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CALIFORNIA'S ONLY SPORTSMAN'S NEWS SINCE 1953

Bob Vanian's 976-Bite – HOT BITE

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Offshore angling remains good for bluefin, yellowfin, dorado, skipjack and striped marlin!
We are knocking on the door to the month of October and it would be a mistake to think about putting your tackle away for the season as the offshore fishing picture remains strong with a variety of species to target that are providing good action.


One change to report is with regard to the bluefin tuna bite off the back side of San Clemente Island which has been slow since the first part of the week. The accompanying good news is that it appears as if some of the bluefin that had been holding around San Clemente Island may have moved further off the Island to the region of the 267 Spot at is located to the east of the Tanner Bank. The past couple of days has seen the region of the 267 Spot providing some pretty good to sometimes good bluefin action. The bluefin have been mixed size fish which are mostly 30- to 100-pound fish with a few bigger fish also in the mix. There have also been a few yellowfin tuna and 40- to 60-pound bigeye tuna caught in the area as well. The 267 Spot is located at 74 miles 252 degrees from Point Loma.


Another zone that has produced some bluefin tuna activity during the week is off the back side of Catalina Island where there have been some 30- to 100-pound bluefin biting from spots of fish found in an area ranging from outside of the Catalina Canyon on down to where you are fishing outside of Church Rock. Most of the fish within that stretch have been found while fishing outside of the 500 fathom curve. Poppers have been producing action on the bluefin in this zone when the poppers are able to be cast to breaking fish before they sound.


Yellowfin tuna have been biting very well for boats fishing spots below San Diego in an area ranging from the 500 fathom curve outside of the Coronado Islands on down to the area inside of the Upper Hidden Bank. The area of the 500 fathom curve outside of the Coronados and the region of the 425 Bank have been the best for the yellowfin the past couple of days. There was some radio chatter about a few 40- to 60-pound yellowfin biting in the region of the 43 Fathom Spot so that might be an area to keep an eye on to see if anything develops on those bigger fish. Most of the yellowfin have been running from 6 to 15 pounds with some bigger fish to 35 pounds also in the mix. Locate yellowfin by finding meter marks, sonar marks, kelp paddies, trolling strikes and porpoise schools.


The numbers of dorado have been thinning out in local offshore waters but there is still a chance at finding some dorado under kelp paddies ranging from Catalina on down to the tuna grounds below San Diego. What has been improving in areas between the yellowfin grounds below San Diego and Catalina is the fishing for skipjack which are now being found as far north as the 14 Mile Bank in the Catalina channel.


Striped marlin have been biting pretty well in the Catalina region with action being reported at spots such as the 267 Spot, the 14 Mile Bank, the Avalon Bank, the Slide, the 125 Spot, the 152 Spot and the 277 Spot. Of those areas the 14 Mile Bank and Avalon Bank have been the best. There have been some sleepers and feeders showing with much of the action originating from blind trolling strikes.


The fishing at the Coronado Islands is currently pretty much of an unknown with most boats that might otherwise be fishing at the Coronado Islands fishing the yellowfin tuna bite that is going on in local offshore waters. At last report there were good numbers of a mix of bonito, calico bass and an assortment of bottom fish biting along with the chance at scratching out a yellowtail or bluefin tuna. Best areas were the weather side of North Island, the Middle Grounds, the north end of South Island, the 5 Minute Kelp and the South Kelp Ridge.


The fishing along the San Diego County coast has been very good for big bonito with some days of near limit to limit fishing being reported. The bonito are biting at spots up and down the local coast with productive areas being the International Reef, Point Loma, La Jolla, the stretch of coast between Encinitas and Carlsbad and outside of the Border Check Station that is located below San Onofre. The bonito have been found in a variety of depths ranging from the edges of the kelp beds on out to 60+ fathoms of water. Generally speaking, the 30 to 40 fathom depths have been the best for finding the large schools of bonito. Locate the bonito by finding trolling strikes, sonar marks, meter marks, spots of breaking fish and spots of working birds. Once located, sardines, Megabaits and Colt Snipers have been working well.


Yellowtail have been providing some flurries of action at the upper end of La Jolla and there has also been some increasing yellowtail activity reported by boats fishing the bonito at the International Reef above the Mexico border. Flylined or slow trolled mackerel or sardines would be good choices for a chance at a yellowtail.


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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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