Pacific Island Sport Fishing
The Pacific Islander returned to dock after a successful outing which included a 344-pound bluefin tuna.
Dock totals 10/3 – 10/9: 3,552 anglers aboard 185 trips from the San Diego landings last week caught 1,352 bluefin tuna (up to 340 pounds), 35 skipjack, 255 calicots (64 released), 1,429 sea bream, 2 halibut, 7 lingcods, 226 lobsters (148 released), 23 rock crabs, 3,439 rockfish, 43 sandbars, 284 sculpins, 190 heads of sheep, 181 skipjack, 521 whitefish, 188 yellowfin and 1,716 amberjack.
Salt water: Anglers who board sport fishing boats often have their favorite boats and crews and are usually loyal customers to their favorite rigs. In late summer and fall, when the fishing is good and the boats are packed, it can be difficult to get out on a favorite boat if reservations aren’t made well in advance. As San Diego has the largest live bait sport fishing fleet in the world, it would seem that there are always options, even for the most loyal customers when their favorite has sold all available spots in advance. . The truth is, the captains and crews of the San Diego Fleet are skilled at their craft, and all try to put their clients on the best bite possible given their range and the allotted time per trip. But, especially with the advent of social media, some of the old stories of bad crews and captains are still circulating.
When I was working on the bridge decades and years ago, long before social media gave every opinion a voice, there were detractors of every boat at one point or another. Sport fishing crews cannot guarantee results and there will always be those who did not have an epic trip despite the total number of fish. Due to increased overheads and inflation, prices have increased dramatically over the years and with such an investment people tend to expect results. But fishing is fishing, and even under the best glassy conditions with schools of tuna, sea bream and yellowtail flounder plying the surface, some fishermen will not reach their desired species limits.
This is where “boat limits” come in. As there is a set limit for each species targeted by the fleet, as well as fines for overtaking or undersized fish, the crew should remain aware of the situation. exact number of each species caught while checking the sizes of those species with a minimum length requirement. Tracking each angler’s catch is nearly impossible when deckhands are busy chatting, untangling lines, helping novices and gaffs, so the total number of fish divided by the number of anglers is often applied. The number of fishermen multiplied by the daily limit is equal to the boat limits, even though some fishermen did not take a limit and others exceeded the limit. For multi-day trips, no more than three daily limits may be maintained per trip of three or more days.
Among the detractors, I have heard more than once: “How can the boat report limits taken when I have not reached my limit? As a former deckhand, I know the obvious answer: The boat had limitations on board when they returned to dock, but some fishermen had more, and some had less. This misunderstanding is what inspires the misrepresentation (in my experience) of “sport fishing crews inflating the tally”, such as bringing in more fish caught than the real thing to sell more tickets. First of all, you have to consider that most of the boats are and sold their places during the high season even before the Internet, when the counts were only reported in the newspapers. Why inflate matters when the boat fills up anyway? Second, given the reputation in the eyes of the angling community, and especially where there are legal ramifications that could lead to suspicion or fines from the authorities, the negative risk / reward ratio of a would not such a practice be obvious?
When a fisherman boards a sport fishing vessel, he or she puts his or her life in the hands of seasoned crews, but upon disembarking some will give negative reviews of their experience. Part of it is justified; I have seen cases where disgruntled crew members may have mishandled a passenger’s fish or mixed or lost nets, or even lost their temper and were rude, but many of these cases are the result of ‘an insatiable or rude passenger in the first place. Yet this is no excuse. Sport fishing is a service industry, and like the waiters at the local restaurant, crew members are expected to be thick-skinned and do their duty with a smile and the thought “The customer is always right.”
Again, the customer is not always right, especially on a ship with dozens of other customers on board. The safety of everyone on board is the first concern. After that, catching is the priority. At the bottom of the list is the number of fish an angler has, and even so deckhands will pay attention and help those who are struggling to improve their experience. It’s their job, and in general, the sport fishing crews in San Diego do their jobs very well. It’s incredible fishing just off our shores and within the reach of the fleet and there is no need to overdo it. Apart from a possible mathematical error and despite a few unhappy fishermen, rest assured that the accounts reported are indeed those that were caught.
Being the main saltwater fishing ground in the country, some boats depart from San Diego seasonally. The Pacific Islander spends the spring and early summer working at Oxnard, fishing primarily in the Channel Islands targeting halibut, white bass and redfish. From mid-July to late July, they descend to San Diego and fish off the Point Loma Sportfishing landing and target tuna, sea bream, and yellowtail flounder. While there are schools of yellowfin and yellowtail flounder as well as marauding sea bream closer to home, the boat traveled about 70 miles to the Tanner Bank area to target the larger bluefin tuna. for its 25 hopeful anglers on board.
Not everyone on board landed any fish, and as with larger tunas, many broke up. Yet it was a successful trip with only ten bluefin tuna landed. They are big fish and will pull hard for a long time, so no experienced angler would expect to land a limit of 2 fish. But they hope. The fish landed were of a size that will attract anglers even when the chances of landing are low. There is no need to invent a number when catching “cow” bluefin tuna, especially when the largest fish caught weighed 344 pounds.
Fish plants: None planned