Tuna still loitering as freezer filling time nears

Plan your trip around windy days

Aanother great week for the San Diego
  • Aanother great week for the San Diego

Dock Totals Nov 5 – Nov 11: 1,751 anglers aboard 86 boats out of San Diego landings this past week caught 106 bluefin tuna, 241 yellowfin tuna, 45 dorado, 828 yellowtail, 380 calico bass, 63 sand bass, 2,590 rockfish, 13 lingcod, 1,582 bonito, 408 whitefish, 116 sheephead, 106 sanddab, 7 bocaccio, 4 halibut, 1 soupfin shark, 10 red rock crab, and 103 spiny lobster.

Saltwater: As the year fades, fewer anglers are making their way down to the landings. Even so, tuna are around within overnight range and are biting sporadically on the surface and in the upper water column when found. Yellowtail and bonito continue to eat surface iron and live bait well on the three-quarter day runs while the half day boats are concentrating more so on rockfish, whitefish, calico bass and sheephead. With that inshore bottom-fishing uptick, a few halibut have started showing in the counts again.

Anglers on the long-range boats starting their 8- to 16-day winter runs are doing well on big yellowfin tuna and wahoo off of Baja Sur from Bahia Magdalena to south of Cabo san Lucas along the ‘Ridge’. Nearer to San Diego, along the coast from Punta Banda south to El Rosario, yellowtail are staging deeper off the high spots and responding well to yoyo irons and flat-fall jigs, while rockfish, whitefish, and lingcod are being caught in good numbers for those dropping to the bottom. This can be tough fishing on the large tide swings this time of year; the added current in peak flow will require more weight to get to the fish.

The smaller pangas can be subject to wind push, so plan your trips around windy days or those with massive tide swings. There are periods daily where the current is slack and most mornings the wind is down. As the spots of fish on the mostly volcanic seamounts can be concentrated, the pangeros will work on those breezy days with ripping current to keep the boat on a spot and tell you when to ‘drop ‘em down’. As they jockey the boat, keeping it in position as long as possible, anglers can usually get a couple drops in before they need to reset the boat on the good marks.

On more passive days, drifting for whitefish along the humps and flats adjacent to the high spots for long periods can be productive, but even on the more gnarly wind and current outings; most anglers running out with the pangeros from Ensenada south to the north end of the Viscaino Bay for bottom fish are getting limits of their targeted species. Along California and the northern Baja peninsula, mid-November is the beginning of what is known as freezer-filling season for those fishing the bottom, and in spite of the loitering tuna, it looks like lots of freezers are already being filled.

Top boats of the week:

Nov 5 – 29 anglers aboard the Pacific Queen 2.5 day trip caught 120 yellowtail, 166 yellowfin tuna, and 45 dorado. The Chubasco II reported 8 rockfish, 99 calico bass, 1 yellowtail, and 135 bonito for the 27 anglers aboard their ½ day run.

Nov 6 – 18 calico bass, 49 bonito, 1 bluefin tuna and 112 yellowtail were caught by the 24 anglers aboard the San Diego ¾ day trip.

Nov 7 – The New Seaforth called in from their ½ day run with 22 anglers aboard with a total of 20 whitefish, 2 sheephead, 3 sand bass, 32 rockfish, 7 calico bass, and 18 bonito caught.

Nov 8 – 23 anglers aboard the San Diego ¾ day trip caught limits of 115 yellowtail along with 50 bonito and 2 bluefin tuna.

Nov 9 – The Premier reported 90 rockfish, 1 lingcod and 1 calico bass for the 9 anglers aboard their ½ day run.

Nov 10 – 9 anglers caught their limit of 2 bluefin tuna each aboard the New Lo-An overnight trip. The Mission Belle reported 5 rockfish, 4 calico bass, 76 yellowtail, 50 bonito, and 2 bluefin tuna caught by 28 anglers aboard their ¾ day run.

Nov 11 – 7 hoop-netters aboard the Jig Strike ½ day run averaged 3 legal lobsters apiece kept out of every 9 raised. It was another great week for the San Diego, as 98 yellowtail, 56 bonito and 1 bluefin tuna were reported caught by the 43 anglers aboard their ¾ day run on Saturday.

Fish Plants: 11/17 - Lake Jennings, trout (1,700); Santee Lakes, trout (TBD); 11/21 - Cuyamaca, trout (1,200)

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