Baja Fishing Report

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Wednesday, September 25, 2019
Hurricane Lorena veers off and action continues
Thursday, October 10, 2019
White seabass still on fire at San Quntin

300 pounder leads tuna march into Cabo
Fall arrives early in Baja and, with it, some very good fishing. The big tuna parade is going strong — great news for those hoping to land a winner in the 21st annual WON/Los Cabos Tuna Tournament Nov. 6-9. Meanwhile, the white seabass action continues its epic run for charter boats in San Quintin

CABO SAN LUCAS — Rebecca Ehrenberg of the Pisces Fleet can’t get over how good the fishing was this week in Cabo.

She said, “Truly there are no words for the epic fishing of this week, but of course I will try, and I think the best way to explain is by giving you the hard numbers. There were 147 billfish released this week by 36 boats. That’s an average of 4 billfish per boat... We had quite a few blue marlin between 300 and 500 pounds released, and Pisces’ 31-foot Tiburon had a grand slam with 1 striped marlin, 1 blue marlin of about 300 pounds, 1 sailfish and 10 dorado.”

SCOTT SCHADE FROM Anaheim caught this 286-pound yellowfin on the Pisces’ 35-foot Bill Collector 2. After fishing for dorado and marlin successfully the first day, he decided to give tuna a shot. It took him two hours to get this cow-sized tuna to the boat.

“Speaking of dorado,” she continued, “there were 237 fish caught total with many released, respecting catch limits. There were very good sizes on the dorado as well, making it easy to pick and choose which ones to take home... For example, top dorado boat Pisces’ 28-foot Andrea caught 22 dorado in one day, with two anglers onboard. They kept fish that averaged 20-30 pounds each.”

As for tuna, Ehrenberg said that only 8 boats targeted tuna this week, but it paid off. The 4 largest yellowfin tuna caught were a 68 pounder, 118 pounder, 164 pounder and a cow-sized 286 pounder.

Overall, the best locations for Pisces this week were the Pacific from Los Arcos, and Pozo Cota to Cerritos Golden Gate — and the fish were hitting on live/dead caballito and ballyhoo bait, as well as varied lures: petrolero, tirgirllo, blue/white, lime green, cedar plugs and feathers.

THE WHITE SEABASS are still biting in San Quintin – and Jaime's Pangas scored a good one this week.

SAN QUINTIN BAY — Capt. Juan Cook reported to WON on Sunday that the white seabass are still biting in San Quintin.

He said, “K&M Sportfishing boats had 3 nice fish in the mid 60s, and several other boats also had 2 to 4 fish. It feels like the fish will be here till the end of the season when things turn over.”


FISHING WITH THE Tailhunter Fleet in La Paz,Toni Brown from Salt Lake City caught and released her first roosterfish near Punta Arenas. In the second photo, Captain Lorenzo hoists up a big dog-tooth snapper for Jim Ginther, who came to enjoy some sunshine all the way from Minnesota.

LA PAZ — Jonathan Roldan of Tailhunter International in La Paz reported that post-Hurricane Lorena, air temperatures have gone down dramatically, and “fall dropped in like someone had thrown a switch.”

Roldan said the bite was heavily affected as well. He explained that, right after Lorena moved north, tropical storm Mario moved into the vacuum — so there was continued cloudiness early in the week, along with rough seas and occasional rainstorms. All of this caused the bite to take its time getting back up to speed.

“Prior to the storm, we had the best dorado bite of the season going,” said Roldan. “And it was the best marlin bite I have ever seen in over two decades. After Lorena, it took a while to gain momentum again.”

According to Roldan, the week started pretty scratchy, but with each progressive day, the waters cleared up and the fish started to bite again. “It wasn’t as full-turbo as the week before, but fairly decent action… with mostly dorado biting.”

Roldan said the majority of the dorado were respectable 10- to 20-pound fish, and many smaller fish were released. Additionally, both blue and striped marlin fishing improved, with a number hooked each day while anglers were trying to catch dorado. Consequently, many fish were hooked (and quite a few lost) on light tackle.

Apparently there were no tuna or wahoo to speak of, though this should be prime time for both species. Occasionally, Roldan explained, one or two tuna would get picked up, but the schools were either moving too fast or popped up and boiled, then quickly went back down. And a few times, the fish were boiling but refused to take baits.

As for other species, the change in weather seems to have had a dramatic effect on them too. “It’s almost as if we are fishing in June conditions again,” said Roldan. “We’re getting pargo, cabrilla, jack crevalle, the occasional yellowtail and amberjack, pompano and even some sierra, plus those big dog-tooth snapper again.”

EAST CAPE — John Ireland at Hotel Rancho Leonero reported that fishing started off slow, but as the week progressed and the water cleared, the bite improved every day.

“Early in the week, anglers were bringing in a lot of skipjack and a few dorado — and on Wednesday the bite picked up, with limits of yellowfin and dorado coming to the cleaning table,” said Ireland.

Large schools of dorado were very spread out, both north and south, and most boats were fishing around the lighthouse, as well as south to Rincon. Rincon continued to produce the yellowfin too, and most anglers were catching limits from mid-week on. According to Ireland, live sardines were the ticket for both yellowfin and dorado.

There was very good bottom fishing again this week too, with black grouper, pompano and amberjack being taken on the inside drop-offs. Chunk skipjack and squid were working best deep for those, with the sardines closer to the surface.

As for billfish and roosterfish, Ireland said they’re around, but almost all anglers were targeting the dorado and tuna instead.

LORETO — Rick Hill at reported that the weather and water couldn't be better in Loreto.

“The cool weather has finally stopped, allowing outdoor activities to get back into full swing,” said Hill.

“Sitting on some high spots just got easier, and the numbers of cabrilla and firecracker yellowtail are the result. North of Coronado all the way to Mangle, the fishing has been good. Sardina is the magic bait for cabrilla and small to mid-sized dorado. Not much is hitting trolled baits except bonito.”

He added that divers are spotting big dorado off the southeast tip of Coronado, but none stick around long.


MIKE AVIANI AND his friend of 40 years caught tuna on live sardines, and trolled for wahoo with ballyhoo. The duo first fished Cabo together back in 1985.

SAN JOSE DEL CABO — Eric Brictson of Gordo Banks Pangas reported that they’re still seeing light crowds of visitors in town — and with the limited numbers of anglers, most charters are fishing the grounds from Iman to Vinorama.

“The all-around action was spotty through much of the week,” said Brictson, “as water conditions had turned over and were off-colored; also, there was a very strong current sweeping through. As the week progressed, conditions rebounded — and reports were much better for the weekend.”

According to Brictson, yellowfin and dorado were the most common species this week — with an occasional billfish or wahoo, and a mix of bottomfish.

“Drift fishing with sardinas, strips of squid, chunks of skipjack or bonito was the main method for enticing the yellowfin,” said Brictson. “The bite was still a bit scratchy, but some charters did account for up to 5 tuna. Dorado numbers were down from how they had been, and it was hard to find one much larger than ten pounds.”

The combined sportfishing fleet launching out of the panga area from Puerto Los Cabos Marina sent out an estimated 59 charters for the week and anglers reported an approximate fish count of: 1 black marlin, 2 blue marlin, 2 striped marlin, 145 dorado, 10 wahoo, 74 yellowfin tuna, 11 leopard grouper, 18 Mexican bonito, 12 yellow snapper, 6 rainbow runner, 8 barred pargo, 4 pompano, 4 amberjack and 35 triggerfish.

In other San Jose del Cabo news, Mike Aviani of Los Cabos Vacation Rentals ( fished with an old friend this week and sent in a quick report.

He said, “We brought 10 kilos of squid but caught the tuna on live sardines. We also trolled for wahoo early with ballyhoo. Iman bank hookups were next.”

Their crew planned to fish again this week out of Puerto Los Cabos and will keep us posted on the results.

GAVIN CHUN AND his buddies scored on fat yellowtail off Cedros Island using trolled, live mackerel and blue and white surface iron.

CEDROS ISLAND — Tom Gatch at Cedros Outdoor Adventures reported that, as they head into the fall season, the fishing off Isla Cedros remains hot, with yellowtail dominating the catch counts.


Gatch said a party of 12 anglers from the Los Angeles area came to Cedros on a 4-day visit, and were treated to banner yellowtail fishing that yielded them daily limits during their trip.

The group also encountered an active bite on ocean whitefish, which are prized commercially along the Atlantic coast. Over a 2-day period, they caught over 30 of these tasty fish weighing up to 9 pounds.

Earlier in the week, angler Gavin Chun and his buddies flew down from the Bay Area and cleaned up on yellowtail, as well as several other species including calico bass, California sheephead, halibut, whitefish and a few big bonito.

At the conclusion of their multi-day fishing adventure, Chun remarked, “We had a fabulous time. The great fishing goes without saying; we caught 6 different species of fish in one day. This trip was on my bucket list, and going back to Cedros Island again is now on my bucket list as well.”

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