Baja Summer Blues

Baja Bytes Fishing – Tuesday, August 4, 2020

 IGFA Representative Gary Graham

Que Pasa Baja California

Tijuana Bull Ring

Local surface fishing remains slow due to cold, dirty water.
The only reports we received today were for pretty good rockfish action at the 270 and the Drop-off...… Fish Dope

Coronado Islands / Rockpile
The wind picked up; it got a little breezy and snotty from around 11 a.m. There was very little boat pressure, though we were not getting very much info.
The following is from yesterday, and we have nothing new to add to this:
The water is green and running between 64 and 65 degrees.
The yellowtail are pretty hard to come by but we heard there are some mixed with the barracuda in the SKR area and they are showing off along the weather side of North Island. The best bet for finding them is when there is current flowing.
There are not many boats right now as most are fishing offshore for tuna. When it’s like this, slow trolling sardine and mackerel is the ticket. You can drag bait right over the spots because there isn’t anyone anchored on them.… Fish Dope

Below 32 20 / 371 / 425 / Upper Hidden Bank
Good fishing this morning. A lot of boats were able to find tuna either as breezers, puddlers, or foamers along with some boats stopping on sonar marks. Most of the stuff in this area appears to be 15- to 40-pound yellowfin but there are some 20- to 50-pound bluefin too.Fish Dope

Ensenada

Ensenada is open. There is great fishing, with limits of yellowtail and plenty of bottom fish for the freezer…Mara’s Sportfishing

San Quintin

Back on the water in San Quintin, we got a classic SQ welcome –socked in solid fog, with 8-foot swell and very rolly!  We did not last long on the 6-fathom spot and moved over to San Martin Island for a slow pick on some nice halibut, while out fishing with Roy and Chris.
Baja Norte is now open to sportfishing. My friends, I had no issues getting here.
I ate there for I must fish onnn&onnn!…Juan Cook

Cedros Island

The airport is still closed as the repairs have not been completed.

Meanwhile, fishing has been good on the Island. Lots of yellowtail are right in front of the town. Slow-trolled live mackerel and surface iron work best. Calico fishing is borderline ridiculous on plastics – just about every cast. 

Fishing pressure is light, of course, with only local fishermen on the bite…Jeff Mariani, Cedros Tackle

Bahía Asunción

 No Report

Bahía de Los Ángeles

No Report

Loreto

We hit the 100-degree mark yesterday!  Aside from being hot which was a little out of the norm for Loreto, for weeks the air temp has been bouncing between 89 and 95.

Hot is still hot, especially with the sun beating down – half melting people like Silly Putty!

Coronado dorado for Pete and his “novia.”

The most consistent (and relatively close) dorado catching has been happening west of Coronado Island. The afternoon bite is best for anyone soaking sardina.

Fish from 8 to 18 pounds are mixed together. Lighter lines have been the best bet for getting hits, although some of the bigger fish are breaking off. It is the ever-enduring dilemma for fishermen!

This same area has been the feeding ground for a group of killer whales that pop up from deeper water earlier in the morning. Some kayak fishermen are enjoying the triggerfish battles along with the orca show.

No much attention is being given to roosterfish or the offshore billfish situation.
The few boats venturing out to blue water are coming back “quiet” and fried.…Rick Hill, Pinchy Sportfishing

Last week we had Larry Ragland, who did the dorado quest and some hiking up Tabor Canyon to some cave paintings.

Here is from Juve’s fishing trip last week.  The gentleman’s name is Larry Ragland, 5x winner of the Baja Mil.  He ran the Baja Mil so many times but never actually got to stop and know the place, so that’s what he’s doing now.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Larry_Ragland

La Paz

Grins and smiles from Roger Meyer (head) and Joe Duryea (tail) from Phoenix, AZ.  Roger caught this slugger of a roosterfish just off the point at Punta Arenas with the Tailhunter Fleet using live bait.  It was his biggest and was released. 

Like everything else in the world, this definitely is not typical summer-time fishing.  For sure, this isn’t typical August fishing.  Temperatures are cooler.  Humidity is down.  So, it’s been rather more pleasant as far as being in town.  But, waters are also cooler.  That’s not to say fishing is bad.  There’s definitely action to be had.  It’s just very different. 
Instead of mostly pelagic species typical of this time of year like dorado, tuna, wahoo and billfish…the blue water species…of a normal year, catches have been marked by a variety of fish more characteristic of later spring fishing.
Sure, we’re getting some good bites of dorado there’s some billfish mixed with the occasional tuna and wahoo, but anglers are also still getting big roosterfish up to about 70 pounds these past weeks.  At the end of the day, I’m seeing fish boxes with species such as dog-tooth snapper (pargo perro), mullet snapper (pargo list), barred pargo and cabrilla.  As well, this past week, there were catches of jack crevalle, yellow snapper, bonito, big triggerfish, pompano and even sierra…a fish we see between November and March when waters are colder.   
Bait such as sardines and mackerel and ballyhoo are pretty good this year and it will be interesting to see how the rest of the season plays out.  

East Cape

Lance Peterson

A truly rare double hook up from shore. YFT on spinning caught by @theoanest and a mega grande on fly. The tuna weighed 37lb. The rooster is easily twice the size; an 80lb-class gallo. Released to fight another day.
That’s a seriously heavy rooster…and not once was it was suspended by it’s jaw, or gills, or by it’s tail. Makes me wonder how we as a fishing community manage to mishandle these fish so often. Treat them like they are priceless…because they are! — with Theo Anest and Wayne Richard.

The water has been very warm, 85 to 87 degrees in front of the hotel, and farther north around Cerralvo Island it’s 90 to 93 degrees! It was a bit bumpy a few days earlier in the week, but in the last five days, it has been clear and flat.
Nice clear weather with highs in the low 90s.
We have had very, very consistent good fishing!  Last week’s report would work this week as it is all the same species biting –  dorado, yellowfin, striped marlin, sailfish, and blue marlin all around in good numbers. There are more roosterfish traveling up and down the beaches than I have ever seen!  Most are over the 30-pound class. The East Cape Bisbee is starting the 4th… I expect some big blues this year!

There are lots of stripers mixed with sailfish, and the blues have been biting all week. More fish are being released within five miles of the beach than there are outside. Almost all boats are picking up at least one, no matter what specie they are targeting. The fish are taking trolled lures and live caballito, and they are loving the ballyhoo. 

There are some big dorado, bulls, in the 50-pound range, taken again this week!  They are hitting marlin lures and taking live bait around any floating debris. Bob Watson, the maker of Blind Strike Lures, took a 55-pounder.

The yellowfin numbers were the same as last week.  Multiple pods of porpoise spread both inside and outside are holding tuna from football-size to 50-pounds – exceptionally good tuna fishing. Some big tuna in the 40-pound class were taken off the lighthouse by anglers fishing for roosterfish close to the beach. Hoochies, Cedar plugs, live caballito, and squid were all working.

Unbelievable roosterfish fishing!!!  The beaches throughout Palmas Bay have lots of roosters working close inshore with 40- to 50-pounders common. A few that were released were close to 100 pounds.  Lots were released off the beach on fly this week, it was truly spectacular fishing! …John Ireland, Rancho Leonero

Puerto Los Cabos

Much of the same patterns again this past week – light crowds of tourists arriving, greeted by warm summer conditions with no new tropical storms that we see developing at this time. There were windy conditions dominant throughout the entire month of July, though this week, the winds finally settled down giving a chance for water clarity to improve and the ocean temperatures were once again on a warming trend, ranging from the mid- to upper-70s.

Bait supplies mainly consisted of caballito, with some mullet still around as well, but there were no sardina reported yet; usually, we do not see them until closer to October. The majority of local sportfishing charters were fishing the grounds from the Gordo Banks north to Vinorama finding a mix of inshore, bottom, and offshore action. The most consistent action was found working the shallow rock piles and areas such as San Luis and Vinorama Banks, more often in depths of 100- to 180-feet, using yo-yo jigs and bait. Various cabrilla, grouper, snapper, pargo, and amberjack were hooked into, though these fish had to be worked for there were no easy big numbers at this time. No wahoo or dorado action was reported

We did hear of a few yellowfin tuna being hooked near the San Luis Bank on yo-yo jigs and bait. These tuna were in the 40- to 50-pound class. We hope with conditions now stabilizing that this tuna action will become steadier. The month of August is normally one of the best times of the year to find good numbers of quality-sized yellowfin tuna. Other private charters were going much farther offshore in search of the warmer, cleaner, and bluer water and migrating porpoise, which in turn can be associated with schooling yellowfin; so far fishing was very hit or miss, especially with how the wind has been and the distance which was needed to possibly find action. Normally this month is when we find the tuna closer to shore on the high spots.  It seems to be taking a little longer to develop this summer with the way ocean conditions have been.

Along the shoreline, anglers are still finding jack crevalle and some very nice-sized roosterfish. We are now in the late time of the season for these fish, but since we have not seen huge storm surf activity, this could last for another couple of weeks.

We did not have many anglers that wanted to go looking for billfish; it’s kind of in-between seasons now, as the striped marlin move out following cooler currents towards the north and then the black and blue marlin show up, which is now the time frame when they become more prevalent on local grounds. We did see a handful of striped marlin landed this past week, most of which were in the 100- to 140-pound range.

Light crowds, good fishing…Eric Brictson, Gordo Banks Pangas

Cabo San Lucas

Yesterday, a 189-pound yellowfin was caught in Cabo! Plus, they caught seven others ranging from 30- to 80-pounds. The fish were caught aboard an outside charter boat, the 31-foot Fin Addict, captained by Martin Oloascoaga (brother of Tito on Pisces 34-foot Knot Workin’).

Martín volunteered that the anglers aboard, Greg and Rich Howell, were looking for tuna and the crew worked hard to find them but didn’t have much luck. They were the only boat out in that area, about 27 miles out and were just about to give up on the tuna.

They switched up some of their lures, gearing them towards blue marlin instead… but then they spotted the porpoise. They had worked the porpoise for maybe 15 minutes before they had a hit on the right and a big yellowfin emerged, hitting a second time, but it didn’t stick. Just moments later, the left lure was attacked, and this time another yellowfin torpedoed out of the water after it. The fight was on! Then the other six rods went off. Anglers landed the 189-pounder in just 30 minutes – it had taken their marlin lure!

UPDATE and follow up from TODAY aboard Pisces 31-foot La Brisa: Super fun day with great weather conditions. The ocean was flat and there was the slightest little breeze; the day started overcast, which kept it nice and cool. I fished with the La Brisa crew, the legendary Rey Winkler and Fernando Noyola, plus Mate Omar Sandez of the Andrea and Captain Orlando Murillo from the Karina. The fishing was pretty much non-stop when we arrived at the fishing grounds. Porpoise were jumping, and several marlin were free jumping. Putting the teasers and dredges out brought the marlin right after the boat within a few minutes. We had three come up in the spread right away, but the marlin would just tease us and bill the bait. We would raise another four, keep two interested, baited, one would stick, and then we’d do it all over again. Then we would have a double hook-up; a marlin feeding on the surface would take a live bait, and we would have another release. By the end of the day, we had lost as many as we caught or more, but that made it even more fun, as it took some skill, quick eyes, and hands to land them.

We decided to turn in the direction of Cabo as we didn’t want to go yet but knew we had to get back soon — and then, three more tagged and released! We forced ourselves to ignore any others we saw and make it toward home. I lost count, but I’d say I laid eyes on about 40 marlin today…

It took us an extra 30 minutes to head home as mate Fernando kept spotting marlin and casting bait to them within seconds of seeing them – of course, the guys had left one rod ready with live bait, even though we were running back in. We released another three that way! — in Cabo San Lucas, Baja California Sur.

Each time, it feels like the experience of a lifetime for me. That is why I keep fishing!
LOCATION:
95 Spot, Herradura, 30 – 40 miles South, Old Lighthouse.

WEATHER CONDITIONS: Sunny, and the wind picked up at the beginning of the week (up to 15 knots).  There was choppy water for a few days. Calmer weather starting mid-week. 

AVERAGE WATER TEMP: 75 to 81 degrees F.  

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.

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