CALIFORNIA'S ONLY SPORTSMAN'S NEWS SINCE 1953

Bob Vanian's 976-Bite – HOT BITE

Click here for Bob Vanian's 976-Bite – HOT BITE







Bluefin and yellowfin biting offshore!
The past week has seen improvement in the offshore fishing scene as good numbers of yellowfin tuna have moved in to join lots of bluefin tuna which have been holding in local offshore waters for the past couple of months. The influx of warm water fish into local offshore waters is still underway as the past several days have seen reports of dorado being seen and sometimes caught at offshore kelp paddies in an area ranging from San Diego on up to the waters outside of Dana Point.


The best tuna zone is currently in the deep water outside of the Kidney Bank which is where the 224 Spot and 302 Spot are located. Boats have been finding action while fishing from 30 to 40 miles 225 to 240 degrees from Point Loma. The 9 Mile Bank was a hot spot tuna zone early in the week but when green water moved into the area on Thursday, July 12, 2018 it slowed the bite. Green water has been pushing further and further offshore the past couple of days and Skippers report needing to get beyond the green water and into the blue water to find the best tuna fishing.


Both bluefin tuna and yellowfin tuna are showing and biting best in the area outside of the Kidney Bank and there are also some bluefin scattered from the weather buoy below the 43 Fathom Spot on up to San Clemente Island.


The bluefin bite in the area ranging from the weather buoy below the 43 Fathom Spot on up to San Clemente Island has slowed down the past couple of days but there are still scattered sightings of fish in this zone with a good sized bluefin being reported caught this morning (Friday morning July 13, 2018) while fishing a kite trolled Yummy Flyer a few miles above the weather buoy. There have also been a few reports that the shallower water spots off the back side of San Clemente Island such as Desperation Reef are starting to hold some big bluefin so this might be a zone worth keeping an eye on.


The bluefin tuna are running from 25 to 250 pounds and the yellowfin tuna are in the 15- to 30-pound range. Most of the tuna action comes from stopping on spots of breaking or foaming fish and working the tuna with sardines, poppers, Colt Snipers, Flat Fall jigs, Megabait style jigs or surface iron. The kite trolled Yummy Flyers have also been effective for the jumbo sized bluefin tuna.


Private boater Alex Deridder of the Fishfinder reported having a good day of tuna fishing on Thursday, July 12, 2018 while working outside of the Kidney Bank's 224 Spot at 40 miles from Point Loma. He said the two anglers aboard caught their limits of 4 bluefin tuna (limits) and 6 yellowfin tuna. The bluefin were in the 25- to 50-pound range and Deridder reported that they lost a larger 100-pound class bluefin right near the boat. Their 6 yellowfin were also nice sized fish in the 20- to 25-pound range.


They caught their fish by casting poppers into spots of breaking or foaming fish. He said they first tried some other jigs but that they did not start getting bites until they switched over to poppers. He said that it was run and gun style fishing in going from one spot of breaking fish to the next.


Private boater Tom Parnakian of the Ambush reported about fishing on Tuesday, July 10, 2018 aboard the Liberty out of Fisherman's Landing. They had a good trip with 33 anglers on a full day trip catching 27 bluefin tuna, 18 yellowfin tuna, 1 yellowtail and 3 bonito.


Parnakian said they found their action while fishing below and outside of the lower end of the 9 Mile Bank. He said that the action in the early morning hours originated from stopping on sonar marks and that as the day went on it turned into a situation where there were spots of breaking and foaming fish all over the place.


Parnakian caught a 30-pound bluefin tuna that bit a belly hooked sardine fished on 25-pound test line. He said they saw some 100-pound class bluefin tuna around the boat at times but he does not think that anyone hooked any of those larger sized bluefin. The yellowfin tuna they were catching were running about 20 pounds.


Parnakian's observation was that casting a Colt Sniper into a spot of breaking or foaming fish was the best way to try and get bit by a bluefin tuna or yellowfin tuna. He also mentioned that one of the anglers aboard the trip caught 2 tuna by casting a Flat Fall jig.


Parnakian enjoyed his trip aboard the Liberty. He was impressed with the way the crew aboard the Liberty promptly gilled and gutted his bluefin tuna before putting it into their fish hold refrigeration system.


The fishing at the Coronado Islands had been outstanding for a mix of yellowtail, bonito, barracuda and calico bass but some off color water moved into the Islands on Tuesday and slowed the bite. It was at that same time when bluefin tuna, yellowfin tuna and yellowtail started biting outside of the 9 Mile Bank and most boats stopped fishing at the Coronados to take advantage of the tuna fishing in local offshore waters.


There have not been any recent reports from the Coronados but prior to the influx of green water on Tuesday, productive areas for the yellowtail, bonito, barracuda and calico bass included Pukey Point at North Island, the Keyhole at the south tip of North Island, the Middle Grounds, the Ribbon Kelp and the South Kelp Ridge. Private boater John Carroll of the Huachinango fished the Coronados Tuesday and he reported slow yellowtail fishing in the green water. What Carroll did report finding was a good barracuda bite while fishing the Ribbon Kelp in the lee of South Island.


The fishing along the San Diego County coast has been excellent for calico bass, rockfish and sculpin and is also producing occasional flurries of sand bass action to go with a mix of a few barracuda and bonito along with an occasional yellowtail, halibut or white seabass.


Kelp bed areas have been producing most of the calico bass action with the good areas being the Point Loma Kelp Beds, the upper end of La Jolla, Del Mar, Solana Beach, Leucadia, Carlsbad, the Barn, Box Canyon and San Onofre.


Anchovies and small sardines have been the best baits for the calico bass and Captain Joe Cacciola of the Sea Star with Sea Star Sportfishing and the Oceanside Sea Center also reports that they have been catching lots of calicos on the Hookup Baits plastics. Cacciola suggests the 3/8-ounce or ½- ounce size Hookup Baits and says that hot colors have been anchovy, sardine and a light chartreuse.


The best areas for a chance at a yellowtail has been fishing the edges of the kelp at the upper end of La Jolla or fishing along the edges of the Point Loma Kelp Beds at spots like Point Loma College and Hill Street. There have been occasional flurries of bonito action for boats trolling around looking for trolling strikes and spots of working birds at the 9 Mile Bank. The bonito bite does seem to have slowed the past couple of days in conjunction with the influx of green water at the 9 Mile Bank.


Areas that have produced an occasional halibut have been for boats fishing off Imperial Beach, inside of San Diego Bay, outside of Mission Beach, off Solana Beach, Leucadia the Barn and San Onofre. Fishing the sandy bottom adjacent to structure and the sandy bottom adjacent to kelp and hard bottom has been the best bet for targeting halibut.


* * *


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.


•   •   •   •   •

We hope you enjoyed this article on our no-charge website wonews.com. Of course, this site contains only a small fraction of the stories that Western Outdoor Publications produces each week in its two northern and southern editions and its special supplements. You can subscribe to the print issue that is mailed weekly and includes the easy flip-page full-color digital issues, or you can purchase a digital only subscription. Click here to see the choice.


Reader Comments
Be the first to comment!
Leave a Comment
* Name:
* Email:
Website (optional):
* Comment:


IZORLINE
Advertise with Western Outdoor News
The Longfin Tackle Shop