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Bob Vanian's 976-Bite – HOT BITE

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Yellowfin, bluefin, dorado, yellowtail and marlin continue to bite!
The past week of fishing has seen continued action on the offshore fishing grounds with bluefin tuna, yellowfin tuna, skipjack, dorado, yellowtail and marlin all remaining in the offshore picture. The water temperatures remain warm with a lot of 69 to 71 degree water around. These warm water fish appear to be content to remain in our local offshore waters a while longer.


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The bluefin tuna bite out at San Clemente Island has attracted a lot of attention and provided a chance at catching a jumbo sized bluefin tuna but the bluefin bite has slipped in recent days to where the bluefin bite is currently on the scratchy side of things. There are still bluefin around and biting but a lot of Skippers have started looking elsewhere to try and find some better fishing. The bluefin have been running from 20 to 300+ pounds the best chance at finding a bigger bluefin has been while fishing the region of the 86 Fathom Spot. There have been a few of the 20- to 35-pound bluefin and some 20-pound class yellowtail biting for boats fishing Desperation Reef and fishing in 25 to 40 fathoms of water outside of Lost Point. This slowing of the bluefin bite around San Clemente Island has happened a few times during the past 6 weeks or so just to have the bite come roaring back strong. There are still bluefin around and it is certainly possible for the bluefin bite to bounce back strong.


With the recent slip in the bluefin bite at San Clemente Island, some boats have been fishing out at the Tanner Bank where there has been good fishing for 20 pound class yellowtail. What a lot of the San Diego area based boats that had been fishing at San Clemente Island in recent weeks have been doing in recent days has been shifting over to fishing the good yellowfin tuna bite that has been going on at some of the offshore banks between the waters outside of the Coronado Islands and Ensenada.


Boats fishing offshore banks such as the 302 Spot, 425 Bank, 101 Spot, 475 Knuckle and the area ranging from the waters outside of Todos Santos Island on down to the area outside of the Banda Bank have been finding good numbers of yellowfin tuna biting along with some pretty good numbers of dorado and yellowtail. The yellowfin stops can sometimes be hard to get but there have been some very good yellowfin stops to be found that produce action that is good enough to allow boats to limit out on yellowfin tuna from a single stop.


Most of the yellowfin have been in the 5- to 14-pound range with a few nicer fish in the mix that go to 25+ pounds. Most of the larger sized yellowfin are being caught from porpoise schools. Yellowfin stops have been originating from kelp paddies, blind trolling strikes, trolling strikes around porpoise, spots of breezing fish, sonar marks and meter marks.


Private boater Lou Brito of the Chill fished on Thursday and reported finding a wide open yellowfin bite at a kelp paddie that he found while fishing about 8 miles northwest of the 475 Knuckle at 30 miles 172 degrees from Point Loma. The 4 anglers aboard were able to limit out on yellowfin tuna and catch and release a bunch more while using light bass fishing gear. Brito invited some other boats in to share in the kelp paddie action and they also did very well. A short while before finding the red hot yellowfin kelp paddie, Brito had found another productive kelp paddie that produced 3 dorado. The water in the area was reported to be 69.8 degrees and was clean.


Private boater Rick DeVoe of the Jaysea reported fishing on Sunday and catching 7 yellowfin tuna while fishing the area below and inside of the 425 Bank. Brito had 3 trolling stops for 6 yellowfin that were made up of 5 jig fish and 1 bait fish. The 7th yellowfin was caught while drifting a live sardine next to a kelp paddie. Their best yellowfin action was found while fishing at 27 miles 181 degrees from Point Loma. DeVoe said that they also added a nice sized yellowtail to their catch that was speared while diving a kelp paddie not far from North Island.


Striped marlin have been rather quiet during the week except for some good action that was reported during the early part of the week by a few boats that were fishing the area around and about the 125 Spot and the 172 Spot above the West End of Catalina. Today (Friday, Oct. 13, 2017) there was a report from a Skipper fishing around the 125 Spot that had hooked and lost 2 marlin from blind trolling strikes.


Things have been rather quiet with regard to marlin activity in the San Diego area during the week but Captain Mike Hadfield of the 6 pack charter yacht Josie Lynn with Point Loma Sportfishing reported that he has been having occasional marlin encounters while fishing for yellowfin tuna in the region of the 425 Bank.


Last week there was a lost blue marlin hookup on Friday and two lost blue marlin hookups on Saturday. One was hooked at the ridge area outside of Church Rock at the East End of Catalina, one was hooked in the tuna fleet outside of the Coronados and the other was hooked in the weather buoy area to the south of the 43 Fathom Spot. I have no information of there being any blue marlin hookups since Saturday.


There have been very few boats fishing the Coronado Islands lately with the good tuna fishing offshore but the past few days have seen some boats fishing around the Coronados that have been finding some good fishing. There has been a mix of nice sized bonito, yellowtail and bluefin tuna biting and the bite has been surprisingly good.


Productive areas at the Coronados have been the Middle Grounds, the area inside of the north end of South Island, the area of the tuna pens inside of South Island and the Rockpile. Bonito and yellowtail have been biting for private boaters trolling with Rapalas and a private boater report from Thursday's fishing was of good action for bonito, yellowtail and bluefin tuna while slow trolling with sardines.


Private boater Craig Boegler of the Gooey Duck reported fishing at the Coronados on Thursday and finding very good fishing for big bonito, big yellowtail and 18 to 20+ pound bluefin tuna.


Boegler had his first action while fishing inside of the north end of South Island when they got a quadruple bonito jig strike on the troll that led to a wide open bonito bite on sardines and iron. They were quality sized bonito with most in the 4 to 7 pound range and with a couple of 9 pound fish also in the mix. They kept some of the bonito and released the rest.


They were hoping to find some yellowtail action and went down to the Rockpile. At the Rockpile they found very good fishing on 18 to 20 pound bluefin tuna and 11- to 20-pound yellowtail and added 3 bluefin tuna and 15 yellowtail to their catch of bonito. They found their yellowtail and bluefin action on slow trolled sardines while fishing around the Rockpile. In addition to the 3 bluefin they caught they 10 lost additional bluefin tuna hookups. Boegler said that they were using 30 and 40 pound test line and leaders with circle hooks but said the bluefin would often bite through the line during the fight. The seals were also a problem at the Rockpile and Boegler said that they would sometimes throw the seals a bonito from their fish box to keep the seals busy while they were trying to boat a bluefin or yellowtail.


The fishing along the San Diego County coast has been providing good bonito and yellowtail fishing for boats fishing the Imperial Beach Flats area a short way above the Mexico border. Private boater Al Church of the Someday Is Now reported fishing this area this morning and catching limits of nice sized bonito and 6 yellowtail. Church said that they were finding fish by getting trolling strikes and stopping on kelp paddies and that it was good fun fishing.


Captain Joe Cacciola of the Sea Star with Sea Star Sportfishing reports unseasonably good calico bass fishing while working kelp bed areas off Leucadia and Solana Beach. He reported about Thursday's trip where a family group of 6 anglers that included 3 kids caught 18 legal sized calicos and caught and released 85 short sized calicos. In addition to the calico bass they are also catching a nice mix of sand bass, sheephead, bonito and an occasional large halibut. He said they hooked and lost what he thought was a 30+ pound halibut on Thursday. They also have been catching and successfully releasing an occasional nice sized black seabass. On a recent trip they caught and successfully released what was estimated to be a 200+ pound black seabass.


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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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