Baja Grouper Steal Show

Baja Bytes – March 30, 2021

Que Pasa

At Gonzaga Bay, the big grouper to near 100-pounds have nudged yellowtail, cabrilla, and pargo farther down the catch list, while yellowtail continue to be big news up and down Baja from BOLA to Muertos Bay. As April rolls in, the north winds are subsiding and larger numbers of billfish, dorado, and yellowfin tuna are beginning to show up in more catch reports.

The consensus seems to be that spring is arriving just a tad early.

Tijuana Bull Ring

Lots of bait, birds, and molas today, and the sonar is showing big spots of krill as well which is drawing in a lot of whales.
There are tonnage of dolphin around along with quite a few humpback whales, a fin whale, and several gray whales.
There have not been any reports of yellowtail today, nor have there been any reports of other surface fish like bonito or barracuda either.
The only reports of fish caught were for a few calico bass at the kelp beds off the Bullring between there and South Coronado Island in the flats. There were a few sand bass along with an occasional legal halibut. Fish Dope

Coronado Islands/Rockpile

We fished the Coronado’s with a bunch of boats. The weather was great in the morning, but the wind kicked up a bit later in the day. We fished west of Pukey Point in 200 feet of water and caught one of those blue lingcod but sent it back to grow some more. We also drifted the weather side of North Island and caught about 15 calico from 2 to 4 pounds on fly-lined sardines (30-pound test). They seemed to prefer the smaller sardines, but it just took longer to get a bit on the big ones. We caught 2 small sculpin which I thought was odd on this side of the Island. We left with no fish in the cooler, but we watched a boat bring in a yellowtail by slow trolling sardines. Water temperature was 58 to 59 degrees everywhere and we never found anything warmer. …Marcus

The San Diego scored 21 yellows for 34 passengers in one evening. However, that good evening bite failed to materialize on the following trip. When they found tougher conditions causing them to resort several different ways (including yoyo and surface iron) to fill the sacks…Fish Dope


Good fishing here over the weekend. Anglers were catching yellowtail, barracuda, and some exceptionally large calico.
Most of the yellows are coming on yoyo iron while dropping down on sonar marks all around Todos Santos Island. These yellows are running mainly in the 5- to 15-pound class. …Fish Dope


The High Spot on Saturday produced a few small schools of 15-pound class yellowtail and a few were caught on big yoyo iron. Nothing close to wide-open fishing though. More like we were lucky to have scored a few.
Rockfish close by on the ridge was excellent as always. Lots of big quality reds and fair numbers of lingcod. …Fish Dope

San Quintin

A mixed bag of rockfish, sheepshead, and lingcod. …Garcia’s Pangas

Bahía Asunción

No report

Gonzaga Bay

Claudia Carpio was with Juan Cook and three others at Papá Fernández, Baja California, Mexico. Just hire Juan to take you to the Golden Reef. …Captain Juan Cook

Bahía de Los Ángeles

No report

Baja Sur-Que Pasa

How Old Is That Fish? Myth vs. Hard Data


A seven-pound leopard grouper is about ten years old.

Oct 4, 2000, by Gene Kira:

One of the reasons often cited for not catching larger grouper and other slow-growing resident reef species in Mexican fishing waters is that these fish can be very old, maybe centuries-old… maybe even “as old as the churches,” to quote the Mexican fisherman, Abundio Rodriguez, in my novel King Of The Moon.

Ray Cannon, the legendary Baja sportfishing writer, was pretty old himself (in his 70s and early 80s) when he helped popularize the myth of the century-old giant grouper in the pages of Western Outdoor News.

But, how much truth is there to this widely-held belief? Read on…


 Yellowtail have been eager at all of the traditional spots around both Carmen and Coronado Islands. Both live mackerel and bigeye jack will do the trick while the iron chucker’s are also doing well. Timing and the ever-naughty winds are the two factors that seem to be holding the key to success.

Deep trolling outside of Arroyo Blanco has been more productive than soaking baits deep.  The local deep troll method is just upping the sinker weight to 12 or 16 ounces on the live bait rig and slowly cruising the area.  The bait will be down 50 to 60 feet where they can be seen and grabbed. (Bait rigs on the bottom are dangerously close to the rocks, especially for a rookie.) Downriggers, with the aid of a good depth finder, would be the gold standard but few local boats are so equipped.

Cabrilla and snapper are still in the fish count and are being caught in the same areas as the yellows with a variety of methods of doing the job.  Iron, cut bait, and sardina can all do the trick.

The whales have moved south, and another southern migration is hitting the town. The annual Semana Santa (Easter) vacationers are arriving and will soon outnumber the fish chasing boats. …Rick Hill, Pinchy Sportfishing

Puerto San Carlos

Still some whales in the bay … from five to eight whales in the lagoon from Puerto Magdalena – red snapper, corvina, pompano, and white palometa. …Enrique Soto

La Paz

MEXICAN MINUTE LA PAZ FISHING REPORT from Tailhunter Sportfishing for Week of March 21-27, 2021

East Cape

Yellowtail fishing continues to be the main attraction on the East Cape. Good-sized yellowtail are hitting both sardina and iron jigs from Isla Cerralvo to La Ribera banks. There hasn’t been a yellowtail bite this epic in recent memory!
Snapper, cabrilla, and white bonito are also being caught in the same areas.
Marlin are starting to show up, along with some dorado in the counts and wahoo has been spotted offshore. …Scorpion Sportfishing

Puerto Los Cabos

With the first wave of spring break vacationers arriving, we are seeing many more tourists in town. Although a high percentage of these visitors are not anglers, we are still seeing limited numbers of charters being booked. Weather patterns remained unpredictable, and we are feeling an overall warming trend.  Even though it changes daily, it is mostly clear sunny skies, with highs averaging 80 degrees. Ocean temperatures are averaging 69 to 70 degrees, with cooler currents found near Cabo San Lucas and on the Pacific. Wind cycles remained predominately out of the north, which has meant a delay in ocean conditions being able to stabilize and become cleaner. It’s now the midst of transition time, winter to spring, although every year it can vary and this year things seem to be settling down later than normal. Typically, by mid-April, which is in a couple of weeks, we see ocean temperatures reach the mid-70s, so we do expect this pattern to arrive soon.

Anglers are finding mainly caballito for the available bait source, with a scattering of sardina being found. The main fishing grounds that are being concentrated on have been from Chileno, Palmilla, and north to Iman Bank. Working inshore grounds for a mix of sierra, snapper, jacks, and roosterfish as well as the various rocky high spots throughout the zone. Drift fishing while using various bait and yo-yo jigs produced a large variety of species, more bonito than anything else, and the largest species being encountered have been a mix of amberjack, yellowtail, and various grouper species.

There were several yellowfin tuna accounted for through the week, ranging in sizes from 20- to 80-pounds. These tuna are hanging around the same high spots, and as conditions become more favorable, we anticipate more consistent action. There were limited reports of striped marlin being found scattered farther offshore, as clarity was better some 15 miles offshore. It was still spotty though and we did not have many anglers venturing out to look for this action as more productive numbers of fish were found closer to shore. …Eric Brictson, Gordo Banks Pangas

Cabo San Lucas

A little bit of this weekend’s fishing with Pisces Thanks to @caf025 for sharing some pics of their day releasing Marlin aboard Pisces 31’ Tracy Ann. Also shown is 32’ Bill Collector with 4 Striped Marlin Released, and more from 46’ La Chingona and 42’ Hot Rod. Plus, good inshore action aboard Pisces 31’ Rebecca: 6 Snapper, 10 Sierra and 10 Bonita.

LOCATION:     11:50 Spot, 95 Spot, Chileno/Santa Maria, Migrino. 

WEATHER CONDITIONS:       Overall calm seas with a little wind midweek along with sunny skies.

AVERAGE WATER TEMP:       Water temp has been from65- to 68 F.

BEST LURES:  Live and dead caballito, mackerel, ballyhoo, and green jacks.

That Baja Guy-Gary Graham

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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