San Diego

Anglers Reel in Large Bluefin Tuna, Early Start To Sport Fishing Season

Just off San Diego's coast, the sport fishing is starting early.

The crew and passengers of the long range vessel Shogun returned from a trip into Mexican waters, about 90 miles from San Diego.

After 36 hours, they returned with a haul of nearly 50 bluefin tuna.

Some of the tuna weighed up to 80 pounds. The smallest one weighed in at about 25 pounds.

"They get upwards of two, three, four hundred pounds, so these aren't even close to how big they can actually get," said Paul Carramao, owner/operator of Shogun. "This is a very good haul, we're extremely happy with this."

Ken Franke, with Sportfishing Association of California, said oceanographic conditions are the main reason behind the influx of bluefin tuna.

"Last three years in a row, we've had amazing fishing seasons. This looks so far like it's going to be the best one yet ‘cause it's starting almost two months early," said Franke.

Kathy Lopreste, a lifelong angler, said until recently, she was often the only woman on the boat.

"We've just made our presence more in the forefront and, kind of, fought through a stigma that it was a man's sport," Lopreste said.

Lopreste returned with the Shogun without a catch this time around but said fishing is just part of the adventure.

"It's beautiful to be on the water. You get to see things on the water that you don't see anywhere else," Lopreste said.

While this may be one of the best fishing seasons in decades, sustainability is important to the industry.

Regulations limit two bluefin tuna per person per day.

"We want to be able to have this fish to have for the rest of our lives to fish, for our children to fish, for their children to fish," said Carramao.

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