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Bob Vanian's 976-Bite – HOT BITE

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Yellowfin, bluefin, dorado, yellowtail and marlin remain on late October menu!
As we head into the late part of October anglers still have lots of options to choose from on the offshore fishing grounds. Anglers are still able to target a variety of species that include bluefin tuna, yellowfin tuna, dorado, yellowtail, skipjack and striped marlin. There is some rough weather offshore today on Friday, Oct. 20, 2017 with Small Craft Advisories being posted but prior to today's weather change there was still a lot of 69 to 70 degree water around to hold these warm water species in our local offshore waters. Anglers are hoping that these warm water temperatures will survive this current stretch of bad weather and continue to hold these warm water fish in our local offshore waters.


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San Clemente Island remains the best zone for a chance at a big bluefin tuna. There have been some large tuna to 150+ pounds biting for boats fishing the region of the 86 Fathom Spot and in the area to the south and the southwest of the 86 Fathom Spot. In closer to the Island, there have been what are mostly 25 to 35 pound bluefin mixed with some 15- to 20-pound yellowtail that have been biting for boats fishing outside of Lost Point, at Desperation Reef and at the ridge areas outside of Pyramid Cove.


Rough and sloppy weather conditions during the past few days have effected the fishing effort for the bigger bluefin by the 86 Fathom Spot with a lot of Skippers spending more time fishing the spots that are in closer to the Island at Desperation Reef and off Pyramid Cove where they can at times be fishing in better weather conditions than what might be found further off the Island in the area of the 86 Fathom Spot.


When the weather allows, there has been good fishing for large yellowtail out at the Tanner Bank. Most of the yellows have been jumbo sized fish that are in the 25- to 35-pound range. Yo-yoed iron has been working well for the yellowtail with some action also found on sardines and mackerel. Private boater Tom Golding of the Last Buck fished out at the Tanner Bank last Saturday and reported that the 3 anglers aboard caught 11 yellowtail which were all over 25 pounds. Their best action was found on dorado color Sumo 6X yo-yo jigs while fishing in 130 feet of water to the north of the high spot at the Tanner Bank.


There has been a chance at scratching out a yellowfin tuna at some of the banks in the Catalina and San Clemente Island regions. Areas that have produced an occasional flurry of action have been at spots such as the Mackerel Bank, the 277 Spot, the 267 Spot, the 209 Spot and the 312 Spot. Generally speaking, the action in these areas has for the most part been slow.


The better yellowfin tuna fishing has been in the San Diego and Ensenada regions for boats fishing offshore banks such as the 224 Spot, 302 Spot, 371 Bank, 425 Bank, 475 Knuckle, Upper Hidden Bank, 385 Spot, 238 Spot and the 415 Spot. The yellowfin bite has become more hit or miss in recent days but there is still a chance at finding a stop that will go wide open and produce limits of yellowfin tuna.


The yellowfin have been running to as big as 60 pounds with most falling within the 8- to 14-pound range. Yellowfin stops have been coming from kelp paddies, blind trolling strikes, trolling strikes around porpoise, sonar marks, meter marks and spots of breezing fish. There have been some dorado, skipjack and yellowtail biting in some of the same areas where the yellowfin tuna are biting.


A report from Thursday's fishing from private boater Mike Seymour of the Sea Section demonstrates the hit or miss nature of some of the more recent yellowfin fishing at the banks outside of and below the Coronado Islands. Seymour fished the 224 Spot, 302 Spot, 371 Bank, Upper Hidden Bank, 425 Bank and 101 Spot. He reported finding the fishing to be slow except for some good numbers of skipjack that were biting for them while fishing outside of the 224 Spot and some good numbers of big bonito that were biting for them at the 101 Spot. Aside from catching skipjack and bonito the most excitement they had was seeing a free swimming marlin that came up jumping near the boat while they were fishing a kelp paddie above the 371 Bank.


Throughout the day Seymour was keeping in contact with his friend, Captain Mike Long of the charter yacht Bubba Jean of Bubba Jean Sportfishing who did find one of the kelp paddies with biting yellowfin tuna while fishing between the 302 Spot and the 371 Bank at 24 miles 211 degrees from Point Loma. Seymour said that that the report from Long was that they hooked about a dozen yellowfin in the stop and boated 3. Seymour said that he ran to the kelp paddie and gave it a try only to find that the bite had shut off by the time he got there.


Private boater Jeff Petit of the O-Strike reported fishing aboard his friend Joe Monaco's boat Tunacious on Tuesday. He said they left Mission Bay at around 11 a.m. and that it was not long until they found a kelp paddie that produced a wide open bite that produced Mexican limits of dorado and 1 yellowtail. They found this hot kelp paddie bite while fishing about 3 miles outside of the lower part of the 9 Mile Bank at 13 miles 225 degrees from Point Loma.


Petite said they continued on out to the 224 Spot at 22 miles 232 degrees from Point Loma where there were about 7 boats drifting and catching yellowfin tuna. He said there was no kelp paddie where the boats were drifting and that they just shut down and started drifting and chumming and had very good fishing for yellowfin tuna and skipjack. He said they caught near limits of yellowfin tuna and that they released most of the skipjack they caught. His report was that several boats in the area that were there before they arrived caught their full limits of yellowfin tuna.


The yellowfin were mostly 8- to 10-pound fish but included some larger fish to 20 pounds. The water in the area was running 69 to 70 degrees and was clean. Size 2/0 hooks were reported to be working well with the sardines they picked up at Mission Bay on Tuesday morning.


Captain Jimmy of the Condor out of Fisherman's Landing reported being out on a 1.5 day trip that on Thursday and having the 20 anglers aboard catch 37 yellowfin tuna, 17 yellowtail and 2 dorado. He said they found their action while fishing offshore areas below and outside of Ensenada that were around the Inner Bank area and below. He said they were finding action in a variety of ways that included kelp paddies, blind trolling strikes and fishing around porpoise.


During the past few days, the fishing around the Inner Bank area and below has been providing better consistency than the bite at some of the banks more local to San Diego located below and outside of the Coronado Islands. Productive areas around the Inner Bank area and below have been while working the regions of the 385 Spot, 238 Spot and 415 Spot.


Striped marlin fishing has been rather quiet during the week with very few boats out looking. The Catalina area has been the best with last weekend and the early part of this week seeing some pretty good marlin action found by boats fishing spots above the West End of the Island such as the 125 Spot, 172 Spot and 175 Spot. Several marlin were caught and released from these areas last weekend.


The eastern part of Catalina saw some scattered marlin activity last weekend but has been rather quiet during the week. Areas where there has been occasional marlin activity include the Avalon Bank, the Slide, the 152 Spot, the ridge area outside of Church Rock and the 277 Spot.


There have been very few marlin seen during the week in the San Diego region. The most recent sightings have been at the La Jolla Canyon and 1.5 miles above the 371 Bank.


The fishing at the Coronado Islands has been good for a mix of bluefin tuna, yellowtail, bonito, calico bass and barracuda. The Rockpile was the hot spot early in the week but on Thursday, the best bite areas were the South Kelp and the 5 Minute Kelp that are located below South Island. Other productive areas have been the north end of South Island, the Middle Grounds and the weather side of the south end of North Island.


The bluefin tuna have been 18- to 35-pound fish, the yellowtail have been in the 10- to 20-pound range and most of the bonito have been in the 4- to 9-pound range. Sportboats often do best while sitting on the anchor and private boaters have been doing best by slow trolling with nose hooked sardines.


Sportboat counts from Thursday's fishing start with the Mission Belle out of Point Loma Sportfishing that had a 3/4 day trip with 25 anglers catch 12 bluefin tuna, 55 bonito, 1 sculpin, 18 calico bass, 60 yellowtail and 1 lingcod. The Liberty out of Fisherman's Landing had a 3/4 day trip with 30 anglers catch 16 yellowtail, 10 calico bass, 30 bonito, 7 bluefin tuna and 5 barracuda.


Private boater Craig Boegler of the Gooey Duck fished at the Rockpile on Tuesday and returned with a catch that included 9 yellowtail and 2 bluefin tuna. He said their catch of yellowtail included some large fish that went to 30 pounds. Boegler has been doing well while fishing the Coronados during the past couple of weeks and has had his best luck on slow trolled sardines.


The fishing along the San Diego County coast has been providing good fishing for a mixed bag of calico bass, rockfish, bonito and yellowtail. Thursday saw good fishing for bonito and a few yellowtail that were biting for boats fishing outside of the Whistler Buoy at Point Loma. The kelp bed areas at Point Loma such as the Dropoff, the Green Tank and Point Loma College have been productive for a mix of calico bass, rockfish, bonito and an occasional yellowtail.


The upper end of La Jolla has been productive for a mix of rockfish, bonito, calico bass and an occasional yellowtail and kelp bed areas off Del Mar, Solana Beach, Leucadia, South Carlsbad, the Barn and San Onofre have been producing a mix of calico bass, bonito, assorted bottom fish and an occasional yellowtail.


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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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