July Fishing Fireworks
So let’s start with the news of the week…June is closing out with a BANG!
In the Bluefin Excuses article I posted last week, one of the reasons given that people weren’t going out was that they are waiting for other pelagic species to show up before committing their sportfishing dollars to heading offshore. We got a glimpse of things to come when a handful of boats reporting running into some more hook-friendly yellowfin this week (and a few even got caught!). That’s a great sign as we head into what might be a vacation week for many of you.
That’s not to say I changed my mind that bluefin on their own provide enough of a reason to go. The pattern continued with individual trips this week producing spectacular results. One of them was aboard the Pacific Queen for an overnight trip fishing on Tuesday. They had 7 bluefin and 25 yellowtail for 19 anglers. Five of those fish were in excess of 100-pounds, ranging in weight from 150-195 (top)!
A lot of the bluefin chatter this week is that a bunch of these fish have moved into US waters. Word is that the area between the 43 and San Clemente Island is holding a volume of them. Not only does this mean that there are fish to be caught in our own waters, but more importantly it won’t be a San Diego based boat only tuna scene. With more boats in the mix looking, who knows what might pop up in the coming weeks.
You’ll only know if you go…
Speaking of surprises, while the white seabass made a nice showing last week, this week really blew up! The limit has gone up to 3 now and more than a few of my friend posted limits this week. Two of them, Nollie and Kelly Castaneda (right), chromed out with 3 apiece on an overnight trip fishing Monday on the Amigo out of Ventura Sportfishing. Even better, the action wasn’t just concentrated up north in the Channel Islands. As per usual, boats are being pretty secretive about where exactly they’re getting the download on these prized fish, but I’ll just say that the local islands produced this week. The Freedom, the Eldorado and the Thunderbird are all “local island” boats that produced big this week on white seabass, so draw your own conclusions on where the fish might actually be. Or better yet, book a trip and go see for yourself.
I was busy closing out the final quarter of our fiscal year at my work this week. I was invited out on several of the trips that hit it big and watched in pain when they scored. I’ll be trying to get mine this weekend as I am riding with Capt. Shawn Steward on Saturday aboard the Aloha Spirit. And just to give myself more opportunities, I already have a spot reserved on the Fortune in a couple weeks. I’ll probably try to fit in a couple more opportunities in July and suggest you do the same. You can’t find the rides after the big counts get posted, so best to book your spot now.
Game plan for the day was to fish sculpin in the morning, then come back inside for bass and cuda in the afternoon. The bassing was great! The whole flylined sardine part of my game is well in order and ready to go for offshore. For about a 30 minute window, it was automatic if you could put a lively bait well behind the boat. I was able to easily put a limit in the bag. The day did reveal though that I’m out-of-practice on my surface iron game. Surface iron (as well as poppers and other lures) has been a presentation working to some degree on the bluefin, so I’ll have to sort that out soon. Better to figure that out now than when the pressure is on sliding into a big spot of foamers in the open ocean.
That’s it for this week. Good luck if you get out there!