Before I get into this week’s report, I’d like to take a moment to talk about fishing in crowded areas. If the fishing stays on track this year, the community fishing holes are going to get more crowded than they already are. To make matters worse, the people that will be joining the crowd from this point forward are likely to be less courteous and even more clueless than those boaters that are currently making everyone’s lives miserable.
So, do yourself a favor and institute a no community fishing hole rule on your boat this year.
It will cut way down on your frustration level and having to find your own fish will make you a better fisherman.
Speaking of avoiding crowded areas, I did that all week and had pretty good success. On Thursday afternoon I ran out to the 150 after most of the boats had gone home for the day and my buddy Chris Oakes and I got five nice yellows on the surface iron.
Saturday morning, Matt Kotch and I took a look in a zone where we’d caught fish back in January and they were waiting for us when we got there. This resulted in me getting a 40-pounder on the surface iron, a mile and a half from the breakwater. Sunday we got out of town and took the boat to San Diego. Looked for yellows at the Coronado Islands in the morning but they weren’t biting so we ran up into U.S. waters and got a bluefin tuna.
Finally, John Curry and I launched Wednesday afternoon and ran out to the 14-mile bank. There was a ton of boat traffic and everyone was chopping each other up, so we kept going and eventually found some foamers of yellowfin. We only caught one fish but had quite the show.
So, there you have a week of good fishing without dealing with a bunch of other boats. Would we have caught more if we’d sat in the middle of the fleet those four days? Who knows. What I do know is that it’s a lot more fun to do your own thing on your own terms. That’s why we all bought boats in the first place, right? Trust me, it’s as easy as it’s ever going to get.
Just point your bow away from the fleet and go fishing.
On to this week’s report. A big volume of yellowfin has moved into US waters. These fish are spread from below the Mexican border all the way up to Catalina Island. Based on the radio chatter I heard yesterday, it sounds like I wasn’t the only boat having trouble getting them to bite. Most of the fish that were caught came on surface iron. Ours bit a Tady A1 light in chrome. We threw the entire box at them, but that’s the only jig that got bit and it got bit twice on the first two casts.
Those big bluefin are still around and guys are occasionally hooking them. My buddy Jimmy Decker was running a charter on Monday when he found the big fish up and biting. He reported hooking three fish, two on Colt Snipers and one on a Flat Fall, but all three fish inhaled the jigs and bit him off. He said that the 150-200-pound fish were crashing bait so close to his boat that it sounded like he was fishing next to a waterfall.
Based on reports, the best way to catch one of these things is on the long iron. One free diver even shot one from a jet ski. Please be advised that only expert divers should attempt spearing one of these fish. These fish are big enough to very easily end your life if you become tangled in your float line.
The yellowtail are still biting on the 150 and everyone is there. On my way out yesterday I drove past there and saw sport boats from Dana Point and Marina Del Rey fishing alongside the local fleet. Sport boat anglers can expect crowded boats this weekend, but that doesn’t mean you won’t catch fish. The way the tides are setting up for the weekend, your best will likely be a 3/4-day or maybe an afternoon 1/2-day trip.
Catalina and San Clemente Island are both kicking out mixed grade yellowtail for both sport and private boats fishing the island. Chris Oakes fished Catalina Island on Saturday and reported easy yellowtail fishing on slow trolled mackerel on the front side of the island. San Clemente is also kicking out some excellent calico bass fishing. Captain Bruce Smith on the Fortune out of 22nd Street Landing ran a trip there and his charter caught and release over 500 bass including a 10-pounder.
Finally, the squid has shown up at the Channel Islands and boats have been scoring seabass and yellowtail. The Aloha Spirit had 52 yellows on Tuesday’s trip and followed it up with 29 more on Wednesday. That same day the Ranger 85 returned to Channel Island Sportfishing from a two-day trip that produced 53 white seabass.
Private boaters that are able to make squid are getting in on the action as well. Captain Larry Heron of Calico Hunter Charters scored a couple yellows over the weekend for his group.