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Baja Fishing Report

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Loreto's jumbo El Seco tuna return
302 pounder caught at El Seco


Last January four tuna over 200 and two of them 300 pounders topped by a pending line class record 424.6 pounder were caught at the El Seco seamount, then nothing; On Friday the big tuna came to play at El Seco for Robert Ross and Outpost Charters angler Frank Kavanaugh of Newport Beach

FRANK KAVANAUGH of Newport Beach hangs on in his 3-hour battle with a 302-pound yellowfin tuna at El Seco while on a trip out of Loreto with Outpost Charters.

THE 302-POUND yellowfin caught Friday by Frank Kavanaugh is propped up by a crewman.

LORETO – For the past seven months the big yellowfin didn’t show at El Seco. All the hype and expectations that came last January seemed to be that. Hype. But El Seco, a series of seamounts located southwest of Catalan Island finally welcome the big tuna. Last week pangeros reported they had seen big yellowfin of 300 pounds rolling on the surface as they fished for red snapper, or huachinago.

“It wasn’t B.S. because this is the same guy who calls in Robert Ross and lets him know, and every time Robert gets them it is because this pangero calls,” said Jay Yadon, owner of Outpost Charters based at Marina Puerto Escondido. Yadon is also the son-in-law of Ross, who owns a home at Punta Cosme and has a 37-foot Boston Whaler Outrage tied up below his hilltop home. About this time of year, the phone rings.

As readers of WON might remember, itwas on Yadon’s charterboat Cast N’ Reel, a private yacht from Marina Puerto Escondido, and on Ross’ sportfisher that four huge tuna stirred the sportfishing pot last January. All four tuna were over 200, two over 300. One of them was a 319 and the next one the following day was a monster 424.6 pounder. The latter two fish were caught by Jorge Lazo, Ross’ other son-on-law over two days.

The 424.6 pounder is a pending IGFA world class tuna in the IGFA’s 80-pound line class even thoughLazo caught it on 50-pound line. The 50-pound top shot monowas tested and broke at 61 pounds, the IGFA reported, so if it sets a record, it would be at 80-pound, the next highest line class category for the men’s yellowfin record class.

Back to Friday’s catch on the 13th. So Robert Ross headed out on Friday in his boat and his guestwas Frank Kavanaugh of Newport Beach andKavanaugh ended up hooking a big one, a fish that took three hours to land after it crashed on a live sardine at El Seco. The yellowfin weighed 302 pounds on a digital scale back at Ross’ home 16 miles away at Punta Cosme.. Yadon on his Cast N’ Reel charterboat was a mile away, anchored up, and one of his clients hooked up on a huge tuna,but lost it after 45 minutes.Yadon said he saw three fish roll that were he. One, he said “was a big as a Volkswagen. It must have been over 500 pounds.”

As most people, including Yadon expect, the tuna are going to be around with the current conditions, and it will be a tough choice: fish the great dorado and still-good yellowtail action and chase smaller yellowfin under the porpoise, or anchor up and target the big yellowfin. El Seco has turned up at least two 400 pounders in recent years. Ross feels a 500 pounder is possible.

Maybe it’s worth the wait.

As for general Loreto reports a week after the Fishin’ For The Mision dorado tourney was held for 35 teams and top teams scored dorado in the mid-30-pound range,Rick Hill of Loreto said “fishing has slowed down with the end of the charity dorado tournament.

“The daily number of boats out in this vast area dropped about 80 percent so knowing where the action is more of a crap shoot! Tons of small dorado are still haunting the south tip of Carmen Island in the current lines.”

He added, “Outside of Punta Lobo there is slower action but the fish that do get landed are closer to 20 pounds. No word from action up in yellowtail country. The flurry of big yellowtail may still be happening but everybody is doing dodos and looking for ‘billfish.”

In other Baja action, starting with Cabo San Lucas:

THE RENEGADE MIKE got into its first sailfish of the season off Cabo, and Capt. Mike Tumbiero said offshore tuna action is turning up bigger tuna for boats, with yellowfin to 180 pounds with 100 pounders hitting the docks. He said the yacht Salsa brought one back of 180. The water cleaning up, just how the captains like it.

CABO SAN LUCAS – Renegade Mike Tumbiero was back at it on his charterboat Renegade Mike based out of IGY Marina after getting some drive shaft repairs for a few days. This is a busy time for the charterboat guys, and it’s going to get busier with the fishing vastly improved from a month ago. He said the bigger tuna are starting to show on the outside, 100 pounders and up to 180 pounds. Most tuna targeted by the charterboats are 15 to 30 pounds, and there’s a ton of them.

“Conditions continue to get better and better. We are seeing 80 to 85 degree water straight out from Cabo and towards the Cape. With 77 degreesin some areas around the Pacific side. Water clarity continues to improve. Inside the thousand fathom curve (Continental shelf). The water is still slightly off-color, although it is clean. Once you get outside the shelf. It’s a deep blue. Just like we like to see it.”

Tumbiero said seas have been mostly calm on the Cape side with some days having a strong northwest wind blowing on the Pacific side. Air temps have been in the mid-90s during the day but the humidity is staying at around 60 percent.

“The striped marlin bite has been steady on the inside for those wishing to target them,” he said. “although most boats have been heading out for the tuna. Several sailfish are also being reported so that should be getting better in the next couple weeks.”

According to the longtime Cabo captain, there have been several blue marlin caught this past week with one reported to be around 500 pounds. Most are in the 200-pound range.

“Our tuna bite continues to be pretty steady, although most boats are not quite getting limits compared to last week, we are seeing signs of bigger fish offshore. I saw one come in on the yacht Salsa that looked tobe about 180 pounds and there’s been several 80 to 100 pounders reported. There are some dorado around but not in the numbers we were used to but that should steadily increase as our conditions improve. Also, several wahoo were caught this past week.”

In other Cabo action, Rebecca Ehrenberg at Pisces Sportfishing weighed in with a Sunday, July 15 report with a 97 percent success ratefor the fleet, with billfish at 37 percent of the catches, but tuna were up in the 80 percentile.

“I must admit that this week has been one of our summer’s best for fishing here in Cabo, and therefore, one of the hardest weeks for me to write this fish report!,” said Ehrenberg, “There have been so many fish caught and of different sizes and species that I wish I could fit it all in, but I’ve had to pick and choose what I consider our best catches. Billfish this week included sailfish, striped marlin and blue marlin, and all were released. We’ve had more tuna than we can even fish for (limits easily), and we landed a big wahoo, too.”

She said yellowfin have dominated the catches with boats slamming the yellowfin with up to 25 fish each per day.

The 38-foot C Rod stood out this week as they had anglers Angelo and Kylie Abela on board, who I think must be the luckiest Australian anglers we’ve ever met! In four days of fishing they caught 77 yellowfin tuna, and 1 blue marlin, which was released with this three-man crew. Most of their tuna averaged between 15 to 20 pounds each, with the locations varying between the 11:50 Spot to about 20 miles out from Migrino, and for their blue marlin they were 40 miles out from the 130 Spot. All tuna hit on cedar plugs and feathers while the blue marlin, which weighed approximately 200 pounds and was released, hit on a black and red lure.

“Our big wahoo this week was caught aboard the 42-foot Hot Rod; a beautiful 50 pounder caught on a lure at about 23 miles south of Cabo. The Brummitt family from Texas also caught 2 yellowfin tuna of about 30 pounds each on cedar plugs. Later in the week, the Hot Rod also landed a nice sailfish, estimated at about 110 pounds, caught on a lureat Destiladeras.

THE CHARTERBOATS HOT ROD AND KNOT WORKING scored some real vareity for their customers in Cabo, as the Pisces crews nailed billfish and lot of yellowfin for customers as a red hot summer bite continued at Lands End.

SAN JOSE DEL CABO – Eric Brictson of Gordo Banks Pangas based at Puerto Los Cabos Marina reported,“Crowds of tourists continued to be lighter than we might expect, so maybe the more serious anglers are waiting for the fish reports to improve.”

He added, “Tropical weather patterns remained very quiet, light ocean swells, high temperatures near 90 degrees, water temp now back up to 80 degrees, water is steadily cleaning, with no new storms seen developing on the horizon and extended forecast looking quiet for the next ten days, it all appears to be favorable for putting our summer season back on track.”

IMPROVED fishing is being had on the yellowfin on Gordo Banks Runs to the Iman Bank.

Brictson said supplies of baitfish now included caballito, mullet, sardinas and a few moonfish in the mix. Most of this bait activity is found right in the marina channel area. “With the variety of baitfish in this area there have been some amberjack being hooked into right offshore of the nearby marina jetty, of course the word travels fast and many locals are now taking advantage of this limited opportunity,” said Brictson.

Offshore action was hit or miss, he said, mostly just heading out deep, 10 to 30 miles out, looking for schools of porpoise, with hopes of finding yellowfin tuna.

“With water temperatures warming and clarity improving daily, we have seen the action for yellowfin tuna near San Luis Bank rebound. No big numbers yet, but every day we are seeing some tuna brought in that are averaging 50 to 70 pounds. Thesefish have been striking on caballito, sardinas and some on yo-yo jigs. Many of the silky sharks were lurking on these same grounds, ready for any chance they can find at an easy meal. Most charters were doing well to land one of these quality yellowfin, though some were more fortunate and landed up to three tuna.

“Mixed on these grounds were red snapper (huachinango), bonito, sailfish and striped marlin. With water clarity looking much better anglers reported seeing free swimming wahoo on these grounds as well, maybe if the water does not become too warm these fish will also start to bite.”

He added that along the shoreline there were still some trophy sized roosterfish found, best bait for these fish seemed to be live mullet.

“Please remember to release these trophy roosterfish, as this fishery is becoming more fragile with each passing season and it is very important to preserve this species for future generations.

As for dorado, there have been only a scattered of smaller sized dorado seen this past week, with improving ocean conditions we should start to see some larger fish show up. Later in the month of July and through the rest of the summer is known for big fish season.

The combined panga fleets launching out of La Playita, Puerto Los Cabos Marina sent out approximately 58 charters for this week. Anglers reported a fish count of: 4 sailfish, 11 striped marlin, 16 dorado, 55 yellowfin tuna, 158 bonito, 5 yellow snapper, 164 red snapper, 7 cabrilla (leopard grouper), 11 amberjack, 12 roosterfish, 3 barred pargo, 4 sierra and 36 triggerfish.

HUGE PARGO are in the offing at the East Cape, with beasts to 50 pounds in one of the best seasons for them in recent history, said sources. The yellowfin are also coming in at larger sizes. MARK RAYOR/JEN WREN PHOTO

EAST CAPE -- John Ireland at Hotel Rancho Leonero reported great conditions – again – with water 83 to 84 degrees, warm even for July, and air in the 90s but clear, flat water conditions with a nice southeasterly wind to cool things off.

“Another good week of fishing!” said Ireland. “The dorado bite continues to improve with more and bigger fish taken.Lots of yellowfin outside and inside, not biting as aggressively as past weeks. Billfish are plentiful, blues, stripers and sails all biting.Big pez gallos to 60 pounds being released daily. Big pargo again this week with quite a few taken over 30 pounds.”

Ireland said there was lots of good bait available, both sardine and caballito. Dorado hunters are turning up some bulls.

“It’s very spread north and south,” said Ireland. “Big bulls in the 50-pound class were taken all week.Outside, it’s mixed with the tuna, both off the lighthouse, and on the shark buoys off Punta Pescadero. Both trolled and live baits have been working.”

The biggest surprise have been the big roosters, to 60 pounds, a rerun of last year. Perhaps a little earlier than normal. As for the pargos, said Ireland, “This is the best pargo year I can recall with three taken this week over 30 pounds. These are BIG pargo.”

Mark Rayor at Jen Wren Sportfishing reported: “Sea of Cortez has been calm all week with excellent fishing conditions. Our forecast shows no end in sight with no storms on the horizon.It is a bit warm and very humid on the beach.To give you an idea the water in our swimming pool hit 90 degrees this week.

“In my mind I thought it was a tough bite this week but was surprised reviewing the photos we captured. What has happened is better quality fish have shown and we have traded quantity for quality.With that, we are not having as many events but when we hang one it is a dandy. Tuna have been line shy so the fish have been somewhat over matched creating long battles on light tackle. Blue marlin have also arrived in bigger volume and are aggressive.”

He added, “The East Cape is experiencing the best cubera snapper bite I have ever seen and we have been returning everyday with trophy sized fish.It is interesting that we are catching these monsters in 35 to 40 feet of water either slow trolling or drifting live bait.Yellowfin have been hanging in the same zone and sometimes it takes a moment to figure out which we have hooked up.I have observed that the snapper tend to be on small rock piles while the tuna are on ledges where the bottom drops off.”

SHE DIDN’T HAVE TO GO OUT far for this nice tuna. Sydney Wagner from Colorado Spring CO was staying at Rancho Costa in Muertos Bay and hung this nice tuna just around the corner relatively close to shore. She was fishing with Tailhunter International.

LA PAZ -- It was a “decent” week of fishing down in La Paz for trips out of Muertos Bay and La Paz.

“Like seemingly everywhere else on the west coast, weather was hot, dry and humid although water temps took a bit of a dive for some reason dropping from 85 to 81 degrees and getting a little cloudier and greener,” reported Jonathan Roldan of Tailhunter International on July 15.

“Still, everyone caught fish. Not as many tuna or wahoo as the previous week, but the dorado bite seemed to fill the gaps with more dorado being caught each week,” he continued. “This is a typical summer pattern. Some boats did better than others and some days were better than others. However, for most of our anglers fishing multiple days, they could count on getting bit.”

The secret is finding the right spot, he said. There’s a lot of fish, but the fish are not everywhere.

“Locating the right current line (warmer water); or bluer water was key,” said Roldan. “But also finding structure like floating and clumping sargasso weed on the surface could make the difference.”

In addition to the dorado, there’s still some chunky tuna around. The smaller fish are 40 pounders. Not many folks looking for roosterfish, but they’re along the shores and good sized between 40 and 70 pounds.

“Wahoo are still hanging out as well, but we’re losing more than we’re catching and we also saw more hookups on striped marlin this week than any other week with most fish either busting off or getting released.”

GREG GARRISON FROM San Diego always does well with the fish when he’s down fishing La Paz and took this speedy wahoo trolling a Rapala just outside of Bahia de los Muertos while fishing with Tailhunter.


SAN QUINTIN halibut action was great for Capt. Juan Cook the other day, fishing with friends. He said the bite is getting on track inshore and offshore.  Anglers shown here at the Molino Viejo Hotel are, said Cook, Boggy Boggs, Adam Adams and Al Gasoliner.

SAN QUINTIN BAY --Capt. Juan Cook splits his time between L.A. Bay and L.A. Bay and he’s back on the west coast and into cooler weather and said Sunday morning that the action here is “on the up and up” although it’s still slow on the yellowtail,but reds, lingcod big reds and halibut are coming on.

“Water temps are 63 to 69 and it’s a bit green but changing every day,” said Cook, who can be reached at“Halibut have moved in at San Martin Island and it’s been good fishing for them today (the 14th). Today we had 9 butts from 14 takedowns, and other boats did likewise a couple days back, and offshore we saw lots of dorado with lockjaw, lots of bait and dolphins, so yellowfin should be showing any day now.


MARK OUELLETTE and his group caught six big yellowtail last week at the Coronados, the fish 20 to 28 pounds.

CORONADOS – Mark Ouellette, a longtime WON reader, reported he went to the Coronados late last week on a private boat and ound the home guard yellowtail, catching 6 fish, all 20 to 28 pounds.


June 28 - 30- Vagabundos Yellowtail Tournament - Tournament headquarters is Guillermo's. For more local information go tobahiadelosangeles.infowhich has accommodations, guides, etc.

July 21- East Cape Dorado Shoot Out at the Van Wormer Resorts in Los Barriles. The heaviest dorado caught will win a car. This is one of the largest fishing tournaments in Southern Baja with an average turnout of 130 teams each year.

July 31- Aug. 4– Bisbee’s East Cape Tournament, Fishing Wednesday, Thursday, Friday. See www.bisbee’

Aug. 25-Van Wormer East Cape Gold Cup Wahoo Jackpot Tournament - Headquarters is Hotel Palmas De Cortez. For check in and registration click on

Aug. 31 – Sept. 2- Vagabundos San Quintin Tournament, Don Eddie's Landing,where Vag discounts are given.

Oct. 18-21 - Bisbee’s Los Cabos Tournament (Baby Bisbee’s). Multi-species. Fishing days Friday and Saturday. Details.

Oct. 23-27 - Bisbee’s Black and Blue Marlin Tournament. Three days of fishing 24th to 25th. Richest tourney in the world. Details at

Oct. 27 -Van WormerTuna Shoot Out -Headquarters is Hotel Palmas De Cortez. For check in and registration click on

Nov. 7-10: 20th annual WON Los Cabos Tuna Jackpot, Tesoro Hotel, two days of fishing, parties. More than $700,000 in cash and prizes. and (events).

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