View Full Version : San Diego fishing?

02-14-2009, 10:22 AM
It looks like I may be making a trip out to San Diego around the first week of March. Just wondering if anyone has any info about charters, guides, etc. I can do a lookup on the net but I'm hoping that other sniffers can suggest some decent guides.


02-15-2009, 02:56 PM
I used to live down there and two guys told me the best fishing is on one of the overnight boats for tuna and yellowtail. *Its about $250 but both said it was well worth the money and they had a great time. *You can book a boat out of Fisherman's Landing or Point Loma Sportfishing.

If you're into the long range stuff and have the money to spend, you can't go wrong with the Excel, Royal Polaris, or Shogun. I've seen them come back from Mexico loaded to the deck with 2-300 lb tuna, wahoo, and yellowtail, a sight I'll never forget.

02-15-2009, 11:02 PM
Unfortunately, tuna trips are mainly run during summer and early fall as far as 1 to 3 day trips are concerned. Right now, the overnight trips are targeting rock fish, ling cod, and the occasional yellow tail of the coast of Mexico.

Any of the boats out of H&M landing, Seaforth Sportfishing, or Point Loma Sportfishing are pretty good. Just a few warnings on these trips:
1. Watch your gear. Unfortunately, you can get some "bad apples" who might help themselves to a reel, a lure, or some other gear.
2. You can buy food on board, or you can bring some along but they don't typically allow ice chests. Check with with landing when you make a reservation. I don't think they allow you to bring alcohol on board either. Their galley prices are not exorbitant, but as you might guess they are over priced.
3. The rental gear is workable, but not the greatest. If you can bring a 30lb and 40lb outfit that would work well for either dropper loops (using up to 1lb of weight) or fly lining baits. Hook size is usually either 1/0 to 3/0, but sometimes you'll have to go down to a 1 depending on bait size. If you really want a chance at those yellowtail you can even try using fluorocarbon. You can rent a rod, and a "tackle bag" consisting of a few weights and hooks from the shop. Usually its around $10 for the rod and $5-10 for the tackle.
4. Get their early to secure a spot somewhere on the rail as well as a place to sleep.
5. The weather can be all over the place from warm and sunny to cold and overcast. So, dress in layers and plan accordingly.
6. Ask about what arrangements you can make to have your fish shipped home. There are various fish processors, but I like 5 Star.
7. Don't be afraid to ask questions from the crew.
8. Tip accordingly...some crews are great and some suck. These crews are usually in flux. Thats why I don't make a specific boat recommendation since its been awhile since I have been down there on a local boat.
9. Ask abou their jackpot rules...for whatever insane reason some boats down there have started charging a "handling fee" or something stupid along those lines. They basically take a cut of the jackpot for the crew. I personally don't bother with jackpots down there any more. To many stories and bad experiences of guys cheating, being in cahoots with the crew, etc to steal the jackpot (ie having a big fish on board and ready to use to win the pot if necessary). Keep in mind not all boats are like this, but you just can't tell.

If you want any more specifics send me a p.m. and we can talk.

02-16-2009, 09:07 PM
Thanks for the info you guys this is great. As soon as we lock down the date I'll reach out for more info. We were thinking more of a day out on the water not necessarily an overnight trip. I'll check out H&M, Seaforth, and Point Loma to see what they charge and what they're fishing for right now.

02-16-2009, 09:29 PM
May is the start of the season. It will only be bottomfish,with maybe a white seabass, or two. September is the month to go.

02-16-2009, 09:56 PM
Then what you would be looking for is a 3/4 day trip (departs around 6a.m. and returns around 5 to 6p.m.) or even a 1/2 day (7-12 or 1-6 p.m.). Departure and return times vary between landings. If I remember F&G regs correctly there rock fish season starts earlier than ours up here. They target rock fish, sand bass, calico bass mainly, but sometimes you'll run into a school of bonito or barracuda (these are trypically more common later in the spring to summer). If you go on a weekend be prepared for a bit of a crowd. So. Cal party boats typically have up to 40 or 50 people on board. Since its still very early I would expect more like 20 or 30 max.

For some reason the 1/2 day and 3/4 day crews have gotten a little "bitter" over the years. They used to be excellent, but now its hit or miss. Last time I went home to visit the family (about 6mos ago) I went out on the Malahini from H&M. The crew did a good job, but I have seen better. It can be a pain to find parking at H&M, and you have to pay for it. If you go to Seaforth/Point Loma Sportfishing the parking is free.

On a 3/4 day trip you might go to the Coronado Islands or along Rosarito beach. On a 1/2 day trip you'll probably focus along the Imperial Beach/Coronado shore or La Jolla kelp beds. Ideally you would have either a 15 or 20lb rig, 30lb rig, and a 40lb rig incase the yellowtail or bonito show up. The sea lions can be a serious pain. I'm talking 3 or 4 around the boat stealing your bait and any quality fish you might catch. If the fish are taking the heavy tackle I would use it since it improves your changes of landing a fish against the sea lions.

Let me know if you want recommendations on surface irons, plastics, etc. Most people just use the live bait on board.