SAN DIEGO—San Diego County private boaters had their bays and most of their harbor’s launch facilities open up to use a few weeks ago, but sportboat landings and their boats have remained closed under Covid-19 restrictions. Some good news is that San Diego County sportfishing landings have found out that they will be included under Phase/Stage 3 of the reopening program.
In a May 25, update, the Seaforth Sportfishing website stated: “We are optimistic that we will be up and running by the end of the month.” In an update on the Fisherman’s Landing website, also on May 25, they say they are “waiting for local and state officials to give them the “Green Light” to start fishing.” Time will tell, but let’s hope all the sportfishing landings and their boats are all up and running safely by the time you read this report.
Dana Wharf Sportfishing in Dana Point in Orange County states on its website it will begin running trips on May 25, which is the day of my writing this report. There is a list of procedures and protocols for operating under the threat of Covid-19 on the Dana Wharf website. The procedures include passengers and crewmembers being required to wear face coverings. They also state older adults and people with severe underlying medical conditions should stay at home due to the seemingly higher risk of developing more serious complications from Covid-19. For a complete list of their requirements and procedures, go the Dana Wharf Sportfishing website at danawharf.com/covid-19/.
My prayers are for the health and safety of all passengers, crewmembers, office personnel and others who are involved in the reopening of the sportfishing industry. Please be safe!
There has been some good fishing by private boaters scouring offshore waters. They have been finding a mix of bluefin tuna, yellowfin tuna and kelp paddie yellowtail. The numbers of fish being caught has not been very high but the quality size of the tuna has been outstanding with bluefin running from 30 to 200 pounds and yellowfin running from 20 to 60 pounds.
Boats fishing for bluefin tuna and yellowfin tuna have been finding recent success while working the area ranging from inside of the inner high spot at the Upper Hidden Bank on over to the 475 Knuckle. The best area has ranged from 34 to 38 miles 160 to 180 degrees from Point Loma. There have also been occasional showings of tuna reported at the 302 Spot, the 371 Bank and the 425 Bank areas and today there was a report of a 200-pound class bluefin being caught outside of the 302 Spot in the area of the 230 Spot.
The bluefin tuna have been ranging from 30 to 200 pounds with most in the 80- to 150-pound range. The few yellowfin tuna that have been biting have been in the 20- to 60-pound range. Bluefin have been biting best on kite trolled Yummy Flyers and kite fished drifted frozen flying fish. Occasional bluefin have also been caught on drifted sardines, mackerel and on iron that is cast to breaking fish. Yellowfin have been biting on trolled Rapalas and cedar plugs as well as on sardines that are drifted around meter marks.
Private boater Floyd Sparks, of Tuna Kahuna, fished on a friend’s boat and reported catching a bluefin tuna of 85 pounds and 150 pounds. The fish were caught on kite trolled Yummy Flyers while fishing around a temperature break that they found while fishing to the southwest of the 475 Knuckle.
The first day of summer is on June 20, and is fast approaching. The spring fishing season continues to impress and with bluefin tuna, yellowfin tuna, yellowtail, calico bass, bonito, barracuda biting one would think that things would just keep getting better as the summer season arrives. I hope and pray you are staying healthy, safe and sound. Keep on fishing and please be safe! I hope to see you out on the water sometime soon.
Bob Vanian is the voice, writer and researcher of the San Diego-based internet fish report service called 976-Bite which can be found at www.976bite.com. Vanian also provides anglers with a personal fish report service over the telephone at 619-226-8218. He always welcomes your fish reports at that same phone number or at firstname.lastname@example.org.