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Old 02-16-2020, 11:58 PM   #1
Bob Ballew
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Bluefin Tuna Update: 2/16/20

...They are here! A two to 5 mile out, area of Bluefin spotted off Newport Beach today. They were mostly 20 to 40 pound fish...One large school sighted by the whale watch boats...One fishing boat reported catching 10 Bluefin...Another hookup on a larger tuna but, no report on size or if landed..
...Chunking with anchovies or sardines using a lighter hook resulted in some good catches last year. Look for the diving birds....they know...
...Constant scanning is key to success...Everyone on board should be looking for tuna sign...Something as simple as a single bird suddenly dropping down close to the surface has put us on more than one school of tuna or yellowtail, or just a brief white blip of white water ripple on the surface can put you on fish...
...2/17 Update: Today, the guys were hooking up within 5 miles of Newport Beach..The fish are running as high as 80 lbs. It was a 2 p.m. afternoon bite with the fish up feeding on the surface. Trolled mackeral worked for the hookups...some large schools of fish out there...
2/18: Tuna with porpoise school 7 miles off Avalon...lots of bait along the island with some squid...probably yellowtail and wsb on the back side in squid...water looks blue down on the east end...61 degree water but, the fish are there..

Tip: never troll lures into the sun or search toward the sun, if possible...you won't see fish sign up ahead and the fish coming up behind the lures won't be able to see the lures...

Last edited by Bob Ballew; 02-20-2020 at 03:03 AM.
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Old 02-21-2020, 11:58 AM   #2
The Creature
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Re: Bluefin Tuna Update: 2/16/20

Great tips Bob!
I have noticed late afternoon the bluefin schools tend to head in a westerly direction into the sun. Maybe they silhouette the bait schools in the low angle of the sun.
If it bleeds..... we can kill it
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Old 02-21-2020, 11:52 PM   #3
Bob Ballew
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Re: Bluefin Tuna Update: 2/16/20

The other possibility is that it is almost chow time for predators and the sun makes it more difficult to be attacked from behind..also, if the grocery store is due west, they will head for the bait concentrations, usually out by San Clemente island..

2/22/20: The coastal tuna have done a disappearing act...guessing they have moved westward...usually, there are either anchovies or sardines that run in cycles over the years...this year, we have tons of anchovies inshore, which explains the tuna showing up in green water and lots of sardines out near Catalina and SCI....indicators of another unusual year when both species show up at the same time...lots of humpback whales near shore charging up thru the anchovy schools and breaking clear of the surface...bad for them with commercial fishing gear cluttering up the coastal waters but, good fun for the whale watching charterboats…
...a rare sei whale appeared...only 3 known sightings of sei whales over the past ten years in local waters...the mola-molas are early also..the ocean currents are achanging folks! Now, we need to figure out why...……………….water is 61 when it should be about 58 degrees currently? Get your boat work done asap....guys are starting to catch some nice legal size halibut up shallow currently...

Last edited by Bob Ballew; 02-23-2020 at 03:53 PM.
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