December 31, 2015 at 3:25 PM—- Summary Fish Report
Provided by Bob Vanian of 976-Bite Fish Reports at www.976bite.com
The calendar is ready to turn the page and enter into 2016 and this means that the fantastic 2015 Southern California saltwater fishing season has come to a close. 2015 was a fantastic year that provided excellent fishing for big bluefin tuna along with lots of yellowfin tuna, yellowtail, dorado and striped marlin. The 2015 fishing season also amazed anglers in providing action on species rarely seen in Southern California waters such as blue marlin, black marlin and wahoo. The 2016 fishing season has a big task ahead in trying to match or surpass what happened in 2015. The great news is that with El Nino warm water conditions forecasted to extend into 2016 anything could happen and we could easily see fishing that equates or surpasses what we had in 2015. It will be interesting and fun to see what the new year brings. Happy New Year!
A couple of items of note are that the annual 2 month rockfish/groundfish closure goes into effect on January 1, 2016 for those fishing Southern California waters. Rockfish fishing remains open for those fishing waters on the Mexico side of the border. As somewhat of an offset, to the rockfish closure, the sculpin closure for those fishing in Southern California waters comes to an end on January 1, 2016.
There has been no news coming from offshore waters as no one has been out looking around offshore during the past couple of weeks. There is still some 62 to 63 degree water around offshore and this is likely to be a bit cool to be holding yellowfin tuna. Water as cool as 62 to 63 degrees might still be warm enough to be holding striped marlin.
What has been good is the fishing for yellowtail around the Coronado Islands. Wednesday, December, 30th’s three-quarter day trip aboard the San Diego out of Seaforth Sportfishing saw 48 anglers catch 48 yellowtail and 45 rockfish. Most of the yellowtail have been 20 pound class fish and Seaforth Sportfishing reports the yellows to have been biting on yo-yoed iron and live baits such as sardines or small mackerel that are fished deep on a dropper loop rig. Look for meter marks or sonar marks over hard bottom areas to locate the yellowtail around the Coronado Islands.
There are also some yellowtail biting along the San Diego County coast but the bite has been hit or miss and on the scratchy side most days. The yellowtail have mostly been quality sized 20 pound class fish so the payoff can be a very nice fish if you can get them to bite.
Similar to the yellowtail fishing around the Coronado Islands, skippers fishing the yellows along the coast have been looking for meter marks and sonar marks to stop on and fish with live bait on a dropper loop rig or yo-yoed iron. Most of the yellowtail are being found over hard bottom areas and locating schools of fin bait or red crabs can be a key to helping to finding a meter mark or sonar mark to stop on and fish. Productive coastal areas for yellowtail have been outside of Mission Bay, La Jolla, Del Mar, Leucadia and Box Canyon.
Those looking for rockfish are going to need to be fishing in Mexican waters once the 2 month annual rockfish/groundfish closure goes into effect on January 1, 2016. Most will look to fishing hard bottom areas around the Coronados and at the lower end of the 9 Mile Bank on the Mexico side of the border. Recent reports coming from these areas have been of good fishing for rockfish along with an occasional bonus lingcod.
Private boater Harry Okuda of the Alfresco III reported about fishing a recent 1.5 day sportboat trip to Punta Colnett aboard the Pacific Voyager out of Seaforth Sportfishing. They fished on Monday, December 28, 2015 and had a fish count of 13 anglers catching 65 yellowtail, 15 lingcod and 50 reds. Okuda said it was easy limit fishing for the yellowtail and that they had a few 8 to 10 pound fish in the mix but that most were up in the 15 to 25 pound range. The yellowtail were reported to be biting best on yo-yoed iron and he said that Salas 6X and 7X jigs in scrambled egg color were working best. Sardines fished on a dropper loop rig were also reported to be working for the yellowtail.
After limiting out on yellowtail, Okuda said that they focused on fishing spots for reds and lingcod. The bottom fishing was good but he said that the jumbo sized reds they were hoping to find were not biting very well. Okuda had his limit of yellowtail and 3 lingcod within his catch and estimated that his big ling cod was in the 12 to 15 pound range
It is my goal to provide you timely and accurate information in these Summary Fish Reports containing news from right off the water. If you require more updates and more details that include the specific location of where catches have been made, I refer you to the Member’s Reports at www.976bite.com . Those Member’s Reports contain additional specifics that include latitude and longitude coordinates and other descriptive references about where and how fish are being caught. Make the most efficient use of your precious time on the water with the use of timely and accurate information.
Bob Vanian……976-Bite Fish Reports