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CALIFORNIA'S ONLY SPORTSMAN'S NEWS SINCE 1953

Bob Vanian's 976-Bite – HOT BITE

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2019 offshore fishing season continues to produce action!
The 2019 Southern California offshore tuna season has lasted to the middle of November and the fishing for yellowfin tuna, bluefin tuna, skipjack and yellowtail remains good as we set our sights on Thanksgiving and the end of November. Winter is looming though as there has been some recent cooling of the water over the past couple of weeks with Skippers now finding action on bluefin and yellowfin in water temperatures that are in the 65.5 to 67 degree range. If the water continues to cool much more it might cause the yellowfin to seek warmer waters elsewhere but I would think that the bluefin might be content to stay around until the water temperature drops into the lower-middle 60’s so long as they have a good supply of food to their liking.

The best bluefin zone is also producing good action for yellowfin for boats fishing the area below the western wing of the Butterfly Bank. This zone has you fishing in an area spread from 58 to 65 miles 235 to 240 degrees from Point Loma. The yellowfin biting out this way have included a good percentage of good sized fish that are in the 20- to 40-pound range. The bluefin at the Butterfly Bank have been mostly 40- to 130- pound fish but have ranged in size to 300-plus pounds.


Another productive area is the region at the end of the Ridge below the 182 Spot and in the area out to the west and the northwest of the 224 Spot. There have been good numbers of what are mostly 15- to 25-pound yellowfin tuna biting out this way and there have been some fair numbers of bluefin in the mix as well. Boats have been finding action while working an area spread from 22 to 28 miles 240 to 252 degrees from Point Loma.


The better days of fishing have seen near limit to limit catches of yellowfin tuna caught from all the areas talked about above but the best zone for bluefin has been out at the Butterfly Bank. Kelp paddies, skipjack trolling strikes, yellowfin trolling strikes, meter marks, sonar marks, spots of breaking fish and spots of breezing fish have been leading to action on both yellowfin tuna and bluefin tuna. Sardines have worked best for the yellowfin and sardines, mackerel, flying fish, Flat Fall jigs and Colt Snipers have worked for the bluefin. Flylined and sinker fished sardines and flylined and sinker fished mackerel have been effective. Kite fished and helium balloon fished flying fish, sardines and mackerel have also been producing tuna action.


There have been occasional showings of bluefin tuna and yellowfin tuna in the Catalina region for boats fishing off the East End in the region of the 152 Spot and the 277 Spot but the showings of fish have been inconsistent in this area and it has been hard to get those fish to bite. There was also a recent report about some bluefin showing in an area that was 2 to 4 miles off Main Beach at Laguna Beach. Kelp paddies at the 9 Mile Bank have been productive for small yellowtail and this morning there were lots of skipjack biting for a boat fishing around the 182 Spot.


Marlin fishing has been slow but swordfish continue to produce action via the deep drop method. It seems that when there are several boats out giving it a try in a certain area that there is a decent chance that there will be a swordfish caught among the group of boats. Productive areas have been in the region of the 152 Spot and the Slide off the East End of Catalina and there has also been recent deep drop swordfish activity outside of Newport Beach and Oceanside. In the San Diego region, there has been deep drop swordfish action reported by boats fishing around the 178 Spot and on the outside edge of the upper end of the 9 Mile Bank.


The last reports from the Coronado Islands are about a week old as most boats continue to fish local offshore waters for yellowfin tuna, bluefin tuna, skipjack and kelp paddie yellowtail. The last reports from the Coronados were of good fishing for a mix of bonito and assorted 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 is still producing good mixed bag fishing for sand bass, calico bass, reds, rockfish, whitefish and sculpin. 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.


As water conditions continue to cool, hard bottom and structure spots are becoming more and more productive for sand bass and calico bass and are also producing some sculpin and whitefish. Productive hard bottom and structure areas for the bass, sculpin and whitefish are 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 targeting. 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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Reader Comments
Great Fall fishing! Spectacular views and beautiful tuna...had to work for them though, but hard work paid off!
Joel
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