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Yellowtail going off between blows; CNR calico fishing heating up

The week in San Diego fishing

Yellowtail success story
Yellowtail success story

Rough seas and high winds kept the counts low early in the week as not many boats ventured out. By Wednesday, the wind started laying down, boats got out and the yellowtail went on the chew. There were many boats with limits and before the weekend, lots of elbow room and limits caught. Still, the angler count was down by half and the yellowtail count went up by 500%. The Bluefin tuna bite slowed way down, though the schools are still around and as of this writing early Sunday morning, boats are loading up on yellowtail limits and have time to hunt about a bit to see if they can get the tuna to bite. There are some yellowfin tuna out there within a day of Point Loma, but the water temp dropped a bit with this last blow. There are also reports of a long ‘line’ of bluefin running just off the coast and south within ¾ to 2-day range. I expect the counts to go up quite a bit on both species of tunny as the temp eases back up. Calico bass fishing is off the hook, though a lot of smallish bass are being caught. That, and many prefer to release the larger units of the slow-growing fish to help maintain the health of the population accounts for the nearly 10 to 1 ratio of fish caught to fish kept. Catch and release calico fishing can make for an exciting day, and a couple 14 to 16 inchers kept will make plenty of ceviche for the table. The counts above are only the fish kept, unless otherwise noted. Of the small percentage of boats in the fleet focusing on the kelp beds just off the coast, over a thousand calico bass were released last week.

Top performing boats of the week

5/13: The Pacific Queen reported limits (170) of yellowtail for their 34 anglers aboard their overnight trip. 42 anglers aboard Liberty caught limits (210) of yellowtail and 37 bonito on a ¾ day run. The Malihini called in with 160 yellowtail (limits) for the 32 anglers aboard a ¾ day Coronado Island trip.

5/12: The Chubasco II fished the kelp on a ½ day run with just 9 anglers aboard and reported 116 calico bass caught and released and 14 rockfish kept. Six anglers aboard the Reel Champion ¾ day run caught 2 bonito and limits (30) of yellowtail. The Electra, with 15 anglers aboard a ½ day run out of Oceanside reported 75 sanddab, 61 rockfish and 22 bocaccio caught.

5/11: 17 anglers aboard the Liberty on a ¾-day run caught limits (85) of yellowtail. The San Diego returned to the dock from a ¾ day run with limits (175) of yellowtail for the 35 anglers aboard. The Tribute took 24 anglers out on an overnight run and reported limits (120) of yellowtail and 5 bluefin tuna caught.

Dock Totals 5/7 – 5/13

1542 anglers aboard 83 boats out of San Diego landings this past week caught 27 bluefin tuna, 1 yellowfin tuna, 3261 yellowtail, 147 calico bass, 21 sand bass, 1,753 rockfish, 287 sanddab, 10 lingcod, 93 bonito, 115 sculpin, 18 barracuda, 41 bocaccio, 120 mackerel, 20 whitefish, 5 sheephead and 2 halibut.

Fish Plants: None this coming week. Last plant: 5/9 Lake Cuyamaca, trout (1,200)

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Yellowtail success story
Yellowtail success story

Rough seas and high winds kept the counts low early in the week as not many boats ventured out. By Wednesday, the wind started laying down, boats got out and the yellowtail went on the chew. There were many boats with limits and before the weekend, lots of elbow room and limits caught. Still, the angler count was down by half and the yellowtail count went up by 500%. The Bluefin tuna bite slowed way down, though the schools are still around and as of this writing early Sunday morning, boats are loading up on yellowtail limits and have time to hunt about a bit to see if they can get the tuna to bite. There are some yellowfin tuna out there within a day of Point Loma, but the water temp dropped a bit with this last blow. There are also reports of a long ‘line’ of bluefin running just off the coast and south within ¾ to 2-day range. I expect the counts to go up quite a bit on both species of tunny as the temp eases back up. Calico bass fishing is off the hook, though a lot of smallish bass are being caught. That, and many prefer to release the larger units of the slow-growing fish to help maintain the health of the population accounts for the nearly 10 to 1 ratio of fish caught to fish kept. Catch and release calico fishing can make for an exciting day, and a couple 14 to 16 inchers kept will make plenty of ceviche for the table. The counts above are only the fish kept, unless otherwise noted. Of the small percentage of boats in the fleet focusing on the kelp beds just off the coast, over a thousand calico bass were released last week.

Top performing boats of the week

5/13: The Pacific Queen reported limits (170) of yellowtail for their 34 anglers aboard their overnight trip. 42 anglers aboard Liberty caught limits (210) of yellowtail and 37 bonito on a ¾ day run. The Malihini called in with 160 yellowtail (limits) for the 32 anglers aboard a ¾ day Coronado Island trip.

5/12: The Chubasco II fished the kelp on a ½ day run with just 9 anglers aboard and reported 116 calico bass caught and released and 14 rockfish kept. Six anglers aboard the Reel Champion ¾ day run caught 2 bonito and limits (30) of yellowtail. The Electra, with 15 anglers aboard a ½ day run out of Oceanside reported 75 sanddab, 61 rockfish and 22 bocaccio caught.

5/11: 17 anglers aboard the Liberty on a ¾-day run caught limits (85) of yellowtail. The San Diego returned to the dock from a ¾ day run with limits (175) of yellowtail for the 35 anglers aboard. The Tribute took 24 anglers out on an overnight run and reported limits (120) of yellowtail and 5 bluefin tuna caught.

Dock Totals 5/7 – 5/13

1542 anglers aboard 83 boats out of San Diego landings this past week caught 27 bluefin tuna, 1 yellowfin tuna, 3261 yellowtail, 147 calico bass, 21 sand bass, 1,753 rockfish, 287 sanddab, 10 lingcod, 93 bonito, 115 sculpin, 18 barracuda, 41 bocaccio, 120 mackerel, 20 whitefish, 5 sheephead and 2 halibut.

Fish Plants: None this coming week. Last plant: 5/9 Lake Cuyamaca, trout (1,200)

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