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Bob Vanian's 976-Bite – HOT BITE

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Friday, May 03, 2019
Jumbo sized bluefin tuna biting!


FISH BITE GOOD WHEN WEATHER ALLOWS

The past week of fishing has been highlighted by a mix of bluefin tuna and yellowtail that have been biting in offshore waters as well as by yellowtail that have been biting at some of the local islands and at La Jolla.The bites have been lacking some in consistency from day to day but some of that inconsistency has likely been due to the weather conditions which have included days of strong winds, high seas and some rain.



It is Friday afternoon, May 17, 2019 as this report is being written and the current NOAA weather forecast for the coastal waters from San Mateo Point to the Mexican Border and out to 30 nautical miles has Small Craft Advisories posted.Those Small Craft Advisories are currently forecasted to remain in effect through this evening (Friday evening) with breezy conditions and a chance of showers remaining in the forecast through the weekend.It is good practice to always check the marine weather forecast before you go boating or fishing.


In offshore waters region that has been producing bluefin tuna along with some kelp paddie yellowtail has been while fishing around and about some of the offshorebanks below and outside of the Coronado Islands such as the 371 Bank, 425 Bank, 475 Knuckle, Upper Hidden Bank and 390 Bank.Of all those areas, the region below the 425 Bank while fishing 25 to 30 miles 175 to 185 degrees from Point Loma has been the best in recent days.


The bluefin have been running from 25 to 275+ pounds with most of the fish falling within the 50 to 100 pound range.As an example of the recent fishing, Fisherman's Landing reports that the Condor, Shogun and Tomahawk fished 1.5 day trip on Thursday, May 16, 2019.The Condor had a fish count of 10 anglers catching 15 of the 60 to 80 pound bluefin, the Shogun had 11 anglers catch 5 of the 60 to 80 pound bluefin and the Tomahawk had 9 anglers catch a 135 pound bluefin.


Bluefin action has been coming from stopping on sonar marks, meter marks, spots of puddling fish, spots of breaking fish and spots of breezing fish.A pattern of the past couple of days of fishing is that some of the best bluefin action has come from stops that are found from meter marks or sonar marks that are found in the dark or from stops that are found from meter marks, sonar marks or spots of breezing fish that are discovered during the twilight hours of the early morning or the evening.


Kelp paddie yellowtail help to supplement the bluefin fishing and the right kelp paddie can produce very good action.Most of the yellowtail have been running between 8 and 12 pounds. A 25 pound test live bait outfit works well for the kelp paddie yellowtail.


Flylined sardines, sinker fished sardines, sardines fished from a kite and flat fall jigs have been working well for the bluefin. Using flying fish or mackerel would also be effective for targeting the larger bluefin. When fishing bluefin, if you have the tackle and the room for the tackle on the boat, it is nice to be able to carry live bait outfits with fluorocarbon leader sizes ranging from 30 pound test to 100 pound test to be able to use an appropriate leader size based on how aggressive the bluefin are and what size fish you are encountering in the school of fish you are working.


The yellowtail fishing at the Coronado Islands has been very good during much of the week but the bite did drop off some in the choppy weather on Thursday, May 16, 2019.Before the choppy weather arrived, the Mission Belle out of Point Loma Sportfishing had 35 anglers on a full day trip fishing on Wednesday, May 15, 2019 who caught 127 yellowtail, 15 bonito, 9 rockfish and 1 calico bass.Also fishing on Wednesday, was the Grande out of H&M Landing that had 38 anglers on a full day trip catch 112 yellowtail and 35 bonito.In the choppy weather conditions on Thursday, May 16, 2019, the yellowtail were still biting pretty well and the San Diego out of Seaforth Sportfishing had 32 anglers on a full day trip catch 30 yellowtail.


The best areas for locating yellowtail have been at the Middle Grounds, the area 1 to 2 miles inside of the Middle Grounds and along the weather side of North Island. Look for meter marks, sonar marks, trolling strikes on X-Rap Rapalas and spots of breezing fish to locate schools of yellowtail.


Once located, yellowtail have been biting on surface iron, yo-yo iron, stick bait jigs, sardines fished on a dropper loop rig and flylined sardines.Fish the yellows on the surface if you can get the flylined bait or surface iron jig to the fish before they sound.Try the yo-yo iron or a dropper loop fished sardine if the fish are holding deep or have sounded by the time you get to the spot.


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


Private boater John Carroll of the Huachinango reported fishing at the Coronados on Tuesday, May 14, 2019.He said that they tried North Island and the Middle Grounds during the early morning hours and found the yellowtail fishing to be slow.He said they then ran down to the Rockpile and found lots of bonito biting. After having some fun catching a bunch of bonito, they next came up to the South Kelp Ridge where there were lots of short sized barracuda biting which they caught and released.Carroll had to make a short day of it and headed for Point Loma at around noon.While on the way back to Point Loma he got a report from a friend who was fishing at the Middle Grounds who said that the yellows had come up during the early afternoon hours and were biting for them.


The fishing for an assortment of rockfish around the Coronado Islands has been very good. 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 northwest of North Island while fishing in 35 to 50 fathoms of water.

The fishing along the San Diego County coast has been good for a mix of sand bass, calico bass, reds, rockfish and sculpin and at times there have been some yellowtail biting at the upper end of La Jolla.The yellowtail bite at the upper end of La Jolla has been best during the afternoon hours but the bite has been fading since the first part of the week.What was some encouraging news on the surface fishing front in coastal waters is that there were some nice sized bonito biting this morning (Friday morning, May 17, 2019) for a boat that was chasing spots of breaking fish around at the Whistler Buoy area off Point Loma.


For the yellowtail, look for sonar marks, meter marks and spots of fish that are up working on the surface in an area ranging from the upper end of La Jolla up to Torrey Pines with the upper end of La Jolla usually being the best.A good depth range is in 11 to 18 fathoms of water.Fish the yellowtail on the surface if you can get a mackerel, sardine or surface iron jig to the fish before they sound.Otherwise, fish the yellows deep with yo-yo iron or a dropper loop rig fished sardine or mackerel.Private boaters might also want to try slow trolling with live sardines or live mackerel.Trolled Rapalas have also produced some yellowtail action for private boaters trolling off the upper end of La Jolla.


The upper and middle parts of La Jolla have also been providing some calico bass surface fishing action in the kelp beds.The afternoon hours have been best for the calicos.


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


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, La Jolla, Del Mar, Leucadia and Box Canyon.


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 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 Box Canyon, the sandy bottom next to the structure of the artificial reefs off Oceanside, 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.


Prior to the recent days of sloppy weather, there were yellowtail biting well at San Clemente Island for boats fishing the Runway and West Cove area off the back side western part of the Island and for boats fishing between the Gold Bluff and White Rock areas along the front side of the Island.Some of the yellowtail were biting while sitting on the anchor and chumming and other yellowtail action was being found by stopping on sonar marks or meter marks.Sardines, surface iron and yo-yo iron have been working once yellowtail are located. There has also been a bit of squid to catch for bait at night off Pyramid Cove and a few yellowtail have been biting while fishing the ridge areas outside of Pyramid Cove.


Catalina Island also saw some pretty good to sometimes very good numbers of yellowtail biting prior to the arrival of the recent sloppy weather. The front side of Catalina Island has seen occasional flurries of yellowtail action and a couple of productive zones have been while fishing outside of Indian Rock and while fishing between the Blue Cavern State Marine Conservation Area and the Long Point State Marine Reserve.On the back side of the Island there has been a bit of squid to be found to catch for bait outside of Ben Weston. There has been a chance at scratching out a white seabass or yellowtail while fishing off the V's, Salta Verde, Little Harbor and West Cove.Live squid would be good bait for white seabass or yellowtail, otherwise try sardines or fresh frozen squid.


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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