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Private Boater’s Report: San Clemente Island bluefin still firing along with yellowfin at the 9 and beyond

BY BOB VANIAN/976Bite.comPublished: Aug 13, 2019

Jumbo bluefin tuna to 300-plus pounds continue to bite off the back side of San Clemente Island, and there was also some improvement on the yellowfin front Sunday which provided some pretty good action on 10- to 25-pound ahi for boats fishing the 9 Mile Bank and the area 2 to 5 miles west of North Island. Improved yellowfin fishing is also being reported in the area to the west of the 371 Bank.

The big bluefin out by SCI have been providing anglers a shot at a fish of a lifetime and have been biting outside much of the back side in the region of the 81 Fathom Spot, 86 Fathom Spot, 57 Fathom Spot and the area above and outside of Seal Cove. Once located, the bluefin have been biting on kite-trolled Yummee Flyers, kite-fished flying fish, Flat-Fall jigs, sardines and mackerel. Of all those baits, flying fish have been working the best. A good zone to try and net some flying fish at night under lights has been in an area ranging from 3 to 5 miles up the inside of San Clemente Island from Pyramid Head. Live, fresh-dead and frozen flying fish have all been effective when fished from a kite.


Floyd Sparks of the Tuna Kahuna went fishing for bluefin In the region of the 86 Fathom Spot and 57 Fathom Spot off the back side of San Clemente Island and reported hooking a big on- on a slow trolled mackerel. They had a long battle that ended in heartbreak when the hook pulled out in with the fish 50 feet under the boat. Sparks reported getting one additional bite on a slow-trolled mackerel that did not result in a hookup.


Yellowfin tuna fishing improved over the weekend with fish biting at areas within 30 miles of Point Loma such as the 371 Bank, 302 Spot, 224 Spot, the area 2 to 5 miles west of North Island and the 9 Mile Bank. On Sunday, that area west of North Island and the 9 Mile Bank were the best, and there were some private boaters and 6-pack boats that had 5 to 10 of the 10- to 25-pound yellowfin for the day.


Most of the yellowfin action has been coming on the troll with cedar plugs, X-Rap Rapalas and feathers working well. The black and purple, blue and white and natural-color cedar plugs were working well over the weekend.


Another zone that has been providing some offshore action has been the kelp paddies outside of Ensenada on down to the waters outside of Punta Colonet. It has been hit or miss, but some of the kelps have been producing good numbers of 8- to 17-pound yellowtail and a few dorado. Productive areas have been the 385 Spot, the area outside of the Banda Bank, the 450 Spot, the 1140 Finger, the Lower 500 Spot and the 415 Knuckle.


Marlin fishing has been scratchy with some activity reported over the weekend of by boats fishing the area 1 to 4 miles off Catalina between Avalon and the Slide as well as around the 14 Mile Bank.


The fishing around the Coronado Islands has been producing good numbers of rockfish and whitefish along with a decent mix of yellowtail, calico bass, bonito and barracuda. The fishing on Sunday saw things change for the worse though with the surface fishing turned scratchy.


John Carroll of the Huachinango fished at the Coronados on Sunday, and he reported slow surface fishing with a general lack of life in the area. Carroll said nothing much was showing on the fathometer, and there was no surface action for their boat or the other boats he could see. Carroll said they slow trolled sardines around North Island, at the Middle Grounds, up and down both the inside and the outside of South Island and at the South Kelp Ridge for nada. He said water temperature was erratic with 67 degree water at North Island and at the South Kelp Ridge, and with 63 degree water at the Middle Grounds and around South Island.


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.


Calico bass continue to provide most of the surface fishing action with kelp bed areas up and down much of the San Diego County coast producing action. One noteworthy change is the calico fishing at the Point Loma Kelp Beds has recently dropped off when compared to the good fishing of recent weeks. Some of the more productive areas for calicos have been the kelp at the upper end of La Jolla, the kelp bed areas between Solana Beach and South Carlsbad, the Barn Kelp, Yellowtail Kelp and the kelp off Box Canyon.


The places that have been providing an occasional flurry of barracuda action have been the Whistler Buoy at Point Loma, the hard bottom to the northwest of Buoy #3 off Point Loma. The best zone for a chance at a yellowtail has been at the upper end of La Jolla. There has been a slight improvement in the yellowtail activity at the upper end of La Jolla during the past week.


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


Rockfish are a significant part of the coastal fishing picture with recent reports of good rockfish catches coming from hard bottom areas around the Whistler Buoy at Point Loma, the Green Tank at Point Loma, the upper end of La Jolla, Torrey Pines, Del Mar and Box Canyon.


dontletDON’T LET BIG calicos fly under the radar with all the offshore action going on! PHOTO COURTESY INSTAGRAM @ReyesSwimbaits

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