Well, it looks like the bluefin tuna bite has finally ended. But the asterisks to that statement is that, the last couple years being what they have been, I wouldn’t be surprised if those fish showed up somewhere else tomorrow. As for the Tanner Bank bite, it sounds like the squid that the tuna had been feeding on dried up. There were some seiners out there wrapping it earlier this week but I wouldn’t blame it on them as they don’t have the capacity to wipe out that much volume. More likely is that the squid spawned on the full moon and then died. So instead of feeding hungry tuna it piled up on the bottom to keep the rockfish fat and happy.
While this photo may not be as exciting as the others in this column, it the one that’s going to have the biggest impact on your weekend fishing plans. Those little arrows show the wind direction and the each of the long barbs coming off of them represent 10 knots of wind while the smaller ones represent 5 knots. If you look closely, at the arrow on the front side west end of Catalina, it’s indicating that the wind is forecast to blow 35 knots at 7:00 p.m. on Friday. While the wind is forecast to calm a bit on Saturday and Sunday, please remember that 35 knots of wind that was blowing out of the west on Friday and consider the strong up hill current that’s been running for the last week or two. So, even without a breath of wind on Saturday, the residual wind wave coupled with the current is going to make for some absolutely horrible fishing conditions anywhere off the beach.
The conditions on the beach aren’t likely to be considered mill pond by any stretch of the imagination this weekend, but if you’re dying to get in one more rockfish trip before the closure you could probably do it, but I’d hold off until Sunday if possible. The rockfish bite is still good in the Santa Monica Bay but it’s not quite as steady as it was earlier this week. Sport boats out of Marina Del Rey and Redondo Sportfishing are both targeting reds with live squid and the Spitfire has been spending part of the day fishing sand bass if the rockfish bite is slow. Private boaters have been snagging squid in the morning outside the harbor and using that to catch reds and lings as well. The big ling cod at the top of this article was caught in the bay by BD member Sydney. You can find his full report here.
The lobster have been crawling for hoopnetters fishing Catalina Island this week. My friend Bobby Martinez made several trips to the island, in between slaying the reds and lings in the bay, and had easy limits of quality lobsters. Bobby reported strong current at the island and said that his buoys were getting pulled below the surface. With the lobster being deep and the current being strong he recommended using heavy hoops to get down and stay down. He uses “Nukes” made by King of the Crawl and has them weighted between 17 and 18-pounds. If using regular hoops he suggested using chain around the rim to weight them down. As I mentioned earlier, I’d hold off a bit before making the run to Cat, but once the weather settles back down the lobster should still be there. If you don’t own a boat, you can jump on one of the open party hoopnet trips aboard the Gail Force or Triton.