So this is our October, eh?
No more predictions, no more hoping or guessing. No more piecing things together. This is what we have to work with?
My stance on the fall was that we were either going to get all of it or none of it. I thought we’d have local white seabass somewhere along San Diego, Orange and/or L.A. counties with all the squid that’s shown up; I thought the season's first real squid nest/white seabass/yellowtail/halibut bite below the San Onofre Checkpoint would regenerate itself all season long. Wrong. I thought that that small yellowfin was going to push up and be within easy striking range, like behind the Nine Mile Bank on the dolphins or up off Oceanside or even Dana Point. Wrong. Bluefin on the banks, like the Tanner or Cortez well into the fall. Wrong (kind of). The San Diego scene running out of people before fish (unknown).
Maybe the bluefin bites will bounce back out towards the Tanner and Cortez, but the water took a dip and the weather has been up. And the only boat that has the potential to really keep tabs on it is the Freedom. Getting the people has been tough. Here's a terrafin look at the Tanner/Cortez set-up from yesterday.
Even the San Diego boats are struggling all of a sudden to get out mid week, although the weekend is all jammed up. (Example: Pacific Queen, Prowler, Dolphin II, Fortune (well, one spot) and Pegasus are all full for Friday night out of Fisherman’s Landing, which is pretty cool for it being right before the middle of the month’s payday. The boat with spots? The Condor and its 1.5-day trip.
The offshore fishing took a dip the last few days, but it doesn’t seem to be because of lack of fish. Or the water: 71/72 degree water is hanging tough out in the 1,000 fathom water where all the tuna, yellowtail and dorado have been living:
It’s the weather. The damn, so-far-from-epic weather. The wx has been pretty horrid overall this season. Give us a stretch of good weather and a proper rundown can be accessed. In the meantime, an offshore trip out of San Diego is still the best bet. Did you see the San Diego’s ¾-day (12 hour trip) score yesterday? The 22 bluefin, 11 dorado and 195 yellows—mostly small—blew doors on most of the overnight and 1.5-day trips. (Another example of how the people want to fish on the weekends: all of Seaforth open party trips are sold out for Friday night, but the hot-this-season Legend looks like it won’t get enough people to run tomorrow night's 1.5-day trip—a first for this season!)
The best shot for a big yellow is to jump on the New Seaforth and hope the big yellowtail swim through and find the squids on the hooks. Yeah, the big half-day boat — factoid: did you know the New Seaforth is the same hull as the American Angler and Royal Star? — has been making bait off Torrey Pines and has had some good little go-arounds on the yella.
Torrey Pines also has had the light boats, with five of them camped out there last night trying to make a living — or actually get richer, given all the money made during this squid cycle over the last three years.
At least the squid everywhere prediction was easy to make. And the epic season that lasted all summer. Here's a mini ode to this season's inshore action, starting at the Checkpoint in May, and ending with La Jolla last month, with Salt Creek, Barn Kelp and north county shots in between. Yeah, offshore was the big story this year, but this was the best inshore season yet for the skiffs:
It’s far from over, the offshore front as well as the fall potential at the islands and along the beach. It’s just tough to predict how it’s all going to shake out….
Even he’d have a tough time:
The big thing lacking? Coverage. Not many boats trying different zones... but there's plenty to try for. After all, the season never ends; the seasons just take on different forms.