Seabass & Big Bluefin Continue To Bite | BDOutdoors – BDOutdoors On The Wire


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It’s been another excellent week of fishing for both ends of the Southern California Bight. Boats up north are continuing to score limits or near limits of big seabass and the bluefin bite south of the border continues.

In the meantime, the fishing in areas continues between just okay to pretty good depending on where you’re looking. With continued good weather in the weekend forecast, you’re going to have lots of good fishing options so let’s take a look at what’s happening and where.

The seabass bite at the Channel Islands continued this week with many boats scoring limits or close to limits of fish using live squid. From what I’ve heard, boats are still needing to spend quite a bit of time looking around to find the right school of fish but when they do, the action can be hot and heavy. Taking a quick look at the online reservation systems for the landings up there it looks like most of the boats are sold out for the weekend but you should be able to get a spot on a weekday if you’re interested in getting in on the bite.

Private boaters looking to get in on this bite should be aware that biting seabass don’t really spread out among boats, so if you see a boat hooked up, pulling up next to them isn’t the best idea. I’m sure it’s going to be a gang bang out there this weekend, so if you can’t fight off the desire to join it, I’d suggest keeping an eye out for boats that are hooked up and then comparing where they’re sitting to the depth and bottom topography on your chart. Once you do that you can look for other areas with similar depth and topography nearby where you could potentially find more fish and have them to yourself.

Heading south, boats fishing Catalina are catching a few yellowtail along with bass and bonito. There haven’t been any really good scores lately but some of the 3/4-day trips have been reporting catching 10 to 15 fish. I fished bass at Catalina on Saturday and the bite was okay but far from wide open on the backside east end. Water temps were cool with 63-degree water on the east end dropping to 61 at Salta Verde. The water is cold at San Clemente too but the bass are biting a little bit better. My friend James Little fished the east end over the weekend and reported good weedless fishing. The yellowtail bite on the front side of the island dried up completely this week.

There were some bluefin seen below Clemente early last week so I took a look at that zone last Thursday. Everything from the 43 to the corner and out to the 181/182 ridge was covered in bait, whales, and dolphin, but we never saw any tuna or any water above 61-degrees. I’m sure the water has warmed up a bit since then but the June Gloom has prevented us from getting an SST shot of that zone. If it did warm up I wouldn’t be surprised at all to see that fish just below the border slide up towards or even past the 43.

Speaking of that fish just below the border, the zone has slowed down a bit but guys are still catching big fish on flying fish as well as sinker rigs and flat falls. The majority of the San Diego fleet is fishing the stuff down outside Ensenada that is providing much steadier fishing, along with a night bite that is often resulting in boat limits before dawn. If you’re heading out on a trip you’re going to want to bring a 30# set up for kelp paddy yellows, a 50# set up for smaller tuna, and an 80# set up in case you get into the bigger ones. If you’re heading out on a sport boat and don’t have a heavy set up you’d be smart to rent one from the landing.
Good luck if you’re heading out this weekend!

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