Local fishing in southern California has been excellent this past week.
The weather was up a little late Tuesday and into Wednesday. By Thursday, although the wind had died down it had taken a toll, dropping water temperatures in some areas by several degrees and dirtying up the water, mostly inshore.
In spite of this, many of the sportboats fishing offshore reported limits of yellowtail, good scores of yellowfin, and a few bluefin. Some of the best bluefin was yesterday (July 24) around the 43 Fathom spot, according to Danny Lynch, of Fishdope. “Some very large Bluefin are around, some pushing 100lbs. These big fish are not eager to bite however. The 30 to 60lb grade is a different story however and some good scores are being made. Boat stopping on meter marks and going into long 1 plus hour drifts while chumming are picking them off. It’s not a wide open bite. It’s a ‘plunker’ bite with 1 to 3 fish going at a time when they are biting.” Lynch said there were some yellowfin in the area as well, and some yellowtail on the kelps. There have also been an increasing number of dorado being caught, with one boat scoring limits in a very short period of time this week.
(Note that there is currently a ban on the take of Bluefin in Mexico.)
Inshore the calico bass fishing has been very good, with anchovies as the best bait with squid in short supply. The bonito bite has been excellent in some areas, as well as an occasional barracuda. Twilight boats have been catching plenty of sandbass and sculpin around the wrecks and reefs.
The live bait situation fluctuates on a daily basis. Sardines and some squid were available at bait docks up and down the southern coast last weekend, but by later in the week most operations reported only stocks of anchovy.
So, for this weekend…
Chris Dunn, the “Fishing Weatherman” and Chief Meteorologist at KPHO-TV CBS 5 in Arizona, says this weekend’s forecast “has epic written all over it”, and is calling for light winds up and down the southern California coast, including the offshore areas.
If you’re planning a trip this weekend (or anytime in the next few weeks) there are a few things you’re going to want to make sure you include in your tackle line up:
• Small thin wire bait hooks for fishing anchovies, as well as a supply of larger hooks you’d use for squid and sardines. Squid, if available, can be excellent offshore bait for tuna as well as yellowtail. Be sure to read up on methods and techniques for fishing anchovies, if you’re not familiar with this already.
• A variety of jigs. Megabait style jigs have been working well in an absence of good bait. Green and silver seem to be the most popular right now. Change out the factory treble hook for a larger siwash hook, size 5/0 to 7/0 depending on the size of the jig. Yoyo jigs, blue and chrome have been effective for the larger Bluefin, or a mint color. Also include selection of surface irons, with dorado and scrambled egg doing well.
• Fluorocarbon, in weights appropriate to the gear you bring.
• 20 to 30# setups for bait fishing, and 40# for jig, maybe even up to 50 or 60 in case the larger fish are around and willing to bite.
Now is a really good time to get out there and do some fishing! The weather looks good, the fishing has been great! What better way to spend a summer day than out on the water with family or friends.
Good luck and good fishing! Tight lines!