Inshore: The total angler count for the San Diego sportfishing fleet topped 4000 this week and it looks good for the operators for months to come. Last year’s epic season is so far mirrored this year, with a near constant spring/early summer yellowtail showing and barracuda and bonito turning on strong during the first week in July. Calico and sand bass are biting well in our inshore waters for the half-day runs, as are rockfish and sheephead, along with a few halibut. Kayak anglers and private boaters are doing well off La Jolla for yellowtail, thresher shark and white seabass, while ¾-day boats are getting bonito (some very large), barracuda and yellowtail at the Coronado Islands.
Outside: My feeling from last week that we were on the precipice of a change was correct, so far. There has been a drop in the bluefin count and the yellowfin are now moving up the line and up in the counts. There were 90 bluefin and 35 yellowfin caught the week prior to last week, during which 54 bluefin and 210 yellowfin were caught. Bluefin prefer the water a little cooler, yellowfin love warmer water. It’s warming up. Most of those fish came on overnight runs to the high spots off the Baja coast, so the fish are close and it is looking good out there. The dorado count also jumped from 2 to 35, also indicating the warm-water pelagic species are moving up the line pretty much in sync, so far, with last year. I’m not saying the tuna will be bumping their heads on Point Loma for the ½ day boats as they did by late summer 2015, but it is looking good
7/3 – 7/9 Dock Totals: 4052 anglers aboard 154 boats out of San Diego landings this past week caught 1 thresher shark, 3 mako shark, (2)35 dorado, 3 white seabass, (90)54 bluefin tuna, (35) 210 yellowfin tuna, 1,427 yellowtail, 1,111 calico bass, 86 sand bass, 3,847 rockfish, 19 lingcod, 38 sculpin, 973 bonito, 131 barracuda, 86 sheephead, 5 whitefish, 20 halibut, 4 halfmoon, 1 white croaker and 38 mackerel.
Notable: It’s hot and creeping into the season to find a cool spot and catch some catfish. Sometimes, the shade is hard to find and most lakes close at sunset in San Diego County. There are, however, cooler options than fighting over that last eucalyptus tree on a hot day. Santee Lakes is reporting many limits of catfish have been caught from lakes 3 and 4 and that the bite during the night fishing events has been excellent. Night fishing runs from 5-11:30pm, July 21, August 4 and 18. Lake Jennings is also allowing night fishing until midnight for catfish Friday and Saturday through September 3. They are reporting good catfish in the shallows on mackerel and chicken livers and best from shore along the banks of Hermit Cove and Eagle Point.
Scheduled fish plants (lbs): 7/4 Jennings, catfish (2000) for their Night Fishing Reopener event on July 22.