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East Cape update: Tuna under porpoise
East Cape kicks with tuna locally; La Paz and Baja Sur gets a weather break, and action breaks loose


Wahoo targeted by East Cape and La Paz boats near Cerralvo Island; Cabo tuna keep rods bent as spring slowly unfolds

EAST CAPE --  The weather and fishing improved in quick turn of events on the East Cape as Mark Rayor of the fleet Jen Wren Sportfishing got limits of yellowfin under the porpoise Tuesday (yesterday). He fired off a blog on Wednesday morning.  

MARK RAYOR on Wednesday with Chad and below, Jo Jo holds a yellowfin, part of a full set of limits on the Vaquero.

East Cape weather couldn't be nicer,” said Rayor. “Seas are calm and the water is warming. Inshore sea temp is 77-78 degrees and gin clear. Offshore the water is a beautiful blue and 75-76 degrees. We are sighting more birds and bait. Yesterday we saw more flying fish than previous weeks. Reports from La Paz to San Jose are fish are starting to show. It looks like things are perking up everywhere. We have had a pretty good week with wahoo, striped marlin, amberjack and to top it off limits of yellowfin tuna yesterday.

See the full blog here:


LA PAZ – Jonathan Roldan at Tailhunter International reported to WONthat after a couple of so-so weeks where the weather and winds dictated our fishing, they finally got in a solid week of good weather and consequently better fishing.

Not too far away and still in relatively shallow water, the biggest and best surprise were the wahoo. It’s about that time of the year and the speedsters were hitting live bait as well as trolled Rapalas and were nice sized 20- to 40-pound fish with some of our pangas getting multiple fish.

STEVE HASTINGS was out with Captain Victor and did the hat trick with a trio of wahoo not far off the rocks that went 25 to 35 pounds. He also got some tasty white bonito as well.

 JEFF SAKUDA FROM CYPRESS has made one to two trips to La Paz to fish with Tailhunter for almost 20 years and loves fishing with Captain Jorge. One day produced these two wahoo near Cerralvo Island. The largest one taken on a purple Rapala XRap and the other hit a live sardine.

“There were still some lingering pesky winds, but overall a great time to be out on the water with good action and some good quality to the fish as well,” said Roldan. “It also helps that we’ve got more fishermen now that the season is on too!”

Inshore fishing over reefs, rocks and structure continued to produce the most action as is typical of this time of the year.

“Our guys who worked closer to shore and in the shallows saw good action and good quality on big snapper, big cabrilla, large triggerfish and both barred pargo and pargo mulato,” said Roldan. “Lots of larger fish lost in the rocks too, maybe half of all the fish hooked, but there was no shortage of biters.”

The same areas produced jack crevalle, several kinds of bonito (including the good eating white-bonito) and still kicked out yellowtail as well up to about 25 pounds.

“We also hit our first big roosterfish of the season too,” said Roldan. “We’ve gotten some smaller punk fish, but we got into some of the larger 30 to 50 pounders this week finally. All were released.”

In other Baja action,

CABO SAN LUCAS -- Rebecca Ehrenberg of the Pisces Fleet reported Sunday that crew and anglers did a great job of making the best of the days, even with some rough weather and inconsistent fishing much of the week.

“That’s not rare for this time of year,” said Ehrenberg. “What did help though was that the tuna numbers still held this week, and we saw a spike in dorado catches compared, really, to the rest of the year so far.”

She said they had seen only 1 or 2 dorado caught per week total, whereas this week saw a total of 18 dorado caught. Inshore fishing is still producing nice fish, with roosterfish still around, along with yellowtail, sierra, bonita, red snapper and others.

THE WEATHER stunted the action a bit out of Cabo, but the yellowfin and marlin and inshore action is always good off Cabo with plenty of variety caught by Pisces Sportfishing Fleet boats, including tuna and some wahoo like these.

“A few nice wahoo made the catches this week, too,” she said. “Marlin have been ‘fussy eaters’ this week, with crews often seeing them and pitching baits, but not much interest on their part; and difficulty getting them to bite on the troll as well. With this said, our top marlin boat this week released 3 striped marlin in one day.”

The 31-foot Rebecca was their top marlin boat, with anglers Doug and Jennifer Lavoie releasing three marlin, which hit on live caballito bait out of the 170 Spot, located about 35 miles out. The 35-foot Knot Workin’ found its marlin closer by, only eight miles out from Cerros de Arena area. The marlin weighed about 150 and was released successfully, hitting on caballito. The Seibel family from Colorado also landed 14 bonita of decent size, about a mile offshore, on hoochis and feather lures.

The Valerie had a good week and one of those days, for example, caught and released 1 striped marlin on caballito bait at the San Jaime Bank, and also found some tuna, landing 8 football-sized tuna on cedar plugs, feathers and green/white and blue/white lures. Anglers were Cheryl, Paul and Will Cadieux and Magella and Zach Wells from Canada. There were several good days like that for the Pisces fleet, Ehrenberg said. The biggest fleet tuna recorded was a 65 pounder on the Valerie by Amy Bandanza, Andrew Morris, JM Jones and Tony Bandanza , all from Chicago, who caught four other smaller yellowfin that day.

“The fish are not terribly far out,”said Ehrenberg. “The 32-foot Bill Collector headed about 15 miles south of the Old Lighthouse at the beginning of the week and landed 12 yellowfin of about 15 pounds each on feathers, cedar plugs and white/blue lures. They also caught a 10-pound dorado. To close out the week they hit a home run with the dorado, finding a nice school about 23 miles out of the 150 Spot for a total of 9 dorado. Three were released as they were only about 3 to 5 pounds, with the three kept at 10 pounds each. All fish hit on hoochis, feathers and caballito bait.

In other Baja action,

EAST CAPE – As reported above, weather is calm and it’s allowing boats to venture far and wide for a look-see, as far as Cerralvo Island. Wahoo seem to be in the mix, as well as yellowfin tuna to 65 pounds, but until yesterday, they had not been found locally under porpoise and not in big numbers. That changed of course, Tuesday outside and to the north of Punta Pesadero.

Luis Enrique Fraijo at Hotel Buenavista reported that La Ribera Semana Santa Fishing Tournament was held over the weekend and the hotel’s own Felipe Valdez took first place with a 58.4-pound yellowfin tuna. Together with his amigos Orlando Gastelum, Omar Sandez and Oscar Lizarraga, they set out aboard Felipe’s Nath & Mich, a 25-foot Everglades center console, heading north toward the south point of Cerralvo Island. There, after chumming, they found the results they were looking for taking the fish on 30-pound line.

Only minutes later, using squid, they hooked a wahoo, also tournament eligible, but this time, no cigar. Later in the day, trolling by the bay, headed for the scale, they hooked what appeared to be a winning dorado. It was not to be, short by a mere 1.5 pounds.

“Congratulations to Felipe and his crew!” Fraijo said. “He said he said it was a great feeling to ‘get the monkey off his back.’ Last year, in at least three big game fishing tournaments, it came down to the last minute, only to come in second place. This win marks a good start to the 2019 tournament season and assures them a place in the State Final held in Loreto BCS later this season. We wish them the best!”

The hotel’s Fraijo also gave a hearty “welcome back” to friends from Lance Campers, based in California.

“This great group spent a day out with our well-known and well-loved crew members aboard Alegria, Clereste, Dottie BII, Vagabundo and the Vanet,” said Fraijo. “The weather was good and water temps warmed up a bit from last week. They all went in different directions, and came home with a big variety of fresh fish, including wahoo, dorado, snappers, triggerfish, white bonita, skip jacks and jack crevalle. They also caught and released roosterfish, and had a chance to see big schools of dolphins, thresher and hammerhead shark, and a few marlin on the surface.”

HOTEL BUENAVISTA reported that La Ribera Semana Santa Fishing Tournament was held over the weekend and Capt. Felipe Valdez ‘ team took first place with a 58.4-pound yellowfin. Valdez and teammates Orlando Gastelum, Omar Sandez and Oscar Lizarraga fished aboard Valdez’s Nath & Mich, a 25-foot Everglades center console. The winning tuna was caught at Cerralvo Island. In other photos, the Hotel Buenavista hosted the crew from Lance Camper aboard the hotel’s Alegria, Clereste, Dottie BII, Vagabundo and Vanet and came home with wahoo, dorado, snappers, triggerfish, white bonita, skip jack and jack crevalle and caught and released a roosterfish.

LORETO – The area is starting to get consistent. Rene Olinger from Baja Peninsula Adventures in Loreto Marina said her two pangas on Saturday had two boats up in the San Basilio area and they each caught several yellows and 3 or 4 cabrilla.

Rick Hill from said the weather has been very good and this only means better fishing conditions for the panga fleet to range far and wide. The fish are here.

He reported on Saturday, “We have been hitting 85 degrees everyday this week with Wednesday touching 89! The weather report isn't a big deal except that the allure of the summer fishing is peaking out, so I’m saying grab some sardina and find the sagasso patches.

“All the boats are catching yellowtail at almost every spot but no huge bite has materialized. Yellows to 30 pounds have been hitting mackerel. It might be safe to say that the first boats on the spot and the first baits in the water get the job done.”

Hill said cabrilla and pargo are being picked up along the coastline and rocky points with most fish averaging 6 pounds with many shorts being released. Both live sardina and shiny hard baits are the ticket especially on lighter line.

Upcoming Loreto events:

- Los Rancheros Yellowtail Tournament is slated May 2-5 at the La Mision Hotel.

- Annual Dorado Tournament, the Fishin’ For The Mission on July 11-14, also to be held at the La Mision Hotel.

- Dorado, marlin, sailfish, tuna and yellowtail will be targeted May 17-19 in the first-ever Robert Ross Fishing Tournament at Marina Puerto Escondido. Anglers will be competing for a minimum payout of $8,000, though the tournament will also offer daily and species-specific money awards. Team of four will compete for cash prizes and free entry into the Grand Final Calisureños Tournament, held in Loreto in August. The grand prize is an $8,000 minimum payout and Suzuki outboard motor; first place payouts for dorado, tuna and yellowtail are $4,000 each (minimum.

There are also brown bag pots (ranging from $500 to $5,000) and cash prizes for smallest fish ($500) and largest fish ($1,000) caught. Visit for more information.

SAN JOSE DEL CABO – Eric Brictson of Gordo Banks Pangas and Marina Puerto Los Cabos said spring weather is perfect, a little chilly early in the morning, down to 60 degrees, though skies are mostly clear and sunny with daytime highs reaching 85 degrees, ideal climate.

“If it could stay like this year round,” he said. “Winds were very moderate, ocean conditions comfortable, though water was still cooler, averaging 68 to 71 degrees through much of the inshore zone, we now see warmer water on the outside, up to 74 to 75 degrees, should move closer to shore soon, pushing in cleaner blue water and bring in more of the pelagic gamefish.”

There continue to be schooling sardinas found around the jetty area of Puerto Los Cabos Marina, nice sized sardinas as well, this has been the main baitfish being used now, also some smaller sized mullet in the mix.

GORDO BANKS PANGAS action was slow on the bigger fish, as you can see, but the little fish are tasty.

He said the most consistent action being found now was for sierra and bonito, sierra mainly on the live sardinas, being found along many of the inshore stretches. Bonito were hitting the same baits and also readily on the yo-yo jigs, hanging over the various rock piles.

“Areas north of Punta Gorda, Cardon, La Fortuna and Iman Bank, were being targeted as well, catches included yellow snapper, amberjack, cabrilla, bonito and triggerfish,” said Brictson. “Later in the week a couple of yellowtail were reported from off the Outer Gordo Bank, so maybe something will happen on this. It has been another slow season for yellowtail, but still a chance they will become active in the coming weeks. There has been a noticeable increase in sea lion activity on these same fishing grounds, this can always put a damper on things in a hurry.”

He added, “This year we have seen more fluctuating water conditions, has started to warm up, then just like that would turn over and cool back off, becoming greenish, has been on and off like this for weeks. With some more consistent warmer weather, less wind, we should see some stabilization and improved action before long. This can be the time where things can change quickly, increasing activity for the striped marlin, tuna, wahoo and dorado. We will hope this happens sooner than later.”

The combined sportfishing fleet out of the panga area from Puerto Los Cabos Marina reported an estimated 58 charters for the week and anglers reported an approximate fish count of: 5 yellowfin tuna, 2 yellowtail, 15 leopard grouper, 125 bonito, 24 red snapper, 14 mohara, 14 yellow snapper, 22 amberjack, 165 sierra, 4 glasseye pargo, 7 roosterfish and 75 triggerfish.

ENSENADA – Wes Price at the Marina Coral said Monday morning the yellowtail bite in Ensenada bait is still excellent under the bird schools, with Rapalas stopping the boat on hookups, and then iron getting some fish and also sardines being picked up. The prime area of the fish has moved out from in front of the hotel marina to the Punta Banda area. If you are interested in fishing Ensenada, you might check out the Gamefisher, a great one-boat operation in Ensenada. Limited load. They include tackle bait and breakfast. $80 per person. Leaving out of Ensenada cruise port village. Free secure parking. Call if interested (760) 578-3022. Mex 6461799296. Orchid Martinez of schedules charters to this boat with travel by van to Ensenada.

LOGAN GRAHAM posted this picture on FB as he said the fish were off Punta Banda and hungry on Friday, as they were running and gunning on his chartered panga with Captain Juan.

MIDRIFF – Five trips have been scheduled up to this point through the Longfin Tackle in Orange, and the cabrilla fishing at the islands on the mothership Tony Reyes has been excellent. Scott Manson was on the most recent trip and FB posted a pic of himself holding a cabrilla. He wrote that he personally landed 112 of the cabrilla and his hands, he said, were trashed to prove it.

He added that the A-Rig, a multi-bait lure also called an umbrella rig, was first laughed at by pangeros, but was amazingly effective.

SCOTT MANSON posted a pic of himself holding a cabrilla after a trip on the mothership Tony Reyes through Longfin Tackle to the Midriff area of northern Sea of Cortez. He was fishing on the boat’s first run out of San Felipe with two friends. He landed 112 of these cabrilla and his hands he said were trashed. He also used the A-rig with a lot of success when the fishing was slow a few of the days, but the cabrilla really went after it.

“We had a couple days of slow fishing around the Midriff Islands so I decided to throw the A-rig just to mess around,” wrote Manson in his second post. “My panga guide laughed when I put it on, but the slow fishing immediately stopped for me. (I caught my guide telling the other guides later in the trip about what a great lure it was.) This thing got bites when nothing else would and my panga guide had a big smile on his face when I gave it to him at the end of the trip.”

The Midriff region makes for a great trip as the season is just getting started. Go to for the schedule as there are open charters with spots available.


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