Fly fishing gear

Yellowtail will wear you out

Jason Casison with a huge 6.5 pound trout caught at Dixon Lake near Pier 1 on December 23

Totals for docks from 12/19 to 12/25: 557 anglers aboard 35 half-to-three-day trips from San Diego landings last week caught 124 bluefin tuna (up to 30 pounds), 2 skipjack, 78 calico, 18 lobsters (25 released), 1788 redfish, 22 sands bar, 30 sanddab, 239 sculpins, 21 sheep and 598 whitefish.

Saltwater: Local boats did not operate on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day, but given the wet weather and low numbers of anglers, rockfish numbers were solid. Half-day trips focus on the highlights just off Point Loma, and while some full-day boats fished around the Coronado Islands, most of what is caught is found in the section lower part of the water column. This is true along the coast past Eréndira and Punta Colonet, about 65 miles south of Ensenada. There are a few yellowtail flounders by the time you get to the San Quintin area, but those few measured spots of fish have proven to be slow to bite. As in our local waters, the region’s fishermen focus on sheep’s head, redfish, whitefish and lingcod.

Further south, towards the mid-peninsula fisheries along the Pacific coast of Baja, it is difficult to keep amberjack from biting. My old haunts around Bahia Asunción were hit with quality 30- to 50-pound biting yoyo irons in 100-200 feet of water. These fish will wear you out and take you to the rocks if they are not properly prepared for them. If you’re fishing for yellowtail flounder in this body of water, I would suggest using a test line under 60 pounds, and given their brutal combat, two-speed reels are preferred. Not that it’s impossible to catch them on a lighter line and one-speed reels, but the hookup / landing ratio will improve greatly and you’ll lose less lures.

The lures that work best for yellows along the mid-coast of the peninsula are the 4 and 6 oz Black Mint Deadhead Lures and the Salas 6x jigs in blue and white, although all of which will get pretty deep fairly quickly. have the opportunity to attract a yolk to bite. The presentation is simple; drop the lure to the bottom and coil as fast as possible up to 10 to 20 feet from the surface. In some cases, stopping the recovery above a measured school and letting it fall back works well, but the fish will often follow the lure and only strike close to the surface, even if it has risen to 100 feet from the surface. bench. So wind, wind, wind as fast as you can until you can see the lure.

This area around the Vizcaino Peninsula is roughly where the yellowfin tuna bite begins and it gets better towards the south, with fish getting bigger and bigger as you go. Alijos Rocks brought out some nice tunas weighing 100 pounds and over. The focus in Alijos is on the wahoo, which didn’t choose to bite well last week despite being in the area in good numbers. As the moon phase diminishes towards darker nights, I expect the wahoo bite to resume for the long-distance boats that make the long trip to Alijos.

Closer to home, bluefin tuna continue to congregate around Cortez and Tanner Banks, about 120 miles offshore west of Point Loma. Although smaller fish weighing up to 30 pounds are currently caught, boats still measure larger fish in the area. As the weather permits and the holidays pass, I would expect to see more 100 and maybe 200 pound fish pass through the rail before most of these fish return to the Pacific. western.

Fresh water: Local lakes stock trout and have been long enough this season for the fish to settle into a more normal bite. Jennings, Poway and Dixon lakes all reported good numbers and sizes of stocked trout. Santee Lakes, as always, are also great stocked trout fishing, and there are some decent channel cats left from last summer. With the additional activity, largemouth bass and channel catfish have been caught in decent numbers for those targeting them. Pumpkins also appear to be activated by trout plants, particularly in Jennings. For trout, mini-jigs and Powerbaits worked best, while fly-lined nightcrawlers 15-20 feet from shore was also a productive technique. While not the most productive for trout, fly-lined nightcrawlers will often result in a nice bycatch of crappie, bass, or catfish.

Although trout, as well as catfish and sunfish, have primarily sailed along the shore to a depth of 8-10 feet, largemouth bass maintain themselves in deeper areas and s fertilizer for the next lay in the spring. To get them to bite, I like to work the deeper edges near the points with a drop-shot Roboworm. Deep diving crankbaits, especially trout colored, worked along the deep side of cuts can also be productive for largemouth bass. At this time of year, catfish tend to bite better on cut mackerel left in place long enough to attract them to the bait.

This is pretty much what is happening within ‘casting distance’ of our beautiful city as 2021 draws to a close. On the way to a great 2022! Good year!

Fish plants: December 30 – Lake Poway, trout (1,500), December 31 – Lacs Santee, trout (1,500)