Southern CA Saltwater

San Diego: All zones snap on tap

BY MERIT McCREA/WON Staff WriterPublished: Oct 08, 2019

SAN DIEGO — Anglers looking for gamefish action found it on all fronts, from the yellowfin tuna zone just west of the Coronados, easily accessible on an overnighter, to monster yellowtail on the outer banks. The closest tuna on tap were under 20 miles from Point Loma Light.

The best news was a pull away from advising light tackle angling, as skippers pulled in on stops where the tuna easily ate 40-pound. And there was a shot at some larger Flat-Fall bluefin too.

GAME CHANGER! Three super cows — bluefin in excess of 300 pounds — were part of the catch of the 6-pack Game Changer a couple weeks ago. Big fish like these lurking within 1-day range have changed the SoCal game for sure.

The latest news was calmer weather out on the outer banks gave anglers a shot there too. What was found was biting yellowtail, in an all methods bite — fly-lined sardine, surface iron and yo-yo.

The crew at H&M Landing called it "wide-open" Friday as several boats posted limit scores on the 12- to 30-pound yellowfin tuna and lots of skipjack too.

While the Grande carried 45 folks Sunday and had 84 yellowfin on deck, when Capt. James McDaniels reported back, Monday they only had 15 signed up. Those weekday trips are easy now.

The Relentless called in limits, as did the Old Glory, with 170 yellowfin in the hold. The Excalibur, on the 2nd of a 3.5-day, had 140 yellowfin.

The Top Gun 80 mixed it up on a 3.5-day, as 28 anglers put on skippjack, yellowfin, bluefin, bonito and 50 yellows. They'd finished the trip atop the Cortes Bank for those mossback yellows.

The Mustang, fishing an overnighter with 25 anglers, put on 125 yellowfin, 80 yellowtail and 45 skipjack, full limits across the board.

Aboard the New Lo-An, a 2.5 dayer netted the 25 fishing 182 yellowfin, 18 sheephead and 14 yellows. They'd ended up out on the outer banks.

The luxury 6-pack fishing focused on bluefin aboard the Game Changer. The 6 anglers put on 12 for limits and picked up 5 yellowtail and yellowfin along the way.

The monster fish at San Clemente Island's Cow Town got them 2 for 0 by biting off on the kite rod. Running south and fishing the yellowfin zone on the kite put the 50-pound class blues on deck.

Their previous Cow Town adventure had put 6 monsters on deck including 3 super cows, over 300 pounds apiece.

yellowfinlikethisYELLOWFIN LIKE THIS 25 pounder aboard the Grande continued to bite hard for the San Diego fleet and others. A bonus of bluefin were included in the mix — fish from 40 to 60 pounds. The bigger model bluefin were found in U.S. waters just southwest of San Clemente Island — north into the Outer Catalina Channel and also just off the Oceanside to Orange coast.

The yellowfin tuna zone kicked out fish mostly between 20 and 30 pounds, and those yellowtail at the outer banks were of similar size.

The latest word coming from the Fisherman's Landing Tackle Shop with respect to 1.5-day and longer trips was to add in the 80- and 100-pound class Flat-Fall tackle, on top of the full array of 25- to 40-pound stuff for bait fishing yellowfin.

Capt. Ryan Bostian of the all-day boat San Diego posted, "Looked at an incredible amount of 30- to 60-pound bluefin and managed to land 4. One cooperative school of 20- to 30-pound yellowfin where we landed 46. A few random skipjack and perfect weather."

Both the Pacifica and Tribute, as well as the El Gato Dos posted full limits on the yellowfin over the weekend. The Endeavor tookd 12 anglers to limits of bluefin plus 27 yellowfin and 9 skippies too.

Earlier in the week the Aztec posted 2-day limits of both yellowfin and skipjack for 20 anglers – 200 of each.

But what about the local stuff, and the lobster opener? Well, there were some nice bug scores. The 1/2-day gang split between bass and rockfish. So anglers should be ready with the sinkers and the bass gear.

Hooping highlights included the Alicia's score of 96 bugs with 45 keepers for 10 pullers on a twilight trip.

LADY CAN FISH! Cinnamon Bell of Aliso Viejo landed this 30-pound yellowfin tuna while fishing aboard the deluxe sportfisher Tomahawk last week. Helping show of the colorful tuna is Captain JeffSpafford who found schools of a good grade of YFT just 18 miles off Point Loma. WON PHOTO BY JIM NIEMIEC

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