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67.6-pound white seabass snagged at Catalina

Those picky bluefin

Will Aviles was in the right place at the right time on this fish that is over the 100# mark.
Will Aviles was in the right place at the right time on this fish that is over the 100# mark.

Dock Totals 6/5 – 6/11: 3,530 anglers aboard 159 half-day to 3-day trips out of San Diego landings this past week caught 25 barracuda, 1,873 bluefin tuna (to 180 pounds), 2 bonito, 1,330 calico bass, 3 halibut, 11 lingcod, 1,208 rockfish, 145 sand bass, 1 sanddab, 91 sculpin, 108 sheephead, 1 treefish, 94 whitefish, 2 white seabass, and 43 yellowtail.

Saltwater: As the season develops and the water temperatures edge upward, inconsistency seems to be the rule. Bluefin tuna have been a model of non-conformity, as they have been biting one day and tight-mouthed the next, moving up and down between northern Baja and southern California waters from ten to fifty miles offshore. The week previous, the main body of fish seemed to be across the border and moving toward San Clemente Island and the outer banks. This past week, the fleet has been more centered on the Finger Bank about 30 miles northwest of Ensenada and reporting anywhere from a handful of fish landed to occasional wide-open bites resulting in limits.

Previously biting primarily down deep on sinker rigged bait and heavy jigs, bluefin tuna have been feeding throughout the water column with fish coming on the troll and surface irons and poppers early in a bite, then sinking out to favor up-and-down methods. While always metering for schools, more sightings of surface activity are witness to the quantity of fish spread out in our area within 2-day range of Point Loma. Though the bluefin counts dropped a bit, every trip out carries the anticipation of limit-style fishing with all the activity out there.

White seabass are showing well at Catalina and San Clemente islands, and even a few in our local water near La Jolla and off Point Loma. One remarkable catch was a 67.6-pound white seabass, his first ever, caught by 15-year-old Davis Morgan while fishing with his father at Catalina. That is an amazing catch for anyone who has targeted the species for a lifetime. The father-son duo also caught four yellowtail and three other white seabass to finish out their day.

Another notable catch was of a louvar caught aboard the Grande during a 1.5-day bluefin run. Louvar are an odd-looking oceanic species rarely caught by commercial or recreational anglers. They are pinkish in color and can get to over six feet long and 300 pounds, and though they tend to remain in the upper water column from the surface to 600 feet deep, louvar are found in deeper waters where sportfishing boats and commercial fleets do not normally target. Louvar have a bulging head with a small mouth and feed primarily on jellyfish. Though not endangered, they are very rarely caught. Louvar are highly prized as table fare, with some claiming they are the best eating fish in the sea. Once in a blue moon louvar fillets can be found at fresh fish markets, but usually when caught they are kept and not sold. If available, louvar fillets can sell for $50 per pound.

Yellowtail began biting well a week ago but have since seemingly been fasting. Good numbers of decent-sized fish have been spotted, but few have been willing to bite. So far, the best yellowtail fishing for the better grade of fish over 20 pounds has been at San Clemente and Catalina islands, while the Coronados have yet to produce with any consistency. The fish are there, just not quite active enough to keep any full day boats from chasing bluefin a little further offshore. As long as conditions continue to improve, I expect that Coronado Island yellowtail bite to develop soon. Normally, bonito, barracuda, and yellowtail counts would be much higher by mid-June, but any boat with the legs and time are targeting bluefin tuna while it is still near enough to do so.

Calico bass aren’t being stubborn at all. When the currents set up right, that is flowing into the kelp from the outside, calico bass are biting very well wherever there are kelp beds. Given about 3 calicos are released for every one fish caught, and that few boats are fishing the kelp, over 1,300 fish kept in a week is remarkable fishing for ‘checker bass’. Though May has been gray and June thus far gloomy, the inshore fishery is heating up for private boaters and kayakers, while both bays are producing well for halibut, shortfin corvina, and spotted bay bass. For those with their feet on terra firma, barred surf perch and California corbina are biting in the surf, especially along rips and where sand crab colonies are found. The options are many and they’re out there, so go get ‘em!

Notable catches this past week:

6/11 – The Grande 1.5-day trip with 28 anglers aboard called in with 26 bluefin tuna to 150 pounds and 1 louvar for their 28 anglers aboard. Six anglers aboard the Little G scored limits of 24 bluefin tuna while out on a 2.5-day run.

6/10 - The Voyager 2-day run offshore and with a stop at the Coronado Islands produced a mixed-bag catch of 21 calico bass, 8 barracuda, and 18 bluefin tuna for the 16 anglers aboard.

6/9 – Great local fishing for 19 anglers aboard the Premier ½-day morning trip resulted in 41 rockfish, 15 sand bass, 5 sculpin, and 1 58-pound white seabass caught.

6/8 – The New Seaforth ½-day morning run with 37 anglers aboard called in with excellent calico fishing, with 75 caught along with a rockfish, 1 sculpin, and a local yellowtail.

6/6 – Local kelps are heating up, as the New Seaforth with 28 anglers aboard the afternoon 1/2-day outing reported 127 calico bass (75 released), 5 whitefish, 2 sand bass, 1 sculpin, and one hefty 35-pound halibut caught. The Polaris Supreme offshore 3-day trip with 24 anglers aboard returned to the dock with near-limits of 136 bluefin tuna.

6/5 – Full limits of bluefin tuna (68) were reported caught by the 34 anglers aboard the Pacific Queen 1.5-day run out to the tuna grounds.

Fish Plants: 6/17 - Santee Lakes, catfish (1,500)

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Will Aviles was in the right place at the right time on this fish that is over the 100# mark.
Will Aviles was in the right place at the right time on this fish that is over the 100# mark.

Dock Totals 6/5 – 6/11: 3,530 anglers aboard 159 half-day to 3-day trips out of San Diego landings this past week caught 25 barracuda, 1,873 bluefin tuna (to 180 pounds), 2 bonito, 1,330 calico bass, 3 halibut, 11 lingcod, 1,208 rockfish, 145 sand bass, 1 sanddab, 91 sculpin, 108 sheephead, 1 treefish, 94 whitefish, 2 white seabass, and 43 yellowtail.

Saltwater: As the season develops and the water temperatures edge upward, inconsistency seems to be the rule. Bluefin tuna have been a model of non-conformity, as they have been biting one day and tight-mouthed the next, moving up and down between northern Baja and southern California waters from ten to fifty miles offshore. The week previous, the main body of fish seemed to be across the border and moving toward San Clemente Island and the outer banks. This past week, the fleet has been more centered on the Finger Bank about 30 miles northwest of Ensenada and reporting anywhere from a handful of fish landed to occasional wide-open bites resulting in limits.

Previously biting primarily down deep on sinker rigged bait and heavy jigs, bluefin tuna have been feeding throughout the water column with fish coming on the troll and surface irons and poppers early in a bite, then sinking out to favor up-and-down methods. While always metering for schools, more sightings of surface activity are witness to the quantity of fish spread out in our area within 2-day range of Point Loma. Though the bluefin counts dropped a bit, every trip out carries the anticipation of limit-style fishing with all the activity out there.

White seabass are showing well at Catalina and San Clemente islands, and even a few in our local water near La Jolla and off Point Loma. One remarkable catch was a 67.6-pound white seabass, his first ever, caught by 15-year-old Davis Morgan while fishing with his father at Catalina. That is an amazing catch for anyone who has targeted the species for a lifetime. The father-son duo also caught four yellowtail and three other white seabass to finish out their day.

Another notable catch was of a louvar caught aboard the Grande during a 1.5-day bluefin run. Louvar are an odd-looking oceanic species rarely caught by commercial or recreational anglers. They are pinkish in color and can get to over six feet long and 300 pounds, and though they tend to remain in the upper water column from the surface to 600 feet deep, louvar are found in deeper waters where sportfishing boats and commercial fleets do not normally target. Louvar have a bulging head with a small mouth and feed primarily on jellyfish. Though not endangered, they are very rarely caught. Louvar are highly prized as table fare, with some claiming they are the best eating fish in the sea. Once in a blue moon louvar fillets can be found at fresh fish markets, but usually when caught they are kept and not sold. If available, louvar fillets can sell for $50 per pound.

Yellowtail began biting well a week ago but have since seemingly been fasting. Good numbers of decent-sized fish have been spotted, but few have been willing to bite. So far, the best yellowtail fishing for the better grade of fish over 20 pounds has been at San Clemente and Catalina islands, while the Coronados have yet to produce with any consistency. The fish are there, just not quite active enough to keep any full day boats from chasing bluefin a little further offshore. As long as conditions continue to improve, I expect that Coronado Island yellowtail bite to develop soon. Normally, bonito, barracuda, and yellowtail counts would be much higher by mid-June, but any boat with the legs and time are targeting bluefin tuna while it is still near enough to do so.

Calico bass aren’t being stubborn at all. When the currents set up right, that is flowing into the kelp from the outside, calico bass are biting very well wherever there are kelp beds. Given about 3 calicos are released for every one fish caught, and that few boats are fishing the kelp, over 1,300 fish kept in a week is remarkable fishing for ‘checker bass’. Though May has been gray and June thus far gloomy, the inshore fishery is heating up for private boaters and kayakers, while both bays are producing well for halibut, shortfin corvina, and spotted bay bass. For those with their feet on terra firma, barred surf perch and California corbina are biting in the surf, especially along rips and where sand crab colonies are found. The options are many and they’re out there, so go get ‘em!

Notable catches this past week:

6/11 – The Grande 1.5-day trip with 28 anglers aboard called in with 26 bluefin tuna to 150 pounds and 1 louvar for their 28 anglers aboard. Six anglers aboard the Little G scored limits of 24 bluefin tuna while out on a 2.5-day run.

6/10 - The Voyager 2-day run offshore and with a stop at the Coronado Islands produced a mixed-bag catch of 21 calico bass, 8 barracuda, and 18 bluefin tuna for the 16 anglers aboard.

6/9 – Great local fishing for 19 anglers aboard the Premier ½-day morning trip resulted in 41 rockfish, 15 sand bass, 5 sculpin, and 1 58-pound white seabass caught.

6/8 – The New Seaforth ½-day morning run with 37 anglers aboard called in with excellent calico fishing, with 75 caught along with a rockfish, 1 sculpin, and a local yellowtail.

6/6 – Local kelps are heating up, as the New Seaforth with 28 anglers aboard the afternoon 1/2-day outing reported 127 calico bass (75 released), 5 whitefish, 2 sand bass, 1 sculpin, and one hefty 35-pound halibut caught. The Polaris Supreme offshore 3-day trip with 24 anglers aboard returned to the dock with near-limits of 136 bluefin tuna.

6/5 – Full limits of bluefin tuna (68) were reported caught by the 34 anglers aboard the Pacific Queen 1.5-day run out to the tuna grounds.

Fish Plants: 6/17 - Santee Lakes, catfish (1,500)

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