Inshore: The half-day boats have been fishing the midcolumn off the kelp for sculpin and calico bass, and the flats for sand bass and halibut with mixed success. The closure on rockfishing and the weather put a dent in the fish counts and passenger totals, but news of some local yellowtail action kept the boats running, even if light loads and fewer vessels getting out. The sand bass are biting and are being found in 50-80 feet of water with some structure among the flats outside of Point Loma, off Imperial Beach, and along the sandier near-shore spots from Torrey Pines on up to North County. The best lure for them is generally a large 6” to 8”plastic grub or swimbait in bright colors (orange/white and rootbeer/gold flake are my favorites) on a 1- to 1.5 oz-leadhead. Add a squid strip to provide a little scent and up the action.
Outside: The Coronado Islands are providing the local rockfish while the U.S. waters are closed until March 1. ¾-day boats making that short run south are doing fairly well on reds, vermilions, a few lings and a smattering of occasional yellowtail. Further on down, from Ensenada south, the main catch has been yellowtail, lingcod and big vermillion rockfish with a few whitefish in the mix. Highlight trips of the week: The Chief, on a 2-day trip out of H&M Landing with 19 anglers aboard returned to the dock on January 8 from the Colinet area with 41 yellowtail, 10 bonito and 329 rockfish. The Pacific Queen out of Fisherman’s Landing took 15 anglers south on a 1.5 day trip (also to the Colinet area) and returned to the dock with 75 rockfish, 34 lingcod and 50 yellowtail.
Dock Totals 1/8 – 1/14: 676 anglers aboard 33 boats out of San Diego landings this past week caught 481 yellowtail, 23 calico bass, 115 sand bass, 10 bonito, 6 barracuda, 1,473 rockfish, 16 sheephead, 6 sanddab, 1 rubberlip seaperch, 14 halfmoon, 21 whitefish, 143 lingcod, 2 halibut, 409 sculpin, 1 mako shark, 19 blacksmith perch and 2 mackerel.
Fish Plants: 1/22 Miramar, trout (DFW-NA), Murray, trout (DFW-NA), Jennings, trout (DFW-NA) 1/23 Jennings, trout (Wrights Rainbows 1500), Morena, trout (Jess Ranch 1000)