SAN DIEGO — As we sit on the edge of November things are looking good for for bluefin tuna, yellowfin tuna, skipjack, yellowtail and striped marlin as prospective targets in offshore waters within 1- or 1.5-day range of Point Loma.
It is Oct. 28 as I am preparing this report and in looking at the current 10-day weather forecast. I see no northern weather storm systems forecasted so the prospects of keeping the water warm enough to hold the pelagic species in our local offshore waters a while longer looks good.
Bluefin tuna continue to attract a lot of attention from anglers as there are still some jumbo sized bluefin biting. The best areas for the bluefin have been while fishing around the Tanner Bank and the Cortes Bank. The bluefin have been running from 25 to 250+ pounds and most of the bluefin have been falling into the 40- to 60-pound range.
Most of the bluefin action comes from stopping and drifting on sonar marks or meter marks with an occasional spot of fish also found up working on the surface. The bluefin have been biting in the dark and during the daylight hours. Mackerel, sardines, flying fish and Flat Fall jigs have been the top baits and lures with sardines working the best.
Capt. Ron Bowers of Salt Fever (private boater) fished the Tanner Bank on Oct. 27 and 28 and reported catching eight of the 50- to 60-pound bluefin. Bowers reported flylined sardines were working best for them and added that they also caught two of the eight bluefin on sardines (fished deep with a sinker). He said the sardines they were fishing from a kite would also get some attention from the bluefin but said it would boil up around the kite fished sardine (but not take).
There has been very good fishing for a mix of yellowfin tuna, skipjack, yellowtail and a few dorado near the offshore banks and trenches below and outside of Ensenada. Good action has been found at areas such as the 238 Spot, 450 Spot, 295 Bank and the area of the 1010 Trench. Closer to Point Loma, the past weekend saw very good fishing for skipjack along with a few yellowtail that were biting for boats fishing around the 9 Mile Bank.
The yellowfin have been 6- to 30-pound fish and they have been biting from kelp paddies, trolling strikes, porpoise schools, meter marks and sonar marks. Sardines have been working best for bait.
Striped marlin are biting pretty well for boats fishing around and about the eastern end of Catalina with action ranging from the area outside of the Slide on over to where you are fishing off Church Rock. Most of the marlin action has been coming in close to the island while fishing between the 40-fathom curve and the 100-fathom curve. There have been tailers and feeders biting on mackerel and the action have also been coming on the troll while using jigs and ballyhoo.
My estimation is there were eight to 10 marlin caught and released Oct. 27-28. It was good enough action that one boat was able to catch and release three marlin over their two days of fishing on the weekend. Other areas where there has been recent marlin activity have been outside of the oilrigs in the Catalina Channel, the 14 Mile Bank and the Osborn Bank.
Not many boats have been fishing at Los Coronado Islands lately due to the good fishing offshore but a recent report was of some good mixed bag fishing for bonito, bass, reds and an assortment of rockfish. The best areas for the surface fishing have been the weather side of North Island and the Middle Grounds. Also look for the reds and rockfish while fishing hard bottom areas to the north and the northwest of North Island in the 25 to 40 fathom depths. Malihini out of H&M Landing fished at the Coronado Islands on a full-day trip on Oct. 27 and had a fish count of 35 bonito, 50 reds, 18 whitefish, three rockfish, one sand bass, one sheephead and one lingcod.
The fishing along the San Diego County coast has been good for a mix of bonito, calico bass, sand bass and an assortment of bottom fish. The bonito have been attracting much of the attention and have been mostly 4- to 7-pound fish.
Productive areas for bonito have been the Whistler Buoy at Point Loma, the Dropoff at Point Loma, the Green Tank, Point Loma College, the upper end of La Jolla, Del Mar, Ponto Beach, the Carlsbad Canyon, the Buccaneer Pipeline and the area outside of the Oceanside Pier.
Some of the bonito have been biting while fishing along the edges of the kelp beds or next to structure but most were caught with trolling strikes out in the deeper 18 to 50 fathom depths. Feathers and Rapalas have been productive on the troll and once bonito are located, flylined sardines and small chrome Megabait style jigs have been working while drifting or anchored.
Capt. Joe Cacciola of Sea Star with Sea Star Sportfishing and the Oceanside Sea Center said boats out of the Oceanside Sea Center have been mostly focusing on the bonito fishing in recent days and the fishing has been very good.
The bonito they have been catching are mostly 5- to 7-pound fish and they have been biting best while fishing out in 40 to 50 fathoms of water in an area ranging from outside of the Oceanside Pier on down to the Carlsbad Canyon. They are locating the bonito by finding trolling strikes, sonar marks and meter marks and he says once bonito are located that they have been biting on sardines and surface iron.
The calendar says it is late in the fishing season but there are still lots of warm water fish around and biting that one might tend to associate with the warm water summer months. I hope you have a chance to get out on the water and get in on this late season action! Keep on fishing and I hope to see you out on the water!
Bob Vanian is the voice, writer and researcher of the San Diego-based internet fish report service called 976-Bite which can be found at www.976bite.com. Vanian also provides anglers with a personal fish report service over the telephone at 619-226-8218. He always welcomes your fish reports at that same phone number or at email@example.com.