Baja Bytes – November 2, 2021
I Had a great time with Pete Gray and Rick Max on their wildly popular “Let’s Talk Hookup Show” last Sunday. Thank you to all who called in during the show; I enjoyed talking with you and sharing your interesting questions and stories..
Below the Border
There has been a good bonito bite at the Coronado Islands today – mostly around South Island. The boats first got them on the Rapala troll and then chummed sardines to get the bite going. Fly lining with sardines got the smaller models at around 3 pounds, while the larger, 6 to 10-pound models came on the troll. We hit our limits on bonito by 11 a.m. Then it was catch-and-release.
The water temp was 63 degrees. Fun day. …Phil
There are a lot of yellowtail in the area now. Many are little rats, but there appears to be an influx of larger 5- to 12-pounders.
On top of that, many kelps are holding now versus just a day or so ago.
There are signs of bluefin, yellowfin, and skipjack, but only a few lost scattered fish around. You might get lucky and get a jig stop on any of these, but you are more likely to get yellowtail on the jigs than anything else.
The water color is not ideal – it’s off-color, blue to green throughout the entire area. However, it doesn’t seem to matter. …Fish Dope
There are limits of bottom fish with a nice mix of yellowtail and bonito for fun.
Outside Todos Santos Island, kelp-paddy boats are finding yellows on most kelps. Some are holding just a few fish, and some have a lot on them.
Also, like up north, tuna are hard to find but not impossible. In addition, anglers are getting the odd jig stop on skipjack and yellowfin.
Bottom fishing offers excellent variety for the few visiting fishermen and locals alike.
Bahía de la Ascensión
The seas were calm early this morning. We wrangled up two yellowfin tuna before the wind and lump chased us off the water at noon. Here’s a tip for you: never pass on a pod of mammals. We ran across a pod of four dolphin, trolled through them, and were both hooked up in seconds! …Ross Zoerhof
Bahia de Los Angeles
Bahia de Los Angeles, the last week of October: Respect the people and fishery! The fish that got away (breaking 80# leaders) have humbled me. Pound-for-pound, those yellowtail are monsters, from bite to the gaff, buckle up buttercup! …Elmar Hernandez
Dorado are still biting as decent weather prevails. However, the season is winding down fish-wise. …Craig Cove
The winter wind cycle brought a winter preview to Baja for the first half of the week – whitecaps for four days and then smooth as glass! But it is November, so I guess it is on schedule.
Fishing has been more on a September schedule, at least considering the strength of the dorado catches.
One of Loreto’s widely-known fishing personalities, “Gali,” reported some wild fishing he came upon off the southeastern corner of Coronado Island. “Dorado and sierra were boiling up a storm and biting everything that hit the water!” His clients put six dorado on the boat in 10 minutes while throwing the short sierra back into the violent foam. Live bait, surface iron, and hard bait all got nailed in the fight.
Not every boat hit the right spot at the right time, but the more traditional scenarios for bottom fish panned out.
Punta Lobo and the rock piles nearby yielded yellowtail averaging 15 pounds along with assorted red snapper.
Roosterfish and sierra along the coastline south of town continue to be solid.
Sierra is the fish traditionally thought to be used for albondigas, just as triggerfish are considered the “special ingredient” in ceviche. I am 100% behind both of the above, although, in secret, I have no problem frying the fillets and making great Baja fish tacos.
The dorado will be around until the cold, green water sneaks into town. …Rick Hill, Pinchy Sportfishing
Lopez Mateos (Magdalena Bay)
We didn’t fish the bay as boats were able to go outside. Instead, we caught wahoo on the 23’s, which is what my guys wanted only!… Diana Hoyt, MagBay Outfitters.
The stripers were a long way away and sliding south. I barely made it home the other day. They concentrated on the bait, and although we raised a couple, they were fast. They wouldn’t track the teaser. They just hit it and were off! We will get a little weather starting today, so I may be inside for a bit. …Jeff DeBrown, Reel Baja
Puerto San Carlos (Magdalena Bay)
There has been pretty good fishing, both inshore and off, for all species.
Offshore: The marlin are outside in large numbers, but there are not many bait balls this year. We are hoping bait moves in to concentrate the marlin both for fishermen and divers alike. However, the dorado are thick offshore and inshore. We have been getting quite a few dorado at the entrances to the bay as well as inside. Wahoo fishing has been good at the ridge, plus there has been a lot of small wahoo swimming outside the mouth of the bay. Decent grade of yellowfin tuna to 40 pounds or so are swimming around the banks with some cow-sized tuna spotted around the few bait balls that appear on the southern banks. Offshore, the water is about 80 degrees.
Inshore: Inshore has been consistent but not excellent. On our inshore trips, we have caught some snook, golden trevally, some pargo, lots of small corvina, small grouper, and many other odds and ends of fish.
We also have done well on the roosters, though we call these offshore now or nearshore. So maybe we need to add a new category. …MagBay Lodge
MEXICAN MINUTE LA PAZ FISHING REPORT from Tailhunter Sportfishing for Week of Oct. 16-23, 2021
The 2021 Tuna Shoot-Out held at Hotel Palmas De Cortez on Saturday, October 23, had all the excitement and last-minute drama you could hope for in a fishing tournament! The lead changed hands three times, and with only minutes left before the scale closed, the last Tuna arrived. That Tuna weighed about 5-pounds less than the leading fish, but it did take down the $1,000 and $2,000 jackpots worth over $27,000.
In the end, it was Team Malinche with anglers Francisco Silva, Huberto Meza, Venancio Rubio, and Francisco Castro with their 51.6-pound Yellowfin Tuna that won the overall tournament, plus the team took the $500 jackpot, winning a Grand Total of $31,800 USD.
Second Place and the winners of the $300 jackpot went to team The Ween Machine. The team of Matthew Wiener and Matthew Schwartz won a four-night stay with one day of fishing at Hotel Palmas De Cortez and just over $7,000 USD in cash.
Third Place went to team Maria Victoria with their 47.8-pound yellowfin. Finally, the team of Israel Rios and Andres Rios won a three-night stay at hotel Palmas De Cortez but no jackpot money.
Fourth Place and the winner of the $1,000 and $2,000 jackpots went to team El Tio with their 45.7-pound Yellowfin Tuna. The team of Steve Davis, Francisco Javier Trasviña and Daniel Quirante took home $27,200 USD.
Heaviest Dorado went to last year’s champs, anglers David Moore and Joey Yonan, with their 17.6-pound dorado.
We want to thank all 52 teams and their crews for participating in this year’s tournament, and we look forward to seeing everyone again next year!
Our special thanks to all our sponsors without whom these tournaments would not be possible – Costa Sunglasses, Chum Buddy, Solar Fortun Wine, P-Line fishing line, Magna Cool Coolers, Eat Me Lures, Bubba Knives, Furuno Electronics, Vagabudos Del Mar, and Van Wormer Resorts.
Puerto Los Cabos
The threats of tropical storms seem to be over, and the weather seems to have settled into typical fall patterns, with breezes from the north becoming regular late morning patterns. There are primarily clear sunny skies, and the heat index has been reaching close to 90 degrees, with morning lows of about 70 degrees. All around, the climate is ideal.
The ocean water temperature continues to be slightly warmer than the seasonal average, ranging from 80 to 84 degrees. Swells have been moderate, and the water is off-colored and greenish. The currents are strong and have swept in on the grounds from Punta Gorda and north towards Los Frailes. Anglers need the current to shift direction and push the cleaner water back in.
The off-colored dirty water to the north has shut down the yellowfin action and has stalled out the wahoo bite. The most production was towards the south off of Palmilla and Red Hill. These grounds produced decent action for dorado while trolling lures, rigged ballyhoo, and caballito. Sardina have been scarcer, arriving later in the morning near the marina jetty. Many anglers are not waiting around for them and are going with other bait options. There is always heavy pressure this time of year on all local and natural resources.
Crowds continue to arrive in large numbers in the Los Cabos area. It’s the peak season for sportfishing operations. Many charters are landing limits of dorado, two per fishing license, with average sizes from 5 to 15-pounds.
There was only a couple of wahoo reported though several others were hooked and lost. However, we expect the ocean conditions to clean up our favored northern grounds. Then the bite should progressively develop since November and December typically produce the best opportunities for hooking the elusive wahoo.
Not much is going on off the bottom – a handful of bonito, triggerfish, yellow snapper, a few smaller-grade, dog-tooth snapper, and a handful of amberjack, with one weighing a hefty 75 pounds.
A few charters reported catching juvenile-sized roosterfish and early season sierra while trolling close to shore. Although billfish action was limited on our local grounds, we did see a 150-pound blue marlin over the weekend, and some sailfish were landed from the same grounds as schooling dorado.
We remain optimistic that the season will turn around. It has been more challenging than we would typically expect for the past several weeks. Whales are on the first wave of their annual southern migration arriving from their long northern summer trek and are spotted every day. …Eric Brictson, Gordo Banks Pangas
Cabo San Lucas
I’m not the director of the Los Cabos Tuna Jackpot Tournament as I stepped away after last year. Happy with the decision. But all along, I’ve been helping the fantastic new team that will host the biggest field ever! The current team record is 186 teams. It’s at 177 already. The payout (see the catchstat.com graphic) is already a record with three days to go. And the fish are biting. And there will be public weigh-ins and a gala dinner. It’s shaping up to be an epic tournament for Western Outdoor News and Cabo. The biggest tuna of the season came yesterday at the Gordo, a 296. Gonna’ be exciting! ...Pat McDonell
Incredible catch TODAY for our friend Capt. Gonzalo Castillo from Jaqueline Sportfishing aboard “Chileno Azul.” Angler Dany Feder landed this 296-POUND YELLOWFIN in only 45 minutes!
The Los Cabos Tuna Jackpot Tournament starts Wednesday, and we are sure ready for it. Capt. Gonzalo is always one of the heavy contenders in this tourney, winning the Tournament in 2019 with Team “Sirena,” Freddy Castillo, John Scheibel, and angler John Domanic, who landed a 345-pounder on stand-up tackle. That fish earned them the largest, single check ever awarded in the tournament’s history – $420,000 USD. With around 170 boats already registered before the on-site Check-In, this year’s tournament is already looking HOT! …Pisces Sportfishing
LOCATION: The best fishing locations have been Los Arcos/Margaritas, Cerro del Golden Gate, Migrino, Pozo Cota, Fuera Lighthouse, San Jaime, Cerro’s de Arena.
WEATHER CONDITIONS: The sea temps have been from 77 to 83 degrees, clear and calm with three to five-foot swells, and winds SE from 3 to 5-mph in the afternoons. The air temps have been 70- to 88-degrees.
BEST LURES: The best bait has been alive or dead caballito, mackerel, ballyhoo, sardina, and cedar plugs. Trolled blue and white pushers, green and black, green with yellow, lures red and black, cedar plugs, plastic squid, and Rapala-style lures. …Pisces Sportfishing Fleet
That Baja Guy-Gary Graham