4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs

Fishing is Just an Educated Roll of the Dice

Changing Conditions, Larger Bluefin, and Skunks

The Ranger 85 returned home from their 2.5 day trip with bluefin ranging from 190-227 pounds.
The Ranger 85 returned home from their 2.5 day trip with bluefin ranging from 190-227 pounds.

Dock Totals 8/29 – 9/4: 4,160 anglers aboard 193 trips out of San Diego landings this past week caught 5 barracuda, 842 bluefin tuna (up to 260 pounds), 1 bocaccio, 568 bonito, 648 calico bass (369 released), 484 dorado, 5 halibut, 36 lingcod, 3,108 rockfish, 15 sand bass, 545 sculpin, 75 sheephead, 21 skipjack tuna, 759 whitefish, 1 white seabass (released), 295 yellowfin tuna, and 1,501 yellowtail.

Saltwater: The counts from this past week seem to indicate that the half-day to full-day fleet is rolling over into fall/winter style fishing when the focus is more on the bottom. Yellowfin and bluefin tuna are still around, as are dorado and yellowtail, but cooling green water and adverse conditions often make both finding migrating fish and getting them to bite a tough prospect. Some trips scored well to the delight of the anglers aboard, and others went for a ‘long boat ride’, which can have passengers grumbling. Seasoned anglers know the drill. When the fishing is tough, it boils down to a couple choices that require commitment; search for surface feeding migrators or find a nice bottom fishing spot for rockfish. For the boats on the shorter trips, there is little time to commit to both.

When hunting pelagic species like tuna and jacks, captains use electronics to measure temperature, depth, and structure while visually scanning the horizon for any activity or floating debris such as kelp paddies. Along with ‘foamers’ of feeding fish, a pod of dolphin splashing or circling and diving birds often indicate gamefish pushing bait to the surface. During summer fishing these sightings are common, and boats will often get their anglers limits within a few visually triggered stops. While underway, blind jig strikes while trolling can also put the anglers on a good biting school of fish. The usual tuna trolling speed of 7 knots or so is a slow way to get anywhere. So, when fishing slows the onus is on the captain to make the call as for where and how to look for action. It is really just an educated toss of the dice, and when it ‘comes up craps’ some anglers will complain while others will use the old line, “That’s why they call it fishing and not catching”. I get it, sportfishing is not a cheap gamble, but it is a gamble. There are no guarantees, though no captain or crew wants a skunk trip for their anglers.

When fishing slows, captains and crew searching for surface action for their passengers tend to concentrate more on areas that can also offer good bottom fishing. Thus, rockfish, whitefish, and sculpin counts have increased, while yellowtail, dorado, and tuna counts have generally dropped. That said, there is still good water out there holding migrating fish, and a seasonal storm down south can push more warm water northward, with which surface action outside can blow up again for another month or so. So far this season, hurricanes predicted to move north along the Baja coast have all fizzled out or spun off to the west and have not pushed any decent warm south swells north of the lower peninsula. Though nobody wishes for a destructive storm, surfers and anglers shared desires include northbound hurricanes for the action they bring to their respective sports.

In spite of the recent spotty bite, iffy conditions, and lack of storms moving up the coast, the gamble is still paying off for some. A good number of larger bluefin to 260 pounds are coming from the Tanner and Cortes banks southwest of San Clemente Island for the boats with the time to make the over 200 mile round-trip and get in some fishing time. Though hit and miss, the offshore banks in US and Mexico waters from the Corner 25 miles due west of Point Loma to the Finger Bank southwest of Ensenada have been producing most of the yellowfin tuna and dorado in the counts, while closer to home, yellowtail are biting well at the Coronado Islands. As the offshore tuna bite is slowing, full day boats are starting to switch back to the Coronados and closer banks for yellowtail, bass, and rockfish. I would suggest booking 1.5 day and longer trips if wanting to have a chance at yellowfin, dorado, or a trophy bluefin, and expect the targeted species to be yellowtail, bass, and rockfish on any trips shorter than that. Good luck!

Fish Plants: 9/13, Jennings, catfish (1,000)

Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all

Previous article

Where is San Diego's local news going now?

Times of San Diego, Voice of San Diego, Union-Tribune, San Diego Community Newspaper Group, O.B. Rag
Next Article

I-15 mimics L.A traffic, when there were quail in Bonita

The 805 coming north out of South Bay, offbeat San Diego, a real California moment in local painting, dangerous spots to live
The Ranger 85 returned home from their 2.5 day trip with bluefin ranging from 190-227 pounds.
The Ranger 85 returned home from their 2.5 day trip with bluefin ranging from 190-227 pounds.

Dock Totals 8/29 – 9/4: 4,160 anglers aboard 193 trips out of San Diego landings this past week caught 5 barracuda, 842 bluefin tuna (up to 260 pounds), 1 bocaccio, 568 bonito, 648 calico bass (369 released), 484 dorado, 5 halibut, 36 lingcod, 3,108 rockfish, 15 sand bass, 545 sculpin, 75 sheephead, 21 skipjack tuna, 759 whitefish, 1 white seabass (released), 295 yellowfin tuna, and 1,501 yellowtail.

Saltwater: The counts from this past week seem to indicate that the half-day to full-day fleet is rolling over into fall/winter style fishing when the focus is more on the bottom. Yellowfin and bluefin tuna are still around, as are dorado and yellowtail, but cooling green water and adverse conditions often make both finding migrating fish and getting them to bite a tough prospect. Some trips scored well to the delight of the anglers aboard, and others went for a ‘long boat ride’, which can have passengers grumbling. Seasoned anglers know the drill. When the fishing is tough, it boils down to a couple choices that require commitment; search for surface feeding migrators or find a nice bottom fishing spot for rockfish. For the boats on the shorter trips, there is little time to commit to both.

When hunting pelagic species like tuna and jacks, captains use electronics to measure temperature, depth, and structure while visually scanning the horizon for any activity or floating debris such as kelp paddies. Along with ‘foamers’ of feeding fish, a pod of dolphin splashing or circling and diving birds often indicate gamefish pushing bait to the surface. During summer fishing these sightings are common, and boats will often get their anglers limits within a few visually triggered stops. While underway, blind jig strikes while trolling can also put the anglers on a good biting school of fish. The usual tuna trolling speed of 7 knots or so is a slow way to get anywhere. So, when fishing slows the onus is on the captain to make the call as for where and how to look for action. It is really just an educated toss of the dice, and when it ‘comes up craps’ some anglers will complain while others will use the old line, “That’s why they call it fishing and not catching”. I get it, sportfishing is not a cheap gamble, but it is a gamble. There are no guarantees, though no captain or crew wants a skunk trip for their anglers.

When fishing slows, captains and crew searching for surface action for their passengers tend to concentrate more on areas that can also offer good bottom fishing. Thus, rockfish, whitefish, and sculpin counts have increased, while yellowtail, dorado, and tuna counts have generally dropped. That said, there is still good water out there holding migrating fish, and a seasonal storm down south can push more warm water northward, with which surface action outside can blow up again for another month or so. So far this season, hurricanes predicted to move north along the Baja coast have all fizzled out or spun off to the west and have not pushed any decent warm south swells north of the lower peninsula. Though nobody wishes for a destructive storm, surfers and anglers shared desires include northbound hurricanes for the action they bring to their respective sports.

In spite of the recent spotty bite, iffy conditions, and lack of storms moving up the coast, the gamble is still paying off for some. A good number of larger bluefin to 260 pounds are coming from the Tanner and Cortes banks southwest of San Clemente Island for the boats with the time to make the over 200 mile round-trip and get in some fishing time. Though hit and miss, the offshore banks in US and Mexico waters from the Corner 25 miles due west of Point Loma to the Finger Bank southwest of Ensenada have been producing most of the yellowfin tuna and dorado in the counts, while closer to home, yellowtail are biting well at the Coronado Islands. As the offshore tuna bite is slowing, full day boats are starting to switch back to the Coronados and closer banks for yellowtail, bass, and rockfish. I would suggest booking 1.5 day and longer trips if wanting to have a chance at yellowfin, dorado, or a trophy bluefin, and expect the targeted species to be yellowtail, bass, and rockfish on any trips shorter than that. Good luck!

Fish Plants: 9/13, Jennings, catfish (1,000)

Sponsored
Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Previous article

“When the world is full of butterflies and sunshine again”

Ron Franklin, Joey Harris, Cindy Lee Berryhill, Manual Scan, Chill Boy
Next Article

Head Quack says “CEO sounds too boss-like”

Jamming at the Duck Foot jazz session
Comments
0

Be the first to leave a comment.

Sign in to comment

Sign in

Ask a Hipster — Advice you didn't know you needed Big Screen — Movie commentary Blurt — Music's inside track Booze News — San Diego spirits Classical Music — Immortal beauty Classifieds — Free and easy Cover Stories — Front-page features Drinks All Around — Bartenders' drink recipes Excerpts — Literary and spiritual excerpts Feast! — Food & drink reviews Feature Stories — Local news & stories Fishing Report — What’s getting hooked from ship and shore From the Archives — Spotlight on the past Golden Dreams — Talk of the town Letters — Our inbox [email protected] — Local movie buffs share favorites Movie Reviews — Our critics' picks and pans Musician Interviews — Up close with local artists Neighborhood News from Stringers — Hyperlocal news News Ticker — News & politics Obermeyer — San Diego politics illustrated Outdoors — Weekly changes in flora and fauna Overheard in San Diego — Eavesdropping illustrated Poetry — The old and the new Reader Travel — Travel section built by travelers Reading — The hunt for intellectuals Roam-O-Rama — SoCal's best hiking/biking trails San Diego Beer — Inside San Diego suds SD on the QT — Almost factual news Sheep and Goats — Places of worship Special Issues — The best of Street Style — San Diego streets have style Surf Diego — Real stories from those braving the waves Theater — On stage in San Diego this week Tin Fork — Silver spoon alternative Under the Radar — Matt Potter's undercover work Unforgettable — Long-ago San Diego Unreal Estate — San Diego's priciest pads Your Week — Daily event picks
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
Close