The started out rough and choppy and ended with some good dorado after wide-open yellowtail fishing.
We headed out of San Diego bay at grey light into cool water with a nasty wind chop. There was some breeze, but not too bad. Going was a little rough, but not too bad. We headed for a spot between the 425 and the 371. Near the South 9, there was a ton of life, but as we got close to the next banks, it was quiet.
We put in the trollers and within a few minutes, we saw a paddy. Trolled one lap around for nothing, but saw fish boiling on it so we went to bait. Quickly got into rat yellowtails. We caught about 8 there and kept 4. Rumors of tuna got us interested in going south.
As we went south, conditions improved a bit, but we saw nothing. After about an hour of trolling toward the 425, we turned into the chop and headed for the 371. 30 minutes later, we saw two close paddies about trashcan sized, but thin. No one was home, but we spotted a bigger one about a quarter mile away. When we slid in on that one, it was wide open for abut 2 hours. We let it tired and still biting. We release about 15-20 yellows there with live bait, dead bait and artificials.
We then pointed toward home and where we say the first paddy. I almost ran over a small kelp string. We said “why not” and threw baits on it. Nothing… I looked at the side scan and could clearly see something, so we opted for another minute or two. Our baits seemed nervous, then Lee gets bit. Instant jump and dorado! We lost that kelp string as we never got too close to it.
So we started to run north again. Then the biggest kelp of the day pops up on a wave. We made a stop there for 3 dorado releasing one of the small ones. It seemed that the dorado were more interested in an afternoon bite.
We were tired and just beat into the chop for the ride home.
After seeing some dorado for a few weeks, we got some to play.
To me, the dorado were the highlight of the trip.
We caught far more than we kept, but still kept plenty.
Our full scoop lasted all day, but they were huge so we didn’t have a huge volume. We chummed a bit, but it wasn’t really needed. Both the yellowtail and the dorado at the big sardines and/or the mackerel. The yellows were so wide open, as a joke, I tossed a bait out that I had just caught a fish on. Pretty dead… then it got bit. That happened more than once. One bait was bit three times. I’m also sure I got one fish two times as it has the same round and red marking on the right side. All the fish looked like clones.
We even did some yo-yo iron and some surface jigs, both worked for those yellowtail.
We did a bit of trolling, and the radio fish reports said there were jig stops. We trolled for nothing, but found the paddies while trolling.
The red dots on the picture below are where we found the fish.
NOAA Forecast from night before
.SUN...WIND S 10 KT...BECOMING W IN THE AFTERNOON. WIND WAVES 2 FT OR LESS. MIXED SWELL W 2 TO 4 FT AT 11 SECONDS AND S 1 FT AT 11 SECONDS. PATCHY DRIZZLE IN THE MORNING. .SUN NIGHT...WIND NW 10 KT WITH GUSTS TO 15 KT IN THE EVENING... BECOMING VARIABLE LESS THAN 10 KT. WIND WAVES 3 FT IN THE EVENING...BECOMING 2 FT OR LESS. MIXED SWELL W 3 TO 4 FT AT 10 SECONDS AND S 1 FT AT 11 SECONDS.
It was ugly in the morning and got better. There was a big wind chop on a decent swell that gave you the periodic steep wave. The wind chop meant trim down and power/bang through it. The wind did back down for a while, but filled in later in the afternoon. The pilothouse windows did their job all day.
Temperatures at the bait barge was about 67. At the Whistler Buoy it was down to 65. Crossing the Coronado Canyon we started to see it go up steadily unti labout 3 miles past the canyon where it was close to 70. We then spent most of the day in 70.3-70.2 water.
The current seemed to be still pushing up from the south, but it was hard to tell.
The sun was out right away. Great weather all trip except for the wind chop.
Gage Reading: 29.6
Distance Traveled: 75.8 nautical miles
Engine Hours: 638.5 (11 hours running)