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Bob Vanian's 976-Bite – HOT BITE

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


Bluefin and yellowfin catches surge!
The past few days of fishing are seeing some better numbers of biting fish in a couple of different areas. The spring and early summer season has been filled with reports of Skippers and Anglers seeing lots of fish but not catching many fish. The past few days has seen some of these "hard to get them to bite" fish starting to turn on and bite better. The offshore water temperatures are very warm with reports from some offshore areas about there being water as warm as 81+ degrees.


There is some talk going around that I have yet to be able to confirm to the effect that 2 wahoo were caught on Thursday by a boat fishing about 4 miles off the coast outside of the stretch of coast between Dana Point and San Onofre. A phone call to the Dana Point Marine Fuel Dock provided information that they had someone make a special trip to come down to open up their facility to weigh in fish at about 9 p.m. last night. The person I was talking to said the person that did the weigh in was out of town for the weekend though and said that they did not know what it was that was weighed in last night. The speculation was that it must have been a significant catch to make a special trip to come down to the dock after closing and do a weigh in.


The highlight fishing remains the fishing for jumbo sized bluefin tuna to 250+ pounds that have been biting off San Clemente Island. These fish have started to bite better in recent days with the best fishing coming in the hours of dark. For the fishing in the dark, Skippers drift over meter marks and sonar marks and the bluefin have been biting best on Flat Fall jigs, live squid and live flying fish. The flying fish are netted under the lights at night while anchored in areas in tight to the middle part of the front side of San Clemente Island. A couple of reports were of a couple of sportboats having caught about 20 of the large bluefin tuna during a night time of fishing. Part of that report was that one of the boats had 12 hookups going on big bluefin at one time.


The best bluefin fishing has been in the region outside of and above China Point at San Clemente Island while fishing in the areas of the 81 Fathom Spot, 86 Fathom Spot, 190 Fathom Spot and 57 Fathom Spot. What is interesting today (Friday) is that there are also good numbers of yellowfin tuna biting on the troll for boats fishing between the 190 Spot and the 381 Spot outside of San Clemente Island. One Skipper reported getting multiple trolling strikes on yellowfin each time he trolled through a spot of breezing fish.


The other hot bite area is where there is very good yellowfin tuna fishing along with some dorado and yellowtail that are biting in the region between the 450 Spot and the 415 Spot below and outside of Ensenada. This area of fish has been down between 70 and 75 miles 155 to 160 degrees from Point Loma. Yellowfin are biting well from blind trolling strikes, porpoise schools and stopping on sonar marks or meter marks and the dorado and yellowtail have been biting from kelp paddies. There have been some near limit to limit yellowfin tuna catches coming from this zone the past couple of days.


Elsewhere, there is fair fishing for a mix of dorado, yellowtail, yellowfin tuna and bluefin tuna to be found at spots such as the Upper Hidden Bank, 390 Bank, 425 Bank, 371 Bank, Kidney Bank, 182 Spot and 43 Fathom Spot. The fishing has been scratchy but producing a few fish at spots such as the 9 Mile Bank, 178 Spot, 181 Spot, 289 Spot, 209 Spot, 312 Spot, 277 Spot, 14 Mile Bank and 267 Spot.


The bluefin tuna have been in the 20 to 250+ pound range and the yellowfin tuna have been mostly 8- to 12-pound fish with some fish to 50 pounds also in the mix. The yellowtail under kelp paddies have been running from 6 to 30 pounds and the dorado have been mostly 6- to 12-pound fish but have been going to 25 pounds.


The marlin fishing has been producing some scattered action around the eastern part of Catalina with one marlin being caught and released most days during the week. The best areas have been the Avalon Bank, the area 3 to 5 miles off the Rock Quarry, the 277 Spot and the 152 Spot. There has also been an occasional marlin seen around the 43 Fathom Spot, off Pyramid Head at San Clemente Island and up by the Osborn Bank. The marlin fishing in the San Diego region has been pretty slow but there has been occasional marlin activity reported from the 182 Spot, 9 Mile Bank, 302 Spot and 371 Bank.


The fishing around the Coronado Islands has been very good for a mix of yellowtail, bonito, barracuda and calico bass. To top off the very good mixed bag fishing, there has also been a chance at catching a bluefin tuna.


There has been good fishing to be found at various areas around the Islands with spots around South Island such as the north end of South Island, the Ribbon Kelp, the 5 Minute Kelp and the lighthouse at the south tip of South Island being the best the past few days. Other areas that have also been producing some action have been Pukey Point, the Middle Grounds and the South Kelp Ridge.


Yellowtail around the Coronados have been mostly in the 8- to 12-pound range and have been running from 6 to 20 pounds. The bluefin tuna have mostly been in the 15- to 20-pound range.


The yellowtail have been biting on sardines, mackerel, trolled Rapalas and surface iron. Slow trolling sardines has been a good method for private boaters to fish with sardines or mackerel.


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 top 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.


The Point Loma Kelp Beds currently provide the best chance at a yellowtail or a flurry of barracuda action but the fishing for those species has been scratchy. Sardines have worked best for the barracuda and yellowtail. Check for the barracuda and yellowtail along the outside edges of the Point Loma Kelp Beds as well as out in the 30 to 40 fathom depths.


Captain Joe Cacciola of the Sea Star with Sea Star Sportfishing and the Oceanside Sea Center reports excellent calico bass fishing while working kelp bed areas between Carlsbad and Solana Beach. At last report they had small sardines in their bait supply and Cacciola reported that the small sardines were working very well for the calico bass. Cacciola reported the warmest water he has ever seen in his 44 years of operating sportboats in Southern California with a water temperature of 81.6 degrees. He suggests fishing your baits and lures targeting calico bass 15 to 20 feet below the surface where the water is a bit cooler than what is on the surface.


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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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