Wahoo Add to Hot Fishing For Tuna, Dorado, Yellowtail and Marlin

Bob Vanian
What has been a fantastic offshore fishing season continues to get better with wahoo moving into local offshore waters to add to the fine fishing for bluefin tuna, yellowfin tuna, dorado, yellowtail and marlin.

The offshore water conditions remain favorable for the good fishing and will likely continue well into the fall with blue 72- to 73-degree water still being reported in many offshore areas.

The area of good offshore fishing is still spread far and wide with bluefin tuna and yellowtail biting around the back side western part of San Clemente Island in 20 to 80 fathoms of water and with yellowfin tuna, dorado and yellowtail biting at the 14 Mile Bank, 267 Spot, 178 Spot, 9 Mile Bank, 302 Spot, 371 Bank, 425 Bank, Upper Hidden Bank, 390 Bank and the area 8 to 15 miles outside of the stretch of coast between Point San Mateo and La Jolla.

There has not been much recent news about the jumbo sized 100 to 200 pound bluefin tuna showing or biting but the bluefin being caught out at San Clemente Island have mostly been quality-sized fish from 30 to 65 pounds. The yellowfin have been mixed-size fish ranging in size from 4 to 65 pounds. Yellowtail have been running from 5 to 20 pounds and the dorado have been mixed-size fish from 5 to 35 pounds.

A few wahoo entered the picture over the past couple of weeks. I estimate five or six wahoo caught in the past week. Areas where wahoo have been reported: 17 Fathom Spot, the area 8 to 15 miles off the coast between San Onofre and La Jolla; 302 Spot; and, 371 Bank. Two wahoo were caught Sunday, Sept. 6, with a Skipper reporting the fish swimming around the boat while at a kelp paddie stop out by the 371 Bank and was eating angler’s sardines, instantly cutting through their fluorocarbon or monofilament line. It would be a good idea to have a live bait outfit prepared with wire leader to use should you locate wahoo. It would also be a good idea to rig trolling outfits with wire leaders as well. 

Marlin fishing in the waters above Santa Barbara Island has fallen off from its recent torrid pace but the area has still been providing some good fishing for boats working around the 17 Fathom Spot as well as in the area to the southeast of the southeastern corner of the Footprint MLPA/FMR closure area outside of Anacapa and Santa Cruz Islands.

The 17 Fathom Spot has been best area for the marlin. Capt. Bob Woodard, Jr. of Dropback reported a recent trip to the 17 Fathom Spot where they caught and released a marlin. He estimated six marlins were caught and released from the area of the 17 Fathom Spot for 15 boats were working the area on the day he was there. Woodard reported that the boat Island Girl had 2 of those releases.

There are also some marlin scattered around in other areas with the Avalon Bank, Slide, Farnsworth Bank, 178 Spot, 9 Mile Bank, 302 Spot, 371 Bank, Upper Hidden Bank and Upper Finger Bank producing recent marlin action. 

With the addition of wahoo and blue marlin this fishing season just keeps getting better and better. 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 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 bob976bite@aol.com.

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