Bluefin bonanza off Baja!

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SAN DIEGO – Storms? What storms? They didn’t interrupt the bluefin bite down south off Baja, in fact, the grade improved with fish to 170 pounds meeting the gaff.

The first big hit for numbers came last weekend, but the San Diego 1.5- and 2-day boats that made the run had no trouble relocating the fish after nearly a week off the water.

Once again, the Pacific Queen, Fisherman’s Landing, was at the head of the pack. The boat brought home 47 of the tuna, and no less than 15 were eyeballed at 120 to 170 pounds!

Capt. Gavin Harbour said most of the fish ate fly-lined bait on 50- and 60-pound line. A handful were on the sinker rig, and there was just one on a Flat-Fall.

With the beastly caliber of many of the Pacific Queen’s bluefin, battles were likely long and there must have been heartbreaks, but Harbour said his anglers were “regular people” meaning you could do it too.

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ANGLER DAVE CHOATE with another 100+ Pacific Queen bluefin. PHOTO COURTESY PACIFIC QUEEN SPORTFISHING

The Tomahawk, Fisherman’s, was on the grounds for 2 days, and caught 36 big bluefin in great conditions. Eleven of the fish were estimated at 150 to 180 pounds, fish-of-a-lifetime grade.

Connor Jopson, H&M Landing, reported “Great sign of bluefin this week as our fleet set a course for offshore waters. Scores varied wildly while massive schools were encountered.”

Out of H&M Landing, the Old Glory and Poseidon were on the spot. The Poseidon, on a 1.75-day, scored bluefin up to 110 pounds. Capt. Hunter Denette said, “We found the right school that wanted to bite and we went 13 for 30 on this grade bluefin, and it’s only March.

The Old Glory had 8 over 100 and suffered tremendous casualties, but everyone had a shot. “It was great fishing, tough catching,” Capt. Kley Williams. He said it was brutal.” We got ruined!” If you’re going, don’t skimp on the equipment and line size.

The grey light bite was very good with nothing less than 100 pounds hooked. They kept 5 to 10 going for three hours but were only able to land 3 to 132 pounds. The Old Glory left that and found another good bite on bigger fish and one 50 pounder, a token “little guy.” That one went until dark but once again with many lost fish.

“You are definitely undergunned using the 40-pound,” Williams added. “Fish at least 50 and maybe have a fighting chance at landing one of these brutes.”

Closer to home port, the San Diego and Liberty took weekend shots at the Coronado Islands. Gamefish were a no-show for the San Diego, but the Liberty called in with 9 yellows to go with big numbers of rockfish.

Finally, on the local front, a Sea Watch, Seaforth Landing, rent rod caught a plump homeguard. The photo shows a flat calm ocean. “Despite the clouds and a little rain, conditions were beautiful. Glassy!” the landing reported. Otherwise the half-day action was focused on the rockcod.

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