Yellowtail and bluefin pop at the Tanner, multiple ‘stray’ albacore boated

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LEX SEA ALBACORE! Capt Christian Sekas (left) and two longfins caught on a double jig strike.
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BY MERIT McCREA

In recent days the night fishing has been a bit more productive than daytime, and there have been lots of decent scores on the triple-digit tuna, out to nearly 300 pounds!

While there are tuna to find just about everywhere in the Bight now, from just below the border to the Northern Channel Islands, the prime focus of the tuna fleet switched to the outer banks and waters just inside them.

Anchor fishing the Tanner produced yellowtail and bluefin, there were great mossback bites to be had on both banks, bottom biters too.

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The fleet spent nights looking just inside the Tanner for the bigger tuna on the 300 to 400-gram knife jigs and other nighttime tuna destroyers.

You’ve heard it before, but here it is again, 100-pound tackle, rail rod, 2-speed, stand ready at the rail ‘till you can take it no more because most bites typically come right after the boat stops.

Sometimes there’s a lucky stop that lasts hours, but not always.

You’ll want a 40-pound stick for daytime fishing fly-line, maybe a 60 for sinker rig, probably a 30 to break some fish off on when they won’t eat the 40, and maybe even a bass stick for that second or third day when you’re too wiped out for much else and over getting thrashed about in open waters.

YELLOWFIN continue to be nice models like this one aboard the Condor

Next, the bass and barracuda snap. It’s time to take the kids out bass fishing because it’s no brainer wide open on the bass in some places.

The key zones are local San Diego, pretty good, The LA/Long Beach local scene, crazy good, and the Gold Coast local coastal scene, crazy good bass.

These are the bag filler zones, but for some plain fast fishing in flat water you can’t beat the consistency of the Orange County inshore zones. Keepers may be scarce but the bite is excellent and dependable.

Here’s what Brian Woolley had to say. “(Half-day action been great with 70- to 72-degree water along the beach. Good condition and good water temps made bass fishing good again. Fly-lined baits, rubber lures and the hard baits all caught fish. Plenty of action as well for the new anglers or the rent rod folk. A few halibut as well for the guys soaking baits on the bottom. Seeing some yellowtail in a couple ½-day zones. Big leery fish so ones we’ve hooked have been on wrong tackle. But we did get one 41 pounder on the Clemente this week, so those things are around.

Three-quarter-day pretty much same scenario as ½-day with good bass fishing stretching through Camp Pendleton. Seeing some yellowtail down there too. No bites on that stuff which isn’t surprising as it moves in and races around on the chum. But the bass action has been great.”

Oh yes, Santa Barbara too, the local bass bite is also keepers and excellent, but just one trip per week fishing it on Wednesdays. For the private boater this bite includes halibut, barracuda and seabass.

It’s a hot-water bite so fly-line a mack on clicker and 40 with a giant live bait hook for a croaker while you slay the bass.

In Santa Monica Bay the bass bite got good enough for most partyboat trips to stray from the rockfish reefs for it. Capt. Rick Oefinger reported, “Good action all week! Calico bass been biting    Spitfire leading the way with more than a few limit days and a few WSB mixed in. Half-day trips mixing up bass n rockfish depending on conditions because the bass action is near the end of their string. Betty O consistent limit codding.”

Next is seabass. Over the weekend before west winds came over the island there was limits on the ghosts over at Santa Rosa Island.

It was a squid bite but the boats got that bait elsewhere, so you’ll have to jump aboard a Gold Coast overnighter to get in on this.

Finally, Central Coast halibut. In addition to the great bottom biter getting in this region, private boaters have been putting the wood to the halibut in the sand recently, not only out of Port San Luis, but outside Morro Bay too.

Because there’s not live bait to buy anglers have to catch it, but most bounce-ball the white hoochies instead. Plus some may be being snagged on the Stoopid tube baits too.

At any rate, watch the weather. It can get a bit windy. At the same time, while local areas just inland are frying hot, the coast here stays quite cool.

Catalina Island offered standard 3-B fishing while at San Clemente the yellowtail fishing was excellent at times. See the forms.

Albacore! Three strays came in, one aboard the Aztec out of San Diego on a tuna trip, and a pair for a 6-pack out of Dana. Here’s the story from Woolley. “Capt Christian on the LexSea and the double jig strike on the albacore. Crazy cool. He said as he was winding the second jig in it got bit multiple times before a second fish finally stuck to it. Does that mean they clipped an edge of a school or same fish trying to eat and finally got hooked … so cool.”

So, that’s probably our entire SoCal albacore season. For more, you’ll want to head for Eureka and talk to Capt. Tim Klassen on the Reel Steel or Marc Schmidt on the Scrimshaw.

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