Another off-kilter week with Baja Norte winning hands-down for the most productive fishing! Small yellowfin seem to be everywhere and many are taking advantage of the good fishing, catching qualifying fish for those hard to come by 2-, 4-, 6- and 8-pound button fish of the different local fishing clubs.
On a personal note, I fished with the “80-Plus Club” aboard "Sub Chaser" in the annual Tuna Club’s Linen One, a 22-year-old event orginally conceived on the porch of my home in East Cape, Rancho Deluxe, 22 years ago by Mike Blower and myself. Requirements were the use of pre-1940 tackle only. Congratulations to fellow team member, Paul Hoofe, for winning the event with his catch and release of a striped marlin on 9-thread linen.
No report. Not even sure if anybody is even fishing them today. Nobody is coming here because of the great tuna fishing outside and the hassle of the FMM’s. fishdope.com
With Kyle Nelson and Rachel Nelson in Ensenada, Baja California. Wide Open Tuna!!! Twenty miles west of Todos Santos Island, kelp paddies and trolling are giving great results on tuna, dorado and yellowtail. The first report we have is from the “Condition One,” with Capt. Tino Villa. They caught 5 yellowtail and 3 dorado over 20 pounds trolling with live bait. They were back early to fillet the fish at the Marina Coral fish cleaning station. Pictured are Capt. Tino, deckhand Victor, and the owner’s son. “Papa Loco” and “Reel Adventure” both reported in with limits on yellowfin tuna and yellowtail, trolling with black and purple tuna plugs, and live bait, sardines and macks, in 73+ degree water. Big swells but with long periods in between and variable wind in the afternoon; makes for fun fishing! The “Reel Adventure” also caught a couple of nice dorado.…Edgar Sanchez. Marina Coral Store
Great day Saturday with Captain Juan here in San Quintin! Bait a bit scarce but brought in a nice cooler full of yellowtail, bonito, rock cod, and ling cod... 8 yellows with a few over 20 pounds. Heading back out again tomorrow with El Juan and will check back in.
Kudos to our friend Ash for his catch of a yellowtail weighing 45 pounds on a Sabiki hook! Although yellowtail has been kind of slow the last week by Cedros standards, we know that big fish (30+) are present here and there. Our guess is that warm water (mid-70s) in the Vizcaino Bay are keeping them deep or away from the inner bay.…Jose Angel Sanchez-Pacheco
History in the making: Bahia Asuncion now has a new Pemex gas station instead of the charming “one pump and no sign” gas station we used to have. The new Pemex opens at 6 am and closes at 10 pm and has diesel and premium gas, too.…Shari Bondy
Loreto has been having a challenging season for dorado fishermen. We have had sporadic catches of great fish -- zero for days and days choked with thousands of 24 inch dorado. It's been a little frustrating to fish with live bait that’s the same size as the schoolies you are sitting on top of … 12- to 14-inch mackerel and bigeye to catch baby dodos just doesn't seem right.
Throw in a surprise thunder storm locally called a "torito" or maybe a "chubasco" and you got a wow experience! A group of returning fishermen did a few days of dorado hunting and wanted to switch off to yellowtail. No problema ! Let's catch some bait and go. (Last year their switch-off day produced a roosterfish that was in the 60-pound class!) They ended up with no yellowtail, a few dorado and trolled up on the way back, but even better, one more of Loreto's surprises -- I really should change that to, "surprises from the knowledge of our local captains!" In some secret deep holes, close to our everyday fishing spots, they nailed a pile of deep-water bottomfish with the largest being the highly sought after, baqueta … baqueta is a bass-looking type that is prized for its quality fillets.
.A 40-pound baqueta and three smaller "B's" in the first boat with the second panga nailing only one (I was corrected by some to pronounce it with an "n" – banqueta -- but proof is in the eating, however, you say its name.) Their final day was divided between the deep spots and the summertime surface fish. A few yellowtail and dorado were among the other resident fish sitting on ice. On the way back to the marina we spotted a storm approaching Loreto. Most pangas had just reached the docks when the bottom dropped out for a ten-minute downpour. So, my lesson for this day was not about yellowtail on the white sandy beach, it was about "cruise slow through the rain and enjoy the experience!" It's even more special when you hear the guide refer to the rain as it runs down your face as, "aqua dulce"—“sweet water”! Always a surprise and an adventure in Baja… Looks like some more little “toritos” will be popping up for the next month. I have to stay on top of mi casa and keep things tucked away...rain is Hell on tools left out on the work bench!.…Rick Hill /Pinchy Sportfishing
Yup! Still got roosters around! Leif Dover from Atlanta, Georgia, makes several trips a year with us and always gets into big fish. Captain Rogelio looks on as Leif hoists a big rooster estimated at 60 to 70 pounds taken on live bait. The fish was released.
We all remember what it was like to get our first fish! Captain Alfredo with our Tailhunter La Paz fleet laughs and helps young Taryn Mitoma from Livermore, Calif., with a nice dorado. She got away with her dad for a few quick days with us and had some very good catches! This was her first time and she’s definitely “hooked!”
Because of the threat of thundershowers, we didn’t do much fishing in the area. It was just easier to keep fishing out off La Paz instead where the anglers had a better shot at good weather and more chances to get into fish, even if late in the day the weather soured. However, when we did fish, the fishing was OK. We got into some TUNA! Yes…there were some big-boy tuna that showed up. Several guys hooked into some tuna estimated to be over 100 pounds, but all the fish broke off without ever seeing them. The area was around the south point of Cerralvo Island. As for other species, the fun-sized 10-15 pound dorado were usually pretty easy to catch as well as the big bonito. But the nice surprise was the number of hookups on sailfish and striped marlin. Most fish either got loose or were broken off. We also got several nice rooster fish along the beach in the 20- to 40-pound class.
LA PAZ As mentioned above, this was our most consistent area to fish. It was better to fish here than take a chance and end up in stormy weather farther south. And, for the most part, it was a good decision. Decent to very good dorado action took center stage. Lots of fish were lost so the counts weren’t as good as they could have been, but pangas still averaged some good counts of 5- to 20-pound fish with some larger in the 30-pound class. Every day was different. Every panga was different. Some areas produced wide-open bites one day, but the same spot the next produced very little. But if one spot wasn’t working, other spots took over. Some nice rooster fish were caught and I was surprised at the size of some of the striped and blue marlin hooked and lost!...…Jonathan Roldan, tailhunter-international.com
The water has been flat with calm seas all week. Good bait available including caballito and barracuda. Sardina were available down south on the way to the tuna bite. Sailfish are the most plentiful at the moment. Best area proved to be 5- to 10-miles off Cabo Pulmo. Most success was on lures with trolled ballyhoo a close second. Some blues were also taken on jigs. The stripers have gone quiet which is usual this time of year. We did, however, have a boat catch two yesterday.
The tuna bite down south, just past Los Frailes, continues to produce fish. They are biting exclusively on sardinas. Dead or alive the sardinas are what they want. These are good fish, 25- to 45-pounds. Anglers can expect 4 to 8 fish per day. Kind of slow, but patience does pay off. There are schools of porpoise holding fish outside, but they have proved to be picky biters. Dorado are spread all over. Boats are finding schools all over the East Cape and picking out the bigger fish and releasing the small ones. Some better quality dodos were taken in amongst the tuna.
A few more roosters showed up this week. Some really big fish (60-pounders) were nailed near the new marina entrance. Some huge pargo in the 40-pound range were taken in front of actor Scott Glenn’s house, between the Ranch and La Ribera.
Big pargo are lurking in the tree stumps and reefs. It’s tough to get them out, but fun trying. Dropping down a big live bait is working is best. Then it's just a tug-o-war!...Hotel Rancho Leonero
San Jose del Cabo
Sportfishing fleets have been only moderately busy as the epic Southern California bite has been keeping anglers busy. This past week there was a variety of gamefish; most common targeted species were yellowfin tuna, dorado, billfish, snapper and wahoo. With the availability of live sardina, more options opened up for finding cooperative schools of yellowfin tuna. Anglers found the most consistent grounds to be off of Palmilla and Red Hill. Santa Maria and the Gordo Banks also were holding yellowfin tuna. Fly-lining baits on lighter tackle was the best method to entice action. The majority of these yellowfin tuna were football-sized, 5 to 12 pounds, though there was a larger grade of 40 to 55 pounds. Tuna was being found on the Gordo Banks.
Dorado action was more concentrated to the north of Punta Gorda, small-to-médium-sized fish, striking baitfish and trolled lures. Wahoo became a bit more active in this same region, even though water temperatures are higher than their usual preference. Wahoo in the 20- to 40-pound class were striking, no big numbers, but a couple of charters did account for up to a pair of nice wahoo. That is always a bonus!…Eric Brictson, Gordo Banks Pangas
The bite in Cabo has definitely picked up since our last report. Our turnaround may be due to water temperatures becoming more stable and to the moon being in its darker stages. Temperatures on land have been around the 90s, accompanied by high humidity, sunny to partly cloudy skies, and even a few showers in San Jose del Cabo and on the Pacific side.
Dorado catches soared, making them the most widely caught species in Cabo. The good thing is they were fairly close and spread along the Pacific coastline meaning most boats could find them. Catches ranged from one to twenty five fish with the average right around five fish per charter. They took pretty much anything -- live bait or lures in a variety of colors. A half dozen wahoo were caught but none weighed more than 38 pounds. Nevertheless, they were much appreciated by those who got to eat them. The only other species caught was skipjack…Tracy Ehrenberg, Pisces Sportfishing.