Southern CA Saltwater

Dana Point: Thunderbird taps Tanner, Cortes

BY MERIT McCREA/WON Staff WriterPublished: Jun 18, 2019

DANA POINT/NEWPORT — The Thunderbird had back-to-back 2-day charters and tapped the outer banks for yellowtail, bonito and rockfish on the first one, then followed by heading south to the bluefin grounds for the second 2 dayer.

Angler Marc Ingram had the details. The first day saw 45 big yellows hit the deck. That was followed by a run in to San Clemente Island to load up on live squid.

bernieclaytonBERNIE CLAYTON LANDED this 26-pound Catalina Island fork-tail aboard the Sum Fun on an all-day Fiber's fishing club charter. A fly-lined sardine got him bit.

The second day saw 30 anglers put on 91 more of the mossbacks with both the juice and fin-bait doing the trick. The final bag for the trip was 136 of the big forks, 39 bonito, 18 calico, 6 barracuda, 5 lings, 16 sheephead and 427 rockfish.

Offshore waters provided tons of tuna to see but tough to activate. As usual, the tuna were into very small bait and red crabs and tough to switch to hook-holding bait. The 27 landed 10 smaller scale bluefin to 30 pounds, 13, 10- to 15-pound yellows and a half-dozen small yellowfin.

The following day they were back out on the outer banks wit 37 anglers and scored 93 yellows plus a big load of bottom biters once again.

Davey's Locker Sportfishing Manager Josh Iwanaga said, "Fishing has gone off this week!

"The Freelance is running 3/4-day trips to Catalina and has been catching 10 to 30 yellowtail per trip with bottom fish filling the bags. They are now running twilight trips Thursday through Sunday and are running a promotional discount of $19 using "twi19" promo code.

"The Western Pride is running double 1/2-day trips and has seen a few yellows, but has been mostly fishing calico bass and sculpin.

"The Thunderbird has been on their usual overnight run catching 15 to 90 yellowtail per trip.

"Live bait has been the key to catching the yellows with a few being caught on the jig."

coastalfishingCOASTAL FISHING IS perking up for the Dana Wharf fleet. Here Grayson Woolley shows off a nice sandbass caught on a jig bounced off the bottom.

At Dana Wharf Sportfishing Capt. Brian Woolley had the scoop. He mentioned the 3/4-day trips have switched it up and are fishing shallow water spots more now.

"We’ve seen some good kelp growth in a few key spots and the fly-line calico bass fishing has been pretty good. Alongside the surface action on the live bait — the guys fishing the artificial stuff — rubber, hard baits, and the surface iron had plenty of opportunity and success," said Woolley.

As for the overnight trips aboard the Fury, San Clemente Island was the destination for 12- to 25-pound yellowtail. They topped it off with some bass fishing — releasing many, bonito and bottom fishing.

The bite over at Catalina Island featured the same grade yellowtail. But sea lions and boat traffic were challenging. Woolley said his boat, the Sum Fun was on a charter, hooked about 26 and got half. He said there were plenty of bonito and bass too.

Really, it was the local 1/2-day trips with the huge numbers of C&R calicos posted. The Dana Pride released 230 Saturday afternoon. Sunday afternoon the Reel Fun put back 224 with 37 fishers on deck.

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