The San Diego Bay Bass Tourney was a success as usual, though the new limit of 14" made it tough. The organizers reduced the total fish from 5 to 3 to keep it fair, but the bite shut down early. I mean completely shut down. By 8:30 or 9 in the morning, all the fish factoring in the weigh-off had been caught. There was another change this year to the usual format; they added a separate kayak division for $65 per person entry and a $500 grand prize. The two-person boat division had an entry fee of $140 and a $2,000 grand prize.
As a kayak fisherman, I love telling you this:
While fishing on a kayak in the two-person boat division, Tony Souza beat the rest of the two-man field of nearly 150 by catching 3 sand bass that weighed a combined 8.20 pounds! He wound up fishing the 'yak in the boat division due to a last minute breakdown. He entered the boat division with the higher prize and entry fee, had issues, called at the last minute and the directors decided it would be fine if he fished solo by kayak in the boat division.
Oh, and that meant the kayak division had another winner, so, really, kayaks rule an' boaters drool!
Here's the complete wrap-up by Pat McDonell of Western Outdoor News.
It's a story of two tactics in our local waters... If you want to fish the kelp for variety and still have a shot at a trophy, as you always do here in beautiful San Diego, you might check with H&M Landing. Yesterday, they had one 1/2 day boat out with 30 anglers aboard and reported 2 Sheephead, 1 Sculpin and 265 Rockfish caught. while pinned peacefully up to the Point Loma kelp. On the other hand, if you wish to roll the dice and look for the school of Yellowtail biting deep, Seaforth Sportfishing is going that route, working the La Jolla Canyon edge with both their Am and PM 1/2 day runs. As long as they are getting them, they're going to look. Lots of anglers seem to like this, as they have been packing the boats. Their report cited 136 anglers aboard 2 Boats catching 82 fat, rare, wintertime Yellowtail in about 160 feet of water.
The Gray Whales continue to migrate south and local watch boats are reporting steady sightings of the behemoths as well as the usual large pods of Pacific Whitesides we see in the spring. There are even some Risso's Dolphin pods around. Their calving grounds are loading up and the tour operators both in San Diego and Lopez Mateos expecting the season to continue to be as productive as it's been to this point.