Rescuers will try again Tuesday to free a blue whale entangled in hundreds of feet of fishing line off the coast of Southern California.

The 70-foot-long mammal was caught in about 200 feet of rope from crab pots when it was spotted Monday off Dana Point.

Experts got close enough to cut away some dangling rope but they couldn't reach the line wound around a flipper, according to Michael Milstein of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

The operation was suspended at nightfall.

The whale was spotted on Sunday off San Diego but it was too far away for rescuers to reach. On Monday, it was only a few miles offshore.

It's the first blue whale entangled this year off California. The ocean giants rarely swim close to shore.