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Bob Vanian's 976-Bite – HOT BITE

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Bluefin and yellowfin are providing late October action!
The pages on the calendar keep turning but as we approach the end of October we still have lots to talk about regarding what is happening on the offshore fishing grounds with bluefin tuna, yellowfin tuna, skipjack, yellowtail, dorado and striped marlin all still providing action. With a lack of northern storm systems coming through Southern California, the water temperatures have remained up in the 67 to 70 degree range and these pelagic species seem content to remain in our local offshore waters. There do not appear to be any northern weather systems in the current 10 day forecast for Southern California so one has good reason to think some of these offshore fish will say around a while longer.


Bluefin tuna are still attracting a lot of the attention and they have been providing some hit or miss action in a variety of areas. Some of the recent catches have come from the area between the 381 Bank and the area outside of Seal Cove outside of San Clemente Island, from the region of the 267 Spot that is easterly of the Tanner Bank, from the area below Bishop Rock at the Cortes Bank and from the area above the 9 Fathom Spot at the Cortes Bank. Most boats are currently fishing the Cortes Bank but if you find the right school of fish in the area between the 381 Spot and the area outside of Seal Cove, you can get a good stop going as well.


Bluefin action has been coming during the daylight hours and during the hours of dark. Action has been originating from stopping on meter marks, sonar marks and the occasional spot of breaking fish. Sardines and Flat Fall jigs have been working best with mackerel and flying fish also producing some action. The bluefin have been ranging in size from 20 to 200+ pounds with most falling within the 40- to 120- pound range.


Yellowfin tuna catches remain good but boats are having to travel further south to get to the good numbers of yellowfin tuna. The yellowfin catches have been thinning out in areas within 50 miles of Point Loma with the best mixed bag catches of yellowfin, skipjack, yellowtail and dorado coming from some of the offshore banks below and outside of Ensenada. The hot bite areas have been the Inner Bank and the 295 Bank.


The very best of the action has been coming from the area between the 238 Spot at lower end of the Inner Bank and the 450 Spot that is located below the Inner Bank. This zone has been producing near limit to limit catches of yellowfin tuna and has you fishing between 65 and 70 miles 165 to 170 degrees from Point Loma.


Areas closer to Point Loma such as the 9 Mile Bank, 302 Spot, 371 Bank, Upper Hidden Bank and Lower Hidden Bank have been producing some skipjack and yellowtail with an occasional bonus yellowfin tuna in the mix but the yellowfin bite in these areas has been on a slowing trend in recent days.


Kelp paddies, trolling strikes, meter marks, sonar marks and porpoise schools have been ways to locate yellowfin tuna. Most of the yellowfin are in the 6- to 15-pound range with occasional fish to 30 pounds also in the mix.


There is still some striped marlin activity in the Catalina region with boats fishing the area from the 100 fathom curve off the East End on out to the 277 Spot reporting finding occasional striped marlin action. Another area producing occasional marlin action has been while fishing 2 to 4 miles outside of the Slide. The area between the 100 fathom curve off the East End and the 125 Spot sounds the best. Areas where birds, bait, seals and porpoise are located are good indicators of where you might locate marlin activity. My estimation is that 3 marlin have been caught and released during the past 5 days of fishing. The marlin action in the San Diego region has been slow with a very occasional marlin encounter being reported at the 9 Mile Bank.


There have been very few boats out fishing at the Coronado Islands but at last report there were very good numbers of 4- to 8-pound bonito biting along with a mix of calico bass and assorted bottom fish. The weather side of North Island and the Middle Grounds have been the best areas for the surface fishing.


The fishing along the San Diego County coast continues to produce some good mixed bag fishing for bonito, calico bass, sand bass and an assortment of bottom fish but the yellowtail action remains slow.


The bonito have been the main attraction for boats fishing along the coast and the bonito have been mostly 4- to 7-pound fish. Productive areas have been the Whistler Buoy at Point Loma, the Dropoff at Point Loma, the Green Tank, Point Loma College, the upper end of La Jolla, Del Mar, Ponto Beach, the Carlsbad Canyon, the Buccaneer Pipeline and the area outside of the Oceanside Pier.


Some of the bonito have been biting while fishing along the edges of the kelp beds or next to structure but the majority have been caught by getting trolling strikes out in the deeper 18 to 50 fathom depths. Feathers and Rapalas have been productive on the troll and once bonito are located, flylined sardines and small chrome Megabait style jigs have been working while drifting or anchored.


Captain Kelvin Nettleton of La Jolla Fishing fished at the upper end of La Jolla on Thursday, Oct. 26, 2018 and reported finding very good bonito fishing. He caught and released several bonito and kept one that was injured to where it would not survive if released. Nettleton said he stopped fishing for the bonito because the seals were so numerous and aggressive that it was hard to get a hooked bonito past the seals. He said he got tired of wasting the bonito in loosing them to the seals and stopped fishing for them. He tried for calico bass but found the bass fishing to be slow.


Nettleton said the water at the upper end of La Jolla was 67 degrees and clean. He said there was more bait around than he has seen in some time and he felt that the conditions in the area looked good for the possibility of a late season yellowtail run.


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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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