I’ve written about it a little on here (ex. Hunting Big Beans). My primary fishing pursuit since I got back from Seattle has been on the sand. Aside from the fact that the fishing itself has been very productive, I love how surf fishing allows you to take a free few hours and provides a fishing opportunity that can present serious challenges and thrills. Last week, I put a good amount of time on the sand and was rewarded by accomplishing one of my big fishing goals for the year – sight fishing a corbina.
It’s a good thing I was able to do that last week. A lot of the young people I know finished up school last week and are now on summer break. This last weekend was the first weekend of summer vacation for many of them. Now if you want to fish the surf, you are basically limited to the early morning hours, or late in the day. That mid-day, “I’ve got a free few hours to fish” opportunity is basically shot until after Labor Day because of the crowds of summer beach-goers. This notion was confirmed this weekend when I had a free few hours on Saturday. I had dropped my daughter off at a Girl Scout activity. Huntington Beach was nearby, so I went to check it out, only to find this…
That trough right at the shore’s edge was holding fish. The water was very clear and I saw two corbina in there. Unfortunately, the opportunity to try and catch them wasn’t. I fished one bait, got yelled at by the lifeguard, then left.
So now what?
Several years back, I got on an day-and-a-half, offshore fishing trip in June. I won’t mention what boat it was on because it wasn’t the boat’s fault that the trip sucked…3 rat paddy yellows for a full boat of anglers. The conditions were terrible. The captain tried his hardest to make the best of it, but it was what it was. I had always been told that you don’t go fishing offshore until after July 4th. That trip confirmed for me that old adage and I made a vow never to do so again.
But now, I’m coming around to challenging that old adage again.
Last week showed some very encouraging signs on the offshore front. On Tuesday of last week (June 4th), Capt. Jeff Spafford (left) of Tomahawk Sportfishing reported catching what I believe to be the first sportboat caught yellowfin tuna of the year. They continued to post yellowfin in their counts the rest of the week. Yellowfin are generally regarded as the easier tuna to catch. They don’t (usually) exhibit that same wariness to bite a hooked bait that bluefin tuna do. And they seem to be very close. One captain told me they’re inside of 30 miles from San Diego which is well within overnight range.
On the bluefin front, while at any time they decide not to bite, there are volumes of fish in very close range and all it takes is a little luck to find a school that wants to go. For starters, the fish aren’t all jugged with red crab. They are eating fin bait, so the boats are offering what the bluefin are currently eating. You’re not just praying for a reaction bite on a hot bait that just so happens to cross their face at the opportune time.
Also, the quality of the fish is impressive. There are a lot of of 60-80-pound fish getting caught, and those fish are mixed in with 100+ pounders.
The San Diego (full day boat) reeled in the biggest fish of their storied history yesterday. The fish weighed out at 217.5-pounds on the dock scale at Seaforth Landing. It was caught on 60# on a sinker rig setup (aka rubber band rig). It’s nice when they want to bite that sinker rig. You can go heavier than you can on a flylined bait, thus giving yourself a better opportunity to land that fish. Plus it isn’t as tedious as flatfall fishing can be.
If you are unfamiliar with how to setup that sinker/rubber band rig, Bloody Decks’ own, Capt. Dave Hansen, just did a nice little tutorial video on how to do that. It’s a very simple, but obviously effective rig when the tuna are holding lower in the water column.
Another one of my big fishing goals for this year was to finally top the 100# mark on one of these “local” bluefin. I had been inclined to wait until later in the summer, but now is looking like a really good time to go.
Good luck if you get out there.
See more fishing reports and tips from Joe Sarmiento on BD.