Southern CA Saltwater

Dana Point: Open water gamesters nearby

BY MERIT McCREA/WON Staff Writer Published: Sep 04, 2019

DANA POINT/NEWPORT — Dana Wharf Sportfishing's Capt. Brian Woolley reported the Dana fleet's been keeping a close eye on the pelagic waters lately. Their 3/4-day and longer runs have all been giving the open waters a good look each day.

Woolley said, "We have been spending the morning out off the beach looking for kelp paddy fish. A few days this week we did connect with a sample of yellowtail and dorado. Then it’s been a ride back to the inside to fish the anchor for some of that same bass fishing or over the deeper hard bottom for rockfish."

CAPT. MARCUS BAILEY with Dana Wharf Lady Angler Sandy Estep and a nice bluefin taken on the Lady Anglers charter aboard the Fury.

He also noted the all-day boats have already been seeing good yellowfin tuna sign. "Thursday we had fish within easy all-day range. Most of the sign was all surface related – breezers, shiners, small fishers and jumpers. This fish has been locked in on its own bait, pinner anchovy, so it’s been very racy and hard to catch."

Meanwhile their overnight boat, Fury, has continued to target yellowfin tuna fishing with the southern fleet, and doing well. As for the rest of the fleet, it's been all about lighter line and smaller hooks, to get the bites.

Thursday's report showed the Fury back from a 1.5-day with 30 anglers accounting for a catch of 68 yellowfin, 5 dorado and 2 bluefin.

While the local areas saw 75-degree water and continued fast catch and release bass fishing in the weeds, Woolley noted "Catalina – no bueno. Haha. It’s been tricky last week or so. Water dirty and sea lions brutal."

He also added the coastal bass have best on fly-lined sardines, while some anglers ripped them on the runner lure. Others fished big baits like live mackerel for a few bites by the bigger bass.

Up Newport Bay way the Davey's Locker Sportfishing and Newport Landing feet saw overnight trips all target the tuna bite down to the south with good results. Both the Aggressor and Thunderbird made runs and did well. The Aggressor posted a pair of 40-plus fish scores while the Thunderbird was on the board with 53 yellowfin Wednesday.

Mark Ingram was aboard that evening for Thursday's overnighter. He said they never found a good school of biters, but he still managed to get bit 3 times. "The hot ticket was, get to the bow with a decent bait to avoid the cluster in the stern. I had three bites there. One broke off immediately, the second produced a nice yellowfin in the 20-pound range and the third was only a short bite that went away."

Again, 20-pound fluoro leader and no. 2 hook.

It would seem the sculpin have gotten over whatever put them off the bite the week prior, the Freelance posting 120 sacked on their Friday evening twilight trip.

Up here 1/2-day fishers saw more rockfish than bass and sacked plenty as a result. The Western Pride had a morning go-round for almost limits of cods – 19 fishers with 156 rockfish and 2 keeper lings, and 96 rockies were red ones.

FLEET FISHING —Mark Ingram put one on the Thunderbird's deck.

THE SAN MATEO had some shots at yellowfin this week on their local waters offshore trips.

* * *

We hope you enjoyed this article on our no-charge website Of course, this site contains only a small fraction of the stories that Western Outdoor Publications produces each week in its two northern and southern editions and its special supplements. You can subscribe to the print issue that is mailed weekly and includes the easy flip-page full-color digital issues, or you can purchase a digital only subscription. Click here to see the choice.

Advertise with Western Outdoor News