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Albacore counts still impressive at offshore fishing grounds

October 19, 2009 | 10:37 am

HICOUNT

The albacore season is over for the many who consider Labor Day weekend the last opportunity to go fishing.

But the popular longfin tuna and their bluefin cousins are still teeming at the offshore fishing grounds, 70 to 80 miles from Point Loma, and a modest angling effort remains underway.

Phil Friedman, of 976-TUNA, was aboard the Hi-Count on Saturday, and he and five others teamed to catch 24 albacore, a few skipjack and one yellowfin tuna. Although this is the slow season, Friedman counted eight other sportfishing boats in the area, and some of their crews had tallied counts of close to 100 fish.

"We go there at daybreak and it wasn't long before we were catching fish," said Friedman, who was aboard with his son Philip Jr. and four friends. "We'd get one on the jig and then bait a few, and we picked up two or three at a time that way."

The Hi-Count, a six-passenger charter boat, runs from Point Loma Sportfishing. The Shogun, which runs from nearby Fisherman's Landing, is at the fishing grounds today. Not long after sunup, its passengers had boated 30 bluefin, five albacore and one yellowfin.

Conditions have been ideal in the area, and the bite is expected to hold up until the first blustery winter storm arrives.

-- Pete Thomas

Photo: Group aboard the Hi-Count displays albacore catch made Saturday. Credit: Capt. Jason Reese

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