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Anglers are never crabbin’ for nothing

Worse: to try lighter gear in the face of tuna

Tough pull for tuna aboard the Tribute
Tough pull for tuna aboard the Tribute

Dock Totals May 6 – May 12: 2,144 anglers aboard 93 boats out of San Diego landings this past week caught 58 bluefin tuna, 1,814 yellowtail, 114 calico bass, 25 sand bass, 3,199 rockfish, 336 whitefish, 12 lingcod, 177 bonito, 302 sculpin, 196 sanddab, 7 sheephead, 57 bocaccio, 8 halibut, 8 barracuda, 1 white seabass, and 1 mako shark.

Saltwater: “We’re crabbin’ for nothing” is the phrase a friend and I use when a bite has slowed or has yet to begin. I guess Joe got it from the Deadliest Catch show.

An even emptier feeling, to me anyhow, is when the fish are there and active, but getting them to bite seems hopeless; a frustrated angler can make the mistake of going lighter, of fishing the small gear just to entice a bite.

Mexico has shut down the commercial fishery for them already this year as their quota has been met. They have gone over by a few hundred tons and will be releasing some of the fish held in fattening pens off the Baja coast. The major frustration with fishing bluefin tuna is that they are one of the strongest fish in the ocean. Of the pelagics, wahoo are the speediest, striped marlin and dorado the most acrobatic, but for strength, only swordfish have a reputation to match that of the brutish bluefin tuna.

Here are a few related quotes from the fishing grounds posted on social media this past week:

Tribute Sportfishing: “Boat is still plunking away at bluefin with 6 on board and more hangin, fish are in the 40-50 pound range and there has been a high casualty rate with a couple guys getting spooled. Bring your heavy gear!” Later that day, again from the Tribute: “Lots and lots of action today on good sized bluefin, unfortunately the majority found their freedom going 8 for probably 40 on these slugs. We go again tomorrow morning at 0530, lots of room still available”

From the Liberty: “Mama said there’d be days like this!!! We stopped on several nice kelps and had some fish jump around today, but none were eager to bite a hook. We got SKUNKED! With improving weather conditions forecasted, we’re hoping the fishing will improve as well! Back out tomorrow!” Then, the next day for the Liberty: “33 anglers: 6 bluefin Tuna. Today the weather came down and we were able to have some shots at trophy bluefin tuna. We saw very good sign of fish and were able to land 6 fish; 1- 140 lbs, 4- 50-65lbs, 1- 30lbs. Tomorrow’s trip is a definite go! Please come prepared with: 25-30lb flyline setup; 40-50lb flyline setup; 60-80lb Shimano Flatfall setup. These are the basic setups needed for our offshore trips right now. Fisherman’s Landing has tackle for rent, if you don’t have any of these setups”.

Fish Plants: May 22, Cuyamaca, trout (1,200)

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Tough pull for tuna aboard the Tribute
Tough pull for tuna aboard the Tribute

Dock Totals May 6 – May 12: 2,144 anglers aboard 93 boats out of San Diego landings this past week caught 58 bluefin tuna, 1,814 yellowtail, 114 calico bass, 25 sand bass, 3,199 rockfish, 336 whitefish, 12 lingcod, 177 bonito, 302 sculpin, 196 sanddab, 7 sheephead, 57 bocaccio, 8 halibut, 8 barracuda, 1 white seabass, and 1 mako shark.

Saltwater: “We’re crabbin’ for nothing” is the phrase a friend and I use when a bite has slowed or has yet to begin. I guess Joe got it from the Deadliest Catch show.

An even emptier feeling, to me anyhow, is when the fish are there and active, but getting them to bite seems hopeless; a frustrated angler can make the mistake of going lighter, of fishing the small gear just to entice a bite.

Mexico has shut down the commercial fishery for them already this year as their quota has been met. They have gone over by a few hundred tons and will be releasing some of the fish held in fattening pens off the Baja coast. The major frustration with fishing bluefin tuna is that they are one of the strongest fish in the ocean. Of the pelagics, wahoo are the speediest, striped marlin and dorado the most acrobatic, but for strength, only swordfish have a reputation to match that of the brutish bluefin tuna.

Here are a few related quotes from the fishing grounds posted on social media this past week:

Tribute Sportfishing: “Boat is still plunking away at bluefin with 6 on board and more hangin, fish are in the 40-50 pound range and there has been a high casualty rate with a couple guys getting spooled. Bring your heavy gear!” Later that day, again from the Tribute: “Lots and lots of action today on good sized bluefin, unfortunately the majority found their freedom going 8 for probably 40 on these slugs. We go again tomorrow morning at 0530, lots of room still available”

From the Liberty: “Mama said there’d be days like this!!! We stopped on several nice kelps and had some fish jump around today, but none were eager to bite a hook. We got SKUNKED! With improving weather conditions forecasted, we’re hoping the fishing will improve as well! Back out tomorrow!” Then, the next day for the Liberty: “33 anglers: 6 bluefin Tuna. Today the weather came down and we were able to have some shots at trophy bluefin tuna. We saw very good sign of fish and were able to land 6 fish; 1- 140 lbs, 4- 50-65lbs, 1- 30lbs. Tomorrow’s trip is a definite go! Please come prepared with: 25-30lb flyline setup; 40-50lb flyline setup; 60-80lb Shimano Flatfall setup. These are the basic setups needed for our offshore trips right now. Fisherman’s Landing has tackle for rent, if you don’t have any of these setups”.

Fish Plants: May 22, Cuyamaca, trout (1,200)

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