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Half-day fishing out of San Diego or Mission Bay.

Half-day fishing out of San Diego or Mission Bay

They're billed as half-day fishing trips, and especially in summer the fishing can indeed be good. But even if it isn't, these 5- to 6-hour trips offered twice daily from San Diego Harbor and Mission Bay are worth the time for the boat ride alone.

Trips are offered year-round, with angling action picking up in June, peaking in August, and often continuing into October. Rockfish, kelp bass, and barracuda account for most of the catch. Other possibilities include gamefish such as bonito and yellowtail. (On a recent winter trip, we finally got tired of catching and throwing back Pacific mackerel.)

Because the trips are short, boats usually don't go very far out, preferring to work near-shore reefs and kelp beds. Depending on where the fish are biting, boats from Mission Bay may head north to fish off La Jolla or south to Point Loma. Half-day trips from San Diego Harbor generally run to Point Loma, with occasional forays to Imperial Beach.

On calm, sunny summer days even nonanglers enjoy cruising through busy harbors and along the scenic coastline. Seagulls and pelicans follow the boats, and a school of friendly porpoises may dodge across their bows. From November to March, you often spot gray whales migrating to or from Baja California.

Five outfits offer two daily 5- to 6-hour trips departing at 6 or 6:30 A.M. and again at noon or 12:30. All will rent you a rod, reel, and starter tackle for $5 to $6. Bait is furnished. They can also sell you the required fishing license. You can usually buy snacks and beverages on board.

Boats range in length from 65 to 85 feet, with capacities running from about 60 to 90 anglers (check how crowded the boat is when you make reservations). Each firm offers a variety of other fishing and sightseeing trips; write for a brochure.

Mission Bay

Islandia Sportfishing, 1551 W. Mission Bay Dr., San Diego 92109; (619) 222-1164. Rates: $15 adults, $10 ages 13 to 16, $8 ages 12 and under.

Seaforth Sportfishing, 1717 Quivira Rd., San Diego 92109; 224-3383. Rates: $14 adults, $10 ages 13 to 16, $8 under 13.

San Diego Harbor

H & M Landing, 2803 Emerson St., San Diego 92106; 222-1144. Rates: $17 adults, $12 ages 12 and under.

Point Loma Sportfishing Association, 1403 Scott St., San Diego 92106; 223-1627. Rates: $17 adults, $15 ages 12 to 15, $13 ages under 12.

Photo: Barely a mile off La Jolla, anglers line stern rails, plumbing the depths for bottomfish. Tackle boxes and jackets cover hatch in front of live-bait tank

Photo: Opportunistic pelican watches anglers reel in their catch, then begs--or steals--a morsel
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Date:Jan 1, 1985
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