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Privte Boater's Report

Private Boater’s Report: Yellowfin, bluefin and yellowtail bite on

BY BOB VANIAN/976Bite.comPublished: Jun 18, 2019

The past week saw fairly steady action on the offshore fishing grounds with boats finding a mix of bluefin tuna, yellowfin tuna and yellowtail. Good tuna catches became a bit more scattered and hit or miss over the weekend but there were still some decent stops to be found.

Productive areas over the weekend were widespread and ranged from 40 to 80 miles from Point Loma with tuna catches being report from the Upper Hidden Bank, 475 Knuckle, Lower Hidden Bank, Upper 500 Bank, 295 Bank, 450 Spot and 1140 Finger.

The bluefin have ranged in size from 20 to 200-plus pounds with most falling within the 30- to 80-pound range. Bluefin schools have been located by finding sonar marks, kelp paddies and spots of breaking or breezing fish. Yellowfin tuna have ranged in size from 12 to 50 pounds with most falling within the 15- to 25-pound range and biting from blind trolling strikes, sonar marks, spots of breaking or breezing fish and around porpoise schools.

Once located, bluefin have been biting fly-lined sardines, kite-fished sardines, sardines fished with torpedo sinkers and Flat-Fall jigs. If you have room for all the tackle, it works well to carry live bait outfits with fluorocarbon leaders ranging from 30-pound to 100-pound. A 25-pound outfit would also be nice for kelp paddy yellowtail and yellowfin tuna.

At the Coronado Islands, the surface fishing has improved and is producing a fair mix of yellowtail, barracuda, bonito and calico bass. In addition, there has also been very good fishing for an assortment of reds, rockfish and whitefish along with an occasional lingcod.

The late part of the week saw yellowtail and barracuda biting from bird schools at the Flats area between the Islands and the Mexican coast. These yellowtail and barracuda declined over the weekend. These yellowtail have been focused on small natural feed and have been touchy biters. The best bet has been to cast small surface iron to the spots of breaking fish. Good choices would be Tady C’s, Tady AAs and Tady A1s.

The rest of the surface fishing around the Coronado Islands proper has been producing a mix of yellowtail, bonito, barracuda and calico bass. Pro­ductive areas over the weekend were the weather side of North Island, the area into the east of North Island, the Middle Grounds and the north end of South Island. A couple of additional spots producing calico bass are the boiler rocks at the Middle Grounds and at the north end of South Island.

The San Diego County coast remains good for a mix of calico bass, sand bass, barracuda, reds, rockfish, sculpin and whitefish along with an occasional bonus yellowtail, halibut or lingcod.

The best zone for barracuda or yellowtail action has been ranging from the Whistler Buoy off Point Loma down to the Mexico border while fishing around and outside of the Imperial Beach Pipeline, on bird schools or while anchored near the Pipe or hard bottom rockfish spots around the Whistler Buoy. The bird school activity declined over the weekend.

Calico bass have been becoming more active in some kelp bed areas. Boats fishing the Point Loma kelp beds have been finding some calicos biting between the Green Tank and the Round House at Sunset Cliffs. Further up the coast, Captain Joe Cacciola of the Sea Star with Sea Star Sportfishing and the Oceanside Sea Center reports good calico bass fishing while fishing kelp beds off Carlsbad. Cacciola reports that they have had anchovies in their bait supply lately, and fishing them with 1⁄4-ounce split shot has been working best.

Productive rockfish areas off the San Diego County coast include the International Reef, the Imperial Beach Pipeline, hard bottom areas in the region of the Whistler Buoy at Point Loma, the Point Loma Pipeline, the Green Tank, the 270 to the west of Mission Bay, the upper end of La Jolla, Del Mar, Solana Beach, Leucadia, South Carlsbad and Box Canyon.

On Tuesday, June 11, there was a good halibut bite on fish to 30-plus pounds at the sandy bottom adjacent to the sunken NEL Tower outside of Mission Beach. Boats that have returned to that area since have found scratchy fishing.

San Clemente Island has been good for a mix of yellowtail, bonito, barracuda, calico bass and an occasional white seabass. There has been squid to catch at night off Pyramid Cove and this area has also produced an occasional white seabass and some of the larger 20- to 30-pound yellowtail. Also look for larger yellowtail while fishing the ridge areas outside Pyramid Cove. The front side of the Island has been producing a mix of yellowtail, bonito, calico bass and barracuda between Purse Seine Rock and Gold Bluff. There has also been an occasional flurry of yellowtail off the Runway and West Cove on the back of the western part of the Island.

Sardines, live squid, surface iron and yo-yo iron have been working for yellowtail.

Catalina is also good for surface fishing with a mix of yellowtail, bonito, calico bass and a few white seabass. Productive areas are spread around the Island with the areas of Little Harbor, Ben Weston, Salta Verde, Orange Rocks, the V’s and Church Rock providing some action along the back of the Island and the legal waters at the point and reef areas between the Can Dump and Black Point providing some action along the entire front side of the Island.

There has been a bit of squid to catch for bait at night off Ben Weston at Catalina but the best squid fishing has been at Pyramid Cove at San Clemente Island with the squid boats often making a catch and then bringing it over to Catalina to sell to private boaters. Try to raise the squid boats on VHF channels 11 or 72.

exoticwadererEXOTIC WANDERER — Matt Olson caught this silver salmon off Palos Verdes while fishing a mackerel and Krocodile rig targeting white seabass. It was released after a quick photo. PHOTO COURTESY ANDREW MEJIA

AL QUINONES CAUGHT this 25-pound yellowtail off Catalina while fishing with guide Vaughn Podmore of Saltyfly out of Huntington Beach.

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