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Bob Vanian's 976-Bite – HOT BITE

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Bluefin tuna and yellowtail are providing December action!
We are well into the month of December and in a "normal year" one would think that this fish report would be about rockfish, bass and halibut and maybe a chance at catching a white seabass or yellowtail. Well this season is proving to be anything but "normal" as there are limits of bluefin tuna regularly being caught at the 60 Mile Bank and there are yellowtail and bonito biting off Point Loma.


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The bluefin at the 60 Mile Bank have been running from 15 to 100+ pounds with most in the 15- to 25-pound range. Most of the bluefin have been biting on sardines, but live squid and Flat Fall jigs have also been effective. The best fishing is being found while fishing the area of the upper high spot at the 60 Mile Bank. The bluefin have been biting while fishing on the anchor, while drifting and while slow trolling with nose hooked sardines.


Windy weather got in the way of boats fishing the 60 Mile Bank on Thursday but there are some boats back at it again today, Friday, December 8, 2017. Seaforth Sportfishing had an 8:37 a.m. update from the Pride which had 22 bluefin tuna aboard and was reporting nice weather. Fisherman's Landing had a 12:03 p.m. update about the Pacific Queen that had 25 of the 15 to 25 pound bluefin aboard and was also reporting nice weather. Both boats were still fishing at the time of their reports.


Wednesday's fishing had the Pacific Queen out of Fisherman's Landing, the Pride out of Seaforth Sportfishing and the Legend out of H&M Landing all report catches that included limits of bluefin tuna. The New Lo-An out of Point Loma Sportfishing also posted limits of bluefin tuna on their most recent trip that fished on Tuesday.


Private boater, Captain Bob Woodard of the Christina Lynn fished the upper high spot at the 60 Mile Bank on Monday and reported catching limits of bluefin tuna by 11:30 a.m. Woodard said they anchored and never moved until they had their limits of bluefin and were ready to head for home. Their bluefin went from 15 to 25 pounds and Woodard said that they saw some boils from fish that appeared to be considerably larger. They looked for yellowfin, yellowtail and marlin on the way back home to San Diego but all they found was one big kelp paddie that was unproductive.


There has not been much news coming from the Coronado Islands lately but at last report there was still a chance at finding some bonito and yellowtail action to go with a few bass and some good numbers of rockfish. Finding the relatively warm 63 to 64.5 degree water has been a key to locating areas that might provide a chance at yellowtail or bonito. Productive areas for a chance at finding some surface fishing action have been the weather side of North Island, the Middle Grounds, the north end of South Island, the Lighthouse at the south tip of South Island and the South Kelp.


Much of the fishing along the San Diego County coast has been in a bottom fishing mode and has been providing some good numbers of assorted rockfish and a few bass. The big news is that there is still some surprisingly good surface fishing action for bonito and yellowtail being found in the Point Loma region. The best zone has been in the area ranging from the Whistler Buoy at Point Loma on up to the area outside of the Point Loma Lighthouse but there has been bonito and yellowtail activity reported from the Whistler Buoy at Point Loma on up to the Jetty Kelp outside of Mission Bay.


The yellowtail have been in the 5- to 10-pound range and the bonito have been running from 3 to 8 pounds. The fish have been located by finding trolling strikes on feathers, cedar plugs and Rapalas, trolling strikes on slow trolled sardines, spots of diving birds, sonar marks and meter marks. Black and purple Rapalas have been producing well on the troll. After locating a school of yellowtail, anglers have been catching the yellows on flylined sardines, sardines fished on a dropper loop rig, surface iron and yo-yo iron. Most of the bonito are caught on the troll or on flylined sardines.


This morning, Friday morning, Dec. 8, 2017, private boater Sam Minervini was out fishing solo on his sailboat the Sail Fish. Minervini was targeting the yellowtail and bonito and had an 11:30 a.m. report of having caught 3 yellowtail and 1 bonito. The yellowtail were in the 6- to 8-pound range and he reported that all his fish had been caught on slow trolled sardines while fishing outside of the Point Loma Lighthouse.


Thursday's sportboat counts from boats fishing the Point Loma area start with the Premier out of H&M Landing that had a morning half day trip with 19 anglers catch 21 yellowtail, 5 sand bass, 50 rockfish and 14 bonito. Point Loma Sportfishing had a morning half day trip on the Point Loma with 18 anglers that caught 3 yellowtail, 4 bonito, 1 sheephead, 30 rockfish and 1 calico bass. The Sea Watch out of Seaforth Sportfishing had a morning half day trip with 9 anglers that caught 21 yellowtail, 12 bonito, 12 reds and 26 rockfish.


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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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