Bob Vanian's 976-Bite – HOT BITE

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Good yellowfin tuna and bluefin tuna fishing continues into November!
The 2019 Southern California offshore tuna season marches on as boats are still posting nice catches of good sized bluefin tuna and yellowfin tuna into the second week of November. There is still a wide expanse to the areas where tuna can be located and Skippers have a few different areas to choose from in which to target bluefin and yellowfin.

The waters off the back side of San Clemente Island continue to produce jumbo sized bluefin tuna that have ranged to 300-plus pounds with most of the bluefin being caught in this sector falling within the 120- to 190-pound range. Kite fished flying fish or helium balloon fished flying fish continue to be the top producers for the large and jumbo sized bluefin.

Live flying fish, fresh dead flying fish and frozen flying fish have all been effective but the live flying fish have worked the best. In addition to flying fish, there has also been occasional action found while fishing with sardines, mackerel, Flat Fall jigs, kite trolled Yummy Flyers and live squid.

The area of the 381 Spot off the back side of San Clemente Island has been the best in recent days but recent action has also been reported while fishing the region of the 57 Fathom Spot, 86 Fathom Spot, 81 Fathom Spot and Desperation Reef. Most of the action comes from fishing around meter marks or sonar marks and the last two hours of daylight during the evening hours have been the best time of day.

In the San Diego region there has been good yellowfin tuna fishing within 25 miles of Point Loma for boats fishing the region of the 224 Spot at the Kidney Bank. Thursday's best fishing in this region was found out at around 24 miles 238 degrees from Point Loma. Today there was also a report of good yellowfin tuna fishing at the Corner which is located at 30 miles 255 degrees from Point Loma.

Most of the San Diego area sportboat fleet has been fishing the region of the Butterfly Bank in recent days and there has been good fishing for a mix of 20- to 40-pound yellowfin tuna and 40 to 100-plus pound bluefin tuna. The best zone the past two days has been while fishing to the southeast of the eastern wing tip of the Butterfly Bank for boats fishing from 45 to 50 miles 220 to 225 degrees from Point Loma.

Private boater, Captain Bob Fletcher of the Fletch reported about fishing the Butterfly Bank aboard the Pacific Queen out of Fisherman's Landing on Wednesday. Fletcher said they had a great trip with the 33 anglers aboard the 1.5 day trip catching 125 yellowfin tuna and 58 bluefin tuna. Fletcher described it as being "one amazing day of fishing" and said the quality size of the fish they were catching was outstanding. Most of their yellowfin tuna were in the 20- to 40-pound range and their bluefin tuna were up in the 40- to 50-pound class. Fletcher said his biggest fish on the day was a bluefin that was up in the 45- to 50-pound range.

Fletcher said the water out at the Butterfly Bank was running from 67.1° to 67.2° and he said there were only 4 or 5 boats working the area. He said the bite picked up during the late morning hours and that there were spots of fish popping up consistently throughout the rest of the day. Fletcher had nothing but good things to say about the group of people fishing on the Pacific Queen, the boat, the Captain and the Crew.

There have also been some bluefin tuna and yellowfin tuna biting in the Catalina region but the showings of these fish have been becoming more inconsistent from day to day. Areas where tuna have been popping up have been off the back side of the Island outside of the Silver Canyon and Palisades region, in the area of the Farnsworth Bank, in the area around the 152 and 277 Spots off the East End of Catalina and off the Slide.

Spots of breaking fish have led to action on sardines, mackerel and poppers. Porpoise have also led to yellowfin action on those same baits and lures. An interesting report from earlier in the week was of a boat fishing at the Farnsworth Bank that caught a couple of bluefin, a few yellowtail and hooked and lost two marlin while fishing on the anchor.

The two marlin hooked at the Farnsworth Bank as talked about in the paragraph above are the only marlin encounters I have reports of during the week. The last reports I have from boats that were out deep drop fishing for swordfish are from last weekend when there was a swordfish caught by a boat deep drop fishing at the 152 Spot off the East End of Catalina and when there was a swordfish caught by a boat that was deep drop fishing in the San Diego area at the upper end of the 9 Mile Bank.

The San Diego out of Seaforth Sportfishing fished at the Coronado Islands on Thursday and this was the first trip I know of to fish at the Coronados in well over a week. What they found biting was similar to the prior report from over a week ago and they found good fishing for a mix of bonito and rockfish. The fish count on the San Diego was 20 anglers on a full day trip catching 31 bonito and 100 rockfish.

Good places to look for bonito are along the weather side of North Island and around the Rockpile. Productive areas for 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, the northwest and the northeast of North Island while fishing in 20 to 45 fathoms of water.

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 remains slow.

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 many 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 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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