Half-day fishing out of San Diego or Mission Bay Essay

Half-day fishing out of San Diego or Mission Bay They’re billed as half-day fishing trips, and especially insummer the fishing can indeed be good. But even if it isn’t, these5- to 6-hour trips offered twice daily from San Diego Harbor and MissionBay are worth the time for the boat ride alone. Trips are offered year-round, with angling action picking up inJune, peaking in August, and often continuing into October. Rockfish,kelp bass, and barracuda account for most of the catch.

Otherpossibilities include gamefish such as bonito and yellowtail. (On arecent winter trip, we finally got tired of catching and throwing backPacific mackerel.) Because the trips are short, boats usually don’t go very farout, preferring to work near-shore reefs and kelp beds. Depending onwhere the fish are biting, boats from Mission Bay may head north to fishoff La Jolla or south to Point Loma.

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Half-day trips from San DiegoHarbor generally run to Point Loma, with occasional forays to ImperialBeach. On calm, sunny summer days even nonanglers enjoy cruising throughbusy harbors and along the scenic coastline. Seagulls and pelicansfollow the boats, and a school of friendly porpoises may dodge acrosstheir bows. From November to March, you often spot gray whalesmigrating to or from Baja California. Five outfits offer two daily 5- to 6-hour trips departing at 6 or6:30 A.M. and again at noon or 12:30.

All will rent you a rod, reel,and starter tackle for $5 to $6. Bait is furnished. They can also sellyou the required fishing license. You can usually buy snacks andbeverages on board. Boats range in length from 65 to 85 feet, with capacities runningfrom about 60 to 90 anglers (check how crowded the boat is when you makereservations).

Each firm offers a variety of other fishing andsightseeing trips; write for a brochure. Mission Bay Islandia Sportfishing, 1551 W. Mission Bay Dr., San Diego 92109;(619) 222-1164. Rates: $15 adults, $10 ages 13 to 16, $8 ages 12 andunder.

Seaforth Sportfishing, 1717 Quivira Rd., San Diego 92109; 224-3383.Rates: $14 adults, $10 ages 13 to 16, $8 under 13. San Diego Harbor H ; M Landing, 2803 Emerson St., San Diego 92106; 222-1144.

Rates: $17 adults, $12 ages 12 and under. Point Loma Sportfishing Association, 1403 Scott St., San Diego92106; 223-1627. Rates: $17 adults, $15 ages 12 to 15, $13 ages under12.

Photo: Barely a mile off La Jolla, anglers line stern rails,plumbing the depths for bottomfish. Tackle boxes and jackets coverhatch in front of live-bait tank Photo: Opportunistic pelican watches anglers reel in their catch,then begs–or steals–a morsel

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