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Private Boater's

Private Boater's Report: Bluefin hit or miss, yellowfin moving into U.S. waters

BY BOB VANIAN/976BITE.COMPublished: Oct 10, 2018

The first week of October saw good offshore fishing with excellent numbers of yellowfin tuna and skipjack biting at offshore banks within 15 to 25 miles of Point Loma, fair numbers of large bluefin tuna biting out by San Clemente Island and fair numbers of striped marlin biting around the eastern part of Catalina.

The bluefin tuna fishing off the back side of San Clemente Island has become hit or miss. There are still some bluefin to 200+ pounds around but some days are providing slow fishing where very little is seen or caught. The best areas have been outside of Seal Cove and to the west of the 57 Fathom Spot. Also look for a chance at yellowfin tuna if you locate some porpoise between China Point and Pyramid Head.


Most of the bluefin action comes from drifting on sonar marks with an occasional spot of fish found working on the surface. Mackerel, sardines, flying fish and Flat-Fall jigs have been top producers.


Yellowfin tuna have been biting very well in an area ranging from the deep water inside of the 302 Spot on up to the deep water outside of the 178 Spot that is located above the 9 Mile Bank. Sunday’s best fishing was found by boats working an area spread from 15 to 20 miles 210 to 265 degrees from Point Loma.


The yellowfin have been running from 8 to 35 pounds and are found by locating trolling strikes, skipjack trolling strikes, kelp paddies, porpoise schools, sonar marks and spots of puddling fish. Once located, sardines, Megabait style jigs and poppers have been working well.


Early in the week, the yellowfin were biting best between the 101 Spot and the 425 Bank but the water cooled in that area and the yellowfin have been working in a northwesterly direction ever since. Private boater, Captain Louie Zimm of the Shearwater went out with a friend who is a DFW biologist on Wednesday, Oct. 3, 2018 and reported about their trip.


Zimm reported starting the day inside of the 425 Bank where they found that the water was down to 64.5 degrees. The fishing was slow in the cooler water and they worked outside to where they found an area of 68-degree water between the 371 Bank and the 425 Bank, where they found biting yellowfin tuna around a kelp paddie.


Zimm said that the yellowfin bit small sardines while using 20-pound test fluorocarbon leaders. They were able to catch 3 yellowfin tuna before running out of the few small sardines in the bait tank.


The striped marlin fishing has been producing fair action at spots such as the Avalon Bank, the area between the Avalon Bank and the oil rigs, the 152 Spot and the area 2 to 5 miles south to southwest of Church Rock. The Church Rock area was best over the weekend. Most of the action has been coming from blind trolling strikes with an a chance at finding a feeder, sleeper or tailer as well. There is not much to report with regard to marlin activity in the San Diego region with one trolling strike reported on Saturday by a boat fishing 4 miles off Point Loma.


The few boats fishing around the Coronado Islands found mixed bag fishing for bonito, calico bass and an assortment of bottom fish. Productive areas have been reported to be the weather side of North Island, Pukey Point at North Island, the lee side of North Island and the Middle Grounds. Nothing much was reported in the way of bluefin tuna or yellowtail activity.


The fishing along the San Diego County coast has been good for a mix of bonito, calico bass, sand bass and an assortment of bottom fish. Boats fishing off the upper end of La Jolla report an occasional yellowtail as well.


The bonito have been running from 4 to 10 pounds and productive areas include the Whistler Buoy at Point Loma, the Dropoff at Point Loma, the Green Tank, the upper end of La Jolla and Del Mar. Captain Joe Cacciola of the Sea Star with Sea Star Sportfishing and the Oceanside Sea Center reports that they have been catching good numbers of bonito while fishing outside spots such as the Oceanside Pier, the Buccaneer Pipeline, the Carlsbad Canyon and Ponto Beach at South Carlsbad.


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