Sardina die off

Baja Bytes – July 13, 2021

Tijuana Bull Ring

The sand bass bite has remained very good. Guys who are fishing with the squid are doing best. They say the squid is still showing in the deck lights on twilight trips and anglers are jigging up enough to use for bait.

The bass are being found on sonar marks. Pin squid on a lead head and send it down. Green plastics are also working well.

Boats are catching limits of 7- to 8-pound bass, with morning, afternoon, and evening hours all working. …Fish Dope

Coronado Islands/Rockpile

Bluefin tuna are showing around the Islands and those fishing for bluefin can find them on spots below South Island such as the 5 Minute Kelp. The boats got visiting tuna late in the day sitting on spots running steady chum lines.

Fishing for yellowtail and barracuda are both pretty good as well.
Yellowtail were caught at the Keyhole, Gun Site, the lee South around the Ribbon Kelp, the Tuna Pens, South Kelp, the 5 Minute Kelp, and the Rockpile.
Reports are that barracuda were being found at the Keyhole, Ribbon Kelp, and all the spots below South Island.
We also received word that the calico bass bite is excellent, the Middle Grounds had some big ones and the boiler rocks in the Middle Islands area are loaded with big bass. There are also lots of bass on kelp spots from either side of South Island to all the kelp spots below South Island. …Fish Dope

South Island

I took a break from bluefin fishing and fished South Island alone Friday for halibut. I caught five, with four of them keepers. I kept two with the biggest going 23-pounds, plus I kept a 15-pounder. There were so many barracuda, rat yellows, and calico bass in the shallows (33 to 49 feet) it made it tough to fish the “flatties (halibut).”  It was non-stop, pain-in-the-ass, but still fun on 12-pound test, big game green! I hooked a heartbreak fish and was able to get her 15 feet from the boat.  It had to be 40-plus pounds but she decided she didn’t want to play anymore and started the head-shake dance and that was that! I was happy I got to see the fish though.  I fished the same area yesterday with my son-in-law and pretty much the same thing. I caught 6 halibut, kept 2 with the biggest just under 30 pounds, but no heartbreak this time. Fish in the 30 to 48 feet of water and have fun! …Michael E. Bingham

Started fishing at 1 a.m. about 5 miles west of North Coronado Island. Metered fish all night but could not get anything to bite. Left the area and fished South Island. Water was 70 to 71 degrees everywhere. Calicos are biting around the southern tip. Slow-trolled sardine and mackerel up to North Island…all calico bites. Pulled 12-inch mackerel around Pukey Point, thinking I could get away from calico bites but the calico only got bigger. Caught this 7-pounder on a mackerel that was over a foot long! They had no issues biting my larger hooks and 40-pound test. Lastly, I heard a call go out this morning over the radio (around 5:30 a.m.) announcing that Mr. Wong had won a mackerel tournament for the 13th consecutive year! Nice work, Sir! ...Marcus

9 Mile Bank / 439 / Coronado Canyon / 371 / 425 / 475 Knuckle / Upper Hidden Bank / Above 32 00

It is much slower than it has been. There are some tuna around but the volume has wandered up into U.S. waters now.
That said, it is still entirely possible to find some bluefin, get a jig, stop on yellowfin, find kelp holding a few yellowtail, or run into some giant bonito.
One thing for sure. You’ll encounter a lot less boat traffic than last week. …Fish Dope


Took the dingy out to the bait barge this morning. More good news: Rafael is the bait guy’s name and he speaks perfect English. Also, he said I could share his number: 646-190-3823. He told me he lives close by and he meets boats as early as 2 a.m. if they call the day before.

San Quintin

Great weekend…Garcia’s Pangas Sportfishing

Bahía Asunción

Stumbled onto a limit of these today.  Not ready to tell anyone it is “ON” at Asunción because these were caught in ugly green water where no self-respecting yellowtail should be hanging out, but it’s a sign of better days ahead. …Ross Zoerhof

Bahia de Los Angeles 

There is no better fun than casting Béito stickbaits to the shoreline for these handsome Cabrilla groupers. Plus, they are excellent eating! Gracias Juan Cook for an awesome day. …Cudakilla Lee

Baja Sur-Que Pasa


Captain Tony with some Almeja Bay dorado.

Dorado, bonito, and roosterfish have all been joining in the summer fishing action in Loreto. Lots of boats have been spread out covering all corners with varying degrees of luck. The “triangle” off the west side of Coronado Island all the way north to Punta Colorado has been popular and reasonably productive for dorado.

Chucking live sardina at the sargasso mini-patches has put at least a few dorado on most boats. Working the same crime scene has seen good numbers of chunky line-breaking bonito. They are always a great thrill and workout for the rookies but are a big zero for fish tacos!

A better bite has been happening farther north at Almeja Bay with bigger dorado for the few boats making the 20-mile run. A few 25 – to 30-pound fish have been landed mixed in with the 5-pound “dinks.”

No word on productive fishing on the south side of Carmen this week. No reports for any other part of Carmen except roosterfish battles near Balandra (Carmen’s west side)…Rick Hill, Pinchy Sportfishing

La Paz

MEXICAN MINUTE LA PAZ FISHING REPORT from Tailhunter Sportfishing July 2-9, 2021

East Cape 

Fishing was at its absolute best! East Cape Buena Vista

Nobody was disappointed – not even a tiny bit – as fishing was at its absolute best whether inshore, offshore, or from the beach.

Air temps ranged from the low 80s to the low 90s. A small storm that passed through was exceptionally good for the fish. After the storm and the water cooled a few degrees, dropping from 85 to 82, everything reacted positively. Dorado came to the surface, and we finally began to catch them in good numbers.

We also spotted a few blue marlin in the area. Striped marlin were on the hot bite again to our guests’ delight. Meanwhile, roosterfish continued to perform as expected. The pez gallo ranged from 4-pound chicos to 55- or 60-pound fish. Tuna also stayed hot, with boats reaching their tuna limits before noon, which gave them time to go after different species; bottom fishing was outstanding again with cabrilla, snapper, and pompano.

Bait hasn’t been an issue, with plenty of sardine, caballito, camiseta, ladyfish, and ballyhoo available. Bait fishing has been fantastic, including Rapalas, jigs, various lures, feathers, and cedar plugs. …Axel Valdez

Water in the 85- to 86-degree range, clear and clean, but a little bumpy for a couple of days but it has remained fishable.  The air is cool for July, very pleasant, with highs in the 80s.

There is wide open bill fishing, lots of stripers with sails and blues mixed in, plus big roosterfish are being released daily.  The yellowfin are biting, and it has been great fishing for dorado.  There are lots of pompano, pargo, and some nice Almaco jack.  

All anglers targeting billfish are releasing at least one with most boats releasing multiples.  A few sails and the blues have arrived with quite a few released close inside, from 2- to 5- miles off the beach. Trolled ballyhoo and darker lures are working.

The tuna are much closer to shore, bunched up around Rincon close to the park boundary.  Drift fishing for live sardina has been producing 5- to 30-pound tuna.

Dorado mixed with tuna are taking sardina and are also taking trolled feathers as well as Hoochies close inshore.  The lighthouse has been producing some nice fish in the 5- to 30-pound range.

Roosterfish are all along the beaches, but they are biting best from Punta Colorado north.  Sardina is working for the smaller fish, although live caballito and mullet are taking the bigger guys. While 50-pounders are common, a couple are well over 70 pounds.

There is still good bottom fishing.  The deeper water is much cooler and has been producing nice fish. Yellowtail in July as well as some big Almaco jack, lots of pompano, and pargo. …John Ireland, Rancho Leonero

Puerto Los Cabos

Anglers are using a mix of sardina, mullet, and caballito for bait. Supplies have remained steady near the Puerto Los Cabos Marina Jetty despite the increased surf activity. Most local charters have been fishing towards the north, from the Gordo Banks to Vinorama. Some inshore action has also been found near Palmilla and south towards Chileno. More consistent action is being encountered closer to shore and off the rocky high spots.

There has been spotty action found anywhere from 15- to 25-miles offshore for yellowfin tuna which were associated with the moving porpoise. It has been ‘hit or miss’ for mostly football-sized yellowfin.  There was another area for tuna near Vinorama. These fish were within a mile or so from shore and weighed up to 30 pounds. Though this tuna bite was also sporadic, more of an early morning super panga bite, the first boats there had a chance and then the bite shut down.

Dorado and wahoo have both been very scarce.  However, we did see a handful of smaller-sized juvenile dorado, even though they were few and far between. The billfish action was scattered, no specific hot spot, as we are in-between seasons now. There have been a few sailfish in the area as well, even though it is late in the season for striped marlin and still a bit early for the blues and blacks.

Recently, there has been great action found on the Inner Gordo Bank, amberjack to 60 pounds, and surprisingly, several yellowtail weighing up to 34 pounds. Lots of shark were hanging around on these grounds which made it a challenge at times. Word travels quickly these days.  The next thing we know, spear divers will show as well as swarms of bots, and that bite will fade out. Other grounds to the north, Cardon, La Fortuna, Iman, and San Luis all produced a mix of structure species for anglers using yo-yo jigs and various bait. Ocean clarity improved and the water temperature was in the 80-degree range, though overall the bite was a bit more difficult in recent days. Fishing is like the weather; it can vary from day to day.

Anglers have been finding more roosterfish patrolling closer to shore, and fish weighing 50 pounds have been released, plus much smaller roosterfish have been found in the area, more than usual for this time of year.  We are now in peak season for targeting the largest roosterfish of the year. Still, lots of jack crevalle are being found near shore as well as a few sierra are still hanging around. …Eric Brictson, Gordo Banks Pangas

Cabo San Lucas

Billfish remain agood choice with multiple stripers, a few sailfish, and even a late season swordy for one lucky angler.
Another popular choice is the schoolie-sized yellowfin tuna up to 20-pounds were found with schools of porpoise. Be careful, a few larger ones are lurking in the schools as well.

Another pleasant surprise are the few bull dorado weighing up to 25 pounds being caught along with the smaller ones that are fun to catch and release. Another occasional bonus in the same zone are the wahoo known for their speed and mouth full teeth. However, wahoo steaks are delicious when served at your favorite local restaurant.

Another favorite is the kawa-kawa, So tasty! It’s got black dots on the belly under the pectoral fin. Rich and distinctive in flavor, it goes well with garlic, ginger, onions, and other rather strong herbs and spices found inshore, along with roosterfish, jack crevalle, and pompano.  Plus, grouper and a few snapper, caught close to shore at Herradura, Gray rock, Chileno, and Santa Maria.

Another little-known option for those preferring to stay on land is fishing the surf on the Pacific side with local guides. There the grande roosterfish are currently cavorting along with Almaco jack and pompano. Photo Stephen Jansen.

The best fishing locations in the Los Cabos area have been Outside Jaime Bank, on the 95 Spot, the Lighthouse, 30 miles outside the old Lighthouse, Jaime Bank, Herradura, 40 miles 210 degrees, Cabrillo Mountain, and 27 miles 200 degrees.

The sea temps have been from 76- to 81-degrees, clear and calm, with 2- to 3-foot swells and light winds in the afternoon. The afternoon air temps have been 91-degrees.

The best bait or lures were live or dead caballito, mackerel, ballyhoo, sardina, and a large variety of brightly colored pushers, Rapala-style lures, as well as 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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