Bluefin Tuna off San Quintin

Baja Bytes – April 12, 2022     

West of Ensenada / Upper 500 / 480 / 238 / 1140 Finger

The entire fleet was here on 1.5-day trips and are back up at the dock today.
So what happened yesterday??
Probably one of the best bluefin tuna fishing days of all time!
All of the boats reported full limits!
The bite was wide open during the night, and it didn’t die off very much during the day either. Boats were still scoring bluefin off the kelp and on jig stops all day long.

The focal zone is mainly just to the east of the Hidden Bank, south to just east of the Upper 500. Call it a five to six-mile block centered around 31 49 x 117 21.

The boats were catching the best numbers of bluefin during the nighttime hours. However, the boats are still scratching a few more bluefin during the day, along with decent numbers of kelp-paddy yellowtail.
Most of the bluefin fall into the 25 to 40-pound class. However, bigger fish are caught from 50 to just over 100 pounds.

Usually, the nighttime bite is on jigs – knife jigs especially.
Fish on as heavy a line as you have as it will not affect the bite when it is dark out.
A few flylined fish are biting 30 and 40-pound lines during the daytime, but overall, it is tougher on the fly line. Again, sinker rigs seem to be the better bet, especially on bigger grade fish. We heard of a decent number of triple-digit fish coming in the previous weekend during the daytime on the sinker rigs on 60 and 80-pound lines, but no signs of these big ones the last handful of days.
Colt Snipers and smaller 100 to 200-gram jigs were also bit reasonably well during the day when dropped down to schools around 250-feet deep.

We have reports of mostly sonar schools, but boats also spotted breezers and foamers under birds.

Then be sure to check out kelp paddies!
There have been some kelp holding 5 to 12-pound yellowtail throughout this zone. Not just yellowtail either, as some of the kelps are also holding bluefin.
Again, lots of the kelp are empty, but a few keep holding good numbers of fish biting fly-lined sardine plenty well, so it is worth stopping on any paddies you come across…

BAJA (Norte)

Tijuana Bull Ring

The yellowtail has been coming up to the surface and breezing around at slack low tide for several days. A few have been caught on mint surface iron, but mostly it has been “show and no go.”
That said, we have not heard if this continued today.
The slack low was around 10-am on Thursday or 10:45/11-am on Friday. On Saturday, the time was 11:57 – 12-noon. Today, it was at 12:42-pm in the early afternoon.
The water is clean, green, and warm, from 65 to 67 degrees… 

Coronado Islands / Rockpile

Conditions at the Islands were said to be snotty and rough yesterday. Some yellowtail were caught but not as many as the day before, which is the trend. Most days, the bite is sketchy, but the bite is decent when conditions are good. When it isn’t, the yellowtail fishing isn’t good either.

We have not heard any reports today. If something newsworthy happens, we will send an evening update.

The yellows are running in the 10 to 15-pound class, with a few pushing 20-pounds. They are found in deep and shallow water, up under birds at times, breezing on the surface, and on sonar marks. As you might expect, some are caught on the full-size and the junior-size yo-yo iron, and some are hooked on mint-colored surface iron. It just depends on where you find them.
The smaller junior-sized yo-yo iron has worked best when fishing in less than 150 to 180 feet of water. The full-size jigs work better in deeper water…


Over the last five days, the yellowtail bite has been good and steady at Punta Banda.
The local panga fleet is whacking yellows on the surface iron cast to breezers and bird schools, yo-yo iron, and trolled Rapalas and Nomad plugs.
They are also seeing some big bonito in the mix, and now the first few barracuda have been caught.
Expect to see a lot more of these soon. …

10 Day forecast

San Quintin

Short story – We fished with Oscar out of K & M Sportfishing on their 25′ Parker. Great operation! We landed the area’s first bluefin of the year, an 84-pounder, plus yellows and reds on our first day. We landed the second bluefin of the year on the second day – weighing 92 pounds. …doncatfish

 Gonzaga Bay

April 5-6, -22, I fished with Doc, Mike Clayton, his son Winton, his friend Aska, and Doc Carlo.

Day 1 The 5th was a tough day, with just a few golden spotted bass and a good pulldown on the grouper, but we missed the fish!

Day 2 On the 6th, we got to the Golden Reef for a couple of tails, nice ones, and a cabrilla. We hit the inside for excellent golden spots, looked for a grouper, and found one willing to go. Winton was on the rod and did a fine job fighting this fish. It was right around 60 to 65-pounds – a nice keeper fish. However, we did not fish anymore. One grouper, preferably a small to medium-sized fish, is the limit on the Slaptail! We need to protect this fishery as best we can…fishonnn&onnn.

Baja Sur  

Ascensión Bay

I was getting a little weary of the inshore fishing here in Asuncion. The calico and bottom fish bite has been good, but I just wanted to try something different. I’ve been noticing a lot of big kelp paddies floating around and washing up with the tides so I decided to head offshore to look for some warmer water and kelps that might be holding yellowtail Southern California style. About 7 to 10 miles out I found both. 62-degree clean blue water versus the 56-degree stuff inshore. Flat greasy calm conditions. No sun so any kelp paddy or bird or disturbance on the water really caught one’s eye. I spotted a lot of birds, flying fish, sea lions and turtles.

Including one albatross. Most kelps were holding bait and I saw a good number of small yellowtail. I had two knockdowns while trolling past kelp but neither stuck. Just a couple of the 3-pound yellows that I was seeing. So, no fish to report but a most enjoyable excursion and July can’t get here soon enough when I have been having my first opportunities at tuna.

Just as a tease, which may have been my last trip on my little Gregor tin boat. A new to me Klamath just might be on the horizon. Stay tuned…Ross Zoerhof


Oh, S*#T! We just won the Loreto two-day yellowtail tournament, bringing it back to Mulege with the biggest yellowtail 33-pounder! If you want to fish here, we have the best captain for you — with German Martinez Davis and Tommy Horan

a pair of Loreto yellows

An unconfirmed report of foaming yellowtail up north at Almeja Bay and the Pulpito area came my way a few days ago. More boats may be headed that way in the coming week due to the slacking off of the bite out at Lobo and the other close to town rock piles. La Cholla, Tinturera and Lobo all had a hard time putting fish on the boat recently. Most boats were lucky to land one YT and the rest came home with zip.

A few cabrilla have entered the fish count this week. They have been few and far between for the past 3 months. Chalk that up to water temp, phases of the moon or just the days on the calendar, who knows!

Another positive sign of the coming changes has been the appearance of clumps of sargasso along the beaches. 

Fishing is shifting into the big show ( surface YT’s and spawning cabrilla ) and then it’s time for the dorado to be busting back in town!

Fantastic weather running mid 80’s and most days with little wind. It’s a good time to be stuck down south in Baja!

No names but the one on the left was talking about the boiling fish up at Almeja. I am not sure about his motivations for sharing that YT intel so take it with a grain of salt!…Rick Hill, 

Click Here 

La Paz      

MEXICAN MINUTE LA PAZ FISHING REPORT from Tailhunter Sportfishing for Week of April 3-10, 2022

East Cape  

The water is clear and flat, with some afternoon light winds. It has been cooler than last week – in the 70 to 71-degree range.

The weather is spring-like, with cool mornings, daytime highs in the 70s, and clear skies.

The fishing was excellent early in the week.  Big yellowtail mixed with some nice yellowfin and dorado were all taken off the bottom within two miles of the hotel. The bite slowed later in the week d
A few yellowfin, decent-sized fish between 10 and 30 pounds,  were also caught, mixed in with the yellowfin.  Most were taken on iron. Dorado to 30-pounds were also mixed with the yellowtail.

There was excellent sierra fishing at first light, very early biters. Palmas Bay is loaded with white bonito. …Rancho Leonero

Puerto Los Cabos   

I had such a good time with a family trip through Gordo Banks Pangas I decided to do a solo session on a super panga. Eric put me with Alberto’s father, Santiago. Alberto is the guy who will vacuum seal and freeze your filets down at the dock. We were the first boat out of the harbor at 6-am. There was no live bait available, but Alberto gave us a big block of squid (no charge since he was already freezing 40 pounds of pargo/red snapper for us from Tuesday, April 5th trip, see separate thread). It was $290 for the bare bones charter (they supplied all tackle, gear, and empty cooler with ice.)…Griester

More spring break vacationers are now arriving, and this next week is Easter week. Many families are going on extended beach camping excursions. Despite the crowds, there is not a high percentage of anglers visiting. Weather is in a transition period, more marine moisture, scattered cloud cover, overall cooler conditions, plus unpredictable winds from the north, switching from the south over the weekend. Greener water remains about fifteen miles offshore, ocean temperature averaging 69 to 72 degrees. 

Bait remains scattered, some caballito rebounded inside the marina, but no sardina to speak of, and strips of squid are used for chances at the yellowfin tuna. Most action recently has been centered from the Iman to the San Luis Banks area, where a mix of bottom species and yellowfin tuna were found.

There has been a big problem with aggressive sea lions hanging around these same grounds, often taking more than their share of anglers’ hookups. The Pacific bonito were the most common fish, with schooling red snapper and occasional amberjack or grouper up to 40 pounds found in the area. However, the highlights were the few yellowfin tuna that only a few anglers were lucky enough to land. These tuna averaged 60 to 75 pounds, with at least one tuna weighing over 100 pounds landed by a local commercial panguero. These yellowfin hit on strips of squid, as well as on caballito.

Dorado and wahoo remained very scarce, as were marlin. We only saw a couple of scattered striped marlin throughout the entire week. Still, quite a few whales are hanging around late into the season, waiting for currents to shift before heading back to their northern feeding grounds.

Not much is found close to the shore now – a few jack crevalle. Colder, green water has not been favorable for roosterfish, and sierra just never showed much this season. North of Cerralvo Island, there have been reports of good yellowtail action while using sardina for bait. It’s too bad this action would not shift south and into our range. …Eric Brictson, Gordo Banks Pangas   

Cabo San Lucas    


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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