Fishing returns to normal

El Niño conditions fading offshore

Inshore: It has that feeling of slowly getting back to the normal San Diego fishery inshore for November after a couple phenomenal years for the short-run boats. Though a few yellowtail have been caught by private boaters and kayak anglers inshore, the meat of the fishing close to home has been for rockfish, whitefish and sheephead. The twilight lobster trips are doing well, with the average bug still a bit larger than last year’s models and an average legal to short ratio of 1 out of 5 caught. Calico bass are biting well on plastics even if the count doesn’t reflect it. Most of the inshore boats are concentrating on the rockfish as it has to set up perfect for a sportboat to offer the passengers equal access at the kelp bass fishing from a large vessel.

Outside: The yellowfin tuna are still out there and the overnight boats are getting them in flurries one day and scratching a few the next. The warm water that brought Cabo-like fishing to local waters over the past three seasons is cooling down as, predictably, is the pelagic fishing. Will these warmer cycles continue more frequently or will these past seasons be remembered as the best fishing in our area for some time to come? By the numbers, the past three seasons have been the best fishing in local waters by the sportboat fleet, ever, for yellowfin, skipjack, bluefin, dorado and even wahoo. Remarkably, ¾-day boats were getting yellowfin and a few wahoo through the end of November 2015. Normally, this is about the time of year the overnight to five-day fleet takes some time off for annual repairs and boat work while the long-range boats gear up for their winter 8- to 16-day trips.

10/30 – 11/5 Dock Totals: 1367 anglers aboard 73 boats out of San Diego landings this past week caught 1 mako shark, 923 yellowfin tuna, 236 yellowtail, 2 calico bass, 4 sand bass, 2,497 rockfish, 24 lingcod, 76 bonito, 26 sheephead, 169 whitefish, 140 sanddab, 32 mackerel, 1 halfmoon, 6 bocaccio, 1 halibut and 51 California spiny lobster.

Notable: Santee Lakes kicked off their trout season with 2,500 pounds of trout stocked on November 5. Some of those fish weigh up to 12 pounds and many are tagged for prizes. Lakes Jennings and Morena will have their first trout stocking of the season this Monday.

Fish Plants: 11/14 Jennings, trout (1,700), Morena, trout (1,000)

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