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Bob Vanian's 976-Bite – HOT BITE

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Friday, August 30, 2019
Yellowfin tuna bite breaks wide open!


Yellowfin and bluefin bites continue to impress!
The past week has seen some very good days of offshore fishing. At some of the offshore banks below and outside of the Coronado Islands there has been a mix of what are mostly the 25- to 100-pound bluefin tuna and 15- to 40-pound yellowfin tuna biting. If you want to target the large and jumbo sized bluefin tuna, there has been good fishing for bluefin to 300-plus pounds that have been biting for boats fishing off the back side of San Clemente Island. In addition to the yellowfin tuna and bluefin tuna there have also been some kelp paddie yellowtail, skipjack and dorado in the mix.

The better days of fishing at some of the offshore banks below and outside of the Coronado Islands have been producing near limit to limit catches of yellowfin tuna and there have been a few near limit to limit catches of the 25- to 100-pound bluefin tuna coming from this sector as well. Productive areas have been for boats fishing the region of the 302 Spot, the 425 Bank, the 371 Bank and the 475 Knuckle.


Much of the action originates from stopping on meter marks, sonar marks or kelp paddies. The good stops are long drifts where the fish stay with the boat for hours while anglers fish them with sardines, Colt Snipers and Flat Fall jigs. A lot of the long stops are of the "plunker" variety where anglers need to drop down to light fluorocarbon leaders and small hooks and be choosy in selecting a lively bait to put on the hook. Using fluorocarbon leaders of 15- and 20-pound test helps draw strikes when the tuna are being picky and some private boaters have also been dropping down further and using 12-pound test fluorocarbon leaders.


Private boater, Captain Bob Woodard of the Christina Lynn fished some of the offshore banks below and outside of the Coronado Islands on Thursday and reported about the trip. Woodard reported drifting in the general area where he found 5 or 6 boats that were drifting and picking away at an occasional tuna. Once they started drifting and putting some chum in the water, both bluefin tuna and yellowfin tuna gathered around the boat and stayed with them for 5 hours.


Woodard said they were using small hooks and light fluorocarbon leaders that were down to as light as 12-pound test and they were able to boat 6 bluefin tuna and 4 yellowfin tuna. The use of the light line and small hooks resulted in quite a few lost fish in addition to what they boated and he said they also had some seals come in and grab some of their hooked fish. This action was found to the northeast of the 371 Bank while fishing 23 miles 199 degrees from Point Loma


Private boater Floyd Sparks of the Tuna Kahuna fished on Thursday and reported catching 6 of the 15- to 25-pound class yellowfin tuna while fishing between the 371 Bank and the lower end of the Kidney Bank at 26 miles 212 degrees from Point Loma. He said they stopped on a meter mark and drifted and chummed and that the fish would come up and boil on the chum. Sparks said they would bait the boiling fish with their hook baits and get bit. In addition to the yellowfin they had some 100 pound bluefin boiling on their chum while in the stop but they could not get the bluefin to bite.


There have been large and jumbo sized bluefin to 300-plus pounds biting out by San Clemente Island with the areas of the 81 Fathom Spot, the 86 Fathom Spot and 4 to 8 miles to the southeast of Pyramid Head being productive bluefin zones. The past several days have seen the big bluefin biting well with some private boats getting as many as 5 or 6 in a day of fishing.


The bluefin action by San Clemente Island has been coming from stopping on meter marks, sonar marks or spots of breezing fish and the bluefin have been biting best on kite fished flying fish. Live flying fish, fresh dead flying fish and frozen flying fish have all been working. Some bluefin action has also been coming on sardines, mackerel and Flat Fall jigs and divers have been spearing the big bluefin as well.


A reminder is that before planning a trip to fish at or around San Clemente Island it is good practice to check the Navy's San Clemente Island web site to see if the areas you are considering fishing will be open. The website address is: www.scisland.org


Other areas that have produced a bit of bluefin and yellowfin activity during the past week or so that are currently producing scratchy fishing are the 289 Spot, the 43 Fathom Spot, the Corner, the 182 Spot, the 9 Mile Bank, the 224 Spot and 10 to 15 miles outside of La Jolla.


The Catalina region has been providing some fair striped marlin action with what seems to be a marlin or maybe two caught and released most days. There have been occasional sleepers, tailers, feeders and jumpers showing with a good morning showing of sleepers reported during the first part of the week.


The 14 Mile Bank has been a central area of marlin activity with the area between the 14 Mile Bank and the oil rigs being another productive zone. There has also been recent marlin activity reported 5 to 6 miles out of Newport Beach, at the Avalon Bank and 1 to 2 miles off the Slide. On Thursday there were one or two marlin caught and released and the confirmed catch came on a dropback mackerel presented to a marlin that was following a trolled teaser.


The surface fishing around the Coronado Islands is bit of an unknown. With all the good tuna fishing offshore, to my knowledge it has been a week since the last sportboat trip fished the Coronado Islands. At that time there was very good fishing for an assortment of bottom fish along with some fair numbers of calico bass.


At last report, the best areas for a chance at some surface fishing action around the Coronados were the weather side of North Island, the north end of South Island, the Ribbon Kelp and the South Kelp. The fishing for rockfish has 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 has been good for a mix of calico bass, sand bass, rockfish, reds, sheephead and whitefish. A new development is that this morning there were good numbers of small bonito biting along the edges of the kelp beds at the Green Tank.


Aside from the new development on the small bonito at the Point Loma Kelp Beds, the main surface fishing activity has been fishing for calico bass in the kelp beds. Productive areas have been the kelp beds at Point Loma, the upper end of La Jolla, the stretch between Solana Beach and South Carlsbad and the kelp off the Barn, Box Canyon and the Yellowtail Kelp. There has also been some pretty good to sometimes good sand bass fishing off Imperial Beach while fishing at the Imperial Beach Pipeline and at hard bottom areas both above and below the Imperial Beach Pipeline.


Rockfish have 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 at Point Loma, 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 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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