Baja Summertime’s Here

Baja Bytes – May 11, 2021   

Que Pasa

Our boat, the “Pastime,” has been in Baja for months, first La Paz and then Ensenada because of the Covid-19 protocols. The trip, however, had been planned because of my desire to take the boat to Cedros Island.

My friends, Carl Robbins, and Bruce Hollingsworth, my grandson’s father-in-law went on the trip with my wife, Margie, and me. We were gone a week,  leaving on Saturday morning and returning the following Saturday night.

Departing from Ensenada, we fished seven and a half miles West of Punta Banda where the water temperature was 52 degrees.  We began by bottom fishing there and caught a lot of small bottom fish, I think because they were picked over so much.

Next, we checked out Colonet as a potential anchorage. However, we found that unless we put a stern hook down, we would just have a rock ‘n roll night.

We fished off Colonet on a good spot where we got decent-sized reds, whitefish, and a ling along with some miscellaneous stuff before we moved down to San Martin, a great anchorage.   We ended up spending three nights of our trip at that anchorage. We didn’t do anything at Ben’s Rock, but over at San Martin, we couldn’t do anything wrong!

We did really well, catching quality reds up to 7 pounds plus a large sheepshead, several lings, whitefish, other kelp bass, as well as miscellaneous fish. That night in San Martin, we caught calico on the anchor in the dark which was kinda’ fun.

Then we went down to Bahia Santa Maria. We didn’t like that anchorage either, so we continued traveling south to El Rosario. Although we had good fishing there once again, we moved down to San Jeronimo. We like San Jeronimo! It’s a good anchorage where we found a lot of good rockfish.  So we realized we had to go to Canoas where the water temp was between 52 and 54. We tried for yellowtail and pulled a lot of Cedar plugs.  We even tried a Cedar plug on birds along with all the usual crap, but the water was damn cold, plus we hit a red tide. At one point, the water around Jeronimo was up to 55 but still nothing.

It was at that point, we were about 140 miles south of Ensenada, that we discussed going to Cedros. However, it was a two-day round trip and with the cold water, if there were no yellowtail, we would have blown two days of the eight-day trip – so we passed. We later learned yellows were not biting there so it was a good decision.

We turned around and just worked our way back up to Ensenada. Now we know where to fish when nothing else is biting and that it’s bottom-fishing, so, we will just keep doing this trip. …Steve Cushman

Tijuana Bull Ring

Whale watch boats continue to comment on how much bait they are seeing – tonnage of anchovy, sardine, red crab, and krill. However, there is a streaky red tide that is screwing with the bass bite.

That said, the bass fishing is trying to get going. Afternoon hours are seeing calico bass getting active in the kelp if you have anchovy for chum as well as bait – not so good if you don’t. Also, the bite at the kelp beds is short barracuda and mackerel. …Fish Dope

Coronado Islands/Rockpile

At last word, the yellowtail fishing around the Islands was on the slow side. There are still some yellows around but they are jugged full of anchovy and are fat and lazy. The few scattered yellowtail that are willing to bite are showing in the Middle Grounds, Gun Site, north end of South Island, Ribbon Kelp, and the weather side of South Island but for most, it is slow fishing.
No bonito or barracuda yet although it is fairly likely barracuda will be showing up soon. Most years they are at the Islands by May 1st. The Ribbon Kelp and the Rockpile are the best areas to find barracuda. …Fish Dope

Ensenada

Calico and rockfish fill the coolers! … Sammy Susarrey Sportfishing

Bahía Asunción

This morning we had the first of a few concrete pours at the Asuncion Malecon project. The project includes a nice walkway along our seawall, a children’s play area, a few new palms, new steps to the beach, and of course, the ubiquitous brightly colored, block lettered, “Bahia Asuncion” sign that one sees at every Malecon in Mexico.  It is being paid for and overseen by the state government of Baja Sur. The fact that the current Governor of Baja Sur is up for re-election next month might have had something to do with the timing of this project, but it really does look nice and I’m looking forward to the finished project. …Ross Zoerhof

The Road Less Traveled Mex 5…Pat McDonell

Baja Sur-Que Pasa

Mulege

Tortuga yellowtail! It’s Leslie Rush of Oceanside on a wide-open yellowtail bite on the west side of Tortuga.  Yellowtail fishing in the Mulege area has been fantastic this year! Thanks. …Rick Forstall

Loreto

Carmen Island’s hotspot has lost its glow. The previous week we had at least a dozen pangas working both Lobo and the 50 Spot with an okay bite. There has been no “new” bite for the boats to work so the search goes on.

Almejas Bay and the reef in front of Pulpito were the most popular search areas and even though the results varied, it was friendlier, kicking out some 25-pound yellowtail.

San Bruno was very slow for a good yellowtail bite but assorted snapper and triggerfish helped ease the amateur’s frustration.

Cold water and tons of bait everywhere you look remains to be the everyday situation. “Hard catchin’ but fatter bellies,” might be the reasonable reality but only time will tell. We still have time to ponder that issue before the summer fish burst into town…Rick

Captain Flavio with a good day’s catch. It took a few hours and lots of repositioning to crack open the “magic spot!”  Each of the four clients had one good fish to brag about at the end of the day…Rick Hill, Pinchy Sportfishing

Gary- Our 2nd Annual Let’s Talk Hookup/Cass Tours Loreto Rumble was outstanding.  Fishing was slow due to so much bait in the water.  We did manage over 80 yellowtail up to 31 pounds for the 2-day tournament. Many were in the 20- to 28-pound range. Several cabrilla and pargo were also caught.  Mackerel and sardina were abundant for sale or catching. Most of the yellowtail were caught slow-trolling live mackerel with a 12ounce sinker on the south side of Carmen Island just inside Punta Lobo. The weather was fantastic and the Hotel La Mision, our host hotel, was great.  Fun group of 43 anglers on 22 pangas.  El Zopilote Brewery, along with Baja Sur Tourism, hosted a happy hour for us on Monday.  Richard Castaneda from Cass Tours did an excellent job of organizing the tournament. …Pete Gray, Let’s Talk Hookup

Marina Puerto Escondido

THIS COMUNG MAY 14-16

Magdalena Bay
We went outside looking for bigger grouper. The water was cold, green, and 67 degrees. We went inside and caught lots of fun-size, 3- to 4-pounders and there were lots of them! We also got a couple of corvina as well as some small snook, pompano, and bay bass.

Word on the street here is that last week there was a huge school of yellowtail about 7 miles out the entrada but they were moving north and no one was exactly sure where they were.

The sardine boats were working outside fairly close and we saw nice big schools of sardines.

We’re on the road now headed back to fish the Beach later today for a bit and tomorrow headed back up North in my boat to chase the roosters. …Jeff DeBrown, The Reel Baja

La Paz

MEXICAN MINUTE LA PAZ FISHING REPORT from Tailhunter Sportfishing for Week of April 29-May 6, 2021

East Cape

This week in the East Cape remains good for pompano in Rincón plus lots of skipjack with a very few tuna in the mix. There are also some big schools of nice jack from Punta Colorado to La Salina and a ton of “micro” bait that they have been feeding on. Most of this has been taking place a little later in the day. On most days it has started around noon and lasted until about three. If you see the birds, you will find the fish. They are from about 1/2 mile to 2 miles out. Throwing sardina to the fish seemed to work for some groups as they wanted the bait, but others didn’t. You could tell a few groups were more in the spawning mode, but those that wanted to play were overly aggressive. 

The bait in the East Cape is decent with sardina available on most days, but bait can be slim if you are not there early. The bait up North continues to be plentiful and nice. 

We have seen a few roosters on the beach and from the boat, but most of the action remains up North, out of La Ventana.

We were there yesterday and lost two big fish at the Lighthouse. The fish here are averaging 30 to 60 pounds. There are fish there but lots more fish are found to the south and around the corner in La Casita. The fish in La Casita are more abundant but smaller on average in the 15- to 25-pound class…Jeff DeBrown, The Reel Baja

Puerto Los Cabos

Ocean water temperature on the Pacific has still been in the 68- to 70-degree range, though in the direction of San Jose del Cabo and towards Los Frailes the water is now up to 74 to 76 degrees.

Charters are spreading out in different directions, though most of the local fleets are concentrated from the Iman Banks, San Luis, and north to Vinorama. With the water now warming up quickly and the clarity improving a lot, anything can happen from day to day.

The most consistent action now has been working these high spots off the bottom, with jigs and various bait, catching a mix of species, with the most common being bonito, pargo, red snapper, cabrilla, triggerfish, and amberjack. Most boats accounting for a dozen or so fish in combination. These same grounds are holding yellowfin tuna, which have sporadically shown on the surface, only to vanish just as quickly. A handful of tuna was landed from these grounds this past week, striking on yo-yo jigs, live caballito, sardina, and strips of squid, with weights ranging up near 100 pounds.  We look for this tuna action to improve as conditions continue to become more favorable.

Offshore there are striped marlin now being found throughout the region, anywhere from a couple of miles from shore on out 15 miles. These billfish have been striking on lures, as well as on cast or dropped back bait with sizes ranging to 140 pounds. They are not in huge numbers now, but there is still a good chance at hooking into one or two. No dorado or wahoo to report, though with warmer currents they should be around soon.

Inshore the highlight has been the quality-sized sierra being found, though also a few more roosterfish are showing back up, as well as some schools of mullet, their favorite food source, being sighted in near the marina area. …Eric Brictson, Gordo Banks Pangas

Cabo San Lucas

It was an amazing day for Pisces 37-foot Viking BBII with 12 Striped Marlin Released.  Reels n Dirt had 12 Releases.

Amazing day yesterday for Pisces 37-foot Viking BBII with 12 Striped Marlin Released

Marlin best at the Lighthouse, 950 Spot, and the 1150 Spot caught on lures, live bait, and ballyhoo.

There were very few small dorado starting to show and a few small yellowfin tuna here and there.  

A few roosterfish were there for the inshore gang plus a few sierra, white bonito, grouper, and snapper were caught this week at the Lighthouse, Gray rock, Chileno and Santa Maria.

LOCATION: The best locations have been out at the 1150 Spot; the 45 Spot; Fuera del 95; 3 miles outside of Cabeza de Ballena; outside Chileno 6 miles; and Cerro Colorado. 

WEATHER CONDITIONS: Clear and calm with 2- to 3-foot swells and sea with light winds in the afternoon. Air temps from 90- to 95-degrees and sea temps from 71- to 75 degrees.

BEST LURES: The best bait or lures were alive or dead caballito, mackerel, ballyhoo, sardina, Petrolero, and hoochies. 

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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