BY MERIT McCREA
SAN DIEGO — Westerly winds came with a vengeance Friday, ending what had been a week of monster bluefin tuna catches a few days early.
The number of massive 300-plus-pound bluefin tuna was impressive, a daily occurrence out of the 4 San Diego area party boat landings, and by private boaters alike.
In addition, much closer to home, the kelp paddy bite on yellowfin tuna, skipjack tuna and yellowtail continued to be a full limits affair within full-day range.
Over at H&M Landing Heather Ferrari reported a few charter boats had already tied up for the year, yet with the continuing bite, and large fleet there were still ample opportunities available to anglers.
Highlights included the Old Glory with 29 fishing limiting out on yellowfin tuna, landing 145 and filling in with an additional 100 skippies, 18 yellowtail and a pair of late season dorado.
The Sea Adventure 80 took 17 anglers to the outer banks for bluefin, landing 51 including their largest weighing in at 285 pounds. They’re still on the run and offering anglers a chance at those trophy bluefin.
The night bite on the iron was awesome again and daytime fish came on the kite and live bait. Success in landing larger daytime fish came with hooking them on the kite gear.
In the dark the deal was heavy gear and glow iron with the knife jigs and Flat-Fall type working well.
The Ocean Odyssey’s 29 landed 57 bluefin on a 1.5 dayer. The Producer put a 310 pounder on the landing scale and the Mustang targeted the bigger bluefin for 5 between 125 and 175 pounds to go with 16 yellows and 15 bonito Thursday, the final fishing day of the week.
Monday the twilight lobster hoop-net trips aboard the Alicia and Jig Strike combined for a total catch of 37 keepers, releasing over 150 sub-legal bugs along the way.
Over at Point Loma Sportfishing the Game Changer returned from a 2.5-day with their 4 anglers landing 11 bluefin, the largest at 340 pounds, another at 213 pounds with 9 more between 130 and 180 pounds.
The New Lo-An carried 22 anglers and caught 36 bluefin on a 2.5-day trip.
A full-day aboard the Mission Belle with 22 fishing decked 87 yellowtail, 53 bonito and 7 dorado.
Out of Fisherman’s Landing the Condor hit the hot bluefin bite while braving the first gusts of the windy weather on a 1.5-day. They landed 48 blues with the largest at 270 pounds and another at 170.
The Pacific Queen was back from a 3-day with 78 bluefin in the box. There were 18 of 140 pounds and greater with the largest at 378 pounds.
Capt. Jeff Walker on the Tomahawk had 2 super cows on deck among others on a 2.5-day. The largest to hit the deck was a 347 caught on the iron at night.
At Seaforth Sportfishing the Pacifica’s 1.5-day was one of the last in before the wind. They ended up with 52 bluefin, limits for 26 anglers. The night bite on the iron accounted for 40 of the big fish.
Capt. Aliyar Nabi said, “We had some really nice fish between 150 and 190 pounds.”
The boat’s 1.5-day immediately preceding had returned with 37 bluefin for their 27 anglers – 13 fish over 100 and two of which exceeded 200 pounds.
Capt. Greg Gawit on the Aztec was back from a 3 dayer with 25 anglers. Of the 51 bluefin landed, 31 were in excess of the 100-pound mark, including one which scaled at a monstrous 310 pounds.
On the local grounds just south of the border Capt. Ryan Bostian on the San Diego found “aquarium style” fishing on a “lucky kelp.” This resulted in close to limits all around for 34 anglers including 148 yellowfin tuna, 36 yellowtail, 89 skipjack and 5 dorado.
Over the windy weekend even the local 1/2-day trips canceled.