By Pete Thomas
The epic tuna bite continues off Southern California, thanks to a second consecutive summer featuring abnormally warm water.
But besides all the tuna and marlin breezing around offshore, dorado (mahimahi) are filtering in and adding to the region’s tropical flavor, with sporadic catches being made off Orange and San Diego counties.
The top image, captured by Slater Thomas Moore, shows a leaping mahimahi that was hooked off Newport Beach aboard the Thunderbird.
The photographer, who landed a 34-pound bluefin tuna while on the daylong trip, said the angler’s line had somehow been cut, but was grabbed by Jeffrey Markland.
As Markland pulled the fish ran, and when the line cut through the water and began to tighten, Moore anticipated the leap “and I snapped the photo of it jumping out of the water trying to spit the hook!”
The second image shows a much larger bull dorado (50 pounds), caught this past week aboard the Clemente out of Dana Wharf Sportfishing.
Water temperatures offshore are as high as 75 degrees in some areas. A developing "Godzilla El Niño," and remnants of last year’s “warm blob” phenomenon are reasons for the exotic visitors.