Accurate Fishing Products


CALIFORNIA'S ONLY SPORTSMAN'S NEWS SINCE 1953

Gary Graham – ROAD TREKKER

Click here for Gary Graham – ROAD TREKKER





Thursday, February 22, 2018
Searching for sierra


Baja Blossoms
Ink on 2018 calendars is barely dry, but it is clear it’s going to be another one of those What a difference a year makes kind of years. With few if any exceptions, the events in the first two months have certainly set the stage for the upcoming Baja season.

Throughout 2017, Baja Sur and the Sea of Cortez suffered from a lack of baitfish in general – specifically, sardina (flat-iron herring). Speculations on the reasons for the increasing shortage of bait stocks are as varied as the speculators. As one can imagine, the list was long: El Niño, La Niña, overfishing or Aunt Sally’s bursitis.


throughoutbajaTHROUGHOUT 2017, Baja Sur and the Sea of Cortez suffered from a lack of baitfish in general – specifically, sardina (flat-iron herring).


thebluefingo
THE BLUEFIN GO all the way up to the east end of Catalina, (as this photo taken last week off the East End reflects).


inshoreroosterfish
INSHORE, ROOSTERFISH, JACKS and sierra mackerel are showing, according to Jeff DeBrown, Reel Baja in Cabo San Lucas.


“The conveyor belt of nutrients from the deep-water cool upwelling almost disappeared and so did the base of the food chain; the roosterfish disappeared,” Gary Bulla of Gary Bulla’s Flyfishing Adventures observed, “However, by all accounts, 2018 should be an epic year for roosters as the sardina have returned. I expect them to show up in packs in Muertos Bay and Isla Cerralvo area.”


Along with the returning sardina is another Baja favorite equally as scarce according to Rebecca Ehrenberg of Pisces Sportfishing – dorado. Recently, dorado catches increased, topping striped marlin for the first time this year.


Other species have increased as well. Inshore, roosterfish, jacks and sierra mackerel are showing, according to Jeff DeBrown, Reel Baja in Cabo San Lucas. “Fishing been great for both January and February; lots of fun on both fly and spin gear.” The increase in sierra is highlighted by Jansen Tackle ownerStephen Jansen’s decision to hold his sierra tournament mentioned in my last column.


In the “WOW!” category was the humungous 424.6-pound yellowfin tuna, caught off Loreto aboard Robert Ross’ 37’ Boston Whaler Rampage by angler Jorge Lazo from Tijuana.


Additionally, Lazo caught another one weighing 319 pounds. Both were caught on an Accurate Valiant BV2-800 reel loaded with 50-pound P-Line, 100-pound Hi-Seas fluorocarbon leader with a Mustad 6/0 hook on a Seeker rod with live mackerel.


The larger fish topped the current IGFA record of 385-pounds, 12 ounces by a click less than 40 pounds. Lazo’s second tuna was a two-day fish total of 743.6-pounds for both the angler and his same tackle.


North winds blew since then, causing the cow-sized tuna to come down with a serious case of lockjaw. Jay Yadon, Outpost Charters, claimed he could still see them lurking around “El Seco” on his depth meter. His guests continued to catch lunker-sized mossback yellowtail which used to be considered a mainstay of Loreto’s sportfishing scene.


Farther up the West Coast of Baja on the Pacific side, beginning below the Mexican border, the bluefin tuna are an item according to sportfishers traveling up and down the coast. Some are reporting bluefin jumpers and foamers all the way up to the east end of Catalina.


“I heard of bluefin off Punta Colonet and sea temps support a good break 15- to 20-miles outside of there. Also, I heard from a customer who received a text from his friend coming back north on what I believe was a 7-day trip; he ran across 30- to 60- or 70-pound bluefin – not sure where they were, (Alijos Rocks?) but the photo he sent had about a dozen fish caught. My guess is that they’re some of those fish that were found at Guadalupe or above on the Ranger Bank in years past.


Another young boy said last week he and his dad “were fishing the pens off Ensenada and were catching bluefin.” - John Doughty, JD's Big Game Tackle.


Several larger boats traveling up and down the coast have found a few spots of willing 20- to 40-pound bluefin and they managed to stay on the same school for most of the day. SST’s indicate that the warmer water is farther offshore and outside with similar sea-temps all the way up to Southern California.


“The bluefin go all the way up to the east end of Catalina, (as this photo taken last week off the East End reflects), and they were at the 43-Spot several weeks ago,” Jason Hayashi, fishdope.com, observed recently.


For the casual observer, it seems like an abundance of positive signs and catches to start off the New Year.


In case you forgot, or you failed to make plans to go to Fred Hall in Long Beach, don’t miss the show! There are at least 30 different Baja government representatives, hotels, RV parks and charter operations to chat with. Not to mention that it’s a great opportunity to see all of the latest and greatest tackle innovations … with bargains to boot.


See you at the Show!


Reader Comments
Be the first to comment!
Leave a Comment
* Name:
* Email:
Website (optional):
* Comment:


IZORLINE
Advertise with Western Outdoor News
The Longfin Tackle Shop