The bluefin bit over the weekend…APRIL FOOLS!
Welcome to April Salties. I actually heard over the weekend that some were spotted off the backside of Cat. I have no doubt those fish are still around, but as of yet no one is really looking for them, much less targeting them. Give it time. The season is just getting started.
Yo-Yo Yellowtail Continues
The best gamefish action is still happening south of the border on the full day rides from San Diego. The San Diego (where I fished last weekend) had a rough go on the yellowtail this weekend, but Liberty Sportfishing with Capt. Taro Takeuchi found the right groove and posted 58 and 59 tails respectively this Saturday and Sunday (above). Taro said they still came mostly via yo-yo method on a mix of full and junior size lures, but did mention that a well placed surface iron or fly-lined bait did find their mark on a few occasions.
The conditions look to be good this week, so if you can manage a midweek outing, I would highly recommend you go.
Rockfish On The Menu
Elsewhere, the boats are putting in time looking, but they’re mostly rockfishing.
I fished local this weekend with Capt. Jeff Walker of Native Sun Sportfishing on Saturday. We traveled up to Santa Monica Bay. Jeff told me they enjoyed good fishing on red rockfish earlier in the week, but Saturday we found the water green and the fish not biting. There must have been a lot of red crab down below because the only ones I got bit a B2 squid lure, dyed red specifically for this scenario (right).
The better rockfishing happened up north or on overnight boats fishing the islands.
Capt. Sonny Haendiges of Island Spirit Sportfishing posted limits of rockfish over the weekend in beautiful conditions for his passengers (below).
Where Are The Lingcod?
One of my favorite fish to both catch and eat is lingcod. I mentioned last week that while most were focused on catching yellowtail, my goal was to combo on yellows and lingcod. Sadly, that goal didn’t pan out and I still have yet to catch one this year. I hypothesized that with the new depth limits this year, we’d see a bounty of them. Even with limits dropping to one fish per angler though, I’ve seen very few trips posting limits of this fish. The best fishing for them has been on overnight boats fishing San Nicolas or the northern Channel Islands.
My buddy, Robert Meyer, was lucky this last week and got a monster on his first drop of the day. That ling-a-saur won him jackpot on the Amigo. That was an exceptional fish though. Most of the ones I’ve seen caught so far this year have been of the barely legal variety.
My effort to find some answers over the weekend proved fruitless. I’m trying to get up north this coming weekend to fish in the Channel Islands and hoping to get some answers…or at least some theories as to why this ling drought is happening. Maybe it’s just a cyclical thing. When I was digging around, I found a tagging study in Alaska that recorded females traveling as far as almost 500 miles! Maybe they migrated north to colder water? I’ll let you know if I find out anything.
In the meantime…good luck if you get out there.