Pacific bluefin tuna have invaded the waters off Southern California, and anglers in boats of all sizes are scoring fish in excess of 100 pounds within 8 to 10 miles of the coast. There are reports of breaking fish from San Diego to Santa Catalina Island. Not only are the fish close, these Pacific bluefin tuna are early. Ordinarily, the fish don’t show until later, and they ordinarily first appear much farther south, in Mexican waters.
Evan Salvay, a pro-staffer for Cousins Tackle, caught a 117 pounder in his bay boat over the weekend on the submerged ridge east of Catalina Island known as the 277. He landed the fish after a two-hour battle on 40-pound-test line. His catch is just one of many reports of local bluefin tuna over the century mark caught this past week.
Many of the fish are being caught on live mackerel or sardines, slow trolled far behind the boat in areas where fish are seen jumping or marked on a fish finder.