Words by: Cameron Gamble   |   Photos by: Ira Waldman 

The fishing in San Diego continues to produce, the sportboat fleet is catching bluefin tuna in higher quantities than previous years and there is no sign of the bite slowing down. This year, bluefin showed up in numbers the second week of April. Multiple boats are coming home from trips with limits of tuna for every passenger on board, with most of the fish being caught during the night. The night-bite has changed the game for SoCal sportboats, forcing the crews to work around the clock to find and catch fish for their boat full of eager passengers.

This around the clock style of fishing gives anglers a larger window to fish, increasing their chances of touching the dock with their limit of bluefin tuna. Wave goodbye to the days of waking up at sunrise, and winding in the trolling rods when the sun sets. San Diego sport fishing is now a 24 hour fishery for the anglers willing to put in the rail time it takes to get bit.

BD Outdoors kicked off the 2023 season aboard The Pegasus with our first sponsored sportboat trip the second week of April. This 1.5-day trip left Fishermans Landing on Friday at 6pm, and returned Sunday morning at 5am. With new owner/operator Alec Stockfelt at the helm, 20 anglers had limits of bluefin tuna before the sun came up.

The Pegasus is a 65 foot custom built fiberglass sport-fisher, built in 1980 in Westport, Washington. Over the years, the boat has had many owners and various captains, most recently owned by Joe Chait. At the beginning of 2023, The Pegasus was purchased by Alec Stockfelt, former captain of The Grande, Drew Card, owner of 5 Star Fish Processing, and Gavin Harbour, captain of the Pacific Queen. Owned and operated by fishermen with an extensive knowledge of the SoCal fishery, The Pegasus is already on track to be one of the top boats in the San Diego fleet, and it is only a month into the season. Specializing in trips in the overnight range into the 3-day range, keep an eye out for the fish counts this boat will be posting as the younger wave of fishermen tighten their grip on the San Diego sportboat fleet.


New ownership doesn’t mean the entire crew has changed, this crew has a mix of old and new. Whether it’s their first season on this boat, or their 30th, the crew is fired up to get out on the water and put fish on the deck.
Captain Alec was born and raised here in San Diego. His father ran sportboats, so Alec started fishing in the industry at the young age of 2 years old. After running The Grande for 5 years (2018-2022), Captain Alec decided to purchase The Pegasus with his childhood friends. He is a calm, levelheaded skipper that uses his expertise in the industry to catch fish for all of the 20 anglers onboard. At the young age of 28 years old, Captain Alec is a name you will continue to hear on the dock in years to follow.
Captain Randy Sandiford is the second ticket aboard The Pegasus. His first season on the boat was in 1990, meaning Randy has been with this boat for over 30 years. His knowledge of the boat and the industry is second to none. From the old albacore days into the new era of the cow bluefin tuna, Randy has seen it all. He is a kind, hardworking crew member that fills any down moment with deep conversation.
Ian is going on his 6th year as a deckhand aboard The Pegasus. He started fishing at the age of 4 and kicked off his career in the sportboat industry at the age of 16. He knows his way around the boat like the back of his hand and he treats all anglers like they are long time friends. Keep an eye out for Ian in the future as he aspires to run trips not only on deck, but behind the helm as well.
Jake started fishing straight out of high school and never stopped. He put in years on commercial boats, roping countless amounts of cow bluefin. He is a very experienced fisherman with an upbeat attitude. Jake is an outdoors man that is very funny and outgoing and never misses a beat when it comes to the intricacies of tuna fishing.

Calvin runs the galley like it is his home kitchen. In 2009, he joined the Navy and was stationed in Point Loma where he experienced cooking in a galley for the first time. From there, his skills grew and he started cooking on dinner cruises in San Diego Bay. He worked his way up to a Sous Chef and took his knowledge to various boats in the San Diego fleet. Calvin is a talented chef and a fun guy to be around. He is always stoked, even when he is cooking dinner for 20 people charging up swell.


As we mentioned in the beginning of this article, the night bite has been the most common way for boats to land limits of BFT this season. This trip was a prime example of limit style fishing at night. We did catch fish during the day time the next day, but the night bite produced 90% of our fish on this 1.5 day trip. These fish were all 20-50lb bluefin tuna, keying in on smaller knife jigs. The bite was absolutely electric!


When you think of sportboats, you think of burritos and boat burgers. Calvin takes things to a whole new level with a Hawiian style lunch and tri-tip dinner.
This trip showcases San Diego fishing at its finest. Leaving on a Friday night and returning on a Sunday morning with limits of BFT is what SoCal anglers live for. Big thanks to JYG Pro Fishing for gearing up our anglers with two custom JYG x BD jigs to fish on this trip and trips to follow. Stay tuned, BD Outdoors has a laundry list of trips coming up in 2023, you could be a passenger on the next one!