Inshore: Though sculpin, rockfish, whitefish and sheephead continue to dominate the half-day counts and the ¾-day boats are whacking the yellowtail just south of the border at the Coronados, the big story in the local waters is just how well the kayak anglers are doing off the La Jolla kelp. I have seen several reports of yellowtail to 40-plus pounds and several white seabass pushing 50 pounds and above in the past month. A good number of the seabass came in the early hours of the morning to just after sun up. With lots of mackerel in the water and temps hovering a little higher than normal, the yellowtail have moved up in the water column and have been seen crashing bait on the surface.
Outside: Limits of bluefin tuna were caught aboard the Top Gun 80 out of H&M landing on their first 1.5 day trip of the year. That is just the second report of bluefin from a San Diego landing in 2016, and a good early sign of things to come. The first report was from the Colonet area off the Baja coast. Mexico has lifted the ban on recreational bluefin tuna and are now allowing 2 fish per angler per day, as is the case north of the border in U.S. waters. A good yellowtail and rockfish bite await those who venture out between the springtime blows on the outside high spots and down the coast of Baja.
3/20 - 3/26 Dock Totals: 2,004 anglers aboard 71 boats out of San Diego landings this past week caught 959 yellowtail, 16 calico bass, 55 sand bass, 3,298 rockfish, 18 lingcod, 1,017 sculpin, 3 bonito, 212 sanddab, 34 barracuda, 216 halfmoon, 44 rubberlip seaperch, 58 blacksmith, 24 sheephead, 131 whitefish, 61 mackerel, 5 bocaccio, 1 halibut and 2 cabezon.
Whale Watch: The gray whales are still moving up the line; I saw several just outside the San Quintin Bay mouth while on an Easter weekend camp/kayak trip. An orca was also spotted by pangeros just outside of the point. In other whale news, Japanese whale fleets have resumed taking of minke whales in the Antarctic Ocean for “research, as necessary to preserve the species.” Killing whales has been illegal since the 1980s, except for research. Japan halted its research program in 2014 that, to then, was responsible for killing as many as 900 minke whales per year. According Japan’s Fisheries Agency, more than 300 whales were harvested — including 230 females, 90% of which were pregnant.
Scheduled fish plants (lbs): 3/30, Poway, trout (1500), 4/1 Santee Lakes, Catfish (2000), 4/6 Wohlford, trout (1500), Dixon, trout (1500)