Baja Bytes – June 14, 2022
Once again, June is delivering bragging-sized fish for local and visiting anglers. Boats are seeing 200-pound bluefin tuna cavorting just offshore of Ensenada just below the border.
Fifty-pound dorado are caught off Loreto, East Cape, and San Jose del Cabo near the tip of Baja.
Trophy-sized roosterfish weighing somewhere north of fifty pounds are released from La Paz to the tip of Baja.
Yellowfin tuna to 262-pounds are being brought in to both Cabo and San Jose.
With the catches and size fish above underscoring the summer action on tap this year in Baja, what are you waiting for?
Tijuana Bull Ring
The kelp line is seeing a good bite for mostly short calico bass and barracuda. The bite seems to be the best during the afternoon hours. Small bait, like anchovy, is the ticket for some fast, fun fishing. It sounded like loads of short barracuda were under bird schools in the flats toward South Island…Fishdope.com
Despite the clean, warm water, the yellowtail have been among the missing. There have been calico and small bonito in the Middle Grounds and SKR, but nothing remarkable regarding the size…Fishdope.com
Coronado Canyon / 302 / 371 / 425
Recent reports came from the section down under the Knuckle, but no word of any bluefin in this zone. However, there were a few reports on the radio today of small-grade yellowfin splashing around near some boats that we believe came out of this area. The Liberty caught one yesterday on their full-day trip as well. Hopefully, this is a sign that there may be a better yellowfin bite than last year.
Each of the last four or five days, there have been reports of bluefin east of the bank and into the west side of Coronado Canyon. This activity included big spots of breezers, jumpers, and foamers from four to ten miles west of the Islands. There have also been a lot of bait and bird activity in Coronado Canyon and just northwest of North Coronado Island in the last few days. The tuna haven’t always been on it, but it’s worth looking at on the slack tides. One contact reported no signs of life from three to four miles outside the Islands yesterday from 6-pm to 7:30-pm while passing through on the way home using spreader bars and MadMacs.
The best bet is trolling MadMacs and spreader bars, but if you find a spot of fish foamed up and staying at the surface for more than a few seconds, you can also throw poppers and stick bait. The bluefin have been the typical mixed-grade from 35 to 100-pounds.
Hustler checked in and stated that a lot of 60 to 80-pound tuna were crashing under birds eight miles south of North Island this afternoon, but they didn’t want to bite. …Fishdope.com
Come to the port. The blues are still here! .…Mara’s Sportfishing
Upper Finger / 475 Knuckle / West of Ensenada
This area continues to be the best bet as far as bluefin zones go, with more signs out here again today in the same general area as yesterday. Most of the action was along the 31-56 line this morning. However, these fish are pretty picky and are not biting all that well considering the number of signs the guys are seeing out here. You can thank loads of small anchovy bait that are around for the non-responsive schools. You’ll see terns, shearwaters, and sometimes dolphins in the good fishy zones, along with gobs and gobs of anchovy on your meter anywhere from the surface down to 200 ft. The bluefin are mixed in size from 40 to almost 200 pounds. They’re showing as breezers, meter marks, quick boils, and jumpers under birds, and occasionally as longer-duration foamers.
The main daytime activity was on the slack high this morning, with good spots of breezers and fish breaking under birds. By about 10-am, boats started seeing fewer signs as the tide moved out of the slack high tide. The most productive methods were trolling MadMacs and spreader bars, with some opportunities at casting stickbaits and poppers into foamers, but trolling was generally much more productive. Sports boats are also getting them on flylined sardines and sinker rigs. However, private boats have the advantage as they are much more effective at trolling due to the minimal whitewater prop wash compared to sports boats. (See below for trolling tips). There were also some good nighttime bites last night on knife jigs. …Fishdope.com
Bay of Los ángeles
Here’s another photo of a giant golden grouper that Capt. Juan Cook caught while we were fishing out of Bahia de Los Angeles yesterday. A magnificent fish, it was his personal best in size. A little background on the golden grouper: This fish is actually a leopard grouper but called a cabrilla in most Sea of Cortez localities. For some unknown reason, a small percentage of them mutate to this golden fish. The other fish photo is a leopard grouper that I caught on Wednesday. The two fish could have been litter mates. It is generally accepted that the golden grouper make up less than one percent of the leopard grouper population. Still, research indicates they might be significantly less than that one percent; one study reports two goldens out of 1000 grouper. It is believed by many that catching one brings good luck. It is also contended that harvesting one will bring bad luck, ju-ju, or karma – none of which I want. I have yet to catch one myself, but I have now witnessed three, and all were released. So I’ve got that going for me…Ross Zoerhof is with Juan Cook.
A photo to remember… good fishing Juan Cook Kicimos photo. Yellowtail … Juananette … Maricela De Cook
I took a quick trip to Campo Rene on Tuesday. I wanted to meet up with John Ashley and 13 friends who were down for a few days of kayak fishing. It was a cool, eclectic group in which not anyone knew everyone but were apt to be lifelong friends after this excursion. Most were fly anglers, but many of them had conventional gear with them, too. Fishing has been pretty good for them, with all of the usual Estero suspects being wrangled up, including a couple of nice-sized halibut. I tried some shore fishing in the evening and managed to land a couple of California corbina and some spotted bay bass. Unfortunately, I hooked up and lost one nice halibut. Those that got away could be any size you like, but I’d put this one between 3 and 50 pounds.
Ashley and his party were kind enough to include me in their evening meal which included smoked pork ribs, a couple of side dishes, salad, sourdough bread, and a vat of fresh ceviche provided by Basilio, a local from Abreojos. So much better than the Abreojos street tacos that I had planned for myself that evening.
Thank you, John and Company, so much for your hospitality and tackle gifts, especially Kai, for the SD card for my drone, which I mistakenly left at home! …Ross Zoerhof
“Billabong Clipper” A vintage G-111 Grumman Albatross combining a 50-year-old military seaplane with the latest in high-tech gear also serves as a clothesline for wet suits.
Dorado should be showing up at the fillet tables any day now! So far, the cabrilla and yellowtail are still the solid deal out around Coronado Island. I think everyone is waiting for the shift to the summer-style fish menu. No more chilly winter wind with the wet northern chop. No more 12-ounce sinkers and circle hooks, either!
The Punta Lobo boats have been scoring yellowtail and baqueta on the rocky bottom and reporting striped marlin lounging on the horizon. Pargo are in the mix with nothing over 12 pounds. The commercial pangas have been bringing in a good mix of snapper, reds, firecrackers, and triggerfish. That is pretty much their standard catch, no matter the time of year. The water is still a little on the green side and just a pinch too cool to expect much success on dorado and billfish. That should be changing before the first day of July comes to town. …Rick Hill, Click Here
MEXICAN MINUTE LA PAZ FISHING REPORT from Tailhunter Sportfishing for Week of June 3-9, 2022
La Ventana/Las Arenas
I had the opportunity to take a long weekend trip on June 4-5 to Ventana Bay Resort with my wife and daughter and fish with Felipe Valdez of Felipe Valdez Sportfishing. We flew from Indiana to Los Cabos Friday, June 3, rented a car and arrived in La Ventana by 5 pm. …sullyatty
The water and air temperatures were a bit cooler this time of year, and the fishing was off a little bit, but we still managed to put fish in the boat both days. We launched out of Ensenada de Muertos and spent the first hour of each morning trolling Rapalas and ballyhoo for wahoo; we had a few bites, but we could not get them to stick. We spent the rest of each day fishing the inshore reefs and up against the beach for a mixed bag of roosterfish, cabrilla, jacks, rainbow runners, and bonito – great fun inshore fishing. We caught most of our fish on sardina, and we all enjoyed watching Felipe work the fish up into a frenzy, chumming sardina at the back of the boat. Unfortunately, we had to go to the back of Isla Cerralvo to buy the sardina; we felt fortunate, however, as we watched many boats travel all the way from the East Cape to buy sardina at the Island. We had a fantastic time and saw lots of sea life, including sea turtles and giant schools of mating mobulas!
Now, this is a nice Golden Bull!! Well done, Captain Chuy aboard the super Panga “Rude Baby” with angler Doug Schamaus…Annibal
The water is clear and flat, with temperatures the same as last week, from 77 to 80 degrees.
The weather is slightly cooler than average, with highs in the mid-80s.
It has been a decent week of fishing. The Let’s Talk Hookup tournament went well, with over 40 marlin released. Many good-sized striped marlin, mixed with dorado, kept almost all the teams pulling on fish.
The rooster fishing has picked up; it has been the best week of the year for roosterfish. There were lots of 20 to 50-pounders released throughout the week. The tuna are under Porpoise way outside. We’ve enjoyed stellar inshore bottom fishing with a few nice amberjack taken.
Many striped marlin concentrated on the Inner Banks seven miles off the beach. Good-sized fish from 150 to 200 pounds. Some boats are enjoying multiple releases – one tournament boat released six daily. The ticket is to slow-troll ballyhoo.
We’ve had a slow start on the roosters this year. Finally, this week the bite kicked in. Quite a few fish were released in the 20 to 50-pound class. The beach off La Capilla is a hot spot, and Rincon Bay has been producing some big roosters. We are getting Tube Mackerel (Chili Willys), a deadly bait for the roosters!
A few nice-sized yellowfin to 40-pounds are being caught closer to shore by drift-fishing the mackerel. There are tuna under porpoise very far outside. The dorado are mixed with the marlin taking ballyhoo. A couple of nice-sized dorado are coming in daily.
Yellowtail, pargo, pompano, grouper, sierra, and some big amberjack are all coming off the bottom on the inside drop-offs. It has been excellent bottom fishing. …John Ireland, Rancho Leonero
Puerto Los Cabos
Currents have been swift, and anglers have had challenging times, even when trying to target bottom species on certain days. The water temperature ranges from 72 degrees near Cabo San Lucas to 78 degrees toward Los Frailes. Clarity on most of the grounds was good. Bait supplies consisted of sardina, anchoveta, caballito, mullet, ballyhoo, and slabs of squid. Still, we have not seen the regular massive schools of mullet that appear during this time frame.
The fishing action has been widespread. We saw a wide variety of species but no particular fish in significant numbers. The most popular fishing grounds have been from La Fortuna to San Luis Bank, where there was a mix of bottom and surface action.
More bottom species were caught than surface species, with the Pacific bonito being the most prevalent, plus some quality red snapper, a few leopard grouper, and amberjack in the mix.
Trolling Rapalas and various bait produced a handful of yellowfin tuna up to 25 pounds and a few 20-pound wahoo. However, dorado were very rare, though one charter was very fortunate and accounted for a couple of larger-sized bulls found near some floating debris. The largest weighed 53 pounds.
Striped marlin are farther offshore now, and with ocean conditions being rougher, this was not an option for local charters. Along the shoreline, anglers find a mix of sierra, jack crevalle, and roosterfish. However, the usual peak season for roosterfish action has not yet developed into a consistent bite. Everything still seems to be running a bit later than average this season. …Eric Brictson, Gordo Banks Pangas
Cabo San Lucas
Stoked for our friends aboard Sinyorita Salada, a 60’ Hatteras, Captained by Omar Araiza for their epic catch today! A big congratulations to the anglers and crew on this fish that weighed in at 262 lbs at our scale.
Of course their timing with this Tuna is taken as a good sign for many as we are only 2 days out for the @pelagicgear Triple Crown Tournament which has a Tuna Division along with Wahoo & Dorado, plus Marlin Release.
LOCATION: The best fishing locations have been the 95 Spot, 1150 Spot, Punta Gorda, Chileno, Cabeza de Ballena, and outside Santa Maria Bay.
WEATHER CONDITIONS: The sea temps have run from 69 to 73 degrees. The ocean has been calm, with three to five-foot swells and 15 to 16-knot winds. Air temps have been from 73 to 81 degrees with clear skies.
BEST LURES: The best bait has been alive or dead mackerel, flying fish, sardina, ballyhoo, caballito, and dark-colored surface-style marlin lures, in addition to deep-running plugs, Rapalas, Marauders, feathers, and mirror lures.
That Baja Guy-Gary Graham
2 thoughts on “Big Baja Fish in June…You Bet!”
Thank you for the great reports