It’s getting harder and harder not to sound like a broken record when reporting on this season’s fishing. So, suffice it to say that the tuna fishing out of San Diego is about as good as it gets. Take for example Tuesday’s afternoon half-day trip on the Dolphin out of Fisherman’s Landing . On that trip, 11 anglers brought in 110 yellowfin tuna. Like I said, it’s about as good as it gets.
If you’re lucky enough to find a 3/4-day boat with spots available, they are getting them too. The San Diego out of Seaforth Landing had just under 200 fish on a recent trip. The overnight boats and any longer trips are pretty much a sure thing as well, but most boats are completely booked up for the weekend.
If you’re looking to get in on the tuna action but don’t want to fish with 30 to 40 of your closest friends, I’d suggest getting a few buddies together and jumping on a 4 or 6 pack boat.
Both Seasons Sportfishing and Sauerfish Charters have been on the fish all season and both of them have open dates in September. Sure a 3/4-day trip will cost you double what you’d pay for an overnighter on a sport boat, but I’d rather spend the extra money to fish in comfort than fight for rail space on a crowded boat.
For those of you tired of driving to San Diego to fish tuna, there are more and more fish moving into Orange County waters. Sport boats from Dana Wharf to San Pedro have been targeting these fish, but the high liner remains the Thunderbird out of Davey’s Locker. Captain Jeff Markland has been catching fish in both U.S. and Mexican waters and has been willing to make longer runs when necessary to put fish on the boat.
Private boaters are getting in on the action as well and a couple friends of mine reported catching both bluefin and yellowfin within sight of land out of Newport Harbor earlier this week. One private boater that always seems to get in on the action is Bloodydecks member Flyliner (Jonathon), who had a good score on the bigger grade yellowfin while fishing the 14-Mile Bank over the weekend.
If you spend any time reading our forums you already know that Jonathon always seems to be on whatever is biting and while I’ve never fished with him, I can tell you exactly why he consistently catches fish. It’s a combination of researching conditions, comparing notes with other fishermen, making an educated guess at where the fish will show up next and then having the balls to burn the fuel and go looking instead of waiting for the fish to bite and following the crowd. If anything, it proves the saying that fortune favors the bold.
In other news, the yellowtail are still biting at Catalina Island, but not as well as they bit in previous weeks. There’s still a big volume of fish at the island, so I’m not sure why the bite has slowed up, but I am sure that the big swell we had this week is going to wash out most of the bite zones on the backside and east end of the island. So if you were planning to head across this weekend, I’d focus your efforts on the front side of the island.
I fished Palos Verdes over the weekend and found plenty of calicos willing to bite surface iron and weedless swimbaits in the kelp between Point Vincente and Torrance Beach. There were also a lot of yellows scattered around up there, but they weren’t interested in biting an artificial lure. The sport boats out of Marina Del Rey and Redondo are targeting these yellows, but haven’t been getting any big scores.
One reason for this is that they are relegated to fishing the edge of the kelp in deep water and most of the fish I saw were in 10 to 30 feet of water on the beach. I’m sure this area got hammered by the big swell too, so I’d give conditions a few days to rebound before heading up there.
There’s been a good calico bass bite at Santa Cruz Island the last few days and there have been more and more yellowtail being caught, but the wind is going to be a factor this weekend.
As you can see in this picture, there is some serious wind blowing outside of the California Bight and the parts of Santa Cruz Island that aren’t within the shadow of Point Conception are going to get hammered by wind. The forecast might change, but with forecasts of 30 knots of wind outside Santa Rosa at 8 AM on Sunday, I’d keep a really close eye on the weather before committing to running to the islands.