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Baja Fishing Report

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Black and blue marlin showing off Cabo
Bigger tuna also moving onto banks; 300-pound class yellowfin is caught on porpoise off Cerralvo by Tiger Spirit; Cedros yellowfin join the island party

CABO SAN LUCAS — While Cabo action has been slower these days, the big fish are coming in – black and blue marlin close to 500 pounds, and some yellowfin on the banks and under the porpoise that are poised to go off.


Mike Tumbiero of RenegadeMikeSportfishing.com weighed in Sunday night in Cabo. It’s hot and humid, and he can’t wait until things cool down. Most of his customers, just tourists, now don’t want to pull on a huge tuna; they want marlin. But the other day, he said he hooked a beast on the kite/Yummee Flyer, but lost the yellowfin after a 1½-hour fight. Well, over 200, he said.


The veteran captain said that the fishing has remained up and down this past week. With a little luck and being at the right place at the right time, one could have a great day on the water, while others struggle to find any kind of action.


“The only real consistent bite has been the dorado bite along the beach on the Pacific side,” he said. “For those seeking good-eating table fare, this has been the bite. The dorado have not been on the large size as most are anywhere from 6 to 12 pounds but with a little luck most boats have been getting limit-style fishing.”


Tumbiero said the billfish seen the bite has been very touch-and-go. The blue and black marlin bite has been pretty good for Cabo standards. If you put the time and effort in you can raise anywhere from 1 to 3 fish a day, he said. With the better bite being around 1150 Bank, there has been blue marlin caught throughout the Cabo area. The striped marlin bite has been very inconsistent as some days boats are raising several fish, and then the next day they can be hard to find.


“The sailfish bite continues to disappoint for Cabo standards as very few boats have been hooking sailfish past week,” said Tumbiero. “Several boats have fished the Finger Bank (which is 50 to 60 miles north of Cabo on the Pacific side) with great success. So that is a good sign that we may get a great fall and winter striped marlin bite this year.”


Tournament season is coming, of course, with four major October and November events and a few smaller tournaments wedged in.


“For those of you preparing for the Western Outdoor News Cabo Tuna Jackpot Tournament, there is some good news as we are starting to see more and more large tuna in the area,” said Tumbiero. “But for the most part they have been finicky and hard to get to eat a bait or lure. There’s lots of porpoise out there holding tuna, but for whatever reason these tuna refused to come up and bite. My guess is they are feeding on red crab and squid down deep.


“We hooked a nice estimated 220-pound yellowfin tuna this past week on the kite and fought it for over an hour only to have the hook pull as we were getting it near the boat,” said Tumbiero. “It can be very frustrating to find a huge school porpoise offshore and see the fish on the sounder and not having them come up to bite. I would expect these fish to really start biting in the next couple weeks.”


The Tuna Jackpot is slated for Nov. 7-10 with two days of fishing. There were 147 boats last year and sign-ups for the event based at the Hotel Tesoro are on a faster pace for this, the event’s 20th year. For details, see 

www.loscabostunajackpot.com .

Rebecca Ehrenberg of Pisces Sportfishing, celebrating its 40th year, reported that while the fishing is somewhat slower this time of year, it has the potential to fulfill some big dreams.


arthevener445
ART HEVENER, A Pisces angler for more than 20 years, got his dream fish, his final billfish on his bucket list. The fish ate a small yellowfin at the Gordo Bank and unfortunately the fish died in the fight. The Philadelphia resident fished three days with Captain Jose Ramon Alucano Jr. on Pisces 31-foot Rebecca and landed this monster 470- pound black marlin.


“A few weeks ago I mentioned having to fish a few days to guarantee the best success. Well, Art Hevener of Philadelphia, a Pisces angler for more than 20 years, proved just this point. He fished three days with Captain Jose Ramon Alucano Jr. on Pisces 31-foot Rebecca and landed a 470- pound black marlin, his dream fish.”


They were fishing at Punta Gordo, the middle of three days and set out sardines to catch a few yellowfin, landing two of 15 to 20 pounds and used those for bait. The black marlin took the yellowfin and put up a 2-hour fight


“Unfortunately, the fish ended up dying, and was kept for this reason. It was Henever’s 71st billfish caught and had been dreaming of catching the black marlin since he first started fishing, and this was the last billfish on his “bucket list,’ as he has already caught every other billfish in the world except for a black. He has always fished on the Rebecca with the same crew.”


On Sunday the Pisces will be having its first-ever and probably the only ever Crew Tournament, worldwide.


“Almost all of the boats in our fleet will be participating; crews fishing against one another, getting to do what they love the most, putting themselves to the test and having some fun, without any clients on board. It will be awesome to see how the boys do, and see who will be crowned “the best” in the fleet (even if they are all winners in our eyes!”


markkennedyand
MARK KENNEDY AND his 49-pound yellow he got fishing with Cedros Outdoor Adventures on a recent 5-day trip.


cedrosislandyellowfin
CEDROS ISLAND YELLOWFIN made their debut last week as the season continues to be solid with a few dorado, and lots of big yellows and calicos, just in time for the WON charter trip with Cedros Outdoor Adventures this week.


CEDROS ISLAND — Last weekend, anglers at Baja Magic Lodge caught a few football tuna and they joined the island party just in time for this week’s annual WON charter to the island and more specifically, the Baja Magic Lodge.


The yellowfin are a bonus, and while they are not big, they are eager biters on the iron. Of course, big yellows and calicos remain the mainstay of the island and the beefier grade of fish are showing, to 49 pounds, said Jose Sanchez, owner of the Cedro Outdoor Adventures operation with his wife Meanie Lamaga.


“Punta Norte was the hot spot this week,” said Sanchez. “Big yellowtail between 40 and 50 pounds were hooked mainly on slow-trolled mackerel and yo-yo’d iron, and Punta Norte was also teeming with calicos, which were biting just about everything, including red crab on a leadhead, spinners, jigs and dead bait.”


He added, “Other species encountered included black seabass, sheephead and halibut. Chester Rock was also the destination for some of our anglers. It was a bit further out, but a picturesque spot with an old wrecked boat up on the rock. Calicos up to 5 pounds were biting jigs. St. Augustin also continued to be a hot spot for calicos in the 2- to 7½-pound range, with the bass biting plastics, stick baits and poppers.”


In terms of fishing all along the north coast, the action from San Quintin Bay north has been outstanding on yellowtail and tuna, reported K&M Sportfishing’s Kelly Catian.


doulehandfuls
DOUBLE HANDFULS OF big squirming roosterfish for Joaquin Perea and Rick Rumzy from Woodland, Calif., who got a double hook-up just off Punta Arenas lighthouse fishing with the Tailhunter Fleet from La Paz. They were trying to hold the fish for the camera without hurting the fish so they could release them. The one fish was smacking Rick in the face! TAILHUNTER PHOTO


personalbesttuna
A PERSONAL-BEST tuna for Daniel Bovee from San Diego, who comes to La Paz every year to fish with Captain Pancho and the Tailhunter Fleet. Daniel hooked the big tuna estimated by the captain at about 80 pounds and was fought on light tackle for over an hour near Bahia de los Muertos. TAILHUNTER PHOTO


bobpowelland
BOB POWELL AND his 300-pound class yellowfin caught late last week on a lure while running with the porpoise off Ceralvo Island while board Ned Wallace’s Tiger Spirit.


LA PAZ — The biggest news for big fish last week was a 300-pound yellowfin caught on a fast-moving porpoise school off Ceralvo Island by Bob Powell, a friend of Ned Wallace who owns the fishing yacht Tiger Spirit. Ned posted a short video and two photos and the fish on the deck. It was bucket-list fish for Ned, and of course for his friend. It was caught on a lure. No other details were available.


That catch is an indication that the bigger tuna are moving into the Sea of Cortez and not just on the banks but they also are with the porpoise. That has been the case off the East Cape, and now big fish are being spotted on sonar under porpoise off Cabo but have been reluctant to come up to bite.


Jonathan Roldan of Tailhunter International weighed in Saturday and said that despite some winds and afternoon thundershowers during the week, they had another great week of fishing, especially for the tuna off Bahia de Los Muertos and Las Arenas.


“Just like the previous week, there were some days when the tuna bit early and hard and there were so many tuna that anglers either quit and returned to the beach early or they went off looking for other species,” said Roldan. “The tuna ran the gamut from little 5 pounders up to about 50 or 60 pounds with several larger fish up to 80 pounds that were beasts on the live bait and light tackle. Several fish up to 100 pounds were lost at color!”


He said most folks had as many fish as they wanted and caught and released many fish or donated the meat. And then they went searching for other species.


“That included nicer dorado up to 30 pounds although most fish were in the 10- to 15-pound range. There were more dorado with our Tailhunter La Paz Fleet, which made up 90 percent of the catch. But the larger dorado were with our Tailhunter Las Arenas fleet, where the dorado mixed in with the tuna. We also got into jack crevalle, some nice dog-tooth snapper, pargo liso, cabrilla and pompano as well.


Roosterfish were the biggest surprise. That bite went off big time.


“Like the week before, we caught more roosterfish this week and last week than the rest of the month combined!” said Roldan. “There were a few days when we hooked and released at least a half-dozen gallos all ranging from 25 to 60 pounds.”


He said the upcoming week shows signs of rain showers and scattered thunderstorms again, but not much wind so hopefully, it shouldn’t affect the fishing too badly.


“Most of the rain has been in the afternoons,” he said. “In between the rain, it’s hot and sunny! Looks like a postcard!”


ryankellygot
RYAN KELLY GOT in on the action with the Jen Wren fleet’s Vaqura, landing this 63-pound yellowfin on Accurate’s BV 300 reel.


EAST CAPE — Mark Rayor at Jen Wren Sportfishing said in a blog post Saturday that they have been experiencing week after week of gorgeous weather and excellent fishing conditions – until Saturday morning.


“Living in a tropical environment one must always be on their toes at all times because things can change unexpectedly,” said Rayor. “Today’s forecast was for another beautiful day with no harsh weather on the horizon. Out of nowhere Mother Nature tossed us the curve ball. At 6:30 on the dot the wind started to howl and we experienced a downpour of rain. The surf started to pound and the whole East Cape fleet was scrambling. Boats that had already departed quickly returned to get anglers back on the beach. Now in the afternoon, the wind has subsided and clouds are scattered but there is still a pretty good swell from the disturbance.”


Rayor said the forecast is for back to the calm and more of this for the early week.


“The question I get asked every day is ‘How's the fishing?' When I'm out to dinner at the market, walking on the beach or buying fuel, ‘How's fishing?'


“The question never asked is, ‘How's the boat running?’” said Rayor, “The reality is that keeping the boats serviced and running is our biggest challenge. Living and operating in one of the most fertile fishing grounds on the planet makes the catching part not that difficult. State-of-the-art Simrad electronics along with Accurate reels and Calstar rods assist making that part of our job even easier. It is the unexpected mechanical failure that keeps us working into the night because it must be repaired today so that the boat can operate again tomorrow is the real curve ball.”


SAN JOSE DEL CABO — Eric Brictson of Gordo Banks Pangas said crowds are light and it is just a month before the busy fall season begins. Tropical storm season is in the peak period now, when historically the most Hurricanes have formed and also made landfall on the Southern Baja Peninsula. At this time there are no new systems threatening, as Hurricane Olivia has headed far off on a westerly track heading for possible landfall in Hawaii.


“The next Eastern Pacific storm will be named Paul, hard to predict the weather more than a few days in advance this time of year,” said Brictson. “On Wednesday we did have some isolated heavy rainfall, but only in small areas, not widespread. This is the time of year when forecast call for almost daily scattered thundershowers, more often these form over the hills in the afternoon, but they are always very unpredictable as exactly where and when they happen. Ocean temperatures are warming, up into the 85 to 87 degree range. Swells were moderate for this time of year. Winds were gusting more than last week, mainly after midday.”


Schooling sardinas were once again found in closer range, now off the San Jose Estuary. Slabs of squids were also a main bait source being used, he said.


“The most productive areas where local fleets are now fishing have been from the Gordo Banks to Iman and San Luis Banks. Yellowfin tuna remained the most common game fish species being found. Sizes of the tuna have ranged from 10 to 90 pounds. Higher numbers of the larger grade of fish were found near Iman and San Luis banks, but a handful of the nicer yellowfin were also found on the Gordo Banks.


“The Gordo was producing a lot of the smaller-sized tuna as well, while Iman and San Luis there were mainly larger-sized fish being hooked into. The bite was sporadic, some days early, other days late, other days finicky: typical tuna fishing. The best method was to have both sardinas and squid, drift fishing while chumming. A few anglers reported success catching chihuil baitfish and slow trolling them, though these baitfish proved difficult and time consuming to try and catch. Anglers seriously targeting the tuna were accounting for an average of one to three of the nicer-sized fish, when targeting the smaller tuna, often they were able to catch quick limits of five fish per person.”


LORETO — No recent reports of any more big yellowfin at El Seco. Outpost Charters Jay Yadon of Outcast Charters based at Marina Puerto Escondido has been in the U.S. on business and the few charters down south have been targeting the bottomfish.


Up the coast, about a bite at the town of Loreto, Rick Hill of Loretotours.com said, “It's the season of ‘slow pick’ from what I have been seeing at the marina and fillet table. The few boats that are out fishing are happy trolling and tossing sardinas. There are still big dorado in the area, lots of bait fish of many types and now we are seeing more catches on the troll of big bonita. Dorado to 16 pounds and roosters along the coast at San Bruno. Still in the 90s and no hurricanes so far!”


Contribute to the Baja reports each week by sending photos and reports to baja@wonews.com. Deadline for the next issue of WON is Sunday.


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