1st Jackpot Sport Fishing Tournament in Punta Banda

Baja Bytes –February 1, 2022     

Sportfishing Tournaments are ideal ways to promote sustainable fishing, raise awareness of the need to conserve ocean resources and attract anglers to Baja.

The promoters of the sportfishing operations in “Punta Banda” Ejido Esteban Cantú area, south of the city of Ensenada, have worked extremely hard to “plan for the future.” Last weekend, they hosted the first of the “Jackpot Sport Fishing Events,” with more than 100 competitors’ aboard 26 boats participating; “this is incredibly beneficial for this region’s off-season economy”…Víctor Hugo Méndez, Secretaría de Pesca y Acuacultura de BC., IGFA Representative

Que Pasa

BAJA (Norte)

Tijuana Bull Ring

Some bass, with sculpin in the mix, have been biting near the kelp beds. Look for anchovy schools on the meter as good quality sand bass have been under them at times, biting both live anchovy on Carolina rigs, as well as jigs dropped below the bait schools.

There have also been some sculpin biting in the flats for guys fishing strips of squid on the bottom. Dropper loops, lead heads, and sculpin rigs (sinkers with hooks attached along with split rings) are all working on these, but you’ll need to grind it out to put any amount of catch together to bring home. You might pull a couple of perch up as well…Fishdope.com

Coronado Islands / Rockpile

Anglers caught a few nicer-sized halibut below South Island in 80 to 100-feet of water.  Look for a sandy bottom with sporadic rockpiles and then drift sardine or mackerel on reverse dropper loops. 

A few calico have been biting in the Middle Grounds and below South Island.  Fish are mixed in size and biting sardines on sliding sinker rigs.

There continues to be an abundance of bait throughout the islands and the Rockpile.  Loads of mackerel are all over with some spots of anchovy.  So there’s plenty of food around to take advantage of should some game fish move in.

This time of year, there’s usually a little bit of yellowtail around, but it’s typically smaller schools down deep (from 180 to 250-feet) that only show as quick sonar schools that are seen around the weather side of North Island, the Middle Grounds and the Rockpile. 

Odds are stacked against the private boat guys who haven’t a scanning sonar to get on top of these schools.  There is a short window from when they show on the meter until they are gone.  It would be best if you had a yoyo ready to send down the second you see them on the meter. …Fishdope.com


Local and offshore trips both produce this week for . … Blackfin sportfishing

San Quintin

Limits of bottom fish and a good catch of yellowtail. …Garcias Pangas

Baja Sur  

Que Pasa  

U.S. Consulate warns tourists to avoid Mexican hospitals.

You’ll be required to pay in cash for an itemized list of charges provided before discharge. In addition, there have been accusations of withheld U.S. passports, obstruction of medical evacuations, and refusal to discharge patients without payment.”

The Los Angeles Times reported that Scott Lairson took his wife to St. Luke’s Hospital in Cabo San Lucasafter she contracted Covid in June 2021. Lairson said the hospital demanded $50,000, or they would transfer his wife to a community hospital, and he wouldn’t be allowed to see her.

He didn’t have enough money and flew his wife home to Arizona, where she died. Lairson says that the hospital director Mario Trejo Becerril bullied and threatened him for cash:

More here

Guerrero Negro, Baja California Sur.

What a day!!! On Laguna Ojo De Liebre in the company of whales. There were lots and lots of mothers and babies, solos, as well as a few mating trios. We made friends with a whale named Edgar, named by the lucky person he touched! Edgar wanted to get to know us better, so he hung out with us for a long time visiting everyone on all sides of the panga. I was perched too high, unable to touch him, but we made eye contact. Welcome, Edgar!

His two friends came over to join the party, but Edgar won our hearts. Here are some snippets of a forging friendship! I look forward to spending more time with him. …Shari Bondy

Bahía de la Ascensión    

To give a perspective on the arch that I took pictures of yesterday, I took a couple this morning at a higher tide. …Ross Zoerhof


Good fishing results continue at all the high spots in line with Coronado Island. From La Cholla on the south side, north to San Bruno, yellowtail were chewing live mackerel offerings. The wind this past week was standard winter wind. Most afternoons, it blew at 10 to 12-mph.

Tomorrow and for the next few days, it is forecast to be 20 mph, close to when the Port Captain will close the ramp.

Most of the larger fish were caught on an early-morning breakfast call at San Bruno with a few fish close to 25 pounds.

Firecracker yellows and huachinango had been biting small macks and cut bait closer to the island’s north side.

I have seen discarded frozen squid containers, but I have yet to nail down any catch info related to squid. Cut squid filled the live bait gap when the mackerel scene was very slim. I’ll pass a question or two to some local captains to see if anyone uses the whole squid for yellowtail. Frozen squid is available at some stores in Loreto if the possibilities look. interesting! …Rick Hill, Click Here

La Paz    

MEXICAN MINUTE LA PAZ FISHING REPORT from Tailhunter Sportfishing for Week of Jan. 20-29, 2022

East Cape    

Is catching yellowtail on your bucket list? Now is the time!! Call our office for details. Rancho Leonero  1-800-646-2252

Ladies! It’s time to make your plans to join us for the 3rd Annual Ladies Only Fishing Tournament at Hotel Palmas De Cortez. Rooms and boats are limited, so call now to reserve your spot at one of the best tournaments of the year.


Puerto Los Cabos   

Fleets have spread out in all directions. This last week we saw cold green water push in from the north, out of the Sea of Cortez, with currents as cold as 68 to 70 degrees, and green water to Cabo San Lucas. Warmer cleaner water is now found straight out from Cabo San Lucas and on the Pacific, where currents were up to 76 degrees. Bait supplies were mainly for caballito and ballyhoo out of San Jose del Cabo, with some mackerel found on the Pacific. Still no reports of schooling sardina. We miss this bait source. They are so beneficial for the inshore and shallow water structure action.

San Jose del Cabo fleets fished the grounds from Red Hill to Santa Maria and north to Iman and La Fortuna. The main action with the present ocean conditions is bottom species. However, pelagic red crab have also appeared on local high spots. The red crab always get the red snapper bite going – it’s kind of like a local gold rush. All the commercial pangeros are working overtime, taking advantage while they can. 
Sportfishing fleets have been catching a mix of red snapper, yellow snapper, bonito, amberjack, Alamo jack, barred pargo, leopard grouper, and other species, including at least one blackfin jack, a rare species for local waters. It is too early in the season for amberjack, though we did see a handful of these hard fighters, as large as 25 pounds. Most of this bottom action is for fish in the 5 to 10-pound range, all great eating.

Only a few smaller-sized dorado were accounted for, and early in the week, there was one 35-pound wahoo caught in the green water on a yoyo jig. Closer to shore, there were some sierra, in limited numbers. Unfortunately, again we are missing the preferred sardina for bait to get this inshore action into a frenzy.  

Offshore and in the direction of Cabo San Lucas, there were reports of scattered striped marlin, though boats found better action for the billfish on the Pacific. …Eric Brictson, Gordo Banks Pangas

Cabo San Lucas

275-pound Yellowfin Tuna and 700-pound Blue Marlin were caught fewer than two weeks apart by the same boat and crew!

The boat is the 33’ Blackfin “El Curandero” (not a Pisces Vessel) and the captain is Cabo local, Manuel Domínguez aka El Chichi. His mates are his sons, Jaime, and Alan, and they landed the cow tuna the day before yesterday in a pod of porpoise about 30 miles out for their charter client onboard, William from Calif. He has fished numerous times with Chichi, and they’ve won a few tournaments together.

Not only have they managed this feat, but Capt. Domínguez turned heads days back as he reached the dock with an incredible out-of-season Blue Marlin. The fish weighed in at 700-pounds and was landed on a blue/white Koya lure, using a 50@avetreelsinc with 80# line, but this was not the first time he has done this!

Almost ten years ago, he had an amazing and similar story when he landed a 1,000-pound Marlin in February and was aided by Captain Julio Castro and crew of the 31′ Tracy Ann

Out for a day’s fishing with two senior couples from Phoenix, Arizona, Sergeant and Sandy Snagirett, and John and Edie Rayno aboard “Ziggy,” a 34-foot Luhrs, they were headed in for the day, when the line snapped out of the rigger.

The couple took turns fighting the monster fish until they tired, and Capt. Dominguez took the rod. Seeing that it was too large to be brought aboard the 34-foot Luhrs, he contacted Captain Julio Castro and his crew on the 31-foot Tracy Ann of the Pisces Fleet to come to his aid. Together, they brought the fish in to be weighed.

It remains one of the top five or six heaviest marlin ever caught at Cabo San Lucas, and it’s undoubtedly the heaviest ever brought into the dock by four seniors from Arizona.


Gary Graham-That Baja Guy published Pisces owner Tracy Ehrenberg’s recounting of the story in 2013 here:

LOCATION: The best fishing locations have been the Finger Bank, Golden Gate Bank, and La Lobera. 

WEATHER CONDITIONS:The sea temps have run from 72 to 73 degrees, with clear skies. The ocean has been calm with three to five-foot swells and 4 to 5-knot winds.  Air temps have been from 68 to 72-degrees.    

BEST LURES:The best bait has been alive or dead mackerel, kites, Rapala, blue & white marlin lures, sardina, and ballyhoo. 

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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