Umarex Gauntlet


Southern CA Saltwater

San Diego: Bluefin bite heats back up

BY MERIT McCREA/WON Staff WriterPublished: Jun 04, 2019

SAN DIEGO — With huge volumes of fish inside 1-day range the San Diego offshore fleet worked hard to land what was hooked, as anglers eager to get bit tended to fish too light to finish what they started. Bluefin of 60 pounds plus kept crews busy but beating them was another matter altogether.

It seemed almost every report had a tale of tackle too light coming into play and crews eager for anglers to catch became frustrated. The word was, "No bass gear! If it has a level wind it's bass gear."

THESE TWO TALENTED 10-year-olds, Jake McNamara and friend Cody wanted to run the kite themselves aboard the Game Changer, and they killed it.

Gear recommendations were 50-pound and two speed reels, 80-pound or better braid backing it up. Fluoro. leaders. If anglers didn't have it the landing did and it could be rented.

It seemed a lively sardine was more the ticket and a 1/0 to 3/0 circle hook was best. Draw the bite with a better bait and skills rather than dropping down on tackle grade.

Friday the Condor finished off with limits for 12, 50- to 80-pound fish.

For those looking for better odds there were the 6-pack boats, boosting the kite rotation ops for their anglers. The Game Changer, changed the kite rotation game.

Those baits dangled down on 200-pound tackle were the ticket to heavy hook-ups and quick success.

Across the fleet there were indeed winners, every day a different handful of boats would hit the money spot and spend most of their day with a fish or two going. The Pacific Queen was one of those rigs Friday too, with 32 anglers finishing the day with 44 bluefin, mostly from 60 to 80 pounds but with a few token 25s in the mix.

RED ROOSTER III skipper Andy Cates and son Andrew fished the the Marlin Club's 17th annual Spring Shootout Tournament aboard Capt. Bob Woodward's new rig, Drop Back – Jr. winning first place for his 74.6-pound bluefin.

And the New Lo-An with Capt. Adam Williams at the helm, had an 11th hour stop top it off — 16 anglers and 32 of the big ones over the rail.

Sunday the Outer Limits made double digits on the big bluefin landed, 14 iced. Saturday the Pacific Voyager turned in 17 for 18 anglers.

At H&M Landing the Old Glory tapped into a biting school landing 20 Friday. However, there were those less fortunate as well and a few rigs had days where they only put a handful or less in the dock cart.

Although warmer waters were quickly spilling northward into the Bight, coastal and island areas remained with cod conditions. The New Seaforth's 1/2-day clients made the most of it, bagging near limits of reds and rockfish several outings.

At press time the situation remained similar for the full-day boats not fishing offshore, lots of red ones and such, with just a sample on the game fish.

This week's weather forecast held promise for warmer waters to fill the lower Bight once again.

LORI HEATH BACK at it aboard the Liberty.

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