So. Cal Byte is on fire

Hot mahi and tuna bite in Southern California.
Courtesy Jordan Jennings

Hotspot: San Diego, California
Species: bluefin tuna, yellowfin tuna, mahi, yellowtail

“All the hype is about bluefin tuna,” says Jordan Jennings, a fisherman and outdoorsy writer from San Diego, California. Fishermen catch bluefin fish weighing up to 60 pounds, Jennings says, just nine miles offshore. In the far north, large bluefin tuna take kite baits and high-speed trolling jacks. With every tuna movement, Jennings encourages anglers to start their day catching mahi on live bait. “We are seeing a huge volume of mahi mahi,” he says.

For Jennings, a typical journey begins with a stop at a bait barge for a scoop of sardines. Next, head west-southwest in search of dolphin-bearing, dolphin-bearing floating kelp pancakes.

He uses gyroscope-stabilized binoculars to scan the water for floating kelp dumplings. He says the water temperature was low to mid 70’s with beautiful clean blue water. Using online Satfish satellite charts, Jennings looks for temperature breaks and color changes. “We’ve been spoiled by great weather and less wind than the past two summers.” Early in the morning winds are four to eight knots, then expect to pick up from the west or northwest at 10 to 15.

When he finds a floating pile of kelp, he digs up a live sardine on a J-1 No. 1 hook and 12 feet from 15 to 30 pounds of fluorocarbon leader Seaguar Gold. Jennings instructs, “Hang the sardine through the nose to make it swim to the surface, then hang the bait to make it swim under the kelp.” He says the water was very pure, and the nose-hung bait was the best.

When he sees a yellow tail swimming across the surface, he turns to the casting rod and a four-foot surface iron of 50 to 60 pounds of Seaguar Blue fluorocarbon.

Once he’s full of dolphins and bile, he works his way ashore. “The best bite of tuna was in the afternoon in the slow tides,” he says. When Jennings reached beach locations like the Nine Mile Bank, he began searching for schools of tuna that fed on bait pods. It also searches for working birds and picks terns. If the tuna is aggressively fed, it sheds a large bobber or stick bait with 50 to 60 pounds of lead fluorocarbon. “Because the top water sting is a reaction strike, I use a heavier leader.” If tuna is tough, go for live sardines on a 1/0 to 2/0 round hook and 20 to 30 lb. Leader Seaguar Gold.

Jennings was very excited about the bite of a large bluefin tuna. The traditional big bluefin tactic is to catch a fake flying fish from a kite or helium balloon. This year, Jennings says high-speed trolling with Nomad 200 to 240 Madmacs is just as effective and a lot easier. The lure pulls 10 to 15 knots using the 130-pound stand-up bars. “Trolling is much easier than messing with kites and balloons,” he says.

For the remainder of the season, Jennings expects sea fishing to remain hot. “September is my favorite month,” he says. He hopes the water will remain warm through October. “I think we’ll see more tuna moving north before it turns west and heads offshore to Tanner and Cortez Banks. We have a lot of great sea fishing out of Southern California,” he says.

square processing:

As live bait:

  • Rod: Live bait for researcher 7 feet long
  • Reel: PENN Fathom 2 25 Narrow
  • Line: 50 pounds of Yozuri Superbraid

Topwater tuna:

  • Rod: 8-foot spinning rod
  • Spool: PENN Authority 6500
  • Line: 65 pounds of Yozuri Superbraid

yellow tail surface:

  • Rod: 9 feet, 3 inches search stick
  • PENN Fathom 25 Tight (Pull the Stars)
  • Line: 65 pounds of Yozuri Superbraid

High Speed ​​Phishing:

  • Rail: 7-foot OSP rail rail
  • Spool: PENN 50 VISX
  • Line: 130 lb Seaguar braid
  • Commander: 100lb Seaguar Blue Windproof Poster

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