Weekend Recap Bluefin Fever
We went into the weekend with a lot of anticipation. Midweek, the Pacific Queen went out and got limits of bluefin, setting the table for the many boats headed out Friday night in search of this elusive prey.
Saturday’s fishing would not disappoint.
Not every boat got limits, but the results were good for the San Diego fleet. There were even some scattered reports from Orange County boats with bluefin of a nicer grade. The fish were seemingly everywhere.
The most shockingly great news though came from an unlikely source, three quarter day boat, the San Diego. Not that the San Diego isn’t a fishy boat, it’s one of the best! Things were developing rapidly on Friday, but I don’t think anyone thought we’d see tuna this early on a local ride. Even more exciting was the news that they got into a bigger grade of fish with some bruisers up to 60-pounds! And to top it off, San Diego regular Elmer Mun (who was riding on Saturday), told me that all the fish came on jigs and not bait.
I mentioned in my Friday article that I’d probably tie on a Shimano Colt Sniper as a third option to flyline and rubber band rig bait setups. Elmer shared with me some pics from the ride, including the one pictured at right (on the Colt Sniper!). Surface iron was also an effective tool to get these fish to bite.
The euphoria of Saturday’s trip was tempered though by a boat skunk for the San Diego on Sunday. Welcome to bluefin fishing. Of all the fish we catch, these are definitely one of the most finicky fish out there. You often have to resort to light line and small hooks to elicit a bite, only to get schooled when their brute strength (or sharp teeth) breaks you off. Capt. Ryan Bostian reports that they’re losing about half the fish they hook because of the style of fishing. It’s a high risk/high reward scenario. Temper your expectations accordingly. It’s awesome to catch tuna on a ¾-day ride, but you can only help yourself by going longer. It’s not just more time on the water. The more consistent bite is happening beyond the range of the ¾-day boats.
I still have room on my 1.5-day trip on the Dominator leaving Friday night…just saying.
Action In The 805
Catching a white seabass during El Nino just might be the most exotic catch around. I’ve been thinking that my best bet to catch one this year (blanked last year) would be to just go on as many day trips in the 805 as possible and hopefully get lucky.
That’s exactly the scenario played out Saturday on the Island Spirit. First, my buddy Manuel Ortiz Tobias reported that he hooked and lost one. Shortly after, another friend of ours, Jodi McGreggor hooked and ultimate converted her opportunity. Nice work Jodi!
On the Sea Jay, another trophy was caught on Saturday with an angler successfully boating a 40-pound BEAST of a yellow.
If you’ve never gone up, I’d highly recommend you do. The fishing is great and when the exotics don’t want to play, that area is home to the best rockfishing in SoCal. The weekend of the 22nd, I’m pulling a double…overnight leaving Friday on the Pacific Islander, then a day trip Sunday on the Sea Jay. Come join if you can.
The season is really starting to heat up! Be sure to follow us on the facebook page for daily updates.