St. Croix


Southern CA Saltwater

San Diego: Great Colonet codding for the Relentless

BY PAUL LEBOWITZ/WON Staff WriterPublished: Feb 11, 2020

1.5-day boats dig deep for jumbo rockfish and lingcod, but yellowtail mostly a no-go

SAN DIEGO — This year’s traditional off-season Colonet 1.5-day and longer trips have put the hurt on giant rockfish, but except for one big hit the yellowtail have played hard to get.

WON ’s ad sales representative Dylan Depres hopped aboard the Relentless, H&M Landing, Friday night to check out the Colonet action. The load was light, just 11 anglers.

The boat arrived at a Colonet high spot around 7:30 a.m. Saturday and found the surface water temperature at 59 degrees. They started the day fishing yo-yo jigs for yellowtail.

twentypounderTWENTY POUNDER — Relentless galley cook Kyle Jensen models Andrew Belandres’ 20-pound ling. WON PHOTO DYLAN DEPRES

“There was no shortage of fish around,” Depres said. “We stopped on at least 4 balls of yellowtail that the captain picked up with the electronics. Each time, we’d throw scoops of bait and anglers would burn their favorite yo-yo irons through the zone. Ultimately, our morning yellowtail hunt was fruitless and we started our day of rockfishing around 9:30 a.m.”

Depres said a mix of fat Mexican rockfish, reds and various other bottom fish started coming over the rail. There were many short lingcod, but the legal fish bit hooks soon enough. “We must have drifted over a hotspot as the two biggest lingcod of the day came up in quick succession, both upper teeners to 20 pounds,” he added.

During a slow period around lunchtime, Capt. Mikey Franchak came down from the wheelhouse and got a triple hook-up on quality reds. “It humbled all of the anglers,” Depres said with admiration.

The Relentless anglers picked away at quality reds throughout the day. Bait was somewhat better, but jig anglers got theirs. The reds were good-sized, ranging from 2 to 8 pounds with a 3- to 4-pound average. Depres said the best reds were caught in very deep water from 400 to 600 feet, and the lings bit best in the 200- to 300-foot range. If you go, best bring plenty of lead and a high capacity reel filled to the brim with Spectra. “While we didn’t have a showing of biting yellowtail, our bottom fishing was great,” Depres said, summing up the trip.

SOLID RELENTLESS RED for Michael Lamoureux of Redlands. Capt. Mikey Franchak with the assist. WON PHOTO DYLAN DEPRES

The count ended at Mexican limits of reds and rockfish plus a dozen keeper lings to 20 pounds.

Several other boats made the trip to Colonet this week and found similar action. The Pacific Queen, Fisherman’s Landing, ended its trip with 95 reds, 5 lingcod and rockfish limits for 32 anglers. The Vagabond, Point Loma Sportfishing, was also out and hit it big on the lings. Twenty-eight anglers caught 36 of the beasts to go along with 97 reds and 123 other rockfish.

The only Colonet boat to strike yellow gold was the Pacific Voyager, Seaforth Sportfishing, during a mid-week 2.5-day. Only a handful of yellows hit the deck, but all dozen anglers took home limits of jumbo rockfish.

Also out of Seaforth, the New Seaforth continues to offer near-daily 3⁄4-day trips to Mexican waters so anglers can load up on rockfish in local waters.

Friday’s trip yielded 40 vermillions and 150 rockcod for 19 anglers —limits!

Half-day range trips targeted bass, sculpin and perch. The Dolphin , Fisherman’s Landing, and Premier, H&M, kept busy, attracting respectable loads. The biggest bass hit went to the Premier’s Saturday p.m. trip, which yielded 40 sandies and 4 calicos for 34 anglers. They topped off their catch with 150 perch and 31 sculpin.

CHRIS HUTTEN OF Seal Beach with his 18-pound Colonet lingcod caught aboard the Relentless. WON PHOTO DYLAN DEPRES

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