Umarex Gauntlet


Southern CA Saltwater

Bluefin Richter in easy reach

BY MERIT McCREA/WON Staff WriterPublished: Apr 09, 2019

Coronados, Rockpile yellowtail limits

SAN DIEGO — Let the games begin! The offshore season is on! Capt. Kley Williams of the Old Glory went looking for trouble in blue water and found it, full limits of big bluefin before breakfast, starting in the dark. Kawika Kamai, owner of Katch Fishing Products, was aboard and provided the full report.

He said early Sunday morning they started looking about 60 miles south, right about where we reported the blue, 63-degree water blob was last week. Their first round was a 40-minute stop where the fish rolled on the Flat-Falls in the dark. Fortunately, the Katch Krew were ready with the big gear.

kawikakamaiKAWIKA KAMAI ON deck aboard the Old Glory with one of his pair of bluefin, a 69 pounder in one hand and his heavy Flat-Fall stick in the other, equipped with his popular new product, The Katch, holding the heavy jig securely behind the reel.

Kamai said 20 more minutes of looking landed them in their second go-round and it went absolutely full speed — a 3-hour ripper resulting in full limits on 20- to 80-pound bluefin. "They chewed Flat-Falls for over 3 hours, limiting out the boat [with bluefin] in the 25- to 85-pound class," said Kamai.

Capt. Kley more modestly said the fish averaged 40 pounds with the smallest near 20 and largest to 60. However, Kamai's largest ended up tipping the scale at 69 pounds and appeared to have plenty of similar-sized competition laying about the bloodied deck.

The 30 anglers aboard spent the remainder of their day looking for kelps, picking off yellowtail. The final score was 60 bluefin and 27 of the forks. Kamai's premier product, the Katch, clips quickly on the rod, providing not only a trigger grip but holding jigs, hooks or just the end of the line safely behind the reel and out of the way.

But there's more. Just a few days prior, the yellowtail bite which had been holding at 2 to 3 fish per rod, or as many as middle 50s per boat, went ballisitic. We understand the 3 boats lined up on The Pile all limited Friday, and Capt. Louie Zimm forwarded Rob and Dart Fletcher's report from the deck of the Liberty.

"We got limits on the pile! All nice 12- to 18-pound fish... wide-open on the yo-yo and surface iron! Some rain early then flat calm! Great day for Robby’s 40th!" texted Dart.

He followed that with, "All sonar and bird schools. Water was blue-green and 62.5 degrees. Not much current but a little bit up and in. Best water they’ve seen this year. Some bone but not too much. When you circled sonar school and threw bait the yellows pushed bone out of way!"

ROB FLETCHER WITH dad Dart Fletcher himself aboard the Liberty with limits of yellowtail.

"Could not be a better result! 21 passengers and they were good guys. I think all three boats limited!" he concluded.

Sunday noon, Capt. James McDaniels, owner of the Grande at H&M Landing filled in the story as the bite moved closer yet.

"We really had some excellent fishing this week, probably the best of the year so far. Big schools showed up at the islands and really bit good. Friday we had just 15 people on the boat catch 69 yellowtail and 10 bonito. Saturday we got out with 40 people and had 84 yellowtail, 8 bonito and 105 rockfish, and as of noon on Sunday we already have over 50 yellowtail. (They would finish with 120 yellows, 30 bones and 50 cods).

"The yo-yo iron still remains the best way to catch them but these big schools have been coming up to the surface and you can catch them on fly-line bait or surface iron as well. We’ve been getting out three or four days a week and are looking forward to running every day.

The Mission Bell of Point Loma Sportfishing threw on 124 forks for their 32 folks Saturday, and over out of Seaforth Sportfishing, the San Diego posted 100 yellows for 20 fishers. The biggest numbers came over the weekend, but with lots more anglers. The San Diego threw on 126 for 53 folks, while the Liberty, Fisherman's Landing, ran with 51 who flung another 185 on deck.

There was a bit of a change for those fishing local waters on 1/2-day. Over the weekend the 1/2-day boats from the Scott Street landings found favorable enough conditions for a bit of bass fishing along with sculpin.

The New Seaforth, with better proximity to local, deeper-water rocky bottoms continued to post big numbers of rockfish, tapping into 160 reds with 60 other rockfish and 15 whitefish for 31 fishing.

ROSS PERKINS ABOARD the Grande. He fished a mint Salas 7x on 40-pound Izorline with a Phenix jig stick.

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