Dock Totals Sept 17 – Sept 23: 5,336 anglers aboard 214 boats out of San Diego landings this past week caught 124 bluefin tuna, 12,699 yellowfin tuna, 1,580 skipjack tuna, 762 dorado, 618 yellowtail, 376 calico bass, 109 sand bass, 1,424 rockfish, 1 lingcod, 732 bonito, 1 barracuda, 131 whitefish, 51 sheephead, 6 halibut and 1 shortbill spearfish.
The fantastic tuna fishing continued through this past week with yellowfin tuna topping the counts at over twelve thousand caught. Dorado numbers climbed back up as the colorful jacks are often found foraging on the edges of feeding yellowfin.
Skipjack tuna are still out there, though some boats might leave a school of them biting to go find the tastier tunas. Though they smoke up pretty good, skipjack are the least desirable tunas for table fare.
Bluefin numbers dropped, but the size of these fish seems to get bigger by the week: A solid 345-pound bluefin tuna was landed this past week by angler Joe Roder aboard the Ranger 85 out of H&M Landing. The angler was enjoying a birthday trip and fishing off San Clemente Island on the sportfishing vessel skippered by Captain Robert Gray. It took the entire crew, gaffs in hand, to get the massive fish aboard. Roder fought the fish for an hour forty-five minutes on 130 pound test line. Also notable this past week, three bluefin tuna over 200 pounds each were caught aboard the Pacific Dawn out of Fisherman’s Landing along with limits of yellowfin tuna.
The Grand Finale of Torneo de Pesca la Baja in San Quintin went off with few hitches on Saturday the 23rd at the Old Mill. Just over 200 entrants at this year’s even made for some interesting launches and landings at the ramp usually used by less than a dozen boats on any given day. In spite of the ramp logistics with so many boats, and the wind putting some slop on the seas on the fishing grounds, the competitors did well on the bottom-fishing division of the tournament.
Several large lingcod made the top of the leader board, with the top three being 18, 17.4 and 16.9 pounds. It seems the average size lingcod have been edging back toward the big aggressive lingcod of San Quintin’s past since the mid-range sportboats out of San Diego have ceased anchoring overnight and fishing the bottom on the small high spots the locals depend upon for their mostly panga-based operations.
Some big reds over 6 pounds were caught by those focusing on the groundfish. The surface division’s contest was a bit tighter, with a lot of yellowtail caught at about the same size. The top three finishers in the upper-water column were 14.9, 14.8 and 14.7 pound yellowtail. A smallish Bluefin tuna and several bonito to 10 pounds were entered, but the ‘jurel’ held fast at the top with one middling white seabass making the top ten.
There was a collision on the way in by boats racing the clock to the weigh-in, but there were so many boats using a small ramp that is barely three trailers wide.
Top boats of the week:
Sept 23 – The New Lo-An found the fish biting as 18 anglers aboard their overnight run caught limits of 90 yellowfin tuna.
Sept 22 – 31 anglers aboard the Chief 2.5 day trip put 310 yellowfin tuna in the hold.
Sept 21 – The Liberty reported 1 bluefin tuna, 103 bonito, 2 yellowtail and 35 yellowfin tuna caught by the 37 anglers aboard their ¾ day run.
Sept 20 – 10 anglers aboard the Pacific Dawn 2 day trip boated 4 dorado, 13 bluefin tuna and 100 yellowfin tuna.
Sept 19 – The Ocean Odyssey reported limits of 145 yellowfin tuna along with 2 yellowtail and 21 dorado for the 29 anglers aboard their 1.5 day trip.
Sept 18 – 54 anglers aboard the San Diego ¾ day run caught limits of 270 yellowfin tuna and 1 dorado. San Diego.
Sept 17 – The six-pack, Reel Champion, out on an overnight run reported limits of both skipjack and yellowfin tuna with 25 of each for the 5 anglers aboard.
Fish Plants: No plants this week.