Variety of Structure Species Bite ~ February 21, 2021

February 21, 2021

This month is definitely living up to its reputation for being unpredictable, this whole season we have seen more relentless north winds than usual, hard to find a reliable forecast and normal patterns have not followed the standard this year. As we still deal with very light tourism, staying optimistic that soon the situation will improve. We felt another cool trend this week, of course nothing even comparable as they felt in Texas, we did have mostly sunny skies, high temperatures averaging 75 degrees and the morning lows in the mid-50s. Ocean temperature was again cooler, down into the 67 to 70 degree range. The bait was a bit scarcer now, netters were working harder to find the scattered schools of sardinas and few caballito.

The week started out difficult due to windy conditions, though over the weekend winds laid down and the ocean was very comfortable, though quite cool for this area. Charters were searching the grounds from Chileno, Palmilla, Gordo Banks and north towards San Luis. Most consistent action was found while working the bottom structure, with the cold water there was not much surface activity found, as dorado, tuna, wahoo and marlin seem to have been hiding out, waiting for warmer currents to move back in. This will be transition period coming up, as the days progressively become longer and warmer once again.

The bonito were by far the most numerous species found, striking mainly on yo-yo style jigs, averaging 3 to 5 lb. a little smaller than they often run, but these fish are feisty fighters and good eating, prepared just as you would the yellowfin tuna. Despite not seeing any significant numbers of other species, we did see a wide variety of structure species show up on the fillet tables. We saw yellowtail, amberjack, red snapper, yellow snapper, grouper, sheepshead, bluefin trevally (fairly rare in local waters), Pacific tilefish, triggerfish, roosterfish, sierra, black skipjack, spotted rose snapper and even a couple of wahoo and dorado earlier in the week that were out of place in the cold water.

Besides the one Bluefin trevally we saw, there was also a 50 lb. class roosterfish landed and released from a super panga trolling near the marina jetty area, the California sheepshead was also a fairly unusual catch. Pelagic red crabs are starting to appear on the local high spots, when conditions are just right these small crustaceans will drift to the surface, can be scooped up and used for snapper bait, the commercial fleets goes wild when they see these red crabs, as they see big dollar signs and can make great profits when it all comes together.

Still plenty of whales to keep sightseers happy, as well as some turtles, sea lions and manta rays.

Good fishing, Eric

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