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San Diego area lakes are the most productive for bass

Bluefin number double as they continue to bite through the night

Nighttime bluefin fishing is still going strong, as witnessed by this nice tuna caught on a recent Intrepid trip to the grounds.
Nighttime bluefin fishing is still going strong, as witnessed by this nice tuna caught on a recent Intrepid trip to the grounds.

Dock Totals 6/2– 6/8: 2563 anglers aboard 111 half-day to 3-day trips out of San Diego landings over the past week caught 7 barracuda, 1077 bluefin tuna (up to 225 pounds), 102 bonito, 1 cabezon, 1026 calico bass, 13 halibut, 3 lingcod, 1 mako shark, 2 perch, 4302 rockfish, 411 sand bass, 162 sculpin,37 sheephead, 179 whitefish, 1 white seabass, and 35 yellowtail.

Saltwater: All in all, it was just another outstanding week for the world’s largest and finest live-bait sportfishing fleet, with the bluefin tuna and calico bass count doubling over the previous week's count. Bonito fell off to one-quarter as bluefin picked back up, and the sand bass and halibut counts better than quadrupled, which also is an indication of a shift in the targeted areas by the local half-day runs. 

Fewer boats targeted rockfish, though those counts were still solid, but the boats working the areas where the bluefin were being caught did not have to shift their tactics as often from tuna to groundfish, thanks to the solid nighttime bite and sporadic daylight action. The bite at night has been consistent enough that some boats are leaving a little earlier in the afternoon to fully take advantage of the better hours  between sunset and sunrise. 

Calico bass have been biting very well along the kelp edges, with a few homeguard yellowtail to 45 pounds and legal white seabass in the mix. Halibut have been chewing on bait and plastics from the channel edges inside San Diego Bay as far back as the Coronado Bridge out to the Imperial Beach flats south of Point Loma, where sand bass have also been performing well. 

A very nice white seabass was caught on the Dolphin PM half-day run. As we are a couple weeks shy of the official start of summer, and with water much cooler in general offshore than the past several years, the fishing has been very good for those getting out there.

Along the beaches, some algae blooms, otherwise known as red tides, have dirtied up the water and slowed the action a bit where found. As the red tides can deplete oxygen in the water, gamefish tend to avoid the dark-stained water and will move into cleaner locations. So, if you're pounding the beaches in search of barred surfperch and corbina, it is usually best to look for water that is less brownish-red and more blue-green when these blooms occur. 

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So far, no mass die-offs of baitfish have been reported on the beaches, so these blooms do not seem to have the toxicity of some of the more devastating blooms, which can greatly affect baitfish, sea birds, and marine mammals. In general, algae blooms do not affect the quality of the flesh of gamefish, but they can raise toxicity in shellfish like mussels. Surf fishing has still been very good outside of those areas where there have been dense blooms for anglers chucking plastics, crankbaits, and baited hooks with clams or sandcrabs.

Along with the solid calico bite along the kelp edges, a few nice yellowtail have been caught off La Jolla by private boaters, and on Saturday’s PM half-day run, a nice white seabass was caught. Sand bass have been chewing bait and plastics in around 90 feet of water off the Imperial Beach flats, with some great halibut fishing from the San Diego Bay channels as far back as the Coronado Bridge and out to those flats to the south of Point Loma.

A nice white seabass caught while fishing the PM half-day run aboard the Dolphin out of Fisherman’s Landing.


Freshwater: A note to the transplants to the San Diego area from the southern-tier states and others who may not be aware; Southern California and the San Diego area specifically has turned out a lot of impressive largemouth bass over the years. With several lakes in canyon areas that feature a deep water column from the spring spawning beds to the cooler drop-offs bass prefer in the heat of the summer, along with many lakes with stocked trout, there have been some very large bass caught in our region. 

Proof of that lies in the fact that 13 of the 15 top largemouth bass in the world have been caught from Southern California lakes, most of those from Castaic, Dixon, and Miramar. Even if we discount the one at number ten caught by the infamous "snagger" Mike Long, that is quite an impressive nod to the southern California largemouth bass fishery. (That’s not to say Mr. Long snagged his number ten fish, but when the noted bass angler was caught snagging on camera, his credibility in the fishing world came crashing down, costing him several sponsors and endorsements. 

Without entering further into that hullabaloo, let it suffice to say that the San Diego area is certainly a great fishing destination for largemouth bass in our lakes, as well as being the standout location from which to venture asea for great seasonal pelagic tuna fishing, a well-maintained nearshore fishery for endemic species such as calico bass, sand bass, halibut, and good action in the surf, especially for barred surf perch and California corbina. They’re out there, so go get ‘em!

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Nighttime bluefin fishing is still going strong, as witnessed by this nice tuna caught on a recent Intrepid trip to the grounds.
Nighttime bluefin fishing is still going strong, as witnessed by this nice tuna caught on a recent Intrepid trip to the grounds.

Dock Totals 6/2– 6/8: 2563 anglers aboard 111 half-day to 3-day trips out of San Diego landings over the past week caught 7 barracuda, 1077 bluefin tuna (up to 225 pounds), 102 bonito, 1 cabezon, 1026 calico bass, 13 halibut, 3 lingcod, 1 mako shark, 2 perch, 4302 rockfish, 411 sand bass, 162 sculpin,37 sheephead, 179 whitefish, 1 white seabass, and 35 yellowtail.

Saltwater: All in all, it was just another outstanding week for the world’s largest and finest live-bait sportfishing fleet, with the bluefin tuna and calico bass count doubling over the previous week's count. Bonito fell off to one-quarter as bluefin picked back up, and the sand bass and halibut counts better than quadrupled, which also is an indication of a shift in the targeted areas by the local half-day runs. 

Fewer boats targeted rockfish, though those counts were still solid, but the boats working the areas where the bluefin were being caught did not have to shift their tactics as often from tuna to groundfish, thanks to the solid nighttime bite and sporadic daylight action. The bite at night has been consistent enough that some boats are leaving a little earlier in the afternoon to fully take advantage of the better hours  between sunset and sunrise. 

Calico bass have been biting very well along the kelp edges, with a few homeguard yellowtail to 45 pounds and legal white seabass in the mix. Halibut have been chewing on bait and plastics from the channel edges inside San Diego Bay as far back as the Coronado Bridge out to the Imperial Beach flats south of Point Loma, where sand bass have also been performing well. 

A very nice white seabass was caught on the Dolphin PM half-day run. As we are a couple weeks shy of the official start of summer, and with water much cooler in general offshore than the past several years, the fishing has been very good for those getting out there.

Along the beaches, some algae blooms, otherwise known as red tides, have dirtied up the water and slowed the action a bit where found. As the red tides can deplete oxygen in the water, gamefish tend to avoid the dark-stained water and will move into cleaner locations. So, if you're pounding the beaches in search of barred surfperch and corbina, it is usually best to look for water that is less brownish-red and more blue-green when these blooms occur. 

Sponsored
Sponsored

So far, no mass die-offs of baitfish have been reported on the beaches, so these blooms do not seem to have the toxicity of some of the more devastating blooms, which can greatly affect baitfish, sea birds, and marine mammals. In general, algae blooms do not affect the quality of the flesh of gamefish, but they can raise toxicity in shellfish like mussels. Surf fishing has still been very good outside of those areas where there have been dense blooms for anglers chucking plastics, crankbaits, and baited hooks with clams or sandcrabs.

Along with the solid calico bite along the kelp edges, a few nice yellowtail have been caught off La Jolla by private boaters, and on Saturday’s PM half-day run, a nice white seabass was caught. Sand bass have been chewing bait and plastics in around 90 feet of water off the Imperial Beach flats, with some great halibut fishing from the San Diego Bay channels as far back as the Coronado Bridge and out to those flats to the south of Point Loma.

A nice white seabass caught while fishing the PM half-day run aboard the Dolphin out of Fisherman’s Landing.


Freshwater: A note to the transplants to the San Diego area from the southern-tier states and others who may not be aware; Southern California and the San Diego area specifically has turned out a lot of impressive largemouth bass over the years. With several lakes in canyon areas that feature a deep water column from the spring spawning beds to the cooler drop-offs bass prefer in the heat of the summer, along with many lakes with stocked trout, there have been some very large bass caught in our region. 

Proof of that lies in the fact that 13 of the 15 top largemouth bass in the world have been caught from Southern California lakes, most of those from Castaic, Dixon, and Miramar. Even if we discount the one at number ten caught by the infamous "snagger" Mike Long, that is quite an impressive nod to the southern California largemouth bass fishery. (That’s not to say Mr. Long snagged his number ten fish, but when the noted bass angler was caught snagging on camera, his credibility in the fishing world came crashing down, costing him several sponsors and endorsements. 

Without entering further into that hullabaloo, let it suffice to say that the San Diego area is certainly a great fishing destination for largemouth bass in our lakes, as well as being the standout location from which to venture asea for great seasonal pelagic tuna fishing, a well-maintained nearshore fishery for endemic species such as calico bass, sand bass, halibut, and good action in the surf, especially for barred surf perch and California corbina. They’re out there, so go get ‘em!

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