Looking for Tuna Popping Charter recommendation in South California

Discussion in 'Jigging and Popping' started by IAY, Nov 2, 2017.

  1. Tunanorth

    Tunanorth Senior Member

    Looks like the bigger bluefin have finally departed. The fact that anything is still biting this far into December is amazing!
    Late-morning report from TODAY.

    December 6th, 2017

    The Pacific Queen called in with limits of Bluefin (15-25#), 4 Yellowfin tuna (50#) and are now focusing on the Yellowfin.

    The Liberty returned this AM with LIMITS of Bluefin Tuna (18) for 9 anglers! The fish grade are between 15 and 25 pounds.
  2. rdrblck66

    rdrblck66 Well-Known Member

    Went out yesterday on the Legend out of San Diego a 1 1/2 trip, Great weather We fished on the Anchor early morning caught a few on the flat fall, then it went to all bait fishing. The keys to catching fish were 20lb. Test, size 4 owner circle hook, and a very lively bait. Later in the day another boat gave us some live squid and it was game-on, flylining live squid and very long soaks! I will say this We say some Huge Foamers of Bluefin. A private boat could of easily casted a poppers and I feel had a Great chance of hooking up.
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2017
    lite-liner and atunatado like this.

  3. blig

    blig Active Member

    the great PF in san diego was a good one
  4. Tunanorth

    Tunanorth Senior Member

    The bluefin are just schoolie size now, but the fact that they are still around deep into December is absolutely astounding!
    TODAY's report:

    Update for Dec. 18, 2017 12:26 PM

    December 18th, 2017

    The Pacific Queen called in with LIMITS of Bluefin Tuna (30) and reported great weather!

    The Dolphin AM finished their trip with 89 Rockfish, 1 Lingcod, and 1 Sand Bass for 20 anglers.

    December 17th, 2017

    The Dolphin AM called in with 103 Rockfish, 53 Vermilion Rockfish and 1 Lingcod for 31 anglers!

    The Condor called in with LIMITS of Bluefin Tuna for their overnight trip.

    Join us for our first ever Halibut Tournament aboard the Dolphin ! The competition will run every Wednesday from Jan 3rd - Feb 28th and will replace normal 1/2 day trips on that day
  5. afraser

    afraser Senior Member

    A little first hand information. There is no problem fishing popping gear on the socal boats. I do it on virtually every trip from 1.5 days to 16day trips. Often there are 5-6 people casting in the bow, but usually not more. Lots of big bluefin were caught within 1 day trips on flatfalls this year, I personally got one at 203 on a flatfall (3 am, so start early if you find a school). Most people were fishing jigs in the dark to just after dawn. I have been on several trips where we caught 150-200# bluefin on poppers (last year), caught on both spinning and conventional tackle. Saw a 240# bluefin caught last year jigging during the day with a spinning jigging rod on one of these boats with a full contingent of bait fishermen. Often the bluefin have to be tricked into biting and jigs and poppers seem to work best in those cases. It is true that the boats use a lot of bait, but that works to the advantage of both bait and jig fishermen as it attracts the fish and gets them in the biting mood. I have seen at least 3 yellowfin over 200# caught with spinning gear and have heard of several more, including one I got with a popping rod, using a harness set up for spin gear, but the other 2 fish I saw caught didn't use harnesses. It's not impossible, it sure is harder than cranking a fish in with low gear on a 50 wide, but most of us are there for the sport of it, so whatever works for you, that will be fine. If you happen to be in a bite where there at 5+ big fish hooked up, there generally is no problem going over and under fishermen. The crew do an excellent job keeping fish apart, and will go out of their way to untangle fish for you if necessary. The only concern is getting bit right next to another hooked fish (and the fish taking off over top of the other line), so don't fish next to a hooked fish :). You have more danger tangling the anchor than other fishermen, and even that the crew will be right with you to help you avoid that problem. Yellowfin are generally way more receptive to popping and topwater fishing, but last year proved that bluefin like them too. Still, if porpoise or breaking tuna are spotted, casting a popper or a stickbait will likely have success with either species. The most successful trick this year was slow trolling a yummee flyer lure under a kite that was flown 100 yds to the side of the boat in clear water. Lots of 200# bluefin caught this year like that. Most of the good boats will fish the kite and rotate the anglers. So, lots of possibilities. You can always use a harness to help with the big fish with spinning gear once the fish settles down. If the fish start going off, take a trip. Last year the big bluefin started early, May I think. But continued off and on though out the year. May though July was good last year, but some of best fishing was in early November, so go figure. Hope this information helps.

    GARRIGA Senior Member

    No guys casting poppers on conventional? Basically same gear to swim surface iron.
  7. lite-liner

    lite-liner troll enforcement Staff Member

    Afraser, that is excellent info!
    so nice to see that the Bluefin are back permanently off Socal.
    the last time they were that good out there was way before my time
  8. Tunanorth

    Tunanorth Senior Member

    Still biting in January! Yesterday's report from the New LoAn:

    New Lo-An Sportfishing added 8 new photos.
    4 hrs · San Diego, CA ·

    We had a very successful 1.5 day exploratory trip. Limits of bluefin tuna for the boat to 60 pounds. Lost a few bigger ones due to light line. Come see us tonight for another 1.5 day 5 pm departure. Kick off your new year with the crew on the New Lo-an. 619-223-1627
  9. Tunanorth

    Tunanorth Senior Member

    Just like the energizer bunny, the bite keeps going and going!

    Point Loma Sportfishing
    · 3 hrs ·
    Captain Adam on the New Lo-An just called in from their 1.5 day trip with LIMITS of Bluefin Tuna for their 22 anglers. All of the fish are ranging from 40 to 60 lbs. The boat returns to the dock early Tuesday morning. Their next 1.5 day trip departs Wednesday, January 10th at 5:00 pm and they have another trip departing Friday, Janurary 12th at 5pm. Trip cost is $325 per ticket. Give us a call or book online.
  10. Tunanorth

    Tunanorth Senior Member

    Doesn't seem possible, but:

    Fisherman's Landing
    · 2 hrs ·
    The offshore bite is back on! The Pacific Queen called in with LIMITS of Bluefin Tuna between (#20-40). The Condor also called in with LIMITS of Yellowtail. The weather is great and the fishing is good!

    GARRIGA Senior Member

    Benefits of global warming? Or some Ninja sideaffect?
  12. Tunanorth

    Tunanorth Senior Member


    Difficult to say exactly what is happening; the El Nino is over, and other indicators of its presence have dissipated. Similar fishing existed in CA waters in the period from the turn of the century to about WW1, but the fish disappeared for 100 years. Why did they leave? Why did they return? How long will they stay? Nobody knows for sure.

    GARRIGA Senior Member

    Then perhaps just a cyclical pattern we’ve yet to unravel.
  14. Fightingfish

    Fightingfish Fishing Guru

    On a typical 1.5 day trip, how far are the hauls out? How much actual fishing time do you get?

    I’m fascinated by the west coast fisheries!
  15. lougio

    lougio Member

    I went out on a 1.5 day on the New Lo-An last November and we fished for about 12 hours. We left the dock around 7pm and got to the fishing grounds around 4am. The bite was at the 60 Mile Bank and we anchored when we got there. Dropping of glow flatfalls started once we anchored up. Very few fish caught on the Flatfall and it soon turned to strictly live bait fishing once daybreak came around. It was a slow constant pick all day and the weather was up but we had limits of BFT 15-70lb for 22 anglers by 2 or 3 pm. At that time we started moving to see if we could locate some YFT. We never got the YFT to play though we did stop on sonar marks and tossed some live bait for nada. We were back in San Diego Bay around 2 am but had to remain anchored in the bay until the landing opened at 6am. I think a 1.5 day runs about $375 and you get a bunk to snooze in and all the live bait you can handle. I have my own CC but it's only a 21ft Grady and I don't have the fuel capacity to get out past 40 mi or so. Therefore I jump on a Sport Boat once or twice a year. Fun times you should give it a go.
    Fightingfish likes this.
  16. scubaarchery

    scubaarchery Senior Member

    What are the limits for BFT? I wanted to run out to California for the opportunity to catch a big tuna and may try that later this year or next year.
  17. elufa888

    elufa888 Active Member

    2 per person per day.
  18. scubaarchery

    scubaarchery Senior Member

    Ok we have a 3 YFT limit in Texas but rarely see a bluefin and even more rarely catch one (once every few years)
  19. HungryJack

    HungryJack Member

    If you want large BFT you should consider the east coast over the west.
    100lbs is kind of large on the WC for BFT, on east coast that is a small schoolie.

    WC has large YFT, but you need to get on a 10+ day trip for a realistic
    shot at them. Short trip for big YFT, fish from Puerto Vallarta.

    BFT are poor tasting fish when frozen and then cooked.
    Not a fish to load up the freezer with IMO.
  20. scubaarchery

    scubaarchery Senior Member

    Thanks, I am heading to OBX next week weather permitting. I have to admit the amazing fishing this year and the beautiful weather on the west coast is very appealing.