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Southern CA Saltwater

San Diego: Coronado Islands yellowtail go ballistic

Multiple cow bluefin make the rail

BY MERIT McCREA/WON Staff Writer Published: Jul 16, 2019

SAN DIEGO — The yellowtail bite at the Coronados lit off early this past week, yielding limit-style action on quality yellows. Plus, although tough to draw a strike, several lucky anglers connected to 200-pound plus bluefin on the right tackle and put them over the rail.

It was Monday when the boat San Diego appeared to be the first to really put the wood to the 12- to 20-pound grade yellows at the islands, limiting out for their 11 anglers. The rest of the week was history as counts soared past 150 fish per boat, often attaining full limits.

islandyellowforISLAND YELLOW FOR Adam aboard the Red Rooster III was one of 155 landed for full limits on a 1.5 dayer fishing both the islands and tuna offshore.

WON's ad guy Dylan Depres was aboard the Grande for one such trip when 59 anglers finished their day with 246 yellows to their credit Saturday. He noted, although the boat was full, with the fish biting all methods, anglers spread around the 85 footer — fishing the plug in the bow, bait in the stern, and yo-yo up the sides, there seemed to be ample space.

He noted one could predict getting bit as folks fishing just down the rail, bent one after the other. "Once the captain called to throw some bait, instantly there were yellowtail boiling in our chum. I made my way to the bow and managed to hang back-to-back yellowtail on the surface iron. Some log barracuda and a sprinkle of bonito were in the mix biting our jigs as well," reported Depres.

He added, "Around the second stop it just got wide open and stayed that way." He'd switched to the yo-yo iron by then and it was back-to-back hookups.

With the counts rolling in day after day throughout the week by Saturday those full-day boats were busy. Others fishing the islands included the Red Rooster III, with a series of 5, 1.5-day trips last week and this, it was flat-out limits on the forks before heading just a few miles off for bluefin and yellowfin tuna. They threw on 155 yellows for 31 folks and posted a pic. of Cathy Jones' 85-pound bluefin on 40-pound Izor.

One of the first of the week's really large bluefin reported was a cow aboard the Outer Limits which appeared to be closer to 300.

fatherandsonteamFATHER AND SON team of Capt. Rick Russell (boat Chief) and son Brent teamed up on this 90-pound bluefin aboard the Outer Limits.

Then aboard the Sea Adventure 80, there was a pair of them, one at 220 pounds and a second by angler Eric Gottlieb of Tulsa, Oklahoma at 251 pounds. That fish fell for a Flat-Fall fished on 200-pound leader, reported boat owner Capt. Scott McDaniels. The boat was still at sea at press time.

Another cow came in aboard the New Lo-An for angler Josh Levine. He happened to be fishing the big gear when the 263 pounder ate his glow Flat-Fall.

As for the local scene, the calico were on the feed and there were some nice local scores, with Anglerette Lori Heath reporting fish to 5 pounds on the plastic and a bad case of bass thumb as a result.

Even at that, it was a tough choice for 1/2-day boat skippers between ample bottom biters and sifting through hundreds of calicos for keepers. Morning runs tended to stay steady on the cods, while bass were tapped in the p.m. run.

Sunday morning the New Seaforth had 47 participants whack 337 cods of which 280 were reds. That afternoon 45 folks shared in a 200-fish bass bite resulting in 62 keepers sorted out.

FIRST COW OF the season aboard the Outer Limits looks to be over 300 in this photo.

kathyjonesKATHY JONES' 85 pounder aboard the Red Rooster III on an uncommon local trip.

WON'S OWN DYLAN Depres fished the Grande and put the wood to the yellows on both yo-yo and surface iron.

JOSH LEVIN'S 263 on the New Lo-An. He happened to be fishing the big gear when the fish ate his flatfall and he got it.

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