Islands on, offshore switch

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AN EXOTIC LOOKING two-tone dorado aboard the Fortune. PHOTO CREDIT CAPT. SHON ROBERTS
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SAN DIEGO — The Coronado Islands area bite was game-on by week’s end as the offshore scene showed signs of a shift.

With limits yellows scores reported from the Coronado Islands area, the offshore scene showed signs of a switch to yellowfin tuna as the first few skipjack tuna also made a showing.

What’s more, the zone where the YFT blew up was no farther than those islands, just a few miles southwest and within easy 1-day range.

Capt. Jeff Spafford on the Outrider reported 46 yellowfin tuna from teens to low 20s in size for a 1.5-day with just 10 anglers. He said the fish were within 3/4-day range actually.

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After a week of decent bluefin and yellowtail fishing spread widely from the outer banks to areas both in Mexican and U.S. waters and some continuing dorado scores, there were a few dry trips for some, especially over the weekend.

This left the unabated and excellent bite at the Coronados and the nearby yellowfin bite gleaming like a shining star.

Earlier in the week it had been all going on as offshore waters runs returned with scores like the New Lo-An’s bluefin limits for 25 fishing Tuesday, while the island-bound Mission Belle returned with 111 yellows for 27 anglers.

The following day the Belle had limits for 19, plus bonito and the New Lo-An limits on bluefin again — 36 for 18.

There were some impressive dorado scores in the mix too, the Pacific Dawn with 68 flat-heads for 17 folks on an overnighter. The Legend turned in 116 plus 26 bluefin and more for 29 anglers.

Capt. Scott McDaniels, owner of the Sea Adventure 80, posted limits of dorado on a 1.5-dayer due in Wednesday.

On the bluefin side, the Pacific Queen came in Friday from a 3.5- day with 138 bluefin, 140 yellowtail and 4 yellowfin for 23 anglers. By Saturday those big U.S. waters mahi numbers had dwindled in favor of yellowfin just over the border and the Malihini called in with 30 yellowfin tuna and 42 rockfish, including 27 reds on a full-day run.

It seemed both the Tanner and Cortes banks produced mixed catches with lots of huge yellowtail, 25- to 30-pound class, some mixed grade bluefin tuna, and of course, huge bonito and bottom biters.

SARA ROSER is all smiles after decking this quality bluefin aboard the Pacific Islander last week on a fly-lined sardine. Capt. Rick Russel provides the assist for the photo op. There’s still plenty of time to sign up for the WON-Pacific Islander ultra limited load 3.5-day char- ter coming up Oct. 3-7. For more info on the trip or to lock up your spot, visit WONews.com.

At press time, the Oceanside 95 was on her way home to Ocean- side from a 2-dayer fishing the both banks over the weekend. Much of the 1.5-day and longer fleet was headed for the Cortes.

There were some jumbos reported Sunday, including the Pegasus with 20 yellows and 25 bluefin, a catch that also included 6 cows 200 to 240 pounds and 3 more fish from 130 to 180 pounds.

The Pacific Dawn had just 12 bluefin on a 1.5-day, but 11 of those were in excess of 130 pounds up to 230. The Pacific Queen had 24 blues with 19 over 100 pounds and 4 of those weighing in excess of 200.

Also out of Oceanside, the Pronto, with just 3 anglers on a 3/4- day Friday, reported 24 dorado, a yellowtail and a yellowfin tuna.

Over the weekend those local dorado scores disappeared with the heavy boat traffic. The Chubasco II took 6 more and a yellowtail Sat- urday with 25 anglers and that was the last for the weekend.

Remaining local trips resorted to reef fishing for bottom biters. Rockfish and whitefish were dominant while bass were few.

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