Times Spent Outdoors: Priceless!

San Diego Sport Fishing


Windy weather and a morning-only bite foiled many boats going into the weekend, but a few managed to deck one or two tuna per rod out on the bluefin grounds. Some boats opted to fish for yellowtail, white seabass and halibut near islands.

Here’s how Randy Toussaint of the Royal Star put it August 2: “We got off to a nice start with a grey bite for 40 bluefin but the rest of the day produced very little aside from a few flats (dorado) and small bluefin tuna. Overall, a down day for the fleet, hopefully they float tomorrow.”

Short-range boats from the four San Diego Landings managed to scratch out approximately one bluefin and one yellowtail per rod on August 2 in the difficult conditions, so the fish are still there, and still appear to be easing toward the north. The upcoming new moon is likely to boost catches again for all, after the weather calms.

Island Report

“Leaving on one of these kind of trips,” said the American Angler’s report for August 3, “you can pretty much bet that everyday will be different and in our case today, it was for the better. Arriving at our new fishing hole right after daylight, we went to work right away. Fast wound yo-yo jigs and bottom-loopers kept us busy with two to eight fish going, beautiful 18 to 28-pound yellows. This was the most perfect scenario we could have asked for – keeping the gang busy and having fun.

Staying steady for the better half of the day we were all thankful for what a difference a day makes and with everyone able to use a few tags we’re heading back up the line in search of some tuna fish.

Today’s stars is Ernie Seko smiling with one of the three token white seabass that were thrown in the mix today.”

Called It In

Justin Fleck called in to the boat’s office from the Excel with this update. "We finished up our Sogioka/Stires seven-day trip by fishing along the beach. We had some excellent fishing on shallow water Rockfish, Bass and some Halibut. It was just good to get everybody out at the rail yank'n and crank'n. Yesterday we looked offshore. We covered all of the same territory where we were catching that Yellowfin tuna last week and the week before that. It seems like that fish has moved up a little closer to home. We didn't have much success, we only ended up with 14. We had good Bluefin fishing, good Yellowtail fishing, a sample of Yellowfin and then some beach fish today. So the guys are happy, the crew is happy, the boat is running good and the weather is nice.”

In & Out

“Thanks to everyone who made the annual Westcoast Marketing trip,” wrote Independence skipper Jeff DeBuys August 4, “and to Rick Ozaki for everything provided for the trip. Jackpot winners for this trip: 1st place Paul King from Kerrbile, TX, for a 70.2 BFT

2nd place goes to Allen Smith of Santee, for a 64.4 bluefin.

3rd place goes to Mike Rubio from Phoenix, AZ with a 62.4-pounder. Nice fish, guys.

“Today was the first day of the Tahoe Tuna Club seven-day, and we got off to a great start. Things were biting very early on this morning, as we positioned the boat on this water structure just rite. The morning hit ended about 1100 and the rest of the day was slow till dark, then we got into a school and added six more beauties. The total for the day was 71 bluefin 45 to 70 pounds with many 50 to 60-pounders in the mix. Everyone had a fun time fishing for these gorgeous fish today. The weather is great, and we are going to give this another try tomorrow.”

Intrepid Toppers

“The Intrepid returned this morning from our Nor Cal Tuna Club seven-day trip,” said the report from the boat’s office August 3. “Jackpot winners are:

1st Place : Michael Burke with his 59.2 lb. BFT

2nd Place goes to Gary Kinoshita with his 47.2 lb. BFT

3rd place: Charter Master Doug Inouye with his 40.2 lb. BFT.”

Rolling In

“After a brief snafu with the sea anchor,” said the report from Polaris Supreme August 4, “we rolled right into stops on Bluefin tuna with our best drop yielding 35 of those tunas. Most of the fish were in the 14 to 22-pound range but we did manage a few whacks on that 40 to 60-pound grade as well. Our good friend Travis Donahue decided that throwing a 9'3" Ulua with 40-pound was just a stellar idea and managed to hook a dandy of a fish. I'm pretty sure a new style of angling was invented; it was crouching Travis, boot camp deluxe, and an antenna. Travis did his best but Gunny couldn't take it anymore and had to assist little Travis and the battle ensued. Guns had that fish about two feet out of the gaff reach of Mark and myself and just like that, sorrow. The Bluefin tuna won this battle and looked to be in the 120-pound range.”


“We had a great morning of yellowtail,” said Red Rooster III’s report for August 3. “We scooped squid last night and the yellows loved the squid. We made sure to get enough squid for offshore fishing and we will be in the bluefin grounds tomorrow morning.

“Everybody had plenty of yellowtail and we left the Island at 10:00 this morning and travelled up all day.

“Hopefully we make decent speed and get up there in time for the morning. A 228 mile move.”


“Opportunity connected with the dream early,” wrote Tim Ekstrom for Royal Star August 4, “as a boomer school of 50 to 65-pound class bluefin was engaged with our full arsenal flying. The adrenaline meter was pegged both on deck and the bridge as the spot swung around and appeared as though it wanted to get down to business. For about ten or fifteen minutes, oh were they sweet, the maddeningly fickle bluefin dropped their guard a little bit. Not so much that our full ability was necessary to maintain control - we certainly could, and would have preferred to handle a whole lot more, but a couple of handfuls remained on the line and gave us all a good taste of the potential.

We were/are under no illusions though; twenty five bluefin offshore does not a six-day voyage make, but it was a good beginning in many ways. With a refreshing number of anglers new to this fishery the opportunity to remain at the rail and apply and practice some unfamiliar fishing skills was perfect during the long drift following our initial hit.

Offshore is again on the docket but a relocation was definitely in order. There is something better to be found. Whether or not we find it remains to be seen. Photos today first feature the "hot stick" of the day Edrei Rios, with one of his four 60 pound class bluefin landed during our first go around.”

Spirit Winners

"Brian Evans docked the Spirit Of Adventure this morning,” reported Annemarie Keating August 2, “with Joe Citarella's group on board. The 20 anglers were on a seven-day trip to Alijos Rocks, where they caught 58 Wahoo. The largest fish was Phil Nardulli's 66-pound Wahoo, but it did not qualify for the jackpot because it was caught on the troll. The group also caught 96 Bluefin, 14 Yellowfin and 300 Yellowtail. Jackpot winner was Pete Fallini with a 48.65-pound Wahoo, followed by John Ryan's 47.8-pounder. Doc Lang took third place with a 46.4-pound Wahoo.

La Paz Choices

“I have to say that I’m thankful we have our two fleets,” wrote Jonathan Roldan about his week, “with one of them in La Paz and one of them at Las Arenas. It gives our clients some choices about where to fish and we can also move them if necessary to get them the best conditions or to find fish.

“As sometimes happens, weather or fishing dictates that sometimes one side will be better than the other. It happens. Normally, this time of year both our fleets are bendo and deep into all manners of fish.

“However this past week, Las Arenas really sorta dropped off the fishing map. Not one was it rougher from some long distance storms to the south that brought in some chop and swell, but there was a lack of bait. Additionally, the better fishing was either outside at the buoys or all the way out at the 88 spot.

“One the good side, the buoys held some decent dorado and the 88 produced more of those monster bull dorado and a number of hooks ups on striped marlin, sailfish and even a few big blues (all billfish either released or broke off). But that’s a long way to run and if it was one of those bumpy days and you were one of the pangas that scratched, it’s a long, long day.

But, like I said, thankfully, we had our La Paz fleet. So, folks would try a day or two at Las Arenas then we’d have them switch over to our La Paz fleet.

And everyone got fish! Limits or near limits of dorado from punk-sized schoolies to 30-plus pound bull mahi as well as some stripers and sailfish and even a few sharks hooked up. The fish were well north so it was a bit of a ride and the bite was often late…well past 1 p.m. So, often I had to tell our clients, just be patient and let the captain fish. Don’t jump the gun. Sure enough, the late bite came in and there would be the feeding frenzy!

Bait as tough for our La Paz fleet as well, but going out extra early, we’re able to jig up some mackerel and caballitos then go look for some sardines. Then go hook a few small bonito. By the time you hit the fishing grounds, you’ve got two or three different types of bait aboard and gives you an edge. Add in some trolling and now you’re cooking with gas! But, as I said, we just had to tell folks be patient. Our captains are all working hard to find the fish. And we found them. It was just later than normal!”


Blue Bite Up

The report from Rancho Leonero for last week included some very big fish.

“Water- Clean, clear, flat, warm, 83-87.

“Air- Warmer days, highs in the mid 90's. a little rain today.

“Another week of excellent fishing! The Blue marlin bite really picked up in the past week, of course a week late for the Bisbee. One of the hotel’s Pangas, Robert, captained by Pedro, caught two big Blues in the last couple of days; a 566-pounder and a 430. The 566 he took alone on the boat! There were over ten Blues in the 300-pound plus class, released on the East Cape this week. Commercial boats are fishing for squid nightly, just outside a couple of miles. All the Squid are helping the fishing. Striped Marlin have been common again this week, two to four releases daily are common, mixed with a few more Sails than last week. By far our best bill fishing year ever!

“The Yellowfin bite was strong early in the week. The last couple of days the fish have been line shy. The big spread schools of Porpoise are still around, holding lots of tuna. The bite should pick back up anytime.

“Our best Dorado week of the year. Lots more fish, widely ranging in size. Lots more schooling fish, from five to 45-pounders. All anglers are scoring.

“Inside fishing has picked up with much cleaner water this week. Big Roosters in the 50-pound class were common, especially later in the week. Some big Amberjack of 50 to 80 pounds were taken on live bait and jigged iron. All were taken on the inside La Ribera drop offs.”


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