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Bob Vanian's 976-Bite – HOT BITE

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Bluefin tuna enter the offshore picture
Yellowtail bite improves!

Bluefin Tuna entered the 2019 offshore picture for the first time since the month of January as Fisherman's Landing reported that the Royal Polaris caught 41 bluefin tuna while fishing between 120 and 140 miles below Point Loma. The bluefin were nice sized fish that were running from 25 to 80 pounds. Some boats are scheduled to go do some more looking around offshore over the upcoming weekend, so hopefully more bluefin will be located during the next few days.



The yellowtail bite at the Coronado Islands has provided some good days of action during the early spring season but the bite has lacked in consistency and the tendency has been for the bite to be good for a few days and then drop off for a few days until such time as more yellowtail are once again located. The good news is that the yellowtail bite is on the upswing once again as after several days of slow yellowtail fishing the San Diego out of Seaforth Sportfishing got onto a good spot of biting yellowtail late Thursday afternoon, April 4, 2019 and ended up with 18 anglers on a full day trip catching 56 reds, 42 bonito and 25 yellowtail. The bite has followed through to today's fishing on Friday, April 5, 2019 as Seaforth Sportfishing is reporting that the San Diego is out on a full day trip and had full limits of 100 yellowtail aboard for their 20 anglers by 10:57 a.m.


Other preliminary reports from today's fishing are that H&M Landing is reporting that the Grande had an 11 a.m. report of having 20 yellowtail aboard. They were still fishing with lots of fishing time left in the day. Fisherman's Landing is reporting that the Liberty is out on a full day trip and has a catch aboard that includes full limits of yellowtail for their 21 anglers.


The best of the yellowtail fishing is being found in the region of the Rockpile and there have also been occasional flurries of yellowtail action during the late afternoon hours for boats fishing along the weather side of North Island and at the Middle Grounds. The yellowtail have been mostly 10- to 20-pound fish and have been biting from stopping on sonar marks, meter marks and spots of breaking fish.


If the yellowtail are found deep or have sounded by the time you reach them try yo-yo iron or sardines fished on a dropper loop rig. If the fish are at or near the surface, try flylined sardines or surface iron.


Good choices for yo-yo jigs include Salas 6X, Salas 7X, Salas 6X Jr. and Tady 4/0 jigs in scrambled egg, blue and white and sardine colors. Productive surface iron jigs include Tady 45's and Salas 7X lights in blue and white, mint and sardine colors.


Pretty good numbers of bonito are being caught incidental to fishing for the yellowtail and there has been very good bottom fishing for reds and an assortment of rockfish. Good areas for the bottom fishing 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 the northwest of North Island while fishing in 35 to 50 fathoms of water.


The fishing along the San Diego County coast has also provided a chance at finding some yellowtail action but the coastal oriented yellowtail fishing has been inconsistent. Some good news is that there was a report that there was a showing of yellowtail outside of the upper end of La Jolla this morning that produced some pretty good action. One private boater Skipper reported having caught 3 yellowtail out of the morning bite.


Most of the yellowtail caught at La Jolla have been the 15- to 25-pound fish and have been caught from fishing meter marks, sonar marks and spots of diving birds. A good depth range to be looking in is 15 to 25 fathoms of water. Similar to the yellowtail fishing around the Coronados, fish the yellowtail on the surface if you can get the live bait or surface iron jig to the fish before they sound. Otherwise, fish the yellows deep with yo-yo iron or bait that is fished on a dropper loop rig. Sardines and mackerel have been productive live baits for the yellowtail at La Jolla.


In addition to the upper end of La Jolla, there have been sporadic showings of yellowtail along the coast reported from areas such as the waters between the International Reef and the Imperial Beach Pipeline, the zone between the Whistler Buoy off Point Loma and the Point Loma Pipeline, the Green Tank, Torrey Pines and Oceanside.


The remainder of the fishing along the San Diego County coast has been good for a mix of reds, rockfish, sand bass, calico bass, whitefish and sculpin. There have also been a few bonus lingcod and halibut biting as well.


Productive rockfish areas have been the International Reef, the Imperial Beach Pipeline, hard bottom areas in the region of the Whistler Buoy at Point Loma, the Point Loma Pipeline, the Green Tank, The 270 to the west of Mission Bay, the upper end of La Jolla, Del Mar, Leucadia and Box Canyon.


Captain Joe Cacciola of the Sea Star with Sea Star Sportfishing and the Oceanside Sea Center reports that the Oceanside Sea Center boats continue to do well on quality sized rockfish that have included good sized reds that have been going to 4+ pounds. As an example of the fishing, the Oceanside Sea Center had a half day trip aboard the Chubasco II fishing this morning, Friday morning, April 5, 2019 that had 9 anglers catch 72 rockfish and 1 whitefish.


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 Point Loma Pipeline, the Green Tank, the Jetty Kelp outside of Mission Bay, 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, Box Canyon, the area 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.


At Catalina, there has been some squid to be caught for bait at night off the V's and outside of Ben Weston with the Ben Weston area tending to be the best. The fishing for white seabass and yellowtail continues to be scratchy with an occasional flurry of action on white seabass or yellowtail being reported. Areas where the occasional white seabass or yellowtail activity has been reported have been while fishing outside of the V's and Salta Verde as well as off the area between Ribbon Rock and the West End.


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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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