Baja Oarfish Dazzles La Paz

Baja Bytes Fishing – Tuesday, July 21, 2020

Roosterfish dominate the catches this week in Baja Sur from Loreto to Baja’s tip. While a few bull dorado show up for the Dorado Shootout at East Cape.

Que Pasa Baja California

An oarfish, a deepwater eel-like fish not generally seen in Mexican waters, has made another surprise appearance, turning up this week in Baja California’s Pichilingue Bay in La credit Fernando Cavalin

The discovery of an over ten foot oarfish in Pichilingue Bay comes barely a month after another oarfish was caught June 11 in Cozumel.

David de Zabedrosky, of the World Climactic Network, revealed the latest sighting Sunday on his Twitter account, showing pictures of the large eel-like fish and estimating its length to be about 10-feet.

The deepwater oarfish are not frequently seen in the Pacific Ocean around Mexico, although it does happen occasionally. Last summer an oarfish washed up on El Coromuel Beach, also in La Paz, around the same time, another washed up on a beach in Los Cabos. In 2013, dead specimens washed up on California beaches in Oceanside and Catalina Island.

Although the plankton-consuming fish are believed to live at depths of 200 to 1,000 meters, they are sometimes sighted on the surface — and they are believed to be the source of legendary accounts of sea serpents and sea monsters. In Japan, many believe they signal oncoming earthquakes and tsunamis.

In 2011, this belief was reinforced when multiple sightings of oarfish on Japanese coasts occurred soon before the 6.6-magnitude earthquake in Fukushima led to a tsunami and an accident at the Fukushima nuclear plant. The oarfish are occasionally pushed ashore by strong currents and they become stranded in bays like Pichilingue and end up dead (or alive) on the beaches.

Tijuana Bull Ring

Water temps took a serious dive! They went from the low 70s to 58. The fish are in thermal shock. There are some bass biting but in general, the fishing is not good. It will probably take a few days to recover from this.Fish Dope

Coronado Islands / Rockpile

There have been some recent reports of yellows up on the surface breezing and “rolling” on bait.
One report came from the weather side of North Island; the other from down “between the 5 Minute Kelp and the SKR.”
They were saying that it was more “show than go” but some were caught on mint-colored surface iron…Fish Dope

226-302 / Coronado Canyon to the 425 and 101
 The big biomass of tuna appears to be moving slowly to the east again with the bulk now just to the west and to the right on top of the 226-302 Proper. There are plenty in the Coronado Canyon as well, and there are still
some out west at San Salvador but that spot is drying up quickly.

The boats are finding a mix of bluefin and yellowfin for the most part. If you get lucky and find kelp that hasn’t been hit 50 times already, the odds are good you’ll score a few yellowtail or even a dorado or two off it.
The bluefin are mainly in the 20- to 60-pound class, but there are a few larger. The yellowfin are mainly in the 20- to 45-pound class. The yellowtail and dorado are 10- to 15-pound fish.

Many of the boats are setting up on long plunker drifts, and guys fishing the sinker rig – a 4- to 6-oz. torpedo sinker rubber banded to the line about 3- or 4-feet above the hook – is the ticket. The tuna are biting the 40- to even 60-pound fluorocarbon just fine with this rig.

When you slide in on a spot of breaking fish, you can cast Colt Snipers, Flat Falls, stick bait, and surface iron out a little ahead of the direction the fish are pushing whitewater. The schools of tuna, out away from the big spots of bait, will be more likely to respond to heavy chum and more willing to eat fly-lined sardine on 30- to 40-pound fluoro and a 1/0 circle hook (Mustad size 1/0, not the bigger Owner 1/0).
That said, a lot of the tuna being caught lately are coming on the sinker rig with a hot sardine.

Trolling has worked well for yellowfin mainly but an occasional bluefin as well – the Nomad DTX minnow, cedar plug, and the daisy chain have been hot. Natural bait colored jigs such as the sardine, mackerel, and black/purple patterns have been working best but pink will also work surprisingly well at times.
Also, be sure to check out kelp as quite a few were found to be holding some yellowtail that were willing to bite. A few of these were also holding a dorado or two…Fish Dope

San Salvador Knoll
 There is not near the volume of tuna that there was over the past week or so as most of it appears to have moved east; however, there are some signs that they are still out there.
We’ve heard of some bluefin, yellowfin, and at least one kelp holding yellowtail…Fish Dope

  Bluefin offshore and limits of bottom fish along with a few yellowtail…Mara’s Sportfishing


Hit Eréndira for the third time in five weeks to try for some WSB – the first two times “nada.”

Yesterday was a different story. We drove from Ensenada at 4 a.m so we could be at the ramp before 6, and we went straight to the Grounds and began casting crocs while others tried to make squid for live bait. We had nothing for a few hours of casting our arms off, and no luck with live squid.
We ended up with 16 ghosts and three yellers for the 12-hour day of fishing and we were back in Ensenada by 8:30 pm!…Pancheke

San Quintin

A picture is worth a thousand wordsGarcia’s Pangas

Cedros Island

Still closed for foreign tourism by COVID-19!

Bahía Asunción

Took a run out to Punta Loma this morning. The ‘hole’ looked good, albeit a bit slow. And we only managed to catch a small halibut and a couple of croaker. I did get spooled on 20-pound while tossing the “Krok,” then it ran straight out, and never turned. It broke at the knot, so at least I didn’t leave any line attached, but I did lose a good lure!… Daniel Powell

Bahía de Los Ángeles

Went down with fear of being turned around at Ensenada as many people were on the 4th. Left at 2:20 a.m. from Poway, picked up some friends in Chula Vista, and drove to Mexico without any issues.  We had a hotel confirmation letter and some other paperwork from our Captain just in case. We fished with Joel Jr. for two days.  He tools us down to a spot with tons of big yellows and we got limits by 9:00 a.m. on both days.
We went to get clams for dinner at San Juan and on the second day, we went to our own, private little beach until Igor joined us. Bahia is a magical place that I hope to keep visiting forever…Lourdes

Took a trip to BOLA from Asuncion for a couple of days of fishing with my amigo Juan Cook. Day One we had a nice pick of yellowtail. Nothing wide open but certainly enough action to keep us interested. We ended up with 16 yellows. Probably half-and-half on bait and jigs. A bunch of bycatch of grouper, cabrilla, and red snapper. The fish were in 200- to 300-feet of water and they fought hard to the boat. Back at it again today. A couple of photos of yesterday’s catch. My friend Mickey Nielsen was able to come down from the Mexicali area to join me…Ross Zoerhof

Baja Sur-Que Pasa

The coordinator for Mexico of the Bisbee´s Fishing Tournaments, Clicerio Mercado Hernández, confirmed that the tournaments have not been canceled nor postponed, although they are subject to the traffic lights and indications of the Ministry of Health in Baja California Sur.  However, there is already a date for the three main tournaments in this tourist destination. 

The first date will be the Bisbee’s East Cape Offshore in Buena Vista from August 4-8 with the participation of 45 to 60 teams and it would be ideal to reach a million dollars in prizes.

The Los Cabos Offshore is scheduled from October 15 to 18.

The 40th Anniversary of Bisbee’s Black and Blue Tournament will be from October 20 to 24 in Cabo San Lucas. 


Copa Calisureños 2020 fishing tournament has been suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Everybody is still working the bottom fish with the same results as the past few weeks. Good catches of yellowtail and baqueta continue. Snapper, pintos, and whitefish round out the features in the icebox.

Big dorado are still being spotted and baited close in. The problem with these close-in fish is that they are full of four-inch flying fish and have no interest in anything except floating!

I have had some good discussions with local multi-generational fish followers, and the bottom line opinion seems to point at “August for Dorado.”

The water temps at the surface look good, but go down two feet and below will plunge into the low 60’s and green. Sounds like the water we see in May is the point where we shift from winter whale waters to the spawning season!

“Ten miles out past Lobo,” is the idea behind finding the big fish in water that is more typical of summer in Loreto. The local fishermen are not going to be dumping big dollars into the gas tanks and the fancy gringo boats aren’t talking when they come back.

Fishing and scuba trips are about the only game at the moment. Snorkeling and beach trips are impacted by all the beaches being closed…Rick Hill, Pinchy Sportfishing

Comet #Neowise is back in the skies of #BajaCaliforniaSur this landscape is in #LoretoBCS specifically and we have only a few more days to enjoy it, you find it after sunset and in that same place, a little to the right and At dusk…KDrone Adventures Film

Loreto fly fishing Report 7-15

Today was the “tale of two species.” My boat went out after roosterfish, which surely missed us after having been away a few days because today they were more friendly than they had ever been. We had the best time of the whole trip catching a bunch of medium-sized roosters and double hook-ups were the order of the day. The other boat in our small group went in a different direction, way out to sea looking for dorado, and managed to catch 16 dorado plus one marlin, and almost all were caught casting flies. Tomorrow we head home and I’ve already made plans to return next year. Rough seas and colder than usual weather notwithstanding, I’m glad I was able to make the trip – it was well worth it…Carl Blackliedge

La Paz

MEXICAN MINUTE LA PAZ FISHING REPORT from Tailhunter Sportfishing for Week of July 12-20, 2020

Los Arenas

Phew! One more for the record books! What an unbelievable week! Everyone in our small group, including Thomas Hall caught roosterfish, and I just outdid the biggest fish of my life (which I caught yesterday)! I couldn’t even pick this one up without Captain Valente’s help!
We released him quickly and he swam back into his wild blue world after our 40-minute battle of wills. 
I am thankful for Gary Bulla for hosting these amazing fly fishing trips and teaching me how to fish the salt over the past few years! 
And thank you to Captain Valente for putting us on the fish! Karen Margaret Hall is with Gary Bull.

East Cape.

Water- 84-86 – very warm for July.  The water is even warmer farther north and outside; much cooler water drops into the 70s south of Los Frailles where there is clear, clean blue water and afternoon SE breezes.
Air- Clear skies, cool mornings, warm afternoons, highs in the low 90s.

Another very good week of fishing!  Similar to last week.  Good news! The dorado showed up late in the week and we are now enjoying a wide-open yellowfin, striped marlin, and roosterfish bite.  With the dorado finally on the scene and biting aggressively, this coming week should bring us some exceptional fishing!

The tuna are still under the porpoise, but closer inside and bigger. Stripers are abundant, one boat released five in a day. The average roosterfish is around 40-pounds and several dorado were in the 20- to 40-pound range…John Ireland, Rancho Leonero

Dorado Shootout…Van Wormer Resorts

Photo by Mario Bañaga

The one-day dorado tourney in its 16th year Raul Medina and his team, Offshore Lifestyle’s, entry across the board in the three cash optionals speed 61 miles to their hot spot. There they landed a 54.9-pound dorado earning them a new VW, V6 four-door truck, an Amarok along with the $130,000 optional money.

Pat McDonell

The Dorado Shootout top catches for the 108 teams this year.
1.  54.9-pound dorado by Team Offshore Lifestyles took the truck and more than $130,000 in cash optionals at the annual East Cape Dorado Shootout at Hotel Palmas De Cortez.
2.  48-pounds
3.  30-pounds

2020 Bisbee’s East Cape Offshore,August 4-8, 2020

Puerto Los Cabos

Anglers have been finding bait sources mainly consisting of caballito and mullet, which is kind of the normal situation during the warm summer months. Other baitfish can be found at times on the offshore fishing grounds when conditions are favorable. Ocean temperatures have been averaging in the mid-70s, with currents continuing to push in greenish water. Clean blue water has been found much farther offshore, but winds were a factor, and going 25 miles or more offshore has not been practical, though a few larger private boats did report finding good numbers of yellowfin tuna associated with moving porpoise. In the area of San Luis Bank, there have been a handful of tuna in the 50- to 70-pound class caught. These fish hit on live caballito, though with the green water this was a very “hit or miss” option.

The most consistent action found was red snapper (huachinango) to 12-pounds, and Mexican bonito to 10-p0unds, striking on yo-yo jigs, best earlier in the morning. Also, there were a few varieties of cabrilla, Almaco jack, tilefish, and others mixed in. Closer to shore there were a few dogtooth snapper to 30-pounds and pargo Colorado to 15-pounds found.

Along the sandier beach stretches there continues to be great action for roosterfish up to 50-pounds as well as large schools of hog-sized jack crevalle. Some charters caught and released up to twenty roosterfish, basically fishing until they ran through all their live bait.

Off the shoreline, the hard-core beach anglers have landed a few halibut, snook, and tripletail…Eric Brictson, Gordo Banks Pangas

Here are some pictures from the last three days of fishing – lots of action and mostly doubles on roosterfish.  It was hard to take pictures with that much action and more with just one client on board; we release over 30 roosters and eight jacks on morning and afternoon trips; this is all our clients want on these days…Jaqueline sportfishing

Cabo San Lucas

This was one of our BEST weeks of fishing since being back in charter after The Quarantine! We caught the first two blue marlin of the season – one weighing 300-pounds, the other 175-pounds. Plus, the striped marlin fishing picked up some more too! We had 75 billfish released this week, which was about 30 fish more compared to last week.

For yellowfin tuna catches, we had the same percentage of boats land them, but more fish in comparison: 76 yellowfin tuna total. There was only 8 dorado caught, but they made a splash!

Anglers aboard Pisces 31’ Tracy Ann landed a 60-pound bull dorado, and a 25-pounder too. Plus, they released five striped marlin and one sailfish! Add to that a few sierra mackerel and a couple of shark released for the fleet, and we have had one HOT FISHING week!

LOCATION: 120 Spot, Herradura, 30 – 40 miles South, Old Lighthouse.
WEATHER CONDITIONS: Mostly calm days, sunny, with some swell scattered through the week, 3-4 feet.
BEST LURES: Caballito live and dead, cedar plugs, feathers, guacamayo lures…Rebecca Ehrenberg, Pisces Sportfishing

Published by That Baja Guy - Gary Graham

That Baja Guy...Gary Graham Gary Graham turned his passion for all things fishing into a profession. Whether its boats, destination travel, adventure experiences, vehicles, tackle, methods or just the spinning of a good outdoors tale, Graham has evolved into the go-to guy.

One thought on “Baja Oarfish Dazzles La Paz

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