The islands proper have been on the slower side for yellowtail the last few days but it hasn’t been completely dead; there have been little pockets of both yellowtail and bonito around and some are willing to bite. There were some 6- to 12-pound bonito in the lee of North Island, plus a few 5- to 12 -pound yellowtail scattered throughout the Middle Grounds. Trolling Rapalas is a great way to locate both species; then when you get a bite, shut down and try to keep the school around with chum.
The better yellowtail action came from a kelp paddy within a half-mile of the weather side of North Island. These were mostly the same grade as has been found around the islands lately.
There was also a spot of dolphin found to be holding yellowfin just outside the islands at Coronado Canyon. Anglers found spots of tuna (mostly
bluefin) with a couple of yellowfin jig stops, too. This zone also has kelp paddy yellowtail and dorado along with the odd yellowfin jig stop. Some of the dorado and yellowtail are coming on open water jig stops so be sure and have those troll jigs out. Pink has been a hot dorado color lately.
*302 / 371 / 425 / Upper Hidden Bank*
Kelp scattered throughout the area have a nice mix of dorado and yellowtail. Although many of the fish are small, the right kelp may have some of the better 8- to 15-pound dodos and/or yellows on it. There have also been some blind jig strikes on open-water dorado through this area, so dragging cedar plugs, tuna clones or feathers might be a good idea. Dorado especially like pink clones, and even the smaller fish will sometimes jump all over the bigger marlin jigs.
Not a lot happening at the moment. Best bet are the calico bass at the Island.
There are some yellowtail, barracuda and bonito on the flats in the lee of the Island, caught mostly trolling X-Raps but the bite is tough and not everybody is scoring. Kelp out to the west have slowed up as well holding mostly just tiny dorado.
The yellowtail action locally is red hot with lots of 12- to 20-pound yellows on all of the spots — Ben’s Rock, the 240 and the Breakers — on surface iron and live mackerel which can be jigged up near the anchorage at San Martin Island.
Yellowfin are thick as flies just 5 miles out to the west; the volume of yellowfin tuna is impressive. Easy limits of 8- to 25-pound yellowfin are common. They are on porpoise in open water and biting trolled lures leading to wide open bait stops. Lure color doesn’t seem to matter.
Plenty of calicos in the 3- to 5-pound range. Successful lures included red and green Warbaits, yo-yo, even iron. One standout was the Rockhopper Red by MC Hammer.
It seems that best results were round the south end of the island. San Agustin is also a great spot for yellowtail action. One group reported they got 8 fish in 40 minutes, all in the 15- to 33-pound class near the airport, trolling Rapalas.
*Bahia de Los Angeles *
Hot weather heralded the recent arrival of the much-awaited schools of dorado which had locals concerned they might be missing this season. The dorado created a nice mix of yellowtail, dorado, grouper and a few snapper for visiting anglers.