Southern CA Saltwater

San Pedro: Yellowtail yanking and tuna tangos

BY PAUL LEBOWITZ/WON Staff WriterPublished: Sep 17, 2019

SAN PEDRO / LONG BEACH — Local conditions were difficult between a southeast and west wind, a decent swell and ripping uphill current, but anglers persevered and filled their quotas, said Steve Phelps of Long Beach Sportfishing.

Phelps said the landing’s 3/4-day boat Victory fished local waters all week long with their sights set on full sacks for their customers. “On Sunday, Capt. George took 24 anglers out and did just that,” he said. “The 24 anglers brought home 123 vermilion rockfish, 100 salmon grouper, 1 calico bass, 1 sand bass, 53 sanddab, 3 sheephead, and 10 whitefish.”

proudmomentPROUD MOMENT — An angler gets his first yellowtail at Catalina aboard the Pescador, 22nd Street Landing.

The overnight boat Eldorado is back from its brief San Diego sojourn and already fishing hard. “Our first trip was Friday, and Capt. Jeff was back at San Nic. Island filling the sacks with quality fish for his anglers,” Phelps added. “The 25 anglers landed 35 big lingcod, 190 quality rockfish, 150 jumbo whitefish, and 1 sheephead. The Eldorado is back online nightly, departing at 8:30 p.m., and fishing Island Freelance.”

At 22nd Street Landing, the Freedom ran south to Mexican waters to join the tuna frenzy west of the Coronado Islands. Like the rest of the tuna fleet, they struggled on Saturday but redeemed themselves with a couple trophies, 110- and 90-pound bluefin. They saw lots of fish but had a short opportunity to catch it. Fishing had been much better earlier in the week when the boat made the run.

The Pescador also fished down south, catching 15 bluefin and 2 yellowfin on Friday, one of the down days, but they saw massive schools of wary fish.

The Pursuit, running full-day to Catalina, caught yellows every trip. Counts were higher earlier in the week, with 19 Mon, 15 Tues, 6 Fri. and 4 Sat. Anglers who climbed aboard knew they’d have a shot. The Pursuit’s counts were rounded out with barracuda, whitefish and calico bass.

The Native Sun also dipped into the yellows Fri. and Sat, but considering she was carrying a hefty load of 73 passengers on Saturday, had a bit of a rough go with 11 whitefish, 7 calicos, 4 yellowtail, 2 blue perch, 1 sheephead, 1 sanddab and 1 halibut.

gradelargeGRADE LARGE — This Freedom angler sure looks happy with his sizable bluefin, no doubt caught on light gear.

The Monte Carlo is changing up its schedule, running 10-4 Mon.-Fri. and double half-day Sat.-Sun. In other landing news, there will be a tackle swap meet Sun. Oct. 20. Contact 22nd Street Landing for details.

Like other area landings, Pierpoint sent its overnight boat the Toronado south to tangle with tuna. Mid-week the boat and its 32 anglers cashed in with 31 yellowfin and 24 bluefin.

The City of Long Beach ran half-days most days, fishing up a mix of salmon grouper, whitefish, and rockcod, at times approaching limits. The Enterprise fished 3/4-day with up to 52 new best friends, and when the whitefish bit the counts were high but the big attraction were the yellowtail. There were 14 on Weds. Of note, the boat got into some bonito, promising fun action as these fish continue to move in.

The 6-pack Options ran to an unidentified island where they enjoyed excellent fishing for late season white seabass (check out the moon phase!) and jumbo halibut.

At LA Waterfront Cruises and Sportfishing, the Sport King ran 3/4-days much of the week. Early, loads were very light and the action centered on calicos, most of which were no doubt released as just short. On Saturday the boat ran with 34 anglers and they caught 87 whitefish, 23 rockfish, 11 salmon grouper, 8 sculpin, 8 bonito, 6 calicos, 5 reds and 2 sheephead, a variety that had a little something for everyone.

BIG HAUL — The chock-full deck of the Freedom, the aftermath of an early week trip to the tuna grounds.

anothernhappyANOTHER HAPPY CUSTOMER — Bluefin on the Freedom, which spent a lot of time in the tuna zone west of the Coronado Islands.

pursuityellowsPURSUIT YELLOWS caught on Friday.

FLAT ONES — Butch Brown with a nice brace of island goodness caught aboard the Options.

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