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First albacore and bluefin caught -- a promising early start to season

May 18, 2009 |  9:18 am


The first sport-caught albacore of the spring-summer season were a pair of 18-pound bookends landed Saturday aboard the Vagabond out of Point Loma Sportfishing. The news is sure to boost interest among offshore anglers throughout Southern California.

Saturday's catch was made 120 miles southwest of Point Loma, according to 976-TUNA founder Philip Friedman, who will provide regular roundups to Outposts through the summer.

"It is a little early, but it's a really good sign," said Friedman, who received news of the catch during his radio show, Sportfishing Saturday. "There's warm water showing, but not too warm. And there's more anchovy than in recent years, and that's always a good omen for albacore and bluefin."

Also on Saturday, the Prowler out of Fisherman's Landing turned in a count of four bluefin, while anglers aboard the Intrepid (Point Loma Sportfishing) caught more than four dozen yellowtail from beneath a floating kelp paddy.

There's good news for inshore anglers also. Barracuda and sand bass are staging in the Tijuana Flats area, which seasonally precedes a northward migration. Barracuda already have been caught as far north as Marina del Rey.

Good fishing, everyone. It seems the boring rockfish season is all but over.

— Pete Thomas

Photo: Last season's first sport-caught albacore being gaffed by a crewman aboard the Royal Star. This year's was caught aboard the Vagabond. Credit: Paul Sweeney