FIRST PERSON FISHING REPORT…
HAPPY ANGLERS ON the Sea Adventure 80.
SAN DIEGO — The weather is right… the water is right… and tuna fishing is going full-throttle right now in San Diego. If you haven’t heard yet, the tuna fishing in San Diego is the best that it has been in years!
The overnight and 1½-day boats out of the San Diego landing are bringing in impressive numbers of yellowfin tuna, bluefin tuna, dorado (mahi mahi), and most recently albacore tuna. The tuna are ranging from 20 to 60 pounds with an occasional hog tipping the scales at over 100 pounds. The average fish size is also getting bigger as the season progresses.
The fish are showing up in the warm SoCal / Mexican waters just south of San Diego and well within range of the overnight boats from the San Diego Fleet. Those choosing a 1½-day trip get the added bonus of working the often productive afternoon bite.
We were lucky enough to get the last two spots aboard the Sea Adventure 80 out of H&M Landing. This well equipped boat is owned and operated by Captain Scott McDaniels. Capt. McDaniels has over 30 years experience in bringing his customers to the biting fish. He also surrounds himself with experienced crew members who all contribute to making the trip a success.
This trip was just that… and a whole lot more! Our first stop was for a jig strike at around 6:15 Saturday morning. Yells of “Hookup” roused the few still sleeping in their bunks. A couple of bluefin were landed but there wasn’t any further action.
YOUNG GUN GAVIN with his bluefin.
The captain decided to head a little farther south than the rest of the fleet in an effort to find fresh kelp paddies which have been holding tuna. The sharp eyes of crew member Nick Espinoza spotted a kelp paddy and the fun was on!
Before we got within 300 yards of the paddy, the trollers had a double hook-up and we stopped for what turned out to be a wide-open bite of yellowfin, bluefin, dorado, and yellowtail. The bite lasted over an hour and we boated about 120 fish from 15 to 40 pounds. It was the kind of bite you always dream of when you’re booking online and laying down your cash for a tuna fishing trip. The cheers were loud and often.
Captain McDaniels decided to move once the bite tapered off and took us on a hunt for another hot bite. We found that bite and yet another for three wide-open stops for the day. We ended up with 250 fish.
A big shout-out goes to local girl Jacque Morgan from Encinitas, CA. Jacque was the only woman on board this trip but she gave the 29 others on board something to think about! Jacque had limits of yellowfin, bluefin, and dorado. To top it off, she won the jackpot with a fat bluefin of about 50 pounds!
JACQUE MOGAN WITH her bluefin.
The Sea Adventure 80 is a great boat for tuna fishing. The aisles along the sides of the boat are extra wide which makes it easy to pass by others when getting to gear or bait. It also makes it easy for walking the rail, moving under and over other lines when fighting a fish. The boat is equipped with showers and comfortable staterooms as well.
Capt. McDaniels takes his business seriously. His job is not only to get you to the fish, but to help you get them on the boat. He transfers that mindset to his crew as well. Without question, the crew was instrumental in keeping lines straight, tangles to a minimum, and getting the fish on board. Many thanks to Terry Summerfield, Nick Espinoza, Bill Santiago, Young Gun Gavin, Brian in the galley, and Capt. McDaniels. They all made this a trip to remember.
John Dupree is a resident of San Diego and has previously contributed to WON.
WHEN ALL WAS said and done there were 250 quality fish put on the boat. Without question it was one of the best days of fishing anyone on board has seen in years.