Big bluefin tuna still the main offshore draw

This week's fishing report

Bluefin tuna (Thunnus thynnus)
  • Bluefin tuna (Thunnus thynnus)
  • Image by LUNAMARINA

Inshore: The inshore fishing for rockfish has been very good for those getting out to the near-shore bumps on out to the 9 Mile Bank. Lots of sheephead, starrys, vermillions and even an occasional decent lingcod are being reported. For those still fishing the upper water column, a few schools of bonito and barracuda are just off the kelp edge, though most of the barracuda is smallish, under the 28” length limit. Calico bass are biting well for the anglers targeting the kelp with plastics on the slacker tides and the kelp is up when "pot-holing" is possible. There are some squid and white seabass around, so don’t overlook those fuzzy scratches just off the bottom in 80 to 120 feet of water — there might be some calamari there holding some of those big tanker white seabass La Jolla is becoming known for (again) since the efforts of late last century in restoring that fishery.

Outside: The overnight to 3 day trips are still heading up and out to the Tanner-Cortez banks in search of the mighty bluefin tuna in the area. Boats from Oceanside as well as from landings on up to the Los Angeles area are making their way out to the banks some 50 miles past San Clemente Island. Always known as the hardest fighting of the tunas on rod and reel, these fish are pinning anglers to the rail and most are well over 60 pounds - with some going well over 100 pounds. About half the fish hooked are landed on a good trip, so take the heavier gear and listen to the crews if you go. The tuna are eating the glow in the dark flat-falls very well and heavier line isn’t spooking them, so no excuses. The Outer Limits ran across a few straggling yellowfin tuna on an overnight, but most of that warmer-water stuff has gone back south. Yellowtail are showing sporadically outside and down the northern Baja coast on the high spots. These fish are responding well to yoyo irons when metered.

11/13 – 11/19 Dock Totals: 954 anglers aboard 46 boats out of San Diego landings this past week caught 231 bluefin tuna, 9 yellowfin tuna, 170 yellowtail, 55 calico bass, 8 sand bass, 1,525 rockfish, 15 lingcod, 45 bonito, 44 sheephead, 67 whitefish, 40 sanddab, 75 mackerel, 1 white seabass, 2 bocaccio, 4 sculpin, 1 halibut and 10 California spiny lobster.

Fish Plants: 11/28 Jennings, trout (1500) 11/30 Lake Poway, Trout (3000, for their trout opener Dec 1)

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