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CALIFORNIA'S ONLY SPORTSMAN'S NEWS SINCE 1953

Bob Vanian's 976-Bite Hot Bite

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Plenty of bluefin tuna and yellowfin tuna offshore
But Getting Them To Bite Is Not So Easy

The past week of fishing has seen some days of very good weather and anglers fishing offshore have often got to see numerous spots of breaking and breezing bluefin tuna and yellowfin tuna. There are lots of tuna around to see but getting them to bite has generally been a difficult chore. There has been one report after the next from anglers coming home frustrated in not being able to get the tuna to bite after looking at numerous huge schools of fish. That said, there have been some biting bluefin and yellowfin to be found every day and what is great is that the fishing provides a chance at quality and trophy sized fish with the bluefin going from 20 to 200+ pounds and with most of the yellowfin running in the 20- to 40-pound class. 



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The most recent fish counts are from Thursday, June 15, 2017 and they start with the Liberty out of Fisherman's Landing that was fishing a 3/4 day trip with 15 anglers that caught 5 bluefin tuna. Fisherman's Landing also had the Pacific Queen fishing an overnight trip with 14 anglers that caught 1 bluefin tuna. Point Loma Sportfishing had a 3/4 day trip on the Mission Belle that was out with 23 anglers who caught 7 bluefin tuna.


The best bets have been stopping around breaking fish, breezing fish, sonar marks, meter marks and spots of working birds and fishing the tuna with sardines, Flat Fall jigs and poppers. Trolling with kite trolled Yummy Flyers has also been an effective technique for the larger bluefin tuna. Trolling with cedar plugs, Rapalas and Halco #130 jigs has resulted in an occasional bluefin tuna or yellowfin tuna as well.


The areas where there has been a chance at locating bluefin tuna or yellowfin tuna are widespread with fish being found as far north as the 14 Mile Bank in the Catalina Channel. Some of the areas that have been holding tuna as listed from north to south have been the 14 Mile Bank, the 277 Spot, the 289 Spot, the 209 Spot, the 181 Spot, the 312 Spot, the La Jolla Canyon, the 9 Mile Bank, the 182 Spot, the Corner, the 224 Spot, the area 4 to 8 miles west of North Island, the 302 Spot and the 371 Bank. Among those areas the best fishing has been found while fishing the regions of the 182 Spot, the 224 Spot, the 302 Spot and the area out 4 to 8 miles westerly from North Island.


Private boater Floyd Sparks went out fishing aboard a friends private boat on Thursday, June 15, 2017 and had a report that is typical of a lot of the recent reports. He said they worked the regions of the 182 Spot, 224 Spot, 302 Spot and out westerly from North Island and saw lots of bluefin tuna and yellowfin tuna that did not want to bite. They tried sardines, poppers, Flat Falls, kite trolled Yummy Flyers and an assortment of other jigs and trolling lures but could not get the fish to come off their natural feed and bite.


Private boater Mike Seymour of the Sea Section is out fishing today, Friday, June 16, 2017 and reported seeing a lot of yellowfin tuna this morning that did not want to bite while fishing inside of the lower end of the 9 Mile Bank. At the time of his mid-day report, Seymour was fishing out at near the 224 Spot and was working a kelp paddie that had produced two 6 pound yellowtail. Seymour had he son Mike Jr. and Mike Jr's. wife Yesinia aboard. They are visiting from the east coast and Seymour was happy that his visiting east coast family members were the ones that caught the two yellowtail.


There have been some boats fishing the Coronado Islands during the week and they have been finding some fun mixed bag fishing for calico bass, barracuda, bonito, yellowtail and rockfish. Productive areas have been the Middle Grounds, the area inside of the Middle Grounds rocks, the north end of South Island, the Ribbon Kelp at South Island and the weather side of North Island.


A lot of the fishing going on at the Coronados is being done while sitting on the anchor and there has also been some action found from stopping on meter marks, sonar marks and spots of working birds. Sardines and surface iron are effective for the yellowtail and barracuda. Good jig choices are Salas 7X lights and Tady 45's in blue and white, sardine and mint colors. Try sardines and Megabait/Laser Minnow style jigs for the bonito.


The surface fishing along the San Diego County Coast has improved and has been providing a mix of calico bass, bonito, barracuda and yellowtail. There have been some yellowtail under kelp paddies within 10 miles of the coast between San Diego and Laguna Beach and some of the boats that fish the coastal kelp bed areas have been looking for kelp paddies on the outside and then coming in to fish the kelp beds along coast.


A lot of the fishing effort out of San Diego Bay and Mission Bay has been focused on the Point Loma Kelp Beds where there has been good mixed bag fishing for calico bass and rockfish along with an occasional flurry of action on yellowtail, barracuda or bonito. Boats have been working kelp bed spots ranging from the kelp in front of the Point Loma Lighthouse on up to the Jetty Kelp in front of Mission Bay with spots between the Lab and Point Loma College tending to be the best. A lot of the calico bass and barracuda being caught are short sized fish that must be released, but there have been some keeper sized fish in the mix as well.


The water at La Jolla has cleaned up and warmed up and there has been a nice mix of calico bass, barracuda, bonito and some improving numbers of yellowtail biting. The upper end of La Jolla tends to be the best while fishing along the edges of the main kelp beds and while fishing the outer hard bottom and kelp stringer area of Northwest.


Captain Joe Cacciola of the Sea Star with Sea Star Sportfishing reports very good calico bass action while fishing kelp bed areas between Carlsbad and Solana Beach. Cacciola had fished a family half day charter at kelp bed spots off Carlsbad and said they caught and released a lot of calico bass. He reports that they have been regularly catching between 5% and 10% keeper sized calico bass with the rest being short sized fish that must be released. On the day of his report he said they had also made an exotic catch of a warm water fish in catching triggerfish.


Cacciola reports that they have been fishing with great bait from Oceanside Harbor and said they have regularly had strong 4 to 4.5 inch anchovies in their bait supply. The calico bass have been biting very well on the anchovies and he says the calicos were also biting well on 3/8 ounce Hookup Bait plastics in the anchovy and the anchovy sparkle colors (gray and black.) The water has been green but has been warm and got as warm as 69 degrees on the day of his report.


Private boater Bill Parker of the Cabo fished out of Oceanside on Wednesday, June 14, 2017 and reported about the trip. He said they got some great anchovies for bait at Oceanside and that he ran up toward San Onofre and fished a kelp bed area located about 1 mile below the Power Plant at San Onofre. Parker reported wide open calico bass fishing on fish that ranged from 8 to 18 inches and said that every bait that they put in the water resulted in a calico bass bite.


After getting their fill of catching and releasing calico bass, Parker ran off the coast looking for signs of tuna and found an area where he saw a few schools of breaking bluefin tuna about 9 miles outside of San Onofre. Those tuna did not want to bite but they added some extra excitement to the day.


San Clemente Island has been providing occasional flurries of yellowtail and white seabass action to go along with a nice mix of calico bass, bonito and rockfish. The yellowtail have been running from 10 to 30 pounds and most of the white seabass have been in the 20-pound class.


The best yellowtail and white seabass areas have been along the back side of the Island. Much of the squid activity at San Clemente Island has been at the West Cove and Runway areas and this is a zone that has produced some yellowtail and white seabass. Boats have also been fishing for white seabass and yellowtail at spots outside of Northwest Harbor and along the ridge areas between China Point and Pyramid Cove. Along the front side of the Island there has been more of a mixed bag catch of calico bass, bonito, barracuda and yellowtail for boats working spots such as Gold Bluff, White Rock and Purse Seine Rock.


Catalina Island has been producing occasional flurries of yellowtail and white seabass action along with a mix of calico bass, barracuda, bonito and rockfish. One of the best yellowtail areas has been while fishing off Salta Verde and there have been a few white seabass biting in this area as well. Live squid has been the best bait for the yellowtail and white seabass. Look for more of a mixed bag catch while fishing spots along the middle part of the front side of the Island.


There continues to be squid at San Clemente Island at West Cove and in the area outside of Northwest Harbor. There has also been a chance at finding some squid in Pyramid Cove. The best zone for squid catching has been at Catalina while fishing off Ben Weston. There were squid boats offering squid for sale while anchored up outside of Avalon this morning, Friday, June 16, 2017. Try to raise the squid boats on VHF channels 72 and 11.


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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 timely and accurate information.


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