Inshore: La Jolla has been going off for the kayakers on a good 20- to 30-pound-grade yellowtail and occasional white seabass to over 60 pounds. It seems the stealth of the silent sit-on-top kayaks coupled with the ability to launch and access the grounds outside the reserve and along the kelp any time weather and surf permits allows anglers the best advantage for hunting large game fish just 30 minutes from the beach. The half-day boats are reporting good sculpin, sheephead and rockfish numbers in the same areas, but few reports of the big pelagics, and many private boaters use the slow-trolled live mackerel technique commonly used by kayak anglers, but with limited success. Apparently, for these early season inshore whites and yellows, silence is golden.
Outside: The boats getting out to the offshore banks and Islands from the Channel Islands down past San Martin are getting good scores on big rockfish but the real news is the very rare and strong April bluefin tuna bite a little bit outside from off Oceanside down to Colonet and outside on the offshore banks. Along with that early season bonus, the yellowtail are already moving up in the water column and it looks like, as Kelly Catian of K&M Sportfishing out of San Quintin said: “Time to put the yo-yo iron back on the shelf. The fish are up top and chewin’ the surface plug”. The cool water plume that runs south of Ensenada to El Rosario is usually the last place for the yellows to move up towards the surface as the temps come up.
3/27 – 4/2 Dock Totals: 1,780 anglers aboard 85 boats out of San Diego landings this past week caught 621 bluefin tuna, 448 yellowtail, 26 calico bass, 26 sand bass, 2,869 rockfish, 77 lingcod, 581 sculpin, 9 bonito, 43 sanddab, 85 barracuda, 35 halfmoon, 48 sheephead, 105 whitefish, 157 mackerel, 28 bocaccio, 2 halibut, 42 treefish and 2 finescale triggerfish.
The Bays: Mission Bay is starting to warm up on the eelgrass edges and sargasso for spotted bay bass. A few sand bass and halibut are being caught in the main channel under the bridges. Along with a good bay bass bite and occasional spring halibut, the San Diego Bay has been churning out shortfin corvina on shallow diving plugs, spoons and swim baits. These tasty fish are in the same family as the white seabass, yet do not have the 28” minimum requirement. They can be confused, but there is an easy way to tell the difference; The shortfin corvine has two fang-like teeth in the top of their mouth and the white seabass will always have the “zipper”, or a raised ridge down their belly.
Scheduled fish plants (lbs): 4/13 Poway, trout (1500), 4/20 Dixon, trout (4500), Wohlford, trout (1500)