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Baja Fishing Report

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Thursday, May 17, 2018
Baja scene warming up on all fronts
Wednesday, June 13, 2018
Cabo gets early, mild hurricane test


Tuna. wahoo slam La Paz


Thursday update: Wahoo, tuna off La Paz 


 

WAHOO ARE in the house off La Paz. 


This just in! Tailhunter Las Arenas Fleet just is going off! wahoo yesterday (Tuesday) and yellowfin tuna today Wednesday. 

"The school came up late yesterday and is hanging around eating the mackerel! Up to 60 pounds," said Jonathan Roldan. "Also big bull Dorado/  to 45 pounds like we haven’t seen in a couple years! All close to shore, hand to hand combat!



ROLDAN with some fresh sashimi last night.


The full Baja report continues, with updates:


700-pound black marlin puts on 3½-hour show before breaking off on light line


From the Pisces Fleet’s Rebecca Ehrenberg on Tuesday:


“Estimated at 700 pounds, a black marlin put on a fight for 3.5 hours before breaking loose! Footage was sent in just now by Captain @erick.orozcogonzalez of our Pisces 42 footer Hot Rod. Anglers were Marisa Bessan and Rafael Bogolwoski, who fought the fish on a Shimano Trinidad 20A reel with just 30-pound test line.


“With the Pelagic Tourney just around the corner, kicking off the tournament season, it looks like we may be off to an exciting start this year!”


She added: “The Hot Rod is available still for this year's fishing tournaments in Cabo. Inquire directly with us at info@piscesgroupcabo.com.” 


The link to the video is:


https://www.facebook.com/piscessportfishingfleet/videos/10156313296073744/


East Cape enjoys its best week of spring


Striped marlin pile-up at Iman and Destiladera banks draws boats from East Cape, San Jose Del Cabo and Cabo; meanwhile, a 55-pound dorado is caught off Loreto as yellowtail action falters and dorado arrive under sargasso


EAST CAPE — In a season that has already been early and outstanding, the East Cape action kicked things up a notch this past week with local tuna going on a solid bite. However, the biggest news was a pile-up on marlin for a frenzied bite at the Iman and Destiladera banks that drew boats from as far away as Cabo.


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THE EAST CAPE enjoyed its best overall week of the spring with outstanding tuna and marlin action, with roosterfish also now in the mix, said Mark Rayor of Jen Wren Sportfishing. The best marlin action was south at the Iman and Destiladera banks JEN WREN PHOTO


Mark Rayor of Jen Wren Sportfishing reported his Captain Diego tied for first place in the Borggreve charity tournament releasing 7 marlin in two days, and added, “Tuna fishing has been bent rods and full coolers, and roosterfish have been providing great inshore action.”


A full report for WON readers was sent in by John Ireland of Hotel Rancho Leonero on Sunday. Bottom line, said Ireland, this was the “best week” of the season.


Ireland said the water was 79 to 80 degrees, air in the mid 80s, and yellowfin were “on the bite literally every day this week,” said Ireland. “The marlin bite went off the charts Thursday through the weekend. The roosterfish are showing in good numbers and as many as 5- to 10-pound pompano as anglers targeting them wanted to catch.”


The yellowfin were on multiple pods of porpoise from 15 to 20 miles from shore and holding a lot of yellowfin. The average fish was 25 pounds with some footballs but mostly nice fish to 65 pounds taking trolled small lures, the blue and white colors working best. Bottom line: All anglers are limiting out, five fish a day.


The striped marlin situation was something that really amped up the excitement. They were spread out with big numbers, the bite exploding on Thursday at the Iman bank.


“Huge schools of mackerel are holding literally thousands of striped marlin,” said Ireland. The boats are releasing 3 to 7 fish per day all on live mackerel, very much like Mag Bay on a good day.”


On the inside, in addition to the pompano frenzy at the Lighthouse on sardines (3- to 10-pound fish) there were lots of pargo mixed in. And, the roosters –the bigger models – debuted.


“Lots around,” said Ireland. “But with light pressure as most anglers are heading outside for the tuna. This was our best fishing week by far this year!”


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THE CABO MARLIN bite kicked backon for Pisces charterboats with up to 6 striped marlin per boat, nice catches of roosters, jack crevelle and a decent show of wahoo this week. In the photos, this wahoo was caught aboard the Speedwell, and the marlin was caught and released by Ramon Noriega on the Adriana. PISCES PHOTOS

CABO SAN LUCAS — This Lands End region always seems have some sort of striped marlin bite going on, but last week, the stripers converged in massive numbers to the Destiladera Bank and Iman Bank with Pisces Sportfishing reporting its charters were releasing several fish a day, plus recording nice catches of roosters. And, wahoo arrived, too.


What this means is that the charterboats largely ignored the offshore tuna grounds straight out and treated their customers to the stripers that were up north at Destiladera and Iman banks. In a switch from previous weeks, billfish made up 57 percent of the Pisces catches, and tuna 18 percent.


“Marlin numbers have spiked this week,” said Rebecca Ehrenberg of Pisces. “The weekend brought with it stripers found far up into the East Cape… with yellowfin tuna still found about 30 miles out.”


She added, “The Valerie was our top boat for marlin this week, with 16 marlin caughtand all but one of them released. On May 17 Capt. Roberto Sandez landed 6 striped marlin, which ranged from 90 to 150 pounds each.” The fish hit on caballito out from Destiladeras, and were all released. Anglers on the charter were David Krunic, Greg Romano and David Rubick, all from Houston, Texas.


The previous day, the Valerie caught and released 4 striped marlin of about 100 and 120 pounds outside of Santa Maria beach. The marlin hit on caballitos and were released by anglers Bill Johnson and Gary and Susan Hall from Washington.


There were several Pisces reports like that for the marlin. As for tuna, Captain Julio Castro on the Tracy Anndelivered on the yellowfin (none big) by going 34 miles out to the 120 Spot and finding them 12 football-sized yellowfin that hit on trolled cedar plug lures, as did 7 skipjack.


The water temperatures ranged from 72 to 84 degrees, the cooler water farther south, the higher temps up into the Sea of Cortez.


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WESTERN OUTDOOR NEWS Editor Blake Warren from Capistrano Beach came down for some vacation time in La Paz and got his biggest rooster fishing with the Tailhunter Fleet using a live ladyfish for bait. The fish was released. TAILHUNTER PHOTO


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DOCTOR DESMOND SJAUWFOEKLOY from Los Angeles is a heart specialist and after a surgery, jumped on a plane, fished a few days and jumped back on a plane and right back to the hospital. While in La Paz, he put tuna, dorado and this slugger rooster (released) in the panga fishing with Tailhunter Sportfishing in La Paz. TAILHUNTER PHOTO


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HERE’S A NICE roosterfish for Josh Hobgood from San Clemente. It was his first-ever rooster. He was fishing with the Tailhunter Fleet out of Bahia de los Muertos using live bait. The fish was released. TAILHUNTER PHOTO


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THE COX GROUP had a great time fishing offshore for tuna with the La Paz-based Baja Pirates.


LA PAZ — The tuna are still biting offshore outside Cerralvo Island at the El Bajo, along with a new mix of roosters moving into the nearshore areas, reported Leonard Phillips at Baja Pirates. The tuna have been in the 25- to 60-pound range.


La Paz in general is settling into a warm water season, but it’s still not consistent day to day. Jonathan Roldan of Tailhunter hosted WON this past week. Although there were no details, Roldan did report that WON Editor Blake Warren was on vacation and on one of his days on the water scored big on a hefty rooster that slammed a ladyfish bait.


“Conditions are improving with every week, but we’re still getting some jags of winds and off-color water as we move into warmer conditions,” said Roldan. “However, overall it was maybe the best weather of the season with mostly great sunny days and generally flat seas.”


Roldan added, “It wasn’t a great week of fishing, but wasn’t bad either. As we transition into more pelagic warm-water species, there’s a lot of variety in the water. Cooler water species like yellowtail and amberjack seem to still be lingering around and we got some up to about 20 pounds. Other cooler-water species like pargo, snapper and cabrilla also made for some great action.”


However, he said, the presence of more species like tuna, wahoo, dorado and billfish are evident of the changing conditions.


“There’s not a lot of blue water stuff yet, but we’re getting a few here and there and seemingly more with each passing week,” said Roldan. “Also more big-time roosterfish are showing up as well in the 40- to 60-pound class.


The prime difficulty is that the fish are everywhere, but bites are erratic.


“What’s biting one day doesn’t necessarily mean they will bite the next day. Or, one fishing hot spot can suddenly go cold as fast as the currents change and the water colors change. Or, a spot that’s great for pargo, will turn into a jack crevalle spot the next day or conversely one of our boats will be bent on fish while a boat a few yards away can’t get a single chew! It’s ever-changing and changing daily and hourly.”


SAN JOSE DEL CABO — Weather patterns are now on a warming trend, though still very comfortable, barely cold at all in the early morning, with clear sunny skies and highs averaging 85 degrees.


“Winds from the north have receded, more breeze now on the Pacific,” said Eric Brictson of Gordo Banks Pangas. “Also, there is much cooler and greener water, to below 70 degrees on that side of the peninsula, while off of San Jose del Cabo and towards the East Cape the ocean currents are now in the 76 to 78 degree range. Also this is where the clear blue water is, concentrations of baitfish and in turn the more productive fishing opportunities.”


Supplies of sardinas remain steady, he said, with schools of the baitfish now back in close range, just north of the Puerto Los Cabos Marina jetty. Other bait options were mullet and caballito, as well as rigging ballyhoo or finding bait offshore, such as skipjack and chihuil. Overall this past week showed promising signs for options close to shore, off the bottom structure and offshore.


“The yellowfin tuna bite has been concentrated near the La Fortuna or the Twenty-Five spot, just inside of the Iman Bank,” said Brictson. “Drift fishing with sardinas for bait has been the best bet for this, though these yellowfin remain finicky, often they can be seen coming up and feeding on the free chum, but getting them to bite is another deal, anglers have been fortunate to land one or two of them, many hook ups were lost to sea lions or sharks as well. Average sizes for the tuna we have seen recently was in the 20- to 60-pound class. Only an occasional dorado even being seen, a handful of wahoo strikes also reported, with more baitfish activity seen on these grounds and the favorable ocean conditions we expect the wahoo bite might develop.”


As for the inshore scene, he said shallow water rock piles are now holding a variety of species, and the best bite did seem to be earlier in the day.


“Amberjack up to 30 pounds were encountered coming to the surface, not a normal action for these jacks, but it is the time of year it can happen. Quite a few yellow snapper are being found, some over 10 pounds, island jack, surgeon fish, leopard grouper, barred pargo, rose spotted snapper, sierra and pompano were also accounted for, so basically a smorgasbord of quality eating fish. We saw one sierra of 12 pounds, end of the season for these members of the mackerel family, time of year when the big ones show up.”


Brictson added, “With more mullet now moving into local inshore beach stretches we are also seeing increasing numbers of roosterfish arriving. The majority are still under 20 pounds, though larger specimens were reported. During the next few weeks is usually when we see peak action locally for the larger grade of roosterfish.”


As for striper fishing, it broke wide open through this week, particular so the latter part of the week, with the best action being found from the Gordo Bank north to Destiladera Bank.


“Once the word spread the fleets converged, as far away as Cabo San Lucas and even the East Cape. Marlin were coming up on and feeding on balled up baitfish and boat battles ensued, with the first few charters arriving to the scene hooking up and then everyone waiting for the stripers to come back up on another bait ball. Also many marlin were striking on trolled lures, though the higher percentage of hook ups were from live baits such as caballito, chihuil or skipjack, as well as rigged ballyhoo. The majority of the charters targeting this action were reported multiple chances, some boats landing as many as seven or more fish in one morning.”


The combined panga fleets launching out of La Playita, Puerto Los Cabos Marina sent out approximately 83 charters for this week. Anglers reported a fish count of: 78 striped marlin, (majority released), 5 dorado, 37 yellowfin tuna, 2 wahoo, 65 yellow snapper, 9 surgeon fish, 45 spotted rose snapper, 42 cabrilla (leopard grouper), 16 huachinango (red snapper), 11 bonito, 36 amberjack, 19 barred pargo, 34 roosterfish, 12 jack crevalle, 32 sierra, 18 flag cabrilla, 14 island jack, 1 tiger shark (released) and 140 triggerfish.


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LORETO ACTION: The dorado started to move in, with small fish inshore under sargasso, but 50 miles off Punta Punta Cosme, Robert Ross of San Cosme and friends on Ross’ 370 Rampage scored a 55 pounder at the trench, and also caught and released two striped marlin. Closer to home at the islands, the lovely Kathy Hunter scored a 20-pound yellowtail on the Cast N’ Reel on a flylined bait Thursday, while Marty Dufek had a nice yellow on the iron and some nice pargos and cabrilla on the inshore troll while fishing with friend Chris Wheaton and Pat McDonell. They were prefishing three days for the Los Rancheros tourney held Friday and Saturday of the La Mision Hotel.

LORETO — A 55-pound dorado and two released striped marlin by Punta San Cosme’s Robert Ross on his Boston Whaler 370 Rampage got people excited but only to a degree. Those fish caught in one day – and a swordfish sighted – came at the Trench 50 miles out. That’s within Ross’ high-speed range, but few other boats are willing to make that run. Loreto’s primary targets for pangas are yellowtail and cabrilla and pargo inshore and at the islands reefs, plus an emerging bite on dorado holding under the sargasso patches as the water warms.


This reporter fished three days Tuesday through Thursday with friends Chris Wheaton and Marty Dufek and the fishing was slow on the forkies as teams pre-fished before the annual Los Rancheros Yellowtail Tournament based at the La Mision Hotel, held Friday and Saturday. Details on the charity event are coming next week.


On two bright sides, the inshore action on cabrilla and pargo on slow-trolled mackerel was outstanding on Thursday, and the weather, aside from a one-day blow on Wednesday, was perfect. The primary method and bait for yellows for most boats was flylined sardines and small macks, with the fish 17 to 20 pounds.


MIDRIFF — The mothership Tony Reyes just returned from his 6-day trip led by chartermaster Jerry LeCompte from Glendale, Arizona. The count from the trip was: 285 yellowtail to 28 pounds, 314 cabrilla to 22 pounds, 143 bass, 13 grouper to 40 pounds, 11 sheephead, and 287 assorted fish, many released.


“Captain Tony Reyes Jr. reported a great trip with extremely nice weather, as is common this time of year,” said Tom Ward at the Longfin Tackle shop in Orange. “The larger yellowtail are starting to show up as the water temperature is rising slightly. Most of the fish were caught casting jigs or trolling Mirrorlures and Rapala X-Raps. Bait is showing up in the shallow waters and the schools of yellowtails are moving north with the bait. Cabrilla fishing continues to be excellent with large fish the order of the day.”


Ward had this bit of news: “The islands of Rasa and Partida were declared to be in a reserved zone for the production of fish so Tony is not allowed to fish close to those islands now.”


There are still a few openings in Tony's schedule this year as can be seen at www.tonyreyes.com


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THE CASTRO’S CAMP launch ramp is 40 percent completed, but is in use. CASTROS PHOTO


ERENDIRA — Castro’s Fish Camp had been seeing a steady rockfish bite, based on various FB posts, and last week the camp has been — for the first time since construction started on the large project, using its new ramp, which is 40 percent completed.


* * *

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