Signs point to good season for albacore

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Signs point to good season for albacore

May 21, 2001

By DAVE STREGE, The Orange County Register

Albacore season appears to be off and running with some reports of longfins being caught as close as 19 miles from Point Loma over the weekend.

Several one-day boats from the San Diego Fleet caught the highly prized gamefish between 60-80 miles from port with the fish averaging 6 to 10 pounds.

"Whenever you catch albacore (inside one-day range) this early, especially fish this size, small to medium, that always bodes well for the season," said John Yamate at Seaforth Sportfishing.

"Anytime we've caught albacore in May, it's usually led to a pretty good season."

The top catches reported were aboard the Relentless from Fisherman's Landing (61 albacore for 17 anglers Saturday at 65 miles) and the Indian from H&M Landing (75 albacore for 25 anglers on a 1 1/2-day trip Saturday at 71 miles).

The Legend from Seaforth reported 22 albacore for 19 anglers Sunday and was one of the few boats out again Monday in nasty conditions. By noon, however, it was still looking for them.

Once the weather settles and more boats start going after them, it'll be easier for the fleet to find the fish.

Wayward tuna: A skipjack tuna was a surprise catch last month in a sampling net in the back of Newport Bay.

While the Hubbs Sea World Research Group was conducting its quarterly sampling of the bay, searching for tagged white sea bass, a 15-pound skipjack came up.

Hubbs research biologist Mike Shane suspected the fish, popularly used as bait to catch bigger tuna, was probably released into the bay by an angler returning home from a fishing trip.

He believes the fish grew to its size while dining on the fish in the bay. The pelagic tuna might have swum into the bay on its own, but he doubted it.

"It shows you, you never know what you're going to catch in these harbors," said Jock Albright, of the white sea bass program.

Catfish season opener: Santa Ana River Lakes will be closed Wednesday to plant catfish in all three lakes. The catfish opener is Thursday.

Bass event: Laguna Niguel Lake has stopped stocking catfish to concentrate on its catch-and-release bass fishery and events for kids.

Bass are being stocked weekly from private lakes.

A hundred bass will be tagged for this weekend with prizes ranging from $20 to fishing products.

Boating safety: It's National Safe Boating Week. In celebration, the Southern California Marine Association (www.scma.com) offers tips for the holiday weekend:

File a trip plan with someone so they know where you are going and when you plan to return.

Check weather forecasts.

Don't overload a boat with passengers and cargo.

Do not drink and operate a boat.

Observe speed limits.

Carry and wear life jackets as required by law.

Thoroughly inspect the motor, propellers and fittings before leaving.

Only anchor from the bow. Small boats frequently capsize and sink when anchored from astern.
 

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