Bob Vanian's 976-Bite – HOT BITE

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Friday, August 03, 2018
Dorado and Yellowfin Start to Bite

Bluefin and yellowfin move closer to San Clemente Island!
The past week of offshore fishing has seen bluefin tuna and yellowfin tuna put on some amazing displays of huge schools of breaking and foaming fish but it still is not easy to get the tuna to bite relative to the massive amount of fish being seen. In addition to bluefin tuna and yellowfin tuna, there are improving numbers of dorado and yellowtail showing around kelp paddies. The dorado often behave similar to the tuna in that it is often difficult to get them to bite.

The invasion of warm water species continues to build with a few striped marlin being reported seen and hooked during the week and with a second hand report of a marlin being caught and released out by the 302 Spot earlier in the week. In addition to the marlin catch rumor from the 302 Spot, there has also been confirmed recent marlin activity reported in the area of the 9 Mile Bank and 43 the Fathom Spot. On Thursday, July 19, 2018 there were two VHF radio reports about possible wahoo encounters. One Skipper reported that he was bit off by a wahoo he had hooked while fishing at the 43 Fathom Spot and there was another report mentioning a wahoo encounter at the lower end of the 9 Mile Bank.

The yellowfin tuna have been running from 8 to 30 pounds and the bluefin have ranged from 25 to 300+ pounds. There are yellowfin and bluefin schools being reported in the region of the 43 Fathom Spot and above and you have had the best chance of hooking a jumbo bluefin while fishing the area of the ridge of the San Clemente Canyon between the 43 Fathom Spot and Pyramid Head at San Clemente Island. The area of tuna continues a westward movement with today's fishing seeing some bluefin activity outside of Desperation Reef at San Clemente Island and also in the area between the 86 Fathom Spot and the 381 Spot while fishing out to the south-southwest of China Point at San Clemente Island.

Most of the tuna action comes from stopping on spots of breaking or foaming fish and working the tuna with sardines, poppers, Colt Snipers, Flat Fall jigs, Megabait style jigs or surface iron. The kite trolled Yummy Flyers have been the best way to go to target the jumbo sized bluefin tuna.

Today is Friday, July 20, 2018 and fish counts from trips that fished on Thursday, July 19, 2018 start with Fisherman's Landing that had the Liberty fishing a full day trip with 21 anglers that caught 7 yellowtail and 3 yellowfin tuna. They also had an overnight trip on the Pacific Queen fishing with 32 anglers who caught 10 bluefin tuna and 2 yellowfin tuna.

Seaforth Sportfishing had a full day trip on the San Diego out fishing a full day trip with 34 anglers that caught 7 bluefin tuna and 2 yellowfin tuna. They also had an overnight trip out fishing on the Tribute with 21 anglers who caught 4 bluefin tuna and 1 yellowtail.

H&M Landing had an overnight trip aboard the Old Glory fishing with 22 anglers that caught 2 bluefin tuna and 1 yellowfin tuna.

Point Loma Sportfishing had an overnight trip aboard the New Lo-An out fishing with 25 anglers who caught 1 yellowtail and 1 bluefin tuna.

The fishing at the Coronado Islands has been good for a mix of yellowtail, bonito, barracuda and calico bass. There has also been a chance at scratching a bluefin tuna. It has not been the red hot surface fishing like was around 10 days ago but there is still some fun surface fishing to be found.

This morning there was report from a private boater who had caught 5 yellowtail early in the morning while fishing the weather side of North Island. At the time of his report, the yellowtail bite had quieted down but he was reporting wide open fishing for bonito.

As an example of the recent fishing, Thursday's fishing saw H&M Landing have the Grande fishing a full day trip with 18 anglers that caught 80 rockfish, 56 calico bass, 19 yellowtail, 7 barracuda, 4 bonito and 2 bluefin tuna.

Productive areas for the yellowtail, bonito, barracuda and calico bass include Pukey Point at North Island, the Keyhole at the south tip of North Island, the Middle Grounds, the Ribbon Kelp and the South Kelp Ridge. The water at the Rockpile has been an off color green and the surface fishing around the Rockpile has been slow. Drifted and slow trolled sardines have worked best for yellowtail which have also been biting on trolled Rapalas.

The fishing along the San Diego County coast has been good for a mix of calico bass, sand bass, rockfish and sculpin and is also producing a few barracuda and yellowtail along with an occasional halibut or white seabass.

Kelp bed areas have been producing most of the calico bass action with the good areas being the Point Loma Kelp Beds, the upper end of La Jolla, Del Mar, Solana Beach, Leucadia, Carlsbad, the Barn, Box Canyon and San Onofre.

Anchovies and small sardines have been the best baits for the calico bass and sand bass when available. Sardines have worked best for the barracuda and yellowtail.

Captain Joe Cacciola of the Sea Star with Sea Star Sportfishing and the Oceanside Sea Center reports that they have had large sardines in their bait supply lately and says that they have been catching most of their calicos on the live sardines, sardine chunks and Hookup Bait plastics. The water has been green and has been very warm at 75 to 76 degrees. With the water being so warm some of their best calico bass action is coming while fishing 20+ feet below the surface.

The best areas for a chance at a yellowtail has been fishing the edges of the kelp at the upper end of La Jolla and while fishing the Point Loma Kelp Beds at spots between the Dropoff and the Green Tank. There have also been some barracuda in the mix with the yellowtail at the Point Loma Kelp Beds. In addition to finding yellowtail and barracuda at the Point Loma Kelp Beds proper, there have also been some barracuda and yellowtail found outside of the kelp beds under spots of working birds found in 30 fathoms of water.

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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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