January Near Shore Bluefin !

January Bluefin Inshore Fishing

Merit McCraePublished: Jan 08, 2019

 SAN PEDRO/LONG BEACH — A number of private boaters scored and there were at least 3 of the 60- to 70-pound class bluefin taken on sportboats as the fished popped all along the coastal shelf break from P.V. south to Oceanside. Getting a fish to bite? Well that was another matter. In the meantime, even the party boaters who went looking found time to bag plenty of sculpin and sand bass.


Steve Phelps at Long Beach Sportfishing said, “What a crazy week for our local boats, as the bluefin tuna popped up well within 3⁄4-day range right out in front. On Thursday, the 3⁄4-day boat Victory left the dock with 27 anglers, and Capt. Mike Blue returned with 1 bluefin tuna, 140 sculpin and 3 sand bass. The bluefin weighed in at 72.1 pounds and the lucky angler was Michael Evans of Long Beach, who caught the fish using a 160-gram blue and chrome Flat-Fall, factory rigged.”


BLUEFIN VICTORY for Michael Evans of Long Beach, who caught the local 3⁄4-day fish on the Victory using a 160-gram blue and chrome Flat-Fall, factory rigged.          VICTORY PHOTO

It turns out the local sportboats and myriad of private boaters found the fish up and foaming out on the 150 and other areas all along the shelf break. With a few lucky anglers hooking a fish, it would seem for all the chaos, less than a dozen fish total were taken, perhaps only the 6 that this writer got wind of.


SOFT SPOKEN Dan Burns, United Composites pro-staffer, missed on the local bluefin and took vengeance on L.B. yellowtail for it.

But along the way, a few more yellowtail were taken along with lots of sculpin, plus the sand bass were biting pretty well. Saturday the Victory started the day chasing bluefin foamers for no biters, then rolled in for a stop on the heavy structure where 24 anglers pulled 65 sandies to 8 pounds along with 40 scullies, and released 6 small halibut as well. “They lost multiple big bass to the structure, which actually makes this type of fishing more fun,” said Phelps.


The Sport King was one of the boats to connect with and land one of the big blues, a 65 pounder by “Ryan,” who works at Fish’n Fools tackle shop in Granada Hills.


Boat owner and skipper Bruce Root said there were multiple spots of fish to see, but getting one to bite was another matter. He noted it’s not the fish on top that bite but the ones down deep, 120 to 160 feet under the boat.


With the water 61 degrees and green, he couldn’t even see the fish in the water until it was almost at gaff.


“We’ve been playing around with a few yellows and a few tuna — They don’t bite too good, but it’s interesting, got one the other day, hooked a couple — they’re out there jumping around,” said Root.


He indicated he’d gotten word of fish showing all along the shelf break, along the 200 fathom curve, sometimes into the 50 even, from Oceanside up to P.V. and likely even above that.


He’d heard of a pair being taken fishing by the rigs at night as well, and the weather hasn’t been too swift for that most nights lately. He’ll be out this weekend looking for whatever shows.


Dan Burns, United Composites pro-staffer, was out looking for the bluefin, saying, “Fished local tuna but the bass boats were just too fast for us, LOL.” Instead he found a pod of yellows, pulling “limits, not bad for 1/4… I will take L.B. ‘tails any time.”


The Options got it done, nailing the first white seabass of the 2019 season mid morning on Jan. 2. It wasn’t huge, just a keeper, but it was a croaker. Among firsts, Eric Landesfeind and Jimmy Decker flew the first Balboa Angling Club tuna pennant of the season for Decker’s 61-pound bluefin caught on a Sebile Fast Cast on Tuesday, Jan. 4.

  FIRST SEABASS of 2019, on the Options. Daniel Peralta did the honors

As for dabbing, the San Pedro/Long Beach fleet now has two options to ride. At Long Beach Sportfishing, the Ahra Ahn was out with 11 dabbers dipping up 450 dabs Friday. At 22nd Street Landing, the Tradition ran 3 trips with Thursday’s pulling 1,800 dabs for 18 anglers.


There continued to be a few local squid nests going and it was available as bait.

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