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Bob Vanian's 976-Bite – HOT BITE

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976 Bite started out as a telephone recording service some 20 years ago and has since evolved into www.976bite.com. If you are looking to fish offshore for tuna and marlin, the Coronados for yellows, along the coast and beyond Bob Vanian and his 976 Bite service has been leading the way to fish for years. Subscriptions range from one week to one year. For more information please visit
www.976bite.com


Yellowfin join bluefin on the offshore fishing grounds!
The past week of offshore fishing has seen hit or miss but overall improving fishing for bluefin tuna on the offshore fishing grounds and the offshore fishing got a nice boost when yellowfin tuna showed up and started biting at mid-week.

The bluefin tuna have been ranging from 25 to 150+ pounds with most falling within the 50- to 100-pound class. Yellowfin tuna have been larger than football sized fish and have been falling within the 15- to 30-pound range.



There are a few productive areas that have been producing both bluefin tuna and yellowfin tuna. The first zone is in an area spread between the 371 Bank and the Upper Hidden Bank for boats fishing from 30 to 40 miles 190 to 210 degrees from Point Loma. The second zone is for boats fishing around and above the 385 Spot in an area that is spread from 45 to 58 miles 162 to 172 degrees from Point Loma. A third area of tuna activity is for boats fishing around and about the 450 Spot for boats fishing down between 65 and 70 miles 161 to 164 degrees from Point Loma. Yet another productive zone is down in the region of the Lower 500 Bank which is located at 87 miles 163 degrees from Point Loma.


Bluefin action has been coming from stopping on sonar marks, meter marks, spots of puddling fish, spots of breaking fish and spots of breezing fish. Some days see the best bluefin action come from stops that are found in the dark or during the twilight hours of the morning or the evening. Yellowfin tuna have been biting from spots of breezing fish, blind trolling strikes and trolling around porpoise schools.


Kelp paddie yellowtail action has been hit or miss with a lot of empty kelp paddies around. Most of the yellowtail have been running between 8 and 15 pounds. A 25-pound test live bait outfit works well for the kelp paddie yellowtail.


Flylined sardines, sinker fished sardines, sardines fished from a kite and flat fall jigs have been working well for the bluefin. Using flying fish or mackerel can also be effective in targeting the larger bluefin. When fishing bluefin, if you have the tackle and the room for the tackle aboard the boat, it is nice to be able to carry live bait outfits with fluorocarbon leader sizes ranging from 30-pound test to 100-pound test. This allows you to be able to quickly switch to an appropriate leader size based on how aggressive the bluefin are biting and what size fish you are encountering in the school of fish you are working.


Rapalas have been working well for yellowfin on the troll. A sardine fished on a 25- to 30-pound test outfit would be a good way to go for fishing the yellowfin with live bait.


As an example of the fishing, fish counts from the fishing on Thursday, June 6, 2019 start at Fisherman's Landing start with the Liberty that was out fishing a full day trip that returned with 4 bluefin tuna. They were nice sized fish that included an 80 pounder and 3 bluefin that were up around 130 pounds. Fisherman's Landing also reported that the Tomahawk fished a 1.5 day trip and had 28 anglers catch 19 yellowfin tuna, 26 of the 50- to 80-pound bluefin tuna and 12 of the 15-pound yellowtail. They also had the Condor return home from a 1.5 day trip with 16 anglers having caught 13 of the 60 to 140 pound bluefin tuna, 2 yellowtail and 1 bonito. Fisherman's Landing also had the Royal Star return home from a 1.5 day trip with 26 of the 60 to 80 pound bluefin tuna and one 130 pound bluefin tuna.


Seaforth Sportfishing reports having San Diego return home from a full day trip with 19 anglers having caught 19 of the 50- to 100-pound bluefin tuna and 2 yellowfin tuna. They also had the Cortez fishing a full day trip with 15 anglers return with 8 yellowfin tuna and 1 bluefin tuna. The El Gato Dos out of Seaforth Sportfishing also ad a full day trip with 3 anglers who caught 2 bluefin tuna.


Point Loma Sportfishing reported that the New Lo-An returned home from a 1.5 day trip on Thursday morning with 32 anglers having caught 18 of the 15- to 25-pound yellowfin tuna.


The yellowtail fishing at the Coronado Islands continues to be on the scratchy side of things but has shown some recent improvement. There have also been a few calico bass and barracuda biting along with very good fishing for an assortment of bottom fish.


Private boater Mike Seymour of the Sea Section reported about fishing at the Coronados on Thursday, June 6, 2019 and Seymour reported catching limits of an assortment of bottom fish and 5 yellowtail. He said their catch of bottom fish were made up of quality 3- to 8-pound fish that included lingcod and that their yellowtail were in the 12- to 15-pound range.


Seymour found the good rockfish action while fishing hard bottom areas to the north and northwest of North Island. After catching limits of bottom fish, Seymour gave the yellowtail a try and found success in catching 5 yellowtail. The yellows were biting on trolled X-Rap Rapalas that were trolled at 5.5 knots of speed and 4 of the 5 yellowtail were caught on a hot pink color X-Rap.


The yellowtail were found biting while trolling in 100 feet of water in an area ranging from outside of the Middle Grounds rocks on down to about half way down the back side of South Island. Seymour reported that a sportboat came through the area, stopped on a sonar mark and started chumming and hooking yellowtail.


As an example of the fishing around the Coronados, Thursday, June 6, 2019 saw H&M Landing have the Grande fishing a full day trip with 14 anglers who caught 6 yellowtail, 98 rockfish and 36 reds.


Best areas for the 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 and northwest of North Island while fishing in 35 to 50 fathoms of water.


The best areas for locating yellowtail have been along the weather side of North Island, the weather side of South Island, the Middle Grounds and the north end of South Island. Yellowtail have been located by finding sonar marks, meter marks, trolling strikes with X-Rap Rapalas and the occasional spot of fish found up on the surface under working birds.


Once located, yellowtail have been biting on surface iron, yo-yo iron, sardines fished on a dropper loop rig and flylined sardines. Fish the yellows on the surface if you can get the flylined bait or surface iron jig to the fish before they sound. Try the yo-yo iron or a dropper loop fished sardine if the fish are holding deep or have sounded by the time you get to the spot.


Good yo-yo jig choices would include Salas 6X, Salas 7X and Tady 4/0 jigs in blue and white, scrambled egg and sardine colors. Good surface iron jig choices would include Tady 45's and Salas 7X lights in blue and white, mint and sardine colors.


The fishing along the San Diego County coast has been good for a mix of sand bass, calico bass, reds, rockfish, sculpin and an occasional bonus lingcod, yellowtail or halibut. The yellowtail bite occasionally shows some promise and produces some action but the bite tends to be scratchy most days and has been lacking in consistency.


The best chance at finding yellowtail has been while fishing off the stretch of coast between the upper end of La Jolla and Torrey Pines and there have also been occasional showings of yellowtail outside of the stretch of coast between Point Loma College and Hill Street at Sunset Cliffs.


To try and locate yellowtail, look for sonar marks, meter marks and spots of fish that are up working on the surface. A good depth range has been in 10 to 18 fathoms of water. Fish the yellowtail on the surface if you can get a mackerel, sardine or surface iron jig to the fish before they sound. Otherwise, fish the yellows deep with yo-yo iron or a dropper loop rig fished sardine or mackerel. Private boaters might also want to try slow trolling with live sardines or live mackerel. Trolled Rapalas have also produced some yellowtail action for private boaters.


The remainder of the fishing along the San Diego County coast has been mostly hard bottom and structure fishing for a good mixed bag of reds, rockfish, sand bass, calico bass, whitefish and sculpin. There have also been a few bonus lingcod and halibut biting.


Productive rockfish areas have been the International Reef, the Imperial Beach Pipeline, hard bottom areas in the region of the Whistler Buoy at Point Loma, the Point Loma Pipeline, the Green Tank, The 270 to the west of Mission Bay, La Jolla, Del Mar, Leucadia and Box Canyon.


Hard bottom and structure areas have been best for the bass and sculpin with productive areas being the Imperial Beach Pipeline, 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.


There have been a few halibut biting in coastal areas. Some productive halibut areas include Box Canyon, the sandy bottom next to the structure of the artificial reefs off Oceanside, the sandy bottom off South Ponto Beach, the sandy bottom next to the structure of the sunken NEL Tower located outside of Mission Beach, the sandy bottom next to the structure of the Yukon Shipwreck located outside of Mission Beach, San Diego Bay and while fishing sandy bottom areas outside of the Imperial Beach Pier.


The fishing at San Clemente Island has seen a good mix of yellowtail, calico bass, barracuda and assorted bottom fish biting. The yellowtail bite has been varied with some days of very good yellowtail action and some days when the yellowtail bite has been just fair.


There is a lot of squid around San Clemente Island and Pyramid Cove has been an area that has produced squid for bait at night and which is also producing an occasional white seabass and some nice sized yellowtail. Try for seabass and yellowtail at the squid area in Pyramid Cove and some yellowtail have also been biting along the ridges in the 18 to 25 fathom depths outside of Pyramid Cove. The front side of the Island has also seen some yellowtail, calico bass and a few barracuda biting at spots between Purse Seine Rock and Gold Bluff.


Catalina Island had been producing some mixed bag surface fishing action for a mix of calico bass and barracuda along with some flurries of yellowtail action and an occasional white seabass. Areas that have been providing a chance at finding some surface fishing action have been while fishing along the back side of the Island off Orange Rock, Salta Verde, The V's and Church Rock. Spots along much of the front side of the Island have also been producing some surface fishing action while fishing legal waters from Long Point on up to Black Point with spots up toward the western part of the front side of the Island between Ship Rock and Black Point tending to be the best.


There has been a bit of squid to catch for bait at night off Ben Weston but most of the squid boats are currently fishing for squid at Pyramid Cove at San Clemente Island. Once they catch squid at night, some of the squid boats have been running over to Catalina Island to offer it for sale to private boaters. Try to raise squid boats on VHF channels 72 and 11.


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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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We hope you enjoyed this article on our no-charge website wonews.com. Of course, this site contains only a small fraction of the stories that Western Outdoor Publications produces each week in its two northern and southern editions and its special supplements. You can subscribe to the print issue that is mailed weekly and includes the easy flip-page full-color digital issues, or you can purchase a digital only subscription. Click here to see the choice.


Bluefin fishing is improving with the weather!
The past week of fishing has seen improved weather conditions following what had been a prolonged stretch of several days of bad weather where there were either Small Craft Advisories or Gale Warnings posted. The ocean is now having a chance to settle down and stabilize and there has been some warming and cleaning of the water in recent days. The highlight fishing remains offshore where bluefin tuna have been biting in better numbers along with a few kelp paddie yellowtail. The bluefin held in the area through the days of bad weather and seem to be biting better now that the weather has stabilized.


Some bluefin fish counts from the fishing on Thursday, May 30, 2019 start with the Condor out of Fisherman's Landing that had a 1.5 day trip with 12 anglers catch their limits of 24 bluefin tuna. Fisherman's Landing also had the Pacific Queen fishing a 1.5 day trip that had 32 anglers catch 44 of the 25- to 80-pound bluefin tuna. Fisherman's Landing had the Liberty out fishing a full day trip that had 15 anglers catch 2 bluefin tuna. Fisherman's Landing also reports having a 10:45 AM early update from the Pegasus that is out on a 1.5 day trip today, Friday, May 31, 2019 and that is reporting having 7 of the 60- to 80-pound bluefin tuna aboard. The report from the Pegasus added that they were seeing good signs of fish and the Pegasus had lots of fishing time remaining in the day at the time of their report.


Point Loma Sportfishing reports that the New Lo-An was out fishing bluefin on Thursday and returned home this morning with 16 anglers having caught limits of bluefin tuna which was 32 bluefin tuna.


The bluefin tuna have been ranging from 20 to 270+ pounds with most falling within the 50 to 90 pound range. The best zone has been ranging from the area below the 425 and 371 Banks on down to where you are fishing below the Upper Hidden Bank and below and outside of the 475 Knuckle. This has you working in an area ranging from 26 to 48 miles 170 to 182 degrees from Point Loma.


Bluefin action has been coming from stopping on sonar marks, meter marks, spots of puddling fish, spots of breaking fish and spots of breezing fish. Some days see the best bluefin action come from stops that are found in the dark or during the twilight hours of the morning or the evening.


Kelp paddie yellowtail can add to the day's action. Most of the yellowtail have been running between 8 and 12 pounds. A 25-pound test live bait outfit works well for the kelp paddie yellowtail.


Flylined sardines, sinker fished sardines, sardines fished from a kite and flat fall jigs have been working well for the bluefin. Using flying fish or mackerel can also be effective in targeting the larger bluefin. When fishing bluefin, if you have the tackle and the room for the tackle aboard the boat, it is nice to be able to carry live bait outfits with fluorocarbon leader sizes ranging from 30-pound test to 100-pound test. This allows you to be able to quickly switch to an appropriate leader size based on how aggressive the bluefin are biting and what size fish you are encountering in the school of fish you are working.


The yellowtail fishing at the Coronado Islands has been on the scratchy side of things since the days of bad weather when Small Craft Advisories and Gale Warnings were posted last week. There have been a few yellowtail, barracuda and calico bass biting but overall, the surface fishing remains slow with lots of reds, rockfish, whitefish and an occasional lingcod making up most of the catch.


As an example of the recent fishing, sportboat counts from boats fishing around the Coronado Islands on Thursday, May 30, 2019 start with Seaforth Sportfishing that had the San Diego fishing a full day trip with 9 anglers who caught 1 yellowtail, 2 lingcod, 45 reds and 42 rockfish. H&M Landing had the Grande fishing a full day trip with 9 anglers who caught 25 calico bass, 45 rockfish and 20 whitefish.


Best areas for the 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 and northwest of North Island while fishing in 35 to 50 fathoms of water. The best areas for locating yellowtail have been along the weather side of North Island, the Middle Grounds and the north end of South Island. Yellowtail have been located by finding sonar marks, meter marks, trolling strikes with X-Rap Rapalas and the occasional spot of fish found up on the surface under working birds.


Once located, yellowtail have been biting on surface iron, yo-yo iron, stick bait jigs, sardines fished on a dropper loop rig and flylined sardines. Fish the yellows on the surface if you can get the flylined bait or surface iron jig to the fish before they sound. Try the yo-yo iron or a dropper loop fished sardine if the fish are holding deep or have sounded by the time you get to the spot.


Good yo-yo jig choices would include Salas 6X, Salas 7X and Tady 4/0 jigs in blue and white, scrambled egg and sardine colors. Good surface iron jig choices would include Tady 45's and Salas 7X lights in blue and white, mint and sardine colors.


The fishing along the San Diego County coast has been good for a mix of sand bass, calico bass, reds, rockfish, sculpin and an occasional bonus lingcod, yellowtail or halibut. The yellowtail bite has been slow along the coast with the best chance at finding yellowtail being while fishing off the stretch of coast between the upper end of La Jolla and Torrey Pines. There are occasional showings of yellowtail found on the surface in this sector and sonar marks and meter marks have also led to yellowtail action. There have also been occasional showings of yellowtail outside of the Green Tank at Point Loma and this morning it was reported to be looking fishy off the Whistler Buoy at Point Loma. The report from the Whistler Buoy area was that there was a good amount of bird life and bait and that the water had cleaned up and warmed up to 64 degrees.


To try and locate yellowtail, look for sonar marks, meter marks and spots of fish that are up working on the surface. A good depth range off La Jolla and Torrey Pines has been in 10 to 18 fathoms of water. Fish the yellowtail on the surface if you can get a mackerel, sardine or surface iron jig to the fish before they sound. Otherwise, fish the yellows deep with yo-yo iron or a dropper loop rig fished sardine or mackerel. Private boaters might also want to try slow trolling with live sardines or live mackerel. Trolled Rapalas have also produced some yellowtail action for private boaters.


The remainder of the fishing along the San Diego County coast has been mostly hard bottom and structure fishing for a good mixed bag of reds, rockfish, sand bass, calico bass, whitefish and sculpin. There have also been a few bonus lingcod and halibut biting.


Productive rockfish areas have been the International Reef, the Imperial Beach Pipeline, hard bottom areas in the region of the Whistler Buoy at Point Loma, the Point Loma Pipeline, the Green Tank, The 270 to the west of Mission Bay, La Jolla, Del Mar, Leucadia and Box Canyon.


Hard bottom and structure areas have been best for the bass and sculpin with productive areas being the Imperial Beach Pipeline, 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.


There have been a few halibut biting in coastal areas. Some productive halibut areas include Box Canyon, the sandy bottom next to the structure of the artificial reefs off Oceanside, the sandy bottom off South Ponto Beach, the sandy bottom next to the structure of the sunken NEL Tower located outside of Mission Beach, the sandy bottom next to the structure of the Yukon Shipwreck located outside of Mission Beach, San Diego Bay and while fishing sandy bottom areas outside of the Imperial Beach Pier.


There are some signs that halibut might be getting more active. A midweek report from a Skipper fishing off Imperial Beach was that he saw a commercial boat gaff about eight of the 15-to 20-pound size halibut while fishing in 20 fathoms of water. The water in the area was responding to the recently improved weather conditions and was reported to have cleaned up and warmed to 63.5 degrees.


Some of the best surface fishing of the past week has been found out at San Clemente Island where there has been a good mix of yellowtail, calico bass, bonito, barracuda and assorted bottom fish biting. The yellowtail bite has been varied with some days of very good yellowtail action and some days when the yellowtail bite has been just fair.


Productive areas for the surface fishing have been along the front side of the Island for boats fishing between Gold Bluff and White Rock. Some of the yellowtail have been biting while sitting on the anchor and chumming and other yellowtail action has been found by stopping on sonar marks or meter marks. Sardines, surface iron and yo-yo iron have been working once yellowtail are located.


Prior to the recent bad weather, Catalina Island had been producing a bit of surface fishing action for a mix of calico bass, barracuda and bonito along with an occasional white seabass or yellowtail. The best areas for a chance at finding some surface fishing action have been off Orange Rock, Salta Verde, Church Rock and the East End Light.


There has been a bit of squid to catch for bait at night off Ben Weston and this morning, Friday morning, May 31,2019 there have been a couple of squid boats offering squid for sale while anchored up off Avalon. Try to raise squid boats on VHF channels 72 and 11.


* * *


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.


•   •   •   •   •

We hope you enjoyed this article on our no-charge website wonews.com. Of course, this site contains only a small fraction of the stories that Western Outdoor Publications produces each week in its two northern and southern editions and its special supplements. You can subscribe to the print issue that is mailed weekly and includes the easy flip-page full-color digital issues, or you can purchase a digital only subscription. Click here to see the choice.


FISH BITE GOOD WHEN WEATHER ALLOWS

The past week of fishing has been highlighted by a mix of bluefin tuna and yellowtail that have been biting in offshore waters as well as by yellowtail that have been biting at some of the local islands and at La Jolla.The bites have been lacking some in consistency from day to day but some of that inconsistency has likely been due to the weather conditions which have included days of strong winds, high seas and some rain.



It is Friday afternoon, May 17, 2019 as this report is being written and the current NOAA weather forecast for the coastal waters from San Mateo Point to the Mexican Border and out to 30 nautical miles has Small Craft Advisories posted.Those Small Craft Advisories are currently forecasted to remain in effect through this evening (Friday evening) with breezy conditions and a chance of showers remaining in the forecast through the weekend.It is good practice to always check the marine weather forecast before you go boating or fishing.


In offshore waters region that has been producing bluefin tuna along with some kelp paddie yellowtail has been while fishing around and about some of the offshorebanks below and outside of the Coronado Islands such as the 371 Bank, 425 Bank, 475 Knuckle, Upper Hidden Bank and 390 Bank.Of all those areas, the region below the 425 Bank while fishing 25 to 30 miles 175 to 185 degrees from Point Loma has been the best in recent days.


The bluefin have been running from 25 to 275+ pounds with most of the fish falling within the 50 to 100 pound range.As an example of the recent fishing, Fisherman's Landing reports that the Condor, Shogun and Tomahawk fished 1.5 day trip on Thursday, May 16, 2019.The Condor had a fish count of 10 anglers catching 15 of the 60 to 80 pound bluefin, the Shogun had 11 anglers catch 5 of the 60 to 80 pound bluefin and the Tomahawk had 9 anglers catch a 135 pound bluefin.


Bluefin action has been coming from stopping on sonar marks, meter marks, spots of puddling fish, spots of breaking fish and spots of breezing fish.A pattern of the past couple of days of fishing is that some of the best bluefin action has come from stops that are found from meter marks or sonar marks that are found in the dark or from stops that are found from meter marks, sonar marks or spots of breezing fish that are discovered during the twilight hours of the early morning or the evening.


Kelp paddie yellowtail help to supplement the bluefin fishing and the right kelp paddie can produce very good action.Most of the yellowtail have been running between 8 and 12 pounds. A 25 pound test live bait outfit works well for the kelp paddie yellowtail.


Flylined sardines, sinker fished sardines, sardines fished from a kite and flat fall jigs have been working well for the bluefin. Using flying fish or mackerel would also be effective for targeting the larger bluefin. When fishing bluefin, if you have the tackle and the room for the tackle on the boat, it is nice to be able to carry live bait outfits with fluorocarbon leader sizes ranging from 30 pound test to 100 pound test to be able to use an appropriate leader size based on how aggressive the bluefin are and what size fish you are encountering in the school of fish you are working.


The yellowtail fishing at the Coronado Islands has been very good during much of the week but the bite did drop off some in the choppy weather on Thursday, May 16, 2019.Before the choppy weather arrived, the Mission Belle out of Point Loma Sportfishing had 35 anglers on a full day trip fishing on Wednesday, May 15, 2019 who caught 127 yellowtail, 15 bonito, 9 rockfish and 1 calico bass.Also fishing on Wednesday, was the Grande out of H&M Landing that had 38 anglers on a full day trip catch 112 yellowtail and 35 bonito.In the choppy weather conditions on Thursday, May 16, 2019, the yellowtail were still biting pretty well and the San Diego out of Seaforth Sportfishing had 32 anglers on a full day trip catch 30 yellowtail.


The best areas for locating yellowtail have been at the Middle Grounds, the area 1 to 2 miles inside of the Middle Grounds and along the weather side of North Island. Look for meter marks, sonar marks, trolling strikes on X-Rap Rapalas and spots of breezing fish to locate schools of yellowtail.


Once located, yellowtail have been biting on surface iron, yo-yo iron, stick bait jigs, sardines fished on a dropper loop rig and flylined sardines.Fish the yellows on the surface if you can get the flylined bait or surface iron jig to the fish before they sound.Try the yo-yo iron or a dropper loop fished sardine if the fish are holding deep or have sounded by the time you get to the spot.


Good yo-yo jig choices would include Salas 6X, Salas 7X and Tady 4/0 jigs in blue and white, scrambled egg and sardine colors.Good surface iron jig choices would include Tady 45's and Salas 7X lights in blue and white, mint and sardine colors.


Private boater John Carroll of the Huachinango reported fishing at the Coronados on Tuesday, May 14, 2019.He said that they tried North Island and the Middle Grounds during the early morning hours and found the yellowtail fishing to be slow.He said they then ran down to the Rockpile and found lots of bonito biting. After having some fun catching a bunch of bonito, they next came up to the South Kelp Ridge where there were lots of short sized barracuda biting which they caught and released.Carroll had to make a short day of it and headed for Point Loma at around noon.While on the way back to Point Loma he got a report from a friend who was fishing at the Middle Grounds who said that the yellows had come up during the early afternoon hours and were biting for them.


The fishing for an assortment of rockfish around the Coronado Islands has been very good. Good areas for the 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 and northwest of North Island while fishing in 35 to 50 fathoms of water.

The fishing along the San Diego County coast has been good for a mix of sand bass, calico bass, reds, rockfish and sculpin and at times there have been some yellowtail biting at the upper end of La Jolla.The yellowtail bite at the upper end of La Jolla has been best during the afternoon hours but the bite has been fading since the first part of the week.What was some encouraging news on the surface fishing front in coastal waters is that there were some nice sized bonito biting this morning (Friday morning, May 17, 2019) for a boat that was chasing spots of breaking fish around at the Whistler Buoy area off Point Loma.


For the yellowtail, look for sonar marks, meter marks and spots of fish that are up working on the surface in an area ranging from the upper end of La Jolla up to Torrey Pines with the upper end of La Jolla usually being the best.A good depth range is in 11 to 18 fathoms of water.Fish the yellowtail on the surface if you can get a mackerel, sardine or surface iron jig to the fish before they sound.Otherwise, fish the yellows deep with yo-yo iron or a dropper loop rig fished sardine or mackerel.Private boaters might also want to try slow trolling with live sardines or live mackerel.Trolled Rapalas have also produced some yellowtail action for private boaters trolling off the upper end of La Jolla.


The upper and middle parts of La Jolla have also been providing some calico bass surface fishing action in the kelp beds.The afternoon hours have been best for the calicos.


The remainder of the fishing along the San Diego County coast has been good for a mixed bag of reds, rockfish, sand bass, calico bass, whitefish and sculpin.There have also been a few bonus lingcod and halibut biting.


Productive rockfish areas have been the International Reef, the Imperial Beach Pipeline, hard bottom areas in the region of the Whistler Buoy at Point Loma, the Point Loma Pipeline, the Green Tank, The 270 to the west of Mission Bay, La Jolla, Del Mar, Leucadia and Box Canyon.


Hard bottom and structure areas have been best for the bass and sculpin with productive areas being the Imperial Beach Pipeline, the hard bottom to the north and northwest of Buoy #3 at Point Loma, the Point Loma Pipeline, 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.


There have been a few halibut biting in coastal areas.Some productive halibut areas include Box Canyon, the sandy bottom next to the structure of the artificial reefs off Oceanside, the sandy bottom off South Ponto Beach, the sandy bottom next to the structure of the sunken NEL Tower located outside of Mission Beach, the sandy bottom next to the structure of the Yukon Shipwreck located outside of Mission Beach, San Diego Bay and while fishing sandy bottom areas outside of the Imperial Beach Pier.


Prior to the recent days of sloppy weather, there were yellowtail biting well at San Clemente Island for boats fishing the Runway and West Cove area off the back side western part of the Island and for boats fishing between the Gold Bluff and White Rock areas along the front side of the Island.Some of the yellowtail were biting while sitting on the anchor and chumming and other yellowtail action was being found by stopping on sonar marks or meter marks.Sardines, surface iron and yo-yo iron have been working once yellowtail are located. There has also been a bit of squid to catch for bait at night off Pyramid Cove and a few yellowtail have been biting while fishing the ridge areas outside of Pyramid Cove.


Catalina Island also saw some pretty good to sometimes very good numbers of yellowtail biting prior to the arrival of the recent sloppy weather. The front side of Catalina Island has seen occasional flurries of yellowtail action and a couple of productive zones have been while fishing outside of Indian Rock and while fishing between the Blue Cavern State Marine Conservation Area and the Long Point State Marine Reserve.On the back side of the Island there has been a bit of squid to be found to catch for bait outside of Ben Weston. There has been a chance at scratching out a white seabass or yellowtail while fishing off the V's, Salta Verde, Little Harbor and West Cove.Live squid would be good bait for white seabass or yellowtail, otherwise try sardines or fresh frozen squid.


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.

Jumbo sized bluefin tuna biting!
The past week of fishing has been another good one that has been highlighted by big bluefin tuna and yellowtail that have been biting offshore. The past few days have seen more of the jumbo sized bluefin tuna included in the mix with a 275 pound bluefin tuna caught aboard the American Angler out of Point Loma Sportfishing on Wednesday, May 1, 2019. Wednesday's catch aboard the American Angler was a very good one with a fish count of 35 bluefin tuna and 37 yellowtail. The size of their bluefin was very impressive with most in the 60- to 80-pound range. What put it over the top was that in addition to all their 60- to 80-pound bluefin they also caught three of the 140-pound bluefin along with bluefin of 233 pounds and 275 pounds!

Wednesday's catch aboard the Pacific Queen out of Fisherman's Landing was also very impressive one with 30 anglers aboard a 1.5 day trip catching limits of bluefin tuna, which was 60 bluefin tuna. The size of the bluefin in their catch was very impressive with most in the 50 to 80-pound range along with two of the 130-pound bluefin and a whopping 270-pound bluefin.


The best zone for the bluefin is spread around in the regions of the 371 Bank, 390 Bank and Upper Hidden Bank in an area that ranges from 30 to 45 miles 180 to 210 degrees from Point Loma. The bluefin have been ranging from 25 to 275 pounds with most falling within the 40- to 80-pound range.


Bluefin action has been coming from stopping on sonar marks, meter marks, spots of puddling fish, spots of breaking fish and spots of breezing fish. Some of the best stops have been started by finding a meter mark or sonar mark to stop in the dark.


Sardines and flat fall jigs have been working for the bluefin with flylined sardines working best. Using flying fish or mackerel would also be effective for targeting the larger bluefin. It is nice to be able to carry live bait outfits with fluorocarbon leader sizes ranging from 30-pound test to 100-pound test to be able to use an appropriate leader size based on how aggressive the bluefin are and what size fish you are encountering in the school of fish you are working.


Kelp paddie yellowtail help to supplement the bluefin fishing and the right kelp paddie can produce very good action. Most of the yellowtail have been running between 4 and 12 pounds.

There has not been much news coming from the Coronado Islands lately as the yellowtail fishing slowed last weekend. The slowing of the yellowtail bite at the Coronados coincided with the improvement of the bluefin and kelp paddie yellowtail fishing in local offshore waters and this prompted most of the boats that had been fishing full day trips to the Coronado Islands to switch over to running offshore full day trips.


This morning is Friday morning, May 3, 2019 and there was a report of a few bonito biting around the Coronados for a boat that was trolling feathers off the weather side of North Island. Places that were providing yellowtail action before the bite slipped last weekend were the hard bottom to the northeast of North Island, the Middle Grounds, the 5 Minute Kelp, the South Kelp and the South Kelp Ridge.


Most of the schools of yellowtail were being located by finding sonar marks and meter marks but there were also spots of fish found under working birds. Private boaters also had some success in locating schools of yellowtail to fish with bait and jigs by getting trolling strikes on trolled X-Rap Rapalas.


Once located, yellowtail were been biting on surface iron, yo-yo iron, sardines fished on a dropper loop rig and flylined sardines. Fish the yellows on the surface if you can get the flylined bait or surface iron jig to the fish before they sound. Try the yo-yo iron or the dropper loop fished sardine if the fish are holding deep or have sounded by the time you get to the spot.


Good yo-yo jig choices would include Salas 6X, Salas 7X and Tady 4/0 jigs in blue and white, scrambled egg and sardine colors. Good surface iron jig choices would include Tady 45's and Salas 7X lights in blue and white, mint and sardine colors.


The fishing for an assortment of rockfish around the Coronado Islands has also been very good. Good areas for the 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 and northwest of North Island while fishing in 35 to 50 fathoms of water.


The fishing along the San Diego County coast has been good for a mix of sand bass, calico bass, reds, rockfish and sculpin and the upper end of La Jolla produced some yellowtail action for the New Seaforth out of Seaforth Sportfishing on Thursday afternoon, May 2, 2019. The New Seaforth posted an afternoon half-day trip count of 10 anglers catching 27 calico bass, 6 yellowtail, 2 rockfish and 1 sand bass. Seaforth Sportfishing reports that the yellowtail were nice sized fish that were up in the 20- to 25-pound class.


Look for sonar marks, meter marks and spots of fish working on the surface to locate the yellowtail at La Jolla. A good depth range is in 14 to 20 fathoms of water. Fish the yellowtail on the surface if you can get a mackerel, sardine or surface iron jig to the fish before they sound. Otherwise, fish the yellows deep with yo-yo iron or a dropper loop rig fished sardine or mackerel. Private boaters might also want to try slow trolling with live sardines or live mackerel.


The upper and middle parts of La Jolla are also providing good calico bass kelp bed fishing. The best calico bass fishing in the kelp beds has been during the afternoon hours.


The remainder of the fishing along the San Diego County coast has been good for a mixed bag of reds, rockfish, sand bass, calico bass, whitefish and sculpin. There have also been a few bonus lingcod and halibut biting.


Productive rockfish areas remain the International Reef, the Imperial Beach Pipeline, hard bottom areas in the region of the Whistler Buoy at Point Loma, the Point Loma Pipeline, the Green Tank, The 270 to the west of Mission Bay, La Jolla, Del Mar, Leucadia and Box Canyon.


Hard bottom and structure areas have been best for the bass and sculpin with productive areas being the Imperial Beach Pipeline, the hard bottom to the north and northwest of Buoy #3 at Point Loma, the Point Loma Pipeline, the Green Tank, the Jetty Kelp outside of Mission Bay, the Variety Kelp area below the MLPA closure area at the lower end of La Jolla, the upper end of La Jolla, Del Mar, the Anderson and Buccaneer Pipelines, the artificial reefs outside of Oceanside and Box Canyon.


There have been a few halibut biting in coastal areas. Some productive halibut areas include the sandy bottom near the Aliso Pipeline off South Laguna Beach, Box Canyon, the area outside of the Oceanside Pier, the sandy bottom off South Ponto Beach, the sandy bottom next to the structure of the sunken NEL Tower located outside of Mission Beach, the sandy bottom next to the structure of the Yukon Shipwreck located outside of Mission Beach, San Diego Bay and while fishing sandy bottom areas outside of the Imperial Beach Pier.


San Clemente Island was good for yellowtail last week but the bite slowed down and was pretty scratchy during this week. Good news is that the yellowtail bite has picked up today (Friday, May 3, 2019) with better numbers of yellows being metered and biting compared to what was being found during the week.


The best of the yellowtail activity has been found along the inside western and middle part of the Island between Gold Bluff and White Rock. Sonar marks, meter marks and the occasional spot of fish found working on the surface are leading to action. Sardines, surface iron and yo-yo iron have been working best once yellowtail are located.


* * *


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.


• • • • •

We hope you enjoyed this article on our no-charge website wonews.com. Of course, this site contains only a small fraction of the stories that Western Outdoor Publications produces each week in its two northern and southern editions and its special supplements. You can subscribe to the print issue that is mailed weekly and includes the easy flip-page full-color digital issues, or you can purchase a digital only subscription. Click here to see the choice.


We want to hear about your fishing trip and see your catch. Send us an email of where you went, what bait/lures worked, sea conditions and of course, the fish you caught!

Email us at Bob976bite@aol.com to send us your report and/or pictures now (please, .gif & .jpg formats only)! You can also telephone in your reports to:

(619) 226-8218

Bluefin tuna and yellowtail highlight action!
The past week of fishing has been another good one with bluefin tuna and yellowtail biting offshore and with yellowtail biting well at the Coronado Islands and beginning to bite better out at San Clemente Island. The past week of weather in the San Diego region has been pretty good overall with some days of breeze and chop but without any rain or Small Craft Advisories being posted.

The bluefin tuna fishing was very good early in the week but the past couple of days have seen increasing numbers of kelp paddie yellowtail in the count and lesser numbers of bluefin. The good news about the bluefin fishing is that the area where the fish have been biting has been moving closer to Point Loma since midweek and is now between 45 and 60 miles from Point Loma.


As an example of the bluefin tuna and offshore kelp paddie yellowtail fishing, there were quite a few boats that caught their limits of bluefin tuna on Tuesday, April 23, 2019. The bluefin counts have been slipping some since that time and as an example of the more recent fishing, Fisherman's Landing reports that they had the Shogun and Pegasus out fishing 1.5 day trips on Thursday, April 25, 2019 which returned home this morning, which is Friday morning, April 26, 2019. The fish count on the Shogun was 31 anglers catching 20 yellowtail and 25 of the 25- to 60-pound bluefin tuna. The fish count on the Pegasus was 20 anglers catching 100 yellowtail and 4 bluefin tuna. Fisherman's Landing also reports having an early update from the Condor that is fishing a 1.5 day trip today and that reported having 150 yellowtail aboard for 37 anglers with lots of fishing time left in the day.


Early in the week, boats were finding action while fishing down by the Lower 500 Bank and 1140 Finger in an area spread from 75 to 90 miles 163 to 165 degrees from Point Loma. The area where most of the fish are being caught has been moving steadily uphill toward Point Loma since that time with the past couple of days seeing the action spread from the area below and outside of the 475 Knuckle on down to the area of the of the 238 Spot to where you are fishing from 45 to 65 miles 165 to 170 degrees from Point Loma.

The bluefin have been ranging from 25 to 130 pounds with most falling within the 25- to 80-pound range. Bluefin action has been coming from stopping on sonar marks, meter marks and spots of breezing fish. Sardines and flat fall jigs have been working for the bluefin with flylined sardines working best. It is nice to be able to carry live bait outfits with fluorocarbon leader sizes ranging from 30- pound test to 100-pound test to be able to use an appropriate leader based on how aggressive the bluefin are and what size fish you are encountering in the school of fish you are working.


As the bluefin action has become more hit or miss, the kelp paddie yellowtail fishing has been picking up with near limit to limit catches of yellowtail being posted over the past few days. Most of the yellowtail are running between 4 and 8 pounds.


There has also been good yellowtail fishing on 10- to 15-pound fish being found around the Coronado Islands with the better recent full day trip sportboat counts being up around the 70 mark on yellowtail to go with a mix of bonito and rockfish. Productive areas for the yellowtail around the Coronado Islands have been the weather side of North Island, the hard bottom to the northeast of North Island, the Middle Grounds, the north end of South Island, the 5 Minute Kelp, the South Kelp and the South Kelp Ridge. The most consistent of those areas have been the area inside of the Middle Grounds and the area of the South Kelp Ridge below South Island.


Some fish counts from Thursday, April 25, 2019 start with Fisherman's Landing that had the Liberty fishing a full day trip with 46 anglers who caught 60 yellowtail, 7 bonito and 5 calico bass. Seaforth Sportfishing had the San Diego fishing a full day trip with 34 anglers who caught 70 yellowtail, 8 bonito, 1 calico bass and 1 barracuda. H&M Landing had the Grande fishing a full day trip with 32 anglers who caught 29 yellowtail, 10 rockfish and 10 bonito. Point Loma Sportfishing had the Mission Belle fishing a full day trip with 20 anglers who caught 46 yellowtail, 12 calico bass, 5 rockfish and 1 bonito.


Most of the schools of yellowtail are being located by finding sonar marks and meter marks but there have been more and more spots of fish found under working birds. Private boaters have also had some success in locating schools of yellowtail to fish with bait and jigs by getting trolling strikes on trolled X-Rap Rapalas. Once located, yellowtail have been biting on surface iron, yo-yo iron, sardines fished on a dropper loop rig and flylined sardines. Fish the yellows on the surface if you can get the flylined bait or surface iron jig to the fish before they sound. Try the yo-yo iron or the dropper loop fished sardine if the fish are holding deep or have sounded by the time you get to the spot.


Good yo-yo jig choices would include Salas 6X, Salas 7X and Tady 4/0 jigs in blue and white, scrambled egg and sardine colors. Good surface iron jig choices would include Tady 45's and Salas 7X lights in blue and white, mint and sardine colors.


There have also been some pretty good numbers of bonito biting incidental to fishing for yellowtail at the Coronados and some private boat anglers that have come in close to the Islands to fish around boiler rocks have reported very good calico bass fishing. The fishing for an assortment of rockfish has also been very good. Good areas for the 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 and northwest of North Island while fishing in 35 to 50 fathoms of water.


The fishing along the San Diego County coast has shown improved surface fishing activity for calico bass and yellowtail. There has been recent yellowtail activity reported around the Whistler Buoy at Point Loma and outside of both the lower end of La Jolla and the upper end of La Jolla. The water has recently warmed to where it is 65 degrees and blue and the increase in yellowtail activity has come along with those improved water conditions. There has not been a whole lot in the way of biting yellowtail but it is hoped that the improved numbers of fish showing in the area will soon lead to improved yellowtail action.


Most of the coastal oriented yellowtail have been the 15- to 25-pound fish and when they do decide to show, they have been located by finding meter marks, sonar marks and spots of working birds. Fish the yellowtail on the surface if you can get the live bait or surface iron jig to the fish before they sound. Otherwise, fish the yellows deep with yo-yo iron or a dropper loop rig fished sardine or mackerel. There has been a bit of squid to be caught for bait around the upper end of La Jolla and if you can jig up some live squid, that would certainly also be something good to try for the yellowtail.


The recently improved coastal water conditions sparked improved calico bass fishing at La Jolla on Thursday afternoon, April 25, 2019 when the New Seaforth out of Seaforth Sportfishing had a very good afternoon half day trip of calico bass fishing. The New Seaforth had a fish count of 31 anglers on an afternoon half-day trip catching 80 calico bass, 4 whitefish, 3 sheephead, 1 rockfish and 160 calico bass that were released.


The remainder of the fishing along the San Diego County coast has been good for a mixed bag of reds, rockfish, sand bass, calico bass, whitefish and sculpin. There have also been a few bonus lingcod and halibut biting along with a very occasional white seabass. A few bonito have also been biting for boats fishing around the Whistler Buoy at Point Loma.


Productive rockfish areas remain the International Reef, the Imperial Beach Pipeline, hard bottom areas in the region of the Whistler Buoy at Point Loma, the Point Loma Pipeline, the Green Tank, The 270 to the west of Mission Bay, La Jolla, Del Mar, Leucadia and Box Canyon.


Hard bottom and structure areas have been best for the bass and sculpin with productive areas being the Imperial Beach Pipeline, the hard bottom to the north and northwest of Buoy #3 at Point Loma, the Point Loma Pipeline, the Green Tank, the Jetty Kelp outside of Mission Bay, the Variety Kelp area below the MLPA closure area at the lower end of La Jolla, the upper end of La Jolla, Del Mar, the Anderson and Buccaneer Pipelines, the artificial reefs outside of Oceanside and Box Canyon.


There have been a few halibut biting in coastal areas. Some productive halibut areas include the sandy bottom near the Aliso Pipeline off South Laguna Beach, Box Canyon, the area outside of the Oceanside Pier, the sandy bottom off South Ponto Beach, the sandy bottom next to the structure of the sunken NEL Tower located outside of Mission Beach, the sandy bottom next to the structure of the Yukon Shipwreck located outside of Mission Beach, San Diego Bay and while fishing sandy bottom areas outside of the Imperial Beach Pier.


San Clemente Island has shown significant improvement in the yellowtail action with some good fishing for 10- to 20-pound yellowtail being reported this morning, Friday morning, April 26, 2019. Boats fishing the ridge areas outside of the Pyramid Cove and the China Point region have found good yellowtail action on yo-yoed iron and live squid. The action is coming from spots of fish that are being located by finding working birds, meter marks and sonar marks. A good depth range to locate the yellowtail has been in 15 to 20 fathoms of water. Another productive area where some yellowtail have been biting has been while fishing along the front side of the Island around Purse Seine Rock and White Rock.


Up at Catalina, there has been some squid to be caught for bait at night off the V's and outside of Ben Weston with the Ben Weston area tending to be the best. The fishing for white seabass and yellowtail remains scratchy though with an occasional flurry of action being reported. Best areas for a chance at scratching out a white seabass or yellowtail at Catalina have been while fishing outside of the V's and Salta Verde as well as off the area between Ribbon Rock and the West End.


* * *


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.


•   •   •   •   •

We hope you enjoyed this article on our no-charge website wonews.com. Of course, this site contains only a small fraction of the stories that Western Outdoor Publications produces each week in its two northern and southern editions and its special supplements. You can subscribe to the print issue that is mailed weekly and includes the easy flip-page full-color digital issues, or you can purchase a digital only subscription. Click here to see the choice.


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