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Bob Vanian's 976-Bite – HOT BITE

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Friday, February 28, 2020
Yellowtail are biting at the Coronados!


It’s almost spring!
This week will see spring arrive on March 19, 2020 but the recent late winter weather has not been very spring like with several recent days of rain and sloppy seas. When you look a bit deeper though, the signs of the spring fishing season that lies ahead are already in place. Recent weeks have brought significant signs of the spring season ahead with occasional flurries of yellowtail action found around the Coronado Islands and with bluefin tuna in the picture for boats fishing at some of the local offshore banks outside of the Coronado Islands and at the offshore waters outside of Punta Colnett. Additional “spring like” activity has been found around kelp paddies located in offshore waters outside of Punta Colnett which have been producing good numbers of yellowtail.

The best and most consistent bite has been for the sportboats fishing 1.5 day trips to the offshore waters outside of Punta Colnett. There has been good fishing for a mix of bluefin tuna and kelp paddie yellowtail and the bluefin have ranged in size from 30 to 100-plus pounds with most in the 40- to 50-pound range.


As an example of the fishing outside of Punta Colnett, Fisherman’s Landing reports that the Pacific Queen fished a 1.5 day trip last Saturday and had 27 anglers catch 66 yellowtail and 31 bluefin tuna. Their bluefin were reported to be quality sized fish that were in the 40- to 50-pound class. H&M Landing reports that the Old Glory was out fishing a 1.5 day trip last Saturday and had 13 anglers catch 23 yellowtail and 10 bluefin tuna.


In addition to the bluefin tuna and kelp paddie yellowtail being found outside of Punta Colnett, boats fishing the high spot area in closer to the coast off Punta Colnett have been doing well on reds, rockfish and lingcod along with an occasional flurry of yellowtail action.


The yellowtail fishing around the Coronado Islands has been scratchy but there have been a few yellowtail biting. There have been reports of good sized schools of yellowtail being metered with scanning sonar but more often than not, it has been difficult to get the yellowtail to bite. The Rockpile has been the best zone for yellowtail around the Coronados and the best bet once yellowtail are located has been to fish with yo-yoed iron.


In addition to a chance at yellowtail, there have been a few bonito biting around the Coronados and the fishing for an assortment of bottom fish remains good. Productive areas for the bottom fishing include hard bottom areas to the north, northeast and northwest of North Island while working in 25 to 55 fathoms of water. Also productive has been fishing the lower end of the 9 Mile Bank while keeping on the Mexico side of the border and fishing in the 60 to 80 fathom depths. Another productive rockfish zone around the Coronado Islands has been fishing spots along the South Kelp Ridge below South Island in the 20 to 40 fathom depths.


There have been occasional showings of bluefin tuna reported in local offshore waters off San Diego but it has been difficult to get the bluefin to bite. Areas where there have been bluefin sightings reported include the 425 Bank, 302 Spot, 224 Spot, 182 Spot, the lower end of the 9 Mile Bank and the area to the west of North Island. Flat Fall jigs and surface iron have produced occasional bluefin bites.


The fishing along the San Diego County coast has been good for a mix of reds, rockfish, sculpin, sand bass, calico bass and whitefish. There have also been a few lingcod and halibut biting. Recent weeks have seen occasional showings of yellowtail off Imperial Beach and below the MLPA closure zone at the lower end of La Jolla but there has not been much in the way of coastal yellowtail activity reported lately.


Productive areas for bass and sculpin have been the Imperial Beach Pipeline, hard bottom areas to the southeast of the Whistler Buoy at Point Loma, the hard bottom to the north and northwest of Buoy #5 at Point Loma, the Point Loma Pipeline, the Jetty Kelp outside of Mission Bay, the Variety Kelp while fishing below the MLPA closure zone at the lower end of La Jolla, the upper end of La Jolla, the Anderson and Buccaneer Pipelines, the artificial reefs outside of Oceanside and Box Canyon.


Productive areas for rockfish have been the International Reef that is located a short way above the Mexico border, hard bottom areas to the west, southwest and southeast of the Whistler Buoy at Point Loma, the Point Loma Pipeline, the hard bottom outside of the Green Tank at Point Loma, The 270 to the west of Mission Bay, the area outside of the lower and the upper ends of La Jolla, the ridge outside of Del Mar, the hard bottom outside of Leucadia, and Box Canyon.


Areas producing some halibut action along the San Diego County coast are the sandy bottom adjacent to the structure of the artificial reefs outside of Oceanside, fishing in 180 to 220 feet of water at the sandy bottom outside of the Oceanside Pier, the sandy bottom adjacent to the structure of the Anderson and Buccaneer Pipelines, fishing the sandy bottom areas adjacent to the structure of the Yukon shipwreck and adjacent to the structure of the sunken NEL Tower that are located off Mission Beach and fishing the area between the Imperial Beach Pier and the Tijuana River. San Diego Bay is another place where some biting halibut have been reported.


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It is my goal to provide you timely and accurate information in these reports containing news from right off the water. If you require more details that include the specific location of where significant catches have been made, I refer you to the daily Member’s Reports at www.976bite.com . Those Member’s Reports contain additional specifics that include latitude and longitude coordinates and other descriptive references about where and how fish are being caught. Make the most efficient use of your precious time on the water with the use of the timely and accurate information at www.976bite.com .


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