Baja Fishing Report

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Thursday, April 19, 2018
Tuna time begins in Cabo

Tuna action spreads out in Cabo region
Wide open on a variety of yellowfin for
charters out of Cabo and Puerto
Los Cabos marinas; Midriff mothership
season begins; Loreto yellowtail full speed

SAN JOSE DEL CABO — Eric Brictson of Gordo Banks Pangas at Puerto Los Cabo Marina said the spring season is on, although weather patterns can change quickly. All eyes were on the Iman Bank tuna bite that went off.

“Last week was cooler and now we are feeling the year’s heat wave of sorts,” said Brictson. “We had calm winds, with warming ocean temperatures, now averaging in the 71 to 74 degree range. There are still some strong currents running through the region, as one day the ocean was much bluer and then in the same area the next day it could be a little greenish. Also we had some serious marine layer fog to deal with north of San Jose del Cabo about mid-week.”

The great thing in recent days, he said, is that the yellowfin tuna on the Iman Bank are now very active, and most all of these fish have been in the 25- to 60-pound class. Sardinas have been the bait of choice, a couple of different varieties and these baits have been available on a daily basis. Some anglers reported success on strips of squid and at times live caballito or chihuil were working.”

He added, “There’s more pressure on these fishing grounds now, as this is the best local action now happening and everyone wants to get in the action.

“Through the week charters were doing well, averaging from two to six yellowfin per boat, with many other hookups being lost, due to various reasons, including seas lions, sharks and cut lines from having to use lighter leaders because the fish were more shy and finicky. Tuna could be seen boiling and jumping clear out of the water, very exciting action.”

Besides the yellowfin tuna there was not all that much going on, except mid-week there were a couple of days of good striped marlin action being encountered on the same grounds where the tuna were schooling. Some nice sized stripers up to 140 pounds were landed.

Off the bottom, there was limited action, part of the reason being that almost all charters were now targeting the tuna bite. There were a handful of yellowtail, amberjack, leopard grouper and other species accounted for when working the bottom with iron jigs and larger baits.

“Inshore the main action reported were jack crevalle, some up to 25 pounds plus, a few sierra and smaller sized roosterfish. Schools of the clear type of sardinas were found just north of the Puerto Los Cabos Marina jetty and anglers fishing from the shore reported some decent action on halibut to over ten pounds, also several corvina to 25 pounds.

“As this summer like weather continues we expect the water temperature to warm even faster and this in turn will bring in more schools of baitfish, with a wide variety of gamefish following closely,” he said.

The combined panga fleets launching out of La Playita, Puerto Los Cabos Marina sent out approximately 85 charters this week. Anglers reported a fish count of: 17 striped marlin, 245 yellowfin tuna, 16 yellow snapper, 13 cabrilla (leopard grouper), 18 huachinango (red snapper), 34 bonito, 9 amberjack, 8 yellowtail, 7 barred pargo, 8 roosterfish, 18 jack crevalle, 5 sierra, 18 flag cabrilla, 15 grunt and 30 triggerfish.

THE PISCES BOATS had a great week, with nearly 500 tuna landed to dominate the offshore picture out of Cao San Lucas. In the photos, a group caught wahoo on the Rebecca, and in another photo, tuna taken by a charter group on the Tracy Ann.

CABO SAN LUCAS — The Pisces Fleet saw most of its charter catches, 79 percent of them to be exact, to be yellowfin tuna, while 10 percent of the catches were billfish. Dorado were also turning up in local waters.

“Weather in Cabo has improved this week for fishermen, with winds dying down and only a bit of swell appearing just after midweek,” said Rebecca Ehrenberg of Pisces. “And with 39 out of 41 boats catching fish, it’s been our most successful week this month. Tuna was undoubtedly the most caught fish this week, with 33 out of those 39 boats catching it. It was nice to see a bit more variety as well, with more dorado showing up and even wahoo. Smaller game fish were only caught by those who decided to stay close to shore.”

Ehrenberg said first timers in Cabo are always amazed at the quality of the fishing.

“I met anglers David and Marilyn Schiameus and James and Nancy Stewart from Texas on the dock on Thursday morning. The group fished with Captain Julio on the Tracy Ann for two days, and had already had a successful day fishing on Tuesday. They were thrilled to have such a great crew that was just as excited as they were about catching fish. They were excited for good reason. In their two days of fishing they caught 60 yellowfin tuna."

On their first day out the Tracy Ann headed 20 miles south from the Old Lighthouse and managed to land 30 football yellowfin tuna that hit cedar plug lures. Thursday, in almost identical fashion, they landed another 30 tuna, but this time, some 20 miles out, at the 210 Spot. The tuna were slightly larger this time, weighing up to 10 pounds each.

On April 24, the Meyer family, from Spokane, Washington caught the only wahoo of the week, a 30 pounder that hit on a Tigrillo lure outside of San Jaime and they also found and landed 9 yellowfin and 1 dorado there, too. The yellowfin ranged in size from about 5 to 10 pounds each and hit on cedar plug lures, while the dorado hit on mackerel bait and weighed about 12 pounds.

LORETO — Rick Hill of said the yellowtail season is officially “on.”

He said, The yellowtail have finally busted out and are cooperating with hooked mackerel at the north and east sides of Carmen Island.

The cabrilla that hang at Punta Lobo inside of the yellowtail still have lockjaw at least for the live mackerel and an occasional trolled hardbait. So, everything looks on schedule for the big spring bite!”



SCORPION SPORFISHING AT the East Cape reported marlin were found trolling lures and ballyhoo in the clearer warmer waters to the south and on the banks with the action improving, and tuna were on the bite some days, a little slow on others.


HOTEL RANCHO LEONERO anglers have been putting together some great trips for marlin and tuna as weather at the East Cape has been sensational.

EAST CAPE — Matthew Clifton of Scorpion Sportfishing said weather and fishing has been outstanding on all counts for the charterboat El Rogalo.

“The weather is absolutely fantastic right now on the East Cape with calm seas. The fishing was a little bit up and down this week. Some days the bite was red hot and others just so-so. Maybe it was the moon phase or they just were plain being picky. The good news is that despite the inconsistency we still caught quality fish each day,” said Clifton.

He said marlin were found trolling lures and ballyhoo in the clearer warmer waters to the south.

“We also experienced a good marlin bite on the banks as marlin chased sardinas being chummed for tuna. Lucky for us, they didn't eat our sardinas rigged with 30- to 40-pound leader. We fortunately had a couple rods rigged with 100-pound leader and we were able to quickly hook them using larger caballitos. The marlin bite should only get better as the season progresses.”

As for tuna, he said the action has been great at times, slow at times.

“A few days ago we went outside, found the porpoise and promptly boated limits of sashimi sized tuna up to 25 pounds. The next day we decided to try to hunt a bigger tuna on the banks. While we succeeded in landing a quality 35 pounder, the fish were really picky. Tuna crushed all the chummed sardinas but we could not get them to take the hooked baits with regularity. On top of that, we lost a couple of nice ones to sea lions. Well, that's fishing. The abundance of tuna on the banks is evident. It is only a matter of time before they turn on and we get a run of jumbo sized tuna.”

Dorado, wahoo and roosterfish are all on the watch list to show up in bigger numbers, said Clifton.

CHRIS CRIBBS HAS been fishingwith Captain Jorge of the Tailhunter Fleet for years and came down with buddy Matt McSweeney from San Gabriel. They rocked the hat trick with a big tuna, cabrilla and a fat barred pargo. The tuna, surprisingly was caught while they were inshore trying to catch roosterfish in shallow water!

LA PAZ — Jonathan Roldan of Tailhunter International has been booking trips for anglers for La Paz trips for decades. You can count on one thing, you can’t count on the weather.

“Crazy sport, this fishing thing,” said Roldan. “I’ve been whining for weeks about how the winds have detrimentally affected the fishing down here. It’s been a long and agonizing first four months of the year!

“Well, this week, we had some of the nicest weather I’ve seen all season. We’ve had some nice days in the past, but it was never consistent. But, this week, beautiful sunshine… blue waters… calm seas. Not too hot. Not too breezy. Barely a trace of humidity. If you asked me to predict, I’d have said it was perfect fishing weather.”

He added, “But it wasn’t. It was scratchy. It was picky. Frustratingly difficult most of the week. With the good weather. A few fish here. A few fish there. And our captains and anglers had to work pretty hard to find them too! And then, as the week went on… it started getting breezier and breezier.”

Roldan said something weird happened.

“The fishing got better when the winds blew a bit! And not only that, we had a full moon coming up on us as well that I thought for sure was gonna just crush us in a double whammy! But, as I said, the fishing actually got better even with the full moon!

“At Las Arenas, we found a few tuna. A few yellowtail. Some barred pargo. Some red snapper. Some yellow snapper. A few dorado and sierra. Even had wahoo bite (off). Plus lots of good action on both Pacific and those tasty white bonito. All pretty much late in the week!

“For our La Paz fleet, the same thing. Better as the week went on, lots of inshore pargo and cabrilla that guys had a hoot with trying to keep them out of the rocks plus some sizable cabrilla, pompano and dorado as well. We also saw schools of breezing tuna that just need a kick to get to bite! So, go figure. Full moon plus wind meant better fishing this week!”

MIDRIFF — Tom Ward at the Longfin Tackle shop in Orange, booking agent for Tony Reyes Tours, said the mothership Tony Reyes just returned from its first 6-day trip of the season led by chartermaster Bluefin Jim from the Longfin tackle store.

“They had great weather with calm seas every day,” said Ward. “They started fishing at Rasa Island and Partida where they found good-sized cabrillas trolling Mirro-lures and Rapalas. They moved to San Francisquito and Snake Islands and returned every morning with lots of cabrillas and yellows. Enchanted Island had groupers and cabrillas”

Ward told WON that water temperatures were 65 to 70 degrees. Old time mothership angler Rod Wilson flew out from Wisconsin to fish with Capt. Reyes Jr. as he had not done so for 20 years and said it was the best trip and the best boat and crew he had ever experienced on a midriff trip.

“He is returning with an ice chest full of fillets,” said Ward. “Captain Tony asked me to remind anglers to remember to obtain a visa at the border upon entering Mexico. Tony is now running every week through November and then he moves to La Paz for the months of March and April. See the schedule at

PUERTO VALLARTA ACTION at the Tres Marias Island has been turning up big yellowfin such as this330-pound super cow aboard the Marla 11. Angers are from left to right, Javier losano, Eduardo losano, and Walther Jeit, all from Mexico.

PUERTO VALLARTA — Cap. Alonso Osuna of Marla Sportfishing reported late in the week he was coming home with a 330-pound super cow aboard the Marla 11. Anglers were Javier losano and Eduardo losano, and Walther Jeit, all from Mexico. Osuma reported hooking five and getting the one super cow landed on an Okuma MK2011SEa, Magbay circle hook and 100-pound fluorocarbon.

“The bite is starting to come back just cows on the zone, and as for sea conditions, the water is warming up and getting bluer.” He added the local inshore bite has been great, “ a lot of action on bonita, roosterfish, jacks, and few striped marlin and sailfish.

Contribute to the Baja reports by sending in photos and information to by Saturday evening for the following paper.

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