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CALIFORNIA'S ONLY SPORTSMAN'S NEWS SINCE 1953

Bob Vanian's 976-Bite – HOT BITE

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Bluefin, yellowfin and dorado highlight offshore fishing!
The Southern California and Northern Baja offshore fishing continues to provide very good action with the fishing for big bluefin tuna off the back side of San Clemente Island leading the way. In addition to the bluefin tuna at San Clemente Island there have been lots of yellowfin tuna and skipjack biting below San Diego for boats fishing between the Upper Hidden Bank and the area above the 385 Spot. Dorado and yellowtail have been biting on kelp paddies found in an area ranging from Catalina on down to the yellowfin tuna grounds below San Diego.

At the bluefin grounds outside of San Clemente Island the bluefin have been showing and biting best off the back side of the Island in the area outside of Seal Cove. The bluefin at San Clemente Island have been located by finding meter marks, sonar marks and spots of breaking or breezing fish. The bluefin have been biting on a variety of baits and lures with kite trolled Yummy Flyers, flying fish, mackerel and Flat Fall jigs working well. Some of the best bluefin action continues to come at night.


There is also good fishing for a mixture of yellowfin tuna and skipjack which is complimented by a few dorado and yellowtail for boats fishing the area between the Upper Hidden Bank and the region above and outside of the 385 Spot. Boats are fishing this body of fish while between 40 and 50 miles 174 to 186 degrees from Point Loma. The better days of fishing have seen near limit to limit catches of yellowfin tuna and skipjack being reported and on some days it can be hit or miss in getting a good yellowfin stop. The yellowfin have been mostly 6 to 15 pound fish with a few larger fish to 35 pounds also in the mix. Most of the larger sized yellowfin have been found in porpoise schools.


Elsewhere, it is mostly kelp paddie fishing for a few dorado and yellowtail along with a chance at scratching out a yellowfin tuna or yellowtail for boats fishing offshore areas between Ensenada and the Catalina Channel. The kelp paddie fishing has been hit or miss but in the past couple of days has shown some improvement for boats fishing the region of the 209 Spot.


Striped marlin fishing has been producing a bit of action for boats fishing around Catalina with the area off Church Rock being best and with scattered action also being reported from the Church Rock area on up to the Farnsworth Bank. The Avalon Bank and the area outside of the West End of Catalina produces a bit of action from time to time as well. Further north, the Osborn Bank, 172 Spot, 175 Spot, 17 Fathom Spot and Anacapa Island are also producing some marlin action. The past week has seen slow marlin fishing in the San Diego region with the 9 Mile Bank being an area where occasional marlin encounters have been reported over the past week or so.


The fishing around the Coronado Islands is producing a mix of yellowtail, bonito and calico bass along with an occasional bluefin tuna but the yellowtail and bluefin action has been dropping off in recent days coinciding with an influx of off color water. It is still good mixed bag fishing but not up to the standards of the near limit to limit yellowtail catches of recent weeks. As an example of the recent fishing, fish counts from Thursday, August 6, 2018 start with Point Loma Sportfishing that had the Mission Belle fishing a full day trip with 22 anglers who caught 30 yellowtail, 3 bonito, 1 sheephead and 28 whitefish. Another fish count was from H&M Landing that had the Grande fishing a full day trip with 14 anglers who caught 14 yellowtail, 15 rockfish, 1 sand bass, 6 calico bass and 3 bonito.


There have been several productive areas for yellowtail around the Coronados with the best bites being reported from the weather side of North Island, the Middle Grounds, the Ribbon Kelp and the South Kelp Ridge. The best areas for a chance at a bluefin tuna have been the South Kelp Ridge, the lighthouse at the south tip of South Island and the 5 Minute Kelp area located below and inside of South Island. The yellowtail have been mostly 9- to 12-pound fish and most of the bluefin have been in the 15- to 25-pound range.


The fishing along the San Diego County coast remains good for a mix of calico bass, sand bass, bonito, rockfish and sculpin and is also producing a few yellowtail and an occasional halibut.


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 and San Onofre. The upper end of La Jolla has been the best place to try and catch a yellowtail with yellowtail activity also reported at the Point Loma Kelp Beds and at kelp bed areas between Solana Beach and Carlsbad.


The yellowtail at La Jolla have been mostly 8- to 12-pound fish and the occasional yellowtail caught off the stretch of coast between Solana Beach and Carlsbad tends to be up in the 20- to 25-pound class. Most of the yellowtail fishing at La Jolla is being done while sitting on the anchor. Private boaters have also been catching some yellowtail while trolling with Rapalas and while slow trolling with live sardines or with live mackerel.


As an example of the fishing at La Jolla, on Thursday, Sept. 6, 2018 the New Seaforth out of Seaforth Sportfishing had a morning half day trip with 39 anglers catch 1 yellowtail, 15 calico bass, 5 rockfish, 6 whitefish and 10 bonito. On the afternoon trip, 31 anglers caught 35 bonito, 4 rockfish, 3 whitefish and 35 calico bass.


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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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