Baja Bytes January 5, 2021
Que Pasa Baja California
Tijuana Bull Ring
Recently there has been off-color, cold water at the kelp beds. If it’s still off-color, spend time in the flats watching the meter for bait schools while keeping an eye out for bird schools.
It has been hit and miss yellowtail action recently, though it was pretty much a miss in the flats for the past couple of days.
The yellows might show in anywhere from 20- to 40-fathoms, usually as meter marks in the lower half of the water column, but occasionally they chase bait schools up to the surface. Be ready with both yo-yo iron and surface iron as you search around for signs. Slack high tide after sunrise has been best, followed by another bite window just before sunset on slack, low tide…Fish Dope
Coronado Islands / Rockpile
It has been slow for yellowtail lately. Only surface action for bonito on the weather side of North Island – everything else has been for rockfish and whitefish northeast of North Island, South Kelp Reef, and the Rockpile areas…Fish Dope
SW of San Martin Island / Tuna Hole
There were a couple of long-range boats fishing bluefin over the weekend way down the line, almost in the 29 Block – a 3- to 4-mile block centered roughly 160 miles from Point Loma.
The New Lo-An was one of the boats and they scored 9 bluefin with 6 of them running in the 100- to 180-pound class. We heard that there was plenty of meat here. It’s looking like last year. The quota will be filled early once again…Fish Dope
Cold and windy weather kept me on the beach for a few days, but yesterday my cabin fever got the best of me and I splashed the boat in, though it was some less than desirable conditions with white capping in 2 to 3 feet of wind chop – the worst conditions for my “little tinny.” I was able to find some fish real close to the launch; I gave away a couple of larger models to locals at the launch and released 3 more.
The Deadhead jigs worked their magic again today. I boated a baker’s dozen yellowtail this morning in about three hours. The conditions were much better than what was predicted, with warm temps and flat seas. The biggest one in the photo came in at 39 pounds..… Ross Zoerhof
Baja Sur-Que Pasa
Everybody has been fishing north of town this past week. If you can get out on the water in the morning you better head north so the midday north winds can push you home! That’s the story for our first week of fishing in 2021. The good news is that there are good spots up that way and yellowtail are biting.
Mid-sized, stretched versions of firecrackers, or just label them “14-pound yellows,” are the best of the catch. Mixed in at these high spots are the usual bait … banditos, aka pintos, whitefish, and snappers.
The “really-close-to-town-boats” are happy to be putting some food on the table and this bunch is having success on sierra and triggers.
The bait situation is the best it has been in years and the tourism scene is picking up. The snowbirds are coming back, and I have even spotted license plates from British Columbia.
Things are looking up down in Baja! …Rick Hill, Pinchy Sportfishing
no report… Toby Larocque, Mag Bay Lodge.
FISHING REPORT Dec 25, 2020, Jan. 3, 2021
Jonathan Roldan, Tailhunter International
As the coldest winter in several years with temps in La Ribera and elsewhere dropping to freezing.
It still could be an anglers dream if any were here. Haven’t seen a departure this year. Not even a beach fisherman from Buena Vista to Rancho Leonero in the mornings. Watching bait puddle up near shore and manta rays jumping has been the highlight for this week.…The Masked Angler
Puerto Los Cabos
Winter-like conditions did arrive in Southern Baja; mid-week we registered lows as chilly as 46 degrees and high temperatures struggled to reach the low 70s. The visitors need to realize that there are actual seasons here in Baja, with the months of January and February being the coolest time of year.
Anglers are now concentrating their efforts on the grounds from Red Hill and the Gordo Banks. Winds have continued to be persistent from out of the north and have contributed to steadily pushing cooler and greenish-colored water in the direction of San Jose del Cabo. Throughout the week, we saw conditions on the Gordo Banks change from clean blue 75-degree water to off-colored, 70 degrees over the weekend. Farther north, towards Iman and Vinorama, conditions are even more off. These are the normal patterns for this time of year, though this season, the north winds have been stronger and more persistent than usual. Supplies of sardina are still being netted close to the marina jetty off of the estuary. Also, there are mackerel and sardineta now being found on local bait grounds.
Through most of the week, local fleets concentrated on the Inner Gordo Banks where schooling wahoo were being found, as well as some dorado, bonito, and a few striped marlin. The wahoo action has been red hot on these grounds for the past couple of weeks, with most of these being juvenile fish weighing from 5 to 15 pounds, although they are still quite sporty on light tackle. These fish were striking best on chrome-patterned casting jigs but they were also hitting on sardina, Rapalas, and caballito. The action progressively slowed through the week, as schools were diminishing, and conditions turned over.
Also with this area producing the most consistent action, there was greater pressure from all sizes of charter boats, and worst yet, every day there were at least several boats full of spearfishermen concentrating directly on the high spot. This is a very small seamount and cannot sustain the traditional rod and reel fishing combined with spear/diving pressure. Especially since everyone just seems not to care. With no set regulations or even proposals of zones or seasons of special permits, this activity will only increase, and with social media these days, all news is exploited to the masses.
Dorado have been declining in numbers with the cooling conditions, though we are still seeing them in smaller-sized schools averaging up to 15 pounds. Often, they have been found closer to shore where baitfish are now concentrated. We did not have many anglers trying the bottom action or even inshore this past week, though there will be more of the normal fishery in coming weeks. Yellowfin tuna action has been even scarcer, with the tuna seen at times surfacing on the Gordo Banks but they were especially spooky and not interested. We heard of a couple of reports of the yellowfin being found associated with porpoise a bit farther offshore, but with the stronger winds, this was a very hit or miss deal.
Striped marlin are being seen now in greater numbers off San Jose del Cabo; they are still scattered but are being found three to ten miles offshore. The Red Hill and Palmilla areas seem to be the more consistent grounds at this time with the billfish striking various baits and lures… Eric Brictson, Gordo Banks Pangas
Cabo San Lucas
Some say this year has been a nightmare … but this is what dreams are made of!! Pisces 42’ Caliente closed out 2020 with 102 marlin released by anglers David and Nick Brackman over the course of two days. The Caliente headed outside of our regular fishing grounds and was greeted by hundreds of billfish, frigate birds, and bait balls, making for nonstop action from dusk till dawn (just right and then some!).
LOCATION: Pacific side: Old Lighthouse, Los Arcos to Migrino, near Golden Gate.
WEATHER CONDITIONS: Overall calm seas, with a little wind at the beginning of the week, overcast skies, and sea temp at 73 F.
BEST LURES: Live and dead mackerel, ballyhoo, hoochis, cedar plugs…Pisces Sportfishing.
That Baja Guy-Gary Graham Photojournalist
Cellular (760) 522 3710