Southern CA Saltwater

Red hot bite goes white hot

BY MERIT McCREA/WON Staff WriterPublished: Jul 11, 2018

SAN DIEGO — What was an excellent yellowtail bite at the Coronado Islands went white hot. Yellowfin tuna marched up the line into 1-day range and foaming bluefin slid solidly into U.S. waters.

This week Capt. James McDaniels, boat Grande, provided the details of the island bite, saying, "This was our first full week of Coronado islands trips since receiving our permit from Mexico to fish within the Coronado island marine biosphere. While we enjoyed the pursuit of bluefin and the beautiful fish we caught during our offshore trips, the switch to the islands was definitely worth the wait."

coronadoislandyellowsCORONADO ISLAND YELLOWS bit wide open aboard the Grande, limit style, boosting boat counts to the mid 200s mid week.

He continued, "Almost all of our trips have scored over 100 yellowtail, with standout catches on the 3rd and 4th of July which both had limits of yellowtail — for 36 people on the 3rd and 38 people on the 4th, which would be 180 and 190 fish respectively."

He said it was action packed, run and gun style fishing, chasing down schools of fish seen on the sonar. In addition to the great yellowtail snap the three b's bit well too and the bonito were big ones. "There have even been sightings of both yellowfin and bluefin tuna at the islands," said McDaniels.

All one needs to bring for the island bite is a 25-pound outfit and a few 2/0 hooks. But he added, "A 40 pound jig stick is always fun to have too."

The big scores on the fork-tailed jacks were wide spread, and the Mission Belle posted 185 up on the 4th, after having 160 the day before. The Liberty had scores of 202 and 225. The San Diego too topped out over 200 with a 214 score. All the boats broke 100 hard daily.

On the local 1/2-day scene the bass bite continued to impress, and some scores included Tuesday and Wednesday afternoon aboard the New Seaforth, with 182 and 189 keeper calico bass respectively, and over 200 releasers each day too.

Friday the Dolphin limited on the sand bass, 100 for 20 anglers.

BIG BLUES ABOARD the Pacific Queen. Spots of frothing fish to over 200 pounds dotted the waters just south of San Clemente Island this past week. Coercing biters took talent and landing them took tackle and time.

On the offshore scene the huge bluefin continued to cavort and give anglers fits, with a few landed per boat each day, including the New Lo-An with a cow on deck, and the Pacific Queen with a 195, plus a 110-pound opah!

At the end of the day Sunday the crew of the New Lo-An was working on decking a third cow-class bluefin, after being in breaking 200 pounders around the boat. The big fish was the sixth hooked for the day.

But the best news was the arrival of numbers of yellowfin tuna in one-day range. Mid week it was the 2-day plus boats showing scores, but by Sunday the speedy 6-pack El Gato Dos ran a morning 1/2-day with 4 anglers landing 12, 20-pound class yellowfin tuna and following with an afternoon 1/2-day charter with 3 anglers getting 4 more, confirmed Reed at Seaforth Sportfishing.

He also confirmed their 1/2-day run aboard the New Seaforth had indeed decked 6 bluefin tuna Saturday afternoon. It's blowing up offshore, with water temps soaring during the heat wave.

Mid week reports had the Tomahawk with a pair of bluefin topping a catch of 58 yellowfin and 62 yellowtail on a 2 dayer with 26 anglers.

Fishing 3/4-day offshore the Malihini was back to the dock Sunday with 12 anglers on deck having landed a pair of bluefin, 7 yellowfin, 15 yellowtail and 60 of the big bonito.

The Legend returned Sunday morning from a 2.5 dayer with 18 fishing, having caught 17 bluefin, 29 yellowfin and 46 yellowtail offshore. The Ocean Odyssey returned with 43 yellowfin in the hold, 6 more bluefin and 43 yellows.

Gear recommendations for the 1.5-day trips were a 25 to 30-pound stick, a heavy duty rig for fishing bigger bluefin, at least 40-pound, but 80-pound a better bet, for fishing the bigger Flatfall jigs of 160g to 250g down deep. Circle hooks in sizes from 1/0 to 4/0 were the best bet for the live bait in the box.

doubleddownonDOUBLED DOWN ON 1/2-day calico aboard the Daily Double are anglers Cole Colleran and Brent Peluso. Big fish was 4.5 pounds.

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