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CALIFORNIA'S ONLY SPORTSMAN'S NEWS SINCE 1953

Bob Vanian's 976-Bite – HOT BITE

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Good fishing for an assortment of rockfish
I bring you this report from the 976bite.com Fish Reports booth at Fred Hall Show in Del Mar. It is Friday, March 29, 2019 and it is the second day of the show. It has been a good turnout so far and the show runs through Sunday. The Del Mar Fred Hall Show is not as huge as the Long Beach Fred Hall Show but it is a big show nonetheless with lots of great things to do and see. I hope to see you at the show!


With regard to the fishing, Southern California anglers are starting to see some more days of spring like weather but there are still some weather systems coming through that are bringing wind, choppy seas and a chance of rain. The spring fishing is season is underway and if the unsettled weather would come to an end, it would likely go a long way toward sparking more springtime surface fishing action.


The yellowtail fishing around the Coronado Islands has turned scratchy with the last good bites being reported last weekend for boats fishing the Finger Bank. There have been a few yellowtail biting in the region of the Rockpile but nothing like the numbers of yellows that had been biting at the Finger Bank last week. The yellowtail around the Coronados have been mostly 10 to 20 pound fish that have been biting from stopping on sonar marks or meter marks. Once yellows are located, the best bet to get them to bite has been to use yo-yoed iron with the Salas 6X, Salas 7X and Tady 4/0 sized jigs reported to be working well. Good color choices would be blue and white, scrambled egg and sardine.


As an example of the recent fishing around the Coronado Islands, the San Diego out of Seaforth Sportfishing fished a full day trip on Thursday, March 28, 2019. They posted a fish count of 28 anglers catching 2 yellowtail, 140 whitefish and 130 rockfish.

The fishing for reds and an assortment of rockfish remains good around the Coronados and there have been a few lingcod in the mix as well. There were a few bonito in the mix with the yellowtail at the Finger Bank and a few bonito have also been scratched out at the Rockpile and along the weather side of North Island.

Good areas for the bottom fishing around the Coronados have been at the South Kelp Ridge while fishing in 25 to 40 fathoms of water and at the hard bottom areas to the north and northwest of North Island while fishing in 35 to 50 fathoms of water.


The fishing along the San Diego County coast remains good for a mix of rockfish, sand bass, calico bass and sculpin along with a few bonus lingcod or halibut. There are a few yellowtail biting and an occasional white seabass has been reported as well. The nice weather days tend to produce the best fishing.


The La Jolla region remains the best for a chance at a yellowtail and this morning (Friday morning, March 29, 2019) a private boater reported catching a yellowtail outside of La Jolla while fishing spots of working birds and meter marks with a mint color Hookup Bait plastic jig. There are not many yellowtail biting but there have been a few scratched out of the La Jolla area with the area outside of the upper end of La Jolla tending to be the best bet. There have also been sporadic showings of yellowtail with an occasional yellowtail being caught by boats fishing spots of working birds and meter marks found between Del Mar and Carlsbad.


A very occasional white seabass has been biting along the San Diego area coast and spots where I have reports of white seabass activity are outside of the Green Tank at Point Loma, in the area below the MLPA closure at the lower end of La Jolla and outside of the upper end of La Jolla. There is a chance at finding some squid for bait at night and anglers report finding some squid eggs around in different areas but overall, the fishing for squid to use for bait has been scratchy. The area off the upper end of La Jolla sounds like it provides the best chance at catching some squid at night to use for bait.

Some of the best rockfish fishing areas in the San Diego region that are on the U.S. side of the Mexico border are the International Reef, the Imperial Beach Pipeline, the hard bottom to the west and northwest of the Whistler Buoy at Point Loma, the Green Tank at Point Loma, The 270 to the west of Mission Bay, the upper end of La Jolla, Del Mar, Leucadia and Box Canyon.


In addition to the rockfish fishing along the San Diego County coast there are also some sand bass, sculpin and calico bass biting along with a few bonus halibut. Hard bottom and structure areas have been best for the bass and sculpin with productive areas being the Imperial Beach Pipeline, the hard bottom to the north and northwest of Buoy #3 at Point Loma, the Green Tank, the Variety Kelp area below the MLPA closure area at the lower end of La Jolla, the upper end of La Jolla, Del Mar, the Anderson and Buccaneer Pipelines, the artificial reefs outside of Oceanside and Box Canyon.


There have been a few halibut biting in coastal areas. Some productive halibut areas include the sandy bottom near the Aliso Pipeline off South Laguna Beach, the sandy bottom outside of the Oceanside Pier, the sandy bottom off South Ponto Beach, the sandy bottom next to the structure of the sunken NEL Tower located outside of Mission Beach, the sandy bottom next to the structure of the Yukon Shipwreck located outside of Mission Beach, San Diego Bay and while fishing sandy bottom areas outside of the Imperial Beach Pier.


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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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