The angler count fell off by nearly half as strong winds kept most of the boats in the slips midweek. Other than that, the fishing stayed about the same as the week before when the boats could get out. Bluefin tuna are still in ¾ day range and are hit and miss; one day, maybe a few, the next, maybe limits. The limit is 2 fish on bluefin tuna, but at the size of some of these fish, a limit caught may require the purchase of a freezer to store about 100 pounds of meat.
A sign of spring turning toward summer in the water column; the first barracuda of the year hit the counts. Bonito are on the chew out there along the high spots for those boats searching out the bluefin tuna, and though good on the smoker, that first run can be disappointing as soon as you feel it’s not a big bluefin. Folks are gearing way up, using 2-speed reels and heavier line and still getting slam-dunked by the tuna. It is vital that the anglers follow direction of the crew as a calm afternoon can turn quickly to melee at the rail when those big tuna bite. Still, many anglers are finding themselves simply out-matched regardless of skill, and a whole lot of hook-ups can equal one or two finally hitting the deck after a bunch of lines snapping like firecrackers (and a bit of cursing).
Dock Totals 4/23 – 4/29
1,448 anglers aboard 59 boats out of San Diego landings this past week caught 141 bluefin tuna, 686 yellowtail, 8 calico bass, 16 sand bass, 1,323 rockfish, 240 sanddab, 4 lingcod, 482 bonito, 286 sculpin, 1 barracuda, 12 bocaccio, 1 halibut, 10 mackerel, 13 whitefish and 1 opah.
Top performing boats of the week
4/27: 12 anglers aboard the New Seaforth ½ day run caught limits of 120 rockfish.
4/26: The San Diego ¾ day run with 25 anglers aboard produced 7 bluefin tuna, 38 yellowtail and 33 bonito.
4/24: Captain Drew Card of the Pacific Queen reported a strong bite on large bluefin tuna on their overnight trip, though success on landing the brutes was minimal. They put two fish over 100 pounds on the deck after many break-offs. Also notable on the trip: a 116 pound opah was caught
4/23: 23 anglers aboard the Liberty ¾ day run put 35 bluefin tuna and 85 bonito on the deck. The Malihini called in with 82 bonito and 2 bluefin tuna for the 31 anglers aboard a ¾ day run. The Mission Belle reported 40 bonito and limits of 28 bluefin tuna for just 14 anglers aboard their ¾ day run.
Fish Plants: No plants scheduled this week.