an eye out for dolphin with birds on them as well as puddlers or foamers of yellowfin.

big bluefin and swordfish bite on the Pacific Dawn

This picture, taken aboard the Pacific Dawn is from last weekend but is too good not to share. Upon returning from the trip, Captain Pat Cavanaugh reported on Facebook, “Getting in from a 3.5-day charter with 8 guys. Topped it off yesterday with 4 bluefin tuna cows from 207-pounds to 274!” He later followed it up with the following, “I forgot to mention the swordfish we caught on a flat fall!”

“You know its been a hell of a trip when yu forget about the swordfish you caught…”

Kite flyers are still catching the occasional jumbo bluefin and as I mentioned earlier that bite may still improve going into the weekend. There are still yellows biting at both Catalina and Santa Barbara Islands. The small yellowfin are also still biting for the 3/4-day and overnight boats fishing south of San Diego. As far as coastal fishing goes, it sucks and the full moon probably isn’t going to help matters. I fished a bass tournament on Saturday and covered water from Newport to Long Beach for nada. Hopefully those fish will settle into a fall pattern and start biting again soon.

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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 Scene, Erik keeps all of the BD readers up to date on what's biting in Southern California. Erik divides his fishing time on local boats, long-range trips and Mexico excursions. For the past eight years, Erik has been competing in the SWBA (Saltwater Bass Anglers) tournament series and has multiple tournament victories to his credit. His sponsors include Batson Enterprises / Rainshadow Rods, Robalo Boats, Tilly's Marine, Abu/Garcia, Penn Reels, Navionics, Raymarine, MC Swimbaits, Uni-Butter Fishing Scent and Bladerunner Tackle.