Summary Fish Report—May 26, 2016 at 4:40 PM

Summary Fish Report—May26, 2016 at 4:40 PM

 Provided by Bob Vanian of 976-Bite Fish Reports at

     The early part of the 2016 spring fishing season has seen unseasonably good fishing with yellowtail, bluefin tuna, yellowfin tuna and albacore all making news from local offshore waters.  For the most part there have not been big numbers of the tuna species biting but most of what has been caught has been of quality size.  The bluefin tuna have ranged in size from 40 to 120 pounds, the yellowfin tuna have been up in the 20 to 60 pound range and the lone albacore caught was reported to be in the 20 pound class.

Yellowtail have been producing action every day out around the Coronado Islands and there have been some yellowtail to be caught at spots along the San Diego County coast as well.  It is still early in the fishing season and anglers are hoping that having tuna in local offshore waters far earlier than what is traditionally considered to be normal is an indicator of another banner year of the summer and fall fishing seasons to come.

The tuna fishing has been grabbing most of the headlines with the big news of the past week being that an albacore was caught aboard the Producer out of H&M Landing.  Ollie at H&M Landing reports that the albacore was a 20 pound class fish and reported that other fish were seen boiling around the boat while the albacore was hooked.  The albacore was caught in an area where a few 20 to 60 pound yellowfin tuna have been biting within 35 miles of Point Loma while fishing between the Kidney Bank and the Corner.

The Producer’s fish count was 20 anglers on a 1.5 day trip that fished on Saturday, May 21, 2016 catching 1 albacore and 2 yellowfin tuna.  The best yellowfin tuna count was on the 6 pack charter boat Joanna out of H&M Landing that had 6 anglers fishing on Friday, May 20, 2016 catch 6 yellowfin tuna.

The bluefin tuna have been biting at areas within 35 miles or so of Point Loma in the region of the 302 Spot, 371 Bank, Upper Hidden Bank and 390 Bank.  With the bluefin it has been quality over quantity with most of the bluefin being up in the 40 to 120 pound range.  A recent fish count from the fishing on Wednesday, May 25, 2016 was the Daiwa Pacific out of H&M Landing that had an overnight trip with 9 anglers catch 5 of the 60 to 80 pound class bluefin tuna and 1 yellowtail.

Captain Kenny Baruch of the Daiwa Pacific reported that the 5 bluefin they caught were quality sized fish that were in the 60 to 80 pound class and mentioned that they had quite a few lost hookups in addition to the fish they boated.  The action was coming on flylined sardines that were presented to the bluefin after stopping on spots of breaking fish that were found under working birds.  He said the bluefin were responding well to the chum and that the fish came to the corner on more than one occasion.

In general, the tuna have been biting from stopping on spots of breaking fish, puddling fish, sonar marks and meter marks along with an occasional trolling strike.  Once located, best bets for yellowfin have been sardines, poppers and thin blade style yo-yo iron such as Flat Fall, Colt Sniper, Megabait and Laser Minnow jigs.  The bluefin have been biting on sardines, mackerel, surface iron and on those same thin blade style yo-yo mentioned that have been effective for the yellowfin.  The most effective method for presenting live baits to the tuna has been flylining with some bluefin also being caught on mackerel that have been fished from kites.

The fishing in the waters around and about the Coronado Islands and below has been producing pretty good mixed bag fishing for yellowtail, barracuda, bonito and rockfish.  The yellowtail bite has been pretty good most days but has generally been falling short of providing near limit to limit fishing.  Barracuda and bonito have been biting in fair numbers and when Skippers turn their attention away from the surface fishing to trying for rockfish, they find the rockfish bite to be good.

As an example of the recent fishing, on Wednesday, May 25, 2016 H&M Landing had a 3/4 day trip on the Malihini out fishing with 11 anglers that caught 14 yellowtail.  Wednesday’s fishing also had Seaforth Sportfishing with a 3/4 day trip out to the Coronados aboard the San Diego that had 17 anglers catch 15 yellowtail, 2 barracuda and 1 bonito.

Productive areas for the yellowtail have been the Coronado Canyon, the weather side of North Island, the area inside of the north end of South Island, the Ribbon Kelp, the Rockpile, the 27 Fathom Spot, the Finger Bank and the area outside of and below Punta Descanso.  The past two days have seen the best of the yellowtail fishing coming from the area of the Coronado Canyon and the weather side of North Island.

The yellowtail have been biting from stopping on sonar marks, meter marks and occasional spots of fish found working on the surface.  The yellowtail have been mixed sized fish that are running from 5 to 25 pounds with most in the 15 to 20 pound class.

Surface iron, flylined sardines, yo-yo iron and sardines fished on dropper loop rigs are producing yellowtail action.  Adjust your bait or jig selection based on where the particular school of fish you are working is situated in the water column.

Good choices for yo-yo iron have been Salas 7X heavy, Salas 6X, Salas 6X Jr. and JRI 66 jigs in scrambled egg, blue & white and orange & red color combinations.  For surface iron, try Salas 7X lights and Tady 45’s in blue & white and sardine colors.

Barracuda have been biting around the Rockpile and also at kelp bed areas such as the Ribbon Kelp.   Some of the barracuda action has come from stopping on spots of breaking fish and some of the barracuda action has come from fishing on the anchor at the kelp bed or the hard bottom structure spots.  Try flylined sardines or surface iron for the barracuda.  Look for bonito along the weather side of North Island, at the Middle Grounds and around the Rockpile.

A good zone for the rockfish has been at hard bottom areas to the north and northwest of North Island while fishing in 25 to 45 fathoms of water.

The fishing along the San Diego County coast has been producing some good mixed bag fishing for rockfish, sculpin and bass and there has also been a chance at catching a bonus yellowtail, white seabass or halibut.

The upper end of La Jolla has been best for the coastal yellowtail fishing.  The bite has been scratchy most days but the yellows that have been biting have been mostly quality sized 20 to 30+ pound fish.  The yellowtail have been found by locating meter marks, sonar marks or spots of breezing fish and have been biting on surface iron, yo-yo iron, flylined mackerel and mackerel fished deep on a dropper loop rig.  Anglers need to adjust their bait and lure selection and their presentation based on where the particular school of fish they are working is located in the water column.

The fishing for sand bass, sculpin and rockfish up and down the San Diego County coast has been best at hard bottom and structure spots.  Productive areas have been the Imperial Beach Pipeline, hard bottom areas around the Whistler Buoy at Point Loma, the hard bottom to the northwest of Buoy #3 at Point Loma, the hard bottom outside of the Green Tank, the 270, Torrey Pines, Del Mar, Leucadia, the Anderson and Buccaneer Pipelines, the artificial reefs outside of Oceanside and Box Canyon.

Calico bass and what have been mostly short sized barracuda have been biting along the edges of the coastal kelp beds.  Productive kelp bed areas have been at Point Loma, La Jolla, Del Mar, Leucadia and the Barn.

White seabass are also a possibility at spots along the San Diego County coast.  La Jolla and Point Loma seem to be the areas where an occasional white seabass has been reported during the spring season.  John Campbell of the 2016 Yellowtail Derby reported that private boater Jeremiah Brown caught a 54 pound white seabass on Thursday, May 19, 2016 while fishing iron by the Whistler Buoy at Point Loma.  Brown’s report was that he was metering yellowtail and said that when he dropped his jig down to the yellows the big white seabass found the jig and decided to bite.

San Clemente Island has been producing some pretty good numbers of yellowtail along with some good numbers of calico bass, bonito and rockfish. Productive areas for the yellowtail have been the ridges outside of Pyramid Cove and China Point as well as while fishing along the front side of the Island around the structure of Purse Seine Rock and White Rock.  Yellows have also been biting from sonar marks and spots of breezing fish found between the Purse Seine Rock and White Rock areas.

There have been squid available at Catalina Island and the squid have worked well for the yellowtail at San Clemente Island and at Catalina and have also worked well for white seabass at Catalina.  The Salta Verde area has been a good squid zone at Catalina and at times, squid boats have been offering squid for sale while anchored off Avalon.  Try to raise the squid boats on VHF channels 11 or 72.  Mainland bait receivers at some of the Los Angeles and Orange County area harbors have had squid available for sale at times as well.

Productive areas for white seabass at Catalina have been Salta Verde, Ben Weston, Sentinel Rock, West Cove and Eagle Rock.  There have also been yellowtail biting at spots along the front side of Catalina while fishing spots from Arrow Point on down to Hen Rock. Live squid have been the best bait for the yellowtail and white seabass at Catalina.  The yellowtail have been mixed size fish that have ranged in size from 5 to 25 pounds.  The white seabass have been nice sized fish that have gone up into the 40 pound class.

It is my goal to provide you timely and accurate information in these Summary Reports containing news from right off the water.  If you require more frequent reports with more details that include the specific location of where catches have been made, I refer you to the daily Member’s Reports at .  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.