Fonmar “Fishing in the Five”

Baja Bytes –January 18, 2022     

Que Pasa

 A new series of 53 fishing tourneys named “Fishing in the Five” will take place in the five municipalities (La Paz, Loreto, Los Cabos, Comondu and Mulege) of our Southern Baja state. They will be coordinated by Fonmar, the state’s fund for the protection of marine resources. Of the 53 tournaments, only 14 will allow catch of billfish and all include prizes for catch and release categories.

Complete list

BAJA (Norte)

Tijuana Bull Ring

Down south, sand bass and sculpin are biting the ‘Knocker rig leadhead and squid combo’ outside the kelp line and farther out into the flats toward South Island…

Below the Mexican Border Offshore

The Mexican seiner fleet started wrapping bluefin this week at the Ranger Bank. The word is, they have almost caught their quota for the year.

The bluefin are in the same spot as last season this time of year, which is good news as we won’t be seeing the entire seiner operation near the U.S. borders again this year. In addition, a tonnage of bluefin remains in the area, more than we have seen in the previous years.

This past weekend, the long-range fleet located and caught larger-size bluefin (from 40 to 80-pounds). The fish are located with sonar and chummed up with 100+ scoops of fin bait.
We received info that the schools are small and primarily unresponsive in our reports.

The fish start around 140 miles from San Diego, and without sonar and hundreds of scoops of bait, good luck! However, most larger bluefin are spotted around the Ranger Bank, 265 miles from San Diego, north of Cedros Island.
It seems the best bet is to hop on a long-range boat for a three+ day trip if you want to fish for these bluefin…


Sunday, January 16, 2022, with Captain Ignacio Duarte — “Feeling blessed with Hunter Fisher and three others at Blackfin Sportfishing… Victor Matzunaga

San Quintin

San Martin calico in San Quintin, Baja, at KM Sportfishing #bajafishingfamily #filletguy #saltycrew #

Guerrero Negro, Baja California Sur.

Oh happy day…we got to see those cuddly little baby Gray Whales yesterday in Laguna Ojo de Liebre!!! There were more whales than I expected in our area of Punta Mariscal in the middle of the lagoon. It was a beautiful warm sunny day and we saw more than a dozen whales close and another dozen or more from a short distance.

It was so great to be in the company of whales again and they looked to be in pretty good shape with only a few thin whales. The highlights were seeing 4 baby calves, a friendly whale swam right over to us and hung out under our boat for a while and then the grand finale was when the tide started ripping out due to the full moon effect and whales started spy hopping right in front of us!

To celebrate, the Whale Magic Tours tribe & our guests went out to LaLa’s restaurant for the awesome sunset and some fresh seafood with champagne…Shari Bondy

Baja Sur  

Que Pasa   

Bahía de la Ascensión    

Peanut encrusted, fresh Mahi Mahi. Sooo good! Eat your Dorado before you freeze it if possible. So much better in my opinion…Ross Zoerhof

Punta Chivato

Our trip to Chivato for winter fishing was awesome! We got big yellowtail close to the point using live macs. Although there hasn’t been bait there in numbers for a few years, we jigged up as we did in the old days. The wind was a factor. We fished two days out of eight because of the wind. Pics to follow. \…Craig and Theresa Cove


Wonderful day on the water…long nap and my first yellows of the year. Forgot how much I loved this..Ended with 18 total…Kathy Hunter

We had the two famous “blues” songs playing this week in Baja.

The sad song of how the cold north wind puts the kink in any water sports was the number one tune of the week. By the time we got to the weekend the “full moon blues” sneaking into the number one spotlight.

Bait catching for mackerel is considered almost pointless by the multi-generational fishermen and I’ll take their word for it, too. There is no way I would like to sign up to do some all night multi week research to shed some light on those statistics!

Cut bait and iron come to mind. Most of the commercial handline guys might be able to verify whether the full moon crimps on hooking up with the big fish during the dreaded full moon.

The close to town high spots produced as many bottomfish as people wanted. Live sardina and cut bait did the trick on both pint bass and whitefish. Reds and yellow snapper were hot at Candeleros, and San Bruno was the best place to nail 14-18 pound yellowtail.

The week’s surface action (on the few good days) was strictly roosters along the rocks and bonito near the high spots.

Next weekend should start a new chapter in the “cold water spray in your face” and big yellowtail at the filet tables in Loreto…Rick Hill, Click Here

Lopez Mateos

Epic trip Lopez Mateos with Dave Hansen. We got limits, plus, and quality snook in two days of a fishing trip back-to-back, and we also got limits on corvina one day. Ruben commented it was the best snook fishing he’d seen in years! …Mark Rayor

Puerto San Carlos

January has more marlin and dorado than any other month of the year. People often don’t realize that January can be the best month for fishing Mag Bay…MagBay Lodge

East Cape      

Kiteboard kind of weather this week! Too windy for fishing.

La Paz    

Captain Pancho from the Tailhunter Fleet in La Paz was out on his own with family and friends near Bahia Muertos when he hooked this baby sailfish – an unusual catch in the winter. They released the fish and took the cabrilla and pargo home for dinner. 

A windy week again and even a bit of rain this past week.  Most of the winds are still coming from the north between 10 and 20 mph, with some stronger gusts making it difficult to be on the water.  Air temps are running from the low 60s at night to the mid-70s in the daytime. 

There were only a few small windows to fish.  Either because the winds diminished slightly (but it was still rough), or at least to get out for a short period before the winds pushed everyone off the water. 

Most fishing has been inshore since captains are hesitant to either go out too far where it can be rough or stay inside just in case the winds kick up.  Also, it’s difficult for the bait guys to get live bait if the winds are blowing, so slow trolling inshore with crankbaits or similar is often the only way to catch fish.  However, catches inshore can still be fun with sierra, jacks, small bonito, cabrilla, and snapper.  

There must be some warmer water outside because on those rare occasions when the boats can push out a little farther, they find some dorado are hanging out.  They are either holdovers from last season or have arrived early for the 2022 season!  Who knows?  But, they are still a pleasant surprise! … Jonathan Roldan, Tailhunter International

Puerto Los Cabos   

Sometimes you set out searching for silver and strike GOLD!!!
Scorpion Sportfishing is with Matthew Clifton

Another light week for the number of tourists arriving in the Los Cabos region. Though weather conditions were ideal, an actual heatwave for wintertime is not typical. Sunny days reaching 85 degrees felt more like early fall or late spring. Winds were variable from the north but did not affect fishing, as boats found good fishing nearby. Ocean water temperatures varied from 73 to 77 degrees, with cooler areas near Los Frailes, where the watercolor was greenish.

Fleets found schools of baitfish offshore from the San Jose del Cabo hotel zone, where mackerel, caballito, and sardineta were congregating. Other options have been ballyhoo and chihuil. Boats searched in different directions, with the most popular grounds near La Fortuna, Punta Gorda, and from Red Hill to straight offshore of San Jose del Cabo. 

Striped marlin action remains exceptionally good. Most boats targeting the billfish have had multiple opportunities, more often 4 to 10 miles from shore. Feeding marlin were frequently encountered, making for fast action. Sizes ranged from 70 to 120-pounds. These same grounds produced a mix of dorado, though larger numbers of dorado were spotted closer to shore, where charters often landed limits for their clients. Sizes ranged up to 20-pounds, with the average being 10-pounds.

Wahoo action was scattered, hit or miss, with the best chances being from Punta Gorda to La Fortuna; a few in the 50-pound class were hooked, but no significant numbers at all. It took a lot of patience and effort to have a realistic chance. This coming Sunday, Puerto Los Cabos is having a wahoo tournament, which should be interesting to see how the wahoo cooperates. There are also jackpots involved for tuna and dorado.

Bottom action showed better signs of improvement, as a handful of nice leopard grouper, yellow snapper, barred pargo, and bonito. There were juvenile-sized roosterfish, and sierra found inshore, but not in big numbers. We are missing the live sardina for this action. Environmental changes seem to be contributing to not seeing these baitfish in our area for the past several months. …Eric Brictson, Gordo Banks Pangas

Cabo San Lucas

The Marlin bite is wide open! 

Pisces 31′ Tiburon Today: 38 Marlin Released (and this one tagged) in perfect Cabo weather. Again, all the boys were ON IT today, with 178 Marlin Released for the fleet; only nine boats out fishing! …Tracy Ehrenberg, Pisces Sportfishing Fleet.

Plus yellowfin tuna!

LOCATION: The best fishing locations have been the Golden Gate Bank, Migrino – 25 to 30 miles, the 150 Spot, 35 miles outside Faro Viejo.

WEATHER CONDITIONS:The sea temps have run from 70 to 74 degrees, with the clear ocean, three to five-foot swells, and 8 to 12-mph winds.  The air temps have been from 70 to 75-degrees.    

BEST LURES:The best bait has been alive or dead caballito, kites, Rapala, sardina, mackerel, different color lures, and ballyhoo. …Pisces Sportfishing Fleet.

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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