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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
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Yellowfin tune bite breaks open…
Jumbo bluefin in the picture too!

There have been several consecutive weeks of anglers more often than not being frustrated by seeing spots of yellowfin tuna that were crashing on the surface but were in the habit of not wanting to bite on the baits and lures that anglers were presenting to them. The good news is that this pattern of frustrating yellowfin behavior changed during the week and that the yellowfin have been much more willing to bite the baits and lures anglers are tossing their way.



There have been bluefin tuna, yellowtail, skipjack and dorado in the mix with the yellowfin and the yellowfin bite has been good enough to where some limit catches have been reported. Some of the better sportboat catches have reached the 200-plus yellowfin tuna mark in a day of fishing. On Wednesday, the San Diego out of Seaforth Sportfishing posted a count of 45 anglers catching 208 yellowfin tuna, 12 yellowtail, 2 skipjack and 2 bluefin tuna.


The best zone for the yellowfin is in the area ranging from west of the 371 Bank on up to where you are fishing southwest of the 224 Spot at the upper end of the Kidney Bank. This has you fishing from 25 to 38 miles 220 to 240 degrees from Point Loma.


The yellowfin have been running from 8 to 40 pounds with most in the 12- to 20-pound range. The bluefin being found in the mix where the yellowfin are being caught have been in the 20- to 50-pound range. Most of the kelp paddie yellowtail have been running from 8 to 17 pounds. The yellowfin are being located by finding meter marks, sonar marks, spots of breaking fish, spots of breezing fish, kelp paddies and the occasional trolling strike. The best bet has most often been to stop on a school of fish you have located and drift and chum and fish with sardines. It has often been a situation where the yellowfin are touchy biters and it helps to draw strikes by fishing with 15- to 20-pound test fluorocarbon leaders and small hooks. In addition to sardines, small chrome Megabait style jigs have also been drawing some strikes once you find some yellowfin.


The bluefin in the mix with the yellowfin have been biting on sardines, Flat Fall jigs and the occasional trolling strike. The best jigs on the troll for the 20- to 50-pound bluefin and the yellowfin have been cedar plugs and X-Rap Rapalas. Blue and white has been a good color X-Rap Rapala and good color cedar plugs have been black and purple, blue and white as well as the natural wood color.


There are still some of the jumbo sized bluefin tuna to 300-plus pounds biting out by San Clemente Island but the fish have been more spread out in recent days and have not been as grouped up as they have been in recent weeks. The military has also been conducting some recent training exercises that have forced Skippers to leave some of the more productive fishing areas until the closure comes to an end. The bottom line though is that there are still some jumbo bluefin biting off San Clemente Island.


There have been jumbo sized bluefin found spread out in a lot of areas around San Clemente Island with bluefin being found off both the West End of the Island and off Pyramid Head off the east end of the Island. The area outside of Desperation Reef has also been reported to have been holding some of the 80- to 100-pound grade bluefin. All that said, the best zone for the jumbo sized bluefin has been off the back side of the middle and the upper part of the Island in an area ranging from the 57 Fathom Spot on up to the area above and outside of Seal Cove.


Spots of breaking fish, spots of breezing fish, spots of puddling fish, meter marks, trolling strikes on kite trolled Yummy Flyers and sonar marks have been leading to bluefin tuna action. Once bluefin are located, most of the action has been coming from kite trolled Yummy Flyers, Flat Fall jigs and flying fish that are fished from a kite that is either being drifted or slow trolled. Occasional action has also been coming on poppers and on mackerel that are fished from a floating balloon, a helium filled balloon or which are slow trolled. Of all things mentioned, live flying fish have been working best with frozen flying fish and fresh dead flying fish also being effective.


There have been a few boats out looking for marlin during the week and there has been a bit of marlin activity reported in the Catalina region for boats fishing the Avalon Bank, the 14 Mile Bank and the area 1 to 6 miles off the Slide. There has been an occasional sleeper or tailer seen and an occasional blind trolling strike reported. The bite has been scratchy overall and in my estimation there have been 1 or 2 marlin caught and released over the past several days of fishing. In other areas, there has also been an occasional marlin sighting reported off the lee side of San Clemente Island and there was a report of a couple of tailers being seen during the week by boats fishing along the ridge off the back side of Catalina Island.


The yellowtail fishing around the Coronado Islands is a bit of an unknown with most all the boats that would otherwise be fishing around the Coronado Islands fishing local offshore waters for tuna. At last report earlier in the week, the surface fishing was scratchy and there was good fishing for rockfish. The surface fishing had been providing a mix of yellowtail, calico bass, bonito and barracuda but at last report the bite for the surface fishing species had turned scratchy.


Best areas for a chance at some surface fishing action around the Coronados have been the weather side of North Island, the Middle Grounds, the Ribbon Kelp and the South Kelp. At last report the water temperature around the Coronados ranged from 63 to 67 degrees. Looking for areas where there was the warmer 67 degree water was helpful in locating some surface fishing action.


The fishing for rockfish has been good around the Coronados and the best areas for the bottom fishing have been at the South Kelp Ridge while fishing in 25 to 40 fathoms of water and at the hard bottom areas to the north and northwest of North Island while fishing in 35 to 50 fathoms of water.


The fishing along the San Diego County coast remains pretty much unchanged from the fishing of recent weeks and continues to be good for a mix of sand bass, calico bass, reds, rockfish, whitefish and sculpin. In addition, there has also been a chance at catching a bonus yellowtail, lingcod or halibut.


The main surface fishing action has been for calico bass which have been biting well at kelp bed spots up and down the coast. Some of the more productive areas have been the kelp at the upper end of La Jolla, the kelp bed areas between Del Mar and South Carlsbad, the Barn Kelp, Yellowtail Kelp and the kelp at Box Canyon.


Captain Joe Cacciola of the Sea Star with Sea Star Sportfishing and the Oceanside Sea Center reported about some incredible calico bass fishing on a recent trip to the Barn Kelp and Yellowtail Kelp areas above Oceanside. Cacciola said it was a Boys Club and Girls Club trip that was sponsored by the Oceanside Senior Anglers. Cacciola said it was a 100% catch and release trip and that it was the most calico bass that one of his groups has ever caught in a single day of fishing in his 37-plus years of running trips out of Oceanside. The report was that their catch including catching and releasing 750-plus calico bass that day and Cacciola reported that the kids were tallying individual catch and release totals of numbers such as 83, 52, 49, and 36 calicos per person. It was incredible calico bass fishing!


Cacciola also reported recently catching the biggest halibut they have ever caught aboard the Sea Star. He said the jumbo sized halibut was caught in 70 feet of water off Carlsbad State Park and that it weighed 52 pounds! The fish was 50 inches long and was caught on a live sardine that was fished on the bottom.


On the remainder of the coastal fishing front, hard bottom and structure spots have been producing some bass and sculpin with productive places being the hard bottom to the north and northwest of Buoy #3 at Point Loma, the Green Tank, the upper end of La Jolla, the Anderson and Buccaneer Pipelines, the artificial reefs outside of Oceanside and Box Canyon. What has also been good at times is the fishing for sand bass at small hard bottom areas located between the Imperial beach Pipeline and the Mexico Border.


Rockfish have also been biting well at spots along the coast and some of the more productive areas have been while fishing hard bottom areas around the Whistler Buoy at Point Loma, outside of the Green Tank at Point Loma, off the upper end of La Jolla and while fishing outside of Torrey Pines, 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.


Jumbo sized bluefin tuna continue to highlight offshore angling!
Bluefin tuna, yellowfin tuna, dorado, yellowtail and striped marlin have all been producing some offshore action during the summer of 2019 offshore fishing season but the large bluefin tuna that have been biting out by San Clemente Island continue to steal the show with jumbo sized bluefin to 300+ pounds providing anglers with the chance of catching the fish of a lifetime. In addition to the bluefin, the offshore fishing is providing good numbers of kelp paddie yellowtail, an occasional flurry of dorado action, a few yellowfin tuna and an occasional marlin.

The big bluefin tuna are biting off the back side of San Clemente Island in an area ranging from the region of the 86 Fathom Spot and the 57 Fathom Spot off China Point on up to the waters above and outside of Seal Cove. The area above and outside of Seal Cove while fishing 4 to 6 miles off the Island has been the best over the past couple of days.


The bluefin have been ranging from 20 to 300+ pounds with most being up in the 150- to 250-pound range. Spots of breaking fish, meter marks, trolling strikes on kite trolled Yummy Flyers and sonar marks have been leading to bluefin tuna action. Once bluefin are located, most of the action has been coming from kite trolled Yummy Flyers, Flat Fall jigs and flying fish that are fished from a kite that is either being drifted or slow trolled. Occasional action has also been coming on poppers and on mackerel or sardines that are fished from a floating balloon or helium filled balloon. Of all things mentioned, live flying fish have been working best with frozen flying fish and fresh dead flying fish also being effective.


There have been a few yellowfin tuna biting and the yellowfin have been running from 10 to 40 pounds. Places where recent yellowfin tuna activity has been reported are the area inside of the San Clemente Canyon which has you fishing easterly from Pyramid Head at San Clemente Island, the 9 Mile Bank and the 302 Spot. Most of the yellowfin are coming from stopping on spots of breaking fish and using poppers with cedar plugs also reported to be producing an occasional yellowfin tuna on the troll.


Boats fishing offshore waters below and outside of Ensenada have been doing well on yellowtail and have also been picking up a few dorado. Some of the better sportboat trips fishing down this way have been limiting out on the yellowtail. The yellowtail have mostly been in the 8- to 17-pound range and have been biting on sardines. The yellowtail bite dropped off during the early part of the week when the weather was rough and sloppy but has picked up again over the past couple of days in step with some improvement in the weather conditions. The best areas for the yellowtail have been while fishing in the regions of the 385 Spot, Banda Bank, 450 Spot and the 415 Knuckle in an area ranging from 60 to 75 miles 157 to 163 degrees from Point Loma.


There have not been many boats out fishing for marlin during the week with the marlin fishing being generally scratchy and with most Skippers choosing to over to San Clemente Island to fish the jumbo sized bluefin tuna. In the San Diego region there were a couple of marlin seen on Thursday, Aug. 8, 2019 by a boat fishing outside of South Island but not much else has been reported in the San Diego region in recent days.


The best zone for marlin over the past couple of weeks has been around the eastern part of Catalina in an area ranging from 1 to 4 miles off Long Point on around the eastern end of the Island to where you are fishing a similar distance off Church Rock. The nearby Avalon Bank has also had some marlin activity reported during the past week or so. In recent days but the most active looking areas with regard to finding bait and signs of life have been while fishing 1 to 4 miles off the stretch between Avalon and the Can Dump and 1 to 4 miles off Church Rock.


The yellowtail fishing around the Coronado Islands has been improving in recent days with Thursday's fishing providing some good mixed bag fishing for yellowtail, calico bass, barracuda and rockfish.


As an example of the fishing at the Coronados, some fish counts from the fishing on Thursday, Aug. 8, 2019 start with the San Diego out of Seaforth Sportfishing that fished a full day trip with 20 anglers and caught 38 calico bass, 43 yellowtail and 58 whitefish.


The Mission Belle out of Point Loma Sportfishing had a full day trip with 16 anglers catch 11 yellowtail, 6 calico bass, 3 barracuda, 1 sheephead, 1 lingcod, 14 rockfish, 26 whitefish and 22 sculpin.


H&M Landing had the Grande fishing a full day trip with 14 anglers who caught 15 yellowtail, 70 rockfish and 5 calico bass.


The yellowtail around the Coronados have mostly been in the 8- to 17-pound range and they have been biting on flylined sardines, slow trolled sardines, yo-yo iron, surface iron and trolled Rapalas. The best areas for yellowtail have been the weather side of North Island and the Middle Grounds. There has also been more mixed bag surface fishing action to be found at kelp bed areas such as the Ribbon Kelp, 5 Minute Kelp and South Kelp.


The fishing for rockfish has also been good around the Coronados and the best areas for the bottom fishing have been at the South Kelp Ridge while fishing in 25 to 40 fathoms of water and at the hard bottom areas to the north and northwest of North Island while fishing in 35 to 50 fathoms of water.


The fishing along the San Diego County coast remains pretty much unchanged from the fishing of recent weeks and continues to be good for a mix of sand bass, calico bass, reds, rockfish, whitefish and sculpin. In addition, there has also been a chance at finding a flurry of barracuda action along with a bonus yellowtail, lingcod or halibut.


The main surface fishing action has been for calico bass which have been biting well at kelp bed spots up and down the coast. Some of the more productive areas have been the Point Loma Kelp Beds, the kelp at the upper end of La Jolla and the kelp bed areas between Del Mar and South Carlsbad. Among the areas listed, the best of those areas have been the kelp at the upper end of La Jolla and the kelp between South Carlsbad and Leucadia. The kelp beds at the Barn Kelp, Yellowtail Kelp and Box Canyon have also been productive for calicos but the bite has slowed some lately with a recent influx of off color water.


Captain Joe Cacciola of the Sea Star with Sea Star Sportfishing and the Oceanside Sea Center reports that they have been having very good fishing for calico bass. As is the case up and down much of the coast, most of the calicos are undersized fish that must be released but there are also some legal sized fish in the mix. Sardines and plastics are reported to have been working well for the calicos and a tip from Cacciola is that a chunk of fresh dead sardine has at times been working better than a live sardine.


The places that have been providing an occasional flurry of barracuda action have been the buoy line at Point Loma in the region of Buoy #3 and the Whistler Buoy. The best zone for a chance at a yellowtail has been at the upper end of La Jolla.


Hard bottom and structure spots have been producing some bass and sculpin with productive places being the hard bottom to the north and northwest of Buoy #3 at Point Loma, the Green Tank, the upper end of La Jolla, the Anderson and Buccaneer Pipelines, the artificial reefs outside of Oceanside and Box Canyon. What has also been good at times over the past week or so is the fishing for sand bass at small hard bottom areas located between the Imperial beach Pipeline and the Mexico Border.


Rockfish have also been biting well at spots along the coast and some of the more productive areas have been while fishing hard bottom areas around the Whistler Buoy at Point Loma, outside of the Green Tank, off the upper end of La Jolla and while fishing outside of Torrey Pines, Del Mar, Leucadia 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.


Bluefin tuna, yellowfin tuna, yellowtail, dorado and striped marlin entice offshore anglers!
Bluefin tuna, yellowfin tuna, dorado, yellowtail and striped marlin have been producing some offshore action but the offshore bite is more often than not on the scratchy side of things with the exception of the yellowtail that have been biting well from kelp paddies being found in areas ranging from some of the offshore banks below and outside of Ensenada on down to the waters outside of San Martin Island.

The past couple of days have been somewhat down days on the tuna after a very good showing of bluefin early in the week. That "down day" pattern seems to be changing for the better today though (Friday, Aug. 2, 2019) with better numbers of bluefin showing up by San Clemente Island in an area about 5 miles south-southeast of Pyramid Head and in an area about half way between the 43 Fathom Spot and Pyramid Head. Today's fishing is also seeing some yellowfin tuna showing around the Kidney Bank while fishing in the region of the 224 Spot and in the area of the Corner. The early part of the week saw very good showings of bluefin in the region of the 43 Fathom Spot and it looks like they might be starting to come up and show better today heading into the weekend.


The bluefin have been ranging from 20 to 250+ pounds with most being up in the 90- to 250-pound range. Most of the yellowfin have been in the 10- to 30-pound range. Spots of breaking fish, meter marks, trolling strikes and sonar marks have been leading to tuna action. Once bluefin are located, most of the action has been coming from poppers, kite trolled Yummy Flyers and flying fish that are fished from a kite that is either drifted or slow trolled.


The yellowfin bite shows signs of improving today and one private boater Skipper reported having 8 yellowfin aboard this morning while fishing the region of the 224 Spot at the upper end of the Kidney Bank. Yellowfin have been biting on trolled Rapalas, trolled cedar plugs, poppers, Colt Snipers and sardines.


The waters around and below the 295 Bank have been producing some pretty good yellowtail fishing and a few dorado for boats fishing from 60 to 75 miles 180 to 185 degrees from Point Loma. The early part of the week saw near limit to limit yellowtail fishing for boats fishing outside of Punta Colnett down between 100 and 110 miles 160 to 165 degrees from Point Loma but that area has slowed down the past couple of days. Today there is also a report about a new area of kelp paddie yellowtail and dorado activity at the 1140 Finger for boats working down between 85 and 90 miles 165 to 170 degrees from Point Loma. Another zone that has been producing good numbers of kelp paddie yellowtail and a few dorado has been while fishing outside of San Martin Island at around 125 miles 160 to 170 degrees from Point Loma. A nice thing about these kelp paddie yellowtail are that they have been decent sized fish that have been running from 8 to 17 pounds.


Striped marlin fishing has been producing a bit of action during the week but there have been very few boats out fishing for them. There has been a bit of marlin activity found while fishing 1 to 4 miles off the eastern part of Catalina in an area ranging from the Can Dump on over to Church Rock. There has not been much marlin activity in the San Diego region during the week but there was a marlin hooked and lost at mid-week by a boat drifting for tuna near the high spot at the 43 Fathom Spot. Most of the marlin action has come from trolling strikes, dropback baits and baited tailers.


The yellowtail fishing at the Coronado Islands has been pretty good and has been improving after scratchy yellowtail fishing earlier in the week. The yellowtail bite has been picking up each of the past couple of days and there has been a mix of bonito, barracuda, calico bass and rockfish biting to supplement the yellowtail fishing.


Some fish counts from Thursday's fishing start with Point Loma Sportfishing that had the Mission Belle return home from a full day trip with 34 anglers having caught 28 yellowtail, 14 calico bass, 6 rockfish, 4 sand bass and 2 halibut. Seaforth Sportfishing had the San Diego fishing a full day trip with 33 anglers who caught 109 whitefish, 31 rockfish, 10 yellowtail, 3 sheephead, 2 bonito, 2 calico bass and 1 barracuda. Fisherman's Landing had the Liberty fish a full day trip with 48 anglers who caught 40 rockfish, 15 calico bass and 2 sand bass. H&M Landing had the Vendetta fish a full day trip with 8 anglers who caught 34 yellowtail, 15 rockfish and 10 calico bass. H&M Landing also had the Grande fishing a full day trip with 20 anglers who caught 31 yellowtail.


The best areas for the yellowtail fishing have been the Middle Grounds and the weather side of North Island. Look for more of a mixed bag catch while fishing kelp bed areas such as the Ribbon Kelp, 5 Minute Kelp and South Kelp. Yellowtail have been located by finding meter marks, sonar marks, spots of fish up under working birds and trolling strikes on Rapalas or slow trolled sardines. Once yellowtail are located, flylined sardines and slow trolled sardines have been working best.


The fishing for rockfish has also been good around the Coronados and the best areas for the bottom fishing have been at the South Kelp Ridge while fishing in 25 to 40 fathoms of water and at the hard bottom areas to the north and northwest of North Island while fishing in 35 to 50 fathoms of water.


The fishing along the San Diego County coast remains pretty much unchanged from the fishing of recent weeks and continues to be good for a mix of sand bass, calico bass, reds, rockfish, whitefish and sculpin. In addition, there has also been a chance at finding a flurry of barracuda action along with a bonus yellowtail, lingcod or halibut.


The main surface fishing action has been for calico bass which have been biting well at kelp bed spots up and down the coast. Some of the more productive areas have been the Point Loma Kelp Beds, the kelp at the upper end of La Jolla, the kelp bed areas between Del Mar and South Carlsbad, the Barn Kelp, Yellowtail Kelp and the kelp off Box Canyon.


The places that have been providing an occasional flurry of barracuda action have been the hard bottom to the northwest of Buoy #3 off Point Loma and along the edges of the Point Loma Kelp Beds. The best zone for a chance at a yellowtail has been at the upper end of La Jolla but this morning (Friday morning, Aug. 2, 2019) I also got a report about a private boater who had hooked and lost 3 large yellowtail while slow trolling with sardines outside of the edges of the kelp beds at the Lab area off the Point Loma Kelp Beds.


Hard bottom and structure spots have been producing some bass and sculpin with productive places being the hard bottom to the north and northwest of Buoy #3 at Point Loma, the Green Tank, the upper end of La Jolla, the Anderson and Buccaneer Pipelines, the artificial reefs outside of Oceanside and Box Canyon.


Rockfish have also been biting well at spots along the coast and some of the more productive areas have been while fishing hard bottom areas around the Whistler Buoy at Point Loma, outside of the Green Tank, off the upper end of La Jolla and while fishing outside of Torrey Pines, Del Mar, Leucadia 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.


Bluefin tuna and yellowtail bites improve!
Bluefin tuna, yellowfin tuna, dorado and yellowtail continue to produce offshore action with the tuna bites picking up and improving during the week for boats running down to fish the offshore waters below and outside of Ensenada. The other offshore area producing some tuna action is for a few of the jumbo sized bluefin tuna and a few yellowfin tuna which are biting up by San Clemente Island. In addition to the offshore tuna fishing, the yellowtail fishing at the Coronado Islands has been ranging from being good to something bordering on spectacular.

The main area being fished my most of the offshore sportboat fleet below and outside of Ensenada has been producing improving numbers of bluefin tuna along with a pretty good mix of yellowfin tuna, yellowtail and dorado. The bluefin down this way have been running from 25 to 100+ pounds and some of the better trips have been producing limit catches of bluefin tuna. There have been a few yellowfin tuna and dorado in the mix and an occasional kelp paddie that produces a good yellowtail bite.


The bluefin bite area below and outside of Ensenada ranges from the waters outside of the Banda Bank on down to the area above and inside of the 1140 Finger. Most of the action has been coming for boats fishing from 60 to 80 miles 158 to 162 degrees from Point Loma. The tuna action has been coming from stopping on spots of breaking fish, meter marks and sonar marks with an occasional trolling strike or porpoise school also producing some tuna action. Once located, the tuna have been biting on sardines, poppers, Colt Snipers, surface iron, Flat Fall jigs and stick baits.


Some sample sportboat counts coming from this region on Thursday, July 18, 2019 are the Condor out of Fisherman's Landing that had 17 anglers on a 1.5 day trip catching 28 bluefin tuna that went to 90 pounds along with 7 yellowfin tuna and 1 yellowtail.


Seaforth Sportfishing reported that the Aztec fished an overnight trip that had 23 anglers catch 18 bluefin tuna, 1 yellowfin tuna and 32 yellowtail.


Point Loma Sportfishing had a 1.5 day trip on the New Lo-An return home with 36 of the 30- to 100- pound bluefin tuna, along with 1 yellowtail and 1 yellowfin tuna.


H&M Landing had the Old Glory fishing an overnight trip with 15 anglers who caught 9 bluefin tuna, 6 yellowtail and 2 dorado.


The waters off San Clemente Island are producing some of the jumbo sized bluefin tuna to 250+ pounds along with an occasional yellowfin tuna. It has been hard to get the bluefin to bite up this way but there has been some action to be had on poppers, Colt Snipers, surface iron and kite trolled Yummy Flyers. The bluefin were being found around the 43 Fathom Spot and the San Clemente Basin Weather Buoy early in the week but that area has been slowing down over the past few days with San Clemente Island emerging as the best area for a chance at a jumbo sized bluefin.


I have reports of occasional bluefin activity being around Desperation Reef outside of China Point but the best zone has been further off the Island for boats fishing about 14 miles to the southeast of China Point in an area that has you working 54 to 59 miles 255 degrees from Point Loma.


The yellowtail fishing at the Coronado Islands during the week has at times been great with the past two days providing good action but seeing a bit of a decline compared to 200+ yellowtail per boat counts on some of the sportboat trips from earlier in the week. The information I have from this morning's fishing around the Coronados (Friday morning, July 19, 2019) makes me think the bite is improving again today.


Some counts from boats fishing on Thursday, July 18, 2019 start with Seaforth Sportfishing that had the San Diego fishing a full day trip with 51 anglers catch 63 yellowtail, 15 rockfish, 5 calico bass and 4 barracuda. They also had the 6 pack charter yacht El Gato Dos fishing a full day trip with 5 anglers who caught 16 yellowtail, 10 rockfish and 7 barracuda.


The Mission Belle out of Point Loma Sportfishing fished a full day trip with 41 anglers who caught 53 yellowtail, 14 rockfish, 6 bonito, 1 sheephead and 1 lingcod.


H&M Landing reports having the Legend fishing a full day trip with 30 anglers who caught 63 yellowtail, 10 barracuda and 75 rockfish. They also had the Grande fishing a full day trip with 60 anglers who caught 68 yellowtail.


Fisherman's Landing had the Liberty fishing a full day trip with 61 anglers who caught 61 yellowtail, 25 rockfish and 9 barracuda. They also had the Western Star fishing a full day trip with 4 anglers who caught 10 yellowtail, 10 barracuda and 8 calico bass.


Private boater Pat McDonell of Western Outdoor News and the private boat Robalo fished a solo trip to the Coronado Islands on Wednesday, July 17, 2019 and Pat reported catching his limits of 5 yellowtail and 2 bonito. Pat said his yellowtail were running around 12 pounds each and that the 2 bonito were both 8-pound fish.


Pat tried to catch some mackerel in San Diego Bay in the morning but had no luck with the mackerel. He went to the Islands without having any live bait aboard and caught the 5 yellowtail on surface iron and the 2 big bonito on trolled Rapalas. It was a sloppy southeast wind condition at the Coronados on Wednesday and Pat said the best area for the yellowtail was to the northeast of the tuna pens that were inside of the south tip of South Island. He said that if you tried going much further south that you would loose the protection of being in the lee of the Island and that the ocean conditions would be rough and sloppy.


Pat's report was that yellowtail were being caught in a variety of ways with slow trolled sardines, trolled Rapalas, flylined sardines, surface iron and yo-yo iron all producing action. He said most boats were either drifting or slow trolling with a few boats also fishing on the anchor.


Private boater Mike Seymour of the Sea Section called as I was preparing this report and reported about fishing at the Coronado Islands today, Friday, July 19, 2019. Seymour was fishing with his friend Dave Derianieh aboard and he reported that they had their caught their limits of yellowtail and several nice sized calico bass.


Seymour said they caught yellowtail on slow trolled sardines, yo-yo iron and trolled blue and white Rapalas. The best bite area in the early morning was fishing inside of the tuna pens and in the late morning he said that the best bite area shifted down to the South Kelp Ridge. In the afternoon they caught their 2 biggest yellowtail of the day while fishing at the outer Middle Grounds and he said that the outer part of the Middle Grounds was also where they caught their calico bass. Their yellowtail ranged in size from 8 to 15 pounds.


Seymour said that the water temperature was running 67.2 degrees and the water was reported to be nice and blue in the morning but he said that the water color developed into a blue-green color during the afternoon.


In addition to the yellowtail, the fishing at the Coronados has been producing a mix of bonito, barracuda, calico bass and rockfish. The best areas for the surface fishing have been the north end of South Island, the Ribbon Kelp, the area inside of the tuna pens inside of the south tip of South Island, the South Kelp and the South Kelp Ridge.


The fishing for rockfish has also been good around the Coronados and the best areas for the bottom fishing have been at the South Kelp Ridge while fishing in 25 to 40 fathoms of water and at the hard bottom areas to the north and northwest of North Island while fishing in 35 to 50 fathoms of water.


The fishing along the San Diego County coast continues to be good for a mix of sand bass, calico bass, reds, rockfish and sculpin and there has also been a chance at finding a flurry of barracuda action along with a bonus yellowtail, lingcod or halibut.


The primary surface fishing activity has been for calico bass which have been biting well at kelp bed spots up and down the coast. Some of the more productive area have been the Point Loma Kelp Beds, the kelp at the upper end of La Jolla, the kelp bed areas between Del Mar and South Carlsbad, the Barn Kelp, Yellowtail Kelp and the kelp off Box Canyon.


Captain Joe Cacciola of the Sea Star with Sea Star Sportfishing and the Oceanside Sea Center reports that they hooked a yellowtail incidental to fishing for calico bass on a recent trip and he says that a new thing going on is that there has been an occasional yellowtail hookup reported incidental to fishing for calico bass among some of the sportboats in recent days. Joe reports that the calico bass fishing has been very good for what are mostly undersized fish that must be released with some legal sized calicos in the mix as well.


Joe reports that they have been fishing kelp bed areas both above and below Oceanside Harbor. Up above the harbor he mentioned productive kelp bed areas as being the Barn Kelp, Yellowtail Kelp and Box Canyon. Below Oceanside Harbor, they have been working kelp bed areas between south Carlsbad and Solana Beach. In addition to the calico bass Joe reports that they have been catching a few legal sized sand bass, a few legal sized halibut and some short sized white seabass that have been released.

The places that have been providing an occasional flurry of barracuda action have been the hard bottom to the northwest of Buoy #3 off Point Loma and along the edges of the Point Loma Kelp Beds. The best zone for a chance at a yellowtail has been at the upper end of La Jolla with kelp bed areas up and down the San Diego County coast seeing a bit of yellowtail activity on occasion 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, La Jolla, Del Mar, Solana Beach, Leucadia and Box Canyon.


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


There have been some good flurries of yellowtail action at spots around the East End of Catalina. Try areas such as Church Rock, the East End Light, Seal Rocks and the Can Dump. At times (including this morning, Friday, July 19, 2019), squid boats have been offering squid for sale while anchored in front of Avalon. Try to raise the squid boats on VHF channels 11 or 72.


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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.


Offshore tuna and Coronado Islands yellowtail are providing action!
Bluefin tuna, yellowfin tuna and yellowtail continue to produce some offshore action while at the same time the yellowtail fishing at the Coronado Islands has been red hot. The offshore fishing also provides a chance at a few dorado and there is an occasional striped marlin encounter being reported as well.

The bluefin and yellowfin are spread out over a large area ranging from the region of the 302 Spot outside of the Coronado Islands on up to San Clemente Island. Productive areas have been in the region of the 302 Spot, the 224 Spot, the Coronado Canyon, the area 2 to 6 miles west of North Island, the Corner, the end of the Ridge below the 182 Spot, the area between the 43 Fathom Spot and the San Clemente Basin Weather Buoy and the San Clemente Canyon.


The tuna fishing can be frustrating at times with there often being lots and lots of spots of breaking, puddling or foaming fish showing and with it often being difficult to get the tuna to bite. The tuna have been focused on feeding on tiny sized anchovies and it has often been hard to get them interested in the baits and lures anglers have been presenting them. There is a tremendous volume of tuna in local offshore waters and there could be some epic fishing if they change their habits and start biting better.


The best bet to try and hook a bluefin or yellowfin has been to cast poppers to the school of tuna that is up on the surface before they sound. In addition to poppers, the tuna have also been biting pretty well on Colt Snipers and surface iron. Skippers that are skilled at approaching a school of fish as to try and not spook them and anglers that are skilled at making a good cast to the breaking fish when first approaching the school have been having the best chance at hooking a bluefin or yellowfin. There are also occasional tuna caught on flylined and kite fished sardines. Trolled black and purple as well as natural color cedar plugs have also caught an occasional tuna when trolled far behind the boat. A blue and white Rapala is also reported to produce and occasional tuna strike on the troll.


The bluefin have ranged in size from 30 to 250+ pounds with most in the 60- to 100-pound range. The yellowfin tuna have been mixed size fish ranging from 6 to 30 pounds with most in the 8- to 12-pound range. The kelp paddie yellowtail have mostly been up in the 12- to 15-pound range.


Most of the striped marlin encounters have come incidental to tuna fishing on the weekends when there are a lot of boats out on the water. The 302 Spot and the area into the north and northeast of Pyramid Head at San Clemente Island have been areas where there has been an occasional marlin encounter.


As an example of the recent tuna fishing, some of the recent fish counts start with Fisherman's Landing has the Pacific Queen out fishing offshore today, July 12, 2019. The Pacific Queen had an early update of having 5 of the 25- to 40-pound bluefin and 15 yellowtail aboard. They were still fishing at the time of that report.


Seaforth Sportfishing reports that the Aztec is coming home from an overnight trip that fished today, Friday, July 12, 2019 with 19 anglers having caught 21 bluefin tuna and 2 yellowfin tuna. That fish count is very encouraging and is one of the best if not the best sportboat tuna count that has been posted in several days! Maybe the tuna are starting to go into a mode where they will start biting better. Seaforth also has an early update from the Pacifica that is out fishing today and had an early update of having 3 bluefin tuna and 13 yellowtail aboard. They were still fishing at the time of that report.


The yellowtail fishing around the Coronado Islands has been very good. There have been near limit to limit catches of yellowtail reported in recent days along with a mix of barracuda, calico bass and bonito. The yellowtail bite has been so good that some of the boats on overnight and 1.5 day trips have been spending time fishing at the Coronado Islands instead of offshore.


There has been good surface fishing at several areas around the Coronados with the South Kelp Ridge region being the hot spot for the yellowtail. Other productive surface fishing areas have been the Ribbon Kelp, the north end of South Island, the Middle Grounds and Pukey Point.


The yellowtail have been mostly 10- to 16-pound fish and have been biting best on flylined sardines and surface iron. Tady 45's and Salas 7X lights would be good choices for surface iron in the mint, sardine or blue and white colors. Some of the yellowtail action comes from stopping and drifting on meter marks, sonar marks and spots of fish seen on the surface but most of the action has been coming while sitting on the anchor.


The fishing for rockfish has also been good around the Coronados and the best areas for the bottom fishing have been at the South Kelp Ridge while fishing in 25 to 40 fathoms of water and at the hard bottom areas to the north and northwest of North Island while fishing in 35 to 50 fathoms of water.


Some counts from boats fishing full day trips to the Coronados from Thursday, July 11, 2019 start with Seaforth Sportfishing that reports that the San Diego fished a full day trip with 34 anglers who caught 140 yellowtail and 33 bonito. Fisherman's Landing reports that the Liberty fished a full day trip with 40 anglers and caught 176 yellowtail and 3 barracuda. Point Loma Sportfishing reports that the Mission Belle had a full day trip with 33 anglers who caught 100 yellowtail, 9 bonito, 5 barracuda and 4 calico bass. H&M Landing reports having the Grande fish a full day trip with 31 anglers who caught their limits of 155 yellowtail.


The fishing along the San Diego County coast continues to be good for a mix of sand bass, calico bass, reds, rockfish and sculpin along with a chance at finding a flurry of barracuda action or a bonus yellowtail, lingcod or halibut.


The primary surface fishing activity has been for calico bass which have been biting well in kelp bed spots at the Point Loma Kelp Beds, at the upper end of La Jolla and along the stretch between Solana Beach and Carlsbad. The places that have been providing an occasional flurry of barracuda action have been the Whistler Buoy off Point Loma and along the edges of the Point Loma Kelp Beds. The best zone for a chance at a yellowtail has been while fishing off the upper end of La Jolla


Some boats fishing coastal areas are focusing on rockfish fishing and productive rockfish areas have been the International Reef, the Imperial Beach Pipeline, hard bottom areas in the region of the Whistler Buoy at Point Loma, the Point Loma Pipeline, the Green Tank, The 270 to the west of Mission Bay, La Jolla, Del Mar, Solana Beach, Leucadia and Box Canyon.


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


A highlight mid-week report from Catalina Island was that there was good fishing for yellowtail to 30+ pounds while fishing spots around the East End. Try areas such as Church Rock, the East End Light and Seal Rocks. At times, squid boats have been offering squid for sale while anchored in front of Avalon. Try to raise the squid boats on VHF channels 11 or 72.


* * *


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


•   •   •   •   •

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


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