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Bob Vanian's 976-Bite – HOT BITE

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November bluefin, yellowfin, yellowtail, marlin and swordfish are biting!
The 2017 Southern California offshore fishing season has yet to pay much attention to the calendar as it is now November and there are still lots of warm water fish to target in local offshore waters. We still have yellowfin tuna, bluefin tuna, yellowtail, dorado, skipjack, marlin and swordfish as possibilities on the offshore fishing grounds. The fishing around the Coronado Islands also remains unseasonably good for a mix of bluefin tuna, yellowtail and bonito. The fishing at spots along the San Diego area coast also continues to produce good surface fishing for bonito, calico bass, sand bass and a few yellowtail.


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Bluefin tuna remain a big part of the offshore fishing picture with bluefin to 200+ pounds still biting out by San Clemente Island. A lot of the bluefin are in the 20 to 50 pound class but there are still some of the jumbo sized fish biting as well. Productive areas for the bluefin at San Clemente Island have been while fishing in the region of Desperation Reef, the 86 Fathom Spot, the 190 Spot, the 57 Fathom Spot and the 381 Spot. The best of the fishing the past few days has been in the area of the 190 Spot and the 57 Fathom Spot. In addition to bluefin tuna there have also been a few of the 30 to 60 pound yellowfin tuna found biting with porpoise that you might find in these same areas.


Private boater, Captain Bob Fletcher of the Fletch reported about fishing a 1.5 day trip aboard the Pacific Queen out of Fisherman's Landing on Monday, Oct. 30, 2017. He reported excellent bluefin tuna fishing at San Clemente Island and excellent fishing for large yellowtail at the Tanner Bank. The fish count on the Pacific Queen was 14 anglers catching 28 bluefin tuna (limits of bluefin tuna) and 67 yellowtail.


Fletcher said their bluefin were in the 20- to 60-pound range with the exception of one jumbo sized bluefin that was a 100+ pound fish. He said they found the best of their action while fishing 4 to 5 miles to the southwest and the west of China Point which has you in the region of the 190 Spot and the 57 Fathom Spot. Their first stop was for 22 bluefin and the stop came at first light from stopping on a sonar mark. Fletcher said he caught his limit of 2 bluefin from that stop and that they were both 25 pound class fish. After the first stop was over it only took about 15 minutes to find another bluefin stop and they finished off their limits of bluefin for all the anglers aboard out of the second stop. He said the 100+ pound bluefin was caught from the second stop and was a fish that a passenger hooked on 25-pound test line. When the angler tired the angler handed the rod off to the crew who eventually were successful in boating the fish.


They had their limits of bluefin by around 10 a.m. and they then ran out to the Tanner Bank to finish the day trying for yellowtail. When they anchored at the Tanner Bank it took around 15 minutes to get a yellowtail bite going but once the bite started the big yellowtail bit like crazy. Fletcher said these were large thick yellowtail and reported that they were biting on flylined sardines, sardines fished on dropper loop rigs, surface iron and yo-yo iron. They had a big yellowtail of around 40 pounds and the report was that most of their other yellowtail were in the 22- to 30-pound range. Fletcher said they hard fighting yellowtail and that he was worn out after catching 5 of the big yellows to go with his limit of bluefin tuna.


The water temperature at the Tanner Bank was 65.5 degree and the water was a clean green color. The water where they were catching the bluefin at San Clemente Island was at 68.5 degrees and was blue.


At last word there was still a chance at catching yellowfin tuna in the Catalina region but there have been very few boats out looking since the weekend. The productive areas for a chance at scratching out a few 30 to 60+ pound yellowfin last weekend were spots off the East End of Catalina such as the 152 Spot, 277 Spot and 209 Spot.


The yellowfin fishing at the offshore banks outside of the Coronado Islands such as the 302 Spot, 371 Bank, 425 Bank was pretty scratchy last weekend and there have not been many boats out looking during the week. The few reports that have been coming in during the week have been of good fishing, with a mix of yellowfin tuna, yellowtail and skipjack biting in the region of the 425 Bank.


Private boater Bill Parker of the Cabo fished the region of the 425 Bank on Wednesday and reported finding a kelp paddie that produced a wide open bite on yellowtail that went to 10 pounds. A short while later he found another kelp paddie that produced larger yellowtail that went to 16 pounds and also produced some skipjack and a few yellowfin tuna. Parker found the hot kelp paddie action while fishing between 23 and 26 miles 170 to 183 degrees from Point Loma. He reported beautiful weather and said he never saw another boat out on the fishing grounds.


Private boater Ray Millman of the Go The Distance fished between the 371 Bank and the 390 Bank on Sunday, Oct. 29, 2017 and reported catching 2 yellowfin tuna, 6 yellowtail and a bunch of skipjack. Millman reported action from porpoise schools, blind trolling strikes and a kelp paddie and his best fishing was found outside of the 371 Bank while working between 30 and 32 miles 205 to 215 degrees from Point Loma.


Not much information to report from the offshore waters below and outside of Ensenada during the week with very few boats out fishing. Last weekend, there was some pretty good to good mixed bag fishing for yellowtail, dorado, skipjack and yellowfin tuna for boats fishing the region from the Lower 500 Bank on down to the offshore waters outside of Punta Colnett.


Marlin fishing has been producing a bit of action for boats fishing the 152 Spot and the 277 Spot off the East End of Catalina but the better bite area has been 2 to 4 miles off the Island in an area ranging from the Can Dump on up to where you are fishing a couple of miles above Avalon. Most of the action has been coming on the troll but there have been occasional feeders and tailers showing. The area 2 to 4 miles off Avalon has been the best. Captain Maurice Smith of the Dos Hermanos reported that the Bad Company had 3 marlin releases out of 5 hookups while fishing outside of Avalon on Monday. In addition to all the marlin action, Smith said that the Bad Company also had a swordfish hookup that was lost when the hook pulled.


The fishing at the Coronado Islands has been producing a mix of bonito, bluefin tuna and yellowtail but recent yellowtail counts have been slipping. The Relentless out of H&M Landing fished at the Coronados on Wednesday and had a nice trip with a catch of 25 anglers on a 3/4 day trip catching 9 bluefin tuna, 62 bonito, 40 rockfish, 6 sheephead and 10 calico bass.


The bluefin tuna have been running from 15 to 30 pounds and the bonito have been nice sized fish with most in the 4- to 8-pound range. When yellowtail are found at the Flats they are mostly the 5- to 10-pound fish but when found out around the Islands proper they tend to be the 10- to 20-pound fish.


Best areas have been the Rockpile, the South Kelp, the Lighthouse at the south tip of South Island, the tuna pens inside of South Island and the Middle Grounds.


A lot of the sportboat fishing has been done while sitting on the anchor. Private boaters have also done well by trolling with Rapalas or cedar plugs and by slow trolling with sardines.


The fishing along the San Diego area coast has been good for bonito and a few yellowtail for boats fishing the deep water outside of the kelp beds. Skippers have been doing well by looking for trolling strikes and sonar marks to stop on out in the 30 to 45 fathom depths outside of the stretch between the Point Loma Lighthouse and Hill Street. Once located the yellowtail and bonito have been biting on sardines and iron.


Boats fishing along the edges of the kelp beds at spots between the Point Loma Lighthouse and Point Loma College have been finding some good action on a mix of calico bass, bonito and rockfish and have also been catching an occasional yellowtail.


The fishing at the upper end of La Jolla has been good along the kelp beds for a mix of calico bass, bonito and rockfish. There has also been a bit of activity reported on the larger sized yellowtail during the afternoon hours. As you go further up the coast, there has also been a chance at locating bonito schools from La Jolla on up to Dana Point. A good depth to be looking in has been between 40 and 80 fathoms of water. There have been recent reports of bonito biting on the troll for boats fishing outside of Leucadia, Carlsbad, Box Canyon, Point San Mateo and Dana Point.


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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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