Baja Whales and Tails

Que Paso

The waters off Baja Mexico are home to more than 1/3 of the World’s Marine Mammals.

From Ensenada to the tip of Baja and on up to Loreto on the Sea of Cortez side, the mid-winter Baja Whale extravaganza is presently one of the best in several years. Some of the whales you might encounter include:

Gray Whales frequently seen in open ocean, travel to Baja where their calves are born in many of the bays and lagoons that dot the coastline of the Baja Peninsula. There they provide an extraordinary opportunity for visitors from around the world to observe them at close range.

Humpback whales – literally larger than a Greyhound bus, breeching nearly their entire body length out of the water and communicating through their iconic “songs.”

The Blue whale is the largest mammal on the planet, weighing as much as 200 tons (approximately 33 elephants). So the largest animal ever to roam the Earth was not the prehistoric dinosaurs but rather the blue whales. Don’t let their size fool you, though – these giants are quite gentle, swimming slowly and gracefully, feeding on krill, some of the world’s smallest animals. 

They are louder than a jet engine, the loudest animals on Earth. Their calls reach 188 decibels, while a jet only reaches 140 decibels. Their low-frequency whistle can be heard for hundreds of miles and probably attracts other Blue whales.

The Finback whale is the second-longest on the planet after the Blue whale.

The Killer whale, also known as Orca, is the ocean’s top predator. It is the largest, most prominent member of the dolphin family.

BAJA (Norte)

Tijuana Bull Ring

The last few days have seen a fair pick on halibut in this area. They are on the flats in 60-feet to well over 100-feet of water and biting drifted sardines. Quite a few are short, but some legal-sized fish are caught in the 10 to 15-pounds range. Guys are also picking off a few sand bass and sculpin. …Fishdope.com

Coronado Islands / Rockpile

There are quite a few bonito along the weather side of North Island, although we heard they are all small fish under 2 pounds.
Still, that is encouraging as those are the first surface signs in quite a while.
The water is clean, and the surface temps are between 60 to 62 degrees with lots of bait all around the Islands. The table is set and ready for yellowtail to move in. The only question now is when that will happen.

There is a spotty, hit-and-miss halibut bite below South Island in 100 to 140 feet of water on drifted sardines. It is very hit and miss with more miss than hit, but it is worth a shot. Look for hard sandy bottom close to structure. …Fishdope.com

Ensenada

bluefin baech
In the now I’ve heard everything department is this bluefin tuna caught from the shore near Ensenada!

Whale Watching Trips are available every day but with reduced capacities. The main period of sightings is from February 15 to March 15. …Sergio’s Sportfishing Center

Colonet
Sketchy yellowtail fishing on the High Spot again yesterday.
Several boats were there and managed to get a sample. They also reported seeing bluefin in the same general area, but the bluefin refused to bite anything. They even failed to respond to chum.
The fishing for nice-sized lings and big quality reds was outstanding, so it wasn’t a waste of time! …Fishdope.com

San Quintin

big bottom fish

Hector Corona (aka el mudo), with a slug! …Cristian Catain

Baja Sur  

Que Pasa  

gringo funs sunday

Guerrero Negro, Baja California Sur.

It was yet another glorious, flat, calm day on Laguna Ojo de Liebre. We saw seven mothers and calves and courting whales all over the place. We were mugged by six or seven whales at a time and were given a ride by a taxi whale. The kids were stoked to touch whales! The highlight was when a few whales mated, and we saw “Pink Floyd” right beside the panga! … Shari Bondy

Bahía de la Ascensión    

moray eel

An evening beach walk with Coney, mi perrita. We found a nice chunky moray eel washed up with the tide. Coney was scheming on how to get it home.

So today, I had to make a quick trip to the Escondito market (about 3/4 of a mile – road miles – from my house) to pick up a couple of items. I tried to locate Coney to either put her in the house or the car for the short road trip. My calling went unanswered, so I figured she was on a neighborhood walkabout. I just left the door open and set off on my 10-minute errand. I picked up what I needed and was waiting to check out when Coney walked in the market door. She is too smart for her own good. …Ross Zoerhof

Loreto    

Loreto Yellowtail
A boat’s catch from out near La Cholla.  Captain “Chopi” got more fish on ice than those that became “unhooked.”

Yellowtail numbers are getting larger each day, with the local weekend crowd causing a lot of the damage. The wind continues to be a problem, especially in the afternoon; however, north of Coronado Island is still a good target on the windy days. So when the north wind kicks up, the ride back to town from here is not ugly.

Loreto Almaco Jack
Yellowtail in the 18 to 20-pound range and one almaco jack that weighed close to 50 pounds.

The more mellow day destination has been straight out from the Loreto Marina on a string of rock piles between Carmen and Coronado. Fishing iron has put fish in the icebox, but the traditional mackerel offerings are sure. The average-sized yellowtail is getting bigger, with many fish near the 20-pound mark. Other great news – the whale season is in full swing with blue whales on the south side of Carmen Island. On the north side of Carmen, near the yellowtail grounds, fin whales and humpbacks are putting on the show.

Loreto catch
A full-sized wheelbarrow hidden by recruits on the way to “basic filleting!”

Whale-watching tourists have been outnumbering fishermen tourists most days. The weekend ratio changes when the local sportfishing enthusiasts flood the highspots and possibly overtake both combined. …Rick Hill, Click Here

López Mateos

Lopez snook
Mark Rayor and Dave Hansen, Your Saltwater Guide on a busman’s holiday limited out on snook last week with Captain Ruben Duran.

La Paz    

MEXICAN MINUTE LA PAZ FISHING REPORT from Tailhunter Sportfishing for Week of Feb. 7-14, 2022.

East Cape  

Late winter wind conditions continue to persist on the East Cape, and most days are too windy to fish. However, it seems like we have at least a couple of days each week to get on the water.

This past week saw the arrival of the first run of yellowtail to the area. Typically, yellowtail begin to show around this time, and we can usually catch these hard-fighting, great-eating fish until the beginning of April. Good-sized yellowtail were caught on the various high spots from La Ribera to Buena Vista. They were also taken at Isla Cerralvo, the best area this week. Yellowtail, mostly around 20 to 25-pounds, were taken on vertical jigs as well as live sardina. It is a lot of work to fish vertical jigs all day, but you can be rewarded with some good-sized yellowtail.

Various other bottom species were also biting in these same areas. Cabrilla and white bonito, both excellent table fare, were the “other” attractions.

The action for pelagic species has been slow, with only a few dorado and marlin caught.
It should be another great season on the East Cape, and it is only beginning. Check out www.scorpionsportfishing.com to reserve your fishing dates and stay current on the area fishing conditions. …Matt Clifton

https://www.bdoutdoors.com/forums/threads/scorpion-sportfishing-east-cape-fishing-report-february-13-2022.788840/

Puerto Los Cabos   

Cabrilla limits Gordo Banks

We have seen light crowds of tourists recently. Despite some chilly early morning conditions in the lower 50s, the weather has been pleasant, with sunny skies warming up into the 70s. Winds have been on and off, predominately from the north. Swells have been slight, and overall, anglers found good conditions on the ocean. Fleets were fishing in all directions. Currents switched around and brought back cleaner blue water right off the San Jose del Cabo area, which improved the action for striped marlin, dorado, and even some wahoo. Ocean water temperature was in the 69-to-73-degree range.

Bait supplies remained the same, mainly caballito, ballyhoo, and mackerel. In addition, we heard reports that sardina were found schooling farther to the north. Still, since business is limited, the local bait netters have not been motivated to scout out these options for the number of charters they need to supply, and they are doing well selling the bait found right in the marina area. 

Striped marlin is the most active bite at present, especially on the Pacific Golden Gate Banks, where some boats were catching double digits of these billfish. Though recently, the action busted wide open around the Gordo Banks, with good numbers of marlin in the 70 to 100-pound range. Dorado were found in limited numbers, spread out on the same marlin grounds and in the mix. They were primarily solitary fish, in small groups and closer to shore. We saw a few impressive-sized bulls over 30 pounds. 

The big surprise was the wahoo going back on the bite. February is not the usual season for these pelagic gamefish. They were found closer to shore off various points, such as Punta Gorda, Palmilla, and Santa Maria. These were smaller-sized fish in the 6 to 15-pound range, though they were still wahoo, striking best on bait and cast and retrieved jigs. Although many of the wahoo were hooked and lost, they could spit out the hooks or cut the lines because of their bony mouths. However, some charters reported up to five of these wahoo.

Not many bottom fish – more bonito than anything else, though a few amberjack up to 20 pounds were landed, and a handful of leopard grouper. We did see a few California sheepshead, Pacific tilefish, triggerfish, and yellow snapper. Commercial pangeros used the red crab they spotted for red snapper action.

Closer to shore, it was mainly small-sized roosterfish found while trolling bait. There were not many sierra; we are missing having the smaller-sized sardina for this inshore winter-time action, and we are hoping something will happen with the bait moving into closer range for our local fleets. …Eric Brictson, Gordo Banks Pangas   

Cabo San Lucas    

The inshore fishing for roosterfish, jack crevalle, sierra mackerel was outstanding on most days. Lots of shots at big roosterfish n when the rooster fishing was slow, the sierras n jacks kicked in to make the days fun

Offshore fishing was just as good.  The striped marlin were here in serious numbers n they were really hungry the whole month.   The dorado were still around n they are always fun to catch.  If you were willing to go out 15-20 miles, we were catching some really nice big yellowfin tuna.  

Cabo is still one of the best fisheries in the world…Grant Hartman

Successful Taco Strike Mission Pisces 42-foot Hot Rod landed nice grouper, dorado, wahoo, AND released two marlin this weekend! Back at the dock before the afternoon. What a day!

Cabo fishing is still going strong for just about everything!...Pisces Sportfishing Fleet

WATER: Water temp: 75 degrees F, 2 to 3-foot seas, with the wind picking up in the afternoon (from the Sea of Cortez side). Overall good fishing conditions!!

LOCATION: The best fishing locations have been the Finger Bank, Golden Gate Bank, Gasparino, and Cabo Falso.

WEATHER CONDITIONS:The sea temps have run from 72 to 73 degrees, with clear skies. The ocean has been calm with 3 to 5-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 and 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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