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Saltwater fishing update: Yellowtail make big splash beyond San Diego

James Springer (right) and his grandfather, Nobu Oshiro, sit on a curb with a 62.6-pound yellowtail on their lap.

The season's first major haul of yellowtail at the offshore tuna grounds is occurring today for anglers aboard the Grande. They've boated more than 100 yellowtail and were still fishing as of 1:30 p.m.

The 25 passengers are part of a two-day 976-TUNA charter and spent Monday in an area 120 miles southwest of San Diego. They caught 18 albacore in the 10- to 12-pound range and 30 yellowtail in the 5- to 10-pound range.

Today they were fishing en route back to Point Loma Sportfishing and encountered most of the yellowtail 65 miles southwest of the landing. The kelp paddies that generally attract yellowtail and albacore were mostly dry; the Grande passengers found their fish breezing in open ocean, reports 976-TUNA founder Philip Friedman. Their most productive stop was 40 yellowtail.

That's a good sign but there remains no indication of albacore moving close enough to become available to anglers on 24-hour excursions. 

Farther down the Baja Calfornia coast long-range anglers are experiencing fair fishing for yellowfin tuna  and large yellowtail. After the Royal Polaris docked this morning at Fisherman's Landing, passenger James Springer, 20, disembarked with the trip's most impressive catch: a 62.6-pound yellowtail caught at Alijos Rocks.

“I saw him hit,” Springer said. “It was crazy; I saw a flash and then he was gone and the line came tight. I almost flew overboard.”

The largest two yellowfin weighed 56 pounds.

--  Pete Thomas

Photo: James Springer (right) and his grandfather, Nobu Oshiro, sit on a curb with a 62.6-pound yellowtail on their lap. Credit: Bill Roecker/Fishingvideos.com

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Outposts' primary contributor is Kelly Burgess.