Baja Fishing Report

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Tuesday, October 02, 2018
Wahoo make a big appearance at East Cape

250 & 280-pound yellowfin start the Cabo cow parade
This is the prime time in Baja with Cedros/Benitos wahoo, San Quintin yellowfin and yellows, Cabo tuna and marlin; when the tropical rains stopped by Thursday, La Paz went back to Richter on the yellowfin

CABO SAN LUCAS — Big game season is starting off Cabo, and two cow tuna of 250 and 280 pounds were reported, one before a tropical storm moved through with heavy rains midweek and one big tuna that came after. The 250 pounder came on a Pisces sportfisher at the Herradura spot on a trolling lure, and the other was caught at the Gordo Bank by a private boat a few days before the storm hit and weighed 280 pounds.

THE PISCES FLEET’S Tracy Ann that landed a 250-pound tuna Sept. 21. Anglers from Frisco, Texas were: Michael and Florence Reagan, Shera and Scott Cameron, and Alana Geblein and Yale Hamrick. It his a trolled lure at the Herradura spot. This fish and a 280 pounder by a private boat the week before indicate the cow tuna are on the banks, and other reports indicate there is a spread of big fish on the Cortez and Pacific sides in the 150- to 200-plus pound class. PISCES PHOTO

“As I’ve said before, although it can be slow, we’ve been surprised with big catches throughout these summer months,” said Rebecca Ehrenberg of the Pisces Sportfishing Fleet. “This was again the case this week with the Pisces 31-foot Tracy Ann that landed a 250-pound tuna. Other species caught this week were mainly blue and striped marlin, a few sailfish and smaller dorado.”

The 250 pounder was caught Sept. 21 by Tracy Ann anglers from Frisco, Texas. They were: Michael and Florence Reagan, Shera and Scott Cameron, and Alana Geblein and Yale Hamrick.

“Not only were they one of the most successful angler groups looking for tuna this week, but they also landed the big kahuna,” said Ehrenberg. “They caught 13 yellowfin total, mostly ranging between 15 and 20 pounds, with a few larger 50-pound fish and the surprise 250 pounder. They found all their fish about 30 miles out at La Herradura (a high spot south of the Gordo) and the fish all hit on cedar plug and petrolero lures.”

TheTracy Ann did well with tuna throughout the week, with anglers Stacy and Steven Roxberg from Alabama fishing a few days with the crew and landing a total of 17 yellowfinover two days. Their fish all ranged between 15 and 35 pounds each at the 1150 Spot on various lures: cedar plugs, hoochies and green/red lures. For the full Pisces report, go to for more photos and other boat reports from Ehrenberg.

In other Baja action:

THE GORDO BANK panga fleet saw ocean conditions settle down after a tropical storm moved through and the water temperature was back averaging close to 84 to 85 degrees. Yellowfin tuna 50 to 80 pounds were being seen on the local banks of Gordo and Iman, as well as a few bigger tuna 250 and 280 pounds.

SAN JOSE DEL CABO — Eric Brictson of Gordo Banks Pangas at Marina Puerto Los Cabos said that after the storm that blew out much of the week’s fishing, fleets dealt with slightly off-colored water conditions and some strong currents for a few days. But by Friday it was “game on” for tuna.

“As ocean conditions settled down, the water temperature was back close to 84 degrees and lots of yellowfin tuna were being seen on these grounds, with the tuna mostly in the 50- to 80-pound range,” said Bricston. “But at times the fish were very shy in taking any hooked offerings from anglers, through with persistence anglers could catch two or three during a morning trip.”

This action was all on bait, with live or dead sardinas, strips of squid and some on Baja’s candy bait, the live chihuil (pronounced “chew willie”), which were a bit tough to locate and catch after the storm.

“Despite the yellowfin tuna action being sporadic and a bit finicky, this was still the best opportunity for catching quality game fish. On Friday a private sportfisher out of Puerto Los Cabos reported landing a yellowfin tuna off of the Gordo Bank that was estimated at 280 pounds. This is the first real super cow we have heard about from these grounds this season.” (Editor’s note: There was no photo of that fish available, nor many details). The previously mentioned 250 pounder on the Pisces Fleet’s Tracy Ann came on Sept. 21 from the nearby Herradura spot. The two fish portend well for the WON Los Cabos Tuna Jackpot Nov. 7-10, as well as for the other big money offshore events in late October, like the Bisbee’s.

Although the tropical storm soured the week starting Monday when Puerto Los Cabos Marina was closed for three days and Cabo was closed for two days, prior to it there was a strong bite for blue and black marlin and tuna close to 200 pounds on the banks from the Jaime to the Finger Bank on the Pacific side, reported Rebecca Ehrenberg of the Pisces Sportfishing Fleet. The two big tuna from the Herradura (250) and the Gordo Bank (280) are signs the big fish are in, and spread out.

While tuna perked up on the weekend after the storm, other action was limited. Some bottom action on the same grounds but not a sure-bet option, and highlights were a handful of grouper and dogtooth snapper. Only an occasional dorado were being seen, he said, plus he heard of a few reports of missed wahoo strikes or free jumping fish seen.

“On Saturday a handful of wahoo up to 40 pounds were landed while trolling Rapalas and other lures around the Iman Bank, but this time of year we at times see a minimal variety of fish,” said Brictson. “Coming up in the fall season we do anticipate a great season, looking forward to more wahoo and dorado showing back up in the daily fish counts.

DENNIS WENHOLZ FROM Denver had already caught a limit of football tuna right off the rocks at Punta Perico near Las Arenas fishing with Captain Pancho of the Tailhunter Fleet and had some extra time so they trolled a live bait for roosters and this big boy estimated in the 70-pound class responded, and after a 30-minute fight the fish was released.

THIS FAT TUNA rocked Dan Lewis from Lancaster, Calif. for almost an hour on light tackle when he hooked it just off the beach at Las Arenas while fishing with the Tailhunter Fleet from La Paz.

LA PAZ — Jonathan and Jill Roldan at Tailhunter International operate two fleets, one out of Muertos Bay and the other out of the city La Paz fishing the Bay and nearby islands. Despite tropical rains and some wind, the bite on tuna clicked on as soon as the sun came out and seas calmed.

“We’ve had an excellent bite for the last few weeks, especially on tuna so when the forecast said we might have a ‘little rain’ we expected that usual afternoon localized showers of short duration or the occasional little thunder and lightning cloudburst,” said Jonathan. “What we got instead wasn’t a hurricane or anything that dramatic. But we got almost two days of wetness that included heavy rain or drizzle that just never stopped for 27 hours.”

Roldan said that after the rains the action was not red hot like before the storm, but it was good enough. Then it went off over the weekend, each day better than the previous one.

“By Friday, we were back on our game for the most part. With each passing day away from the storm, the tuna came back harder. The dorado were more willing to bite — just overall better fishing. The tuna bite has generally been mostly with our Tailhunter Las Arenas/ Muertos Bay Fleet all season. Fish between 10 and 100 pounds have been the general rule and it’s been very good for about a month. Mixed with dorado, pargo, cabrilla and a few other species — it’s been solid.”

The big surprise though was their La Paz Fleet.

“Out of La Paz Bay, most of the fishing is dorado fishing. Probably 90 percent of the catch is dorado,” said Roldan, “It’s the ‘honey hole’ for mahi mahi! Well, this season we’ve little jags of tuna here and there. Pretty surprising all by itself and a nice bonus. But, this past week, we had the entire area bust loose with boiling, foaming tuna! Fish between 20 and 60 pounds just blasting outta the water and slamming every bait tossed in the water! Friday this past week was especially explosive! In 23 years down here, I’ve never seen so many tuna!”

HATS OFF TO Ron and Shari Ung, as this 45-pound tuna overmatched their Accurate BV300 with 20-pound line but they put on a clinic on how to land a big fish with light gear while fishing with Jen Wren Sportfishing over the weekend at the East Cape.

EAST CAPE — John Ireland of Hotel Rancho Leonero reported on Sunday that despite some rain and a few days of winds early in the week, the report on fishing by the weekend was a carbon copy of the week before. That is, wide-open tuna fishing and clear, flat days.

The air temperature has been very pleasant and cool for September with highs in the low 90s,” said Ireland. “Once again this week, it’s all about the tuna, limits for all anglers all week and a few dorado and wahoo were taken. The inshore fishing has been stellar with big amberjack, pargo and pompano. Big roosters are being released daily. Live sardine is by far the best bait, but chunk squid has been working.”

Ireland said the yellowfin are one to two miles off Rincon and off Punta Pescadero. Both areas producing limits of yellowfin from 5 to 20 pounds with the occasional 40 to 50 pounders mixed in.

“Earlier in the week some larger yellowfin in the 30-pound class were taken under fast-moving schools of porpoise 10 to 15 miles offshore, all on hoochies and cedar plugs. Quite a few white skipjack are being taken as well.”

As for inshore action, pangas are getting pargo in the 5- to 15-pound class, nice pompano and big amberjack off the inside drop offs, all taken on squid. Big roosters in the 30- to 60-pound range, closer to the beach, were released all week, said Ireland.

COCOS SPORTFISHING OUT of Ensenada was spectacular with limits for customers on the Coco Loco, nailingoffshore yellowfin, yellowtail and skipjack.

ENSENADA — Coco’s Sportfishing on the Coco Loco offshore trip on Sept. 23 saw limits of yellowfin tuna, skipjack and yellowtail. The fishing has been outstanding all summer off Ensenada but it is now as good as it gets as the summer ends. It’s a perfect time to make the run to Ensenada and get on an open party charter for tuna and yellows and stay in Ensenada a few days.

“The season is at its strongest point,” said a fleet rep, “and we invite you to our last trip of the month this next Sept. 30.” Cost is $170 per person and includes fishing license, living bait and fishing equipment per person. Contact 646-947-5852 with Arturo Peralta or 646-121-3384 with Adrian Peralta.

LORETO — Rick Hill at was the only source to weigh in last week with WON, and reported the dorado action continues along the coast just south of the airport.

“Possibly it was driven a bit by the recent rains but who knows with mother nature at the controls? Dorado are mostly mediums from 8 to 15 pounds. Sardinas are still king, but trolled feathers in blue and pink are getting nailed, too. Roosterfish are along most of any coastlines you might want to inspect for bulldog action.”

MIDRIFF — Owner Tom Ward of Longfin Tackle in Orange, which books the Tony Reyes Midriff Mothership operation, relayed a boat report from the Tony Reyes’ 6-day trip out of San Felipe, run by Capt. Tony Reyes Jr.

“We started on El Diablo point were we caught one black seabass on cut bait, and also lots of spotted bass and some yellowtail on the 250-Foot Reef,” said Reyes Jr. “Later we moved to Snake Island were we made live bait. That morning everyone caught yellowtail on the reefs. The weather was windy and cloudy and we stayed in this area a couple of days for safety because we had a storm into the Sea of Cortez. On Wednesday we returned to Refugio Point because the storm was moving north close to Guaymas.

“We fished in Refugio on Thursday morning and live bait and jigs produced yellowtail, cabrilla and pargo and couple of groupers and by then the storm had moved to mainland and the weather got better, with more pargo and few dorado on the coastline. The last day was spent at the Enchanted Islands which produced a few grouper bites, with the guys landing just one. There were a few barred pargos and pinto bass.”

The count: 195 yellows to 33 pounds, 231 cabrilla to 18 pounds, 119 spotted bass, 29 pargo to 25 pounds, 2 sheephead to 10 pounds, 6 pinto bass to 14 pounds, 18 dorado to 18 pounds, 1 black seabass of 56 pounds and 242 assorted fish, all released.

QUALITY WAHOO WERE on the menu at Cedros Outdoor Adventures for the group that took advantage of low winds and trekked from Cedros to Benitos and score these fish on Rapalas. The fish were up to 43 pounds.

CEDROS ISLAND — Jose Angel Sanchez of Cedros Outdoor Adventures hosted the Port Pirates Charter group at the Baja Magic Lodge. The anglers had heard about the wahoo fishing at Benitos, and as it turned out, the winds finally settled enough on Saturday to go for the crossing from Cedros to Benitos.

“It was worth it!” said Sanchez. “Our skippers as usual paid attention to the conditions and made the decision to continue after the wind slowed down right after turning around the San Agustin Point. The five boats from our group got one or more wahoo of good size, up to 43 pounds. Happy guests.”

Of course, the yellowtail and dorado fishing was also excellent, and yellowfin tuna have been caught here and there on the outer edges under paddies. But the typical action has been on bigger calicos at San Augustine and yellows on the local high spots outside the salt works. Their season continues through October and it is COA’s most successful, as they expanded their operation with two more cabins and purchased an 8-seat aircraft for quick flights to the island from Brown Field. The service has drawn rave reviews from anglers with quicker travel time and more fishing time on both ends of the trips.

BAHIA ASUNCION WAS the spot as Larry and Christine Kellerman scored limits of yellows while staying at La Bufadora Inn with Shari Bondy and staff.

SAN QUINTIN BAY/ASUNCION — Capt. Kelly Catian with K&M Charters in San Quintin Bay scored all the yellowtail their customers could handle for a few days, and then skipped a day and went deep, nailing quality reds and lings the area is also known for. At Bahia Asuncion, Shari Bondy at La Bufadora Inn reported excellent yellowtail action as the summer season continues. Larry and Christine Kellerman stayed at the Inn and caught limits of yellows and quality calicos over the weekend.

K&M CHARTERS SKIPPED the yellowtail they had been scoring at will on the iron and went deep for a helluva catch of reds, vermillion and lingcod with Capt. Oscar Catian.

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