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CALIFORNIA'S ONLY SPORTSMAN'S NEWS SINCE 1953

Private Boater's Report

Private Boater’s Report: Most private boater attention focused on Coronados and Colonet

BY BOB VANIAN/976Bite.comPublished: Feb 11, 2020

The trend continued with Southern California ang­lers getting a couple days with decent boating conditions but a few more with wind, waves and some rain. Boats fishing down around Colonet found good mixed-bag fishing for reds, an assortment of rockfish and lingcod.

Saturday’s sportboat fishing saw the Relentless out of H&M Landing fish a 1.5-day trip with 12 anglers who caught 50 reds, 48 rockfish and 12 lingcod. Point Loma Sportfishing had the Vagabond fish a 1.5-day trip with 28 anglers who caught 123 rockfish, 97 reds and 36 lingcod. Fisherman’s Landing had the Pacific Queen fish a 1.5-day trip with 32 anglers who caught 95 reds, 5 lingcod and limits of rockfish. 


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HERE ARE A FEW better bottom biters caught during the San Diego Marlin Club’s annual Rock Cod Round-Up tournament. PHOTOS COURTESY SAN DIEGO MARLIN CLUB

The Punta Colonet area lingcod have included some nice fish that have gone over 30 pounds. When yellowtail have been biting, they have also been quality fish which have included a good percentage in the 18- to 25-pound range. When yellow­tail are located, yo-yo iron is most often the best way to go, and a sardine or mackerel fished on a dropper loop can also be effective.


There has also been very good fishing for reds, rockfish and whitefish along with an occasional lingcod for boats fishing the Coronado Islands. Productive areas include hard bottom areas to the north, northeast and northwest of North Island while working in 25 to 55 fathoms of water. Also productive has been fishing the lower end of the 9 Mile Bank on the Mexico side of the border and in the 60- to 80-fathom depths. Another productive rock­fish zone around the Coronado Islands has been fishing spots along the South Kelp Ridge below South Island in the 20 to 40 fathom depths.


The New Seaforth out of Sea­forth Sportfishing has been running daily three-quarter day trips to chase reds, rockfish and assorted bottom fish species around the Coronado Islands. Their most recent trip was on Saturday when they had 28 anglers catch 175 assorted rockfish, 50 reds, 1 lingcod and 22 whitefish.


An ongoing reminder to anglers is the annual 2-month rockfish closure on the U.S. side of the border went into effect on Jan. 1, and that the closure will remain in effect until March 1. With the rockfish closure currently in effect, Southern California anglers fishing in U.S. waters continue to focus their efforts on species that are still open to fishing and there has been good action for a mix of sand bass, calico bass, perch and sculpin along with an occasional bonus halibut and an occasional flurry of yellowtail action.


There have been some showings of yellowtail along the San Diego County coast but they remain inconsistent. The one constant is that schools most often are found in areas where there is a lot of bait. The most recent showings have been in an area ranging from outside of Mission Bay on up to the lower part of the MLPA closure zone at the lower end of La Jolla. A good depth range to try and locate yellowtail has been in 18 to 30 fathoms of water with the 28 to 30 fathom depths being a zone where some yellowtail were found outside of Mission Beach on Saturday. The yellowtail along the coast have been mostly 18- to 25-pound fish.


The live baits have worked while slow trolled, flylined and fished deep with a dropper loop rig. There are reports of mackerel being caught for bait in about 40 to 50 feet of water off the Mission Bay jetties.


Productive areas for bass and sculpin have been the Imperial Beach Pipeline, the hard bottom areas to the southeast of the Whistler Buoy at Point Loma, the hard bottom to the north and northwest of Buoy #5 at Point Loma, the Point Loma Pipeline, the Jetty Kelp outside of Mission Bay, the Variety Kelp while fishing below the MLPA closure zone at the lower end of La Jolla, the upper end of La Jolla, the Anderson and Bucca­neer Pipelines, the artificial reefs outside of Oceanside and Box Canyon.


There have been a few halibut biting at sandy bottom areas adjacent to the Yukon shipwreck off Mission Beach as well as at sandy bottom areas adjacent to the sunken NEL Tower outside of Mission Beach. San Diego Bay is another place where a few recent catches of halibut have been reported.


halibuthuntersHALIBUT HUNTERS HAVE been living up to their name. PHOTO COURTESY instagram.com/halibut_hunters

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