MPE Tournament Kicks Off 2021 Baja Season

Que Pasa

Marina Puerto Escondido Tournament 2021

Thirty teams consisting of locals and visitors met in competition last weekend in Marina Puerto Escondido, Loreto, with excellent results.

Mother nature provided ideal conditions during the two days of the tournament, underscoring the fishability of the fertile waters of Marina Puerto Escondido.  The waters surrounding Loreto lived up to their reputation for being one of the most prolific fishing grounds in the Sea of Cortez.

It was a long wait since the First Marina Puerto Escondido Tournament took place in 2019. Team “TAG,” the overall winner of first place in 2019 returned seeking a repeat performance only to be nudged out of the “release” top spot by the time of catch in the release division by newcomer “Team La Chingona.”

There were 61 dorado and 34 yellowtail brought to the scale, while 61 billfish entered in the release division during the event.   

MPE           2021 FINAL RESULTS

Yellowtail

CHICLEBOLA                yellowtail    34.1-pounds           1st place overall

MARMAKOS                  yellowtail    31.1-pounds           2nd place overall

Dorado

TAG TEAM dorado        34.6-pounds                   first place overall

RETREIVER        dorado           34-pounds            2nd place overall

Release

6 Teams released 61 a total of striped marlin with a tie between Teams TAG and La Chingona that was settled by time.

TOURNAMENT OVERALL 1ST/2ND PLACE RESULTS
PRIZETEAMWEIGHT (LBS)TOTAL
1ST PLACE DORADOTAG TEAM34.6 LBS $        7,333.00
2ND PLACE DORADO RETRIEVER34 LBS $        3,333.00
1ST PLACE YELLOWTAILMARMAKOS31.1 LBS $        7,333.00
2ND PLACE YELLOWTAILCANUCKS31.1 LBS $        3,333.00
1ST PLACE CATCH AND RELEASELA CHINGONA11 $      15,833.00
2ND PLACE CATCH AND RELEASETAG TEAM11 $        6,333.00
OVERALL TOURNAMENT TOTALS
JACKPOTJACKPOT TYPESMETRICTOTAL
OVERALL YELLOWTAILJACKPOTS$500/$1K/$5KWEIGHT $   43,500.00
OVERALL DORADO JACKPOTS$500/$1K/$5KWEIGHT $      65,000.00
OVERALL CATCH + RELEASE JACKPOTS$500/$1K/$5KQUANTITY $      39,500.00
Total Jackpot Winnings $     148,000.00
CATEGORYCATEGORY TYPEMETRICTOTAL
1ST/2ND PLACE YELLOWTAlLSAT/SUN COMBINEDWEIGHT $      10,666.00
1ST/2ND PLACE DORADOSAT/SUN COMBINEDWEIGHT $      10,666.00
1ST/2ND PLACE CATCH + RELEASESAT/SUN COMBINEDQUANTITY $      22,166.00
Total Tournament Prize Winnings $      43,498.00
TOTAL BILLFISH CAUGHT AND RELEASED61
TOURNAMENT TOTAL PURSE (PRIZES + JACKPOTS) $     191,498.00

Tijuana Bull Ring

There are lots of fish, including a good deal of keeper-sized calico in the mix but still plenty of shorts for the most part.  Fly-lined anchovy on 10- to 12-pound test with a small #4/0 hook is the ticket for a fast bite.

There have been no signs of yellowtail for a while now, but there have been a good deal of bait in the area.  Birds have been working the bait, though it has just been mackerel and small bonito.

Little rockfish continue to bite at the usual locations with some stones holding bigger fish; however, it is mainly the small stuff. …Fish Dope

Coronado Islands/Rockpile

It has been slow fishing for over a month now, so it has been hard to come by any report and we just do not have anything to report on, unfortunately.  None of the full-day fleets are fishing the Islands, not with kelp paddy yellows and bluefin within their range offshore. …Fish Dope

Ensenada

  Our anglers are seeing RED! … Mara’s Sportfishing

San Quintin

We drove down on Wednesday and checked into The Old Mill.  We paid for the room and were greeted with a “welcome Cerveza!” Then we decided to take a drive and headed to one of the local oyster farms where we gorged ourselves on over 15 dozen oysters – mostly raw, but Martin grilled some for us and those were outstanding as well. When we came back to the hotel, we BBQed carne asada and some other stuff.

https://www.bdoutdoors.com/forums/threads/san-quintin.771698/

Bahía Asunción

Well, my today started yesterday when my amigo, Daniel Powell, called me and asked if I had access to crutches.  Off the top of my head, I did not know of ANY in Asunción, but I cruised over to talk to Dari Martinez to see if he knew of any.  After a couple of phone calls, he located a pair.  Interestingly, one was from a house in the pueblo, and the other was at a little Ranchita about a mile out of town.  It turns out, it is bad etiquette to pick up a crutch without having a beer or two with the one possessing said crutch.  

After which, in the process, one will get invited to a Mother’s Day celebration happening the following day.  (May 10th is Mother’s Day in Mexico). 

This afternoon I headed back to the Ranchita and was treated as a member of the family by a group of folks that I knew well enough to wave to on the streets or the water, but I felt honored to be invited to this type of family gathering. 

Some interesting dynamics happened at these rural Mexican fiestas.  In general, the ladies stick with the ladies and the guys stick with the guys, usually close to the grill, it seems to be an unwritten rule, a line drawn in the sand – facetiously, I think, but maybe not! But at one point, a young lady tried to sneak some chilis onto the grill – universally, the men’s domain!  

I have included a few photos and I’ll try to add some descriptions.  It was a very cool afternoon and thank you for including me.

This is a late edit to my post.  I recently read an article that was entitled, “The 30 Best Things to do In Baja Sur.”  It was obvious to me that the author of the article spent a few days in Cabo San Lucas, and maybe a couple of days in La Paz, but that was the extent of their investigation into the 30 Best Things to do in BCS.  I will put my afternoon’s experience on the top of any such list! …Ross Zoerhof

Baja Sur-Que Pasa

Loreto

It sounds like you have the big story for the Loreto area.The local boats are still picking away at the yellowtail with most boats not wanting to venture far from the traditional spots close to town.

The water temperature needs to pop up another ten degrees before any dorado will be hitting our fillet tables with any frequency. It’s the same as the past three or four weeks – 15- to 25-pound yellowtail but not many, snapper and cabrilla as always, triggers, reds, and whitefish to round out the bunch. I got word that “clients landed a BIG yellowtail and will be sending in photos as soon as they hit “wifi.”  One out of a hundred happy hunters will send in photos, so I am still without! …Rick Hill, Pinchy Sportfishing

La Paz


MEXICAN MINUTE LA PAZ FISHING REPORT from Tailhunter Sportfishing for Week of May 5-14, 2021

East Cape

East Cape – This week, there are still pompano at the lighthouse, although the fishing has been a little slower, people were still catching them. Some days good skipjack as well, but yesterday we looked for them and did not find them. There is also some decent fishing for roosterfish both from the boat and from the beach in the East Cape. We are finding more from the boat, but anglers are getting a few from the beach which continues to be very crowded. Yesterday the best bite was for the boats that traveled 40 miles outside and found the porpoise. They all returned with good catches of 5- to 20-pound class tuna.

Up north in La Ventana, the action continues to be good for roosterfish as well as jacks. We were there on Sunday and started our day a little farther outside off the south point of the Island and we encountered all the big skipjack we could handle. After that, we slid back inside to the Lighthouse and managed to get a couple of roosterfish.

The fish there are getting very selective as they are seeing a ton of pressure each day. I will be fishing the East Cape this week and will return to La Ventana on Friday to guide my group coming in for the weekend and will be fishing North on Friday and Saturday. …Jeff DeBrown, The Reel Baja

The water has been clear and flat and is warming early this year. Temps have hit from 80 to 84 degrees outside. 

The weather is also warmer with temps in the high 80s midday along with clear skies and light afternoon breezes. All in all, it has been nice weather.

The warming water made plenty of big sardina available for all boats, and it has improved the fishing. There has been a strong marlin bite, with some large dorado taken up north, big yellowfin, and lots of pompano around Rincon.

The past few days, the yellowfin have shown up under the porpoise within five miles of the beach. Big roosterfish are being released daily, along with lots of smaller roosters. The fishing has picked up!

There has been a wide-open striped marlin bite one day, and very picky biters the next. The marlin are concentrated from 3- to 5-miles offshore, between the Lighthouse and Punta Colorado. On the good days, there are multiple releases. There have been some big billfish! We released one yesterday that was well over 200 pounds. They cannot seem to get enough ballyhoo – it’s the best bait!

Big bruiser yellowfin to 100 pounds are being taken off Rincon by drift fishing sardina in 50- to 80-feet of water.  Although there are not many, what they get are nice fish. The tuna have shown up under the Porpoise, very close to shore within six miles directly off the hotel.  They will take cedar plugs, Rapalas, Hoochies, and live sardina. The average fish is around 20 pounds and the anglers finding them are limiting out.

There have been some big bull dorado taken on the shark buoys off Punta Pescadero. Schools of smaller fish in the 3- to 15-pound class are also biting. Live sardina is the ticket.

Some big roosterfish have been taken recently from smaller fish to 60 pounders. Anglers are releasing lots of fish!  From the Lighthouse north, the bigger fish are a little farther off the beach. Almost all are on sardina, though quite a few are on the fly.

There are lots and lots of African pompano to ten pounds taken drift fishing with sardina off the Lighthouse and Rincon.

Two 20- to 30-pound wahoo were taken recently, both on sardina…John Ireland, Rancho Leonero

Puerto Los Cabos

With each passing day, it has started to feel more like summer, since last week when the season’s first tropical storm developed to the southwest of Southern Baja, the weather changed just like that, humidity increased, and daytime high temperatures were reaching 90-plus degrees.

Wind patterns are now switching as well, still a bit unpredictable, though much less persistent compared to how they had been. Ocean water temperatures jumped up to 78 degrees and clear, blue water was now being found within several miles of shore. So just as predicted, conditions can change very quickly this time of year. We are still only seeing limited numbers of visiting anglers, though it is now a great time to visit, while the weather is still comfortable, crowds are light and fishing action is improving.

Supplies of sardina and caballito have been plentiful and anglers are using yo-yo jigs and some surface trolling lures. Most of the fishing now has been going on from La Fortuna, San Luis, and towards Vinorama.  This is where a wide variety of fish have been found. The most consistent bite has been off the rock structure, anywhere from 80 to 200 feet deep. Using jigs and various baits, anglers found quality action for species such as red snapper (huachinango), barred pargo, yellow snapper, amberjack, bonito, pompano, surgeonfish, cabrilla, grouper, and others.

All these fish are excellent table fare. Some of the more impressive catches were amberjack to 50 pounds and grouper to over 30 pounds along with some trophy-sized red snapper close to 15 pounds.

We only saw a handful of smaller-size yellowfin tuna this week, also we did see a few nice dorado starting to appear in the warmer waters.

There were other reports of tuna being found associated with porpoise much farther offshore, though these fish were not within our normal range. Still, good numbers of striped marlin were being found from the 95 to 1150 Spots, striking lures and dropped back bait. There were reports of wahoo seen free swimming on the same grounds where bottom fish were being targeted. Although they were not interested in striking, we did hear of some spearfishermen killing as many as five wahoo in one outing, so they are definitely in the area. Sure wish they would control the spearfishing limits more.  It seems like one fish per species would be more appropriate, no more three fish in total.  In the meantime, these spear guys are using the same fishing permits as do rod and reel anglers – that does not make any sense!

Inshore there has continued to be some quality-sized sierra action, though with the warming water the action tapered off. There have been roosterfish moving in though, with some fish up to 40 pounds along with some large jack crevalle.

Action for surf fishermen seemed to be picking up and we heard of at least one snook being landed. …Eric Brictson, Gordo Banks Pangas

Cabo San Lucas

The striped marlin have been crowd-pleasers with most boats reporting multiple releases and a few anglers getting shots at swordfish finning on the surface as well. Not many swordfish want to bite, but it’s fun to try to get them to take a live bait.

Added to the billfish, the remarkable variety of yellowfin tuna, skipjack, jack crevalle, sierra, dorado, rockfish, grouper, pargo, and roosterfish close to shore, and it is great fishing!
The marlin fishing is red hot at the 95 and the 1150 spot! Marlin between 100 and 150 pounds were caught on lures, live bait, and ballyhoo.
More action with the decent-sized marlin this week as the water has warmed up – maybe the dorado will start showing as well.

Inshore fishing has remained constant, a few roosterfish, sierra, a few white bonito, a few small grouper, and a few snapper were caught this week at the Lighthouse, Gray Rock, Chileno, and Santa Maria.

LOCATION: The best locations have been Cabrillo 115, Herradura, Destiladeras, Palmilla, and the 95 Spot. 

WEATHER CONDITIONS: The weather has been clear and calm with 3- to 5-foot swells and 6- to 11-mph winds in the afternoon. The air temps have been from 75- to 84-degrees with sea temps from 70- to 75-degrees.

BEST LURES: The best bait has been live or dead caballito, mackerel, ballyhoo, sardina, Petrolero, and the best lures have been 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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