Bluefin catch a San Diego record for full-day boat
The landing this week of a 217.5-pound bluefin tuna just 20 miles from San Diego has set a record for a local catch aboard a full-day sportfishing boat and also excited anglers about this summer’s bite.
San Diego angler Rolly Talangapas was aboard the “San Diego,” — a 75-foot sportfisher out of Seaforth Landing in Mission Bay with captain Matt Bralla — when the big bluefin was caught.
Bralla left on another trip, but captain Ryan Bostian, owner of the San Diego, was able to provide details of the catch.
Bostian said the San Diego was fishing an area known as “the border corner” — a location where large bluefin have been spotted before.
Talangapas was rigged with 60-pound line and a sinker rig with a 4-ounce sinker down about 250 feet. Over a period of about two hours, six big cows were hooked, but Talangapas was the only one to bring a fish to the boat.
“It’s likely the others were this size or bigger,” Bostian said.
While much larger bluefin have been brought home aboard long-range boats, Bostian said this fish smashes the old record of just over 156 pounds for a local catch aboard a full-day boat.
And he’s not surprised.
“We started seeing bluefin around 30 and 40 pounds in 2015 and each year they have gotten bigger,” Bostian said. “The old-timers tell us to enjoy it as it may never happen again, but I think it’s just an ocean cycle like happened in the ’60s.”
Bostian, a veteran of 20 years of sportfishing, called this a good trend.
“According to the spotter pilots, there are more bluefin around. Sportfishing boats are seeing an amazing amount of tuna, but the problem is they are so smart, and they don’t bite that well,” he said.
That means anglers are trying different techniques to see if they can find the secret to getting the tuna to bite.
The San Diego returned to port later this week and Bostian said the catch included 13 bluefin between 50 and 80 pounds.
This is all good news for the local sportfishing fleet that sees peak action from now through August.
The big bluefin could be a hint of things to come in the next few months.
“Growing up in San Diego, I never would have thought it would be possible to catch a 100-pound tuna and sleep in your own bed,” Bostian said in a recent fish report.
Now’s he thinking about 200-pound fish.
Cowan is a freelance writer.