Dock Totals Oct 1 – Oct 7: 3,449 anglers aboard 164 boats out of San Diego landings this past week caught 1 swordfish, 763 bluefin tuna, 4,682 yellowfin tuna, 488 skipjack tuna, 529 dorado, 662 yellowtail, 284 calico bass, 65 sand bass, 3,406 rockfish, 10 lingcod, 449 bonito, 1 barracuda, 358 whitefish, 111 sheephead, 3 halibut, 20 sanddab, 3 rubberlip seaperch, 1 red rock crab and 265 spiny lobster
Saltwater: Another 600 fewer anglers went fishing with the San Diego sportfishing fleet this past week as the summer numbers drop, though the fishing has been about the same: Pretty darn good, especially for the relative proximity of the tuna schools. Add to that a great start for lobster season with many hoop-netters getting a legal lobster out of every three to five raised, and it’s looking good so far the first couple weeks into autumn. Yellowfin, bluefin, skipjack and dorado are all still within extended ¾ or overnight range while the inshore fishing on yellowtail and calico bass on the kelp edges as well as reds, vermilions and some lingcod caught off the bottom.
So far this season, two boats are running nightly ½ day hoop-netting trips for lobster and rock crab: The Alicia and Jig Strike out of H&M Landing. These trips depart at 6 pm and return at 11 pm. Their general target spots are just off the rocks along the outer San Diego Bay and Zuniga Jetty in flats where hoop-nets can avoid getting snared on bottom structure, but also near enough for the lobsters to come to the bait. Anglers set their nets per number drawn and the boat will then drift and wait a bit before returning to pull the nets. Many hoop-netters bring along a rod or two as the sand bass fishing can be good between sets and pulls of the hoop nets. No worries of physical strength needed, it is fairly easy to raise the nets; a special roller is used to make the pull easier and in the relative shallows, it takes less than a minute for the average person to raise it.
You don’t have to look for California spiny lobster in the rocks at night – they leave their daytime protective crevices and search the ocean floor for food until the early morning hours. As they travel up to a half mile per night, the approaching daylight sends them back to the rocks, but like weary travelers, they’ll hole up in any suitable place; spiny lobsters are not territorial and do not have a single ‘home’ den. They are foraging voyagers.
The Alicia and Jig Strike carry 10 hoop-netters each for $60 (weekday) to $65 (weekend) per person, while ‘observers’ not hoop-netting can go for $20. These trips offer a full galley and have bait aboard. A Lobster Report Card is required for ALL passengers and a California Fishing License is required for 16 years or older for lobster trips. Both are available at the landing: the report cards are under $10, and fishing licenses run from $15 for one day to about $60 for the year, depending on added stamps. Booking ahead is advisable as these trips sell out quick, especially on weekends.
Top boats of the week:
Oct 7 – 10 Hoop-netters aboard the Alicia ½ day lobster trip caught 87 California Spiny lobsters and kept 26 legals while releasing 61 shorts. A sand bass was also caught on the trip. The Chubasco II reported 23 skipjack tuna and limits of 65 yellowfin tuna for the 13 anglers aboard their ¾ day run.
Oct 6 – The Tribute reported 4 dorado, 33 skipjack tuna and limits of 165 yellowfin tuna for the 33 anglers aboard their overnight run. The Jig Strike reported a good ratio of legal to short lobsters with 10 anglers getting 22 ‘legals’ out of an overall 61 spiny lobster raised on their ½ day hoop-netting trip.
Oct 5 – 17 anglers aboard the Pegasus for a 1.5 day run to the banks caught 27 dorado and limits of 85 yellowfin tuna.
Oct 4 – 10 anglers aboard the Voyager overnight trip caught limits of 50 yellowfin tuna along with 21 skipjack tuna and 2 dorado.
Oct 3 – The Pacific Queen 1.5 day run with 24 anglers aboard returned to the dock with limits of 50 yellowfin tuna along with 45 bluefin tuna in the hold. The San Diego reported limits of 255 yellowfin tuna for the 51 anglers aboard their ¾ day run.
Oct 2 – 14 anglers aboard the Fortune overnight run scored limits of 28 bluefin tuna.
Oct 1 – The Sea Adventure 3.5 day trip resulted in the 22 anglers aboard catching limits of 66 dorado along with 260 yellowfin tuna while 26 anglers aboard the Pacific Star for a 2 day run caught limits of 260 yellowfin tuna along with 28 dorado and 14 skipjack tuna.
Fish Plants: No plants this week.