Southern CA Saltwater

Dana Point: Thunderbird boats 314-pound bluefin

BY MERIT McCREA/WON Staff Writer Published: Nov 06, 2019

DANA POINT/NEWPORT — The news from Davey’s Locker Sportfishing was all about the 314-pound bluefin tuna Mark Lawler landed. An estimated 11-foot blue shark had nabbed the tuna’s tail at the nub. Charter­master Jeff Price added his own 173 pounder to the day’s total.

MARK LAWLER’S 314-pound supercow coming through the Thunderbird’s gate.

The next trip they posted, “Returned a few hours ago from a 1.5-day charter with very steady action all day and heavy casualties; 21 bluefin and 3 yellowfin for our efforts, 5 fish from 101-116, 10 or so from 40-55, and the rest just under. Our first stop of the morning resulted in those 5 fish over 100 on 25- and 30-pound line, with many more lost and fish from 40-150... blowing up around the boat for the entirety of our 7-hour drift. Online tonight and light on reservations, only need a few more to make it a go! Light loads all week and weekend as well, let’s fish.”

The report from Capt. Brian Woolley at Dana Wharf Sport­fishing was, “This week we leaned on the rockfish again for the 3⁄4-day trips. Still very good fishing. Plenty of mixed rockfish. Also some great days on the sculpin. The standard double dropper loop for the rockfish — 1 sardine and the other hook with squid. Also the 80- to 100-gram Coltsnipers proved their value again. No boats this week fished bass down in the lower 3⁄4-day kelp zone.

“Half-day fishing still targeting bass. Some days of decent action. Definitely feeling the effects of the water cooling off — 62- to 66-degree water. More and more action coming on the sinker rigs. Reverse dropper loops and heavier egg sinkers all in play. Plenty still on the live baits but the shrimp and clam still proving its value on the sheephead and sandbass.

“The Fury still had some shots at tuna this week too. Best day for them was an overnight on (Oct. 28). Their 22 anglers had 15 skippies and 47 yellowfin. Fly-lined sardines were the best. They also island fished on Saturday and had limits of cod for 18 anglers as well as 145 whitefish. He still has trips on the books so maybe he’ll keep the tuna ball rolling this week.

“Finally on the halibut derby front; week 1 in the books. Angler Javier Calvo was first to find his name on the leaderboard with a 16-pound fish caught on the Clemente on Friday. Two more fish caught on today’s drift trip. This is the 12th year we’ve run this derby. Fingers crossed we see plenty of fish this year.”

hallibutdrifttripsHALIBUT DRIFT TRIPS are underway at Dana Wharf Sportfishing, and they also run a derby for cash and prizes that runs until spring. There are already some nice ones being caught like this 12-plus pounder caught in Week 1.

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