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Big bluefin tuna off Cortez and Tanner

Longer ride necessary to get the blues

Bluefin tuna
  • Bluefin tuna

Inshore: Calico bass, rockfish, sheephead and a scratch of yellowtail have been the main targets in San Diego inshore waters this past week. When the current is midflow to slack and you can see the kelp up, that’s a good time to work the kelp with plastics for them. Sheephead have been biting shrimp, ghost shrimp and one of my secret favorites, sand crabs. Sheephead like anything crab- or shrimp-flavored and sand crabs, when found, can be an inexpensive alternative to store-bought shrimp and much easier than pumping ghost shrimp. A few smaller sand crabs or one large one can get the goats biting. Pot-holing the kelp in its deeper range from 60 feet deep on out to the edge can be productive. They follow their noses, so sit on it for a bit, if you drop it, they will come.

Outside: Bluefin tuna — big ones — are out there off the outer banks and boats from San Diego to Los Angeles have been getting out to the Cortez and Tanner banks to target them. Some of these fish are pushing 100 pounds and though the numbers have been low for tuna trips of late, they are certainly worth a shot. Reminiscent of last year’s epic bluefin fishing through December, it’s a nice cap-off to another phenomenal year for the local fleet. Yellowfin are also still around, though this past week they dropped off a bit, maybe more so due to those boats targeting the bluefin. It’s rare to find both in the same water, bluefin tend to like the water a little cooler than yellowfin and are commonly more-prized catch and table fare, so if around, some of those offshore boats will be putting in extra miles to get them.

11/6– 11/12 Dock Totals: 1133 anglers aboard 58 boats out of San Diego landings this past week caught 85 bluefin tuna, 112 yellowfin tuna, 313 yellowtail, 22 calico bass, 29 sand bass, 2,404 rockfish, 17 lingcod, 129 bonito, 55 sheephead, 51 whitefish, 90 sanddab, 32 mackerel, 3 halfmoon, 7 rubberlip seaperch, 1 white seabass, 6 sculpin, 12 barracuda, 3 red rock crab and 25 California spiny lobster.

Fish Plants: 11/18 Santee Lakes, trout (TBA), 11/22 Dixon, trout (1500)

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