Inshore: With the full moon mid-week and a bit of a blow out of the north, those local bluefin fell off the counts quite a bit. The yellows are in their springtime run-and-gun mode; feeding sporadically on the surface and moving fast. This is where a good cast of a surface iron on the jig-stick pays off as the fish are usually out of range after one or two tries per stop. Kayakers are still doing well off La Jolla on slow-trolled mackerel for yellows and white seabass, while the ½ day boats are loading up on rockfish, sculpin and a mix of calico and sand bass. ¾ day boats are getting lots of barracuda, yellowtail and bonito off the Coronado Islands.
Outside: When the tuna aren’t lined up in the scope, the offshore boats are finding a good mix of reds and lingcod on the banks. Down the line off the Baja coast, it’s still a yellowtail frenzy off the near-shore banks and San Martin Island. These fish are fat-plugged with pelagic crab and slamming schools of bait in small, exciting bursts on the surface. The inshore rockfish and calico bass are heating up just off the kelp through most of the Baja Pacific down to Isla Cedros. Both San Martin and Cedros are putting out quality calico bass averaging 4 to 7 pounds.
4/17 – 4/23 Dock Totals: 1,985 anglers aboard 66 boats out of San Diego landings this past week caught 33 bluefin tuna, 391 yellowtail, 32 calico bass, 41 sand bass, 3,681 rockfish, 47 lingcod, 859 sculpin, 139 bonito, 52 sanddab, 74 barracuda, 1 halfmoon, 13 sheephead, 27 whitefish, 100 mackerel, 6 bocaccio 4 blacksmith 5 treefish, 4 halibut and 1 white seabass.
La Paz: Lack of bait and north winds have put a bit of a damper on fishing in the La Paz area, though, as one of the top fisheries in the world, it’s never that bad if you can get out. The area holding a few passing wahoo and yellowtail, but the main ticket right now is the roosterfish off Punta Arena de Ventana. Some of these hard-fighting exotics are in the 40 pound class, but most are averaging 20 or so. Large sierra mackerel, one of the tastiest fish in the sea (also called mini wahoo), are being caught just off shore on the deeper drop-offs, especially at first light on anything shiny and cast-able; I’ve seen sierra caught on a chromed torpedo sinker with a treble hook on the end.
Scheduled fish plants (lbs): No plants scheduled this week. Last plant: 4/27 Poway, trout (1500)