Bob Vanian's 976-Bite – HOT BITE

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Private boaters make the switch from offshore to inshore

Offshore fishing is still very much in the cards, although it takes 100 plus mile run to get on the yellowtail, and even a little bit of albacore, bluefin and yellowfin tuna, as a result, the few reports coming into the Private Boaters Spotlight are that of inshore and islands runs.

The fishing might be good offshore, but the long run combined with the fact that most private boaters have hung it up for the season meant that even Bob Vanian at had not heard much from private boaters. (Sportboats, yes, skiffs, no.)
“The past week of fishing saw some good offshore fishing for kelp paddy yellowtail and there was a scattering of some bonus albacore, bluefin tuna, yellowfin tuna and skipjack in the mix as well,” reported Vanian.  
“Most of the yellowtail have been firecracker sized fish that have been running from 4 to 12 pounds. The bluefin and yellowfin have been in the 15- to 25-pound range and the albacore have been in the 25- to 35-pound range. Stops have been coming from kelp paddies, sonar marks, jig strikes and porpoise schools. 
The area producing most of the action has been offshore outside of Punta Colnett for boats fishing between 95 and 120 miles 158 to 170 degrees from Point Loma.”

There are still some marlin around.  Maurice Smith of the Sea Trek IV reported fishing for marlin on Saturday and working areas below the Coronado Islands. He reported checking out the 425 Bank, 101 Spot, Finger Bank and 475 Knuckle. They saw a sleeper in the deep water just outside of the 475 Knuckle and also saw a jumper in the deep water below the 101 Spot.  Smith reported a good amount of life in the area and said they metered tuna in a group of porpoise they found at the 101 Spot.  They had a tuna come up and boil on a marlin jig as they went over a meter mark in the porpoise school. There’s also been some swordfish seen on the local banks.

On the local front, there’s been squid up and down the coast and at the islands.

Mark Wisch at Pacific Edge reported that they took the Pacific Edge (as in the six-pack) out to Santa Barbara Island after tanking up with boat locally in front of Long Beach.

“We got a late start… but there’s plenty of bait (as in squid) local. We put the light over and it was game on,” said Wisch. Once at SBI, Matt Resnik got the ball rolling with a 32-pound yellowtail on a dropper loop. It was their only yellow, but Wisch saw signs of another SBI favorite.

“We had a school of seabass come under us, but we missed the one bite we got,” said Wisch. Some drifts out in deep water produced two halibut, one of them an impressive new personal best for Wisch that came in at 48 pounds. The interesting part was that the halibut had an acoustic tag in its stomach. A call to the number on the tag had the phone get answered in Novia Scotia, where the tags are made. Wisch said the tag was one from the PIER program, and that he will tell the Private Boater’s Spotlight what the tag reveals in the future.

The trip finished up at Catalina, where a stop at the West End had the Pacific Edge go one for two on the yellows with the squid. Wisch got the one, a nice fall fish in the high 20s. The other yellow got lost in a lobster trap.

Speaking of lobster, the trend of “the shallower the better” has continued for hoopers, and Wisch said that he has been getting better reports from Catalina than locally. The bugs like to move deeper when there is rain and weather, so look for some deeper action after this week’s front pushes through.

No Private Boater’s Spotlight is complete without a seabass/squid report this season, and this week’s first comes from Danny Fitgerald. He and his frience Ron launched out had what Fitzgerald called “fine evening launching from Santa Barbara.”

For anglers putting in the time, there has been seabass to be caught in the dark from Santa Barbara to San Diego.

WON’s Saltwater Editor Brandon Hayward fished San Diego with Tim Husband Saturday night. Husband got a new personal best 54.9-pound white seabass, and Hayward got a seabass in the high 30s/low 40s that wasn’t weighed.

“There’s a lot of cold water around. It’s not the slum dunk fishing of summer, but if you put in the nights you can scratch up a fish or two.

“Tim looked around below Dana Point and found cold water and blacks (as in black seabass) while fishing in the rain in the middle of the week, and the trip after that we looked at the Barn Kelp off Oceanside and found cold, 57-degree water that had that ‘winter’ look to it, so we decided to fish San Diego on the next trip,” said Hayward. “There’s plenty of squid and some fall seabass around. It’s just all about making some bait or bringing some fresh frozen and camping out at your favorite seabass spot and fishing all night. We got our first bite on a leadhead and squid at 3:00 a.m.”

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