Deep Sea Fishing Tours Are Sinking

The industry is fighting to stay above water

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    NEWSLETTERS

    NBCSanDiego
    Deep sea tours are having a tough time finding fish this season.

    One of San Diego's best  known industries is on a campaign to win back customers. Typically, the tail end of summer is the peak time for sportfishing here in San Diego, but the boats may be headed into troubled waters.

    Bill Wilkerson has worked in the sportfishing business for two decades; recently he got hit with something he hasn't in a long time.

    "I've had a couple of complaint letters," Wilkerson said.

    His customers are complaining about coming home from their fishing tours empty-handed or with very small catches.

    San Diego's weather is the culprit. We’ve seen more overcast days this summer and so have the fish. The overcast sky prevents the sun from reaching the water and heating it up.

    "With the colder temperatures, fish have a tendency to not be as active," Wilkerson said.

    The waters off San Diego are about 8-10 degrees cooler than normal, for this time of year. As a result, big game fish like albacore and other types of tuna are avoiding the cooler water. They have been seen in greater numbers about 200 miles away off the coast of Mexico.

    Sportfishing companies like H & M Landing, say they have seen a 30 percent drop in customers for this season in comparison to previous years.

    Fisherman¹s Landing has had to cut sportfishing trips to deal with the low turn out.

    "We should be getting an open party trip out seven days a week and right now we’re getting them out about 3 days a week," said Fisherman’s Landing manager Gary White.

    Now that they have fewer deep-water trips, local tour companies are now offering coastal tours where Yellowtail, Bass and Rockfish are biting.

    In recent weeks, companies like H&M landing have been using their boats to offer whale-watching tours in hopes of reeling in customers they¹ve lost.