A humpback whale breaches Thursday in Avila Beach. (Courtesy: Vincent Shay)
Humpback whales have been spotted locally as they migrate south to the waters off Mexico's shores.
The massive marine mammals bring tourists and locals to the beach and to boats for whale-watching tours. KSBY's cameras went out with Sub Sea Tours in Morro Bay to capture images of the whales. Along the way, we spotted dozens of dolphins and other sea life.
"The population of humpback whales has increased about three percent each year for the past 20 years," said Kevin Winfield, who captains the boat.
Winfield has tips for taking boats out to watch whales. He says you should stay a distance of about 100 yards away, look into the direction of the sun to catch the shadows of the whales popping out of the water, and look for birds because they feast on the same bait balls as the whales.
Winfield says the migration period for the humpback whales usually lasts through October on the Central Coast. Gray whales can be spotted near the beginning of the year.