Things have been changing this week along the Southern California fishing front; some for the better, others for the worse and a few that are just different. With not much precedent to call upon. due to the last few seasons being such a departure from the fishing we normally have in our waters, all we can do is guess. And with the first full moon of what would normally be considered the beginning of the summer season coming on Saturday, it’s going to be interesting to see how things play out. While we’re waiting let’s take a look at what happened this week.
The bluefin tuna bite has been off lately but boats are still scoring the occasional fish.
The Pacific Queen out of Fisherman’s Landing scored a couple jumbos on Thursday’s trip and reported losing several more of the hundred plus pound fish.The bluefin that had been biting near the Coronado Islands seem to have left the area, but I’d guess they might show up somewhere else in coming days. Speaking of somewhere else, I got a call earlier this week from Captain Jimmy Decker telling me that a friend of his had spotted a foamer of big bluefin just above the 14 on Sunday. His friend had been taking a helicopter from Orange County to Avalon and had the pilot get close enough to confirm that they were bluefin.
Decker and I made the run out to the 14 yesterday and ran the 1 1/2 degree temp break looking for fish around the high tide. While we didn’t see any tuna during the hour and a half we spent looking, the area looked extremely fishy. We found water temps as high as 65.5 degrees and miles of bait with huge dolphin schools scattered and tons of bird life. A couple of times we saw terns acting right but never saw any fish come up. Will the fish pop in that zone in coming days? Who knows, but I wouldn’t be one bit surprised if they did.
The yellowtail are still biting at the Coronado Islands and along the beach in Mexico but the 3/4 day boats are reporting that they are seeing a lot more fish than they are catching. With average scores in the teens to low thirties, it’s still worth the trip and if last year’s pattern holds true those scores should increase as we come into the full moon.
The big news for LA and Orange County boats is the seabass and yellowtail bite at Catalina. An influx of squid at the island has the fish on the bite and overnight boats have been loading up. The Pacific Quest out of Pierpoint Landing reported limits of big seabass by 3 a.m. on Wednesday’s trip and as of Thursday morning the Ultra out of 22nd Street Landing has fish on board their 3/4 day trip to the island.
Private boaters have been scoring seabass at Catalina as well, my friend Brandon Vulgamott fished the island over the weekend for a jumbo seabass adn a couple of quality halibut at the bait grounds. The island fish have all been coming on live squid so you’re going to want to have some onboard if you’re headed across. As of Wednesday afternoon Nacho’s receiver has live squid and the Long Beach Carnage is anchored in front of Avalon with squid for sale.
There were also several big seabass caught by bass fishermen this week. During last Saturday’s SBS tournament, series director Gerry Mahieu ran up to PV and had a big seabass follow his Lucky Craft 190 back to the boat. Mahieu ran back up to that area on Sunday and got one of the big seabass to stop following and actually eat his bait. Later that same day, one of Captain Benny Florentino’s clients got a 53 pounder to commit to the surface iron.
The Long Beach based 3/4 day fleet is fishing the Catalina Island this week and are reporting excellent spring fishing. The Enterprise out of Marina Sportfishing was at the island on Wednesday and had good fishing for bonito and barracuda early. The boat followed that up with some yellows and calicos in the afternoon.