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Bob Vanian's 976-Bite – HOT BITE

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Friday, May 11, 2018
YELLOWTAIL BITE PICKS UP


Bluefin, yellowtail, bonito, bass and rockfish highlight recent action!
This has been a week of decent weather conditions and the good news is that there has been improved fishing to report while fishing in the improved weather conditions. Bluefin tuna have been the highlight species and there have been some jumbo sized bluefin to 191 pounds caught in recent days.


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The bluefin have ranged in size from 25 to 191 pounds with a good number of 50- to 70-pound fish in the mix. Flat fall jigs have been working well for the bluefin with some bluefin also biting on flylined sardines and on sardines that are fished deep with a 4 to 8-ounce torpedo sinker that is attached to the line with a rubber band.


The productive areas in more local offshore waters have been the region of the Upper Hidden Bank, the area between the Upper Hidden Bank and the 371 Bank and the area between the Upper Hidden Bank and the 425 Bank. In slightly more distant waters, another productive zone has been the area below the 295 Bank while fishing between 70 and 80 miles 175 degrees from Point Loma.


Fish counts from the past couple of days of fishing start with the New Lo-An out of Point Loma Sportfishing that had a 1.5 day trip return on Thursday morning with 11 anglers catching 4 bluefin tuna. They had some real whoppers aboard with their bluefin weighing 191 pounds, 180 pounds, 170 pounds and 50 pounds.


Thursday's fishing saw Seaforth Sportfishing have the San Diego fishing a full day trip with 18 anglers that caught 12 bluefin tuna and 3 yellowtail. Seaforth Sportfishing reported that their bluefin went to 75 pounds and that they were biting on flat fall jigs, flylined sardines and sardines fished with a sinker. They were suggesting bringing 30- to 40-pound test live bait outfits and 60- to 80-pound jig outfits. An early update from Seaforth Sportfishing about Friday's trip (today's trip) aboard the San Diego is that they have 13 of the 25 to 60 pound bluefin aboard and are still fishing. They are reporting most of the action to be coming on flylined sardines and report that a few have also been caught on flat fall jigs.


Thursday's fishing also saw Fisherman's Landing have the Liberty out fishing a full day trip with 28 anglers that caught 15 bluefin tuna. All their fish were reported to have been caught on flat fall jigs and were reported to have been in the 30- to 35-pound range.


There have been some kelp paddie yellowtail biting for some of the boats fishing the bluefin tuna offshore. The action has been more hit or miss in recent days but when the kelp paddie yellowtail are located, they are mostly in the 4- to 8-pound range.


The bluefin tuna are mostly located by finding sonar marks. There is occasional bluefin action that comes from stopping on a meter mark or a spot of breaking fish as well. Skippers without scanning sonar and without a lot of chum to throw are at a disadvantage in this type of fishing and most private boats fall into this category. This is one of those times when private boaters that do not have scanning sonar and do not have a lot of chumming capacity might want to go out fishing on a sportboat that is equipped with scanning sonar and that has a lot of chumming capacity.


The fishing around the Coronado Islands has been slow for yellowtail with some dirty cold water in the area. The good news from the Coronados is that Thursday's fishing saw improvement in the surface fishing activity with improved numbers of bonito biting. The Mission Belle out of Point Loma Sportfishing fished a full day trip to the Coronados on Thursday, April 26, 2018 and had a full day trip with 21 anglers catch 105 reds, 44 bonito, 12 rockfish, 8 whitefish, 1 lingcod and 10 salmon grouper.


The bonito have been biting best while fishing around North Island and private boaters have reported doing well on bonito while fishing with flylined sardines and while trolling with Rapalas. Small chrome Megabait style jigs should also work well for bonito. The last reports about yellowtail activity around the Coronados are now about a week old but the Rockpile and the weather side of North Island have been the best areas for yellowtail at the Coronados during the late winter and early spring season.


Bottom fishing remains good around the Coronados with reds and an assortment of rockfish producing good action at a variety of locations. Productive rockfish areas have been the South Kelp Ridge, hard bottom areas to the north and the northwest of North Island and the lower end of the 9 Mile Bank while fishing on the Mexico side of the border.


There is also some improvement to report in the surface fishing along the San Diego County coast as this morning's fishing (Friday morning, April 27, 2018) has seen some bonito biting for boats fishing along the 50 fathom curve a short way inside of the lower-middle part of the 9 Mile Bank. This has you fishing a short way above the Mexico border in the area outside of the International Reef. Skippers report that the bonito action is coming on sardines after stopping alongside of a spot of breaking or breezing fish. Fisherman's Landing reports that the Dolphin had 18 anglers on this morning's half day trip catch 22 bonito and 20 rockfish. The bonito were reported to be running from 6 to 8 pounds.


There is a chance at scratching out a yellowtail, white seabass or thresher shark while fishing at La Jolla. The fishing has been scratchy but the occasional yellowtail, white seabass or thresher shark being caught have been very nice sized fish with yellowtail going to 30 pounds, white seabass going to 50 pounds and thresher sharks going to 400 pounds. The water along much of the San Diego area coast is off color and cold and it is hoped that the water conditions will be improving sometime soon and that improved water conditions will bring improved surface fishing.


Try fishing the edges of the kelp at the upper end of La Jolla with live mackerel for white seabass. Try fishing with live mackerel, surface iron or yo-yo iron outside of the upper end of La Jolla in the 18 to 25 fathom depths for yellowtail. Give the thresher sharks a try outside of the middle part of La Jolla and outside of the upper end of La Jolla in depths ranging from 20 to 100 fathoms of water.


Aside from the chance at yellowtail or white seabass in the La Jolla region, boats fishing along the San Diego County coast have been finding good mixed bag fishing for sand bass, calico bass, sculpin, halibut and rockfish.


Some of the better areas for rockfish in the San Diego region have been the Imperial Beach Pipeline, hard bottom spots outside of the Whistler Buoy at Point Loma, hard bottom areas outside of the Green Tank at Point Loma, the Pine Tree outside of Sunset Cliffs, 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 a few halibut biting along the San Diego County coast but it has been hit or miss fishing. Productive halibut areas in the Point Loma region have been the Imperial Beach Pier and the Buoyline area of Point Loma ranging from below the Point Loma Light House on in to the bait barges. In the Mission Bay region there have been a few halibut biting at the sandy bottom adjacent to the structure of the Yukon Shipwreck off Mission Beach and the sandy bottom adjacent to the structure of the sunken NEL tower off Mission Beach. As you go further up the coast, try for halibut at 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. A couple of additional productive halibut zones as you go further north of Oceanside 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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