Bob Vanian's 976-Bite – HOT BITE

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Nov. 1, 2019 brings beautiful weather and good tuna fishing!
Much of the past week of fishing was marred by strong offshore winds which brought a couple of days of Small Craft Advisories and a couple of additional days of sloppy weather. The good news is that the weather has turned beautiful today (Friday, Nov. 1, 2019) and that there is good tuna fishing to go with the nice weather.

The yellowfin tuna fishing was difficult during much of the week but the past two days have seen improved yellowfin fishing with very few boats out. On Thursday, the Aztec out of Seaforth Sportfishing had an overnight trip with 9 anglers catch their limits of 45 yellowfin tuna and also added 5 bluefin tuna that went to 150 pounds. Today is Friday and there is good yellowfin fishing going on again today. It is nice to see the yellowfin bite rally from the slow fishing that was around earlier in the week.

Most of the yellowfin tuna have been in the 12- to 25-pound range and the best yellowfin zone is in the region ranging from north of the San Clemente Basin Weather Buoy over to being east-southeast of the San Clemente Basin Weather Buoy. Action is being found in an area spread from 38 to 44 miles 235 to 248 degrees from Point Loma. There are also some 40- to 150-pound bluefin and skipjack in the same area as the yellowfin. Most of the action in this sector has been coming from stopping and drifting on sonar marks or stopping and drifting on spots of breezing fish.

Another zone where there is some yellowfin tuna and bluefin tuna activity is in the area off the East End of Catalina ranging from the area of the125 Spot on down to the 277 Spot. There was also a recent report of yellowfin tuna being found in an area about located half way between the 277 Spot and the 209 Spot. This morning there were spots of breaking tuna showing in the region between the 125 Spot and the 152 Spot but the Skippers reporting were having a difficult time getting them to bite. The best way to find biting yellowfin in the Catalina region has been to locate porpoise and to fish with sardines and mackerel.

The back side of San Clemente Island is still providing anglers at a chance at a jumbo sized bluefin tuna that have been running to 300-plus pounds. The best areas are in the region of the 86 Fathom Spot, 57 Fathom Spot and the waters outside of Lost Point and Seal Cove. Most of the action comes from stopping on sonar marks or meter marks and fishing with kite fished flying fish or helium balloon fished flying fish. What has also started working a bit in recent days has been trolling with kite trolled Yummy Flyers. Other effective baits and lures have been mackerel, sardines and Flat Fall jigs.

There has not been much marlin activity in recent days but a lot of that might be due to having so few boats out fishing in the recent windy weather conditions. This morning there was a jumper seen by a boat fishing for bluefin off the back side of San Clemente Island. The places where occasional marlin encounters have been reported during the past 10 days or so have been while fishing off Avalon, the Slide and around the 152 Spot at Catalina as well as incidental to fishing for tuna out on the yellowfin tuna grounds off San Diego. Marlin fishing has been slow, but there are still a few around.

The past week has seen boats drop fishing for swordfish and there continues to be some action on the decent weather days. The best areas in the Catalina region have been at the 152 Spot off the East End and while fishing in 160 to 250 fathoms off the Slide. The best zones in the San Diego region have been while fishing up above the 9 Mile Bank around the 178 Spot and while fishing the outside edges of the upper end of the 9 Mile Bank.

There have been hardly any boats fishing at the Coronado Islands because of the good tuna fishing offshore but the Mission Belle out of Point Loma Sportfishing fished at the Coronados on Saturday, Oct. 26, 2019 and had 24 anglers on a full day trip catch 40 bonito and 120 rockfish. Productive bottom fishing areas 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, the northwest and the northeast of North Island while fishing in 20 to 45 fathoms of water. Good areas to look for bonito would be the weather side of North Island and the Rockpile.

The fishing along the San Diego County coast continues to be good for a mix of sand bass, calico bass, reds, rockfish, whitefish and sculpin and there has also been a chance at catching a bonus bonito, lingcod, halibut or yellowtail. The best zone for a chance at scratching out a yellowtail along the coast has been at the upper end of La Jolla but the yellowtail fishing has been slow. At mid-week there were also a couple of reports about a couple of small spots of breaking yellowtail being seen off Mission Beach.

Calico bass are still biting at kelp bed areas up and down much of the San Diego County coast but a lot of boats have been focusing on fishing for rockfish. Some of the more productive areas for calicos have been the Point Loma Kelp Beds, the kelp at the upper end of La Jolla, the kelp bed areas between Solana Beach and South Carlsbad, the Barn Kelp, Yellowtail Kelp and the kelp off Box Canyon.

In addition to the kelp bed areas, hard bottom and structure spots have also been producing some bass and sculpin with productive places being the Imperial Beach Pipeline, hard bottom spots between the Imperial Beach Pipeline and the Mexico border, the hard bottom to the north and northwest of Buoy #3 at Point Loma, 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.

Rockfish are what a lot of the coastal fishing trip sportboat trips have been focusing on lately. There have been recent reports of good rockfish catches coming from hard bottom areas around the International Reef, the Imperial Beach Pipeline, the Whistler Buoy at Point Loma, the Point Loma Pipeline, the Green Tank at Point Loma, the upper end of La Jolla, Torrey Pines, Del Mar 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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