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CALIFORNIA'S ONLY SPORTSMAN'S NEWS SINCE 1953

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December bluefin tuna biting nails

BY MERIT McCREA/WON Staff Writer Published: Dec 13, 2017

SAN DIEGO — We've seen yet another week of red-hot bluefin tuna fishing, as an influx of 20- to 50- pound, extremely hungry bluefin raided the 60 Mile Bank. Larger models were still in abundance also, and spread across a wide area. Some trips reported limits in less than 2 hours, leaving the remainder of the day to explore for the big boys. Anglers were releasing bluefin at the rail was the word.

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DECEMBER BLUEFIN TUNA — Capt. Greg Gawitt holds another nice one for yet another lucky angler.


Midweek, Capt. Greg Gawitt was aboard the Pride, out of Seaforth Sportfishing. He reported quick limits of bluefin in little more than an hour with the lines in the water. They released more too, leaving them biting hard to try to find a spot of the jumbos, which had been seen in an area somewhat closer to home.


When they found the big boys, guess what? Picky biters, and they were swimming with plenty more 20-pound fish. Virtually every trip that went out to chase these fish last week limited out. And loads were extremely light, perhaps just a dozen anglers on several trips.


It was an open party angler's dream — wide-open offshore fishing and rail space galore. The Aztec and Tribute ran with 12, getting 24 bluefin. The Endeavor, with 15 anglers, had 30 turn in 30 tuna each day on back-to-back overnighters.


Out on the 60, the bite was almost all on fly-lined sardines, fished on just 20- to 30-pound fluorocarbon leaders, reported angler Dr. Robert Tressler. The conditions offshore were beautiful, he said.


At H&M Landing, the Legend got out with just 22 fishers Saturday, one of the most subscribed trips of the week, and they limited, 42 bluefin tuna. December is tuna time!

At Fisherman's Landing, the Liberty and Pacific Queen were alternating trips and pulled full limits on each of five outings. Office staff recommended anglers bring the standard 25- to 50-pound gear, and be ready with big stick for the bigger blues – an 80-pound on up to 130-pound class stick for fishing the 250g FlatFall.


Terminal tackle should include circle hooks from 1/0 to 5/0, and an assortment of torpedo sinkers with rubber bands for fishing the deep dropper loop.


Half-day anglers saw a few yellowtail mixed into what were primarily catches of rockfish, with a few other bottom biters mixed in.


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