Umarex Gauntlet


Baja Fishing Report

Click here for Baja Fishing Report

Monday, July 30, 2018
Tuna in bigger grade showing

Billfish and big bucks take center stage
Today's Update: 

The Bisbee's tourney info and other Baja news is coming up....but first a little  tropical storm update. Raining right now but no big winds in Baja Sur... and if want details, go to the best website for storm watches in Baja.

A quick note from Jonathan Roldan at Tailhunter International in La Paz: 

"Oh heck...been warning about possible rainstorms for two weeks and now three storms lined up...Ileana...Kristy and Hurricane John. Calm flat and gorgeous here in La Paz, but there's already some rain in Cabo and our Las Arenas boats had to come back to shore and back to La Paz this morning because of too much wind and waves. Wacky weather all over the planet these days. Probably be canceling fishing tomorrow. A little rain tonite, but strong 20-30 mph winds predicted for tomorrow. Then, the predictions are all over the place. Buzz kill."

also...accuweather.. the link..

here's a shot of a water spout off Cerralvo Island from and angler fishing with ailhunters International...

and some screen shots from of the current storm John and another one, Kristy, tracking in.. That time of year...

and now the Baja fishing report...

On the first day a black marlin of 538 pounds in Bisbee’s Offshore Jackpot sets stage for big payouts the rest of the way at the East Cape as records are set on fishing and money over three days



THE BISBEE’S ANNUAL East Cape offshore was a record breaker in money and teams in its 18th year, and the first without Bob Bisbee Sr. who recently passed away. Biggest money winner, taking first place and three daily optionals was team Booze Brothers (seen here on stage) who won $166,064. Biggest tuna was by team North Star with a 102.3 pounder worth $37,720, caught the first day.

EAST CAPE — Everyone was well aware the East Cape billfishing had been good for weeks, even months, but the emphasis for charterboats had been on the wide-open tuna. But when the big yachts came to town last week for three days of the 18th annual Bisbee’s Offshore Jackpot, the emphasis was on the big marlin. Sure, tuna and dorado and striped marlin were caught as part of the multi-species format, but the big bucks were all about the blue and black marlin.

Steve McCoy’s Team Booze Brothers started off the first day with a 538-pound black marlin and that was all she wrote for first place and three daily optional payouts. When the team lined up on stage Saturday night at Hotel Spa Buena Vista, holding their checks, fireworks blazing, the amount on the trophy check was a cool $166,064.

The total payout of $657,125 was the highest-ever total in the East Cape event’s 18 years, and while it’s not massive by the Bisbee’s Cabo Black & Blue that totals in the $3 million range in October, the payout was indicative of two things: The overall quality of East Cape’s fishing, since the $657,125 was distributed to 11 teams as every qualifying category each day was filled, a first, and the fact that big boys came to play, many from around the corner in Cabo.

Best fishing, most money. The late Bob Bisbee Sr. who passed away recently had to be looking down and enjoying the view. And many of the teams came for the competition and fun, and to pay homage to the man who started it all four decades ago among friends in Cabo.

“This is the largest number of checks we have ever distributed at the tournament,” Tricia Bisbee, daughter of Bob Bisbee. She and her brother Wayne have for many years run the events, the richest in Mexico and likely the world. “It’s been a great event, a perfect way to kick off the next generation of tournaments. Dad would have been so proud!”

If you want to know how good the fishing was, well, there were 6 billfish over 300 pounds taken: The winning 538 pounder, followed by 493, 393, 370, 354 and 333 pounders. In terms of total fish by the 62 teams, many of them multi-million dollar yachts, they caught 47 blue marlin and 28 striped marlin (all billfish thought to be under 300 pounds were released). There were 15 yellowfin from 64 to 102.3 pounds, that category’s winning tuna caught by team North Star. If the team name sounds familiar, it is because they are a two-time Cabo Tuna Jackpot champion, taking titles in 2012 and 2017.

In other words, many of the best came to play and compete, and the East Cape fishing and weather did not disappoint.

2018 Team Payout, $657,125.

Booze Brothers, $166,064

Wild Hooker $145,557

Sporty Game, $140,675

Outcast $69,120

Reel Quest, $37,570

North Star, $31,720

Altata Bay, $18,700

Team Awesome, $18,700

Reel Gold, $13,005

Feelin' Azul, $8,788

Karma 3, $7,225

In other East Cape news, John Ireland reported from Hotel Rancho Leonero that “You name the species and it's biting. The ranch fleet is fishing mostly to the south. Lots of yellowfin mixed with dorado and wahoo off the white cliffs south of Frailles. Further south, the Iman Bank is producing big tuna to 100 pounds, with lots of 50 to 70 pounders fish taken. Big blue and black marlin both north and south. Inside, there are big roosters as usual, good-sized pompano in the 10- to 15-pound range, big amberjack and pargo. Lot's of good live bait available.”

He added, “Billfishing has always been good the past months, but it took the pros to go after them in a serious tourney. Thus, the Bisbee’s winner a 538 black was taken 1 1/2 miles off the lighthouse. Six billfish over 300 were taken: 493, 393, 370, 354, 333 and the big marlin were spread some taken both north and south, and there are lots of stripers and sails around. We’re having very good billfishing!”

The yellowfin and dorado are mixed together from the lighthouse and to the south.

“They are very concentrated off the white cliffs south of Frailles, and hitting live sardine. Further on, at the Iman Bank, there are the bigger yellowfin. All the big Bisbee’s tuna were taken on the Iman, mostly on live bait,” said Ireland. The top 10 fish ran from 64.4 to 102.3 pounds. As for dorado, they were lots of school- sized dorado from the lighthouse south. Mostly 8- to 20-pound fish mixed with a few bulls.

Wahoo are around, cutting lines, and mixed with the tuna and dorado. Inside, Ireland said, the roosters are 30 to 60 pounds off the south beaches. Plus, the pompano are big, 10 to 15 pounds.

THE MAIN TUNA areas are the Iman Bank, to Vinorama and the Gordo Banks. The larger yellowfin seem to be schooling around the Iman Bank where tuna up to 100 pounds are being found. No huge numbers, but charters have been catching as many as three or four quality sized tuna, with smaller fish of 10 to 70 pounds mixed.

SAN JOSE DEL CABO — Eric Brictson of Gordo Banks Pangas says this time of year is typical: Tourists are down with the heat, fishing is up, and so is the threat of storms as low pressure systems off Southern Mexico are developing.

“What we are watching closely is the potential formation of Tropical Storm Ileana, which forecasts say will pass close to Southern Baja by mid-week, though Ileana is forecast to follow a path off to the west of the Peninsula, so hopefully this forecast is correct and this system does not make any landfall impact. We will surely feel increased humidity and most likely larger ocean swells related to the passing of the storm. The next six or seven weeks is historically when the chances of tropical storms striking locally is at its greatest.”

As for the fishing, it is typical for this time of year, with the yellowfin tuna action the highlight and most common species being found. Main areas now being targeted are the Iman Bank, to Vinorama and the Gordo Banks. The larger yellowfin seem to be schooling around the Iman Bank, this is where tuna up to 100 pounders are being found. Some showed up at the Bisbee’s weigh-in last week.

“No huge numbers, but charters have been catching as many as three or four quality sized tuna, with smaller fish mixed in per day, average sizes in the 10- to 70-pound class. Drift fishing with fly-lined sardinas or strips of squid was the most productive method of enticing the yellowfin.”

Brictson added, “here has been lots of natural food sources on these same grounds and plenty of boat pressure as well, so this often makes the yellowfin more finicky, some days biting more readily than others, also at certain unpredictable hours. These same fishing grounds produced dorado, wahoo, billfish and a mix of bottom action. There was an early morning wahoo bite going on inshore off of San Luis, trolling Rapalas were the best bet, early start and sometimes not waiting around to get sardinas proved to be the way to go after this action. Most of the dorado being found were smaller sized, though in recent days we are seeing a few more fish topping the 20-pound mark, which is encouraging.”

Billfish were spread out, he said, though charters specifically targeting marlin were centered on offshore grounds such as the 1150 spot, where some blue marlin in the 200-pound range were found, also some striped marlin and sailfish were in the mix.

The combined panga fleets launching out of La Playita, Puerto Los Cabos Marina sent out approximately 64 charters for this week. Anglers reported a fish count of: 1 dogtooth snapper, 6 sailfish, 5 striped marlin, 3 blue marlin, 14 wahoo, 74 dorado, 180 yellowfin tuna, 45 bonito, 15 yellow snapper, 19 red snapper, and 18 cabrilla.

CABO DORADO ARE starting to perk up in quality sizes on the Pacific side, reported Mike Tumbiero of the Renegade Mike.

REDRUM SPORTFISHING IN Cabo turned up some nice catches, including this huge rooster, which was released.

CABO SAN LUCAS — Mike Tumbiero of Renegade Mike Sportfishing tells it as he sees it on the water and hears about it at the IGY dock. “That wide open tuna bite slowed down, typical this time of year when the seiners move in.”

“We could blame it on the full moon or the commercial seiners that have moved into the area,” he said, “but for whatever reason that great tuna bite that we had has now slowed to a crawl, with many boats heading out looking for them and not finding the right schools.”

He said there are still “lots of blue marlin hooked every day, mostly straight out from Cabo, striped marlin are still around and biting fairly good. We’re still waiting for that great sailfish bite that we see this time of year. There are a few sailfish being caught, but not in the great numbers that we’re used to.”

One thing that has picked up is the dorado fishing along the beach on the Pacific side, he said.

“The dorado this time a year are typically on the small side but there have been some 40 pounders caught,” Tumbiero said. “It has been providing some real good action on light tackle. Most of the dorado are in the 10-pound range. But like I said, there have been some 20 to 40 pounders occasionally hooked up. Along with that dorado bite was a really good bite on Pacific bonita in the same areas as the dorado.”

On the inshore scene, he said there have been some trophy roosterfish around. Not in great numbers “but if you work it with the right bait you can hook up a roosterfish up to 50 pounds.” On Redrum Sportfishing’s Facebook page, there were several pictures of big roosterfish over 50 pounds.

In terms of weather, it has been good, in the mid-90s with just 60 percent humidity, said Tumbiero, with some days a bit messy with strong winds, but in general the fishing conditions have been favorable.

RHETT RILEY AND his grandfather, Herb Preszler from the Sacramento area, tied into several big tuna off Cerralvo Island near La Paz on live bait with Tailhunter Sportfishing. They each hooked and fought a fish over an hour before lines broke then re-baited and tied into these two nice sluggers and fought them another hour before they were gaffed.

“TUNA” TERRY BIGGS of Oroville, CA has made numerous trips to fish La Paz with Tailhunter Sportfishing. He had never caught a big tuna. He hooked one fish and fought it almost two hours before it broke off then hooked this big one estimated by Captain Armando as being in the 70- to 80-pound class. He was using only 40-pound test. Terry works for the railroad and is about 6’2 and 275 pounds and he wrestled this tuna almost 90 minutes and “it whupped me pretty bad.”

LA PAZ — Jonathan Roldan checked in from Tailhunter International and said it was a pretty decent week of fishing. The bigger grade of nasty tuna were punishing anglers again.

“At Las Arenas/ Muertos Bay, the big tuna off Cerralvo Island were again the name of the game,” said Roldan. “These 40- to 80-pound gorillas are made more formidable by the fact that they’re eating relatively light lines (as tuna will sometimes do). So, using 25- to 40-pound test line can turn into quite a battle and most of these fights are at least an hour to almost two hours in the hot Baja sun!”

He said 70 percent of the fish were lost and one day, they hooked 10 fish and only 2 got boated.

“It is what it is,” he said. “Everyone wants a shot at these home run fish, but if you don’t knock it over the fence, there’s a good chance you won’t get any other chances at another or for other species because it’s already too late in the day. But the challenge is there and very compelling… and fun!”

He added, “It’s hard to know if there are other species around the area because everyone is chasing the tuna, but we did hook up some dorado and billfish. Roosterfish have been scarce this year. But, again, it’s hard to know because not many folks have been chasing them. Fortunately, if the tuna aren’t going, we do have our other fleet out of La Paz and the dorado have been lighting it up. Most days there are limits or near limits of fish running 10 to 20 pounds and some larger. If you hit the right spot and find the school, it can be utter madness as fish crash all around and every rod is bent. You fill the box quickly!”

Other times, he said, “you get 1 here, 2 there…1 here…and a longer, but still productive day.”

Weather advisory: Looks like intermittent and localized thundershowers with lightning are predicted most of the week. Just tropical stuff. “Hopefully, the port captain doesn’t shut the thing down,” said Roldan.

CEDROS OUTDOOR ADVENTURES has seen the bigger yellows getting away from the red crabs that are thinning and going after mackerel slow-trolled or surface iron. The fish have been the 20- to 40-pound class. A 46 pounder was recorded last week.

CEDROS ISLAND — Business is booming on the island for Cedros Outdoor Adventures, with the yellowtail numbers and size increasing with fish 20 to as much as 46 pounds. Calico fishing has been fantastic with flylined macks and dropper-looped macks in the kelp openings. However, it’s the yellowtail that have been increasing in numbers and size.

“Some of our boats got less fish than others, but that’s fishing, but on the other hand, one of our boats got the first “limits” of this season. Most bites were on slow trolled bait and surface iron over the boils. It seems that red crab is reduced and that got the yellows biting and also allowed for more intense calico fishing,” said Jose Angel Sanchez, who is at the lodge each day.

He added the new COA 8-passenger Piper Apache plane departing from Brown Field has some open seats on various trips coming up, part of the Atlahua’s Premium Guided Service. Call or email:

SAN QUINTIN BAY — K&M Sportfishing in San Quintín reported solid action on dorado and yellowtail. Scott and Garrick Noble got the first ones with Captain George Catian, then Captain Oscar Catian also got into ‘em with his crew of Don Pearson and friends.

LORETO — No word from the guys out of Puerto Escondido, so all the recent dope is for areas north of the town. Rick Hill of said the dorado have been working the coastline this week with the first few day’s action being between the airport and the Loreto Bay/Nopolo area.

“The week finished up with most of the action north of town at Punta Colorado,” he said. “Dorado are small to medium and eating live sardinas and a few mackerel. Trolling lures hasn't been productive to any degree and the few biters are interested in the blue chuggers.”

MIDRIFF — Capt. Tony Reyes returned from a 6-day open party trip on the mothership Tony Reyes into the Sea of Cortez around the Midriff islands.

“They started fishing the Snake Island area and then moved to Isla San Francisquito,” said Tom Ward at the Longfin Tackle in Orange, which books the trips that originate from San Felipe. “Live bait was difficult there so they moved to San Lorenzo Island where they caught medium-sized yellowtail and cabrilla. They tried to get bait near Bahia de Los Angeles and found plenty of it. Wednesday was the best day of fishing catching bigger yellowtail, grouper, black seabass, cabrilla and a variety of other species with several lines being broken and lures lost on big fish. The weather was okay with some clouds and a couple of hot and humid days.”

The count: 378 yellowtail to 30 pounds, 220 cabrilla, 73 bass, 4 sheephead and 46 pargo to 25 pounds.

* * *

Contribute Baja reports by sending photos and a short writeup to

• • • • •

We hope you enjoyed this article on our no-charge website Of course, this site contains only a small fraction of the stories that Western Outdoor Publications produces each week in its two northern and southern editions and its special supplements. You can subscribe to the print issue that is mailed weekly and includes the easy flip-page full-color digital issues, or you can purchase a digital only subscription. Click here to see the choice.

Reader Comments
Be the first to comment!
Leave a Comment
* Name:
* Email:
Website (optional):
* Comment:

Luna Sea Sports Ad