Umarex Gauntlet


Private Boater's

Private Boater’s Report: Paddy-fishing season has arrived

BY BOB VANIAN/976Bite.comPublished: Jul 11, 2018

Dorado in U.S waters

The past week of fishing saw some significant changes occur on the offshore stage. Yellowfin tuna are now in waters as close as the area of the 9 Mile Bank outside of Point Loma and Mission Bay. There are also lots of bluefin around, but the yellowfin more often than not, end up being better biting fish. In addition to bluefin and yellowfin, there have been some yellowtail and dorado caught on kelp paddies.

Josh Kast of Newport Beach ran into a nice surprise in the shipping lane between Catalina and Newport on the way home from Catalina in his 20-foot Skipjack, Kastaway.

“We were on our way home from an overnight fishing trip to Catalina, and we had about five sardines left,” said Kast. “We were about halfway to Newport when we found a paddy that was holding 5 to 6 dorado.”

Kast was able to boat one of the do-dos, and he added, “So stoked that these fish have made it into our waters. Let the paddy fishing begin!”

The bluefin have been mixed-size fish ranging from 25 to 200-plus pounds and most of the yellowfin have been in the 15- to 30-pound range. Productive areas over the weekend include 371 Bank, the 302 Spot, the 224 Spot, the 9 Mile Bank, the 178 Spot, the Corner, the 182 Spot and the 43 Fathom Spot. There have also been lots of tuna found 5 to 8 miles off the coast between Mission Beach and La Jolla as well as in the waters between the 43 and Pyramid Head at San Clemente Island. The tuna continue to push up the line with the weekend seeing a few showings of tuna reported in the region of the 181 Spot as well as in the Carlsbad Canyon. There are lots of tuna spread around over a large area of ocean!

Some fish counts that were posted on Sunday include the Malihini that was fishing a full day trip with 12 anglers that caught 60 bonito, 15 yellowtail, 7 yellowfin tuna and 2 bluefin tuna.

Fisherman’s Landing had the Condor return home from a 1.5-day trip with 23 anglers catching 4 bluefin, 8 yellowfin and 6 yellowtail. They also had Pacific Queen fish a weekend 2-day trip with 32 anglers that returned with 1 opah, 1 yellowfin, 3 bluefin and 216 yellowtail.

Seaforth Sportfishing had the 6-pack charter yacht El Gato Dos fish a half-day trip with 4 anglers that caught 12 yellowfin tuna. On their afternoon trip, they had 3 anglers catch 4 of them. Seaforth also had the Prowler on an overnight trip with 34 anglers that caught 2 yellowfin tuna, 5 bluefin tuna and 52 yellowtail. The New Seaforth had an afternoon half-day trip with 36 anglers catch 6 bluefin tuna.

Point Loma Sportfishing had a Sunday update from the New Lo-An that had an early report of a 200-pound bluefin on board.

Tom Golding of the Last Buck fished out of Mission Bay on Saturday and reported fishing around and about the 425 Bank, 371 Bank and the 302 Spot. He said the best-looking zone was where they found lots of spots of breezing, jumbo bluefin tuna fishing several miles to the west of the 302 Spot. Golding also said they tried everything they had to get the bluefin to bite, but that they had no luck in getting them to go.

The bluefin have been biting on spots of breaking fish, sonar marks and meter marks, and there have also been occasional strikes on the kite-trolled Yummee Flyers. Drifted sardines, slow-trolled mackerel, surface iron, and Flat-Fall jigs have also been connecting with these tuna. Yellowfin have been coming on the troll, from kelp paddies, porpoise schools and from stopping on spots of breaking fish. Sardines, Megabait-style jigs and surface iron have been effective for the yellowfin.

The fishing at the Coronado Islands continues to be outstanding for a mix of yellowtail, bonito, barracuda and calico bass. Boats have been finding good action while fishing a variety of areas with good recent reports coming from the area between the outside of the lower end of the 9 Mile Bank and North Island, Pukey Point at North Island, the Keyhole at the south tip of North Island, the Middle Grounds and the South Kelp Ridge.

Yellowtail have been located under meter marks, sonar marks and working birds. Trolling has been another good way to locate yellowtail with strikes coming on Rapalas and on slow-trolled sardines. Once located, the yellowtail have been biting on flylined sardines and surface iron. The yellows have been running from 6 to 25 pounds with the majority of the fish in the 7- to 16-pound range.

Fish counts from the fishing on Sunday start with the Liberty out of Fisherman’s Landing that ran a full-day trip with 44 anglers that caught 129 yellowtail and 33 bonito.

The San Diego out of Seaforth Sportfishing ran a full-day trip to the Coronado Islands with 42 anglers who caught 139 yellowtail and 15 bonito.

Point Loma Sportfishing had the Mission Belle fishing a full day trip with 24 anglers who caught 108 yellowtail and 20 bonito.

H&M Landing had the Grande fishing a full day trip with 38 anglers who caught 25 yellowtail, 4 bonito and 2 barracuda.

The fishing along the San Diego County coast has been good for a mix of calico bass, sand bass, sculpin and rockfish. There have also been recent flurries of action on bonito and barracuda along with an occasional bonus yellowtail, halibut or white seabass.

The best chance at bonito and legal barracuda has been from fish found under working birds. There has been barracuda action found in an area about 2 miles below the Whistler Buoy at Point Loma as well as around the International Reef just above the Mexican border. The best bonito area has been a short way above the border at the 9 Mile Bank.

Kelp bed areas up and down the San Diego County coast have been very good for the calico bass and have also been producing a few sand bass. Fishing the sandy bottoms adjacent to hard bottom and structure spots has been best for a chance at a halibut.

Look for an occasional yellowtail while fishing kelp beds outside of the upper end of La Jolla, Solana Beach, Leucadia, Carlsbad, the Barn and San Onofre. The Imperial Beach Pipeline has produced an occasional yellowtail as well.

Robert Serdoz of the Lucky Charm fished with his daughter on Sunday, and said they started the day fishing for rockfish at hard bottom spots around the Whistler Buoy at Point Loma and caught a dozen. Serdoz then went down to Imperial Beach to look for spots of working terns in the hope of finding some bonito or barracuda. He did not see any working birds and ended up going to the Imperial Beach Pipeline where they found some sand bass and caught several before calling it a day.

Captain Kevin Cibulka of the 6-pack charter yacht Lady Grace with San Diego Charters fished the lower end of the 9 Mile Bank above the border targeting bonito on Saturday, and he found lots of biters. He had success at both the 9 Mile Bank proper and inside of the 9. Cibulka was getting trolling strikes and at the time of his report he had just found a trolling stop that resulted in 4 bonito while fishing inside of the 9 Mile Bank.

grandesbigoatGRANDE SBI GOAT — A recent run out to Santa Barbara Island produced this monster 21.4-pound sheephead for Ernie Zacato, above, aboard buddy Joe Oliver’s Ollie R.

I’VE GOT MY EYE ON YOU — A junior member of the Mission Bay Marlin Club, 5-year-old Brent Hargraves Jr., right, put his angling skills on display connecting with this 7½-pound bay ’but.

* * *

We hope you enjoyed this article on our no-charge website Of course, this site contains only a small fraction of the stories that Western Outdoor Publications produces each week in its two northern and southern editions and its special supplements. You can subscribe to the print issue that is mailed weekly and includes the easy flip-page full-color digital issues, or you can purchase a digital only subscription. Click here to see the choice.

Advertise with Western Outdoor News
The Longfin Tackle Shop