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

Pelicans, seagulls upchuck anchovies in flight

Bluefin give way to yellowfin, yellowtail, dorado

Happy anglers aboard the San Diego with a fine catch of medium-grade yellowtail caught while fishing the Coronado Islands.
Happy anglers aboard the San Diego with a fine catch of medium-grade yellowtail caught while fishing the Coronado Islands.

Dock Totals 6/26 – 7/2: 3886 anglers aboard 167 half-day to 3-day trips out of San Diego landings this past week caught 503 barracuda, 312 bluefin tuna (to 180 pounds), 1 blue perch, 609 bonito, 1818 calico bass, 62 dorado, 12 halibut, 15 lingcod, 1,764 rockfish, 1 rubberlip seaperch, 56 sand bass, 22 sanddab, 56 sculpin, 121 sheephead, 1 treefish, 110 whitefish, 40 white seabass, 127 yellowfin tuna, and 2848 yellowtail.

Saltwater: As the seasons turned from spring to summer, a combination of water that was a tad cooler than normal and vast shoals of anchovies seemed to have kept bluefin tuna keyed on an area 20 to 50 miles off the northern Baja coast from Rosarito down to San Quintin. By the first day of summer, that bite was slowing dramatically. The fish were and are still out there, but are so keyed on bait that schools of tuna were frothing the surface, feeding on everything except most of what anglers offered. Then this past week, when most of us thought the bite would turn on again, the water turned rapidly from around 64 degrees to near 70. With that, it seemed the reluctant bluefin moved north and west with the cooler water they prefer.

Reports of remarkable catches from just off the Southern California coast — from the 9-Mile bank up toward Orange County — began coming in. A 115-pound bluefin was caught by an angler on a smaller inflatable just a few miles out. Other private-party boats also reported bluefin catches, though the fleet was limping along, just getting a couple here and there. But, as is often with fishing, when one hand takes the other hand gives; yellowfin tuna and dorado filled the gap. The bluefin had become so tight-lipped that many boats abandoned their "ride or die" attitude in chasing them and switched their focus to yellowtail at the Coronado Islands or looking for kelps offshore.

Then, this past week saw the first dorado of 2022 for the fleet, and the season turned on a dime. Yellowfin tuna had been creeping into the counts. While a few boats ventured out west 50 to 100 miles toward San Clemente Island and the Tanner and Cortez banks for bluefin, the meat of the fleet remained south of the border for yellowtail, yellowfin tuna, and dorado. Though the bluefin counts dropped like a rock, fishing in general greatly improved for the bulk of the anglers heading out. Through May and up to mid-June, the solid bluefin bite had boats booked tight and it was hard to find a spot on short notice.

As the bluefin slowed, so did ticket sales, and that accounts for the relatively low number of anglers compared to the week previous. Though the bluefin count dropped from a couple thousand to a few hundred, the overall counts shot way up in the reports. Barracuda, bonito, and yellowtail were biting very well, while dorado and yellowfin moved in, signaling the coming of more normal summer-fall warmer conditions with an added influence reminiscent of the glory days of albacore fishing: tons of anchovies. Again, many fishing soothsayers predicted a breakout albacore bite this year, but that has yet to happen. What has happened, however: the plethora of anchovy shoals have seemingly awakened everything but the bluefin. There's so much anchovy that mass die-offs in Marin County had the gorging pelicans and seagulls upchucking while in flight, which set off news reports of "anchovies falling from the sky."

While the offshore scene was changing, inshore fishing also heated up. White seabass showed along the coast and nearshore islands from San Quintin north to the Channel Islands. Halibut became a bit more active outside of the bays, and yellowtail are beginning to make their seasonal appearance for kayakers fishing out of La Jolla. The calico bass bite slowed, but that is more due to the focus of the fleet and current conditions off the kelp edge.

With so many options, the fleet that had recently been hyper-focused on the great bluefin fishing within full-day range of Point Loma has now spread out a bit, giving anglers more options for areas and a wider range of species to target. As fishing for specific species is as subjective as taste in the arts, having more options is an improvement, even if the bluefin bite, size of fish, and their proximity this year has been described as "epic."

That said, bluefin continue to dazzle and frustrate with foamy patches of frenzied but finicky feeders roiling the surface along the Southern California and northern Baja coast. I expect the bite to improve as they shift toward their normal Fall haunting grounds south and west of San Clemente Island. As for the predictions of returning albacore and a new California record bluefin tuna, I don’t know. Those calls have always been a crapshoot in spite of often favorable indicators, but I will say this: as tropical depressions begin their seasonal northwest-bound march out of the Mexican Riviera, pushing warmer water into our area, the dorado and yellowfin counts will continue to rise, yellowtail will move closer inshore, and all-around fishing, though already very good, will improve. Considering recent decades, that may not be as bold of a prediction as swarms of albacore returning after a 20-year absence, but it is not a silent hopeful prayer, either. A hot albacore bite would just be a bonus to an already great season. And it has just begun.

They’re out there, so go get ‘em!

Notable catches this past week:

6/26 – The San Diego full-day run with 29 anglers aboard had very good mixed-bag fishing at the Coronado Islands, with 82 barracuda, 44 calico bass, and 36 yellowtail caught.

6/28 – The Alicia called in with Mexican limits of 35 yellowtail along with 15 bonito and one dorado for the 7 anglers aboard their 1.5 day run.

6/29 – The San Diego full-day trip with 34 anglers aboard returned to the dock with 68 barracuda, 28 calico bass, 2 yellowtail, and 24 white seabass.

6/30 – A legendary day aboard the Legend 1.5-day trip resulted in 92 yellowtail, 20 bonito, and 19 yellowfin tuna for the 21 anglers aboard.

7/1 – The New Lo-An called in with 93 yellowtail and 50 bluefin tuna for the 25 anglers aboard their 1.5-day run.

7/2 – 18 anglers aboard the Polaris Supreme 4-day trip offshore scored well, hauling 151 yellowtail, 54 yellowfin tuna, and 30 bluefin tuna over the rail.

Fish Plants: None scheduled

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

Previous article

Z-Matrix sees the future in singles

“It’s the third dimension coming at you”
Next Article

Thunderstorms in the East and Resident Hummingbirds

Ocotillo can grow instantly after a storm
Happy anglers aboard the San Diego with a fine catch of medium-grade yellowtail caught while fishing the Coronado Islands.
Happy anglers aboard the San Diego with a fine catch of medium-grade yellowtail caught while fishing the Coronado Islands.

Dock Totals 6/26 – 7/2: 3886 anglers aboard 167 half-day to 3-day trips out of San Diego landings this past week caught 503 barracuda, 312 bluefin tuna (to 180 pounds), 1 blue perch, 609 bonito, 1818 calico bass, 62 dorado, 12 halibut, 15 lingcod, 1,764 rockfish, 1 rubberlip seaperch, 56 sand bass, 22 sanddab, 56 sculpin, 121 sheephead, 1 treefish, 110 whitefish, 40 white seabass, 127 yellowfin tuna, and 2848 yellowtail.

Saltwater: As the seasons turned from spring to summer, a combination of water that was a tad cooler than normal and vast shoals of anchovies seemed to have kept bluefin tuna keyed on an area 20 to 50 miles off the northern Baja coast from Rosarito down to San Quintin. By the first day of summer, that bite was slowing dramatically. The fish were and are still out there, but are so keyed on bait that schools of tuna were frothing the surface, feeding on everything except most of what anglers offered. Then this past week, when most of us thought the bite would turn on again, the water turned rapidly from around 64 degrees to near 70. With that, it seemed the reluctant bluefin moved north and west with the cooler water they prefer.

Reports of remarkable catches from just off the Southern California coast — from the 9-Mile bank up toward Orange County — began coming in. A 115-pound bluefin was caught by an angler on a smaller inflatable just a few miles out. Other private-party boats also reported bluefin catches, though the fleet was limping along, just getting a couple here and there. But, as is often with fishing, when one hand takes the other hand gives; yellowfin tuna and dorado filled the gap. The bluefin had become so tight-lipped that many boats abandoned their "ride or die" attitude in chasing them and switched their focus to yellowtail at the Coronado Islands or looking for kelps offshore.

Then, this past week saw the first dorado of 2022 for the fleet, and the season turned on a dime. Yellowfin tuna had been creeping into the counts. While a few boats ventured out west 50 to 100 miles toward San Clemente Island and the Tanner and Cortez banks for bluefin, the meat of the fleet remained south of the border for yellowtail, yellowfin tuna, and dorado. Though the bluefin counts dropped like a rock, fishing in general greatly improved for the bulk of the anglers heading out. Through May and up to mid-June, the solid bluefin bite had boats booked tight and it was hard to find a spot on short notice.

As the bluefin slowed, so did ticket sales, and that accounts for the relatively low number of anglers compared to the week previous. Though the bluefin count dropped from a couple thousand to a few hundred, the overall counts shot way up in the reports. Barracuda, bonito, and yellowtail were biting very well, while dorado and yellowfin moved in, signaling the coming of more normal summer-fall warmer conditions with an added influence reminiscent of the glory days of albacore fishing: tons of anchovies. Again, many fishing soothsayers predicted a breakout albacore bite this year, but that has yet to happen. What has happened, however: the plethora of anchovy shoals have seemingly awakened everything but the bluefin. There's so much anchovy that mass die-offs in Marin County had the gorging pelicans and seagulls upchucking while in flight, which set off news reports of "anchovies falling from the sky."

While the offshore scene was changing, inshore fishing also heated up. White seabass showed along the coast and nearshore islands from San Quintin north to the Channel Islands. Halibut became a bit more active outside of the bays, and yellowtail are beginning to make their seasonal appearance for kayakers fishing out of La Jolla. The calico bass bite slowed, but that is more due to the focus of the fleet and current conditions off the kelp edge.

With so many options, the fleet that had recently been hyper-focused on the great bluefin fishing within full-day range of Point Loma has now spread out a bit, giving anglers more options for areas and a wider range of species to target. As fishing for specific species is as subjective as taste in the arts, having more options is an improvement, even if the bluefin bite, size of fish, and their proximity this year has been described as "epic."

That said, bluefin continue to dazzle and frustrate with foamy patches of frenzied but finicky feeders roiling the surface along the Southern California and northern Baja coast. I expect the bite to improve as they shift toward their normal Fall haunting grounds south and west of San Clemente Island. As for the predictions of returning albacore and a new California record bluefin tuna, I don’t know. Those calls have always been a crapshoot in spite of often favorable indicators, but I will say this: as tropical depressions begin their seasonal northwest-bound march out of the Mexican Riviera, pushing warmer water into our area, the dorado and yellowfin counts will continue to rise, yellowtail will move closer inshore, and all-around fishing, though already very good, will improve. Considering recent decades, that may not be as bold of a prediction as swarms of albacore returning after a 20-year absence, but it is not a silent hopeful prayer, either. A hot albacore bite would just be a bonus to an already great season. And it has just begun.

They’re out there, so go get ‘em!

Notable catches this past week:

6/26 – The San Diego full-day run with 29 anglers aboard had very good mixed-bag fishing at the Coronado Islands, with 82 barracuda, 44 calico bass, and 36 yellowtail caught.

6/28 – The Alicia called in with Mexican limits of 35 yellowtail along with 15 bonito and one dorado for the 7 anglers aboard their 1.5 day run.

6/29 – The San Diego full-day trip with 34 anglers aboard returned to the dock with 68 barracuda, 28 calico bass, 2 yellowtail, and 24 white seabass.

6/30 – A legendary day aboard the Legend 1.5-day trip resulted in 92 yellowtail, 20 bonito, and 19 yellowfin tuna for the 21 anglers aboard.

7/1 – The New Lo-An called in with 93 yellowtail and 50 bluefin tuna for the 25 anglers aboard their 1.5-day run.

7/2 – 18 anglers aboard the Polaris Supreme 4-day trip offshore scored well, hauling 151 yellowtail, 54 yellowfin tuna, and 30 bluefin tuna over the rail.

Fish Plants: None scheduled

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

Morning Glory: breaking fast, and quick in Little Italy

Wild style, but also a kind of Cheers feeling
Next Article

DJ Bassassin thugsteps to Step Brothers

“I am warning you now, if you touch my drums, I will stab you in the neck with a knife.”
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 The Gonzo Report — Making the musical scene, or at least reporting from it 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