Dock Totals Nov 12 – Nov 18: 1,295 anglers aboard 71 boats out of San Diego landings this past week caught 159 bluefin tuna, 971 yellowfin tuna, 1 skipjack tuna, 236 yellowtail, 70 calico bass, 4 sand bass, 2,943 rockfish, 22 lingcod, 926 bonito, 358 whitefish, 72 sheephead, 31 sanddab, 25 bocaccio, 2 halibut, 1 thresher shark, 71 red rock crab, and 30 spiny lobster.
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Very large bluefin tuna boiling.
Saltwater: The big bluefin tuna have turned on again for the boats getting out to them. Most of these tackle-busting fish are between 100 and 200 pounds so if hopping on a 1.5 day trip out toward San Clemente Island or the outer banks, make sure to bring the broomstick and winch, or at least a decent stand-up rod rated for the 80-120-pound line necessary to land these fish and an apt 2-speed reel mounted on it. Yellowfin tuna are also biting well offshore in the 20- to 50-pound range, though the skipjack tuna and dorado have apparently moved out and back south to warmer climes.
Yellowtail have been spotty inshore for the local ½ and ¾ day runs and the total count for the tasty jacks went way down this past week over the week previous. Part of that might be many of the local trips are focusing on the great bottom-fishing for reds, vermilions, and lingcod as the seasons phase from the surface pelagic bite to winter rockfish. For those dropping down on the local high spots, expect sheephead, bocaccio, and whitefish in the mix. Calico and sand bass should pick up as the current slacks as with the heavy November and December tide swings, overall bass fishing can be sketchy but decent during the last hour or two before the low end of the swing.
The big tide swings seem to affect the lobster catch to the negative, yet far more red rock crab were raised by the hoop-netters this past week than any week since the season began. When there is a lot of current, hoopnet placement and retrieval can be tough, so pick your nights with flatter tide swings for better odds at putting some bugs on the table.
The landings are booking offshore tuna trips and with low numbers of anglers, boats tend to have plenty of elbow room for those that do go. Since a sunny Thanksgiving weekend is coming, I expect to see a bump in next week’s totals.
Top boats of the week:
Nov 12 – 14 anglers aboard the New Lo-An 1.5 day trip caught 108 yellowfin tuna. The Jig Strike reported 37 red rock crab and 12 spiny lobster kept, with 34 lobster released for the 10 anglers aboard their ½ hoop-netting trip.
Nov 13 – 19 anglers aboard the Mustang 2.5 day run boated 97 yellowfin tuna.
Nov 14 – 177 yellowfin tuna and 4 yellowtail were caught by the 20 anglers aboard the Old Glory 1.5 day trip.
Nov 15 – 18 anglers aboard the Aztec 1.5 day run caught 41 yellowfin tuna and 18 100 to 200 pound-grade bluefin tuna.
Nov 16 – The Chubasco II called in with 1 yellowtail, 12 calico bass, 9 rockfish and limits of 80 bonito for the 16 anglers aboard their ½ day run.
Nov 17 – 30 anglers aboard the Liberty 1.5 day trip caught 107 yellowfin tuna and 10 bluefin tuna.
Nov 18 – The San Diego called in with 112 yellowtail and 35 bonito for the 23 anglers aboard their ¾ day run.
Fish Plants: 11/23 – Cuyamaca, trout (1,500) 11/29 – Poway, trout (TBD)