Bob Vanian's 976-Bite – HOT BITE

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Friday, August 16, 2019
Yellowfin tune bite breaks open…

Jumbo sized bluefin tuna continue to highlight offshore angling!
Bluefin tuna, yellowfin tuna, dorado, yellowtail and striped marlin have all been producing some offshore action during the summer of 2019 offshore fishing season but the large bluefin tuna that have been biting out by San Clemente Island continue to steal the show with jumbo sized bluefin to 300+ pounds providing anglers with the chance of catching the fish of a lifetime. In addition to the bluefin, the offshore fishing is providing good numbers of kelp paddie yellowtail, an occasional flurry of dorado action, a few yellowfin tuna and an occasional marlin.

The big bluefin tuna are biting off the back side of San Clemente Island in an area ranging from the region of the 86 Fathom Spot and the 57 Fathom Spot off China Point on up to the waters above and outside of Seal Cove. The area above and outside of Seal Cove while fishing 4 to 6 miles off the Island has been the best over the past couple of days.

The bluefin have been ranging from 20 to 300+ pounds with most being up in the 150- to 250-pound range. Spots of breaking fish, meter marks, trolling strikes on kite trolled Yummy Flyers and sonar marks have been leading to bluefin tuna action. Once bluefin are located, most of the action has been coming from kite trolled Yummy Flyers, Flat Fall jigs and flying fish that are fished from a kite that is either being drifted or slow trolled. Occasional action has also been coming on poppers and on mackerel or sardines that are fished from a floating balloon or helium filled balloon. Of all things mentioned, live flying fish have been working best with frozen flying fish and fresh dead flying fish also being effective.

There have been a few yellowfin tuna biting and the yellowfin have been running from 10 to 40 pounds. Places where recent yellowfin tuna activity has been reported are the area inside of the San Clemente Canyon which has you fishing easterly from Pyramid Head at San Clemente Island, the 9 Mile Bank and the 302 Spot. Most of the yellowfin are coming from stopping on spots of breaking fish and using poppers with cedar plugs also reported to be producing an occasional yellowfin tuna on the troll.

Boats fishing offshore waters below and outside of Ensenada have been doing well on yellowtail and have also been picking up a few dorado. Some of the better sportboat trips fishing down this way have been limiting out on the yellowtail. The yellowtail have mostly been in the 8- to 17-pound range and have been biting on sardines. The yellowtail bite dropped off during the early part of the week when the weather was rough and sloppy but has picked up again over the past couple of days in step with some improvement in the weather conditions. The best areas for the yellowtail have been while fishing in the regions of the 385 Spot, Banda Bank, 450 Spot and the 415 Knuckle in an area ranging from 60 to 75 miles 157 to 163 degrees from Point Loma.

There have not been many boats out fishing for marlin during the week with the marlin fishing being generally scratchy and with most Skippers choosing to over to San Clemente Island to fish the jumbo sized bluefin tuna. In the San Diego region there were a couple of marlin seen on Thursday, Aug. 8, 2019 by a boat fishing outside of South Island but not much else has been reported in the San Diego region in recent days.

The best zone for marlin over the past couple of weeks has been around the eastern part of Catalina in an area ranging from 1 to 4 miles off Long Point on around the eastern end of the Island to where you are fishing a similar distance off Church Rock. The nearby Avalon Bank has also had some marlin activity reported during the past week or so. In recent days but the most active looking areas with regard to finding bait and signs of life have been while fishing 1 to 4 miles off the stretch between Avalon and the Can Dump and 1 to 4 miles off Church Rock.

The yellowtail fishing around the Coronado Islands has been improving in recent days with Thursday's fishing providing some good mixed bag fishing for yellowtail, calico bass, barracuda and rockfish.

As an example of the fishing at the Coronados, some fish counts from the fishing on Thursday, Aug. 8, 2019 start with the San Diego out of Seaforth Sportfishing that fished a full day trip with 20 anglers and caught 38 calico bass, 43 yellowtail and 58 whitefish.

The Mission Belle out of Point Loma Sportfishing had a full day trip with 16 anglers catch 11 yellowtail, 6 calico bass, 3 barracuda, 1 sheephead, 1 lingcod, 14 rockfish, 26 whitefish and 22 sculpin.

H&M Landing had the Grande fishing a full day trip with 14 anglers who caught 15 yellowtail, 70 rockfish and 5 calico bass.

The yellowtail around the Coronados have mostly been in the 8- to 17-pound range and they have been biting on flylined sardines, slow trolled sardines, yo-yo iron, surface iron and trolled Rapalas. The best areas for yellowtail have been the weather side of North Island and the Middle Grounds. There has also been more mixed bag surface fishing action to be found at kelp bed areas such as the Ribbon Kelp, 5 Minute Kelp and South Kelp.

The fishing for rockfish has also been good around the Coronados and the best 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 remains pretty much unchanged from the fishing of recent weeks and continues to be good for a mix of sand bass, calico bass, reds, rockfish, whitefish and sculpin. In addition, there has also been a chance at finding a flurry of barracuda action along with a bonus yellowtail, lingcod or halibut.

The main surface fishing action has been for calico bass which have been biting well at kelp bed spots up and down the coast. Some of the more productive areas have been the Point Loma Kelp Beds, the kelp at the upper end of La Jolla and the kelp bed areas between Del Mar and South Carlsbad. Among the areas listed, the best of those areas have been the kelp at the upper end of La Jolla and the kelp between South Carlsbad and Leucadia. The kelp beds at the Barn Kelp, Yellowtail Kelp and Box Canyon have also been productive for calicos but the bite has slowed some lately with a recent influx of off color water.

Captain Joe Cacciola of the Sea Star with Sea Star Sportfishing and the Oceanside Sea Center reports that they have been having very good fishing for calico bass. As is the case up and down much of the coast, most of the calicos are undersized fish that must be released but there are also some legal sized fish in the mix. Sardines and plastics are reported to have been working well for the calicos and a tip from Cacciola is that a chunk of fresh dead sardine has at times been working better than a live sardine.

The places that have been providing an occasional flurry of barracuda action have been the buoy line at Point Loma in the region of Buoy #3 and the Whistler Buoy. The best zone for a chance at a yellowtail has been at the upper end of La Jolla.

Hard bottom and structure spots have been producing some bass and sculpin with productive places being the hard bottom to the north and northwest of Buoy #3 at Point Loma, the Green Tank, the upper end of La Jolla, the Anderson and Buccaneer Pipelines, the artificial reefs outside of Oceanside and Box Canyon. What has also been good at times over the past week or so is the fishing for sand bass at small hard bottom areas located between the Imperial beach Pipeline and the Mexico Border.

Rockfish have also been biting well at spots along the coast and some of the more productive areas have been while fishing hard bottom areas around the Whistler Buoy at Point Loma, outside of the Green Tank, off the upper end of La Jolla and while fishing outside of Torrey Pines, Del Mar, Leucadia and Box Canyon.

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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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