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Old 08-01-2018, 10:28 AM
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Default WON - Tuna talk

Boaters Report: San Clemente Island Bluefin Now Over 300 Pounds
Published: Jul 31, 2018

The offshore stage saw continued mixed-bag fishing that included bluefin tuna, yellowfin tuna, dorado and yellowtail. One change is most of the bluefin activity is now coming from the waters off the back side of San Clemente Island with lesser amounts of activity reported from the other areas where anglers are targeting yellowtail, dorado and yellowfin.

The bluefin tuna at San Clemente Island have included some whoppers that have gone over 300 pounds. Some changes in technique are developing for fishing for the bluefin with live squid fished from balloons and rigged flying fish under drifted kites. Also productive have been sardines, mackerel, poppers, Flat-Fall jigs and kite-trolled Yummee Flyers. Another change is some of the best bluefin bites are coming during early-evening hours and prior to dawn.

There are bluefin tuna to be found outside of the entire back side of San Clemente Island, but the best areas have been in the region of the 57 Fathom Spot located above and outside of China Point and also a bit further up the back side outside of Lost Point and Seal Cove.

The rest of the offshore fishing is for a mix of yellowtail, dorado and yellowfin tuna for boats fishing areas ranging from the Catalina Channel on down to the offshore waters outside of Punta Colonet. The current best bite areas are from the waters outside of Punta Colonet where there has been a mix of yellow*fin tuna, dorado and yellowtail biting and in the region of the 390 Bank where there has been good yellowtail fishing along with a chance at scratching out a few yellowfin and dorado. Other productive areas recent days have been the Catalina Channel, the 277 Spot, the 209, 181, the 289, the 182, the 9-Mile Bank, the 43 Fathom Spot, the Corner, the 224 Spot, the 302, the 371 Bank and the Upper Hidden Bank.

Most of the dorado and yellow*tail action comes from kelp paddies and yellowfin have been biting from spots of breaking fish, porpoise schools and the occasional blind trolling strike. The yellowtail have included some very nice fish that have gone to 30 pounds with most falling within the 8- to 12-pound range. The dorado have been mostly 6- to 12-pound fish with an occasional 20-plus pounder also being reported. The yellowfin have been mostly in the 8- to 12- pound range with a few larger fish to 30 pounds in the mix.

Captain Ron Bowers of the Salt Fever fished a weekend 2-day trip and reported fishing the waters outside of Punta Colonet on Saturday. He said they found some decent action from kelp paddies and a porpoise school and ended up with two dorado (10 pounds and 24 pounds), six of the 8-pound yellow*fin and four 8-pound yellow*tail. They were working an area that was between 93 miles and 112 miles 155 to 161 degrees from Point Loma. Bowers said there were some wide-open kelp paddy stops found by other boats in the area but they were not able to locate one of their own.

On Sunday, Bowers fished the area between the 390 Bank and the Upper Hidden Bank and caught 22 yellowtail, 4 yellow*fin tuna and 2 dorado. The yellow*fin came from a porpoise school where they got a triple jig strike and caught one on iron that was dropped back on the slide. Most of their yellowtail were in the 8- to 12-pound range with a 27-pound big fish for the trip. The two dorado went 7 and 12. This fishing was found between the Upper Hidden Bank and the 390 Bank 34 to 38 miles 197 to 202 degrees from Point Loma.

The fishing at the Coronado Islands continues to improve with good mixed-bag fishing for yellowtail, bonito, barracuda and calico bass. The best area for the yellowtail and bonito has been at Pukey Point at North Island. The Middle Grounds has also been a good area for more of a mixed-bag of fish. The yellow*tail have been biting slow-trolled and drifted mackerel or sardines. Surface iron and trolled X-Rap Rapalas have also been effective for yellowtail.

Private boater Pat McDonell of Western Outdoor News on his Robalo fished at the Pukey Point area of North Island and reported finding fun fishing for yellowtail, bonito and barracuda. He said the three aboard caught 12 yellowtail along with a bunch of bonito and barracuda that they released. In addition to the yellows caught, they lost 10 to the seals. He said their yellowtail were in the 10- to 15-pound range and says he is pretty certain that they lost a couple of larger 20-pound class fish to the seals and rocks.

McDonell said they found success using live mackerel for bait as well as from casting Coltsnipers and surface iron in dorado and scrambled egg. He observed another private boater trolling Rapalas and catching yellowtail, bonito and barracuda.

The fishing along the San Diego County coast has been good for a mix of calico bass, sand bass, rockfish and sculpin. Boats fishing the Point Loma Kelp have also been picking up a few barracuda and an occasional yellowtail, and there was also a recent report of a private boater catching two yellows on trolled Rapalas while fishing off the upper end of La Jolla. The most productive kelp bed spots along the San Diego County coast for calico bass have been the Point Loma Kelp Beds, the upper end of La Jolla, Del Mar, Solana Beach, Leucadia, Carls*bad, the Barn Kelp, Box Canyon and San Onofre.
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Old 08-04-2018, 09:03 PM
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I had a 3 day tuna trip cancel on me for this Sunday on the Excalibur out of
H & M. The guy at the landing said there was a sudden spike in sea temps. Tuna stopped biting and the skippies and dodos have appeared.
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Old 08-05-2018, 04:16 AM
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I heard yesterday that some nearer shore temperatures hit 78 degrees ???

But I've never heard of canceling a trip because the dodos were biting.


The counts out of Seaforth also show strong yellowtail numbers. Seaforth also has at least one 1.5 day trip leaving tonight (Sunday) with opening as of now.

Last edited by Brad I; 08-05-2018 at 04:47 AM.
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Old 08-05-2018, 11:00 AM
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The boat had 7 reservations out of 27. Day and a half counts look dismal. Yellows have become a by-catch I give away. One of the reasons I wanted to fish this boat was the new skipper is Joel Ralston, previous owner of the Relentless. I am headed to Ciscos to fish the Aloha Spiriit for calicos.
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Last edited by Toadtamer; 08-05-2018 at 11:02 AM.
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