CALIFORNIA'S ONLY SPORTSMAN'S NEWS SINCE 1953

Bob Vanian's 976-Bite – HOT BITE

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Coronado Islands picking up while bluefin and yellowtail continue to bite offshore!
The past week of offshore fishing has seen improved weather conditions and the surface fishing has been picking up with better weather and water conditions. What has shown marked improvement during the week has been the surface fishing around the Coronado Islands with a mix of yellowtail, bonito, barracuda and calico bass biting to provide pretty good to sometimes good surface fishing action. The offshore fishing remains pretty much the same as what it has been the past couple of weeks with what has mostly been fair to sometimes good fishing for bluefin tuna and yellowtail.

There were 2 sportboats that I know of that were out fishing offshore waters on Thursday, May, 31, 2018. The Liberty out of Fisherman's Landing had a full day trip with 18 anglers catch 1 yellowtail. The Pacific Queen out of Fisherman's Landing was out on an overnight trip with 11 anglers that caught 8 yellowtail and 4 bluefin tuna.


Most of the bluefin have been in the 25- to 60- pound range but during the past few weeks there have been bluefin caught that have gone up over 200 pounds. The best area is in the 1000 fathom trench to the southwest of the 371 Bank for boats fishing 40 to 50 miles 210 to 215 degrees from Point Loma. There has also been some action in the region of the 371 Bank in an area out between 27 and 32 miles 205 to 215 degrees from Point Loma. In other areas, there has been occasional action found by boats fishing the region of the Kidney Bank while working around the 302 Spot, 230 Spot and 224 Spot.


Most of the bluefin have been found by locating sonar marks, meter marks or spots of breaking fish. Shearwater birds and tern birds often mark an area where you are likely to get a sonar mark, meter mark or find a spot of breaking fish. Flylined sardines, sardines fished deep with a 4- to 8-ounce torpedo sinker that is attached to the line with a rubber band and flat fall jigs have been working well for the bluefin. There has also been bluefin action on kite trolled Yummy Flyers. Kelp paddies have produced most of the yellowtail action. Most of the yellowtail have been 6- to 12-pound fish and the yellowtail have been biting best on sardines.


The surface fishing around the Coronado Islands has been improving during the week with a mix of barracuda, yellowtail, calico bass and bonito biting. Some of the fishing is being done while sitting on the anchor and some of the fishing has been done while drifting over meter marks, sonar marks or spots of breaking fish. Private boaters have also been reporting catching an occasional yellowtail or bonito on trolled Rapalas.


Productive areas around the Coronados have been the weather side of North Island, the Middle Grounds, the lighthouse at the south tip of South Island, the Ribbon Kelp and the South Kelp Ridge. Some of the best of the yellowtail action has been found at the lighthouse at the south tip of South Island.


Try flylined sardines, sardines fished on a dropper loop rig, surface iron and yo-yo iron for the yellowtail. Try surface iron and flylined sardines for the barracuda. Calico bass have been biting on sardines, anchovies and plastics. Try small chrome jigs, sardines and anchovies for the bonito.


Fish counts from the fishing at the Coronado Islands on Thursday, May 31, 2018 start with Point Loma Sportfishing that had a full day trip on the Mission Belle with 17 anglers catch 15 yellowtail, 25 calico bass, 15 bonito, and 3 sculpin. The San Diego out of Seaforth Sportfishing fished a full day trip with 11 anglers that caught 9 yellowtail, 45 barracuda, 6 bonito, 6 calico bass, 2 lingcod and 20 rockfish.


The fishing along the San Diego County coast has been highlighted by an occasional nice sized yellowtail or white seabass at the upper end of La Jolla. An occasional nice sized white seabass is also reported from kelp bed areas in the View Point and the Barn areas above Oceanside. The rest of the fishing along the San Diego County coast has been productive for a mix of sand bass, calico bass, sculpin and rockfish along with an occasional halibut.


Hard bottom and structure spots have been best for the bass, sculpin and rockfish and fishing the sandy bottom adjacent to hard bottom and structure spots has been best for a chance at a halibut. Kelp bed areas have also been seeing improved calico bass activity.


If you want to give the La Jolla yellowtail a try, best bet has been fishing with a live mackerel, surface iron or yo-yo iron outside of the upper end of La Jolla in the 18 to 30 fathom depths. Best bet for a white seabass has been fishing along the edges of the kelp beds with a live mackerel at the upper end of La Jolla, View Point or Barn Kelp regions.


Captain Joe Cacciola of the Sea Star with Sea Star Sportfishing and the Oceanside Sea Center reports that finding kelp bed areas with 62 to 64 degree water and a steady current flow has been a key to finding a calico bass bite in the kelp.


Cacciola reports that they have been catching a lot of short sized calicos that must be released but says there have also been some legal sized fish in the mix. The calicos have been biting well for them on the smaller sized five to six inch sardines and on plastics and he mentioned the Hookup Bait plastics as being a productive plastic bait.


On recent trips Cacciola has been working kelp bed and hard bottom areas between Leucadia and Solana Beach and says that in addition to calico bass they have been catching a mix of rockfish, sculpin, whitefish, tree-fish, sand bass and halibut. He suggests sandy bottom areas that are adjacent to kelp beds and that are adjacent to kelp stringer areas as being best for a chance at a halibut.


I have not received much news about thresher shark fishing during the week but last weekend there were thresher sharks biting for boats fishing the Carlsbad Canyon as well as the area outside of Torrey Pines. A productive method for the thresher sharks has been to troll hot pink color Bait-O-Matics that are baited with a mackerel.


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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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