I Can’t Tune A Piano But I Can Tuna Fish

Dons 40lb Tuna

MalihiniAugust 2016 – The San Diego based sport fishing continues to boat good numbers of Blue Fin, Yellow Fin, Yellow Tail and Dorado within US waters. The anglers are coming, the boats are going and the fish are biting.

Solid numbers of migratory tuna are being caught on ¾ and one day and multi day trips. Blue and Yellow Fin in the 20-30 lbs class are hanging close to the California coast. Abruptly in the middle of the average sized “Fins” bite the mayhem erupts with 100-200 lbs grade Yellow and Blue Fins blowing through trashing anglers throwing lighter line test less than 50-60 lbs. Late July and early August welcome Dorado in solid numbers offering angler excellent table fare. Yellow Tail are abundant close in around the kelp forests around the US coast and Mexican waters.

The “Malihini” sport boat (80 feet x 20 feet – 51 Passenger Capacity) out of H&M Landing with a proud tradition of dependable service since1975 continues to lead the fleet on ¾ day trips on solid numbers of tuna fishing US waters without having to have a pass port. Mexico continues the requirement of having to have a passport in lieu of the normal visa we are used to. The H&M Landing sport fleet is running split trips between Mexican with passports and US waters without passports lending fishing opportunities to all. The “Malihini” does run Mexican waters on most Sunday’s with passports to take advantage of the fishing around the Coronado Island and other secret spots.   Check the schedule with H&M Landing 619-222-1144.

On a recent trip the “Malihini”, in US waters, was in the middle of a medium grade Blue Fin bite, one young angler was fortunate enough to get a big bite and landed a Blue Fin tipping the scales at 126.55 lbs. and 5’-6” long. Not often you catch a fish bigger than you are! Excellent fish!

Tuna on the MalihiniOn multiple trips I’ve noticed a wonderful mix of kids of all ages, boys and girls, enjoying the deep sea fishing adventure with Dads and Granddads, what an awesome opportunity and experience for these young people!

If you don’t have gear, rods, reels and terminal tackles they are available from Rick, The “Tackle Master” in the H&M  Landing Tackle shops, excellent Seeker rods an Avet reels primarily, good stuff. If you have your own gear the place to re spool with fresh lines and get your reels serviced and lubed in Phoenix Fishing Supply, 16st Street south of Camelback Road, since 1987. When you’re there, check out the Flat Falls, 100 gr weight.

Yellowtail on the MalihiniGear selection selection is a matter of personal choice when comes to rods and reels. Rods, I’d suggest a 7’-6” med fast action tip with solid backbone. Single speed reels are great for most fish. Two speed if your targeting the 100 lbs class. Line size should be from the 30-50 lbs test class. Live bait this year is good quality, anchovies and sardines with a few mackerel mixed on most all the boats. For those anglers with A.D.D. like me, throwing heavy irons in blue/chrome or blue/whites is a good bet. Flat fall jigs like the Shimano “Colt Sniper” in 100 gram weight and the Butterfly jig, 100 gram have been very effective. Look for the Savage Gear “Squish” jig, should be hitting the tackle stores soon. And of course my favorite is the soft plastic replaceable swim bait 5 ½” bodies on a 1-2 oz triangular jig. I’m recommending purple/black in early morning or heavily overcast days and going to lighter patterns as the sun brightens the day such as a Grunion pattern. Translucent with dark backs, greens, blues, purples and blacks with sparkle work well in bright light periods. On your triangular jig head be sure to choose the ones with 3-D eyes, crystal clear with the black pupil, stay away from red eyes. The fish don’t seem to be real line shy, so 40 & 50 lbs monofiliment have been working well. The thing to keep in the back of your thoughts is the 100 plus pound fish slamming the boat. The worst sound an angler can hear is “pop”followed by a period of depression. Arm yourself for the fight.
Depending on your available time and fishing budget, trips are still available, space for one day, 1 ½ days and  two days plus are limited and getting tighter as the wide open bite continues.
Tuna fishing doesn’t have to be time consuming or expensive. The cost for a ¾ day “Malihini” trip with all the permits, not including gear and food is less than $200.00 per angler. Out at 5:30 AM back in at 5:30 PM. It’s a just a good day on the water.
We haven’t seen a stellar tuna season like this for a number of years, don’t miss the boat or the bite. Book it now and think about taking your kids and grand kids.
Good fishing and get bent!

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Don McDowell, Arizona native, is an avid outdoorsman and has been an active bass pro fisherman for over 16 years and in the past 15 years has developed his own radio show promoting bass fishing and conservation efforts for bass fishing that escalated to nominations with several bass groups and organizations. In the past 12 years, Don has pursued his conservation agenda through AZBFN-TBF as Conservation Director and with the Arizona Game and Fish Department, in the spring of 2014 redesigned his website to include those efforts highlighted below and has increased the AZGFD exposure, public education of the AZGFD and Commission issues on his radio show and website soliciting local and national support for Arizona. 2014 has seen the founding of SRT Outdoors, Inc., 501 C3 organization, “Not for Profit, for Conservation” which is concentrating on grants for mitigating the effects of Gizzard Shad on Roosevelt lake thorough habitat enhancement, Florida Strain Bass stocking, lakes bottom mapping, etc. and feral hog research.

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