St. Croix


Baja Fishing Report

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Tuesday, August 13, 2019
Big tuna under the porpoise off Cabo
Tuesday, August 27, 2019
Big tuna continue to show

Three Billfish Grand Slams off Cabo
Caliente gets two grand slams in two days with sailfish, blue marlin,   and striped marlin hooked and released, and one other Pisces boat gets a slam too; 25- to 70-pound wahoo and dorado go off on East Cape; San Quintin Bay in full swing 

THE CABO MARLIN ACTION, as well as yellowfin has been red hot. The Caliente, a charterboat operating out of Pisces Sportfishing, scored two grand slams last week with consecutive one-day catches of a sailfish,  a blue, and striped marlin. 

CABO SAN LUCAS — Dave Brackmann, who with his brothers owns the charterboat Caliente booked out of Pisces Sportfishing, reported the billfishing was off the charts last week and the Caliente scored a three-billfish grand slam in one day. They went 1 for 2 on sailfish, 2 for 3 on stripers and 1 for 3 on blue marlin, and lost one black marlin or it would have been a super grand slam!  They got a slam the next day, too,  going 1 for 1 on blue marlin, 1 for 1 on sailfish and 3 for 3 on stripers.

“Fishing is off the hook right now,” said Blackmann. Come on down and fish with us!”

Rebecca Ehrenberg of Pisces Sportfishing said  another of their fleet boats also scored the billfish Grand Slam, a testament to the quality of the bite right now as the big game season has busted open at the Cape.

Ehrenberg said that same day  Caliente got the first grand slam,  another Pisces fleet boat, the 30-foot Karina had a grand slam of billfish  of its own. They went 3 for 2 on blues, 2 for 4 on striped marlin and 1 for 1 on sailfish. Captain Orlando said they spotted 5 more billfish on the surface that didn’t take a bite.  

Also on this day, Pisces 31-foot Ruthless released 3 blues and 2 stripers, Pisces 28-foot Andrea released 4 blues and Pisces 28-foot Adriana released 1 blue.

The overall fishing for Cabo has been spectacular for billfish, but also the bigger tuna are starting to move in on the banks, reports indicate, and are also running with the 30- to 100-pound yellowfin under the porpoise. The colder water has delayed the tuna and dorado bite for almost two months, but conditions are now prime for marlin, tuna and dorado.

In other Baja action: Wahoo! at the East Cape! 

BIG WAHOO CAME in with a vengeance off the East Cape for those targeting them, with the fish from 25 to 70 pounds. This one was caught aboard the El Rogalo of Scorpion Sportfishing.

EAST CAPE — Hotel Rancho Leonero’s John Ireland reported Sunday morning that the region had a very good week of fishing for billfish and quality wahoo by his fleet of super pangas and cruisers.

“We had the best dorado and wahoo fishing of the year this past week,” Ireland said. “A strong consistent billfish bite with lots of blues being released. The inshore fishing has been nothing short of spectacular with big amberjack, pargo, grouper and pompano all coming to the cleaning table, and 50-pound roosters were released all week. The only species not biting this week were the yellowfin.”

It is possible the larger schools of yellowfin have moved farther south 30 miles to the banks outside and north of San Jose Del Cabo. Read the Gordo Banks report below for more on that developing bite.

As for the wahoo, Ireland said they had the best so far this season with 25 to 70 pounders with nearly all boats targeting them scoring with multiple fish.

“It’s a long boat ride to the white cliffs off Vinarama but they are hitting the Rapalas, Marauders and live caballito,” said Ireland.

Dorado also went off, although in great numbers, they were not big, but offered great action on 7 to 15 pounders for the two keeper limit per angler.

“There were a few nice bulls mixed in,” said Ireland, with hoochies, Rapalas, and chunk squid getting limits with the best fishing so far this season.”

Inshore, the inside dropoffs are producing pargo to 40 pounds, amberjack 30 to 50 and nice grouper and pompano. Chunk skipjack and squid are the baits of choice and all anglers are scoring nice fish, said Ireland.

In other East Cape action, Scorpion Sportfishing reported the weather has been outstanding, with calm water, and the wahoo indeed drew a lot of attention.

“The main attraction was the arrival of wahoo,” said Scorpion’s Matthew Clifton. “Multiple strikes per day were common for boats fishing off the banks to the south. Rapala X-Rap Magnums were once again the big hit but we were also able to get some on ballyhoo.”

Striped and blue marlin were found just a couple miles off La Ribera and outside of Cabo Pulmo. Trolled ballyhoo and marlin lures were the way to go.

Clifton added that roosterfish continued to be found trolling live bait close to shore, the availability of live bait being the key. With the full moon, live bait was more difficult but that should improve soon, along with the yellowfin.

WATERS OFF MAG BAY are cranking out big wahoo and yellowfin tuna for pangas, reported Baja Fishing Convoys.

MAG BAY — The ’Hoos’ are in full force at Mag Bay! Not only wahoo but tuna and dorado are there, too!

“Our boat captains took out some very lucky anglers and caught some very nice-sized wahoo today,” said Orchid Martinez of, which hosts group trips to the region. The wahoo were in the 70-pound class. The tuna were in the 50-pound class. “Let’s hope we catch some wahoo this big when we go in October on our next trip!”

BILL EVANS WAS fishing out of La Paz where he lives at Bahia De los Muertos and scored this personal best pargo Liso (mullet snapper) while dropping down 20 to 30 dead sardines, and added one more sardine — with a hook in it. Check out the tail on that fish!

IT’S CRAZY TO have yellowtail biting in August since they are normally cold water fish, but yellowtail have been chewing sporadically mixed with warm water fish like tuna and dorado around La Paz. Mark Buchanan was with Diana Vista when he hooked this forktail off Bahia de la Muertos south of La Paz.

LA PAZ — Jonathan Roldan at Tailhunter International said that summer is officially here and dorado are now 70 percent of the catch, ranging from 5 to 20 pounds.

“Some are larger, and they’re willing to eat bait, lures, and trolled jigs and can pretty much be found all over the area,” said Roldan. “Some fish are solitary, especially the larger ones or running in small groups. Smaller ones can be found in larger schools that can lead to some pretty wild rod-bending once you get them chewing and frenzied”

Best areas have been around the shark buoys, Punta Perrico, south of Bahia Muertos in front of Los Alamos, Punta Arena, Punta Gorda (larger fish), Punta Mejia and the southwestern and southeastern sides of Espirito Santo Island.

He added, “The best excitement is probably the increasing presence of tuna. This is about the time when the tuna ramp up, so hopefully this is a taste of what’s coming because it can be pretty spectacular when they get going. For the time being, we’re still seeing some of those big toad 50 to 100 pounds and bigger, but we’re seeing an increasing number of easier, but still fun footballs in the 10- to 40-pound class. There’s also been an uptick in the number of wahoo strikes as well as billfish getting more active.

Roosterfish are still around as well, most small but the larger 40 to 60 pounders are still around for those trying to check one off their bucket lists, he said.

In another report from the region, WON reader Gary Evans sent in a picture of his brother Bill Evans who lives at Bahia De La Muertos and scored a big pargo liso, a personal best, via a popular chumming method, dropping down 30 or so dead sardinas, one of them with a hook in it. He and others also scored quality dorado limits.

CEDROS ISLAND — Tom Gatch of Cedros Outdoor Adventures said WON charter guests coming down to the island in a few weeks should be getting excited. The fishing has been epic near the island. Bring the surface iron, for yellows and the calicos, as it’s off the charts on quality fish.

Visiting Cedros with a vengeance last week were USMC Vietnam vet Richard ‘Deek’ Takacs, 81, and Korean war vet, Ed Dennis, 83, for four days of world class yellowtail fishing, said Gatch.

“During their stay, they racked up over 15 quality grade yellowtail up to 35 pounds,” said Gatch. “They also ran into a full-blown attack of big bonito that kept them busy in between. Most of the yellowtail were taken on eggshell-colored yo-yo iron. Deek remarked that at times the surface was covered with red tuna crabs, and also confirmed reports from other visiting anglers that the massive schools of baitfish crashing the surface sounded like rain.”

In other action around the Island, Gatch said Rich Rose and his buddy Chris Gwizdak reported banner calico bass fishing with the duo catching and releasing more than 100 checkerboards a day between 3 and 7 pounds. They topped off their trip with limits of big yellowtail over 28 pounds, taken on live mackerel.

SAN JOSE DEL CABO — Eric Brictson of Gordo Banks Pangas said the news of yellowfin action, as well as wide-open dorado and some blue marlin action, boosted the number of anglers on the water this past week.

Brictson said bait suppliers were still able to find the schooling sardinas just north of the marina jetty, and there were some caballito, slabs of squid and ballyhoo. Most charters were now working the fishing grounds from the Gordo Banks and north to Vinorama.

“The best chance at the yellowfin tuna was at La Fortuna and the 25 Spot,” said Brictson. “Anglers were having chances at one, two or three tuna up to 65 pounds. Sometimes it has been hard to keep away from schooling dorado which were on these same grounds, as most were small and being released, though a few nicer fish were mixed in.”

He continued, “Outside of Cabo San Lucas we heard of a few cow-sized yellowfin tuna, and there were reports of some larger tuna seen on the Outer Gordo Banks. This time of year things can change rapidly.”

Bricston said, “Blue marlin were hitting throughout the region, striking on trolled lures, a few striped marlin as well, we also heard of at least one 300-pound black marlin that was landed from a small panga. Most of the blue marlin we have seen were in the 120- to 250-pound range.”


L.A. BAY HAS been on fire for big yellows with quick limits a few hours on the bigger, tougher yellowtail. These photos were from the recent Baja Fishing Convoys trip to BOLA.

L.A. BAY — Baja Fishing Convoys’ Orchid Martinez said L.A. Bay last week produced solid action on a variety of fish on their last group trip.

“Our recent past trip this year to Bahia De Los Angeles was an awesome success!” she said. “With everyone meeting their yellowtail limits within two hours of arriving on the fishing grounds, there wasn't a pain-free muscle in sight! I know many caught a yellowtail or two, but the yellowtail in BOLA are some very strong beasts! The weight of these fish were 25 to 30 pounds, however they fight like 60-pound yellowtail on steroids.”

She added, “We stayed at our beautiful hotel on the beach a few miles north of town. Our fabulous personal cook made us delicious meals. The palapa bar by the beach quenched our thirsts with cold beers, mixed drinks and yes, Piña Coladas baby! After calculating all the fish that everyone caught we a figured we came back home with about 1,200 pounds of yellowtail fillets.” More Convoy trips are on the books. Call Orchid at Baja, (619) 483-7315.



BILL JUBB AND PAT McDONELL hoist a lingcod and a big red after one of the drifts over Capt. Juan Cook’s favorite spot for drifting trap-hooked live mackerel. Every drop was a strike. That was followed up with great San Martin Island calico fishing on the surface iron by McDonell. They fished with Cook out of San Quintin Bay last Wednesday.



JAMES COREY FISHED with three others in San Quintin Aug. 13 and 14 with Tiburon Pangas. Here, Karen poses with her nice lingcod. Corey has two lingcod, and Anthony, Angie and Karen each have a nice lingcod.

SAN QUINTIN BAY — WON Baja Reports editor Pat McDonell headed down Mex 1 last week with friend Bill Jubb, also of Carlsbad, and fished off San Quintin Bay on Wednesday with Capt. Juan Cook on his 23-foot Parker. Because the yellows had been plentiful but not particularly big, Capt. Cook suggested a lingcod spot he found (wide open every drop on mackerel) and calico fishing at San Martin Island. After finishing up with limits of lings to 15 pounds, the calicos at the island attacked the mint green surface iron with solid action on 3- to 6-pound checkerboards. More on that trip later in a feature on the area, but suffice to say, it was a great overall experience.

In other San Quintin action, WON reader James Corey emailed Sunday that he and three others went down to fish two days outside San Quintin Bay on Aug.13 and 14.

“We chartered a boat with Tiburon's Pangas,” said Corey. “This is our fourth time with Tiburon's Pangas and every time we had fantastic fishing.”

Continued Corey, “On our first day we caught one yellowtail and numerous red rockcod and lingcod. On the next day the water temperature dropped from 66 to 62 degrees and the surface fish weren't biting. We all caught some nice lingcod and more red rockcod. Tiburon pangas has a new panga that is roomy and nice and clean. The four of us easily fished on it.”

MIDRIFF The mothership, Tony Reyes, returned from a 6-day trip into the Sea of Cortez, and the group had wide-open yellowtail fishing.

“They started fishing at Las Animas Bay without live bait but it made little difference as the fish ate the jigs and trolled lures with a vengeance, catching medium-size yellows and some cabrilla,” said Tom Ward at Longfin Tackle in Orange. “Next, they moved to San Francisquito to fill the bait tanks that night, even with a full moon, and then the morning bite was crazy. Once the pangas were positioned over the reefs the yellowtail started biting and kept on to the point the pangas had to return to the big boat to unload the fish so they could continue fishing. That evening they moved to another place to fill the bait tanks again.”

Ward continued, “The fishing just got better and better with a nonstop yellowtail bite. Again they moved back to Las Animas Bay, making more live bait and then onto Refugio Bay where a variety of pargo, cabrilla and more yellows were boated. Last evening along the coast some anglers went swimming from the beach while others caught some pargo and cabrilla. The trip back to San Felipe was pleasant with some light breezes and moderate swells for a great group of anglers.”

The count was: limits of yellows, 67 cabrilla, 29 bass, 43 pargo, 8 sheephead, 7 barred pargo, 1 grouper, 1 black seabass, 1 halibut and 1 broomtail grouper and 224 assorted fish, all released.

For details on open spots in the next trips and the upcoming schedule, go to or the

LA BOCANA — It's summertime and La Bocana is fired up with its many various options to fish: estuary, inshore and offshore fishing.

“The Sander family fished with us (Baja Fishing Convoys) last week and went out with Capt. Issac and caught grouper, spotted cabrilla, calico bass, corvina and bonito all in a few hours,” said Orchid Martinez of Baja Fishing Convoys. “They also caught a huge grouper. However, they released it since La Bocana is enforcing a local rule where only one grouper can be killed per panga per day. Since our customers already had a grouper on board they had to release the biggun.”

La Bocana offers cozy cabin accommodations on the beach. Each cabin has its own bathroom, ceiling fan, and satellite TV. They have a full-service restaurant with delicious local cuisine. There is a full-service bar that accepts credit cards.

Baja Fishing Convoys still has a few spots open on the hosted Western Outdoor News charter Oct.12-17. If interested, call Orchid at (619) 483-7315.

LORETO — Rick Hill of said the town hosted a huge state-sponsored fishing tournament final in Loreto with teams from all corners of Mexico. No results, though. He did say that the big dorado of a few weeks ago had moved out of the immediate zone.

“Endless tons of bait fish are still everywhere you look,” he said. “The roosterfish action should be getting hot with more boats wanting to work close at the predictable areas. The best part of our fishing season is almost upon us!”

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