<b>FINE FISHING:</b>  Juan Vega (left) caught a 56-pound blue fin aboard Bill Cavanaugh’s <i>Amigo</i>.

Courtesy Photo

FINE FISHING: Juan Vega (left) caught a 56-pound blue fin aboard Bill Cavanaugh’s Amigo.

Tropical Fish Caught Off Santa Barbara Coast

Warm Waters Bring Blue Fin Tuna to Southern California Bight

Sport fishermen are thanking the warm waters of El You-Know-What for the bounty of blue fin tuna — the biggest tipping the scales at 50 pounds — that landed during Fiesta weekend in the open ocean between Anacapa, Santa Barbara, and Catalina Islands. “These events are really big news in the recreational fishing industry,” says Merit McCrea, a longtime charter boat captain and UCSB research scientist. “We haven’t seen this since the ’83-’84 El Niño.” With surface water temperatures topping 70 degrees, pelagic fish more common to the subtropics and tropics are roaming into the Southern California Bight, which stretches from Point Conception to the Mexican border and includes the Channel Islands archipelago. Successful fishing for blue fin tuna, yellow fin tuna, yellowtail, marlin, and even wahoo and dorado, could continue to ramp up in the coming months in Southern California, as water temperatures tend to peak in the fall.

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