BY MERIT McCREA
SAN DIEGO — Favored areas for finding biting bluefin shifted with the wind as surface conditions held best down south. Those big bluefin were found in 1-day range as mixed grades of fish continued to show together. All crews couldn’t say it any louder: BRING THE BIG TACKLE, on any offshore trip.
Sam Moore of the Intrepid Team posted, “We fished bluefin for our open party 1.5-day trip and had excellent sign of bluefin and lots of opportunities at trophies. Most of the fish were 100-plus pounds so landing them was a challenge – 60- and 80-pound test sinker rigs and heavy Flat-Falls are the go to set-ups right now on the grounds.”
As the weather offshore shaped up Sunday, the scores grew and the American Angler hit the dock, back from a 1.5-day with 45 fish for 28 anglers. They had 12 in triple digits, including one at 215.
The Condor called in with 30 bluefin on a 3-day and 3 over 200, a 230 the largest. The Liberty on a full-day run put 24 including a 190 on deck fishing closer to home.
The Legend had 25 blues with 24 fishing. Eighteen of those were over 100 pounds and two more, over 200 – cows!
The Tomahawk was on them again with 10 fish from 90 to 185 pounds. The Pacific Queen was back from a 3-day with 25 anglers boating 57 bluefin, 38 in triple digits with a big fish at 220 pounds.
Capt. Mike Loust called in to Fisherman’s Landing, (sonar scratches rhythmically in the background) “Good morning guys, this is Capt. Mike Loust, Tomahawk. We just had a drift for 10. Currently dry right now. We had some major casualties. You guys, if you come out, bring 100- to 130-pound test, heavy Flat-Falls, 2-speed reels, rail rods – like you’re straight fishing Hurricane Bank. We lost way too many. I don’t want to tell you how many we lost, it’s depressing. (on the PA) You guys get a bait down there, drop your Flat-Falls down to 40 fathoms. Anyway, it’s coming back underneath us…”
There continued to be shots at yellowtail offshore too and the Pegasus‘ 19 1.5-day anglers put on 95 in addition to their 13 tuna The largest tuna of the week appeared to be a monster at 250 pounds on the Sea Adventure 80.
The Polaris Supreme called in with 56 bluefin with most over 100 pounds.
Many of the full-day fleet transitioned back to fishing offshore with the bite being well in range again. But a few boats remained loyal to the Coronado Islands.
The bite there over the weekend showed increasing numbers of barracuda and calico bass in the picture, some good scores on bonito too, and yellowtail in the mix in lower numbers than the previous weekend.
Saturday the San Diego ran with 34 anglers and landed 54 bonito, 28 barracuda, 3 yellows and 11 bass. Then Sunday, the sportboat was back with 31 getting 31 barracuda, just a pair of bonito, 57 calico and 7 more yellows.
Locally, half-day runs shifted gears a bit, spending a bit more time chasing kelp bed denizens and a little less in deeper waters after sculpin and rockfish.
Sunday the New Seaforth made two runs, releasing 140 calicos for 58 in the bags, plus abut 50 deeper water grabbers.
Half-day runs from San Diego Bay fleet put a few more sand bass in the picture. The Daily Double had 60 sandies Saturday, with 25 calico that were also kept.