CALIFORNIA'S ONLY SPORTSMAN'S NEWS SINCE 1953

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


Bluefin tuna and yellowtail bites continue!
The past week of fishing has seen very good and steady fishing that has been highlighted by excellent fishing for yellowtail and bluefin tuna. The yellowtail have been biting well around the Coronado Islands and the bluefin tuna have been biting well for boats fishing the region above and inside of the Lower 500 Bank that is located below and outside of Ensenada. There has been some days of breezy weather during the past week but in the overall picture, anglers have finally gotten a break from the pattern of a steady progression of weather systems that have been passing through Southern California since the first part of the year.

Bluefin tuna have been biting well for boats fishing the area above and inside of the Lower 500 Bank down between 84 and 98 miles at162 degrees from Point Loma. The bluefin have been ranging from 25 to 160 pounds with most falling within the 50- to 90-pound range. 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 sardines working best.


I talked with an angler who fished a recent trip aboard the Tomahawk out of Fisherman's Landing who reported that most of their bluefin hookups came from flylined sardines. In addition to the flylined sardines he said they also had action on sardines that were fished from a kite. He personally caught an 80+ pound bluefin and lost 3 additional bluefin hookups on fish that were considerably larger. He started out using 40-pound test fluorocarbon leader and he said that the 40 pound test size leader was too light for the size fish they were hooking. He kept on using progressively heavier fluorocarbon leader material up to 100-pound test and at the end of the day his suggestion was to use between 60-pound test and 100-pound test fluorocarbon leaders.


As an example of the recent fishing some fish counts from the fishing on Thursday, April 18, 2019 and Friday morning, April 19, 2019 start with Fisherman's Landing that reported that the Tomahawk was out on a 1.5 day trip on Thursday and had limits of 50 to 80 pound bluefin tuna and 11 yellowtail for their 28 anglers. Fisherman's Landing also had a Friday morning report from the Shogun that had 59 of the 50- to 80-pound bluefin aboard for Friday morning's fishing on the last day of their 4 day trip.


Seaforth Sportfishing has a Friday morning report from the Outer Limits that is out on a 1.5 day trip and is reporting 11 of the 40- to 70-pound bluefin tuna aboard and is still fishing. Point Loma Sportfishing reports having an update from the Chief's 1.5 day trip which had 47 bluefin tuna aboard and was still fishing. The bluefin aboard the Chief were averaging 75 to 80 pounds and they had a big fish aboard of 130 pounds.


There has also been very good yellowtail fishing around the Coronado Islands with some limit catches being reported. Most of the yellowtail have been running from 10 to 15 pounds and productive areas have been the hard bottom to the northeast of North Island, the Middle Grounds and the Rockpile.


Some fish counts from Thursday, April 18, 2019 start with Point Loma Sportfishing that had the Mission Belle fishing a full day trip with 36 anglers who caught 180 yellowtail and 20 bonito. H&M Landing had the Grande fishing a full day trip with 41 anglers who caught 109 yellowtail and 28 bonito. H&M Landing also had the Vendetta fishing a full day trip with 6 anglers who caught 30 yellowtail. Fisherman's Landing had the Liberty fishing a full day trip with 46 anglers who caught 123 yellowtail and 13 bonito. Seaforth Sportfishing had the San Diego fishing a full day trip with 53 anglers who caught 24 bonito and 167 yellowtail.


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. The 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 jigs 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.


In addition to the very good yellowtail action at the Coronados, something new and different that was reported to be very good was the calico bass fishing. The report was that there was very good calico bass fishing on fish to 6+ pounds that was found while fishing with Tady 45 surface iron in close to the rocks at the Middle Grounds and in close to the rocks around the north end of South Island.


There have also been some pretty good numbers of bonito biting incidental to fishing for yellowtail at the Coronados and the fishing for an assortment of rockfish 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 provided a chance at finding some yellowtail action but the coastal oriented yellowtail fishing has been inconsistent and mostly scratchy. Areas where occasional yellowtail activity has been reported has been outside of La Jolla, Torrey Pines, and the stretch between Solana Beach and Carlsbad. Look for areas of bait and working birds out in the 14 to 25 fathom depths as the yellows tend to pop up around the spots of bait.


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 sardine or a mackerel that is fished on a dropper loop rig. 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 remainder of the fishing along the San Diego County coast has been good for a mix 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 new development is that a few bonito entered the picture 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, the upper end of 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.


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 with an occasional flurry of action reported. Best areas for a chance at scratching out a white seabass or yellowtail 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.


San Clemente Island has also been producing good numbers of rockfish and an occasional yellowtail. Yo-yo iron and live squid have produced an occasional yellowtail while fishing the ridge areas outside of Pyramid Cove and one of the best yellowtail reports was from several days ago when a private boater was slow trolling live mackerel and live sardines in the White Rock area on the front side of the Island and picking up an occasional yellowtail.


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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.


•   •   •   •   •

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 tuna and yellowtail spice early spring fishing!
Southern California anglers have had to stay off the water during much of the week due to the weather. There were Gale Warnings posted for a couple of days early in the week and there are currently Small Craft Advisories posted that are forecasted to remain in effect through late tonight. Today is Friday, April 12, 2019.


Last weekend's fishing saw a few boats catch bluefin tuna while fishing in an area ranging from the waters a short way below the 425 Bank that is located below and outside of the Coronado Islands on down to the offshore waters outside of Ensenada while working the area inside of the 238 Spot and also below and inside of the 450 Spot.


The catches made last weekend were highlighted by the Old Glory out of H&M Landing fishing on Saturday, April 6, 2019 and having 30 anglers on a 1.5 day trip catch 60 bluefin tuna and 27 yellowtail. H&M Landing reported that the bluefin were running from 20 to 60 pounds and had a 40-pound average. Not much has been happening on bluefin during the week with the poor weather keeping most boats tied to the dock. The Condor out of Fisherman's Landing fished on Thursday, April 11, 2019 and had a 1.5 day trip find offshore action on bonito and yellowtail and return with 11 anglers catching 55 bonito and 45 yellowtail.


The bluefin have been found in water temperatures ranging from 62 to 63 degrees. Most of the bluefin action has originated from stopping and drifting on sonar marks and meter marks and some of the best action has come from stops that have started by stopping on a sonar mark or meter mark that is found in the dark. The meter marks and sonar marks are likely to be found in areas where there is a good amount of bird life. Sardines and glow in the dark flat fall jigs have been working for the bluefin tuna. I am thinking that some more bluefin might be located and found biting this weekend with improving weather and with better coverage with more boats out looking.


The yellowtail bite at the Coronado Islands has been very good when the weather has allowed fishing. Sportboats on full day trips were able to fish in somewhat of a break in the weather on Thursday, April 11, 2019 and they had excellent fishing for yellowtail and bonito. Thursday's fishing saw the San Diego out of Seaforth Sportfishing have a full day trip with 41 anglers catch 205 yellowtail. The Mission Belle out of Point Loma Sportfishing had a full day trip with 30 anglers catch 77 yellowtail and 45 bonito. H&M Landing had a full day trip aboard the Grande fishing with 33 anglers who caught 129 yellowtail, 38 bonito and 25 rockfish. The Liberty out of Fisherman's Landing had a full day trip with 41 anglers catch 167 yellowtail and 14 bonito.


Most of the yellowtail have been found biting in the region of the Rockpile and the schools of yellows are moving around and need to be located each day. The zones where yellowtail have been found in recent days are in the region to the west of the Rockpile, the region to the southwest of the Rockpile, the region to the southeast of the Rockpile and the region to the east of the Rockpile.


Most of the schools of yellowtail are being located by finding sonar marks and meter marks but there are occasional spots of yellowtail found under working birds as well. Most of the yellowtail have been in the 10- to 15-pound range and they have been going to 20 pounds. The yellowtail have been biting on surface iron, yo-yo iron, sardines fished on a dropper loop rig and flylined sardines.


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.


Fish the yellows on the surface if you can get the flylined bait or surface jig to them 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.


There have been some bonito to 10+ pounds biting incidental to fishing for yellowtail and the fishing for an assortment of rockfish 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 also provided a chance at finding some yellowtail action but the coastal oriented yellowtail fishing has been inconsistent. The water conditions have been unstable with the strong winds that we have had during a good part of this week. A stretch of good weather should go a long way toward stabilizing the water conditions and getting more consistency to the showings of coastal oriented yellowtail.


Areas where yellowtail activity has been reported over the past week or so have been outside of La Jolla, Torrey Pines, and the stretch between Solana Beach and Carlsbad. Look for areas of bait and working birds out in the 14 to 25 fathom depths as the yellows tend to pop up around the spots of bait.


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 diving birds. A good depth range to be looking in is 14 to 25 fathoms of water. Similar to the yellowtail fishing around the Coronados, 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 sardine or a mackerel that is fished on a dropper loop rig. There has been a bit of squid to be caught for bait around La Jolla and if you can get some live squid, that would certainly be something good to try for the yellowtail as well.


The remainder of the fishing along the San Diego County coast has been good for a mix 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, the upper end of 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.


Private boater Mike Seymour of the Sea Section reported about fishing along the coast for a few hours on a trip out of San Diego Bay on Thursday, April 11, 2019. Seymour reported that it was easy to catch mackerel for bait at the bait receivers in San Diego Bay. He reported that tipping the bait catcher rig's hooks with a strip of frozen anchovy or strip of sardine helped a lot in getting bites from the mackerel.


After catching some mackerel for the bait tank, Seymour said they went outside of the harbor and found some schools of short sized barracuda. They caught and released some short sized barracuda but found nothing doing on legal sized barries. They next went down to make some drifts for halibut outside of the Imperial Beach Pier. He said they made several drifts in the area but were only able to catch and release 2 short sized halibut.


A stretch of nice weather would also likely improve the fishing for white seabass and yellowtail 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 picky though with an occasional flurry of action being reported. Areas where the occasional white seabass or yellowtail activity has been reported 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.


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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.


•   •   •   •   •

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 tuna enter the offshore picture
Yellowtail bite improves!

Bluefin Tuna entered the 2019 offshore picture for the first time since the month of January as Fisherman's Landing reported that the Royal Polaris caught 41 bluefin tuna while fishing between 120 and 140 miles below Point Loma. The bluefin were nice sized fish that were running from 25 to 80 pounds. Some boats are scheduled to go do some more looking around offshore over the upcoming weekend, so hopefully more bluefin will be located during the next few days.



The yellowtail bite at the Coronado Islands has provided some good days of action during the early spring season but the bite has lacked in consistency and the tendency has been for the bite to be good for a few days and then drop off for a few days until such time as more yellowtail are once again located. The good news is that the yellowtail bite is on the upswing once again as after several days of slow yellowtail fishing the San Diego out of Seaforth Sportfishing got onto a good spot of biting yellowtail late Thursday afternoon, April 4, 2019 and ended up with 18 anglers on a full day trip catching 56 reds, 42 bonito and 25 yellowtail. The bite has followed through to today's fishing on Friday, April 5, 2019 as Seaforth Sportfishing is reporting that the San Diego is out on a full day trip and had full limits of 100 yellowtail aboard for their 20 anglers by 10:57 a.m.


Other preliminary reports from today's fishing are that H&M Landing is reporting that the Grande had an 11 a.m. report of having 20 yellowtail aboard. They were still fishing with lots of fishing time left in the day. Fisherman's Landing is reporting that the Liberty is out on a full day trip and has a catch aboard that includes full limits of yellowtail for their 21 anglers.


The best of the yellowtail fishing is being found in the region of the Rockpile and there have also been occasional flurries of yellowtail action during the late afternoon hours for boats fishing along the weather side of North Island and at the Middle Grounds. The yellowtail have been mostly 10- to 20-pound fish and have been biting from stopping on sonar marks, meter marks and spots of breaking fish.


If the yellowtail are found deep or have sounded by the time you reach them try yo-yo iron or sardines fished on a dropper loop rig. If the fish are at or near the surface, try flylined sardines or surface iron.


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


Pretty good numbers of bonito are being caught incidental to fishing for the yellowtail and there has been very good bottom fishing for reds and an assortment of rockfish. 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 the northwest of North Island while fishing in 35 to 50 fathoms of water.


The fishing along the San Diego County coast has also provided a chance at finding some yellowtail action but the coastal oriented yellowtail fishing has been inconsistent. Some good news is that there was a report that there was a showing of yellowtail outside of the upper end of La Jolla this morning that produced some pretty good action. One private boater Skipper reported having caught 3 yellowtail out of the morning bite.


Most of the yellowtail caught at La Jolla have been the 15- to 25-pound fish and have been caught from fishing meter marks, sonar marks and spots of diving birds. A good depth range to be looking in is 15 to 25 fathoms of water. Similar to the yellowtail fishing around the Coronados, 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 bait that is fished on a dropper loop rig. Sardines and mackerel have been productive live baits for the yellowtail at La Jolla.


In addition to the upper end of La Jolla, there have been sporadic showings of yellowtail along the coast reported from areas such as the waters between the International Reef and the Imperial Beach Pipeline, the zone between the Whistler Buoy off Point Loma and the Point Loma Pipeline, the Green Tank, Torrey Pines and Oceanside.


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


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, the upper end of La Jolla, Del Mar, Leucadia and Box Canyon.


Captain Joe Cacciola of the Sea Star with Sea Star Sportfishing and the Oceanside Sea Center reports that the Oceanside Sea Center boats continue to do well on quality sized rockfish that have included good sized reds that have been going to 4+ pounds. As an example of the fishing, the Oceanside Sea Center had a half day trip aboard the Chubasco II fishing this morning, Friday morning, April 5, 2019 that had 9 anglers catch 72 rockfish and 1 whitefish.


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.


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 continues to be scratchy with an occasional flurry of action on white seabass or yellowtail being reported. Areas where the occasional white seabass or yellowtail activity has been reported 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.


Good fishing for an assortment of rockfish
I bring you this report from the 976bite.com Fish Reports booth at Fred Hall Show in Del Mar. It is Friday, March 29, 2019 and it is the second day of the show. It has been a good turnout so far and the show runs through Sunday. The Del Mar Fred Hall Show is not as huge as the Long Beach Fred Hall Show but it is a big show nonetheless with lots of great things to do and see. I hope to see you at the show!


With regard to the fishing, Southern California anglers are starting to see some more days of spring like weather but there are still some weather systems coming through that are bringing wind, choppy seas and a chance of rain. The spring fishing is season is underway and if the unsettled weather would come to an end, it would likely go a long way toward sparking more springtime surface fishing action.


The yellowtail fishing around the Coronado Islands has turned scratchy with the last good bites being reported last weekend for boats fishing the Finger Bank. There have been a few yellowtail biting in the region of the Rockpile but nothing like the numbers of yellows that had been biting at the Finger Bank last week. The yellowtail around the Coronados have been mostly 10 to 20 pound fish that have been biting from stopping on sonar marks or meter marks. Once yellows are located, the best bet to get them to bite has been to use yo-yoed iron with the Salas 6X, Salas 7X and Tady 4/0 sized jigs reported to be working well. Good color choices would be blue and white, scrambled egg and sardine.


As an example of the recent fishing around the Coronado Islands, the San Diego out of Seaforth Sportfishing fished a full day trip on Thursday, March 28, 2019. They posted a fish count of 28 anglers catching 2 yellowtail, 140 whitefish and 130 rockfish.

The fishing for reds and an assortment of rockfish remains good around the Coronados and there have been a few lingcod in the mix as well. There were a few bonito in the mix with the yellowtail at the Finger Bank and a few bonito have also been scratched out at the Rockpile and along the weather side of North Island.

Good areas for the bottom fishing around the Coronados 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 remains good for a mix of rockfish, sand bass, calico bass and sculpin along with a few bonus lingcod or halibut. There are a few yellowtail biting and an occasional white seabass has been reported as well. The nice weather days tend to produce the best fishing.


The La Jolla region remains the best for a chance at a yellowtail and this morning (Friday morning, March 29, 2019) a private boater reported catching a yellowtail outside of La Jolla while fishing spots of working birds and meter marks with a mint color Hookup Bait plastic jig. There are not many yellowtail biting but there have been a few scratched out of the La Jolla area with the area outside of the upper end of La Jolla tending to be the best bet. There have also been sporadic showings of yellowtail with an occasional yellowtail being caught by boats fishing spots of working birds and meter marks found between Del Mar and Carlsbad.


A very occasional white seabass has been biting along the San Diego area coast and spots where I have reports of white seabass activity are outside of the Green Tank at Point Loma, in the area below the MLPA closure at the lower end of La Jolla and outside of the upper end of La Jolla. There is a chance at finding some squid for bait at night and anglers report finding some squid eggs around in different areas but overall, the fishing for squid to use for bait has been scratchy. The area off the upper end of La Jolla sounds like it provides the best chance at catching some squid at night to use for bait.

Some of the best rockfish fishing areas in the San Diego region that are on the U.S. side of the Mexico border are the International Reef, the Imperial Beach Pipeline, the hard bottom to the west and northwest of the Whistler Buoy at Point Loma, the Green Tank at Point Loma, The 270 to the west of Mission Bay, the upper end of La Jolla, Del Mar, Leucadia and Box Canyon.


In addition to the rockfish fishing along the San Diego County coast there are also some sand bass, sculpin and calico bass biting along with a few bonus halibut. 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 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, the sandy bottom 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.


* * *


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.


Anglers still dodging weather systems During the first days of spring
Spring has officially arrived and there are still weather systems passing through Southern California that are bringing wind, rain and high seas. The good weather days have been providing good fishing on a variety of bottom fishing species and the surface fishing has also shown some sparks with sporadic yellowtail and bonito activity being reported.


The first signs of the spring surface fishing were some yellowtail and bonito that were biting at the Coronado Islands late last week and over the weekend. Boats were fishing meter marks and sonar marks that were found to the southwest, the east and the southeast of the Rockpile and were catching yellowtail on yo-yoed iron and sardines that were fished on dropper loop rigs. The yo-yo iron was working best and the Salas 6X and Salas 6X Jr. sized heavy jigs were working well. The yellowtail were running from 10 to 15 pounds and there were a few bonito to 10 pounds found biting in the area as well.


There has not been much news from the Coronado Islands since Tuesday, March 19, 2019 when the yellowtail bite slowed and there were no yellowtail caught aboard the 3 sportboats that were fishing the area. The weather has been poor since Wednesday and no one has been fishing the Coronados that I know of in the unsettled weather conditions of the past few days.


Private boater, Captain Bob Fletcher of the Fletch went out fishing aboard the San Diego out of Seaforth Sportfishing on Monday, March 18, 2019 and reported about the trip. He said they were fishing to the southeast of the Rockpile and were finding yellowtail and bonito action from stopping on meter marks and sonar marks. The San Diego's count for the day was 20 anglers on a full day trip catching 16 yellowtail, 46 bonito and 100 rockfish. Fletcher said they found some schools of yellowtail that wanted to bite a little bit and some schools of yellowtail that did not want to bite at all. He said the Liberty out of Fisherman's Landing was the boat that found a school of eager biting yellowtail that day and the Liberty ended up with a fish count of 22 anglers on a full day trip catching 41 yellowtail, 110 rockfish, 3 lingcod and 2 bonito.


In addition to the yellowtail and bonito biting in the region of the Rockpile, there has also been some surface fishing action around the Coronado Islands in the way of bonito that have been found biting while fishing along the weather side of North Island.


The bottom fishing around the Coronados has also been 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.


Boats fishing down the Mexican coast on what are usually Saturday 1.5 day trips to the Punta Colnett area have been finding good mixed bag fishing for reds, rockfish, lingcod, bonito and yellowtail. The Old Glory out of H&M Landing fished a 1.5 day trip on Saturday, March 16, 2019 and they had very good fishing with17 anglers catching 69 yellowtail, 27 rockfish, 4 bonito and 85 reds.


The yellowtail off Punta Colnett have been mostly the 15- to 25-pound class fish. Best bet for the yellowtail has been to try and find meter marks, sonar marks or spots of working birds to stop on. Once yellows are located, try yo-yoed iron or sardines fished on a dropper loop rig. When yellowtail are located, the heavy Salas 6X and Salas 7X sized yo-yo jigs in scrambled egg color have been reported to be working best.


There have also been some schools of yellowtail located off the San Diego County Coast in the La Jolla and Point Loma regions. Similar to the yellowtail fishing at the Coronado Islands there has not been much news the past several days due to the unsettled weather conditions. On Monday, March, 18, 2019 there was some yellowtail activity in the way of schools of breezing fish that were found under working birds outside of La Jolla. There was not much in the way of biting yellowtail reported from the schools of breezing fish but these were the first significant showings of yellowtail outside of La Jolla in some time.


On Tuesday, March 19, 2019 there were schools of breezing yellowtail found by a private boater fishing outside of the Green Tank region at Point Loma. The schools of yellowtail were found under spots of working birds and were biting. The Skipper reporting said they had 5 nice sized yellowtail aboard and that the yellows were biting on iron. Try surface iron if you can get the jig to the breezing fish before they sound. Try yo-yo iron if the fish have sounded before you reach them. Look for the yellowtail outside of La Jolla and Point Loma in the 15 to 25 fathom depths.


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


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, the upper end of 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.

The weather was pretty good this morning (Friday morning, March 22, 2019) and the New Seaforth out of Seaforth Sportfishing got out fishing on a morning half-day trip and had good bottom fishing with a fish count of 25 anglers catching 140 reds, 34 rockfish and 3 whitefish.


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.


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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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