SAN DIEGO — There’s no question the big bluefin will come to the scale Friday at the Scott Street Landings when the 17 boats return to home after competing in the third annual WON San Diego Offshore Jackpot.
It will be a huge crowd at the weigh-in (boats must be in by 7 p.m. with competing anglers, crews and bystanders looking on as big tuna are hung up at the scale at H&M Landing, likely around 6 p.m. Last year several tuna over 100 were weighed.
CAPT. GAVIN HARBOUR of the Pacific Queen, and angler Daniel Izmirian with his 208.2-pound bluefin on the Yummy Flyer.
The signs look good. On Sunday the Pacific Queen rolled up to the dock with another huge local bluefin on deck, one of 3 bluefin tuna landed on the 1.5 dayer, all over 100 pounds. The trio weighed in at 105, 115 and a whopping 208.2 pounds.
The day started with 32 yellows on deck, along with a pair of dorado. Boat owner Capt. Drew Card said 8 of the yellows were better grade fish in the mid teens to 20 pounds or so.
It was flying the kite and skipping the Yummy Flyer into likely prospects that drew the big bluefin. Daniel Ismirian drew the first shot at the biggest of the trio. As has been the case, the bluefin have actually been a little closer to San Diego than where the best offshore yellowtail action has been most recently.
In fact, the 3/4-day boat Liberty pulled 6 big blues from 110 to 190 pounds Sunday. As has been the case, offshore counts have not been spectacular on the whole, but as Card pointed out, every trip puts the fish of a lifetime on deck for one or more anglers.
Passenger numbers were low and light loads were generally the rule. At the same time there were some full-rack scores tallied. Prowler ran with 10 anglers and put limits of yellows aboard, plus a bluefin tuna. Wednesday the Pacific Queen had 79 yellowtail and 23 bonito for 16.
OLD GLORY'S LOCAL bluefin tuna. The H&M sportfisher is among the 17 boats competing this Friday.
New Lo-An had a 130 pounder along with 36 yellow for 20 anglers on their 1.5 day. Card agreed with others, lots of fish in the area to try for, with a definite uptick in the action Sunday. Most of the big fish were taken on the flyer and kite rigs, which the boat crews run on the ultra-heavy gear.
Card advised offshore-bound anglers to bring 20- to 40-pound tackle and fluoro leaders for fishing the kelp paddies, plus an 80-pound rod for fishing 250g Shimano flat fall jigs. He said the best bet for fishing the flat fall was a short length of heavy fluorocarbon leader, as heavy as 130-pound.
The WON Offshore Jackpot will surely see some all-time whoppers this week. Boats leave the three-landings at the Scott Street docks Thursday night at 9 p.m., can start fishing at midnight, and boats must be in by 7 p.m.
The local bass bite was excellent again. The Chubasco II limited on calico bass and had 3 yellows with 23 anglers on a 1/2-day trip. Local scores were excellent across the board, with 1/2-day trips releasing over 100 calico per trip commonly.
The Point Loma had just 11 anglers on a 3/4-day trip, limited on bass, released 145 calico and had a pair of white seabass. The Coronado Islands yellowtail perked up a bit, too. The San Diego had 20 forks one trip. Bass, barracuda and bonito were on tap too. Legend tallied limits of the skinnies on a 3/4-day trip.
A 3/4-DAY CHARTER on the San Diego found cool conditions and lots of rockfish at the Coronado Islands, then pulled the kite and yummee flyer around offshore for these two beauties, a 120 and a 140 pounder.
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