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Bob Vanian's 976-Bite – HOT BITE

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Thursday, August 31, 2017
Bluefin move In close to San Diego!


Bluefin, yellowfin, yellowtail, dorado and marlin bites continue!
As the 2017 Southern California fishing season heads toward the fall, anglers still have a lot of good options to choose from be it fishing offshore, at the local Islands or along the coast. The offshore fishing continues to grab most of the attention with bluefin tuna, yellowfin tuna, skipjack, dorado, yellowtail and striped marlin all providing some action. The fishing at the Coronado Islands remains very good for yellowtail with a mix of bonito and calico bass biting along with a chance at a bluefin tuna. Anglers fishing along the San Diego County coast continue to find a mix of calico bass, bonito, barracuda, yellowtail and rockfish biting along with a chance at a nice sized halibut.


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Bluefin tuna remain the main attraction and they have been doing a lot of moving around during the past couple of weeks with the current best bite area in the region of the 86 Fathom Spot and 81 Fathom Spot off the back side of San Clemente Island. Earlier in the week the 43 Fathom Spot was the hot bluefin bite area but that zone cooled off as the week has progressed and is now slow.


The bluefin tuna have been mixed size fish that have ranged in size from 30 to 200+ pounds with most being in the 50- to 150-pound range. Most stops are coming from stopping on meter marks and sonar marks and there have been some spots of puddling fish, breezing fish and breaking fish that have led to some action as well. Kite trolled Yummy Flyers have also been producing action on the troll when fished in areas where there are meter marks, sonar marks or visual signs of fish up on the surface. When stopping on schools of bluefin, anglers have had success while fishing with sardines, mackerel and Flat Fall jigs.


Private boater Harry Okuda of the Alfresco III went out fishing on Tuesday's 1.5 day trip aboard the Condor out of Fisherman's Landing. Okuda reported about Tuesday's trip where they fished at the 43 Fathom Spot and had a fish count of 21 anglers catching 24 bluefin tuna. Okuda said they were all big bluefin that were running from 100 to 150 pounds.


Okuda's report was that most of the bluefin were caught on flylined sardines and that one was caught on a Flat Fall jig. They were fishing while sitting on the anchor at the 43 Fathom Spot and he said it was a plunker type of bite where they had at least one hookup going during much of the day. For some reason Okuda was snake bit on this trip and was never able to hook a fish. He said that 80-pound test fluorocarbon leaders were getting bit with the sardines and added that most of the fish were boated by anglers using 80-pound test fluorocarbon leaders. He said that some anglers dropped down to 50- and 60-pound test fluorocarbon leaders to try and get a bite via use of the lighter leader. Okuda's report was that most of the hookups on the 50- and 60-pound test leaders ended up with the fish being lost by having the fish eventually bite through the leader.


There have been some yellowfin tuna biting at spots in the Catalina region with the area ranging from the 100 fathom curve off the East End on out to the 277 Spot being the best zone and with some yellowfin action also found by boats working off the Slide, around the 14 Mile Bank and between the 267 Spot and the 277 Spot. Most of today's yellowfin action has been found by boats fishing the region of the 277 Spot. No big bite being reported but in recent days there have been reports from private boaters that have caught as many as 5 yellowfin tuna while working these areas. The yellowfin in this sector have been running from 15 to 40 pounds with most in the 25- to 30-pound range. Most of the action is coming on the troll while working around porpoise schools and spots of breaking fish.


Another productive yellowfin zone is in the region of the Inner Bank where the 238 Spot is located outside of Ensenada. Boats fishing down this way are catching some pretty good numbers of yellowfin that have been running from 4 to 15 pounds. The action at the Inner Bank area is mostly coming from blind trolling strikes and there has been some yellowfin baitfish action on the sardines after getting a trolling stop.


Closer to San Diego, the area around and about the 302 Spot has been producing some good numbers of skipjack and some pretty good numbers of dorado. Also look for a chance at scratching out a few fish while working areas such as the 9 Mile Bank and 182 Spot.


Boats fishing for striped marlin have been doing best while working the region of the 125 Spot, 286 Spot and 172 Spot off the West End of Catalina. There has also been some scattered marlin action around the Avalon Bank, the Slide and 277 Spot. Today, Friday, Sept. 8, 2017, I believe there to have been 3 marlin releases in the region of the 125 Spot off the West End of Catalina and one marlin release around the 277 Spot off the East End of Catalina as of the middle afternoon hours. Marlin fishing in the San Diego region remains scratchy with an occasional marlin encounter reported at the 9 Mile Bank, 182 Spot or 60 Mile Bank. Most of the marlin action has been coming on the troll and by baiting sleepers and tailers.


The yellowtail fishing remains very good around the Coronado Islands and there are some bonito and calico bass biting along with an occasional bluefin tuna. The best yellowtail action has been coming from the Flats area between the Mexican coast and the Islands. Also look for some yellowtail over at the Islands proper at spots such as the Middle Grounds, the north end of South Island, the Ribbon Kelp, the Lighthouse and the South Kelp Ridge.


At the Flats, Skippers have been stopping to drift on meter marks and sonar marks and action has also been coming while drifting after getting a trolling strike on a Rapala. Over at the Islands proper, Skippers have been fishing on the anchor as well as drifting over sonar marks and meter marks. The seals at the Islands have been reported to be very aggressive in recent days.


The yellowtail have been running from 4 to 20 pounds with most of the yellowtail being caught at the Flats being the 4- to 7-pound fish. Sardines and surface iron have been working well for the yellowtail. Private boaters have also reported success while slow trolling nose hooked sardines.


The fishing along the San Diego County coast has been producing good mixed bag action for yellowtail, bonito, calico bass, barracuda and rockfish. There have been a few nice sized halibut biting along the coast as well.


The Flats area outside of Imperial Beach has produced a few yellowtail while fishing a short way above the Mexico border. Kelp bed areas up and down the coast have been producing some good mixed bag fishing for calico bass, bonito and yellowtail and the Point Loma Kelp Beds have also been producing a few barracuda.


Some of the more productive kelp bed areas in the San Diego County region have been the kelp at the Green Tank, Point Loma College, Sunset Cliffs, the upper end of La Jolla, Solana Beach, Leucadia, South Carlsbad, the Barn and San Onofre.


The yellowtail along the coast have been mixed size fish that have been going from 4 to 25 pounds. Flylined sardines and slow trolled sardines have worked well for yellowtail which have also been biting on trolled Rapalas. The smaller sized sardines have been working best for the bonito and calico bass.


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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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