Fishing this year was substantially improved over last year. The only downside was the weather during the spring and summer. We scheduled 7 "tuna" trips and made 5 trips. Our early scheduled Yellowtail trip was converted to bottom fishing on reports of a calm but fish free ocean and we were blown off the ocean at 2 am on the way to the tuna grounds on a late september trip. Leaving us with 5 Tuna trips this year. In a dramatic change from last year all wer e productive. We made 7 bottom fishing trips to the 9 mile bank or Finger bank and gave the new CHIRP sounder a workout. Bottom Fishing
After nearly 2 years of long runs and zero to 3 fish days it was nice to finally fill a fish box with quality Yellowtail on our first trip. After discouraging weather reports, we almost cancelled the trip but the run out was smooth and the morning marked only by a paddy with 2 nice yellows. We searched in vain for bluefin near several seiners located inside and below the hidden bank but found no marks and no takers on troll. Arno as is often the case found a small paddy that turned out to be very productive with multiple hookups of quality fish including Grants first yellowtail. We finished the day at a large paddy above the 238 spot. We cleaned 4 limits of fish which averaged over 12 lbs and then clawed our way back thru a tough slop. It was a great start to a new year. First Trip All of our trips this year targeted the waters south of San Diego and the trips home into the Northwest Swell were often brutal. We turned back in the early morning hours from one trip in late September when it got too rough to go further and should have canceled the trip two weeks later when we came home with a few Yellowfin Arno Yellowfin , Dorado, and small Yellowtail and were bruised and battered from the constant pounding.
Our two September trips were outstanding. On September first Denise Friedman, Kevin and Bruce Willett organized their first Seabear trip. Bruce Ito came along to keep things running. The weather was still a bit bouncy but It turned out to be or first successful trip to the Tuna Pens. Tuna pen fishing is unique to San Diego. The roughly 50ft by 100 ft pens (submerged nets) hold bluefin being readied for transfer to aquaculture sites along the Mexican coast. They seem to attract other bluefin. The pens are being towed at about 2 knots and fishing boats in rotation slide within 10 feet of the moving nets and fish for tuna. In rough weather, with multiple hookups and a crowd of sportfishers it gets a bit chaotic. This time it paid off. We had multiple hookups of nice 30lb Bluefin. Bluefin Worn out by the tuna and beat up by the weather we left early and slowly worked our way home arriving by mid afternoon.
Our best trip of the season was clearly on September 15th. The weather for a change was reasonable and we spent most of the day between the 1067 spot and the double 220. Bear Tracks We first picked up 2 nice Albacore and following troll and bait caught Dorado we settled into a long bait stop on nice yellowfin. Fishing Grounds When the Yellowfin bite cooled we worked our way north picking up the occasional Dorado and looking for paddy Yellowtail. We were home just as the sun set on the best day of 'catching' on the Seabear in several years.
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