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San Diego fishing October 15-21

Juan Cook with grouper caught in Bahia de los Angeles
  • Juan Cook with grouper caught in Bahia de los Angeles
  • Image by Juan Cook

Dock Totals Oct 15 – Oct 21: 3,121 anglers aboard 136 boats out of San Diego landings this past week caught 289 bluefin tuna, 3,970 yellowfin tuna, 843 skipjack tuna, 103 dorado, 967 yellowtail, 1 mako shark, 811 calico bass, 49 sand bass, 1,381 rockfish, 17 lingcod, 2,220 bonito, 9 barracuda, 216 whitefish, 79 sheephead, 2 halibut, 220 sanddab, 50 bocaccio, 19 Spanish jack, 10 red rock crab and 217 spiny lobster

Saltwater: The offshore pelagic fishing action remained about the same as the week before, though there were more bluefin tuna caught and the dorado numbers went down. Spiny lobster are still coming up in a good average size and decent numbers, with about 3 legals per hoopnet per trip. With a little bump outside and a couple windy days late in the week, more local trips to the kelp were made by the ¾ or ½ day boats that have been chasing tuna in better weather of late. This, along with the mid-morning high tide brought the calico bass count back up for the week. As it lays back down into “Indian summer” conditions with an expected heat wave and a lull in the swell and wind Monday through Friday, I expect there will be a lot of sportboats fishing the offshore surface action rather than the kelp.

A little about Los Angeles. Bahia de, that is. Bahia de Los Angeles, the once gold-mining town turned fishing destination in the upper-mid Sea of Cortez also known as BOLA for its English pronunciation Bay of L.A., has been good for grouper, cabrilla, sierra mackerel, and yellowtail just off the beach and the east side of Angel de la Guardia island. Though Bahia de Los Angeles is in the Ensenada municipality, it is a ten-hour drive, give or take, from San Diego. The emerald-colored bay fronting the village is dotted with islets, while the coastal area is protected by the 35 mile-long Isla Angel La Guardia a little further offshore.

Captain Juan Cook is making his fall runs from his home in San Quintin across the peninsula to fish the area in the window between the heat of summer and the north winds that usually start to blow in mid-November. He has been reporting flat calm conditions with temps in the 90s daytime and 70s overnight. Cabrilla, along with gulf and leopard grouper, have been blowing up bait on the high tides right just yards from shore and many fish caught in the 10 to 20 pound range. Though the pangeros have been making bait in the mornings, they have been getting most of the fish on white 4-ounce casting jigs.

As these fish will rock the angler quick, it is imperative to have the cranking power to keep them in the fight zone and out of the reef where they will most usually break off. 80-pound test braid to 50- or 60-pound fluorocarbon on a 2-speed reel is recommended. Trolled Rapalas will work well for cabrilla and grouper, too, but they are fishing them by sight as the fish push the bait against the shore and then ‘blow up’ on it. That close in, anglers will lose a lot of hardware trolling as the fish can make a dash for the rocks before the angler can react to the strike. One technique to use if trolling on the inside in rocky areas is to head straight into deeper water as soon as the fish strike, dragging them away from the rocks. As these fish are big, heavy and strong, sometimes they win regardless of technique and gear used. Either way, it is a good time to go fish Bahia de Los Angeles before the north winds start funneling down the Sea of Cortez.

Top boats of the week:

Oct 21 – The San Diego returned to the dock with 3 yellowtail, 124 yellowfin tuna and 22 skipjack tuna for the 39 anglers aboard their ¾ day run.

Oct 20 – 21 anglers aboard the Ocean Odyssey 1.5 day trip put limits of 105 yellowfin tuna in the hold. The Pacific Voyager called in with 37 yellowtail, 116 yellowfin tuna, 3 dorado and 36 bluefin tuna for the 12 anglers aboard their 4 day trip.

Oct 19 – 28 anglers aboard the Sea Watch ¾ day trip caught limits of 140 yellowfin tuna. The Mission Belle’s 25 anglers caught a mixed bag of 12 bluefin tuna, 55 bonito, 1 lingcod, 18 calico bass and 60 yellowtail on a ¾ day run to the Coronado Islands.

Oct 18 – The Tribute reported 1 dorado, 3 skipjack tuna, 6 yellowtail and limits of 160 yellowfin tuna for the 32 anglers aboard their ¾ day trip.

Oct 17 – 7 anglers aboard the Chubasco II ½ day trip caught 35 calico bass, 1 sheephead, 35 bonito and 7 yellowtail on a ½ day run.

Oct 16 – 6 hoop-netters aboard the Jig Strike ½ day lobster trip raised 2 red rock crab and 54 spiny lobster with 22 lobsters kept and 32 released. 12 anglers aboard the Condor overnight run caught 5 yellowtail, 47 skipjack tuna and limits of 60 yellowfin tuna.

Oct 15 – Wide open fishing reported by the San Diego for the 55 anglers aboard their ¾ day run with 1 yellowtail, 4 dorado, 60 skipjack tuna and limits of 275 yellowfin tuna caught.

Fish Plants: No plants this week.

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