Rockfish counts doubled and calico bass counts went down by half

San Diego fishing report for late June

Slow-growing bass drove more local boats to the rockfish spots than to the kelp beds
  • Slow-growing bass drove more local boats to the rockfish spots than to the kelp beds

Dock Totals 6/25 – 7/1

3293 anglers aboard 132 boats out of San Diego landings this past week caught 49 bluefin tuna, 17 yellowfin tuna, 513 yellowtail, 1 white seabass, 1,114 calico bass, 63 sand bass, 4739 rockfish, 432 sanddab, 40 lingcod, 150 bonito, 125 barracuda, 937 sculpin, 196 whitefish, 31 sheephead, 7 halibut, 2 cabezon, 20 bocaccio, 4 mako shark, and 1 dorado.

Saltwater: The boats are leaving heavy with anglers as summer sets in and anglers aboard are finding species throughout the water column off the San Diego coast. It appears that either the current setup wasn’t great for the calico bass that exploded in the counts over the last couple weeks, or operator sensitivity to the endemic, slow-growing bass drove more local boats to the rockfish spots than to the kelp beds; either way, rockfish counts doubled and calico bass counts went down by half. Tuna fishing remained sluggish though the fish are out there and the water is warming a bit.

One sign of the warming trend is the first dorado in the counts thus far this year. It is about normal for the colorful, highly sought mahi mahi (Polynesia), dolphinfish (East Coast, US) to appear in overnight to two-day range (50-120 miles) around the first day of July when waters over 70 degrees edges north. Dorado generally move in packs of one or two males and a handful to a dozen or so females. They are voracious hunters that seem to be constantly on the feed, and are attracted to floating debris (including vessels on the sea anchor overnight) and activity of any feeding school of fish or pod of whales, dolphins and porpoises. A fast-growing fish, they can reach full maturity and over 50 pounds in just five years, which makes the fish a naturally good replenish-able food source.

That the speedy and wily dorado are very difficult to wrap up in mass — as are tuna in large seines — and that they are far-ranging keeps their catch numbers down. That they grow fast and travel far makes them available to rod and reel anglers that catch them in off-shore temperate, tropical and subtropical waters worldwide.

Yellowtail, barracuda, and bonito continue to bite well sporadically offshore and halibut have been showing better in the counts. Although no ‘explosive’ tuna fishing has happened yet this summer for the overnight to two-day boats after good signs of it through the spring, the fishing is pretty darn good across the board so far and all signs look good for continuing success for the world’s largest live-bait sportfishing fleet.

Top performing boats this week:

July 1 The Pegasus returned from a two-day trip with 18 anglers aboard and reported 26 yellowtail and one dorado caught. A total catch of 25 calico bass, 20 barracuda, 25 sculpin and five yellowtail was called in by the Jig Strike on an overnight run with 10 anglers aboard. 33 anglers aboard the San Diego ¾ day run caught seven yellowtail, 100 calico bass and 58 barracuda.

June 30 The Oceanside 95 reported 25 whitefish, five sheephead, 175 rockfish, one halibut, one barracuda, and five yellowtail caught by the 30 anglers aboard their overnight run.

June 29 26 anglers aboard the ½ day run by the Chubasco II put one lingcod, two yellowtail, one sheephead and 100 calico bass in the gunnysacks. The Pacific Voyager called in with limits of 180 yellowtail and 180 rockfish for the 12 anglers aboard their three-day trip.

June 28 12 anglers aboard the Topgun 80 2.5-day trip caught one sheephead, 56 rockfish, one halibut, 38 calico bass, 22 bonito, one barracuda, and 54 yellowtail.

June 27 The Grande reported 33 yellowtail, one mako shark, three bluefin tuna and one yellowfin tuna caught by 29 anglers aboard their two-day trip.

June 26 The San Diego ¾-day run resulted in 23 yellowtail, 60 rockfish, and three bonito for the 16 anglers aboard.

June 25 The Bluefin took eight anglers on an overnight run and reported 20 yellowtail caught.

Fish Plants: No plants this week.

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