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Saltwater Fishing Report

Angler's Choice Saltwater Fishing Report

July 29, 2016 -- Summary Fish Report

 Provided by Bob Vanian of 976-Bite
Fish Reports at https://www.976bite.com/amember/signup/index

The 2016 Southern California fishing season continues to impress with lots of good choices for anglers to pick from in choosing what they would like to target be it fishing offshore, at local Islands, or along the coast.

On the offshore fishing grounds on the United States side of the Mexico border there continue to be big bluefin tuna, yellowfin tuna, yellowtail and dorado to target.  The bluefin tuna have been the highlight fish with most of the bluefin falling within the 50 to 150 pound range and with some jumbo sized fish to 270+ also being hooked and caught.  The bluefin are usually finicky biters and it can be very challenging for anglers to get a bluefin to bite and even more challenging to land one.  There has been one story after the next of anglers looking at massive schools of bluefin right along side the boat that are not at all interested in the baits and lures anglers are presenting them.  There are some hookups to be found though and there are plenty of stories about an angler getting wrapped up in a battle with a big bluefin that lasts for many hours and goes into the night.

The yellowfin tuna in U.S. waters have been ranging from 12 to 100 pounds and they have been acting similar to the bluefin in that it is more often than not very challenging to get them to bite.  Most of the kelp paddie yellowtail on the U.S. side of the border have been the 3 to 12 pound fish and most of the dorado caught from the same kelp paddies have been in the 8 to 20 pound range.

The productive areas for the bluefin, yellowfin, dorado and yellowtail on the U.S. side of the border at the time of this report are the 209 Spot, the 312 Spot, the 181 Spot, the 43 Fathom Spot, the 289 Spot and 10 miles off La Jolla.  Last week there were good numbers of tuna showing 3 to 15 miles off the coast at spots between La Jolla and San Onofre but most of that zone has quieted down over the past few days.

There is an occasional bluefin caught from a trolling strike or kelp paddie but the vast majority of the bluefin have been biting from working spots of fish found at or near the surface via locating breaking fish, breezing fish, puddling fish, shiner spots of fish, meter marks or sonar marks.  The yellowfin found in the same areas as the bluefin have been fished in a similar fashion as the bluefin.

As tough as it can be to get the bluefin and U.S. waters yellowfin to bite, there are some biting bluefin and yellowfin to be found and most have been caught on slow trolled, drifted or kite flown live sardines and mackerel as well as on surface iron, yo-yo iron, poppers and kite trolled Yummy Flyers.  The Flat Fall, Colt Sniper, Megabait, Laser Minnow, Tady 45, Salas 7X light, JRI 4T and JRI 5T jigs have been some of the best for those fishing iron.

On the Mexico side of the border, there is an area of yellowfin tuna, dorado and yellowtail that has been producing some pretty good to very good overall fishing for boats working the region below the 425 Bank, the area outside of the 475 Knuckle and the Upper Hidden Bank.  The fish down this way are mostly 12  to 20 pound yellowfin tuna, 6 to 25 pound dorado and 8 to 30 pound yellowtail.  There are some good bait stops to be found and there have been occasional limit catches of yellowfin tuna coming from down this way.

The best zone has been while fishing the area from the west of the 475 Knuckle out to the Upper Hidden Bank.  There has been a chance at finding some action once you get below the 425 Bank and the action has been spread  from 27 to 40 miles 175 to 185 degrees from Point Loma.  Kelp paddies, blind trolling strikes, porpoise schools, sonar and spots of breaking or puddling fish have been leading to action down this way.

The Coronado Islands have been providing excellent fishing for a mix of yellowtail, barracuda, bonito and calico bass with some limit yellowtail catches being reported.  There is good action  to be had at various locations around the Islands with the best spots being the weather side of North Island, the Lighthouse at the south tip of South Island, the South Kelp, the Ribbon Kelp and the area inside of the north end of South Island.

Pukey Point at North Island and the weather side of North Island have been the best zones for the larger sized yellowtail. This is the zone where Captain Billy of the private boat Efishnsea and the 6 pack charter yacht Tailblazen fished on Wednesday, July 27, 2016 aboard the Efishnsea. Captain Billy reported excellent fishing while catching limits of yellowtail for the 3 anglers aboard by 10:30 AM and said they also caught and released calico bass of 8 pounds, 4 pounds and 3 pounds.

Captain Billy was fishing with a couple of friends that work for the Fred Hall Shows that included Tim Baker and reported that they had all their action on slow trolled sardines while working up and down the weather side of North Island. He said that there were about 15 private boats and 1 sport boat fishing the area and that he found success by working areas where there was some open water with no boats. Captain Billy said he was getting a lot of meter marks in the areas where he was getting bit.

Private boater Tom Parnakian of the Ambush reported about fishing aboard the San Diego out of Seaforth Sportfishing on Wednesday, July 27, 2016. He said they fished the weather side of North Island, the south tip of North Island, the Lighthouse at the south tip of South Island, the Rockpile and the Ribbon Kelp and they had a fish count of  54 anglers on a three-quarter day trip catching 30 bonito, 20 barracuda, 20 calico bass and 135 yellowtail.

Parnakian said they caught yellowtail at each stop but that their two best stops were at the south tip of North Island and at the Ribbon Kelp in the lee of South Island.  He said the yellows they caught at North Island were the larger grade fish that went from 15 to 30 pounds.  The yellowtail that were biting at the Ribbon Kelp were plentiful but were smaller 3 to 12 pound fish.

Tom ended up the day with 4 yellowtail that went to 20 pounds, a good sized calico bass and a log barracuda. He said most of the fish on the trip were caught on flylined sardines with a bit of action to be had for those fishing with surface iron as well.

Most of the sportboats have been fishing while sitting on the anchor and private boaters have also done well while drifting or slow trolling.  Once you get a strike on the slow troll you can drift and fish with sardines and surface iron.  Good choices for surface iron are Tady 45’s, Salas 7X lights, JRI 4T’s and JRI 5 T’s in blue and white, sardine and mint colors.

The fishing along the San Diego County coast has been producing some good mixed bag fishing for calico bass, bonito, barracuda, yellowtail and white seabass.  Calico bass have been making up most of the catch and the fishing has been excellent with most of the kelp bed areas up and down the coast producing lots of calico bass action.

The Point Loma Kelp Beds have been producing very good numbers of calico bass along with an occasional flurry of action on bonito, barracuda or yellowtail. An occasional white seabass has been biting at the Point Loma Kelp Beds as well.  Productive areas have been he hard bottom and kelp stringer area to the northwest of Buoy #3, the Dropoff, the Lab, 5 Tanks, Green Tank and Point Loma College.

Up at La Jolla, the upper end of La Jolla is providing some good mixed bag fishing for yellowtail, calico bass, bonito and barracuda.  Most of the fishing is being done while sitting on the anchor on the outside edges of the kelp beds or while fishing outside of the main kelp beds at the kelp stringer and hard bottom area of Northwest. The yellowtail at La Jolla have been mixed size fish that have gone from 2 to 30+ pounds.

In North San Diego County waters, Captain Joe Cacciola of the Sea Star with Sea Star Sportfishing in Oceanside reports that there has been very good calico bass fishing to be found at kelp bed areas such as the Barn, Yellowtail Kelp, Carlsbad, Leucadia and Solana Beach.  In addition to calico bass, Cacciola reports that they have also been seeing occasional action on mixed size yellowtail that go to 30 pounds.  They have also seen occasional action on white seabass and have been catching and releasing an occasional big black seabass as well.

Cacciola says that 5 to 6 inch sardines have been great bait for the fish they have been catching and says that the small mackerel that have been mixed in their bait supply have also worked for the yellowtail. Cacciola says they have also done well for calico bass on Berkley Gulp plastics that are rigged with a 3/8 ounce dart head.  Surface iron is also reported to be working well for the calico bass.

On Thursday, July 28, 2016 Cacciola reported having a trip that included a lot of kids that had fantastic fishing while working kelp bed areas between Carlsbad and Solana Beach.  They caught and released loads of short sized calico bass and Cacciola said there was also a decent percentage of legal sized calicos in the mix with the short sized fish.

In addition to the fantastic calico bass fishing Cacciola said they caught a 30 pound yellowtail on a mackerel and that a 10 year old caught a 42 pound white seabass! There was even more to their day of fishing than all the calicos, the big white seabass and the big yellowtail as they also got to catch and successfully release a 200+ pound black seabass.  The water temperature was very warm and was ranging from 78 to 79.5 degrees.

The summer fishing season continues to provide some great fishing.  Do not let the season pass you by.  If you have the chance, make sure you get out on the water and get in on the fun!

      It is my goal to provide you timely and accurate information in these Summary Reports containing news from right off the water.  If you require more frequent reports with more details that include the specific location of where 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.

Previous Fishing Reports

January 29, 2016

December 31, 2016