I know a lot of anglers that kind of shut down in the winter. They may have switched gears into hunting. Others switch to freshwater. For some, winter fishing doesn’t offer enough excitement, so gear is put away.
I’m not that guy. I fish year round.
Winter fishing for me is characterized by a trip or two down the Mexican coast to get my fix on yoyo yellowtail and rockfishing during our closure months.
A couple years back, I did the Puerto Vallarta deal to chase cow yellowfin tuna.
My buddy, Denny Kaneoka (right), returned this week from a trip on the Apollo down in PV. That’s him with a 230 lb. fish on his Makaira/United Composites combo.
In between, I fish the surf and jetties, and do local fishing for bass, halibut and sculpin. I plan to work on my leadhead and squid game tomorrow in Santa Monica Bay on Spitfire Sportfishing. That’s my buddy Jimmy Bass (top, 2nd from right) aboard the boat last Friday.
This year though…it’s all of the above and more!
Locally, the story of 2018 so far has been the ridiculous yellowtail bite for the local San Diego boats. Two hundred plus fish days on half day trips have been keeping those crews down there busy.
These are sonar fish, so vertical jigging is the presentation that’s catching them. That’s my buddy Anthony Noy (left) with one on the Flat Fall aboard the Dolphin last week. It was full speed on these smaller grade yellows until the weather hit at the beginning of the week. Anthony went again on Wednesday this week. They found the fish, but they didn’t want to go. I suspect by this weekend, they’ll be back on the chew.
Up the coast, the halibut fishing has been excellent. I got my New Year’s Day fish off Newport Beach. Dana Wharf’s Halibut Derby is going well. They have a new leader atop their board with a 36 lb. fish caught in the last days of 2017. They had a 14 legal fish day last week (below) and tallied a 7 fish day last Sunday.
Meanwhile, there is still the opportunity for bluefin! I have a trip on the Pacific Queen scheduled for the 26th. It’s supposed to be a Colonet trip, but the more productive fishing lately has been the bluefin. Hard to believe that would be the case in January, but I’m coming around to the idea that year round BFT is the new normal.
There are definitely a lot of good options for salty winter fishing right now. Take advantage of it.
Good luck if you get out there!