Bob Vanian's 976-Bite – HOT BITE

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October brings more bluefin, yellowfin, skipjack and striped marlin!
The arrival of October has brought offshore anglers very good yellowfin tuna and skipjack fishing along with a chance at catching a jumbo sized bluefin tuna or a striped marlin. Water temperatures remain warm and the offshore fishing remains good.

The bluefin tuna fishing off the back side of San Clemente Island has provided some action during the week with some fish to 200+ pounds being reported. The bite is more hit or miss when compared to the fishing of the past couple of months but there have still been some bluefin around and biting. The best area has been off the back side of San Clemente Island while fishing outside of the stretch between the 57 Fathom and the area outside of Seal Cove. The limited information I have so far from today's fishing on Friday, Oct. 5, 2018 is that the bluefin have not been showing or biting very well so far today.

The yellowfin tuna fishing remains good for boats fishing offshore waters within 40 miles or so from Point Loma. The past few days have seen the better fishing being reported at areas within 25 miles of Point Loma with the current hot spots being at the region inside of the Kidney Bank and out to the west of North Island. There are some good numbers of skipjack in the mix with the yellowfin tuna with an occasional dorado or yellowtail being caught as well. The yellowfin are mixed size fish that have been running from 8 to 40 pounds with a better number of the 20+ pound class fish in the mix in recent days.

Yellowfin action has been coming from meter marks, sonar marks, trolling strikes, skipjack trolling strikes, porpoise schools and kelp paddies. Kelp paddies and porpoise schools have been producing the best. At times anglers have had to drop down to using 15-pound test or 20-pound test fluorocarbon leaders to get bites from the yellowfin and at times they will readily bite on heavier line.

Private boater, Captain Louie Zimm of the Shearwater went out fishing with a friend aboard who is a DFW biologist on Wednesday, Oct. 3, 2018. Zimm reported starting the day of fishing inside of the 425 Bank where they found that the water had cooled and was 64.5 degrees. The fishing was slow in the cooler water and they worked outside to where they found an area of 68 degree water between the 371 Bank and the 425 Bank. This area between the 425 Bank and 371 Bank is were they found some biting yellowfin tuna around a kelp paddie.

Zimm described the sardines they got for bait as being mostly "huge" sized sardines and said that the yellowfin were not biting for them on those large sardines. He said that they had a few small sardines in the tank and that they would get bit on the small sardines while using 20 pound test fluorocarbon leaders. They were able to catch 3 yellowfin tuna before running out of the few small sardines that were in the bait tank.

Last weekend there were some mixed size yellowfin tuna to 75 pounds biting from porpoise schools being found outside of Pyramid Head and Pyramid Cove at San Clemente Island but I have not heard of much happening in that area since that time. Most boats heading over to San Clemente Island have been there to target the bluefin and I do not think there has been much fishing effort put into this area since last weekend.

Striped marlin have been biting best in the Catalina region with just a few boats out fishing during the week and an occasional marlin being caught and released. The Avalon Bank, the area between the Avalon Bank and the oil rigs and the region of the 152 Spot off the East End of Catalina have been areas where some marlin encounters are being reported. Most of the action originates on the troll with occasional sleepers and feeders seen as well.

Not much to report in the way of marlin action in the San Diego region during the week with very few boats out looking. Generally speaking, the marlin fishing in the San Diego region has been slow but on Saturday, Sept. 29, 2018 it was very good for Carl Smith of the Sea Trek IV who reported catching and releasing 2 marlin from trolling strikes found while fishing on top of the lower end of the 9 Mile Bank. Smith was at the right spots at the right times on the right day as boats looking to fish the same area the next day found nothing doing.

There have been very few boats fishing at the Coronado Islands due to the good tuna fishing in nearby offshore waters. There was a private boater who fished at the Coronado Islands on Thursday, Oct. 4 , 2018 who reported finding some good fun fishing at Pukey Point at North Island and at the Middle Grounds. He reported very good bonito fishing at Pukey Point and said that the calico bass were biting well at the Middle Grounds.

The fishing along the San Diego County coast continues to produce some good mixed bag fishing for bonito, calico bass, sand bass, an assortment of bottom fish and an occasional yellowtail. The hot bonito fishing of the past couple of weeks has been cooling off but there are still some bonito, bass and an assortment of bottom fish biting at hard bottom and kelp bed areas up and down the coast.

The best bonito fishing is currently coming from the upper end of La Jolla and the area to the southeast of the Whistler Buoy at Point Loma. Trolling strikes on feathers and Rapalas have been a good way to locate bonito and once located, flylined sardines and small chrome Megabait style jigs have been working while drifting or anchored.

The best zone for a chance at a yellowtail has been at the upper end of La Jolla. Yellowtail action has been coming from flylined sardines and flylined mackerel as well as from slow trolled sardines and slow trolled mackerel.

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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 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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