Inshore: The half-day boats are working the kelp edges for calico bass, barracuda, and bonito, and the high spots for rockfish, whitefish, and anything else that is biting. The fish are still plugged with pelagic crab but are biting well on squid and baitfish, especially the two hours before the high and low tides. Check for halibut during the slack tides on the sandy spots alongside reefs and activity outside, and along the channel edges and in the holes just off the eelgrass in the bays. Along with an upswing in the halibut bite, barracuda are breezing on bait with a few bonito and an occasional yellowtail mixed in. Thresher sharks are working mackerel and making a strong showing off La Jolla and up the coast, especially in 60 to 120 feet of water and near bait activity.
Outside: Overnight trips and longer are heading out and down the line, mostly hunting for the elusive schools of bluefin tuna. Along the coast from the Coronado Islands south, yellowtail are popping up on bait and hitting the surface iron well. Along with the yellowtail, big reds, whitefish and lingcod are rounding out the daily catches by anglers fishing the northern Pacific coast of Baja. White seabass are showing occasionally along the coast, but not in the numbers normally caught this time of year since the restocking program and gill-net ban lead to their resurgence at the turn of the century.
5/8 – 5/14 Dock Totals: 1830 anglers aboard 87 boats out of San Diego landings this past week caught 3 yellowfin tuna, 52 bluefin tuna, 659 yellowtail, 158 calico bass, 70 sand bass, 3,947 rockfish, 23 lingcod, 556 sculpin, 26 bonito, 214 barracuda, 36 sheephead, 13 whitefish, 4 spanish jack, 4 bocaccio, 7 halibut, 2 finescale triggerfish, 20 treefish 3 sanddab and 2 rubberlip seaperch.
Freshwater: The largemouth bass bite is going strong in most county lakes. Barrett had a good opening week with a 15.3 bass-per-angler average. The best baits for bass are swimbaits (especially trout patterns), drop-shot plastics and live shiners. The catfish bite is warming up with the water temps countywide, while trout are still biting well in Cuyamaca. In the lower elevation lakes, look for remaining stockers to be in cooler water deeper and in shady spots. For those seeking panfish; look for bluegill, redear sunfish and crappie along the brushy edges in 5 to 12 feet of water with fly-lined night crawlers or mini jigs.
Scheduled fish plants (lbs): 5/22 Doane Pond Trout (800), Cuyamaca Trout (1000), 5/24 Cuyamaca (1100)