When the yellowfin first showed this year, it was weird in the sense that they were often unusually finicky.
Basically, the yellowfin were acting like bluefin.
Sure there were individual instances of boats running into the right school, but this week the exception became the rule.
In my article last week, I gave you all a trip report from my ride with Capt. Rick Slavkin on the Oceanside 95. They came in from a 2.5-day charter with the Oceanside Senior Anglers on Tuesday. The old guys ruled with full 2 day limits of yellowfin tuna for 23 (230 fish), adding 100 skipjack, and 12 dorado to their final tally (left). The O95 was just one of many boats posting full limits of yellowfin this week.
The hot bite wasn’t enjoyed just on multi-day trips this week. The Liberty fished a full day offshore trip yesterday and posted a solid score of 66 yellowfin tuna, 30 skipjack tuna and 20 bonita for 42 anglers (top).
Obviously, the longer you go, the better chance you’ll have to score. However, if time or funds are limited, a minimum of a day trip out of San Diego should present opportunities for catching.
On Bait? Or On The Jig?
Some people just want to catch fish. Others want to avoid the crowd on the stern and stay up on the bow throwing various jigs…colt snipers, flat falls, poppers and the like. I love catching on jigs as much as anyone, but tend to take a more pragmatic approach. I like to get a fish or two on bait and then go from there.
I’ll be on the Pacific Queen tonight for my 2-day So Cal Salty charter, sponsored by AFTCO (sold out!). To address this scenario, I will have 20# and 30# bait sticks rigged and ready. The former will be tipped with 15# or 20# fluoro, and the other will be tipped with 25# fluoro. Just because you are fishing bait, it’s no guarantee you will catch. I could write a whole article on fishing bait, but for now, I’ll refer you to this video I did with deckhand Randy Kramer (right).
I like having 2 bait setups rigged and ready to go. A lot of these trips are cashing in on 1 or 2 big stops. Having 2 rigs ready can make the difference between taking home a couple fish or your full limit of 5.
Also, I know a lot of people like to do a short topshot of fluoro, directly to their braid mainline. Yes, that can work, but many captains and crew members will tell you to go mono. All my bait setups have braid on about a third of the spool, and then I put a fresh mono topshot to fill out the rest.
Finally, I’ll mention it again that it is a great idea to get on a half day and get in some practice flylining baits on bass. I really don’t understand why people get on these longer (and more expensive) offshore trips without having this essential skills dialed in.
The opportunity is really good right now. Get out and enjoy it.
Good luck if you get out there.