First, the Coronado Islands yellows. The San Diego has been fishing the islands for only a short time this season, but is already showing its well-known affinity for finding the forktails. Wednesday, with only 14 anglers aboard, the boat hit paydirt: 62 yellowtail in the 15- to 20-pound range! Those fish mainly ate the yo-yo iron, but a few were caught up top on the long rods.
Friday’s trip couldn’t find the bulk of the fish, but still managed a couple forkies to go witha round of bonito and plenty of rockfish. Just a day later, the count improved to 19 yellows and a halibut. Sunday and Monday were weather scratches.
The San Diego wasn’t the only boat in on the Coronados action. The Mission Belle, Point Loma Sportfishing, captured 9 along with 20 bonito on Saturday. Soon it will be joined by the Liberty full-day boat out of Fisherman’s Landing. The big boat will be online for the Coronados run starting March 4.
Colonet 1.5-day or longer trips have been productive all winter, but the prospect of bluefin tuna has certainly spiced things up. A week ago, the Tomahawk and Pacific Queen, Fisherman’s, opened the tuna action but many of their anglers were undergunned. Now that anglers are ready for bluefin, the catch rate has improved but there is still untold carnage in lost fish, a given with these bruisers.
The Tomahawk went out mid-week for another go and got 4, but 3 were in the 120- to 150-pound range, beautiful fish. This weekend’s 1.5-day was luckier, 13 of the BFTs from 70 to 90 pounds, still good quality. That was to go with limits of jumbo Colonet cods and 8 lings to 22 pounds, a most excellent trip.
Other boats made the journey south but missed on both yellows and bluefin.WON ad sales rep. Dylan Depres was on one such trip on the Relentless, which fished about halfway down, and filed a report.
Depres said a morning search for yellowtail found good conditions and working birds but no jacks, so the boat turned to the dependable rockfish resource. Those fish ate squid strips, live sardine and jigs, with the jigs seemingly out producing natural baits. Once the bags were stuffed the Relentless headed offshore, but couldn’t find any bluefin signal and turned for home.