Fishing Reports

Really Big Bluefin Bite In SoCal

The big bluefin are biting around the Cortes and Tanner Banks and there have been some pretty impressive scores of fish. Earlier this week the Thunderbird out of Davey’s Locker returned from a 2-day trip with 34 bluefin over 100-pounds with their biggest weighing 210-pounds. Later in the week, the Pacifica out of Seaforth Landing managed 32 fish from 80 to 280-pounds. These big scores lead to some social media speculation about this month’s new moon producing the best big bluefin fishing ever.

That comment rang enough of a bell with me that I decided to look back over my reporting from the last few years. As it turns out, while this bite being “best ever” is debatable, what isn’t is that the October and November new moons have produced the best big bluefin fishing over the last five years. Here’s the October new moon report from last year. And another from 2018. November of 2017 offered good enough fishing in the same zone that I called it the Best Big Bluefin Fishing Ever. While the bluefin weren’t quite as big in 2016, they still bit well in the same zone on the same lunar cycle. What’s the take away from all this?

If you want to catch a big bluefin, I’d make plans to book a trip around the weekend of November 14th and 15th.

Something else worth noting is that the big bluefin have been getting even bigger in recent weeks. Last week the first 400-pound plus fish was weighed in. The Potesta brought a 406.8-pound fish to the scales on the 15th. While this is the only fish in excess of the 400-pound mark to have been weighed, there were several other fish caught that taped over that number but were processed on the water. There have been reports from reputable sources of fish even larger than this seen and hooked so I wouldn’t be surprised if the new record is broken soon.

Other than the big bluefin bite, this week’s Navionics Chart looks pretty boring, but that’s not too surprising given that it’s almost November. There are still yellowfin tuna to be caught between Catalina and San Clemente Island and my friend Jonathon Medrano fished there on Sunday and reported easy limits on poppers. There is a distinct lack of boat traffic in that zone which is nice because if you find them you’ll have the fish to yourself. The only drawback is that you’ll actually have to find them yourself, so, be prepared to cover lots of water.

In other news, the bass and bonito are still biting in the Santa Monica Bay and you’ve still got a shot at a yellow or seabass in that zone too. The yellowtail bite at Catalina isn’t as good as it was, but there are still fish to catch despite sea lions being a big problem. Haven’t heard much from San Clemente Island from anyone other than the bass guys, who have been reporting good fishing. The yellowfin and mixed kelp paddy fish are still biting for the full day boats out of San Diego, but the bite continues to be hit and miss. We’ve got some good weather in the forecast again, so get out there and catch some fish this weekend!

Check out tons of great fishing tips from Erik Landesfeind on BD.

Erik Landesfeind
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 an...