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October 13, 2010

SoCal Harvest Time

Fall in Southern California offers bountiful offshore fishing for tuna, yellowtail and dorado

Trip Planner

Cali mapWhat: Albacore, yellowfin tuna, yellowtail and dorado.

When: September until the first winter storm.

Where: Popular offshore high spots from Catalina Island to below the Mexican border (special permits required for Mexican waters). Popular launching spots include Newport Harbor, Dana Wharf, Oceanside, Mission Bay and San Diego Harbor. For GPS coordinates of the popular high spots on the map below, visit

Rods: 7-foot medium-action conventional rod rated for 15- to 40-pound-test for live bait or a jig; Heavy-action 512- to 6-foot rod for trolling.

Reels: High-speed star- or lever-drag conventional reel appropriate for 20- to 30-pound monofilament; size 4/0 to 6/0 lever-drag reels for trolling.

Lines: 20-, 25- or 30-pound monofilament. Use a 3-foot fluorocarbon leader when the fish are line-shy.

Hooks: Live-bait hook sized to match bait, No. 4 or No. 2 for anchovies, 2/0 to 3/0 for sardines.

Lures: Zuker's jigs, Sevenstrand Tuna Clones and other small tuna feathers; cedar plugs; or lipped diving plugs. For fishing deep on paddies, heavy butterfly and other similar jigs can be deadly.