Fish Report North

February 22, 2016 Edition

Coronado Islands

Bottom fishing has been dominating the catches recently — rock fish, lingcod and sheepshead at the Rock Pile. Inside the lee of South Island as well as off the Bullring, there has been an occasional halibut.

Yellowtail are still slow. Those that are caught are mostly off the upper end of the Finger Bank with a handful that moved back in on the Rock Pile despite greener, off-color water. Look for birds working the anchovy schools and fish the dropper-looped mackerel and/or heavy iron off the bottom, yo-yo style. Color hasn’t mattered as much but it definitely helps to have a variety just in case you don’t get bit; after a dozen or so drops, switch colors. Blue/White, Scrambled Egg, and Red/Orange are all good.


Weather has been off-the-charts good recently. Plenty of yellowtail and bonito feeding on bait schools on the surface. Unfortunately the sealions are on them as well. Best bet seems to be fishing deep with blue and white 7X Salas lures. “Reel Adventure” scored 11 yellows fishing 200-feet down south of Isla Todos Santos. Another boat “Game fishier” found similar results at the same depth north of San Miguel Reef.

If that doesn’t work for you, whale watching is in full swing with large numbers swimming near the coast — a special treat that only occurs for a couple of months. Don’t miss the photo ops!


A flotilla of San Diego boats arrive on the high spot of the Ridge weekly to fish the yellows depending on the weather. Best bet is a Salas 7X lures in the Bait-Wraps Red Squid, in Scrambled egg and in Blue/white and green/white.

Bring heavier lures in case the current is ripping or you won’t be able to get your lure deep enough.

Once done with the yellows, the lings and BIG reds are biting, although yellowtail are on those spots and making it tough to get the rockfish.

San Quintin

If the weather holds up, the fishing is phenomenal with a mixed bag of yellowtail, bonito plus an occasional white seabass in the scores, plus rockfish — including reds — lingcod, halibut and sheepshead fill the limits for most boats heading out.

Bahía de los Ángeles

North winds continue to put a damper on the yellowtail and other surface fish. On calm days the bottom fishing is decent, enough for a fish fry or two.

Cedros Island

Water temps stabilized recently for boats anchoring for the night. The local fleet is in a maintenance mode getting ready for the upcoming season.


A Bruce Jenner Fish, How Cool is That?

This fish is a California sheephead. Or a more formal introduction would be Semicossyphus pulcher.

All California sheepheads are born female and morph into their male form at various stages in their lifecycle, determined by environmental conditions and pressures.

In California the catch limit is five, and there is a minimum length of 12 inches, which is usually about the size that they switch to male.

 They have big, strong teeth that look like a person’s teeth that they use for eating things like lobsters, crabs, and sea urchins and when fishing for them the preferred bait is usually squid. In this picture, you’re going to think we’re passing a horse off on you as a fish. Nope.

Big males are often referred to as goats and in Mexico they are called a vieja.

They range from central California down the Baja Peninsula and up into the Sea of Cortez. In the Sea of Cortez, it seems as if they are only common in the Bahia de Los Angeles area.

The IGFA all tackle world record is listed at 28 pounds 6 ounces.