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Baja Fishing Report

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Tuesday, June 11, 2019
Good conditions critical for success


Billfish go off for Cabo anglers as winds subside
It’s starting to click on throughout Baja as summer is almost here; L.A. Bay Special Report: Yellowtail everywhere!

CABO SAN LUCAS — Cabo San Lucas may have turned the corner at least for fishing as the marlin bite busted loose with the Pisces Fleet recording 122 striper releases in one week.


“This week’s fishing was very successful, especially if you were looking to catch marlin,” said Rebecca Ehrenberg of the Pisces Sportfishing Fleet. “The week did start off slightly slower for the billfish, but picked up nicely by midweek, with several boats returning with up to 5 marlin release flags each. And although the weather was a little gloomy and the wind did pick up on some days, it was mostly on the Pacific side (marlin fishing, she said, has been farther south or on the Sea of Cortez). Even with this, the inshore fishing on the Pacific was also fruitful, with roosterfish, sierra mackerel, snapper and yellowtail being the top producing fish. We also saw a few boats determined for tuna, find them in decent numbers.”


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PISCES SPORTFISHING WAS all over the board off Cabo San Lucas in seeking out great action billfish, yellowtail, tuna and more as the weather started to settle. The north winds have been difficult to deal with but water is starting to warm as summer approaches. PISCES PHOTOS


To get the full boat counts, go to piscesportfishing.com for more photos and information and details about the sportfishers.


It has been a slow season so far for tourism in Cabo, and with summer coming and the start of the hurricane season, the general feeling is the big crowds will not be coming until the fall fishing tournaments. Bad for business, but great for fishing opportunity!


This is the prime time for fishing as the bite on striped marlin, blue marlin, dorado and the bigger tuna will soon move onto the banks. We are already seeing it. In other words, it‘s a great time to head south. Dorado, said Ehrenberg, are starting to come around. Not in big numbers, but the biggest dorado of the week were caught on the Pisces panga Cabolero. They caught two nice 20 pounders between the 95 and 1150 Spots that hit on ballyhoo bait. They also caught and released 1 striped marlin off Chileno Bay and 3 skipjacks. Roosterfish are on the beaches for the folks who want a nearshore battle.


ENSENADA — Edgar Sanchez of the Hotel Marina Coral marine store said the bay has seen lots of barracuda with a mix of yellowtail between the harbor and Todos Santos Island.


“Trolling Rapalas until you get hooked up then casting surface iron has been working,” said Sanchez. “Large bonita and yellowtail are also breezing one to two miles past the island in deep water under the birds. It is necessary to run-and-gun to be successful. The water temps are averaging between 59 and 64 degrees.”


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GORDO BANKS PANGAS are starting to feel the heat of summer and the yellowfin tuna. The hotter it gets, the bigger they will become. Included in the photo with the two yellowfin was a toad amberjack for the angler. GORDO BANKS PHOTOS

SAN JOSE DEL CABO — Charters with Gordo Banks Pangas out of Marina Puerto Los Cabos are working the fishing grounds from Red Hill, Palmilla, Gordo Banks, Iman, San Luis and to Vinorama. The most consistent catches have come from bottom structure, red snapper and Mexican bonito most numerous, using iron yo-yo style jigs, also drifting baits down deep has been producing some quality catches. A handful of grouper species and amberjack were accounted for, some over 30 pounds said Eric Brictson of the fleet.


“Early in the week there was limited action for yellowfin tuna found on the San Luis Bank, tuna to over 80 pounds were landed while drifting with strips of squid, but this action faded during the week, though the yellowfin were still seen at times showing on the surface, but just not all that interested in biting,” said Brictson. “But with the conditions becoming more favorable, anything could happen on any given day. Other tuna were found further offshore traveling with porpoise, but this was a hit-or-miss deal from day to day and these fish were much smaller, mostly under 20 pounds.” He said dorado and marlin are starting to move onto the grounds, a great sign for the area. As for roosters, they are biting in small numbers but as he said, “We also look for this bite to really break wide open in coming weeks, as this is always the local peak season for roosterfish in the latter part of June.”


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MARK PISANO FROM San Diego hooked this unusual fish off La Paz with Tailhunter. It is a milkfish, somewhat related to tarpon and ladyfish. It was caught just outside of Las Arenas. Schools are often seen in the area, but rarely hooked because they don’t take bait. However, this one was caught on a live sardine. TAILHUNTER SPORTFISHING PHOTO


LA PAZ — Cold winds stalled the action for dorado that are showing in good numbers now, but not biting so hot.


“Dorado were seen all over, especially for our La Paz fleet but they just weren’t interested in eating,” said Jonathan Roldan of Tailhunter Adventures. “They should be going gangbusters, tearing after any bait in the water, but instead they acted like someone peed in the pool. Same with the big tuna we have been dealing with. We did get a few in the 50- to 90-pound class and broke off even more. But it’s hardly been the action we’ve seen the previous few weeks. Again, fish were breaking and eating, but just wouldn’t eat any hooked baits. And definitely would not eat any lines over 30-pound test which put anglers at a critical disadvantage if they got bit.”


However, if you were just looking for fun action, he said, there were tons of big bonito to contend with that ripped lined and bent rods. Especially great for first-timers and families! All you wanted.


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L.A. BAY WAS on fire for the group last week that was hosted by Orchid Martinez of Baja Fishing Convoys. No worries about travel or where to stay or boats, just eat, drink and fish the Sea of Cortez. BAJA FISHING CONVOYS PHOTOS


L.A. BAY — Baja Fishing Convoys escorted another trip to Bay of L.A. Orchid Martinez and staff met the 8 anglers in San Diego and loaded transportation vehicles, crossed the border, got visas, and the adventure down Mex. 1 began.


They stopped for lunch at Parcela 12, a favorite spot south of San Quintin and after a curios shop stop in San Nicolas for fun trinkets, they made L.A. Bay before 6 p.m. and set up at the beachfront Los Vientos Hotel. They checked in and met at the bar for some drinks and more conversation while the cook prepared delicious enchiladas.


“The next three days our group fished till they dropped and caught a diverse amount of species of fish,” said Martinez. “Yellowtail, grouper, black seabass, perch, bonito, barracuda and cabrilla were the usual suspects on this trip. We fished the islands just south of Angel de La Guardia and the coasts just south and north of BOLA. Yellowtail were everywhere and were anywhere from 50 to 100 feet deep and were caught with live bait on a dropper loop as well as yo-yo jigs.


“At some spots there were so many yellowtail that our lines could not get past them to catch anything else! Grouper and black seabass were down deep. Many of us got rocked by what we all think were giant grouper. Even some casualties like broken rod tips occurred. These fish meant business! Luckily our whole group took plenty of rods and gear to replace all damaged rods, lines and lures. We all know that the best way to lose gear is on a great big fish!”


The group decided to do daily jackpots. Day 1 winner was a 35-pound yellowtail caught by Lisa. Day 2 was a 26-pound grouper by Desi. Day 3 was a 21-pound grouper by Johnny. Half of the jackpot winnings were given to the boat captain on that panga which gave them more incentive to join in on the fun.


“On the first day of fishing, after we were done for the day, we went to a beautiful bay for swimming, beach-combing and some delicious sashimi prepared by our boat captains,” said Martinez. “We taught our guests how to find clams just inches under the sand. They were excited to have had that experience.”


For the full report on the trip, go to bajafishingconvoys.com and see all the great photos and descriptions of the food, the travels and great times made possible by Baja Fishing Convoys. Martinez said they have two more trips for BOLA this year. While the Aug.1-5 trip is full they have space on the Sept. 24-28 trip. Give Orchid a call at (619) 483-7315 or email her at orquideaviaja@gmail.com.


EAST CAPE — John Ireland of Hotel Rancho Leonero said last week the area saw great weather, perfect in fact. Low 80s, warm, flat, clear blue water.


“Overall a good week of fishing,” said Ireland. “Later in the week there were big, solitary tuna are being taken daily on live bait close inshore off Rincon. Lots of striped marlin are around, and while picky biters midweek, the bite has improved the last couple of days with the fish very close inside and spread from Pescadero past Frailles. The fish are small, 30 to 80 pounds. The lightest marlin I’ve seen in years. The inshore fishing has been consistent with medium-sized roosterfish and big pompano being taken.”


Yellowfin remain the No. 1 target. The bite was wide open early in the week but it slowed midweek as the porpoise that were holding the tuna moved farther outside.


Inshore there have been lots of big pompano to 10 pounds taken off the lighthouse on live mullet, caballito, and sardines.


Mark Rayor of Jen Wren Sportfishing chimed in via his weekly blog sent to WON.


“There is not much more a person could ask for,” said Rayor referring to the weather. “This last week gamefish have really become a moving target. One day yellowfin are 50 miles offshore the next day 15 to 20. Striped marlin concentrate in an area one day and spread out everywhere the next. Roosterfish bite some days but are impossible to find sometimes. Gamefish are here but is kind of like the ups and downs of the stock market right now. There have been days we didn't go more than 15 miles to find action but others we have had to go the distance. It is notable that sailfish have been on scorecards and also blue marlin are starting to show. Yesterday a blue was caught and released by one of the fleet boats and we had a dandy take a quick drive-by through the pattern of lures we were trolling. On the other hand dorado and wahoo are not making much of a showing. All in all fishing is pretty good and we have been able to find action everyday. We like finding our own fish but it is a big ocean and the target has been moving so fast some days we have to listen closely to the VHF radio and rely on info from our friends.”


LORETO — Rick Hill at Pinchysportfishing.com said the jacks are in town!


“Yellowtail are the draw in good numbers on the reefs, but also showing — although in smaller numbers — are amberjack and roosterfish. Nobody has mentioned the toro which is also a jack. Dorado are being talked about and they are way out to the east but we haven't seen one close to town.”


In other Loreto news, for those of you interested in a fun, low-pressure tournament that raises money to help others, the 29th annual Fishin for the Mission Charity Dorado Tournament is going to be held at La Mision Hotel in Loreto this year July 11-13. Signups are at La Mision Hotel on the Malecon the evening of Thursday, July 11 on the second floor patio near the bar. Fishing is for two days, Friday and Saturday with the combined weight of the 2 biggest fish per team determining the winners in both the Dorado Class and Other Species Class. Prizes are photos donated by Bill Boyce for the top 3 teams in each class. Price is $250 per team to enter and that gets you a tournament bag with various give-a-ways as well as 4 performance tournament shirts, 4 dinner banquet tickets at La Mision Saturday night, July 13, and 4 raffle tickets. There is also free beer and water provided to the participants at the signups, both days of the weigh in, and at the banquet. It is a great tournament with a long history of helping the town of Loreto. A discounted room rate at La Mision Hotel is also given to members of the tournament that week.


For more information about the tournament, there is a Facebook Group- Fishin for the Mission with up to date information or you can email tournament director Chris Wheaton at luhrs32reeltime@aol.com


MIDRIFF The Tony Reyes mothership came back from another six-day run to the Midriff area. Mitch Forward, the chartermaster, with Tony Reyes Jr. at the helm of the ship, led the group to a great week, said Tom Ward of the Longfin Tackle in Orange who books these great low-cost, high-fish trips out of San Felipe. They caught 296 yellows to 28 pounds, 358 cabrilla to 20 pounds, 95 spotted bass to 15 pounds, 32 pargo to 15 pounds, 1 white seabass, 25 grouper to 45 pounds, 3 sheepshead to 12 pounds and assorted other fish all released. Go to longfin.com for details on trip openings this summer.


Get in on the fun of being in WON. When you get home, send in reports to WON at baja@wonews.com


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