A 2021 California bluefin update? This season has been an epic one. Kusler Yachts’ Zach Zorn provides an update on where the fish are and how to catch them. Beyond his expertise and knowledge in the boating market, Zorn is dialed into the Baja and California fishing scenes.
As it does most years, the body of bluefin has moved northward from Mexican waters into those off of California. After a spring fishery in the waters south of the border, the body of fish now sits solidly between four and forty miles offshore from San Diego to around Newport. One of Kusler Yacht’s clients caught a bluefin two miles off of Newport Harbor last week.
Kusler Yachts’ Zach Zorn is dialed into the California’s boating and fishing scene.
“The season this year has been epic. It has been really good fishing from 30-40 pound fish up to the low 200s. It has been a full mix—some fish are eating bait, good foamer fishing and good kite fishing as well. You can really pick what you like,” Zorn explains.
A Breakdown of Options
During much of the early season, the sport boats had good success catching bluefin on live bait—drifting sardines and anchovies. While some of the boats are continuing to catch fish on bait, the bulk of the fishing has transitioned to foamer and kite fishing action. “It is great small boat fishing,” Zorn explains.
The Kusler Yachts Guide to So Cal Bluefin provides a more complete breakdown of expert tips and tactics.
Fishing foamers is perhaps the most exciting brand of bluefin fishing. It involves running and gunning—targeting schools of fish that are feeding on the surface. This action is ideal for center consoles and for west coast outfitted sportfishers with bow rails and casting areas on the bow.
For fishing the foamers, Zorn recommends surface irons, stick baits and the Cold Sniper from Shimano. When fishing the Cold Snipers, he recommends switching out the treble hook (that comes with the lure) for a single j hook.
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When targeting foamers, consider the tide. Recent reports are marked by the surface of the ocean coming alive on the slack of both high and low tides.
The kite fishing action remains strong between San Clemente and Catalina Islands. The kite fishing basics remain the same—locate the zone you’d like to target and make your passes with the kite.
Captain Evan Salvay has been consistently producing bluefin in the 150-200 pound range on kites out of Huntington Beach. For a more complete breakdown of approaches and techniques, check out the Kusler Yachts guide to So Cal Bluefin.
Getting on the Fish: 2021 California Bluefin Update
The bluefin tuna fishing in Southern California is world class. The fishing is so good, in fact, that is influencing the programs of many travelling fishing programs. Boats that once summered in Baja now return to Southern California for the bluefin season—before returning south for the fall tournament series.
The team at Kusler Yachts can help you explore the bluefin options that best suit your needs. With fish encountered from four to 40 miles offshore, you can bluefin fish from anything from a center console to a custom sportfisher.
Kusler Yachts is not only the leading West Coast Regulator dealer, it has a variety of quality used Regulator listings as well.
Albemarle makes a number of models that are ideally suited for bluefin fishing as well. Kusler yachts client Ron Gladnick’s Albemarle 41 Express is a bluefin catching machine. Check out his experience working with Kusler Yachts, here.
The are also some great options to explore the fishery aboard charter and sportboats. These services can provide context to the incredible options available to the Southern California anglers these days.
For sport boats, Zorn recommends the: San Diego and the Liberty as great options that are on the fish now. For a southern California bluefin charter, Into the Depths Sportfishing is just one of the many great options available these days.
If you’ve ever considered Southern California bluefin fishing from your own boat, give the team Kusler Yachts a call. We’ve made our reputation through honesty, hard work and putting clients into the right boat for their vision of boat ownership.