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Baja Fishing Report

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Tuesday, July 02, 2019
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Pisces La Brisa scores a swordfish off Cabo
Overall it was summer action with inshore roosters, billfish off Cabo, while East Cape tuna resumed their wild action and roosters were schooling off Muretos Bay in a wild bite

The Pisces 31-foot charterboat La Brisa had already released a stripedmarlin on Saturday close to Punta Ballena area and the anglers, Adam Strout, David French, Jacob Morris and Pat French from Maryland were having a good day in local waters near Cabo. But it got better.


The crew spotted something on the surface, a swordfish. Swimming only about a mile offshore the fish was a rare target, and the crew threw some live caballito bait and got it to bite.


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ADAM STROUD AND crew pose with the swordfish Stroud fought for 2½ hours on 40-pound line and 100-pound leader on Saturday aboard the Pisces La Brisa.

“It was a tough fight as they cast the bait on a Shimano 20 with just 40-pound test line, and just 100-pound leader,” said Pisces Sportfishing’s Rebecca Ehrenberg. “Adam Stroud fought the swordfish for two and a half hours before getting it to the boat. It was a day to remember for the angler and the crew aboard.” The weight was not disclosed but looked to be over 200 pounds.


The captain was Fernando Noyol, who is usually a deckhand on the La Brisa. Nice job, Fernando! Ehrenberg said changing weather again this week made for some challenging fishing as water temperatures varied and fish didn't stay long in the same areas.


“We had two days of strange thick fog that rolled deep into town and a bit of wind on some days,” she said. “This would happen and then the next day, turn up the heat, then back up to fog and cooler water. Still we had good marlin numbers, 85 released total for 40 boats. Dorado and tuna were scarce, only a couple caught, but the inshore fishing held up. Big roosterfish were around again this week, and lots of them, plus someyellowtail, sierra, tasty white bonito, snapper and some triggerfish.”


Long time Cabo and Pisces fishing family, the Dows from Greenbrae, returned this year for their annual trip with Pisces and fished aboard the 35-foot Valerie, making her the most successful Pisces boat this week with 12 marlin released total (9 marlin released by the Dows). On their best marlin day they released 4 stripers on live caballito bait out of Destiladeras, with fish ranging from 100 to 130 pounds each. All of their marlin caught this week were found between Destialderas and the Punta Gorda area. They headed inshore around the Cabo Real area and did well with grouper and triggerfish as well.


For roosterfish the Knot Workin’ had a great day with 6 roosterfish released (of about 15, 40 and 50 pounds each), 8 bonito and 3 yellowtail. All fish hit on the Pacific side, between Las Margaritas and the Old Lighthouse. The roosters hit on live caballito while the other species hit the yo-yo iron for Alex Christiansen, Amanda, Nicolas and Rene Corona.


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JUSTIN LARSON FROM San Diego and a member of the San Diego Anglers Club was out fishing near Las Arenas with Capt. Pancho from the Tailhunter Fleet and hooked and released 4 big roosterfish.

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ON HER BIRTHDAY, Michele and Dave Conklin were out from Muertos Bay with Capt. Jorge of the Tailhunter Fleet and battled these two big roosters before releasing them, their largest roosters to date.The two come every year and are from San Diego.


LA PAZ — Jonathan Roldan of Tailhunter International said the week was dealing with Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde on many levels.


“The first part of the week, cold winds, choppy seas, off-color water and strong currents really had us all working hard to get fish,” said Roldan. “After a pretty decent previous week, it was like ‘What’s next?’ On top of it there was a full moon.”


Roldan said the Las Arenas fleet’s fishing virtually shut off the first three to four days last week with some snapper and pargo and cabrilla. Lots of bonito. Jack crevalle kept rods bent, but not much else.


“Thankfully, we had the roosterfish!” he said. “What a week for roosterfish, maybe the best I have seen in 25 years. We had fish running 10 to 70 pounds. Some pangas caught 2, 3, 4 fish each day and lost several others! Fish were literally schooling up like we have never seen them.


“Many anglers took their first or largest roosters ever! I can’t tell you how often folks came back from fishing with big smiles but asking me for a band-aid for the blisters on a thumb or inside index fingers from fighting a single fish from 15 to 45 minutes. Then doing it all over again! It was crazy!”


Also remarkable, Roldan said, were the mullet snapper (pargo liso) on the backside of Cerralvo Island.


“Normally, these big scrappy pargo school up in huge undulating crashing pods in March and April! But all of a sudden, here they were! Fish up to 20 to 30 pounds were busting guys off as they watched these schools crashing the surface. So many fish were lost, frustrating quite a few anglers as these powerful fish took them into the rocks!”


About Wednesday, it seemed like things changed. By Thursday, it was like someone threw a light switch. The winds died down. The temperatures kicked into the low 100s. Humidity rose. The sun blazed and the waters turned bluer. And the fish suddenly got into the game!


Tuna started crashing with yellowfin as small as footballs, but as large as 40 pounds.


“Most fish were caught on the banks near Cerralvo Island,” said Roldan. “We have not seen many tuna in about four to six weeks. Marlin also got active with a number of fish caught and released. All the fish ranged from about 100 to130 pounds.”


As for the boats running from La Paz into the bay, fishing was much better than Las Arenas if you just wanted to fill the ice chest and wanted some good rod-bending action, said Roldan.


The areas around Espirito Santo Island and Punta Coyote and Punta Mejia were productive for a number of species with no shortage of both tasty white bonito and hard pulling skipjack (barriletes). Inshore saw lots of snapper, pargo, cabrilla, triggerfish and amberjack. You could have fun all day with that. Plus add in the dorado that are roaming around and getting better every week with fish running 10 to 25 pounds to put in the ice chest and you can have a full day of fishing.


“However, just like the unusual pargo liso near Cerralvo Island that popped up in big schools (a cold water fish), we had yellowtail show up,“ said Roldan. “In my 25 years down here, I’ve never seen yellowtail in June. Normally, by April, we’re all done with any yellowtail in these waters. Just like the pargo liso, they are cold water fish. So, here we are almost at the end of June and at the technical beginning of summer and our boats are coming back with 2, 3 or 4 yellowtail and losing more in the rocks. Fish going 10 to 20 pounds, totally legit.”


He continued, “Weird thing is that often they’re in the same spots as the dorado which are warm water fish! That leads me to believe that there’s warm water on the surface then a chilly thermocline down deeper that brought the yellowtail up from colder deeper waters to feed on the abundant bait. At least, that’s what I’m speculating. But no complaints! These are fun good-eating fish!”


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JEN WREN SPORTFISHING’S Vaquero was into the yellowfin as the East Cape waters went from wind-blown green to Tidy Bowl blue and 80 to 85 degrees. Schools of spotted and spinner dolphin have appeared everywhere from Pulmo to north of Pescadero, 15 to 35 miles off shore. The porpoise are loaded with yellowfin tuna eager to bend rods.

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HOTEL BUENAVISTA BOATS scored tuna, marlin and sailfish last week as conditions vastly improved from the week before.

EAST CAPE — Mark Rayor of Jen Wren Sportfishing said the week started out sour when a cold green upwelling of water developed along the East Cape shore. The condition made the bite tough but it didn't last long.


“Now the Sea of Cortez is Tidy Bowl blue and 80 to 85 degrees,” said Rayor on Sunday. “Schools of spotted and spinner dolphin have appeared everywhere from Pulmo to north of Pescadero 15 to 35 miles off shore. The porpoise are loaded with yellowfin tuna that are eager to bend rods. Fish 30 to 50 pounds plus are eating Halco Laser pro lures and chunk squid best while smaller fish are coming on hoochies. Striped marlin are in the same area as the tuna and have been very aggressive attacking everything we cast at them. The water right along the shore is still a little green but bubba sized roosters that have been absent are finally starting to show in numbers.”


He added that Jen Wren’s Vaquero won the Fish and Chips Tournament last week based out of Palmas. His boat has won that event two years in a row. Angler Mark Locken and buddies took home over $17,000 for their 33.2-pound yellowfin.


Buenavista Beach Report’s Luis Enrique Fraijo reported to WON, “From sunrise to sunset, we are enjoying beautiful hot summer days here on the East Cape.

Temperatures in the low 90s are steadily warming the water of the beautiful Sea of Cortez, which is currently in the high 70s.


“The bite is still hot on the marlin and tuna, with more and more dorado and wahoo starting to show. We’re seeing roosterfish and jack crevalle chasing live bait almost every day right at our pier. Mantas are doing back flips while traveling in huge schools, and we can see them and hear their splashing noises right from our restaurant terrace. We’re seeing boils and lots of surface action all over the map. Several varieties of sharks have been spotted, along with turtles, striped marlin, sailfish, dorado and huge dolphin schools. Preferred bait this week included hoochies, live and dead ballyhoo and squid. The best days for fishing are here to stay for a while.”


Brian Bisk and his sons, Brandon, Wade and Berkley, visiting from Salt Lake City, Utah, fished aboard the Dottie B II and Alegria.


“They said it was an unforgettable experience for them since Brandon caught, and later released, his first-ever striped marlin” he said. “They also got a beautiful sailfish that was successfully released and had lots of fun reeling in tuna.”


Scott McCune is a professional Texas bull rider, and a Baja 1000 race driver as well as a fishing guide in Texas and the Gulf of Mexico. He came to visit with his longtime friend, Tom Curry. The goal this time was for Tom to catch his first-ever marlin. Fishing aboard the Eclipse with crew Miguel and Manny, they hit their mark.


“Back at our pier, Tom celebrated by diving head first from the dock, swimming to shore, and then refreshing himself with a cold beer and a tequila shot! Congrats, Tom!” said Fraijo.


In another Buenavista report, the Hasse family enjoyed a great trip fishing and riding ATV’s as well as celebrating a family birthday. They fished with Vicente and Marcos aboard the Dottie B II, catching tuna, dorado and marlin.


David Bean, John Chase and William Morris aboard the Yanet with Felipe and Reggie, and David and Carol Metzger, Linda Giller and Kenn Dougherty had a great time on the Lilliana with crew members Marco Yepiz and Daniel Sandez, both groups chasing and landing tuna as well as catching and releasing marlin.


LORETO: In a new report, Nemenchas Sportfishing Tours of Loreto had a great day this week  as they posted several pictures from norhern Loreto areas. Yellowtail, dorado and billfish (sailfish in the photo) are in the house!, reported  Capt. Julio César Martínez who is fishing in the upcoming Fishin’ For The Mission tournament based at Hotel La Mision. Check out the Facebook page on the event. 


Some details on the event: 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 11th-13th, 2019.  Sign ups are at La Mision Hotel on the Malecon the evening of Thursday July 11th on the second floor patio near the bar.  Fishing is for 2 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 13th, and 4 raffle tickets.  There is also free beer and water provided to the participants at the sign ups, 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 

In other Loreto news...

Rick Hill of Pinchysportfishing.com reported, ”It’s been a broken record for the past few weeks with the weather heating up and the dorado hiding outside where most boats don't want to go. If you want dorado this week you'll be using lots of gas, and seeing lots of strong sun rays and close to triple digit temperatures. Luckily there is plenty of bait for the fishermen with a bumper crop of sardina to get us going in the right direction. The big dorado should be coming in close, soon.”


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THE GORDO BANKS pangas saw improved conditions and better dorado and tuna action as well as roosterfish as summer weather and water kicked in.

SAN JOSE DEL CABO — Eric Brictson of Gordo Bank Pangas said conditions improved drastically last week with daytime highs reaching 90 degrees and ocean water temperatures rebounding to near the 80-degree mark in the direction of San Jose del Cabo and further north.


“The fleets are mainly concentrating on the grounds from the Iman to San Luis banks, but not much found on the scouting trips to the Gordo Banks, besides shark and a few billfish,” said Brictson. “The more productive action has been switching back and forth daily, some days San Luis, others on the Iman. Drift fishing for yellowfin tuna with strips of squid, as well as slow-trolling live baits, has been resulting in yellowfin tuna catches. The fish ranged in sizes from 15 to 80 pounds. No big numbers, most boats were having at least a chance or two, some charters landing as many as three or four tuna, the best action seemed to be earlier in the morning.”


He said the same grounds were producing an occasional dorado, a few nicer sized bulls over 25 pounds were accounted for, but only a scattered fish or two.


“At least we are seeing these prized fighting and popular gamefish present in local waters, they had been absent for a long time during the cooler winter and spring seasons,” said Brictson. “The same areas where these surface species are being encountered, there have been options off the bottom while drift fishing with various baits and using the yo-yo style jigs. There were a few varieties of grouper, pompano, amberjack, red snapper, yellow snapper, bonito and others on these rocky high spots. All of these being excellent table fare.”


Roosterfish season is also now officially ‘on” he said.


“All along the beach stretches it is a great time for slow trolling baits for roosterfish. It is now the peak season for these gamefish, with good chances at hooking into fish over 40 pounds, even to 50 and 60 pounds. Striped marlin are scattered throughout the area now, right around the Iman bank and towards the Gordo Banks, no huge concentrations, but if you are interested in catching one of these fish, the odds are fairly high now that you’ll find opportunity. Most of the stripers are now averaging 70 to 120 pounds. It will not be long until we start seeing the larger blue and black marlin showing up in the warmer summer currents.”


The combined sportfishing fleet launching out of the panga area from Puerto Los Cabos Marina sent out an estimated 78 charters for the week and anglers reported an approximate fish count of: 14 striped, 9 dorado, 48 yellowfin tuna, 3 dogtooth snapper, 8 leopard grouper, 4 African pompano, 180 Mexican bonito, 34 red snapper, 12 yellow snapper, 13 amberjack, 44 roosterfish, 14 jack crevalle and 70 triggerfish.


ENSENADA — Edgar Sanchez at Marina Coral said the sport fishing vessel Tin Man with Lee Madding together with his buddy Mike Kraus and deckhand Jorge López (AKA Krusty) went out 40 miles northwest in to the Hidden Bank.


“I’m sure that their main goal that day was tuna,” said Sanchez. “But it wasn't the day and time to be lucky, but the trip was worth it and they managed to catch 7 yellowtail between 10 to 12 pounds, pretty decent size and healthy yellows. They were using primarily feathers, but the yellows were in the mood for wood, hitting the cedar plug in natural color."


In other action, Gamefisher sportfishing reported late in the week that bottom fishing was great.


“Came across a huge school of yellowtail that wanted nothing to do with us. Then we continued on our rockfish trip. The reds were plentiful and a few nice calicos.”


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MIKE TURNER OF Los Angeles with a possible 50-pound yellow caught out of La Bay with Capt. Juan Cook. The fishing has been spectacular there for several weeks.

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AN L.A. BAY sunrise that only Baja California Sur can deliver.

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RANDY CHAMPION FISHED with Capt. Juan Cook in L.A. Bay last week, and Champion scored the biggest leopard grouper Cook said he has ever seen. He said it was sure it was a record, but he was also pleased Champion released it.

L.A. BAY — Capt. Juan Cook reported he took Randy Champion and Mike Turner fishing last week and there were two significant catches of big fish.


“Randy caught the biggest cabrilla sardinera (leopard grouper) that I've ever seen,” said Cook. “I’m sure it was a world record. Wow, what a fish and thank you Randy for releasing this magnificent fish.”


Mike Turner had a monster yellowtail, an estimated 50 pounder, with the fish in the Bay wide open and slamming surface iron and the dropper loop rigs with bait.


MIDRIFF — Tom Ward of Longfin Tackle in Orange reported, “The Tony Reyes mothership returned Friday from a chartered trip led by Chartermasters Dennis and Ann Jacob from Central Arizona. They had good weather except for the last day of the trip. Fishing was done around Angel De La Guardia and Salsipuedes islands. San Francisquito Bay held live bait two evenings. Large cabrillas were landed trolling and big yellowtails came aboard on jigs and some trolling. The last day was up north but the wind made the great Groupe bite tough. Many large groupers were lost.”


The count: 394 yellowtail, 238, cabrilla, 2 pargo, 3 sheephead, 8 groupers, 2 broomtail groupers, 2 amberjack and 202 assorted fish released. For information about the trips see www.tonyreyes.com or www.thelongfin.com.


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