San Diego saltwater: It’s a wide open bite

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BY MERIT McCREA

SAN DIEGO — The limits style kelp paddy fishing continued south of the border, and by late in the week most of the San Diego fleet was running south. The bluefin bite continued between the islands to the north, but the south bite was just too good to pass up. Nevertheless, those on longer trips, after seeing southern success, opted to try their hand at those tough to land bluefin for the final day.

The spread of fish was again broad, with a few schools within 1-day range but the really good fishing a bit farther down the line.

Heather Ferrari at H&M Landing relayed Capt. Hunter Denette of the Poseidon’s report of the bulk of the action later in the week being offshore of Colonet.

They were biting hard and tackle for this bite was a 1/0 live bait hook on 30- or 40-pound line. “The dorado are getting bigger and bigger the YFT (yellowfin) are biting very steadily. Lots of boats with limits this weekend.”

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SMALL SHINY in the face – angler Chris Marten fished an SK jig for this sweet yellowfin on the iron aboard the Old Glory. PHOTO COURTESY OF H&M LANDING

“If you’re paying attention to the counts now is the time to go. October has been the month to fish the last few years,” she continued.

As for an example of strategies being employed in the wheelhouse, a 3.5-day aboard the Ranger 85 resulted in 345 yellowfin, 53 dorado, 25 yellowtail and a final day on bluefin for 6 of the beasts.

There was plenty of action on yellowfin for those who tossed the small chrome heavies, the Coltsniper for example. Plus, both yellowfin and dorado will readily eat the topwater baits too.

Capt. Scott McDaniels, owner of the Sea Adventure 80 shared these words:

“Full Speed! Full Boogie! “Rod bending 360 around the boat!”

The boat turned in full limits of both dorado and yellowfin tuna, returning north from 110 miles south. He said sardines were the top bait but the Coltsnipers were hot. They’d had smaller ‘dines so a smaller #2 live bait hook was the order.

There were many similar scores across the entire offshore fleet fishing 1.5-day and longer trips.

On the bluefin end of the fleet, highlights included limits for 24 – 48 bluefin for the American Angler on a 1.5-day trip.

The Islander put up a 120 pounder, with 15 total bluefin, 11 dorado, a pair of yellowtail and a pair of those larger U.S. waters yellowfin tuna too.

On a 2 dayer the Outer Limits turned in limits of dorado (92) and 50 bluefin for 23 anglers Tuesday.

Locally, the bite turned from rockfish to an excellent bite on the bigger bonito with top half-day scores up over a hundred bones per half.

BONITO LIMITS aboard the Premier with deckhand Christian Skinner and Doran Phile on the pile. PHOTO COURTESY OF H&M LANDING

It got better through the week and by Sunday the Daily Double posted full limits of bones for 24 anglers. That’s 120 tiger tuna.

The New Seaforth, with La Jolla within its local range saw some solid calico snaps boating 55 on the p.m. run Sunday. Saturday their 34 anglers limited out on bonito, landing 170.

Lastly but certainly not least, lobster season opened Saturday morning, 6 a.m. and that evening the Alicia had hoop nets deployed for a catch of 14 keepers for just 6 participants. Another 14 bugs were released to grow a bit more. The Jig Strike hit the spider crab honey hole with 15 aliens caught for the pot.

Looking up the line to the landings in Oceanside Harbor, the Oceanside 95 was on the offshore bite again, posting solid scores on its 1.5-day open party runs.

The rest of the two landing fleet from both Helgren’s Oceanside Sporfishing and the Oceanside SEA Center stayed local. Local rockfishing was productive. Highlights included Saturday’s scores on the Chubasco II’s two daily runs. The morning one took 21 anglers to 210 rockfish for limits and the afternoon found 15 catching 51 bonito, fishing up top.

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