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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


Yellowtail bite off stretch between Mission Bay and the Green Tank at Point Loma!
There have been no boats looking around offshore for tuna that I know of since last weekend when there were a few yellowfin tuna scratched out along with a few skipjack and what were some pretty good numbers of what were mostly the small 3- to 5-pound kelp paddie yellowtail. The best zone for this activity was below and outside of the Coronado Islands for boats working 28 to 40 miles from Point Loma to the southwest and to south of the 371 Bank. The numbers of tuna that were biting were not good enough to get other boats out there looking around during the week. Who knows, maybe someone will go out offshore and do some looking around for tuna over the weekend?


What was good on a couple of days during the week was the fishing for 18- to 25-pound yellowtail for boats fishing the 18 to 25 fathom depths in an area spread from outside of Mission Bay on down to being outside of the Green Tank at Point Loma. There was a good yellowtail bite off the lower end of La Jolla last Friday, December 6, 2019 but the yellows played hard to find for a few days until the New Seaforth out of Seaforth Sportfishing relocated good numbers of yellows again on Wednesday and had a morning half day trip with 16 anglers catch 25 yellowtail, 2 calico bass and 1 sand bass. The good yellowtail bite carried over to Thursday when the New Seaforth had a morning half day trip with 48 anglers catch 63 yellowtail. Today is Friday, Dec. 13, 2019 and the yellowtail bite was on the scratchy side of things for most boats this morning.


The yellows have been biting from stopping on meter marks, sonar marks and spots of fish found up working on the surface which are usually marked by diving birds. Yo-yo iron, surface iron, sardines and mackerel have all been working for the yellowtail with both types of iron working best. The water temperature in the area has been running 62 to 63 degrees.


Private boater Bill Parker of the Cabo fished the coastal yellowtail on Thursday morning and reported very good fishing with the 3 aboard catching 7 of the 18- to 25-pound yellows. Parker said they found their fish under spots of working birds and were working in an area ranging from outside of the Ocean Beach Pier on up to the Green Tank at Point Loma. He called it “run and gun” style fishing and said that 6 of their yellowtail were caught on surface iron and that they got one yellowtail on yo-yo iron.


Parker said that the mint color Salas 7X light was the hot surface iron for them. Parker was fishing with his friend Justin Krumb and son-in-law Jeremiah Marrujo aboard and an exciting thing was that Jeremiah caught his first ever yellowtail! To make it even more special, Marrujo caught the fish on a brand new Phenix Rods fishing rod that Parker had got him for his birthday.


An interesting note from Parker’s trip was about the one yellowtail they caught on a yo-yo iron. When they boated the fish it thrashed and flopped on the deck and broke the yo-yo iron jig in half.


The remainder of the fishing along the San Diego County coast has been productive for a mix of reds, rockfish, sculpin, bass, sheephead and whitefish. There have also been a few halibut biting out in 30 fathoms of water outside of the Yukon shipwreck off Mission Beach.


Most of the coastal fishing for bass, sculpin, reds, rockfish, sheephead and whitefish is being done at hard bottom and structure spots. Productive areas have been at the International Reef, the Imperial Beach Pipeline, the hard bottom areas around the Whistler Buoy at Point Loma, the hard bottom to the north and northwest of Buoy #5 at Point Loma, the Point Loma Pipeline, the Green Tank, The 270, the upper end of La Jolla, Torrey Pines, Del Mar, Leucadia, the Anderson and Buccaneer Pipelines, the artificial reefs outside of Oceanside and Box Canyon.


Boats that are deep drop fishing for swordfish continue to find action while fishing the drop-off shelf outside of Newport Beach and in the region of the 9 Mile Bank and the nearby 178 Spot off San Diego. There have also been a few boats fishing the coastal drop-off shelf off Oceanside that have seen occasional action as well.


The area off Newport Beach has been the best and when there are 8 or 10 boats out fishing on a given day, there seems to be a swordfish or two being caught. This morning there was a boat reporting a lost swordfish hookup off Newport Beach and there was another report of a swordfish being caught.


Captain Maurice Smith of the private boat Dos Hermanos reported about deep drop fishing for swordfish at the upper end of the 9 Mile Bank / 178 Spot region on Tuesday and said that they did not have any luck. There was another boat doing commercial deep drop fishing nearby and Smith said that the commercial boat did not have any luck on Tuesday either. Smith reported 63.8 degree water in the area and said there was a lot of life around.


The most recent report from the Coronado Islands proper was from last Friday, December 6, 2019 when private boater, Captain Bob Fletcher of the Fletch fished at the Coronados with private boater, Captain Louie Zimm aboard Zimm’s boat Shearwater.


Fletcher reported having a great trip and said that they started the day by fishing along the weather side of North Island in 62.8 degree water in what were beautiful and calm weather conditions. Fletcher said they found steady action on 3 to 5 pound bonito that were biting on small Rapalas that they were trolling up and down the weather side of North Island. They ended up catching 6 bonito out of that bite that included one larger fish that was up between 7 and 8 pounds. They kept some of their bonito and released the rest.


Fletcher said their next move was to try the Middle Grounds and when they got there they found that the water was cold and at 61.75 degrees. Nothing was happening in the cooler water and they did not spend much time at the Middle Grounds before heading out to the west-southwest of North Island to try some rock cod fishing.


While they were drifting and catching rock cod, they had a big school of jumbo sized bonito show up and they threw some chum and got the fish boiling around the boat. The bonito were biting well and they were hooking bonito on yo-yo iron and sardines. They were mostly 8 to 9 pound bonito except for one bonito that Zimm caught on a Colt Sniper yo-yo jig. The bonito that bit on the Colt Sniper was a considerably larger 11 pound fish when it was weighed back at the dock. Fletcher said that the water in the zone to the west-southwest of North Island was clean green in color and was at 63.4 degrees. They ended up catching 5 bonito and 10 rockfish from this zone and once again kept some of their bonito and released the rest.


After the great bonito bite, the weather began to change and a southwest wind started to blow ahead of an approaching storm. They headed for home and were back at the dock by 1:15 PM. They ended up keeping 6 of their bonito and 10 rockfish and Fletcher said they never saw another boat fishing around the Coronados except for a couple of commercial Mexican lobster pangas.


On Tuesday Zimm went fishing on the Shearwater once again and fished at the lower end of the 9 Mile Bank. He said they caught one big bonito on a trolled X-Rap Rapala and saw some others. He said they chased some bird schools around but could not get any more action on bonito. They tried some rock cod fishing in the 80 to 90 fathom depths at the 9 Mile Bank on the Mexico side of the border and found what he described as “fair” fishing for rockcod on frozen squid.


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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 the timely and accurate information at www.976bite.com .


•   •   •   •   •

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.


Will the second cold weather storm of the season knock out the tuna bite?
It is Thanksgiving Eve as I am preparing this report and it has been a wet and windy day for Southern California as the second northern weather system of the season has arrived. There are currently Small Craft Advisories posted through Friday afternoon, Nov. 29, 2019 and Southern California offshore anglers are curious as to what effect these 3 days of bad weather will have on the good fishing that has been going on for bluefin tuna and yellowfin tuna.


The result of the first northern weather system of the season that passed through Southern California last week was that there was some cooling of the water and the that the tuna bite moved further offshore. Offshore water temperatures were running from 62.5 to 64.5 degrees in areas where there has been tuna activity. With Small Craft Advisories currently in effect until Friday afternoon, Nov. 29, 2019, there will likely not be any boats out looking for tuna until the weather improves on the post Thanksgiving day weekend. It will be interesting to see what happens to the water temperature and what becomes of the tuna bite after the passing of the current storm.


The best tuna bite area heading into the current storm was in the area of the deep water basin to the southwest of the 43 Fathom Spot for boats fishing between 49 and 54 miles 252 to 254 degrees from Point Loma. Some of the more local offshore banks within 25 miles or so of San Diego such as the 182 Spot, the upper end of the 9 Mile Bank and the 178 Spot were producing some 3 to 10 pound kelp paddie yellowtail and some skipjack prior to the arrival of the current storm.


An interesting bluefin report was provided by Captain Joe Cacciola of the Sea Star with Sea Star Sportfishing and the Oceanside Sea Center. Cacciola says that some of the boats that have been fishing for rockfish at hard bottom areas off Box Canyon have been seeing occasional spots of breaking bluefin tuna incidental to their bottom fishing. He also reported that whale watch boats have been seeing occasional spots of breaking bluefin tuna incidental to looking for whales between Dana Point and San Onofre.


Most of the yellowfin tuna have been in the 20- to 40-pound class and most of the bluefin have been running from 15 to 60 pounds with some of the larger bluefin going up over the 100-pound mark. Stops have been coming from kelp paddies, spots of working birds, sonar marks, meter marks, spots of breezing fish, skipjack trolling strikes and yellowfin trolling strikes. Sardines have worked well for bait with mackerel also working for some of the larger sized bluefin. Flat Fall jigs and Colt Snipers have also been producing some action.


Some fish counts prior to the arrival of the current storm are the San Diego out of Seaforth Sportfishing that had 40 anglers on a full day trip catch 99 yellowtail and 5 skipjack. Seaforth Sportfishing also had the Tribute return home from a 1.5 day trip which had 27 anglers catch 36 yellowfin tuna and 31 bluefin tuna. The Pacifica returned home to Seaforth Sportfishing from a 1.75 day trip where 24 anglers caught 10 yellowfin tuna.


H&M Landing reported that the Grande fished a full day trip with 21 anglers who caught 11 yellowtail, 1 yellowfin tuna and 5 skipjack. They also had the Old Glory fishing an overnight trip with 36 anglers who caught 28 bluefin tuna, 1 bigeye tuna and 2 yellowfin tuna.


Fisherman's Landing had the Liberty fish a full day trip where 34 anglers caught 34 yellowtail and 34 skipjack. They also had the Tomahawk fish a 1.5 day trip with 19 anglers who caught 38 bluefin tuna and 3 yellowfin tuna.


Point Loma Sportfishing had the New Lo-An return from a 2.5 day trip with 15 anglers catching 115 yellowfin tuna that went to 60 pounds, 6 bluefin tuna that went to 100 pounds and 51 yellowtail.


The past weekend also saw good fishing for yellowfin tuna and some bluefin tuna at the Corner and the San Clemente Basin Weather Buoy but those areas have quieted down since last weekend. Marcus Hale of the Cabrilla fished below and outside of the Corner at 33 miles 251 degrees from Point Loma on Sunday, Nov. 24, 2019 and reported finding a very good yellowfin bait stop. Hale said they found the hot yellowfin stop in 64.5 degree water and reported that their stop started by getting a double yellowfin trolling strike where the 2 troll fish bit on a cedar plug and a Rapala.


They caught 12 yellowfin out of that stop and the yellowfin were quality sized 25 to 40 pound fish that filled their fish bag. Hale said that in the early morning they also found a kelp paddie that produced limits of small yellowtail while fishing 2 miles outside of the 224 Spot which puts you out at 24 miles 236 degrees from Point Loma.


Tom Golding of the Last Buck fished to the southwest of the 43 Fathom Spot at 44 miles 252 degrees from Point Loma on Saturday, Nov. 23, 2019 and reported finding a great yellowfin bait stop where they drifted and caught yellowfin from 10 a.m. until they left to head for home at sunset. They caught 27 yellowfin out of the stop and they were nice sized fish that went from 30 to 35-plus pounds. Golding said that by the time they headed for home that they had filled all their ice chests, hatches and fish hold space with yellowfin tuna!


The water temperature where Golding found the great yellowfin stop was at 63.63 degrees and he said that the yellowfin were biting well on sardines. He added that even though they had fish boiling around the boat during the entirety of the stop that they needed to be using 30-pound test line with a 30-pound test fluorocarbon leader and a size 2 hook to readily get strikes. He said that you could eventually get bit while using heavier 40-pound test line with a 40-pound test fluorocarbon leader but that it took a long time to get a bite when using the 40-pound test.


There has been good fishing for swordfish for boats using the deep drop method. The best area has been the coastal drop off shelf outside of Newport Beach. Some of the better days of fishing have seen 3 or 4 swordfish caught from this zone. Popular areas that have been producing some swordfish action via the deep drop method have been off Newport Beach, Abalone Point, Dana Point, the Golf Ball off Oceanside, the 178 Spot, the upper end of the 9 Mile Bank, the Slide at Catalina and the 152 Spot off the East End of Catalina. Large squid and mackerel have been effective baits while being fished 800 to 900 feet below the surface with the large squid reported to be working best.


There has not been much news coming from the Coronado Islands lately with most boats continuing to fish the good tuna bite offshore. There was a private boater report from Saturday from a Skipper who had spent some time fishing Pukey Point and the area along the weather side of North Island who had found the surface fishing to be slow. The last sportboat reports from the Coronados are now about 3 weeks old and at that time there was good bottom fishing and a chance at finding some bonito action. Good areas for the bottom fishing have been at the South Kelp Ridge while fishing in 25 to 40 fathoms of water and at hard bottom areas to the north, northeast and northwest of North Island while fishing in 25 to 50 fathoms of water.


The fishing along the San Diego County coast is into what is mostly a bottom fishing mode with reds, rockfish, sculpin, bass and whitefish making up the bulk of the catch. There have also been occasional flurries of bonito action by the Whistler Buoy at Point Loma and off Imperial Beach while fishing the region of the International Reef. Locating bonito activity has been hit or miss but there have been occasional showings of bonito in these areas.


Most of the coastal fishing for bass, sculpin, reds, rockfish and whitefish is now being done at hard bottom and structure spots. Productive areas have been at the International Reef, the Imperial Beach Pipeline, the hard bottom areas around the Whistler Buoy at Point Loma, the hard bottom to the north and northwest of Buoy #5 at Point Loma, the Point Loma Pipeline, the Green Tank, The 270, the upper end of La Jolla, Torrey Pines, Del Mar, Leucadia, the Anderson and Buccaneer Pipelines, the artificial reefs outside of Oceanside and Box Canyon.


Captain Joe Cacciola of the Sea Star with Sea Star Sportfishing and the Oceanside Sea Center reports that the Sea Center boats have been doing well on a mixed bag catch of rockfish, reds, whitefish and sculpin while fishing hard bottom areas off Box Canyon. Cacciola says that the Oceanside Sea Center boats have also been fishing occasional trips to the south of Oceanside and that hard bottom areas off Leucadia and Solana Beach have been producing good mixed bag catches of bottom fish. Sculpin have been making up a good percentage of the recent catch and he says that the sculpin fishing tends to be better off Box Canyon than at the spots off Leucadia and Solana Beach. Cacciola reports that the water in these coastal areas has been running around 63 degrees and says that the water has been a clean green color.


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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 the timely and accurate information at www.976bite.com .


•   •   •   •   •

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.


What are the effects of the first cold weather rain storm of the season?
The middle part of the past week delivered the first northern/western weather system of the 2019 Southern California offshore fishing season to local offshore waters. Anglers were and are still anxious to find out what kind of effect that the 2 days of windy weather that were coupled with rain and high seas may have had on the offshore fishing. Prior to the stormy weather, some of the best yellowfin tuna fishing of the season was going on and there was also a mix of bluefin tuna, skipjack and 3- to 5-pound kelp paddie yellowtail biting.

Today is Friday, Nov. 22, 2019 and it is the first day of good weather after the storm. There are a good number of private boats out fishing local offshore waters within 25 miles of San Diego today and what has been reported so far is that there are some skipjack and kelp paddie yellowtail biting but nothing much doing on yellowfin or bluefin. The region of the 178 Spot, 9 Mile Bank, the end of the Ridge below the 182 Spot, the 224 Spot and the 302 Spot were all producing lots of yellowfin tuna prior to the arrival of the 2 days of bad weather but the yellowfin and bluefin have been playing hard to locate so far today.


As I am preparing this report early Friday afternoon, a private boater Skipper just came on the radio and reported catching a yellowfin tuna at the 9 Mile Bank. That is the first yellowfin tuna or bluefin tuna that I have heard reported caught so far today and it is good to know there are still yellowfin around and biting. There is still a lot of fishing time left in the day so hopefully some more biting bluefin or yellowfin will be located. Water temperatures in the areas talked about in the paragraph above are being reported to be in the 64 to 65 degree range. Maybe the yellowfin and bluefin are just down, time will tell.


A report from Monday’s fishing provides an example of how good the yellowfin tuna fishing was prior to the arrival of the midweek storm. Private boater Pat McDonell of Western Outdoor News and the private boat Robalo reported about fishing with a friend aboard on Monday. They found excellent yellowfin tuna fishing and McDonell reported that they caught their limits of yellowfin tuna from a single stop.


This action was found while fishing near the high spot at the 302 Spot which is located at 22 miles 224 degrees from Point Loma. Their stop originated by finding a fishy looking area with a good amount of bird life that was in the vicinity of a couple of drifting boats that were catching yellowfin. They stopped the boat around working birds and started chumming and the yellowfin responded to the chum, came around the boat and stayed with the boat until they limited out. These were nice sized yellowfin that were up in the 18- to 25-pound range. They caught their limits early in the day and were back in Mission Bay, with their fish cleaned and their boat on the trailer shortly after noon.


Private boater Michael Schneemann fished on Tuesday and got in his day of fishing just barely ahead of the arriving storm. He reported excellent fishing and that they limited out on yellowfin tuna that were in the 18- to 25-pound range. The action started when they found an excellent early morning yellowfin tuna bite while fishing a short way to the northwest of the 302 Spot. That yellowfin bait stop lasted for 1.5 hours and was located at 22 miles 226 degrees from Point Loma.


At the end of the 1.5 hour stop they were 4 fish short of their limits and they ended up working up to the area between the 9 Mile Bank and the 178 Spot where they found a fleet of boats drifting and catching tuna while fishing at 12 miles 265 degrees from Point Loma. Schneemann said they were able to catch their limits of yellowfin tuna but that they had to deal with some rough and sloppy weather on the way home as the storm was approaching.


Prior to the arrival of the bad weather there were also some yellowfin and bluefin biting around the Butterfly Bank and the San Salvador Knoll for boats fishing from 35 to 55 miles 225 to 245 degrees from Point Loma. As the midweek storm was approaching the yellowfin seemed to be moving northeasterly each day to where the best zone before the storm arrived was in the area of the upper end of the 9 Mile Bank and the nearby 178 Spot. There have also been some bluefin biting for boats fishing from the area inside of the Tanner Bank on down to the 267 Spot that is easterly of the Tanner Bank. Most of these bluefin have been in the 40 to 150 pound range. Who knows, maybe some bluefin are getting ready to settle in at the Tanner and Cortes Banks to provide more late season action.


What has responded with a bang after the passing of the storm is the deep drop fishing for swordfish. This morning there was a boat that was deep drop fishing on the coastal shelf in the Newport Beach area that caught 2 swordfish via the deep drop method and there is another swordfish that has been boated in the same zone early this afternoon. Popular areas that have been producing some swordfish action via the deep drop method have been Newport Beach, Abalone Point, Dana Point, the Golf Ball off Oceanside, the 178 Spot, the upper end of the 9 Mile Bank, the Slide at Catalina and the 152 Spot located off the East End of Catalina.


Because of the good tuna fishing in local offshore waters, there have not been any boats that I know of fishing around the Coronado Islands during the past couple of weeks. The last reports from the Coronados were of good fishing for rockfish and that there were some bonito biting. The best areas for rockfish have been at the South Kelp Ridge while fishing in 25 to 40 fathoms of water and at hard bottom areas to the north, the northwest and the northeast of North Island while fishing in the 20 to 45 fathoms of water.


The fishing along the San Diego County coast is into what is mostly a bottom fishing mode with reds, rockfish, sculpin, bass and whitefish making up the bulk of the catch. There have also been occasional flurries of bonito action off Imperial Beach while fishing the region of the International Reef. Locating bonito activity at the International Reef has been hit or miss and a report from the International Reef this morning was of no bonito activity despite finding clean 64.5 degree water in the area.


There are still some calico bass biting at kelp bed areas along the San Diego County Coast but more and more of the coastal fishing for bass, sculpin, reds, rockfish and whitefish is being done at hard bottom and structure spots. Productive areas have been at the International Reef, the Imperial Beach Pipeline, the hard bottom areas around the Whistler Buoy at Point Loma, the hard bottom to the north and northwest of Buoy #5 at Point Loma, the Point Loma Pipeline, the Green Tank, The 270, the upper end of La Jolla, Torrey Pines, Del Mar, Leucadia, the Anderson and Buccaneer Pipelines, the artificial reefs outside of Oceanside and Box Canyon.


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It is my goal to provide you timely and accurate information in these reports containing news from right off the water. If you require more details that include the specific location of where significant catches have been made, I refer you to the daily Member’s Reports at www.976bite.com . Those Member’s Reports contain additional specifics that include latitude and longitude coordinates and other descriptive references about where and how fish are being caught. Make the most efficient use of your precious time on the water with the use of the timely and accurate information at www.976bite.com .


•   •   •   •   •

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.


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

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


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


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


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


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


The last reports from the Coronado Islands are about a week old as most boats continue to fish local offshore waters for yellowfin tuna, bluefin tuna, skipjack and kelp paddie yellowtail. The last reports from the Coronados were of good fishing for a mix of bonito and assorted rockfish.


Good places to look for bonito are along the weather side of North Island and around the Rockpile. Productive areas for bottom fishing have been at the South Kelp Ridge while fishing in 25 to 40 fathoms of water and at the hard bottom areas to the north, the northwest and the northeast of North Island while fishing in 20 to 45 fathoms of water.


The fishing along the San Diego County coast is still producing good mixed bag fishing for sand bass, calico bass, reds, rockfish, whitefish and sculpin. There has also been a chance at catching a bonus bonito, lingcod, halibut or yellowtail. The best zone for a chance at scratching out a yellowtail along the coast has been at the upper end of La Jolla but the yellowtail fishing remains slow.


Calico bass are still biting at kelp bed areas up and down much of the San Diego County coast but a lot of boats have been focusing on fishing for rockfish. Some of the more productive areas for calicos have been the Point Loma Kelp Beds, the kelp at the upper end of La Jolla, the kelp bed areas between Solana Beach and South Carlsbad, the Barn Kelp, Yellowtail Kelp and the kelp off Box Canyon.


As water conditions continue to cool, hard bottom and structure spots are becoming more and more productive for sand bass and calico bass and are also producing some sculpin and whitefish. Productive hard bottom and structure areas for the bass, sculpin and whitefish are the Imperial Beach Pipeline, hard bottom spots between the Imperial Beach Pipeline and the Mexico border, the hard bottom to the north and northwest of Buoy #3 at Point Loma, the Green Tank, the upper end of La Jolla, Del Mar, the Anderson and Buccaneer Pipelines, the artificial reefs outside of Oceanside and Box Canyon.


Rockfish are what many of the coastal fishing trip sportboat trips have been targeting. There have been recent reports of good rockfish catches coming from hard bottom areas around the International Reef, the Imperial Beach Pipeline, the Whistler Buoy at Point Loma, the Point Loma Pipeline, the Green Tank at Point Loma, the upper end of La Jolla, Torrey Pines, Del Mar and Box Canyon.


* * *


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 yellowfin tuna and bluefin tuna fishing continues into November!
The 2019 Southern California offshore tuna season marches on as boats are still posting nice catches of good sized bluefin tuna and yellowfin tuna into the second week of November. There is still a wide expanse to the areas where tuna can be located and Skippers have a few different areas to choose from in which to target bluefin and yellowfin.


The waters off the back side of San Clemente Island continue to produce jumbo sized bluefin tuna that have ranged to 300-plus pounds with most of the bluefin being caught in this sector falling within the 120- to 190-pound range. Kite fished flying fish or helium balloon fished flying fish continue to be the top producers for the large and jumbo sized bluefin.


Live flying fish, fresh dead flying fish and frozen flying fish have all been effective but the live flying fish have worked the best. In addition to flying fish, there has also been occasional action found while fishing with sardines, mackerel, Flat Fall jigs, kite trolled Yummy Flyers and live squid.


The area of the 381 Spot off the back side of San Clemente Island has been the best in recent days but recent action has also been reported while fishing the region of the 57 Fathom Spot, 86 Fathom Spot, 81 Fathom Spot and Desperation Reef. Most of the action comes from fishing around meter marks or sonar marks and the last two hours of daylight during the evening hours have been the best time of day.


In the San Diego region there has been good yellowfin tuna fishing within 25 miles of Point Loma for boats fishing the region of the 224 Spot at the Kidney Bank. Thursday's best fishing in this region was found out at around 24 miles 238 degrees from Point Loma. Today there was also a report of good yellowfin tuna fishing at the Corner which is located at 30 miles 255 degrees from Point Loma.


Most of the San Diego area sportboat fleet has been fishing the region of the Butterfly Bank in recent days and there has been good fishing for a mix of 20- to 40-pound yellowfin tuna and 40 to 100-plus pound bluefin tuna. The best zone the past two days has been while fishing to the southeast of the eastern wing tip of the Butterfly Bank for boats fishing from 45 to 50 miles 220 to 225 degrees from Point Loma.


Private boater, Captain Bob Fletcher of the Fletch reported about fishing the Butterfly Bank aboard the Pacific Queen out of Fisherman's Landing on Wednesday. Fletcher said they had a great trip with the 33 anglers aboard the 1.5 day trip catching 125 yellowfin tuna and 58 bluefin tuna. Fletcher described it as being "one amazing day of fishing" and said the quality size of the fish they were catching was outstanding. Most of their yellowfin tuna were in the 20- to 40-pound range and their bluefin tuna were up in the 40- to 50-pound class. Fletcher said his biggest fish on the day was a bluefin that was up in the 45- to 50-pound range.


Fletcher said the water out at the Butterfly Bank was running from 67.1° to 67.2° and he said there were only 4 or 5 boats working the area. He said the bite picked up during the late morning hours and that there were spots of fish popping up consistently throughout the rest of the day. Fletcher had nothing but good things to say about the group of people fishing on the Pacific Queen, the boat, the Captain and the Crew.


There have also been some bluefin tuna and yellowfin tuna biting in the Catalina region but the showings of these fish have been becoming more inconsistent from day to day. Areas where tuna have been popping up have been off the back side of the Island outside of the Silver Canyon and Palisades region, in the area of the Farnsworth Bank, in the area around the 152 and 277 Spots off the East End of Catalina and off the Slide.


Spots of breaking fish have led to action on sardines, mackerel and poppers. Porpoise have also led to yellowfin action on those same baits and lures. An interesting report from earlier in the week was of a boat fishing at the Farnsworth Bank that caught a couple of bluefin, a few yellowtail and hooked and lost two marlin while fishing on the anchor.


The two marlin hooked at the Farnsworth Bank as talked about in the paragraph above are the only marlin encounters I have reports of during the week. The last reports I have from boats that were out deep drop fishing for swordfish are from last weekend when there was a swordfish caught by a boat deep drop fishing at the 152 Spot off the East End of Catalina and when there was a swordfish caught by a boat that was deep drop fishing in the San Diego area at the upper end of the 9 Mile Bank.


The San Diego out of Seaforth Sportfishing fished at the Coronado Islands on Thursday and this was the first trip I know of to fish at the Coronados in well over a week. What they found biting was similar to the prior report from over a week ago and they found good fishing for a mix of bonito and rockfish. The fish count on the San Diego was 20 anglers on a full day trip catching 31 bonito and 100 rockfish.


Good places to look for bonito are along the weather side of North Island and around the Rockpile. Productive areas for bottom fishing have been at the South Kelp Ridge while fishing in 25 to 40 fathoms of water and at the hard bottom areas to the north, the northwest and the northeast of North Island while fishing in 20 to 45 fathoms of water.


The fishing along the San Diego County coast continues to be good for a mix of sand bass, calico bass, reds, rockfish, whitefish and sculpin and there has also been a chance at catching a bonus bonito, lingcod, halibut or yellowtail. The best zone for a chance at scratching out a yellowtail along the coast has been at the upper end of La Jolla but the yellowtail fishing remains slow.


Calico bass are still biting at kelp bed areas up and down much of the San Diego County coast but a lot of boats have been focusing on fishing for rockfish. Some of the more productive areas for calicos have been the Point Loma Kelp Beds, the kelp at the upper end of La Jolla, the kelp bed areas between Solana Beach and South Carlsbad, the Barn Kelp, Yellowtail Kelp and the kelp off Box Canyon.


In addition to the kelp bed areas, hard bottom and structure spots have also been producing some bass and sculpin with productive places being the Imperial Beach Pipeline, hard bottom spots between the Imperial Beach Pipeline and the Mexico border, the hard bottom to the north and northwest of Buoy #3 at Point Loma, the Green Tank, the upper end of La Jolla, Del Mar, the Anderson and Buccaneer Pipelines, the artificial reefs outside of Oceanside and Box Canyon.


Rockfish are what many of the coastal fishing trip sportboat trips have been focusing on lately. There have been recent reports of good rockfish catches coming from hard bottom areas around the International Reef, the Imperial Beach Pipeline, the Whistler Buoy at Point Loma, the Point Loma Pipeline, the Green Tank at Point Loma, the upper end of La Jolla, Torrey Pines, Del Mar and Box Canyon.


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It is my goal to provide you timely and accurate information in these reports containing news from right off the water. If you require more details that include the specific location of where significant catches have been made, I refer you to the daily Member’s Reports at www.976bite.com . Those Member’s Reports contain additional specifics that include latitude and longitude coordinates and other descriptive references about where and how fish are being caught. Make the most efficient use of your precious time on the water with the use of timely and accurate information.


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