The weekend saw some improved action for the bigger bluefin on the kite trolled Yummy Flyers with a very impressive catch being reported aboard the three-quarter day trip on the Liberty out of Fisherman’s Landing on Sunday, June 25, 2017. Private boater Pat McDonough was aboard that trip and reported that they caught 6 bluefin tuna that were all up over 100 pounds with a big fish that taped out at 195 pounds. All the fish were caught on kite-trolled Yummy Flyers as trolled by the crew on behalf of the passengers via a trolling rotation. McDonough did not get bit while it was his turn on the trolling rotation but said he had an awesome time just watching the fish blow up on the surface while chasing the Yummy Flyers and as being aboard for such a fine catch of large bluefin tuna.
The yellowfin tuna have for the most part been running from 15 to 40 pounds. Cedar plugs have been working best for the yellowfin which have also been biting on sardines, Rapalas and Halco 130s. The yellowfin have been found by locating sonar marks, meter marks, porpoise schools and spots of breaking, puddling or breezing fish.
The yellowtail have been biting on sardines fished around kelp paddies and have been running from 5 to 25 pounds.
The best areas for the bluefin and yellowfin have been in the San Diego region for boats fishing areas such as the 9 Mile Bank, 182 Spot, 224 Spot, 302 Spot, 371 Bank and the area 4 to 8 miles out to the west of North Island. The region of the 224 Spot was the best bluefin bite area when the Liberty made their catch of six 100-plus-pound bluefin tuna on Sunday. In more northern offshore waters up toward the Catalina area, there has also been occasional tuna action for boats fishing the area of the 267 Spot, 277 Spot, 181 Spot, 209 Spot, 312 Spot and from 7 to 14 miles off the stretch of coast between San Onofre and Oceanside.
Al Church of the SomeDay Is Now was out fishing for tuna on Sunday, June 26 and was working the area outside of the upper end of the 9 Mile Bank at 13 miles 259 degrees from Point Loma when they spotted an estimated 300-pound swordfish. Church said they got the biggest sardine they could find in the bait tank and presented it to the swordfish.
They baited the swordfish for about 15 minutes and it eventually bit for them. They got to fight the swordfish for 25 minutes before the hook pulled out. They got a good look at the fish via the two jumps it made during the 25-minute fight and were confident of the 300-pound class size estimate. Church had friends Phil Rosenberg, Eric Drummond and Hector Estrella aboard and it sounded like they all were thrilled by the experience of baiting, hooking and fighting the swordfish!
Mike Seymour of the Sea Section reported fishing on Saturday, June 24, 2017 and was focusing on catching yellowtail. Seymour reported fishing around the Coronado Islands and finding barracuda to 9 pounds biting but was not finding much in the way of yellowtail activity. He decided to run outside to look for kelp paddies and found an area about 5 miles outside of the south tip of South Island where there were 3 kelp paddies within a couple of miles of one another that were holding good-sized yellowtail. Seymour was fishing with his wife Peggy and their friend, Scott Pastore, and they each caught a nice-sized kelp paddy yellowtail. Their yellows weighed in at 22 pounds, 19 pounds and 18 pounds and were caught on sardines. While they were fishing one of the kelp paddies, Seymour reported seeing a huge foamer spot of breaking tuna blow up about a half a mile outside of the kelp paddy.
The fishing at the Coronado Islands was good for surface fishing during the week but the water conditions changed over the weekend and went from being 65-degree clean water at mid-week to being 58- to 59-degree off-color green water on Sunday. The good mixed bag bite of barracuda, bonito, calico bass and yellowtail turned slow with the arrival of the 58- to 59-degree off-color water.
San Clemente Island has been providing some good mixed bag fishing for yellowtail, calico bass, bonito, rockfish and an occasional white seabass. The yellowtail have been nice-sized fish that have been running from 10 to 30 pounds. Boats are fishing many areas around and about the Island and have been finding action at various locations. On the front side of the Island, some of the more productive areas have been Purse Seine Rock, White Rock and Gold Bluff. On the back side of the Island, productive areas have been while fishing the ridges between Pyramid Cove and China Point as well as at spots like Lost Point, Eel Point, the Runway, West Cove and the 9 Fathom Spot.
Live squid has been the best bait for the yellowtail and there has been some squid to catch for bait at night in West Cove. Some of the boats have also been bringing squid over to San Clemente Island from Catalina where it is being caught at night off Ben Weston.
Catalina Island has been producing flurries of yellowtail action along with a mix of calico bass, barracuda, bonito and rockfish. A couple of the better yellowtail areas have been while fishing off Salta Verde and Little Gibraltar with some good mixed bag surface fishing being reported off Little Gibraltar and Toyon Bay and Gallagher’s Beach.