First bluefin, now first yellowfin of the year
BY MERIT McCREA
WON Staff Writer
SAN DIEGO — The Outer Limits, while chasing bluefin near the 60-mile bank, Sunday saw the first local yellowfin tuna landed, a 22 pounder for Matt Stoddard of San Diego, in April! If you had doubts as to what kind of season we have in store, that should provide a strong clue.
The week's tuna bite started strong, dipped in what were very nice conditions, with a little drizzle from time to time, then surge back by Sunday. Thursday saw the Top Gun 80 rack limits of blues, only to have Friday and Saturday scores mysteriously dip, then come back strong Sunday with near limits on tap.
Close to home, the week saw private boaters capitalize on 60-pound grade and larger fish in foamers. The top strategy was to spot, slyly slide in and launch the surface plug. For the lucky this resulted a too big of a fish tethered to too long of a rod. All good fun.
H&M Landings Rick Marin said, "The inside fish were blowing up, private boaters got a few hooked on the plug, and then they'd go down. There were some good opportunities." The JR 4, Tady 45s were producers.
The spots of big fish were on fin-bait mostly. Capt. Paul Fischer on the Outer Limits was on his way in from the outside with 33 bluefin in the box, plus that yellowfin Sunday afternoon, when he spotted multiple foamers of the bigger fish. They slid in but got no takers.
While most agreed, except for the gray-bite, the blues were better on the lighter line, say 20 pound even, Marin saw it as and issue of picking a lively bait and getting it out away from the boat, far up drift. He said friend Danny Wade was able to get bit on the 40-pound.
The boats fishing yellows down the line toward Colonet over the weekend posted full limits of 18- to 25-pound yellows once again, and added plenty of rockfish to the take too. Both the Shogun and Pacific Queen fished that bite for limits of yellows. Between the boats they took a total of 330 forks for 66 folks.
At press time, the Chief was still down there on a 2.5 dayer fishing offshore of Erédira. But a radio report indicated that nailed the yellows (see late report sidebar). The Colonet area bite continued to be a yo-yo iron affair.
More locally the yellows popped at the Coronado Islands proper, but with a charter of new anglers the Fisherman III was able to salvage about 10 of the big fish, which came storming to the surface, breaking water. Marin said it would have been a blood bath with a few experienced anglers on the bow throwing the surface plug.
FIRST LOCAL YELLOWFIN of the season, for angler Matt Stoddard of San Diego on a live sardine. He fished with Capt. Paul Fischer, owner of the Outer Limits.
OCEANSIDE —The Oceanside 95 headed offshore to the 60Mile Bank with 23 aboard, and scored full limits of bluefin tuna, 46 fish on Wednesday, joiuned by a few other boats, including the Long Beach-based Commander (see WON On The Spot in this issue). With the bite wavering the next day the big boat fish San Clemente Island over the weekend for a pick on yellowtail, boating 11, and full limits rockfish plus over 100 whitefish.
The offshore bite resurged Sunday and the boat was online to fish tuna. Capt. Rick Slavkin recommended lighter line for the 18- to 30-pound class tuna. Smaller hooks of 2/0 on the ‘dines and even small macks helped angers draw strikes too.
Local angers fishing the 1/2-day aboard the Electra scored sculpin. They found the bite on the red devils to be strictly limits.
The O'95 was on-line to fish offshore, with open party spots for the week and weekend.