June 2008

Indian Sportfishing

Pre-Season Jitters  

Captains Ponder When Fish Will Arrive

By Capt. Chris Randel

MV Indian

As the San Diego sportboat fleet wraps up winter maintenance and stows all the sanders and painting gear into dock lockers, our attention has turned to the upcoming 2008 season.

The main topic on the dock other than high fuel prices is when will the fish show up and in what volume. Every season is a little different, and that can give everyone a case of pre-season jitters as we ponder what might ahead this summer.

We have had pretty good early season fishing over the past 10 years with fish showing up in May and June, but so far only a few small spots of bluefin tuna have been seen, and they were not interested in taking a bait.

Conditions are improving as the water begins to warm and turn to deep blue offshore, and there are plenty of bait schools inshore, so I am looking forward to Memorial Day weekend to kick off our season as lots of boats will start searching offshore for albacore and bluefin schools and yellowtail under floating kelp paddies.

Right now, we do have what’s called a mild el nino-effect forecast for the next three months, and that means the water is a little cooler — around 60 degrees. But, it’s warming fast and should be in the mid-60s in early June.

That’s good for albacore and bluefin, as they tend to stay out of the really warm water. By August, the water temps could creep into the low 70s, and that may pave the way for dorado and schools of yellowfin and maybe even some bigeye tuna.

Back in the 80s, there was this saying: “Light your fireworks and go tuna fishing,” but fortunately, we have been blessed with early season fishing opportunities, and this year should provide anglers with plenty of action.

So, dust off your tackle, check the drag washers and spool on some fresh line because it won’t be long before the fish counts start rolling in at the Landings.

Here are a few good Web sites that post fish counts year round —www.976tuna.com and www.sportfishingreport.com, or you can check individual landing counts.

The jitters are almost over, folks; see you on the water! Contact me at www.indiansportfishing.com or (619) 583-TUNA (8862).