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CALIFORNIA'S ONLY SPORTSMAN'S NEWS SINCE 1953

Southern CA Saltwater

San Diego: Islands heating up

BY MERIT McCREA/WON Staff Writer Published: Jun 19, 2019

SAN DIEGO — The week saw not only yellowfin tuna and yellowtail become a major component of the offshore catch, but finally the waters at the islands, Coronados that is, started to get into form. Water temps hit 67 degrees and had cleaned up considerably, putting barracuda, bonito and a few yellowtail into a biting mood there. Captains James McDaniels of the Grande and Bill Wilkerson on the Malihini both commented on the improving conditions there.

triooftrophies
A TRIO OF trophies aboard the Chief Saturday, with more on deck.

Meanwhile the bluefin tuna continued to be the big offshore draw and with the producing area within full-day range, full-day to 2.5-day boats all accessed the zone.


The bluefin were once again, tough customers. Capt. Rick Russell on the Chief reported his 19 anglers hooked 36 of the big fish to land 11 to 90 pounds on a 1.5-day.


The grade of yellowfin being caught was 15 to 25 pounds while kelp paddy yellows were mostly double digit fish at least — grade large for paddy fish. All were found in the same basic zone, about 40 to 60 miles south of the Point.


As in the prior week, scores were again all over the board, yet with the influx of catchable grade yellowfin and yellowtail, held above a fish per rod on almost all 1.5-day or longer trips, while overnight and full-day trips provided a shot at trophy bluefin.


The Legend pulled in Sunday from a 1.5 dayer with 17 anglers landing 41 yellowtail and 13 blues. The Aztec posted a string of top 1.5-day scores, including 25 anglers with 103 yellowfin tuna and 14 bluefin. Of the bluefin catch, a dozen of those landed were 75- to 90-pound class. The following trip they had 30 anglers aboard and landed 40 bluefin. They had started the week with a 19 angler, 38 bluefin (limits) and 4 yellowfin score.


anotherheiferANOTHER HEIFER on the Legend.

Capt. Jimmy Merrill on the Condor turned in 60 yellowfin and 15 blues plus 8 bonito for his 21 anglers. He said there was great signal and they bit all the standard strategies, from fly-line to Flat-Fall.


Tackle recommendations focused in on a 25-pound stick for paddy stops, 40-pound and a small circle hook, officially 1/0, but actually even smaller, for fly-lining, 50-pound for sinker rig fishing and 80- for Flat-Fall fishing, an angler's best shot at actually landing the bigger models.


Anything over 40-pound requires a 2-speed reel to take full advantage, and it's a good idea even with 40.


Finally the local scene got into the game with bonito, barracuda and bass in the mix this past week. By the weekend boats like the Premier were posting 1/2-day scores of up to 37 skinnies along with a few handfuls of keeper bass of both breeds.


dawsonshortDAWSON SHORT FROM Pacific Coast Bait and Tackle poses with his 170-pound bluefin tuna caught last week on a ¾-day trip aboard the Liberty out of San Diego.

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