Unprecedented Fishing – Global Fishing Reports
I’ve already written tens of thousands of words about the epic fishing we’ve had over the last couple years and I’m sure that I’ll write plenty more before things return to some semblance of normal. Within these words are the stories of so many incredible catches that they all just blur together until the remarkable becomes indistinguishable from the norm. While this is a good problem to have, it’s not going to last forever, so I want you to pay particular attention to the following few words.
This is the best fishing any of us will likely see in our lifetimes.
These will soon become the “good old days” that we refer to when telling fishing stories to future generations of anglers. So don’t worry about what you are or aren’t catching on any given day, just be glad that you’re here to witness and participate in this amazing fishery. Oh, and take lots of picture because you’re going to want to show them to your grandkids when you tell them about how good the fishing used to be.
Now back to our regularly scheduled program. I’m writing this on Thursday morning and the last few days have been completely insane. Going back to Saturday, the good weather we had over the weekend gave private boaters an opportunity to give the northern tuna zone an honest look.
This resulted in countless stories of lopsided battles fought by those that brought a knife to a gunfight.
Most of those battles ended in heartbreak after protracted battles against big fish on light tackle, but some ended in victory and by the end of the weekend quite a few skiffs managed to land fish from 80 to 160-pounds. There were also enough of the “catchable” grade fish to keep things interesting for those who didn’t land a trophy.
There were plenty of yellowtail caught over the weekend as well, with fish coming off kelp paddies as well as from spots. All of the kelp paddy fish have been big this year, with a 20-30-pound fishing being average. The 150 area outside of Long Beach continued to be the hot coastal zone for yellows with both private and sport boats catching fish. My friend Chris Chun was fishing yellowtail on his skiff out there on Saturday and managed to get an opah on the Horseshoe Kelp.
Another exotic hit the docks on Monday when Travis Tompkins brought a 180-pound swordfish to the docks in Dana Point. The fish was baited close to shore and dragged his boat 6 miles before being brought to gaff. Later that day, rumors began to spread about boats seeing bluefin within 8 miles of shore.
Though kept under wraps by those in the know for a few days, the rumors were eventually verified when pictures of a big bluefin showed up on the Internet. The fish was a 173-pounder that freediver Aaron Shook speared within 5 miles of land on Tuesday.
That same day Danny Pitkin caught a 120-pounder in the same zone. A friend of mine was out that day and texted me that he was fishing the kite on 200-pound while watching 100-pound plus bluefin jump out of the water with the 5 freeway visible in the background. Those fish have since moved on, but it was a crazy day for sure.
This week’s full moon brought a new batch of biting fish into the 150 area on Tuesday as well. I ran out there after work and at around 5:00 p.m. the entire area erupted with huge bird schools popping up for as far as the eye could see. We were the only boat out there and my buddy Chris Oakes and I caught six fish on the surface iron and left them biting full speed. These were all 18 to 30-pound fish with our biggest going over 35. It was tough to drive away from acres of foaming fish, but we already had more than enough fish to process.
That fish settled in and bit again for the fleet the next morning and the 3/4-day boats got on them good. The Native Sun out of 22nd Street Landing ran out of bait and was on their way home early with 82 big yellows for their passengers. Private boaters got in on the action too, with some scoring limits on big fish. The fish are still biting at the time of this writing and with the volume that’s out there I recommend giving it a shot this weekend from a sport boat or on your own boat. Just make sure and give each other some room to fish.
If you’d rather fish for tuna this weekend, I’d recommend jumping on an overnight boat. They haven’t been getting a lot of fish each day, but they’ve been seeing and marking tons of fish, so they could potentially start biting at any time. If you were going, I’d recommend bringing some heavy tackle and being prepared to use it to pull hard. A lot of these fish on sport boats and private boats are being lost because people are scared to pull on them. Sure you might lose one by pulling too hard but you’re almost certain to lose it if you don’t pull hard enough.
Private boaters targeting these tuna need to avoid the urge to drop down to lighter line when you’re not getting bit on the right gear. My friend John Curry was out on Saturday and fished most of the day with the right gear. After a while he decided to drop down to 30-pound and on his first bait hooked a giant that he fought for almost an hour before losing.
I get it, it sucks not getting bit.
But it sucks worse to get bit on the wrong gear and then burn all of your fishing time fighting a fish that you’ll eventually lose. Whatever your plans are for the weekend, get out there and have some fun!