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Bob Vanian's 976-Bite – HOT BITE

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White seabass, yellowtail, rockfish, bass and halibut highlight early spring action!
Spring is here and Southern California anglers have still been having to fish the nice weather days between a series of weather fronts that started moving through Southern California several weeks ago. The weather systems have been weakening lately though and there has been some improving spring time fishing to be had during the periods of nice weather.


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The most recent improvement is that some large white seabass have started to bite at La Jolla. The past few days of fishing at La Jolla have seen large white seabass biting that have gone to 50+ pounds. Live mackerel have been the best bait for the white seabass which have been found by locating meter marks, spots of working birds and sonar marks.


In addition to the white seabass at La Jolla there have been improving numbers of 20 to 30+ pound yellowtail showing in the La Jolla area. It has generally been difficult to get the yellowtail to bite but there have been a few biting yellowtail to be found. Look for meter marks, sonar marks spots of bait and spots of working birds to locate the yellowtail. Once located, the best chance at hooking a yellowtail has been with yo-yoed iron. Also worth a try have been flylined sardines, sardines fished on a dropper loop rig or surface iron. Try the surface iron if you can get the jig directly to breaking fish before they sound.


There are also yellowtail in the picture at the Coronado Islands. Private boater, Captain Bob Fletcher of the Fletch reported fishing a full day trip aboard the San Diego out of Seaforth Sportfishing on Tuesday, March 20, 2018 and reported that they found several schools of yellowtail by locating sonar marks around North Island. He said they stopped on a couple of schools of yellowtail in the morning but said those were not interested in biting.


Their next move was to the South Kelp Ridge where they fished about half way between the Rockpile and South Island and found very good fishing for reds and an assortment of rockfish. Fletcher reported catching his limits of quality sized reds and 3 large chuckleheads while they were fishing the rockfish zone below South Island.


Fletcher reported that they came back up to North Island during the afternoon and found more schools of yellowtail with the scanning sonar. He said they had 3 schools of yellowtail respond to their chum and come up and boil but said they still would not bite. He said they stopped on another school of yellowtail just prior to heading for home and that during that stop they hooked a yellowtail on yo-yoed iron that was unfortunately eaten by a seal. He said the amazing thing was that the same angler immediately tied on another yo-yo jig, dropped right back down and hooked and caught the only yellowtail of the day!


The San Diego’s fish count was 14 anglers on a full day trip catching 1 bonito, 1 yellowtail, 1 lingcod, 1 sheephead, 65 reds and 46 rockfish.


In addition to a chance at yellowtail, there has also been good fishing for an assortment of rockfish around the Coronados. In addition to the South Kelp Ridge area as talked about above, other productive rockfish areas have been the hard bottom to the north and the north west of North Island while fishing in the 40 to 50 fathom depths as well as the lower end of the 9 Mile Bank while fishing on the Mexico side of the border.


Further down the Mexican coast there has been good fishing for reds and an assortment of rockfish for boats fishing off Punta Colnett. There has also been some sporadic surface fishing action for bonito and yellowtail. The last trip I know of to fish at Punta Colnett was on Saturday, March 17, 2018 when the Old Glory out of H&M Landing had 20 anglers on a 1.5 day trip catch 100 reds and 100 rock cod.


Aside from the yellowtail and white seabass at La Jolla, boats fishing along the San Diego County coast have been finding a mixed bag of action on sand bass, calico bass, sculpin and rockfish.


Some of the better areas for rockfish in the San Diego region are hard bottom spots outside of the Whistler Buoy at Point Loma, hard bottom areas outside of the Green Tank at Point Loma, the 270 out to the west of Mission Bay, La Jolla, Del Mar, Leucadia and Box Canyon.


Some of the better areas for bass and sculpin have been the Imperial Beach Pipeline, hard bottom areas to the north of the Whistler Buoy at Point Loma, hard bottom areas to the northwest of Buoy #3 at Point Loma, hard bottom areas outside of the Green Tank at Point Loma and hard bottom areas outside of La Jolla. Also productive have been hard bottom spots outside of Leucadia and Box Canyon along with the structure of the Anderson Pipeline, Buccaneer Pipeline and the artificial reefs outside of Oceanside Harbor.


There have been some flurries of halibut action along the San Diego County coast but it has been hit or miss fishing. Productive halibut areas along the San Diego area coast have been the Imperial Beach Pier, the Buoyline area of Point Loma in an area ranging from below the Point Loma Light House on in to the area around the bait barges, the sandy bottom adjacent to the structure of the Yukon Shipwreck off Mission Beach, the sandy bottom adjacent to the structure of the sunken NEL tower off Mission Beach, the sandy bottom outside of Ponto Beach, the sandy bottom adjacent to the structure of the artificial reefs outside of Oceanside Harbor, and the sandy bottom off the Golf Ball area above Oceanside Harbor. Going further north, a couple of additional productive halibut zones have been the sandy bottom off San Onofre and the sandy bottom outside of the San Clemente Pier.


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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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