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Bob Vanian's 976-Bite – HOT BITE

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Mid-November bluefin, yellowfin and yellowtail continue to bite well!
The 2017 Southern California offshore fishing season keeps on producing tuna and yellowtail with the past week providing some of the best fishing of the season on a mix of quality sized tuna. There are also yellowtail in the picture at some of the offshore kelp paddies and at some Island and coastal areas. Spots around the eastern part of Catalina Island have also been providing a chance at finding some late season striped marlin action.


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The waters around the Butterfly Bank, the 60 Mile Bank, the 43 Fathom Spot, the San Clemente Basin weather buoy, the area outside of the 224 Spot and the area below the Corner have been producing bluefin tuna, yellowfin tuna and kelp paddie yellowtail. The water temperature in the areas producing tuna have been running from 66.5 to 68 degrees and the water has been blue. The yellowfin tuna have been 12- to 60-pound fish and the bluefin have gone from 20 to 200+ pounds. Most of the yellowtail have been in the 5- to 15-pound range.


Some fish counts from Thursday's fishing start with the Old Glory out of H&M Landing that had a 1.5 day trip return with 46 bluefin tuna, 11 yellowfin tuna and 1 yellowtail. On their previous 1.5 day trip the Old Glory returned with a catch that included 177 yellowfin tuna.


Seaforth Sportfishing had an 8:57 AM update this morning (Friday morning, Nov. 17, 2017) from the Tribute that had 8 bluefin tuna aboard that were in the 150-pound class. Seaforth Sportfishing also reports that the Aztec fished a 1.5 day trip that got in this morning where 28 anglers caught 37 bluefin tuna and 3 yellowfin tuna. Most of their bluefin were up in the 150- to 165-pound range! Seaforth Sportfishing reports that the bluefin caught on the Aztec were biting on Flat Fall jigs and sardines that were being fished with sinkers and that were being flylined.


Point Loma Sportfishing reports that the New Lo Ann fished a 1.5 day trip on Thursday, Nov. 16, 2017 that returned this morning with 11 bluefin tuna that went from 140 to 160 pounds. The New Lo Ann also caught 10 yellowfin tuna that went to 50 pounds.


Fisherman's Landing reports that the Liberty fished a 1.5 day trip on Thursday, Nov. 16, 2017 and got in this morning with 107 yellowfin tuna and 10 bluefin tuna. Their bluefin tuna were reported to be the jumbo sized fish that went from 110 to 165 pounds.


Last weekend, striped marlin produced some action for boats fishing areas around the eastern part of Catalina ranging from the waters outside of Avalon over to the waters off Church Rock. There has not been much in the way of boats out looking for marlin during the week so it is hard to say what might still be around and biting. There was a report of some marlin being seen off Church Rock during the early part of the week.


The fishing around the Coronado Islands has been producing a mix of bonito, yellowtail, calico bass and rockfish along with an occasional bluefin tuna. The San Diego out of Seaforth Sportfishing ran a three-quarter day trip to fish the Coronados on Wednesday, Nov. 15, 2017 and had 20 anglers catch 38 yellowtail, 1 lingcod, 53 rockfish and 16 bonito.


The best zone for yellowtail has been while fishing the hard bottom to the northeast of North Island. A good depth range has been in 20 to 22 fathoms of water. Sonar marks, meter marks and trolling strikes have been the best ways of locating a school of yellowtail to fish with sardines and iron. Other areas around the Islands that produce occasional yellowtail action have been the weather side of North Island, the Middle Grounds, the Lighthouse at the south tip of South Island and the South Kelp.


Bonito have been found in a lot of places around the Islands such as the weather side of North Island, the Middle Grounds, the Ribbon Kelp, the Lighthouse at the south tip of South Island, the South Kelp and the Rockpile. Trolling strikes on feathers and Rapalas are a good way to locate bonito schools to fish with sardines and small chrome jigs. The best areas for a chance at a bluefin tuna have been spots around the south end of South Island such as the 5 Minute Kelp, the Lighthouse and the South Kelp.


In addition to the above, private boaters have also reported success with yellowtail, bonito and bluefin tuna while slow trolling with nose hooked sardines.


The fishing along the San Diego area coast is producing a mix of bonito, bass and rockfish along with an occasional yellowtail. Productive areas for a chance at finding some bonito action in the Point Loma region have been while fishing the Imperial Beach Flats as well as outside of the stretch between the Point Loma Lighthouse and Point Loma College. The upper end of La Jolla is also a zone where bonito have been biting in an area ranging from the outside edges of the kelp beds on up to the La Jolla Canyon. Occasional bonito activity is also reported outside of Carlsbad, Box Canyon and San Onofre. Trolling strikes on feathers and Rapalas have been a good way to locate bonito schools to fish with sardines and small chrome jigs.


Look for a chance at catching a yellowtail incidental to fishing the bonito out in the 18 to 40 fathom depths outside of Point Loma and La Jolla as well as while fishing the Imperial Beach Flats in the 18 to 25 fathom depths. Also look for a chance at finding a yellowtail biting while fishing the edges of the kelp beds at the upper end of La Jolla.


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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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