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Yellowtail at Colonet still biting between storms

Groundfish season reopens March 1

Fat yellowtail hooked in 11 feet of water just outside San Quintin Bay.
Fat yellowtail hooked in 11 feet of water just outside San Quintin Bay.

As the weather continues to bounce, seemingly weekly, between warm and storm, the local boats have been getting out as they can between gales and scoring well on sand bass, sculpin and a decent halibut bite.

Those heading south when there is a window of opportunity are still finding yellowtail biting on the high spots off the northern Baja coast from the Coronado Islands down to the banks just south of San Martin Island. The little spot of Bluefin tuna that showed last week in the Colonet area has yet to show again, though only a couple boats made it through roughish seas to fish the area. As it is much flatter this week, we might see a few of those bluefin in the reports, as well as some good yellowtail counts.

The local boats are able to return to the depths for rockfish in southern California waters March 1 as the groundfish season reopens through the end of the year. I expect those numbers, along with lingcod, to jump dramatically in the coming weeks and sculpin numbers drop as they get a break while rockfish become the main target for the ½ and ¾ day runs to the local high spots.

Dock Totals 2/19 – 2/25

671 anglers aboard 34 boats out of San Diego landings this past week caught 66 yellowtail, 23 calico bass, 83 sand bass, 281 rockfish, 153 sanddab, 5 rubberlip seaperch, 20 halfmoon, 2 lingcod, 4 halibut, 378 sculpin, 47 mackerel, 1 spider crab, 2 red rock crab and 51 spiny lobster.

Top performing boats of the week:

2/20: The Electra running a ½ day out of Helgren’s with 25 anglers aboard reported 121 sculpin and 55 sanddab caught. The Daily Double out of Point Loma Sportfishing carrying 18 anglers aboard their ½ day run returned to the dock with 9 sand bass, 12 sculpin and 3 calico bass. The Dolphin ½ day run with 26 anglers at the rail called in with 28 sand bass, 9 sculpin and 2 calico bass.

2/21: Carrying 7 anglers aboard a ½ day run, the Jig Strike out of H&M Landing reported 15 spiny lobster, 1 red rock crab and 3 sand bass kept and 112 spiny lobster released. The Pacific Queen ran down the coast on a 1.5 day trip to Colonet with 33 anglers aboard and called in with 58 yellowtail and 30 rockfish in the hold.

2/25: The San Diego out of Seaforth ran down to the Coronado Islands on a ¾ day trip with 20 anglers aboard and reported 8 yellowtail and 25 rockfish caught. The Reel Champion out of H&M took five anglers out on a ½ day local run for 3 halibut and 1 sculpin.

Fish Plants: 3/6 Lake Morena, Trout (1,000), 3/7 Lake Cuyamaca, Trout (1,200)

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Fat yellowtail hooked in 11 feet of water just outside San Quintin Bay.
Fat yellowtail hooked in 11 feet of water just outside San Quintin Bay.

As the weather continues to bounce, seemingly weekly, between warm and storm, the local boats have been getting out as they can between gales and scoring well on sand bass, sculpin and a decent halibut bite.

Those heading south when there is a window of opportunity are still finding yellowtail biting on the high spots off the northern Baja coast from the Coronado Islands down to the banks just south of San Martin Island. The little spot of Bluefin tuna that showed last week in the Colonet area has yet to show again, though only a couple boats made it through roughish seas to fish the area. As it is much flatter this week, we might see a few of those bluefin in the reports, as well as some good yellowtail counts.

The local boats are able to return to the depths for rockfish in southern California waters March 1 as the groundfish season reopens through the end of the year. I expect those numbers, along with lingcod, to jump dramatically in the coming weeks and sculpin numbers drop as they get a break while rockfish become the main target for the ½ and ¾ day runs to the local high spots.

Dock Totals 2/19 – 2/25

671 anglers aboard 34 boats out of San Diego landings this past week caught 66 yellowtail, 23 calico bass, 83 sand bass, 281 rockfish, 153 sanddab, 5 rubberlip seaperch, 20 halfmoon, 2 lingcod, 4 halibut, 378 sculpin, 47 mackerel, 1 spider crab, 2 red rock crab and 51 spiny lobster.

Top performing boats of the week:

2/20: The Electra running a ½ day out of Helgren’s with 25 anglers aboard reported 121 sculpin and 55 sanddab caught. The Daily Double out of Point Loma Sportfishing carrying 18 anglers aboard their ½ day run returned to the dock with 9 sand bass, 12 sculpin and 3 calico bass. The Dolphin ½ day run with 26 anglers at the rail called in with 28 sand bass, 9 sculpin and 2 calico bass.

2/21: Carrying 7 anglers aboard a ½ day run, the Jig Strike out of H&M Landing reported 15 spiny lobster, 1 red rock crab and 3 sand bass kept and 112 spiny lobster released. The Pacific Queen ran down the coast on a 1.5 day trip to Colonet with 33 anglers aboard and called in with 58 yellowtail and 30 rockfish in the hold.

2/25: The San Diego out of Seaforth ran down to the Coronado Islands on a ¾ day trip with 20 anglers aboard and reported 8 yellowtail and 25 rockfish caught. The Reel Champion out of H&M took five anglers out on a ½ day local run for 3 halibut and 1 sculpin.

Fish Plants: 3/6 Lake Morena, Trout (1,000), 3/7 Lake Cuyamaca, Trout (1,200)

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