West Coast Yellowtail, Yellowfin, and Bluefin Fishing Report

West Coast Yellowtail, Yellowfin, and Bluefin Fishing Report

West Coast Yellowtail, Yellowfin, and Bluefin Fishing Report

  • Posted by Travis Seaton
  • On November 5, 2019
  • Comments
  •  8

Spirits were high, as the yellowfin counts earlier in the week were “limit style”.

Last weekend had an old buddy in town who wanted to fish, so we jumped on a two day trip out of Oceanside. Spirits were high, as the yellowfin counts earlier in the week were “limit style”. A couple of days before we took off, the counts started to drop and as we loaded on the boat the capt’n said that counts dropped to ZERO so we were trying something different and going 90 miles out to the Cortez Bank for yellowtail. Well that didn’t work out so well, as the boat only landed 8 fish for the day (not counting the bottom grabber fish tacos). I was fortunate enough to get one on light line and small hook, which seems to be the word of the day all summer. That night made the move down south to the yellowfin grounds to fish day two, as some boats reported some catching. We chased foamer after foamer all day with little to show. There were three yellowfin that were caught, all on one school, where I got my stick bait bit, my buddy got a belly hooked on a coltsniper and another iron chucker also snagged one. That was it for the day for the whole boat. For some reason the whole ocean just turned off, as all boats in that four day stretch did really really poorly.

Watched the counts this last week and it looked like they were starting to pick back up and the weather was looking great for the weekend, so Friday last minute decided to jump on a boat. We were expecting to fish the yellowfin, which has been light line (down to 15#) and small hooks for fish in the fifteen to thirty pound range, catchable size. Well when we arrived at the grounds, we were greeted with Volkswagen size bluefin. We didn’t even bring a knife to a gunfight, more like a broken off nail file. Stopped on a meter mark and threw bait and four unlucky anglers were immediately bit, not knowing they were in for. The ocean exploded on the chum and we realized that these were BIG fish. Ruhhhroh. We sat on that drift for three hours while one guy fought a cow on 40#. The other three that were first bit lost theirs within the first hour and were fishing 20# and 25#. Some smaller fish did move during that time so there were some chances, but you couldn’t get bit unless you were under 25# leader. I got bit and chewed clean off after the first run, so luckily it ended early. Fish were blowing up around the boat the whole time, just didn’t want anything with a hook. The guy on the 40# finally had a pulled hook around the three hour mark, getting the fish to color a couple of times. Estimated by captain to be a 250 lb fish….heartbreak. Then we went on…..boat was zero for about 20 at this point.

Trolled around looking for the rest of the day and didn’t really see much. Did stop on one mark and a nicer model of Yellowfin was pulled up (35#) but was the mid day doldrums. Finally at about 4:30 a HUGE meter mark, shut down the boat and it was game on. Again this was light line to get bit, so a lot of casualties immediately. I hooked up on my 8’6” Seeker with 20# on an Avet sx….I knew I was in for it. After about an hour I had it to color when he chewed through…this was a hundred pounder. Not to be defeated I pulled out my heavier stick with 25# (yes that was my heavier stick) with an Avet sx again, but a more stout rod. Hooked up immediately and had this fish to color in about 30 minutes, just as the sun was setting. Got a good gaff shot and it was game over. Chunkey monkey that taped out to around 70#. I earned my beer on that one. The school was still with us and several were still hooked up, so I dropped again this time with the glow flat fall, but no love. One guy was on a fish for about an hour on a new tranx that was grenading, so couldn’t get much leverage and this was a better fish. So I decided to hang out with them and they were tag teaming with the crew to try and get the fish in. Funny thing is that we was wearing an apple watch that was tracking his steps and he did 1.5 miles around the boat on that fish! Had that fish to color a couple of times and got a light on him and could see he was in the 150# range…..but again…heartbreak…hook pulled.

A couple of guys went 0-6, so I feel fortunate I went 1-3….but I was bummed I didn’t get that fish after an hour on 20#….that would have been cool. Final count for the boat was 20 but there must have been 60-80 hooks ups….all really nice fish, but none of the cows or mini cows were landed. There’s a ton of fish out there and the water doesn’t look to be changing, so we should be fishing through X-Mas like we did last year.

Bonus for my friends at TackleDirect. When I opened up my bag on the boat this weekend, my box with all my favorite irons and stick baits was gone and was not in the garage when I got home, so it either was left on the boat the weekend before or someone went home with a bounty of fish killer lures. So I will need to replenish ASAP, so time to spend some more money at my favorite tackle provider.

More reports to come, I’m sure…. Tight lines.


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