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CALIFORNIA'S ONLY SPORTSMAN'S NEWS SINCE 1953

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Bluefin busting tackle

BY MERIT McCREA/WON Staff WriterPublished: Apr 10, 2018

San Diego's Day at the Docks is Sunday!

SAN DIEGO — Bluefin tuna rounded up solid over the weekend and broke twice as much gear as broke them. Yet the two boats out on the bite did manage to boat solid scores on 30- to 70-pound fish. Rick Marin at H&M Landing had the scoop.


With a questionable wind forecast many of the trips scheduled for this past Saturday opted out, leaving the Top Gun 80 and Old Glory to run offshore and take a look. What they found was an area of fish, many of which were tougher than the tackle they would bite.


ryansbigbluefinRYAN'S BIG BLUEFIN — Caught aboard the Old Glory, estimated to weigh near 70 pounds.


According to Marin most anglers dropped down to 30-pound gear, although several reported getting bit equally on 40. The word coming back to the landing was a 2 to 1 ratio on fish lost to landed.


The losses included one epic battle where a fish of perhaps 130 was almost within reach of the long gaff before busting off, after a 2-hours. "Guys were fishing a little bit lighter than they should have been," said Marin.


It was almost strictly a bait bite, live sardines, circle hooks he added and he commented "There's big schools of those 100-pound fish jumping around." So bring it all including the heavy gear.


The weather improved as the day went on and the better bite was in the afternoon. Marin said the body of fish was moving north. In fact, another source noted that the fish were encountered as close as 60 miles south.


Each boat ended up landing 14 tuna and busting off more than twice that. A few yellowtail were landed as well, mostly hamachi grade.


For the 3/4- and all-day boats fishing inshore waters down towards the Coronado Islands and surrounding waters, rockfish took over nicely as anglers stocked limits of the tasty bottom fish. After Monday or so the yellowtail pulled a no show basically.


However, Tuesday the Mission Belle had 14 anglers get 28 lings and 50 rockfish with a pair of yellowtail and the same number of bonito. Then Sunday 16 anglers pulled in 30 lings to go with 85 rockfish, 10 whitefish, 2 sheephead and a bonito.


The San Diego had both double-digit forktail scores posted this past week, with 16 for 15 anglers Monday and 11 more Wednesday.


The 1/2-day boats saw a continued focus on rockfish as the bite continued to favor the double dropper and squid strip rigs. The New Seaforth had a nice pair of 1/2-days Sunday. The a.m. run featured 273 rockfish with 33 reds for 34 anglers.


This weekend the Scott Street Landings will host their annual Day at the Docks festival. Don't miss it! There will be lots to see, boat tours, vender and tackle booths, and live music.


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