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Bob Vanian's 976-Bite – HOT BITE

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Friday, June 22, 2018
Bluefin bite moves into U.S. waters


Friday, June 15, 2018:

Bluefin Bite Improves and Yellowtail Action Remains Very Good at the Coronado Islands!

The offshore bluefin fishing has improved during the past week or so but it is still hit or miss fishing with regard to both locating bluefin and getting them to bite once located. There is a bit more consistency in being able to find some biting bluefin and bluefin are being found in more areas so there is indeed continued improvement to report in the bluefin picture.

The area of the 371 Bank and the area above the 390 Bank were the best bluefin zones yesterday which was Thursday, June 14, 2018. These areas are in Mexican waters but for those wishing to fish for bluefin above the Mexico border, the past few days have also seen some showings of bluefin in areas that are on the U.S. side of the Mexico border. The showings of bluefin in U.S. waters have been very much sporadic and hit or miss but it is encouraging to see the areas containing bluefin expanding to where more fish are showing in more areas.

Places where bluefin have been reported on the U.S. side of the Mexico border have been the area from 2 to 6 miles below and outside of the Corner, the 43 Fathom Spot, the 182 Spot, the 209 Spot, the deep water above the 181 Spot and inside of the eastern part of San Clemente Island. There has yet to be any consistency to the showings of fish in these areas but hopefully some consistency will be building as more bluefin continue to move in.

The best bluefin fishing has been in Mexican waters for boats fishing 1 to 4 miles southwesterly of the western edge of the 371 Bank. This has you fishing from 28 to 31 miles 202 to 208 degrees from Point Loma. Another top zone has been for boats fishing the trench up above the 390 Bank while working from 36 to 43 miles 212 to 218 degrees from Point Loma.

Fish counts from the fishing on Thursday, June 14, 2018 start with the Grande out of H&M Landing that had 25 anglers on a full day trip catch 4 bluefin tuna and 1 yellowtail. Point Loma Sportfishing had the New Lo-An fishing an overnight trip with 27 anglers that caught 9 bluefin tuna. Fisherman's Landing had a 1.5 day trip aboard the Pacific Queen fish on Wednesday and return home Thursday morning and 16 anglers caught their limits of bluefin tuna which was 32 bluefin tuna.

Most of the bluefin are in the 25 to 40 pound class but there are some bigger bluefin being seen and sometimes caught that have gone in excess of 200 pounds. Flylined sardines, sardines fished deep with a 4 to 8 ounce torpedo sinker attached with a rubber band, flat fall jigs and iron have been working for the bluefin tuna. There has also been some action on the bigger bluefin while kite trolling with Yummy Flyers. There has also been some action reported on kite fished live baits that are presented to spots of breezing fish and fish that are working meatballs of bait.

Most of the bluefin action comes from stopping on sonar marks, meter marks and spots of breaking fish which are often found under working birds. Areas with shearwater birds and tern birds have been likely spots to find a sonar mark, meter mark or see a spot of breaking fish.

There has been very good yellowtail fishing around the Coronado Islands and to add to the surface fishing action, there has also been a mix of calico bass, bonito and barracuda biting. The yellowtail have been running from 6 to 25 pounds with most falling within the 10 to 18 pound range.

Yellowtail have been found in several areas with the South Kelp Ridge, the Middle Grounds, the weather side of South Island and the weather side of North Island being productive zones. Once yellowtail are located, action has been coming while sitting on the anchor and while drifting.

For the yellowtail, try flylined sardines, surface iron and yo-yo iron. Surface iron and flylined sardines have also been productive for the barracuda. Calico bass have been biting on sardines, anchovies and plastics. Try small chrome jigs, sardines and anchovies for the bonito.

In addition to the surface fishing action at the Coronado Islands, halibut fishing has been improving with some halibut reported to be biting for boats drifting sandy bottom areas in the lee of South Island.

As an example of the recent fishing at the Coronado Islands, Thursday, June 14, 2018 saw the Liberty out of Fisherman's Landing fish a full day trip with 53 anglers that caught 169 yellowtail, 10 barracuda, 2 bonito and 40 calico bass. The Mission Belle out of Point Loma Sportfishing also fished on Thursday and had a full day trip out fishing with 30 anglers that caught 93 yellowtail, 57 calico bass, 5 barracuda, 2 bonito and 1 halibut. Seaforth Sportfishing also had a full day trip aboard the San Diego fishing a full day trip on Thursday and 37 anglers caught 115 yellowtail, 27 barracuda and 42 calico bass.

The fishing along the San Diego County coast has been good for a mix of calico bass, sand bass, sculpin and rockfish and there have been a few yellowtail, barracuda and halibut in the mix as well.

Kelp bed areas have been the best for the calico bass and have also been producing a few sand bass. Hard bottom and structure spots have been best for the sculpin and rockfish and have been producing some sand bass and calico bass as well. Fishing the sandy bottom adjacent to hard bottom and structure spots has been best for a chance at a halibut.

There have been occasional showings of yellowtail and barracuda found breezing around under spots of working birds. There was some of this type of activity out in about 40 fathoms of water outside of Point Loma this morning (Friday morning, June 15, 2018) and there were several yellowtail caught on surface iron that was cast to the spots of breezing fish. Skippers reported that the schools of fish were fast moving. They followed the breezing fish out about 4 miles to the west from where they first found them in about 3 hours of chasing them around. Similar activity on what have mostly been barracuda has been reported occasionally being seen outside of Point San Mateo and outside of Dana Point. There are a lot of barracuda starting to bite as there has also been very good barracuda fishing to be found at the Horseshoe Kelp.

Halibut fishing has been improving with some legal sized halibut reported to be biting for boats fishing outside of the Imperial Beach Pier, inside of San Diego Bay, outside of Mission Beach, off Solana Beach and off Leucadia. Fishing the sandy bottom adjacent to structure and the sandy bottom adjacent to kelp and hard bottom has been the best bet for halibut.

Captain Joe Cacciola of the Sea Star with Sea Star Sportfishing and the Oceanside Sea Center reports that the water temperatures in the kelp bed areas they have been fishing between Leucadia and Solana Beach have jumped up from having been in the 63 to 65 degree range to where they are currently in the 68 to 70 degree range.

Cacciola reports having some days of very good calico bass fishing and says they are finding a few sand bass biting as well. He says that 6 inch or smaller sized sardines or anchovies are the best bait for the bass. When they only have the larger 6+ inch sized sardines for bait he says that they have been catching the calicos by using chunks of those larger sized sardines. Cacciola reports that they have been catching lots of short sized calicos that must be released. He says that on the better days that they catch 3 or 4 keeper sized calicos per angler. In addition to sardines, the calicos have been biting well on plastics and he said that the Hookup Bait plastics and the Berkley Jerk Shads have been working well.

There have also been some yellowtail biting at San Clemente Island and at Catalina Island. Over at San Clemente Island, when the Island has been open, there have been some yellowtail biting for boats fishing off West Cove, Pyramid Cove, White Rock and Purse Seine Rock. The White Rock and Purse Seine Rock areas have also been good for calico bass and a few bonito.

At Catalina Island there has been a mix of yellowtail, bonito, calico bass and barracuda biting at spots around the Isthmus. There has also been good fishing for a mix of calico bass, yellowtail and bonito along with an occasional white seabass or halibut for boats fishing spots along the back side of the Island from the V's over to Ben Weston.

Squid has not been easy to catch and at times squid boats have been offering squid for sale while anchored up outside of Avalon. Try to raise the squid boats on VHF channels 11 or 72.

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 . 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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