“Fishing in the Five” A Record Breaker!

Bajabytes Sport Fishing Update July 12, 2023 

FONMAR executives, encouraged by the success of the First Annual” Fishing in the Five” held last July 2022, in La Paz have been working for months planning the Second Annual “Maja El Grande Fishing in the Five.” With a remarkably streamlined format and rules featuring Dorado and Marlin (released), they wanted to ensure it lived up to the expectations of returning teams and those of the first-time teams. The event is designed to attract a broad array of boats ranging from small pangas to giant sport fishers designed to explore the waters of the world. The efficient FONMAR tournament, led by Director, Martín Inzunza Tamayo, had fine-tuned everything from registration to the award ceremony, choosing the best location for all of the activities. Exceeding expectations, FONMAR’s Second Annual “Maja El Grande Fishing in the Five” Sportfishing tournament featuring Dorado and Striped Marlin (released), attracted 144 teams with 553 anglers excited to compete for $233,862 (USD) the largest amount ever offered in a one-day sportfishing event in La Paz!

Dignataries at "Five in Five La Paz Sportfishing Tournament

Registration was held on Saturday, July 8, for the “Maja El Grande Fishing in the Five” organized by the State Government Fund for the Protection of Marine Resources (FONMAR), in collaboration with the Mexican Association of Travel Agencies (AMAV), local businesses and the Mexican sportswear company “Maja.” At the Kiosco del Malecón, where the Expo Pesca 2023 was held, simultaneously with companies and providers of tourist services, offered an extraordinary display of goods and services offered.

According to the Director of FONMAR, Martín Inzunza Tamayo underscored the fact that by the time the Captain’s Meeting began, the Committee had confirmed that the Second Annual Event had grown, doubling last year’s jackpot prizes of over a million pesos, and with a total of 144 participating teams and 553 anglers, it as established that the second annual event was the most successful sport fishing tournament ever held in this capital city.

Flare gun start in La Paz of the Five in Five Sportfishing Topurnament

The following morning despite the prediction of less-than-perfect weather, the entire flotilla of entries gathered for the traditional flare gun start at 7:00 am. In addition to the Tournament dignitaries, others who were invited to participate include: 

On behalf of Governor Víctor Manuel Castro Cosío, the head of the Ministry of Labor, Omar Antonio Zavala Agundez; the mayor of La Paz, Milena Quiroga Romero; the Director of FONMAR, Martín Inzunza Tamayo; Gabriel Alfredo Yee Savín, Director of Regulation of Real Estate Agents on behalf of the head of the tourism secretary, Maribel Collins Sánchez; Abraham Almendáriz Puppo on behalf of Dip. Federal Marco Puppo; Lt. Col. of Corvette, Luis Barcelata Andrade representing the Commander of the Fourth Naval Region, Adm. Santiago Jorge Morgado Gómez. The Tournament Coordinator of FONMAR, Juan Javier García Davis; the representative of AMAV in Baja Sur, David Llanes Amezquita; Sestante’s CEO, Aaron Schcolnik; and Alfonso Navarro Cornejo, organizer of Expo Pesca 2023.

The start of the "Five in Five" sportfishing tournament

The sight of 144 Teams going from dead stop to full throttle was loud and spectacular. Each was motivated to find the right large dorado or cooperative marlin to release. Since most of the fleet was fishing out of radio range the Fonmar team anxiously finished final preparations. While awaiting the first boat of the afternoon to arrive at the scale the weigh station team fidgeted until the first fish half hour after opening. Throughout the afternoon the parade of boats waited their turn at the scale with dollar signs on their mind,

A dorado being offloaded at the5 in 5 Sportfishing Tournament scale

Throughout the day, a steady stream of Teams arrived at the scale with mostly qualifier-sized Dorado, hoping to be in the top three categories. At precisely 5:00 pm, the exhausted weigh station team began packing the IGFA Certified scale until the next sportfishing tournament.

5 in 5 Tournament spectators gather for Awards Ceremony.

At 7:00 pm, a large crowd gathered near the stage to cheer for their favorite teams. Director of the FONMAR, Martín Inzunza Tamayo, took the dais and began the evening recognizing the dignitaries on the stage which included Alonso Gutiérrez Martínez, Undersecretary of Economy of the State Government; the Director of Municipal Tourism, Natalia Ruffo Castaño; Marketing Coordinator from MAJA, Jonathan Reyes Quintero; and the president of AMAV, David Llanes Amezquita. He added that the catches registered in this competition were weighed with a scale certified by the International Game Fish Association (IGFA). He also thanked all teams for participating, in addition to their supporters, before beginning the presentation of trophies and, of course, the checks.       

Team Crudo receives First Place check for winning dorado weighing 51.2 pounds.

The First Place went to “Team Crudo,” who caught a 51.2-pound Dorado by fisherman Emmanuel Bernal Canales who earned them a remarkable $174,894.47 (USD) of jackpots, plus $3,339.36 in a guaranteed jackpot. ·      

Team Marino winds second place overall in 5 in 5 sportfishing tournament

Second Place and a prize of $17,512.43 went to “Marino Team” for their catch of a Dorado weighing 47 pounds by Gildardo Lucero Ceceña. ·      

Third Place and a prize of $1,675.09 for the team "Los Cachetones"

Third Place and a prize of $1,675.09 for the team “Los Cachetones” for their 42.4-pound Dorado by fisherman José Antonio Ravell Orozco.      

While the Single Prize of 50,000 pesos for the release of a Marlin went to the "Fish Tale"

While the Single Prize of 50,000 pesos for the release of a Marlin went to the “Fish Tale” team, for a total prize pool of $233,702 (USD).

The “Five in Five” held on July 8 and 9, the Dorado/Marlin release tournament “Maja El Grande Fishing in the Five” organized by the State Government through the Fund for the Protection of Marine Resources (FONMAR), in collaboration with the Mexican Association of Travel Agencies (AMAV), local businesses and the Mexican sportswear company “Maja,” and adding to the fact that the second edition of the “Five in Five” tournament with more than a million pesos in jackpots in La Paz had doubled the total cash prizes from last year, the camaraderie and enjoyment of the participants demonstrated that this event is truly the most successful tournament in our Capital City.

Awards concluded with spectacular Fire Works display

According to AMAV estimates, this tournament generated an outpouring of around 15 million pesos between all transfer services and tourist attention from competitors, reaffirming its importance for the state tourism economy and the generation of service chains.

Upper 9

Calico bass is the primary biter on the Upper 9. There is also some short barracuda and mackerel on the kelp line.
Actually, kelp from Solana Beach to Point Loma is producing; although anchovy is the best bait, fish these with small hooks on a light line. Sardines work okay for the bigger bass once you combine them with anchovies. Plastics are working too.
The rockfish action remains excellent on the Upper 9, especially with live squid. Big bocaccio, Mexicans, and reds are chewing on the squidFish DopeCoronado Islands Yellowtail is biting today at the middle grounds and the lee of South Island. Lots of bass and barracuda to go along as well. The best barracuda and bass action has been coming from the lee side of South Island. Ribbon Kelp is a great choice. Check out Lighthouse Kelp, 5 Minute Kelp, and South Kelp.
Surface iron has been accounting for the majority of the fish here. When fishing the iron, cast, let it sink for 10 to 15 seconds, and rewind it at a medium speed. Just fast enough to get the jig to kick side to side without rolling over. For the yellowtail, some are on the iron, and some are on fly-lined bait. Slow-trolled bait is working well too.
Look along the weather side of North Island and the Middle Grounds to the Gun Site. Ribbon Kelp and South Kelp have yellows mixed in with barracuda. The weather side of South Island is worth checking out too. Calico bass are biting great on the Boiler Rocks in the Middle Islands area. Just throw Swimbait up to the rocks and rewind them at slow to medium speed. Fish a very tight drag and be ready to pull hardFish Dope

Ensenada Yellowtail and barracuda share the top billing here.
Lately, more and more yellowtail are mixing with the barracuda, and yellowtail are also showing at Punta Banda and on kelps west of Todo Santos Island.
The barracuda are being found as jumpers, under birds, and on anchovy bait balls.
They are showing in Todo Santos Bay in the lee of the Island and up the coast a bit in the Salsipuedes area.
Trolling Rapalas will get you all you want. Throwing surface iron into the bird schools will work well, too.
At Punta Banda, there are some 12 to 15-pound yellowtail, and there have been some signs of seabass late in the afternoon and evening. Good calico bass fishing up in the Boiler Rocks on swim baitFishdope.com

San Quintin  

One day we finished off the trip with a day in San Quintin with Captain @garciaspangassanquintin. We started with yellowtail, and I caught one with the Bartenders surface iron; then we went off to chase birds at San Martin Island, casting for calico and then slow-pitched jigging for halibut. I landed countless calico and barracuda off a Rapala and then 3 halibut on the squid. Absolutely amazing trip. Plus the food prepared for us was the best. It will be hard to top this trip!  Eddie McCarthy

South (Baja Sur)  

Ascension Bay

A view over the lot mentioned of the Pacific Ocean

This image of my palapa poles ready for dressing instills a “the world is our oyster” feeling! A tingly feeling of hope, of creative energy, of endless possibilities! I wonder what today will bring! Seize the day, amigos! …Shari Bondy

Loreto  Photos Bill Boyce topped four teams and had two fish for 69 to 72 pounds, so very close. Lots of 30 to 38-pounders were brought to the scale with stories of “the bigger one that got away,” for the record, I drove down, ran the event, and am driving back now. Biggest dorado in years, and I didn’t get to go out 1 day to look for them; maybe you WIN! Lol Chris Wheaton

López Mateos 

Off in search of Baquetta and Sierra. Well, we did not find any Baquetta or Sierra. Still, we did find a 33-pound Mero (Black Sea Bass), nice fat Cochi (Trigger Fish), Verdillo, Vieja (California Sheepshead, and for the first time here, Calico Bass, which I just went all the way to Cedros Island to catch. . . and now they turn up here. Water outside the Soledad Boca was 73 degrees, and all were caught on live bait – Monterrey Sardine or Bay Mackerel. Fishing is picking up. Yea!!!!   And then, Sunday, the guys from the new FerreMar in Constitucion came fishing with us today. They had a great day outside with live bait. …Cheri King

La Pazhttps://youtu.be/4bcN3EFYyLk
MEXICAN MINUTE LA PAZ FISHING REPORT from Tailhunter Sportfishing for the Week of June 27-July 4, 2023

East Cape

A milk fish seldom caught on rod an reel.

This past week I received a visit from my friends Kim, Juanita, and their daughter Emerson. I’m always thankful for having such great clients that become family. During one of the days we fished, we landed this rare catch, a Milkfish in the 25 to 30-pound range. We never target this species as they don’t eat lures or bait (only one specific type of fly, and it’s super hard). At first, we thought it was a tuna because this fish gave such a fight. They are super strong. As it’s a non-eatable fish, we release it. Afterward, Kim investigated it, and to our surprise, this could be a world record for a Female on a 30-pound class line. A rare catch for sure! …Felipe Valdez At BUENA VISTA Oceanfront & Hot Springs Resort.  

Puerto Los Cabos

A group of anglers and youngster with trophy sized tuna and almaco jack.

Another very tropical week started on Monday, with San Jose del Cabo receiving its first significant rainfall since last Sept. or Oct. Isolated thundershowers dumped an estimated one inch or more of rain in a very short period right about mid-day when it was really coming down. Then just as quickly, the clouds passed through and cleared up. No high winds were related to this, so seeing the rainfall was nice. Throughout the week, it was mostly clear, though very humid. On Sunday, another tropical depression passed a couple of hundred miles off to the southwest, creating high swells and more scattered showers, and even though the Port was not officially closed, most charters were canceled due to the stormy conditions.  We did not see as many anglers this week, and fishing was spotty (it had been better earlier in the week and became more scattered as the week progressed). Hard to say exactly why; maybe the water was 85 degrees or warmer on some grounds. This can change the whole deal, as currents and ocean oxygen levels constantly shift. Gamefish move accordingly, seeking out preferred thermocline. Surface action included a wide variety but no big numbers of any specific spaces. We saw sailfish, striped and blue marlin, dorado, yellowfin tuna, wahoo, skipjack, and bonito. Mainly using caballito and ballyhoo for bait and trolling the normal array of lures. Despite such warm waters, we saw quite a few wahoo. Many were small juveniles (nearly ten pounds), with a few up to 30 pounds. Mixed-size dorado were scattered throughout the region. We saw more juvenile sizes move in than in previous weeks when most of the dorado were nicer-sized fish. Bottom action was not as productive, but a few 35-pound dogtooth snapper, 12-pound red snapper, and amberjack to 55-pounds were accounted for earlier in the week. Some smaller football-sized yellowfin tuna were found while open-water trolling and a few nicer-grade tuna in the 70 to 85-pound class were spotted on the grounds from Iman to San Luis Banks. It is late in the season now, but still, there are chances of finding jack crevalle and roosterfish closer to shore. Some days, this was not a practical option due to high surf conditions. …Good Fishing, Eric

Cabo San Lucas 

In the past week, a 52-pound Dorado, a 107.5-pound Yellowfin Tuna, and 181 Marlin were released! Although not a ton of dorado are coming through, the ones we have seen are of a decent size! This 52.5-pounder was caught on Pisces 60′ Happy Ending with 7 Striped Marlin released. Most fish ranged from 35 to 45 pounds each. Pisces 31′ Tiburon also landed 2 Dorado weighing 37 and 40 pounds each, plus Marlin releases. Pisces 31′ Rebecca had a 40-pound dorado, a 35-pound Tuna, and 2 Marlin Released. More Tuna still showing up, with quite a few over the 50-pound mark, including the 107.5-pounder caught on Pisces 31′ La Brisa. And some nice ones on Pisces 42′ Yahoo. Up to 13 Marlin released in one day per boat, as on Pisces 46′ La Chingona and 8 for Pisces 37′ BBII. …Pisces Sportfishing    

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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