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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


Kind of a quiet week after what has been a wild offshore fishing season
As we approach the 2019 fishing season the past week has seen things winding down from what has been a very good 2018 season. Last reports from offshore waters indicate there are still some bluefin tuna, yellowfin tuna, skipjack, yellowtail and striped marlin around but their numbers appear to be declining. The offshore fishing has to be described as scratchy until such time as better numbers of fish are once again located.

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The bluefin tuna fishing to the southeast of the Cortes Bank was slower last weekend with just 3 bluefin caught that I know of. On Saturday, boats spread out after finding the Saturday morning bluefin bite to be slow. What was found were some kelp paddie yellowtail and a few skipjack biting while looking for bluefin tuna in the region of the Mushroom Bank and 60 Mile Bank. The lack of tuna found on the weekend kept most boats at the dock during the past week but I am thinking some boats might be out again looking around in an effort to relocate better numbers of bluefin over the weekend.


Bluefin and yellowfin might be able to be located in a variety of areas as last weekend there were some bluefin seen in the areas of the 9 Mile Bank, 302 Spot, 224 Spot and 182 Spot. No boats that I know of have been out looking in this local offshore sector since last Sunday. In similar fashion, there was a yellowfin tuna caught last weekend by a boat trolling in a porpoise school outside of Dana Point, so finding some late season yellowfin action might also remain as a possibility.


Striped marlin have been holding in tight to the eastern part of Catalina during the late part of the season but their numbers have been dwindling. Prior to the recent storms most of the action had been in the 40 to 100 fathom depths for boats fishing between the Rock Quarry and Church Rock. Very few boats have been out looking during the week but there was a feeder marlin reported seen on Wednesday by a Skipper fishing further off the Island at the deep water located outside of the 277 Spot.


No reports coming from the Coronado Islands during the week but last weekend there were a couple of boats out fishing around the Coronados that caught good numbers of rockfish and bonito. The bonito were biting best at the Middle Grounds but were also found around North Island and at the South Kelp Ridge. Good areas for rockfish were at the South Kelp Ridge and at the hard bottom areas to the north and northwest of North Island. The bonito have been mostly 4- to 8-pound fish and have been biting on sardines, small chrome jigs, feathers and Rapalas.


The fishing along the San Diego County coast is mostly into a rockfish fishing mode but there area still a few bass and bonito biting along with a chance at a halibut. There has not been much happening with yellowtail or white seabass. Best chances for bonito have been while fishing outside of the upper end of La Jolla or by the Whistler Buoy and the few bonito that have been biting have been 3- to 8-pound fish.


On Thursday there were good numbers of rockfish and a few lingcod reported to be biting while fishing outside of La Jolla in 160 feet of water. Some of the other more productive rockfish fishing areas have been the International Reef, the Imperial Beach Pipeline, the Whistler Buoy at Point Loma, the Point Loma Pipeline, the Green Tank, The 270, Del Mar, Leucadia 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.


•   •   •   •   •

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 current weather system knock out the bluefin, marlin and yellowtail bites?
Thanksgiving Day brought Southern California it's first northern weather system of the season and it was a pretty mild front and there were still bluefin tuna, yellowfin tuna, striped marlin and yellowtail biting after the storm. Several days later a second more powerful northern weather system arrived with a lot more rain and stronger winds and it is yet to be known what effect this storm system might have on the tuna, marlin and yellowtail bites.


The Cortes Bank region is where the bluefin tuna and yellowfin tuna bites have been happening. The first storm resulted in cooler water being found up around the bank proper with warmer water and better fishing being found 6 to 11 miles to the southeasterly of the Bishop Rock area of the Cortes Bank. In looking at a recent water chart that warm water is now even further to the southeast of the Bishop Rock area of the Cortes Bank and my best guess is that looking for warm water will be a key to locating tuna that might still be around after the passing of the current storm. Things are likely changing as this report is being written as this morning (Friday morning, Nov. 30, 2018) wind reports indicate that it was blowing 28+ knots out by the Cortes Bank. My felling is that this is a strong enough wind that it could bring about significant changes to the water conditions.


The three sportboat trips I know of that were fishing the bluefin the day prior to the arrival of the current storm system did find bluefin tuna action. The New Lo-An out of Point Loma Sportfishing fished a 3 day trip and had 22 anglers catch 84 bluefin tuna. Seaforth Sportfishing had the Aztec return home from a 1.75 day trip with 26 anglers having caught 20 bluefin tuna. The Pacific Queen out of Fisherman's Landing returned home from a 1.5 day trip with 17 bluefin tuna.


The bluefin have been running from 20 to 200+ pounds with most falling within the 20- to 70-pound range. Best baits and lures for the bluefin have been sardines, live squid, flying fish and Flat Fall jigs. The bluefin have been located by finding meter marks, sonar marks and the occasional spot of breaking fish with sonar marks providing most of the action.


Striped marlin were biting at areas off the East End of Catalina prior to the arrival of the current storm system. Reports were that the first storm system on Thanksgiving day caused a decline in the amount of marlin activity being found but that there were still some marlin around and biting prior to the arrival of the second storm. Recent weeks have seen the fish staying in close to the Island to where they were mostly being located in the 40 to 100 fathom depths between the Rock Quarry and Church Rock. After the first storm moved on there was also some marlin activity reported further off the Island around porpoise and squid for boats fishing between the 125 Spot and the 152 Spot.


Marlin have been located in areas where there has been a lot of life in the way of bait, birds, seals and porpoise. Most of the action has come from blind trolling strikes and dropback baits with some action also coming from baiting sleepers, tailers and feeders. The bite had thinned out after the first storm came through on Thanksgiving Day and my feeling is that this current more powerful storm might change the water enough to shut off the bite. I hope I am wrong about that and I am sure some people will be out looking around for marlin after the storm. It will be interesting to see what might still be around and biting when the storm leaves.


The yellowtail and bonito fishing around the Coronado Islands was very good prior to the arrival of the weather system on Thanksgiving Day. After the weather system passed there were still yellowtail and bonito biting but the yellowtail bite seemed to be tapering off as the days went on. The last sportboat count was prior to the arrival of the current storm and was on Tuesday,  Nov. 27, 2018 when the San Diego out of Seaforth Sportfishing had a full day trip with 37 anglers catch 10 yellowtail, 48 rockfish and 16 bonito. Compare that to the San Diego's fish count on Sunday, Nov. 25, 2018 when 36 anglers caught 73 yellowtail and 19 bonito.


The best zone for the yellowtail has been fishing the region of the 27 Fathom Spot that is located between the Rockpile and the Finger Bank. The yellowtail have been 12- to 18-pound fish and have been biting well on yo-yoed iron and on sardines that are fished deep with a dropper loop rig. Most of the action has been coming from meter marks that are found with scanning sonar and private boaters without scanning sonar have been having a harder time locating schools of yellowtail to stop on.


Private boater Pat McDonell of Western Outdoor News and the boat Robalo fished the Coronados the day before the current storm arrived. They fished on Wednesday, Nov. 28, 2018 and reported finding very good bonito fishing and some rockfish biting but did not find any yellowtail activity. McDonell tried many spots around the Islands and found bonito biting most everywhere he went. He said they had good bonito action at the 27 Fathom Spot that is located below the Rockpile, at the Rockpile proper and around both South Island and North Island. The bonito were quality sized fish of 5 to 10 pounds. The big bonito were reported to be fun fish to catch and they were biting on sardines and iron.


Prior to the arrival of the current storm, the fishing along the San Diego County coast was providing good mixed bag fishing for bonito, calico bass, sand bass and an assortment of bottom fish. The bonito have been 3- to 7-pound fish and productive areas have been the Whistler Buoy at Point Loma, the Dropoff at Point Loma, the Green Tank, Point Loma College, the upper end of La Jolla, Del Mar, Ponto Beach, the Carlsbad Canyon, the Buccaneer Pipeline and outside of the Oceanside Pier. Of all those areas, the best of the recent bonito fishing was being reported outside of the upper end of La Jolla and by the Whistler Buoy at Point Loma.


Some of the bonito have been biting while fishing hard bottom or kelp bed areas and some have been caught by getting trolling strikes out in the deeper 18 to 50 fathom depths. Feathers and Rapalas have been productive on the troll and once bonito are located, flylined sardines and small chrome Megabait style jigs have been working while drifting or anchored.


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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, yellowfin, yellowtail and marlin bites continue into Thanksgiving!
Today is Thanksgiving and I am 100 percent behind the concept of the traditional Thanksgiving at home with family, loved ones and friends. There is nothing so precious! That said, it is amazing to be able to say that if a Southern California angler was so inclined, he or she would have had the option of making some turkey sandwiches and heading offshore to celebrate Thanksgiving and target what has been good fishing for yellowfin tuna, buefin tuna and striped marlin. Good yellowtail and bonito fishing at the Coronado Islands is another option that is amazing to be able to ponder at this time of year.


Bluefin tuna and yellowfin tuna continue to bite well out at the Cortes Bank and some of the better trips have been returning with near limit to limit catches. The amazing thing is the size of both species being caught with the bluefin ranging in size from 20 to 250+ pounds and with most of the yellowfin falling within the 30- to 70-pound range. When factoring in the size and quantity of the yellowfin and bluefin, the past week has provided some of the best tuna fishing of the entire 2018 offshore season.


Private boater Richard Hamilton reported fishing the Cortes Bank on a friend’s 35 foot Cabo on Monday, Nov. 19, 2018. Hamilton reported outstanding fishing and said they started off the day by picking up 2 of the 90-pound bluefin tuna on flylined sardines. Their next action was for some of the 20-pound yellowfin tuna and they ended up the day with a wide open yellowfin tuna stop where they were able to catch 10 yellowfin that were in the 50- to 80-pound class. Hamilton said they had caught their fill and that left the yellowfin biting and boiling as they headed for home.


Hamilton reported finding this action in 66 degree water along a temperature break to the south of the Cortes Bank. The best of the recent yellowfin and bluefin fishing has been coming while fishing the region of the 500 fathom curve to the south and southeast of the Cortes Bank. The region of the 267 Spot that is easterly of the Tanner Bank has also produced some catches of bluefin and yellowfin and the 50 to 100 fathom depths to the north and northeast of Bishop Rock at the Cortes Bank continues to produce some bluefin.


The tuna have been found by locating meter marks, sonar marks, porpoise schools and spots of working birds. Sardines, live squid, flying fish and Flat Fall jigs have been working well for bait with cedar plugs also working well for yellowfin while trolling around porpoise.


Some private boats returning home from trips to Mag Bay have been finding good tuna fishing in the area below the Lower 500 Bank while fishing 90 to 100 miles 160 to 165 degrees from Point Loma. Captain Todd Shifflett of the 6 pack charter yacht Predator reported getting a report from a friend who was fishing on their way home to San Diego from Mag Bay who reported finding very good fishing for 20- pound class yellowfin tuna and 30- to 50-pound bluefin tuna.


Striped marlin has been biting well for boats fishing around and about the eastern end of Catalina. The fish have been showing and biting in an area ranging from the Rock Quarry on over to where you are fishing off Church Rock. Most of the action has been coming while fishing in 40 to 100 fathoms of water with the area off Church Rock tending to be the best.


Action has been coming by baiting sleepers, tailers and feeders but most of the action comes from raising fish on the troll and either hooking a jig fish or a baitfish on a dropback mackerel. My estimation was that there were 10 to 12 marlin that were caught and mostly released over the past weekend of Nov. 17 and 18 of 2018.


The yellowtail fishing around the Coronado Islands has been very good and there have also been good numbers of bonito and rockfish in the mix. The counts were down some yesterday (Wednesday, Nov. 21, 2018) but most of the recent sportboat trips to fish the Coronado Islands have been returning with near limit to limit numbers of 12- to 18-pound yellowtail. The best yellowtail action has been coming from the area of the Rockpile with the weather side of North Island and the hard bottom to the northeast of North Island also sometimes being worth a check. Most of the yellowtail have been biting on yo-yoed iron or on sardines that are fished with a dropper loop rig.


Fish counts from yesterday, Wednesday, Nov. 21, 2018 were the Grande out of H&M Landing that had a full day trip with 35 anglers catch 33 yellowtail and 39 bonito. The San Diego out of Seaforth Sportfishing had a full day trip with 50 anglers return with 32 bonito, 14 rockfish and 21 yellowtail.


The fishing along the San Diego County coast continues to produce good mixed bag fishing for bonito, calico bass, sand bass and an assortment of bottom fish. The bonito have been 3- to 7-pound fish and productive areas have been the Whistler Buoy at Point Loma, the Dropoff at Point Loma, the Green Tank, Point Loma College, the upper end of La Jolla, Del Mar, Ponto Beach, the Carlsbad Canyon, the Buccaneer Pipeline and the area outside of the Oceanside Pier.


Some of the bonito have been biting while fishing hard bottom or kelp bed areas and some have been caught by getting trolling strikes out in the deeper 18 to 50 fathom depths. Feathers and Rapalas have been productive on the troll and once bonito are located, flylined sardines and small chrome Megabait style jigs have been working while drifting or anchored.


Captain Joe Cacciola of the Sea Star with Sea Star Sportfishing and the Oceanside Sea Center reports that when the bonito are biting in deep water that the Oceanside Sea Center boats have usually been spending some time fishing the deeper water areas to spefircally target the bonito and says that they usually also spend some time fishing the hard bottom and structure areas where they have been catching a mix of bass, bonito sheephead, whitefish and rockfish.


Cacciola says that their best bonito fishing has been found while fishing between the area outside of the Oceanside Pier on down to Ponto Beach at South Carlsbad in the 20 to 40 fathom depths. Bonito action has been originating from trolling strikes and from stopping on sonar marks and meter marks. After getting a trolling strike or after stopping on a meter mark or sonar mark anglers are catching bonito on sardines and Megabait style jigs.


Cacciola says that the water off the Oceanside area coast has been running between 64 degrees and 66 degrees and he reports that the water has been clean and blue. As an example of the fishing, the Chubasco II out of the Oceanside Sea Center had 17 anglers on a morning half day trip catch 75 bonito, 60 reds and 90 rockfish. On their afternoon trip, 25 anglers caught 50 whitefish, 10 sheephead, 3 triggerfish and 3 sand bass.


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


Bluefin, yellowfin, yellowtail and marlin bites continue in summer like fashion!
Thanksgiving is next week and instead of Southern California anglers thinking about traditional middle of November issues such as turkey on the table and fishing for rockfish, they currently have turkey on the table, bluefin tuna, yellowfin tuna, striped marlin and yellowtail to contemplate. It is amazing how these warm water fish have held so well in our local offshore waters and have been providing some of the best fishing of the year during the month of November.

Bluefin tuna continue to bite out at the Cortes Bank and some of the better trips have been returning with limits of bluefin tuna. The bluefin have been running from 20 to 300+ pounds with most falling within the 20- to 70-pound range. Best baits and lures for the bluefin have been sardines, live squid, flying fish and Flat Fall jigs.


The bluefin have been located by finding meter marks, sonar marks and the occasional spot of breaking fish. The good bite areas around the Cortes Bank have been moving all around and about the bank in recent weeks. In recent days the best fishing has been found around the northwestern edges of the bank as well as to the north and the northeast of the Cortes Bank's 9 Fathom Spot.


Private boater, Captain Ron Bowers of the Salt Fever fished an extended long weekend trip to the Cortes Bank the weekend of Nov. 10 and 11 of 2018 and reported finding excellent fishing and catching 30 bluefin tuna. Their bluefin were mixed size fish that went from 20 to 63 pounds with the majority of the fish being in the 50- to 63-pound range. All their fish were caught on drifted flylined sardines.


Bowers reported that their best stop of the trip was on Saturday and that it came from stopping on a sonar mark that he found in the dark. Those fish came under the boat and stayed with them all day long. On Sunday, their best stop came courtesy of the Captain of the sportboat Tomahawk out of Seaforth Sportfishing. Bowers said that the Tomahawk had limited out on bluefin tuna and that the Captain of the Tomahawk offered to turn the stop over to them as the Tomahawk was getting ready to leave. Bowers gratefully accepted the invitation and that handed over stop ended up producing 7 bluefin for the Salt Fever. Bowers was very much appreciated that the Captain of the Tomahawk invited them to take over their bluefin stop.


Private boater, Tom Golding of the Last Buck fished for bluefin at the Cortes Bank on Saturday, Nov. 10, 2018 and reported a fantastic trip in having the 4 anglers aboard catch their limits of bluefin tuna as well as catch and release an additional 5 bluefin. Golding said that 4 of their bluefin were in the 60- to 70-pound range and that the remainder were in the 2-5 to 30-pound class. He said they caught their bluefin by drifting in an area where they were getting meter marks and would see spots of breaking fish.


After catching bluefin, Golding went over to fish the Bishop Rock region of the Cortes Bank for yellowtail but could only find whitefish and assorted rockfish biting. They left the Cortes Bank and ran to the Tanner Bank where they drifted with sardines and caught a yellowtail and lost another yellowtail. In addition to the yellowtail action they also caught and released a bluefin tuna and some bonito. The yellowtail were 15- to 20-pound fish and were hooked on sardines. The bluefin caught at the Tanner Bank was caught on a sardine but all the bluefin they caught at the Cortes Bank were caught while using live squid for bait that was fished a bit below the surface with a glow in the dark sliding sinker.


In addition to the bluefin action at the Cortes Bank, there has also been some yellowfin tuna action to be found in other areas. In the areas where yellowfin have been found there has also been a chance at catching skipjack, dorado and yellowtail. Not many boats have been fishing the yellowfin because of the good bluefin bite at the Cortes Bank but at last word there were yellowfin biting in the 1000 fathom trench below and inside of the 60 Mile Bank while fishing 50 to 55 miles 215 to 218 degrees from Point Loma.


A new area of 20 to 70 pound yellowfin was found on Thursday, Nov. 15, 2018 and this same area is producing some yellowfin action again today. This new zone is in the of 267 Spot that is easterly of the Tanner Bank. This morning, Friday morning, Nov. 16, 2018 a private boater Skipper reported catching 2 of the 60- to 70-pound yellowfin while fishing in porpoise school he found outside of the 267 Spot at 80 miles 249 degrees from Point Loma. Another productive yellowfin zone in the region of the 267 Spot has been inside of the 267 Spot while fishing 76 miles 255 degrees from Point Loma. The yellowfin in this sector have been biting from porpoise schools and from stopping on spots of breezing fish.


Striped marlin continue to bite well off the eastern part of Catalina. Very few boats have been fishing but most days during the week have seen 1 or 2 marlin being caught and released. There are a few more boats out working the area today, Friday, Nov. 16, 2018 and I would estimate that 4 marlin have been caught and released as of noon.


Action has been coming while fishing between the 40 fathom curve and the 100 fathom curve in an area ranging from the Can Dump on over to where you are fishing off Church Rock. Action has been coming from blind jig strikes as well as from dropback baits and baiting feeders, tailers and sleepers. This is as good of a marlin bite as the Catalina region has seen this season.


There have also been some marlin sightings reported by whale watch boats in an area spread from 3 to 5 miles off the coast between the City of San Clemente and Newport Harbor. Last week there was a marlin released by a boat fishing outside of Fashion Island and also by a boat fishing off Dana Point and it appears that there are still marlin to be found in this coastal sector.


The fishing at the Coronados has been good for a mix of bonito, yellowtail and an assortment of rockfish. Seaforth Sportfishing had an early update from the San Diego from this morning's fishing of having 20+ yellowtail aboard with lots of fishing time left in the day. Seaforth Sportfishing reported that the yellowtail were averaging 15 pounds and were biting on yo-yoed iron and sardines that were being fished on a dropper loop rig.


The bonito around the Coronados have been running 4 to 8 pounds and productive surface fishing areas have been the weather side of North Island, the Middle Grounds and the hard bottom to the northeast of North Island.


The fishing along the San Diego County coast continues to produce good mixed bag fishing for bonito, calico bass, sand bass and an assortment of bottom fish. The bonito have been 3- to 7-pound fish and productive areas have been the Whistler Buoy at Point Loma, the Dropoff at Point Loma, the Green Tank, Point Loma College, the upper end of La Jolla, Del Mar, Ponto Beach, the Carlsbad Canyon, the Buccaneer Pipeline and outside of the Oceanside Pier.


Some of the bonito have been biting while fishing hard bottom or kelp bed areas and some have been caught by getting trolling strikes out in the deeper 18 to 50 fathom depths. Feathers and Rapalas have been productive on the troll and once bonito are located, flylined sardines and small chrome Megabait style jigs have been working while drifting or anchored.


On Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2018 I received a private boater report of good bonito fishing at the Whistler Buoy area off Point Loma. They were getting blind trolling strikes and were also getting trolling strikes in spots where they were seeing bird life and finding meter marks. After trolling strikes, they were throwing some chum and hooking bonito on sardines. They bonito they were catching were 3- to 7- pound fish. The down side to their report was that they were the only boat in the area and that they got swarmed by seals that would quite often steal their hooked bonito before they could get the fish to the boat.


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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, yellowfin, skipjack, yellowtail and marlin bites continue strong!
We are now well into the month of November and the offshore fishing is holding up very well with bluefin tuna, yellowfin tuna, skipjack, yellowtail, striped marlin and an occasional dorado still on the menu for offshore anglers. In a lot of offshore areas water temperatures remain up in the 66.5 to 68.5 degree range. With no northern weather systems showing up in the current Southern California 10 day weather forecast, one has reason to think that the water temperatures might remain warm enough to keep some if not all of these species in our local offshore waters a while longer.

Bluefin tuna continue to bite well for boats fishing out by the Cortes Bank. The bluefin have been running from 25 to 300+ pounds and have been biting while drifting on sonar marks, meter marks and spots of breaking fish. Best baits and lures for the bluefin have been sardines, fresh or frozen flying fish and Flat Fall jigs. During much of the week, the best fishing has been found while fishing areas ranging from the southwestern edges of the Cortes Bank on down to fishing the eastern edges of the Cortes Bank. One change from today's fishing (Friday, Nov. 9, 2018) is that some of today's best fishing is being found in an area out to the west of the 9 Fathom Spot at the Cortes Bank.


Private boater, Captain Ron Bowers of the Salt Fever fished out at the Cortes Bank on a 2.5 day weekend trip on Nov. 3 and 4, 2018 and reported good bluefin action with 12 bluefin for the 2.5 day trip. Their bluefin were 50- to 70-pound fish and they were all caught on flylined sardines. Bowers said that long drifts on meter marks and sonar marks worked well for them and that the fish would come and go as they patiently stayed in their drift. They were using bait outfits with 20-pound or 30-pound test fluorocarbon leaders and size 2/0 circle hooks. Bowers said the 20 pound test outfits were bringing a lot more strikes than the 30-pound test outfits. He reported that their best fishing was found while drifting spots of fish found 1 to 5 miles southwest of the 9 Fathom Spot at the Cortes Bank.


Private boater, Captain Bob Woodard of the Christina Lynn returned home on Wednesday morning, Nov. 7, 2018 from fishing a multi-day trip aboard the Spirit of Adventure out of H&M Landing. Woodard reported it to be a great trip and said he started out the trip by catching his limits of wahoo and lots of 20-pound class yellowfin tuna while they were fishing The Ridge above the Thetis Bank.


Woodard said there were no big yellowfin tuna biting along the Ridge and that Captain Brian of the Spirit of Adventure decided to run all the way up to the Cortes Bank to finish the trip with a shot at getting into some large bluefin tuna. Woodard said that it was a great move to go to the Cortes Bank to finish off the trip as they got into some epic fishing on jumbo sized bluefin tuna.


Woodard caught the biggest bluefin on the trip which weighed 272 pounds back at the dock after being bled, gilled and gutted. The fish was thought to have been up over 300 pounds before it was bled, gilled and gutted. Woodard said that most all of the jumbo sized bluefin, including the one he caught, were hooked on frozen and defrosted rigged flying fish that were fished from a kite or with balloons. Ann Marie from The Spirit of Adventure Office reported that there were 17 bluefin over 200 pounds caught on the trip and said that most of those fell within the 220- to 240-pound range.


In addition to the great bluefin action at the Cortes Bank, there has also been a mix of yellowfin tuna, skipjack, yellowtail and an occasional dorado biting for boats fishing above the 1010 Trench while between 45 and 55 miles 195 to 205 degrees from Point Loma.


Kelp paddies, trolling strikes, meter marks, sonar marks and porpoise schools have been ways to locate yellowfin tuna. Most of the yellowfin are in the 8- to 20-pound range with occasional fish to 30 pounds also in the mix. As an example of the recent fishing, the Old Glory out of H&M Landing fished for yellowfin on Thursday, Nov. 8, 2018 and had a fish count 31 anglers catching 43 yellowfin tuna, 1 yellowtail and 66 skipjack.


Closer to Point Loma, there has been hit or miss action on skipjack out at the 9 Mile Bank. The 6 pack charter yacht Josie Lynn out of Point Loma Sportfishing fished a morning half day trip on Wednesday morning, Nov. 7, 2018 and found excellent skipjack fishing and had 5 anglers catch 30 skipjack. This morning, Friday morning, Nov. 9, 2018 the skipjack were around out at the 9 Mile Bank but were not biting very well. The report from this morning's fishing was there were spots of breaking skipjack showing that were focused on feeding on tiny anchovies. These fish wanted the tiny anchovies and did not show much interest in the sardines anglers were presenting to them and did also not show much interest in trolling feathers.


Striped marlin are still biting around the eastern part of Catalina. There are very few boats out fishing during the week but there seems to have been a marlin or two caught and released most days since last weekend. Most of the action has been coming from fishing the 40 to 100 fathom depths in an area ranging from being off the Slide over to being off Church Rock. Action has been coming on the troll and by presenting dropback mackerel or baiting sleepers and tailers. Good color jigs during this late season have been reported to be the bleeding mackerel color combination jigs and pink jigs.


There has been very little marlin activity to report in the San Diego region but on Wednesday, Nov. 7, 2018, private boater Marshall Madruga was fishing for rockfish in 240 feet of water off the Green Tank at Point Loma and reported seeing a jumper that put on quite a show and jumped around 10 times within 100 yards of the boat.


There has been good mixed bag fishing for bonito, yellowtail and an assortment of bottom fish out at the Coronado Islands. The San Diego out of Seaforth Sportfishing fished a full day trip at the Coronado Islands on Thursday, Nov. 8, 2018 and had a fish count of 32 anglers catching 18 yellowtail and 4 bonito. Thursday's fishing also saw the Mission Belle out of Point Loma Sportfishing fish a full day trip to the Coronado Islands with 17 anglers who caught 27 bonito, 22 yellowtail, 22 rockfish, 8 calico bass, 6 sheephead and 1 barracuda.


Seaforth Sportfishing reports that the yellowtail have mostly been 12 to 20 pound fish that have been biting on yo-yoed iron, sardines fished with a dropper loop rig and flylined sardines. They have been suggesting 40- to 50-pound line for fishing with the yo-yoed iron and 25- to 30-pound test for fishing with the sardines.


The best surface fishing areas at the Coronado Islands have been the weather side of North Island, the Middle Grounds and the hard bottom to the northeast of North Island.


The fishing along the San Diego County coast continues to produce good mixed bag fishing for bonito, calico bass, sand bass and an assortment of bottom fish.


The bonito have been mostly 4- to 7-pound fish and productive areas have been the Whistler Buoy at Point Loma, the Dropoff at Point Loma, the Green Tank, Point Loma College, the upper end of La Jolla, Del Mar, Ponto Beach, the Carlsbad Canyon, the Buccaneer Pipeline and the area outside of the Oceanside Pier.


Some of the bonito have been biting while fishing along the edges of the kelp beds or next to structure but the majority have been caught by getting trolling strikes out in the deeper 18 to 50 fathom depths. Feathers and Rapalas have been productive on the troll and once bonito are located, flylined sardines and small chrome Megabait style jigs have been working while drifting or anchored.


Captain Joe Cacciola of the Sea Star with Sea Star Sportfishing and the Oceanside Sea Center reports that the Oceanside Sea Center boats have been doing well on bonito while fishing outside of the stretch of coast between the Oceanside Pier and Ponto Beach at South Carlsbad. Most of the bonito have been found in the 20 to 40 fathom depths and action has been originating from trolling strikes and from stopping on sonar marks and meter marks. After getting a trolling strike or a stop on a meter mark or sonar mark anglers are catching bonito on sardines and Megabait style jigs. Most of the bonito have been 5- to 7-pound fish.


Cacciola says that the water off the Oceanside area coast is running between 66 degrees and 68 degrees and the water has been clean and blue. In addition to the deeper water bonito action, he says that hard bottom, structure and kelp bed areas below Oceanside Harbor have also been productive for a mix of calico bass, sheephead, whitefish and some flurries of bonito action.


As an example of the recent bonito action, on Thursday, Nov. 8, 2018, the Chubasco II out of the Oceanside Sea Center had 21 anglers on a morning half day trip catch 89 bonito.


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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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