Yellowfin tuna, big ones in the 50-pound class, are showing up within ¾-day range along with bluefin tuna and bonito that are still around. The San Diego reported two bluefin tuna over 100 pounds (one going 177) along with a 50-pound yellowfin on their Saturday, May 26, ¾-day run. That is amazing fishing just outside.
Schools of smallish yellowtail are biting on a frenzy occasionally, though some larger units in the 20-30 pound class are coming off the kelp bed edges, the Coronado Islands, and along the Baja coast off Ensenada down to Colonet. Calico bass continue to bite well on the kelp with one out of ten fish kept due to both size and conservation. The larger calicos are usually released as the slow-growing breeders are important to the health of their population.
Rockfish are filling gunnysacks up with themselves; in spite of the great pelagic fishing and most boats concentrating for tuna and jacks in the upper water column, the numbers of reds and vermilions picked off the bottom more than doubled over the previous week. Barracuda and bonito continue to forage along the outside of the kelp and nearshore reefs — watch for the birds to pop up and start working if within a mile of shore, that’s probably them (and maybe a few yellowtail mixed in). Further out, say the 9 Mile Bank and out, those birds will have tuna under them. I like birds, so I will add this: When fly-line surface action is hot, a few birds will occasionally get hooked. I avoid that by always picking a "hot" bait — one with no nose-bleed from banging the side of the tank, no missing scales, and if a sardine, light green and active in the baitwell. A hot bait will usually get down, swim hard, and avoid the birds. If a bait is easy to grab out of the well, it is probably easy for a bird to snatch.
Dock Totals 5/21 – 5/27
2741 anglers aboard 115 boats out of San Diego landings this past week caught 381 bluefin tuna, 14 yellowfin tuna, 1,080 yellowtail, 113 calico bass, 39 sand bass, 4,809 rockfish, 856 sanddab, 24 lingcod, 126 bonito, 6 barracuda, 224 sculpin, 45 mackerel, 42 whitefish, 15 sheephead, 1 bocaccio and 4 halibut.
Top performing boats of the week
5/26 – The Tribute took 29 anglers out on an overnight trip and reported 1 yellowtail, 12 bonito and 20 bluefin tuna caught.
5/25 - 26 anglers aboard the Pacific Queen overnight trip caught 1 yellowtail, 3 yellowfin tuna and 38 bluefin tuna.
5/24 – The Pacific Voyager returned from a 2 day trip with 9 anglers aboard and 90 yellowtail and 17 bluefin tuna in the hold. The Vendetta called in with 70 yellowtail caught for the 14 anglers aboard their ¾ day run. The Liberty reported 22 bluefin tuna for the 17 anglers aboard their ¾ day run.
5/23 – 11 anglers aboard the Liberty on a ¾ day run put 18 bluefin tuna on the deck.
5/22 – 18 anglers aboard the Topgun 80 2.5 day coastal trip caught limits of 180 yellowtail.
5/21 – limits of 120 yellowtail were boated by 24 anglers aboard Old Glory during a 1.5-day trip.
Fish Plants: No plants scheduled this week.