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Bob Vanian's 976-Bite – HOT BITE

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Bluefin, yellowfin, striped marlin and dorado continue to provide offshore action!
As the 2018 offshore fishing season prepares to enter into the fall months there is still very good fishing to be had on a variety of offshore species. There are lots of yellowfin tuna and skipjack biting around the 425 Spot and the Upper Hidden Bank below San Diego and there are pretty good numbers of dorado and yellowtail biting around kelp paddies ranging from Catalina on down to the offshore banks outside of Ensenada and below. Striped marlin are biting at spots around the East End of Catalina and in the region of the 14 Mile Bank with the best zone currently being about 9 miles west-northwest of the 14 Mile Bank.


The one bite that has slipped over the past 10 days or so has been the fishing for big bluefin tuna around San Clemente Island. The bluefin bite was slow much of this week but the good news is that the past two days of fishing, including today, have seen some improvement in the fishing for bluefin that are mostly in the 40 to 100 pound range.


There has been recent bluefin activity off the back side of San Clemente Island that started picking up a bit on Thursday, Sept. 20, 2018 when there were some bluefin showing to the north of the 86 Fathom Spot and when there was an estimated 100 pound bluefin caught on a flylined sardine at Desperation Reef. Another productive zone that produced some action on 40- to 100-pound class bluefin on Thursday and which produced some action once again this morning (Friday morning) is the area that is 3 to 6 miles north-northeast of the West End of San Clemente Island. The report from this zone off the West End of San Clemente Island is that there are a few bluefin to 100 pounds biting on live mackerel.


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.


The first day of the Pesky's two day marlin tournament is going on today (Friday, Sept. 21, 2018) and I am speculating that there were about 5 or 6 striped marlin caught and released this morning with lots of fishing time remaining in the day. The best zone this morning has been in the region around and about the 14 Mile Bank with the area just outside of the Steamer Lane at 9 miles to the west-northwest of the 9 Mile Bank producing the best action.


The best areas for marlin the past few days have been while fishing around and about the 14 Mile Bank, the Slide, the 125 Spot, the 152 Spot, the 277 Spot and Church Rock. In the San Diego region there is an occasional marlin hooked by boats fishing tuna between the 425 Bank and the Upper Hidden Bank and there has also been occasional marlin action reported inside of both the lower and the upper ends of the 9 Mile Bank.


There is good fishing for a mixture of yellowfin tuna and skipjack that is complimented by a few dorado and yellowtail for boats fishing the area of the Upper Hidden Bank and the 425 Bank between 25 and 40 miles 180 to 190 degrees from Point Loma. The better days of fishing have seen near limit to limit catches of yellowfin tuna and skipjack being reported. The yellowfin have been mostly 6 to 15 pound fish with a few larger fish to 40 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 dorado along with a chance at scratching out a yellowtail, yellowfin tuna or skipjack for boats fishing offshore areas between Catalina and the tuna grounds below San Diego. The kelp paddie dorado fishing has been hit or miss with some of the better recent areas being in the region of the 209 Spot and between the 277 Spot and the 289 Spot.


There has not been much news coming from the Coronado Islands lately with most boats fishing the tuna and skipjack offshore. The few reports seem to indicate there are some bonito, calico bass and rockfish biting along with a chance at a flurry of action on yellowtail or bluefin tuna. The Middle Grounds, the weather side of North Island and the South Kelp Ridge have been the best areas while fishing around the Coronados.


The fishing along the San Diego County coast remains good for a mix of calico bass, sand bass, bonito, rockfish, sheephead 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 best fishing being found at areas such as the Point Loma Kelp Beds, the upper end of La Jolla, Del Mar, Solana Beach, Leucadia, Carlsbad, the Barn and San Onofre.


Bonito have been providing some of the best coastal action and have been biting well at the International Reef above the Mexico border and have also been biting along and outside of the Point Loma and La Jolla kelp beds. A good depth range for the bonito while fishing outside of the kelp beds has been in 30 to 40 fathoms of water. Bonito have also been biting outside of the Golf Ball above Oceanside as well as outside of the stretch between Dana Point and South Laguna.


The upper end of La Jolla has been the best place to try and catch a coastal yellowtail with some yellowtail activity also reported at the Point Loma Kelp Beds and at kelp bed areas between Del Mar and Point San Mateo. The yellowtail at La Jolla have been mostly 8- to 15-pound fish and have gone to 30 pounds. Much of the yellowtail fishing at La Jolla is being done while sitting on the anchor and private boaters have also been catching some yellowtail while trolling with Rapalas and while slow trolling with either live sardines or live mackerel. The occasional yellowtail caught off the stretch of coast between Solana Beach and San Onofre seems to come incidental to fishing for calico bass and tends to be a nice sized fish that is up in the 20- to 25-pound class.


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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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