Inshore: The yellowtail numbers came back up a bit this past week for the ½- and ¾-day boats, while calico bass, rockfish, and bonito are dominating the counts for the short trips. A few more white seabass are showing off the kelp edge, specifically La Jolla where there are some market squid in 80-120 feet of water. Whitefish are starting to bite well for the dropper-loopers on squid strips and sheephead continue to eat shrimp, or even a recycled tuna crab. The sanddab fishing out of Oceanside has been good for those targeting them.
Outside: White seabass are showing very well at Catalina and Clemente Islands for the boats out of the landings to the north of San Diego county but the big story here is still the big bluefin tuna. There are massive schools moving through the area, and though a bit tight-lipped and boat shy, when they do blow up they are churning the water white and pinning anglers to the rail. A few schools of yellowfin tuna to 35 pounds are being found off the high spots down the line. Yellowtail are holding on the banks and also offshore under kelp paddies. White seabass are starting to show along the northern Baja coast and worth a look for the longer range boats passing the San Quintin area.
6/19 – 6/25 Dock Totals: 3,313 anglers aboard 134 boats out of San Diego landings this past week caught 4 white seabass, 25 bluefin tuna, 45 yellowfin tuna, 1,366 yellowtail, 662 calico bass, 21 sand bass, 5,019 rockfish, 24 lingcod, 23 sculpin, 459 bonito, 22 barracuda, 12 sheephead, 138 whitefish, 7 halibut, 201 sanddab, 69 bocaccio, 1 cabezon, 3 halfmoon, 3 white croaker and 430 mackerel.
Notable: For most anglers, keeping a few shiny casting lures in the box isn’t that much of an expense in the overall budget for fishing. That said, I have found that while targeting the toothier top-water species inshore, such as barracuda and bonito in SoCal waters or sierra and cabrilla in Baja Sur, cheap homemade "spoons" work very well. Just grab some old silverware, split rings and hooks and for pennies on the dollar one can make effective lures in just about any weight and for use just about anywhere in the water column. Butter knives, thick fork and spoon handles work the best for the heavier jigs while spoons can be skirted for a lighter Krokadile-type lure. All can be bent, or "tuned," for just about any desired action.
Scheduled fish plants (lbs): 7/1 Santee Lakes, catfish, (1000), 7/4 Jennings, catfish (1000)