Umarex Gauntlet


CALIFORNIA'S ONLY SPORTSMAN'S NEWS SINCE 1953

Baja Fishing Report

WON Editor Pat McDonell "retired" recently but remains busier than ever. His current WON duties includes the WON Baja weekly saltwater reports, hosting a few WON charter trips, and is the tournament director of the WON / Los Cabos Tuna Jackpot tournament.
San Quintin: The holiday season just keeps on giving
Yellows in the mix at San Q as well as great rockfishing; Loreto giving up yellows and cabrilla between blows; East Cape in prime December shape but few anglers to enjoy it

SAN QUINTIN — The yellowtail are still slamming jigs and lures (primarily yo-yo’d iron on the 240 spot) with K&M Sportfishing’s Capt. Oscar Catian posting some great shots of big yellows while fishing with Capt. Mike Diamond of the sportfisher Champ and his crew last week.


Without a doubt, the high spots outside the bay are going off, although it should be noted the white seabass bite that was so epic for months, has slipped off after an epic run. Now it’s ’tails, halibut and rockfish. Still pretty fantastic fishing for those who want to make the 150-mile run south of the border.


stackem1

stackem1a
STACKIN’ ’EM IN action off San Quintin Bay was K&M Sportfishing’s George Catian and Capt. Mike Diamond of the sportfisher Champ, and his crew one day last week. The deep iron did the trick. PHOTO COURTESY K&M SPORTFISHING

Capt. Juan Cook reported in late last week from his home in San Q.


“I took three weeks off after all my fall fishing,” he said. “I needed a long rest, but took to the water again today (midweek) only to find out it’s very warm (but wet with the rain) for late fall with the water at 65 degrees so making bait in the bay was easy, with plenty of mini macks and small ‘dines. Out fishing with me were Ron Gomez of the Facebook group page Talk Baja, Dru “Da Farmer” and Pancho Palapas. (Cook makes up nicknames for people as you can see.)


“There’s been very good yellowtail on the high spots and they were there today but we did not connect with any yellows although the other boats has a few fish each, but while deep dropping Dru caught a nice lingcod and Ron got a nice sheephead and some reds, and Pancho caught several whitefish and several reds and lings. Weather was nice in the mid 70s and no wind, and the swell was small, so it was a very enjoyable day amongst friends.”


LOS BARILLES — While it is the off-season for the East Cape, fishing has been pretty spectacular for a limited number of holiday season late-fall fishermen. Storms have passed and the conditions for wind and water have warmed up at Baja California Sur as a whole.


Mark Rayor, operator of three sportfishers with Jen Wren Sportfishing, said less is more right now. Fewer anglers, more fish.


Water still warm, and fish are still biting,” said Capt. Rayor. “We’re seeing lots of dorado with a blue marlin in the mix. Light pressure has made it very good. We have been experiencing an unbelievably nice December.”


Hotel Rancho Leonero, it should be noted, is closed for the late-fall/ winter offseason.


LA PAZ — As Jonathan Roldan of Tailhunter International makes it clear, crowds of fishermen are thin these days off La Paz with all the holidays and pre-winter weather. Dec. 21 makes it official, but tough fish are still there, including wahoo and tuna, plus inshore species cabrilla and hefty pargo.


“Not too many folks fishing these days in the gap between Thanksgiving and Christmas and the town seemed almost deserted this week, but the crowds will eventually come,” said Roldan, who filed the report Sunday from his bed despite being like many of us: sick with the flu! “Winds were a little milder than normal so some folks were able to get out fishing. Most of the fishing was inshore for jack crevalle, snapper, and cabrilla, although some larger pargo were reportedly lost. Bonito schools can be problematic or a lot of fun depending on your point of view.”


Roldan added that there are still some small schools of dorado running around with most fish in the 10- to 15-pound class.


“When winds are down, there’s some good action with bait on light tackle for some nicer grade of tuna in the 40- to 80-pound range that can be tough battles on the smaller line that gets them to bite. Rapalas like the darker deep-runners also kicked up some wahoo.” He said one of his customers, Roger Thompson, was trolling a Rapala off the south side of Cerralvo Island and got slammed by an 80-pound class yellowfin tuna that almost spooled him on the first run. He also picked up about a 40-pound wahoo as well.


gordoreported
GORDO BANKS PANGAS reported some excellent wahoo action as well as some bigger tuna off the local banks as the conditions warmed up after a few tropical storms and a few extra days of wind tossed in finally moved through the San Jose Del Cabo region. PHOTO COURTESY GORDO BANKS PANGAS

SAN JOSE DEL CABO — Eric Brictson of Gordo Banks Pangas at Puerto Los Cabos Marina said there were prime water and weather conditions last week, 80 degrees for both water and air as both warmed up after a couple storms passed.


Bait is an issue, with most schooling near Cabo to the south, which makes for a long backtrack for the pangas and charter boats. Thus, local fleets off San Jose Del Cabo are mainly relying on caballito, ballyhoo, slabs of squid and if fortunate enough to find some chihuil, they proved the best for wahoo.


As for fishing, the wahoo are on the scene in greater numbers.


“Some mackerel started to appear now off of the hotel zone, but it’s still not consistent from day to day as water temps cool some more, but we expect more of these mackerel and sardineta will move in,” said Brictson. “Overall, anglers found the bite to be tougher to start the week, mainly due to north wind, though later in the week the wind laid down, the water cleared up and the bite was good for yellowfin tuna, wahoo and dorado.


“Most of the action was from Gordo Banks, Cardon, La Fortuna and off of Punta Gorda. Best action was on bait, with some having to be worked for, especially the chihuil. They proved to be the candy for wahoo. The Gordo Banks (inner and outer) produced yellowfin tuna up over 200 pounds, with larger fish lost, though numbers were not great, but with patience and persistent effort there were some quality fish. Strips of squid, small skipjack, chihuil and caballito all produced.”


As he said, wahoo action picked up, and trolling live baits was best, with fish up to over 45 pounds though some were taken on Rapalas. Dorado were mixed in on the same grounds, but scattered, up close to 20 pounds.


“It’s unusual to find some roosterfish action further offshore while trolling for dorado and wahoo, but we had a nice-sized fish to 30 pounds and also a couple of yellowtail, one an impressive 38 pounder,” said Brictson. “And there was a 70-pound amberjack, they were taken while chunk fishing for tuna on the Gordo. If weather holds it looks like very promising opportunities for the rest of the month. So things are improving after recent rain squalls, landscape is a lush green, plenty of warm sunshine and great fishing.”


The combined sportfishing fleet launching out of the panga area from Puerto Los Cabos Marina sent out an estimated 82 charters for the week and anglers reported an approximate fish count of: 2 blue marlin, 2 striped marlin, 66 dorado, 98 yellowfin tuna, 56 wahoo, 4 yellow snapper, 5 cabrilla, 16 bonito, 6 sierra, 9 roosterfish, 5 baqueta, 3 surgeonfish, 2 yellowtail, 3 amberjack, 2 pompano and 30 triggerfish.


CABO SAN LUCAS — No reports by deadline came from that region despite the amazing fishing that has been going on. RedRum and Pisces Sportfishing operations in Cabo are updating their websites each week with photos and new reports, so refer to those sites for current reports and photos.


wonreaderandigfa
WON READER AND IGFA rep Chris Wheaton took Aleta Gelband to Loreto over the 4-day Thanksgiving weekend and scored some nice fishing and cuisine. They fished with brothers Julio and German Martinez Davis of Nemenchas Fishing in Loreto and found a bunch of yellowtail and cabrilla that wanted to bite up north by Pulpito and enjoyed some great Thanksgiving cuisine at Mita Gourmet restaurant in Loreto. Dorado was cooked up plancha-style along with Mexican sashimi made from the fresh yellowtail. PHOTOS COURTESY CHRIS WHEATON

LORETO — Chris Wheaton and girlfriend Aleta Gelband snuck down to Loreto over the four-day Thanksgiving weekend and were able to get a little fishing in. No turkey was harmed during the trip. But the fish were in jeopardy.


“This time of year is usually windy and there has been a lot of rain lately so Loreto was very green,” said Wheaton. “We went out fishing with brothers Julio and German Martinez Davis of Nemenchas Fishing in Loreto and found a bunch of yellowtail and cabrilla that wanted to bite up north by Pulpito. As the wind picked up, the only other boat in the area, a local panga, broke down and needed a tow back towards town, which cut the fishing day short, but right about 100 yards from the marina we saw a dorado that wanted to bite and landed a last-minute dorado we had cooked up plancha-style later that night along with Mexican sashimi made from the fresh yellowtail at local restaurant Mita Gourmet.”


The next day had a lot of wind so they stayed inshore near town and caught multiple species including small roosterfish, lots of sierra and even 2 more dorado.


In another report, Rick Hill of Pinchysportfishing.com said yellowtail are active at a bunch of the popular rockpiles out off the tip of Carmen Island.


“More boats are looking at other spots with mixed results on firecracker to medium-sized fish,” Hill said. “The smaller versions are close to Coronado Island both at Lagimas and Candeleros. The San Bruno high spot had 25-pound class yellows and break-offs on bigger fighters. No big bites and the early boats did the best as the sun was popping up.”


500poundblackmarlin
A 500-POUND black marlin was caught on a Puerto Vallarta Sportfishing super panga. The action out of PV in Banderas Bay, out to Corbetena and to the outside islands for big tuna, has been exceptional in recent weeks. PHOTO COURTESY PUERTO VALLARTA SPORTFISHING

PUERTO VALLARTA — Puerto Vallarta Sportfishing fired off a report to Baja Reports over the weekend.


“There have been some big catches this November,” said a charter office representative. “We had the 64th annual Sailfish and Marlin Tournament. Team Sophia won second place marlin, and Team Marshell took first place for catch and release fishing aboard the Tiliche. In other news, Captain Scooby and angler David Higginbottom caught the biggest fish of last month, a 500-pound black marlin in late November aboard a super panga.”


In more current news, he said the dorado bite has stayed consistent throughout the month inshore and offshore.


“Inshore the dorado have had an average size of 6 to 12 pounds and off the point 15 to 20 pounds,” he said. “We have also caught a few dodos offshore in the 30-pound plus range. Sailfish have been abundant on 8- to 10-hour fishing charters. The sailfish size has ranged from 60 to 120 pounds. We have also been catching jack crevalle, roosterfish, and bonita. The yellowfin tuna have continued to bite past the outside islands 120 miles offshore on our 2 1/2-day 60-hour overnight fishing charter with fish averaging 60 to120 pounds with a few in the 200- and 300-pound range as well.”


* * *


To contribute to the Baja report, fire away a report by Sunday morning to make it in the next WON print and digital report. Attach a photo or two, please. Send to baja@wonews.com.


• • • • •

We hope you enjoyed this article on our no-charge website wonews.com. Of course, this site contains only a small fraction of the stories that Western Outdoor Publications produces each week in its two northern and southern editions and its special supplements. You can subscribe to the print issue that is mailed weekly and includes the easy flip-page full-color digital issues, or you can purchase a digital only subscription. Click here to see the choice.


Storms keep anglers on their toes
Great fishing after one tropical rainstorm, but more expected this week; Cabo tuna and marlin fishing just keeps rollin’ as do the San Q forkies; big Loreto yellows debut

CABO SAN LUCAS — The RedRum Fleet’s Ryan Donovan weighed in on the type of season Cabo is having in November. Epic. Amazing. We’ll let him tell it.


“When the dorado and striped marlin fishing is as good as it is right now, people often forget about the tuna fishing. We just finished the Western Outdoor News Tuna Jackpot tournament and I can’t remember a year where more fish over 200 pounds reached the scales (including our 214-pound fish that just missed the money). The football-size fish have been mixed in with the other fish up the Pacific but the 100-, 200- and even 300-pound monster yellowfin have been schooled up with the porpoise on the outlying banks, 20 to 40 miles offshore.


As for the marlin fishing, it is as consistent in Cabo and up the Pacific as it can get, said Donovan.


redrumfleet
THE REDRUM FLEET was fully engaged in the tournament season for big marlin and tuna and since then has been really enjoying a continuation of one of the best seasons in memory for those species off Cabo.

“The striped marlin bite at both the Finger Bank and Magdalena Bay are the best as long as anyone can remember,” said Donovan. “Chip Shafer, the captain of the private American custom yacht Old Reliable and a first ballot future Fishing Hall of Famer, has been chasing billfish from California to Ecuador and back for longer than most of you readers have been fishing. Chip was nice enough to stop by The Porch, our little bar in front of the RedRum shop, and have a chat with me recently. He flat out said, ‘Ryan, I've never ever seen it this good, anywhere....and I'm not sure it's even been close.’


“Being in the charter business I often get asked by first-time anglers or those who just don't get it if I will guarantee they will catch fish. Well, y'all know the saying, nothing in life is guaranteed but death and taxes. That being said, striped marlin fishing right now is about as close to a guarantee as I will ever give.”


Rebecca Ehrenberg of the Pisces Fleet said the boats this week were successful 98 percent of the time, billfish 45 percent, dorado going nuts at 80 percent, tuna 29 percent.


“We had an incredible catch success rates this week, even with a limited number of fishing days due to port closing Sunday and Monday from tropical storm Raymond,” she said. “On Tuesday, however, we kicked off the week with one tuna of around 120 pounds on the 37-foot Viking BBII with several released marlin, too. There were big tuna as well, five of them all between 150 and 200 pounds with 100 yellowfin total caught for the week among the boats, and 499 dorado on 82 trips, ad some boats nabbed up to 20 a day, releasing all but their 2-fish per day per person limits.


One amazing trip by the Ruthless last week saw 22 dorado caught as well as a blue and a striped marlin. The fleet managed 72 releases of billfish. Mixed into the catches were wahoo, sierra and skipjack.


If you want a full listing for the great catches, piscessportfishing.com has a ton of them and pics, but one great catch over three days was by Kris Klosterman from New York with friends fishing three days aboard the BBII, a 37-foot Viking. Their total catches added up to 18 yellowfin tuna, including the 120 pounder that hit on the Yummee Flyer under the kite, 5 striped marlin, 1 sailfish, and 7 dorado. For billfish they headed close to Golden Gate and used ballyhoo bait and to the 220 Spot for tuna; the dorado hit on a mix of guacamayo and white/green lures. On Saturday, the BBII headed out for tuna once again and produced big time with one 232-pound yellowfin, a few 30 pounders and two 60-pound fish. They headed about 40 miles south and caught the bigger fish on the kite, others on various lures.


piscesfleetwas1

piscesfleetwas1a
THE PISCES FLEET was in the thick of the marlin and tuna action with two big tuna caught on the Bill Collector II, and the Valerie that had dorado limits.

“Speaking of big tuna, the Bill Collector had a helluva Wednesday charter for Victoria, Texas anglers Donald Goldman, Karen Barton, Bonie and James Hunt, and Joe and Marilyn Nevlud,” said Ehrenberg. “The anglers, all in their late 60s and 70s, hooked three big tuna simultaneously and fought them all for over an hour, but one of about 150 pounds broke loose. The other two were successfully boated, the 161 pounder caught by Karen Barton, winning her Top Lady Angler in the Los Cabos Big Game Charter Classic and took 2nd place for Day Two of the tournament. The winning tuna this day (and for the tourney) was an impressive 330 pounder at the Gordo Bank. The Pisces anglers’ other tuna weighed in at 151 pounds with the fish were caught at San Jaime using squid and skipjack as bait. They also caught 4 dorado.”


Added Ehrenberg, “Many of our boats placed in the tournament, and actually the Bill Collector placed the previous day in the wahoo division with a 39.1 pounder caught by Kevin Rodgers. Anglers from Colorado also caught 1 dorado (15 pounds) and 5 small yellowfin tuna. The tuna hit at Golden Gate and the dorado at Migrino on lime green lures.


WON finally got some results on the three-day Los Cabos Charterboat Classic run last week by Marlin Mag for the hotel association. If you were chartering a boat on those two days, you were in the event (with no entry fee), and that meant 400 anglers were in on the three-day fun. It’s held right after the Cabo Tuna Jackpot.


Big tuna and dozens of dorado hit the scales at two weigh in locations including San Jose Del Cabo and Cabo San Lucas. There were no wahoo weighed so those cash awards were split among the tuna and dorado winners. Anglers also enjoyed a good marlin bite with release flags flying across the marinas. Cam Renaud fishing on the Cabo Playa out of Puerto Los Cabos won the tourney with a 330-pound yellowfin on the20th.


In the junior angler division Kieran McSween’s 17.60-pound dorado caught aboard Renegade Mike was the largest, giving him another top junior award. Angler Billie Finch from Hertfordshore England got honorable mention for her 12.10-pound dorado caught on Minerva III.


camrenaudand
CAM RENAUD AND buddies scored big by winning the recent Los Cabos Charterboat Classic last week, catching a 330-pound tuna at the Gordo Bank. The tourney had no entry fee and if you chartered a boat those three days, you were in the event, with weigh-ins at both Cabo harbors.

SAN JOSE DEL CABO — Eric Brictson of Gordo Banks Pangas in Puerto Los Cabos said storms of two weeks ago and this latest one expected to run through Baja Sur early this week are rare occurrences here this time of year, a kind of one-two punch to tourism when crowds will lighten up, as they normally do after Thanksgiving and before the Christmas holidays.


“We had unpredictable weather conditions for the past month, and more north wind than usual for this early in the season,” said Brictson. “We are now following the forecast for another rain storm moving in the direction of Southern Baja.”


He added, “After the passing of the rain from Raymond last week, the all-around action seemed to slow down, which also stirred up ocean conditions, dirty water and it was a bit cooler, down in the 79-degree range, and baitfish became scattered as well. Later in the week water clarity did improve and baitfish were becoming more active. Some schools of sardinas were found near marina jetties, also some caballito, other options were ballyhoo and slabs of squid.”


The wahoo action near Vinorama vanished, though by Friday a few nice wahoo up to 47 pounds were reported, other strikes lost, so Brictson said he is “confident that these fish will remain on local grounds for another month or so.” Dorado were spread out in different directions, found more consistently towards Cabo San Lucas, with most under 15 pounds and a few exception of larger 20 pounders.


“The yellowfin tuna bite near San Luis Bank came to a halt, though the big news was that a few much larger yellowfin tuna were hooked into off of the Gordo Banks. Though more anglers were having battles with various species of sharks, there were some monster tuna now on these grounds.”


There were several very impressive catches records, including 145, 272 and 330 pounders, and this proved to be best week yet for this season on these grounds for the larger grade of yellowfin – several other cow-sized tuna were lost after long, epic battles.


Slow trolling smaller-sized skipjack was the main producer of these big strikes. Offshore and towards Cabo San Lucas there were a smaller football grade yellowfin tuna, though that was a bit hit or miss, with some charters landing 5 to 7 fish and others lucky to find one, said Brictson.


Bottom action continued to be slow, mainly triggerfish, an occasional amberjack, cabrilla, snapper or pargo. Inshore action was limited, depending on what bait was obtainable, jack crevalle up to 20 pounds a few sierra and some juvenile roosterfish up to 15 pounds.


Billfish were red hot on the Pacific grounds, but were also starting to move in the direction of the local grounds off of San Jose del Cabo. A handful of striped marlin, sailfish and blue marlin were accounted for in recent days, but nothing too large, as the stripers averaged less than 100-pounds, blue marlin in the 175-pound range.


The combined sportfishing fleet launching out of the panga area from Puerto Los Cabos Marina sent out an estimated 120 charters for the week and anglers reported an approximate fish count of: 1 black marlin,1 blue marlin, 5 striped marlin, 1 sailfish, 88 dorado, 65 yellowfin tuna, 5 wahoo, 6 yellow snapper, 2 barred pargo, 3 leopard grouper, 5 amberjack, 29 Mexican bonito, 4 sierra, 4 jack crevalle, 10 roosterfish, 4 surgeon fish, 2 rainbow runner,5 golden eyed tilefish and 80 triggerfish.


garciaspantasposted1


garciaspangasposted1a
GARCIA’S PANGAS POSTED some great shots of yellowtail and bottomfish action over the weekend out of San Quintin Bay. It’s not over.

SAN QUINTIN — High spots such as the 240 and Ben’s Rock are turning up big red rockfish and some quality yellowtail for the panga fleets operating out of the Old Mill ramp in the bay. Capt Juan Cook returned to San Q. last week after spending off-charter time in Mag Bay, and then L.A. Bay before returning for charters at San Quintin, and he said that aside for the bad weather, between blows it has been good on the yellows and bottomfish. While he did not post any pics, Garcia’s Pangas did on Sunday. It looks like high quality forkies are on the bite. Still!


LORETO — Yellowtail at Punta Lobo! Rick Hill at Pinchysportfishing.com said the yellowtail season arrived here.


“This week we saw the first good pop-up of 20-plus pound yellows off the north tip of Carmen Island,” said Hill. “Live mackerel for bait and move around to check the one acre patch of boulders has been the working ticket. More rain on the schedule for the coming week but not enough to throw off the bite, we are hoping!”


EAST CAPE — Mark Rayor of Jen Wen Sportfishing was in the U.S. and most fleets are going out sporadically between recent storms, but Rayor said Sunday night that, “Fishing has been action packed, with weather better than normal for this time of year. It’s the best dorado bite of the year and billfish are active.” In other news, Hotel Rancho Leonero is doing it’s annual “rest for a few months,” starting this week. It will open only for groups who take over the entire hotel.


danahohnwas
DANA HOHN WAS visiting La Paz from Texas and staying with relatives but got out several days near La Ventana and put several wahoo like this one in the boat trolling Rapalas on a Tailhunter panga.


hemakesseveral
HE MAKES SEVERAL trips a year to La Paz and Kevin Shiotani from Thousand Oaks always does well. He’s on the beach at Bahia Muertos near La Paz with this big tuna estimated at 90 pounds that he took near Cerralvo Island on light tackle. He also put some dorado in the panga as well while fishing with Tailhunter International.

LA PAZ — Another storm on the heels of Raymond is forecast for early in the week, and it’s probably for the best as not many anglers were in town as the fishing season approaches the holidays, and the week started out stormy and windy, said Jonathan Roldan of Tailhunter Sportfishing on Sunday.


“The kiteboarders and windsurfers are enjoying this for a reason, but it’s not such great weather for fishing,” said Roldan. “There were a few days midweek that gave us a few windows of opportunity. The better fishing has been out of Las Arenas/ Muertos Bay which is at least a little more protected from the northern winds and bigger water that’s common this time of year.”


As mentioned, not many anglers were out, but those few who got out found some surprisingly nice wahoo fishing by Cerralvo Island with 20- to 40-pound fish willing to hit dark-colored Rapalas and Yo-Zuri Magnums. Multiple hook-ups were not uncommon.


“The same area also produced some hefty tuna bites with 50- to 100-pound class tuna, although most fish were lost because they would only bite light line resulting in some long drawn-out battles that usually favored the fish and beat up the angler!” said Roldan. “When we couldn’t get to the island, fishing concentrated inshore for some decent dorado, cabrilla, snapper, bonito and jack crevalle.”


LA BOCANA — Rob Reyfuss, a WON reader, commented on the recent La Bocana/Baja Fishing Convoys story in a recent WON. It seems we mixed up the grouper names.


“Looks like you guys had a great trip to LB,” wrote Refuss. “I’ve been going there for years and love it! I just want to clarify for you that in your report, page 30 of the Nov. 15 paper, you have pictures of Tyler and Tommy Barnes with groupers. Super cool that father and son are enjoying that but you incorrectly identified them as leopard grouper. The one on top is a broomtail grouper and the one on the bottom is a gulf grouper… I’m a long-time reader and avid grouper fisherman and thought you guys might want to be aware, as I believe many people including myself look to your publication not only for entertainment but also for reference.


“By the way, the reason this is fresh in my head is because very recently I was corrected when I incorrectly identified a broomtail as a gulfy and someone was nice enough to point it out to me. Anyway, keep up the great work at WON. I’ve attached a few links below from Mexican-fish.com illustrating the difference between leopard, broomtail and gulf grouper.”


Thanks Bob!


* * *


Contribute to WON Baja reports by emailing reports and a photo or two to baja@wonews.com.


• • • • •

We hope you enjoyed this article on our no-charge website wonews.com. Of course, this site contains only a small fraction of the stories that Western Outdoor Publications produces each week in its two northern and southern editions and its special supplements. You can subscribe to the print issue that is mailed weekly and includes the easy flip-page full-color digital issues, or you can purchase a digital only subscription. Click here to see the choice.


Magdalena Bay marlin pileup an annual pilgrimage
Wahoo and hordes of striped marlin draw a fleet to remote area 200 miles north of Cabo; huge tuna in Cabo waters keep things rolling before Tropical Storm Raymond interrupts the fun

MAGDALENA BAY — The wild marlin pileup continued last week off Mag Bay as a fleet of private yachts up from Cabo again have made their annual pilgrimage to areas just off the bay, which reports of dozens of catches and releases of stripers by boats. November, or the end of the Cabo billfish tournaments, always signals a return of boats from Cabo to their homes in SoCal, and before they make the full voyage, crews will stop in May Bay for a week and get in some amazing marlin action.


magbayturned1

magbayturne1a
MAG BAG TURNED up hoards of striped marlin but also quality wahoo like this one for the vacationing crew of the Scorpion Fleet’s El Rogalo, which is normally based at the East Cape.


Boats from Baja also come from the other side of the peninsula, as in the case of the El Regalo, a charterboat based at the East Cape with Scorpion Sportfishing.


Matthew Clifton was on that crew vacation trip last week and said it was an epic fishing experience.


“The action was off the charts,” said Clifton. ”The first day we went north to the banks where we found a good wahoo bite and an excellent dorado bite. The size of the wahoo was great with two of them coming in over 60 pounds! The next day we headed out for marlin. The action was en fuego as we released 33 marlin, just short of last year's boat record for the El Regalo. Huge schools of bait, diving birds and marlin feeding everywhere is a sight to behold!”


Inside the bay and at the mouth of Belchers the action has been good, but not as has been in past years for Capt. Juan Cook, who spent two weeks of “off duty time” fishing Mag Bay with a friend.


“It was slow for us this season, so John Fitzgerald and I called it early,” said Cook. “Snook and pargo were not there, and wahoo on the outside at the Thetis, the 38 and 23 fathom spots were slow for the wahoo, although we did catch a couple fish – and the marlin, well, there’s a lot of them south of San Carlos and awesome dorado fishing in some areas.”


Cook said the fly fisherman based out of Lopez Mateos were catching lots of dodos on the shark bouys 20 miles offshore and were doing very well on the inside of the bay, catching small snook, pargo and golden travelly.


tailbeatgoes1

tailbeatgoes1a


tailbeatgoes1b
TAIL BEAT GOES ON! The tuna frenzy continues for the Pisces boats in Cabo. This set of photos is from one day late last week. The Pisces 25-foot No Borders with an almost 200-pound tuna and 3 more yellowfin, the 31-foot La Brisa with two of just over 100 pounds each and another 2 yellowfin caught, plus one striped marlin released. Last but not least, the Bill Collector landed this 128-pound yellowfin and 4 four others, and a nice dorado.


CABO SAN LUCAS — The beat goes on in Cabo, or it did until the weekend when a storm moved in and was expected to close the harbor for a day or so. Before that, the week was epic on the heels of the 21st annual Los Cabos Tuna Jackpot, Nov. 6-9, that produced eight tuna over 200 pounds and one 345 pounder by Team Sirena. The dorado were thick and the bigger tuna that had just started to arrive on the banks stuck around for some rod-bending, and the marlin action continued to be excellent.


“We had close to a 100 percent catch success rate this week once again, with 90 out of 93 vessels catching fish,” said Rebecca Ehrenberg of the Pisces Sportfishing Fleet. “Dorado were undoubtedly the most abundant, with an astonishing 398 dorado caught and we always respect catch limits (2 per rod, per day) with releases. Billfish percentages were actually one point higher than last week, meaning about half of our boats caught marlin and sailfish, but the numbers of fish are less in comparison: 84 billfish total. This is mainly because the marlin have spread out, and also because the dorado are numerous and relatively close by, between Los Arcos and Migrino mostly.”


She said anglers are choosing to go for the easy (and tasty) dorado targets instead, and are often lucky to land a marlin there too.


Then there are the yellowfin. They came a little late, but they are big and mean.

“The tuna fishing continues to impress, with a total of 142 caught with several fish between 100 and 200 pounds. For example, theBill Collector 2 caught two yellowfin, one of 100 pounds and the other 218 pounds at the San Jaime Banks. Others such as our La Brisa didn’t go far to catch them – they had 5 yellowfin, with a 119 pounder and a 60 pounder, both caught close to Los Arcos on feathers. Other species caught were mostly wahoo, roosterfish and skipjack.”


For the full report and photos, go to piscessportfishing.com.


gordobankssactionfor
THE GORDO BANKS action for 100-pound class tuna perked up late last week before a storm kicked up and kept boats in for a few days. These fish were caught late last week on a Gordo Banks panga.

SAN JOSE DEL CABO — Tuna, tuna, tuna. They had not arrived until the big Tuna Tourney but they are here now for anglers running out of Puerto Los Cabos Marina for the Gordo Banks Fleet, said Eric Brictson. Strangely, the finicky fall weather is messing up plans for some folks. But only for a few days starting Sunday.


“Large crowds of anglers continue to arrive, as the peak fall season will be winding down in a couple of weeks. Weather patterns have been abnormally unpredictable, with winds out of the north increasing, creating choppy seas,” said Brictson. “Presently we are following development and forecast for Tropical Storm Raymond, which is expected to bring significant rainfall to Southern Baja, strong winds and has forced port closure for at least Sunday, most likely Monday as well. Also, the annual local wahoo tournament was canceled and rescheduled for Dec. 15. Looks as though by Monday midday this rare late-season topical system will pass to the north and dissipate rapidly.”


Sportfishing fleets, he said, are covering all directions, with most local fleets now working the grounds from the Gordo Banks to Vinorama. Bait vendors are selling caballito, limited amounts of sardinas, ballyhoo and slabs of squid. On the Pacific there are schools of mackerel. The next month is when these baitfish start to move towards the Sea of Cortez.


The most common targets have been yellowfin tuna, wahoo, dorado and billfish, with more marlin action now closer to Cabo San Lucas, he said.


“The yellowfin tuna action had vanished off of the areas north of Gordo, especially near San Luis Bank, but this week there were once again a quality grade of tuna to over 100 pounds found on local grounds, including one 240-pound cow on Friday afternoon,” said Brictson. “No big numbers, but every day a handful are being brought in, with many others being lost. The bite was sporadic, some fish hooked early, then dead action for hours, but maybe later they’d go on another bite. Most all of these yellowfin were striking on strips of squid, lots of chum needed to keep making continued drifts. Some charters had as many as three or four tuna, most felt lucky to have one. Also some smaller football-sized tuna found with sardinas or hoochies, scattered bite though.”


As for dorado, they saw more than they had. It has been a slow season on bigger ones.


“We heard of some bulls to 30 pounds,” Brictson said of the bite on the Pacific side. “The dorado off San Jose del Cabo have been mainly under 10 pounds. Wahoo action continued to be more consistent near Vinorama, though this bite slowed during passing of recent full moon. A few fish also striking on Rapalas, but not as many lure strikes as we traditionally would expect. In recent days, charters were doing well to land a wahoo or two, and the fish brought in were weighing up to 45 pounds.”


hotelrancholeonero1d
HOTEL RANCHO LEONERO super pangas got into some nice dorado action along with marlin, roosters and tuna on the outside under porpoise.

EAST CAPE — John Ireland of Hotel Rancho Leonero started off his fishing report with a weather rundown. And why not? It’s Baja perfection.


“The water is 80 degrees and cooling now, nice and flat, and clean water all week,” said Ireland. “The air is cool, typical for our fall weather, cool mornings in the 60s and daytime highs in the low 80s, clear blue skies all week, but we will have some wind and rain starting today. It's part of the fall season.”


As for the fishing, before this latest tropical storm, his fleet had a great week on the water with lots of billfish, some tuna, and wahoo and dorado were also taken, really good for this late in the season,” said Ireland.”


They also had lots of sierra and a good roosterfish bite on the inside.


“Very light fishing pressure with just a few boats going out daily is helping the fishing. With the exception of the yellowfin, all the good fishing has been very close to the hotel,” he said. “I have to say, it was one of our best dorado fishing weeks of the year! Most boats limiting on some of our bigger fish of the year, 10 to 30 pounders spread from the ranch to south of the lighthouse. Almost all were taken on trolled ballyhoo.”


The yellowfin were on the outside, 40 miles, but the guys are limiting out on the porpoise school from footballs to 40 pounders. The larger fish were eating the cabbies, but squid is also working. As for wahoo, he said, a couple in the 60- to 70-pound range came in this week, one taken off La Ribera the other off Punta Colorado, both taken on ballyhoo.

Marlin and sailfish were mixed up, and if you wanted to target them, the average was one per boat per day off the La Ribera Bank, with ballyhoo being the ticket.


In other action on the East Cape, Scorpion Sportfishing and the El Regalo said they focused on having kids on board and scored marlin and also located dorado in the same area around the buoys. Inside, the charterboat found small roosters and even found a school of porpoise close to shore holding good-sized tuna.


LA PAZ — Jonathan Roldan of Tailhunter International said there were few anglers on the water, but plenty of people.


“As we slide into the off-season, weather has become a larger factor,” said Roldan. “For the same reason that the La Paz area becomes a mecca as a world class windsurfing and kite-boarding because of the strong winds during the winter, it makes it difficult to fish, and a good part of this week, we had either winds, rain and rough seas, and sometimes all three hindering being out on the water.


He added, “Earlier in the week, we had some rain. Then, it let up with some small windows of opportunity, but then Tropical Storm Raymond, a late-season blow came up the Baja peninsula and dropped several days of rain and drizzle along with dark skies and blustery seas.”


He said the few windows of opportunity that did open provided some scratchy action on some school-sized dorado ranging mostly from 10 to 15 pounds, plus, there’s still some wahoo around, which is not unusual for this time of year.


“Bonito, jack crevalle and small cabrilla added to the catch,” said Roldan. “We got some reports that commercial guys near the island reefs had found some yellowtail, but it was hard to follow-up on that and get across to the island with the rough water in the channels making it difficult to get over there. As the current storm moves out, we’re expecting some stronger gusts this week. Bring your wind surfboard!”


L.A. BAY — Capt. Juan Cook bailed out from Mag Bay earlier than he planned due to so-so fishing for snook and pargo, but said Bay of L.A., where he ended up for a few days, was really solid for yellows and cabrilla.


“It was good yellowtail fishing considering it’s still November,” said Cook, a roving guide who is now back in San Quintin, his home. “I’ll be here in San Quintin until late February and then move the Parker to Gonzaga in March and April.”


* * *


Contribute to action: Baja reports can be turned in at bajareports.com.


drrobertsantiago
DR. ROBERTO SANTIAGO of Los Angeles got a wahoo fishing out of Bahia Muertos near Las Arenas using a slow trolled purple Rapala. He also picked up a medium-sized dorado as well in a rare break in the rough weather that plagued La Paz for a good part of the week.

•   •   •   •   •

We hope you enjoyed this article on our no-charge website wonews.com. Of course, this site contains only a small fraction of the stories that Western Outdoor Publications produces each week in its two northern and southern editions and its special supplements. You can subscribe to the print issue that is mailed weekly and includes the easy flip-page full-color digital issues, or you can purchase a digital only subscription. Click here to see the choice.


Monster yellowfin lands top spot at WON Los Cabos Tuna Jackpot
The Sirena team from San Jose del Cabo, La Playa brought in this year’s winning tuna at 345 pounds – the third largest ever weighed for the WON Los Cabos Tuna Jackpot tournament in 21 years; next up in the tournament season is the Los Cabos Charterboat Classic, put on by the hotel association, Nov. 19-22.

CABO SAN LUCAS — Hundreds of anglers from across the globe came to Cabo this week to participate in the 21st annual WON Los Cabos Tuna Jackpot.


This year’s event, from Nov. 6-9, attracted some 154 teams with over one million dollars in prize money up for grabs. See Rich Holland’s report in this issue and at wonews.com – and next week WON will have a full Cabo Tuna Jackpot Review supplement detailing the event.


Rebecca Ehrenberg of the Pisces Sportfishing Fleet said, “The tournament proved to be one of the most exciting in its 21-year history.”


sireneteamcelebrated
THE SIRENA TEAM celebrated on stage after winning this year’s Los Cabos Tuna Jackpot tournament with a 345-pound cow.


Overall, there were about 30 yellowfin weighing over 100 pounds, and 12 of those were over 200 pounds. The winning tuna was a whopping 345-pound super cow – third biggest in the event’s history – caught early on day one by angler John Domanic aboard Sirena, crewed by an all-local team, the Castillo brothers, Gonzalo and Freddy from La Playita and John Michael Shibault from La Paz. There were eight money-winning teams, two of which won over $300,000.


Ehrenberg said of her fleet, “Pisces did well, with five of our boats hitting the dock with very decent fish. The Pisces’ 60-foot Reel Machine weighed a 249-pound yellowfin on day one that had no way of holding up to the winning fish, but if caught on day two it would have won! (First place on day two was a 248 pounder caught by Southern Comfort).”


Pisces’ Bill Collector 2 weighed in a tuna on day two as well, a 175 pounder caught on a lure at San Jaime. Impressively, anglers Josh Emmons, Katie and Robert Schad and Scott Solomon also had six dorado hit on Rapalas at San Jaime – and a wahoo of about 30 pounds, which they didn’t weigh, as the winning wahoo hit 47.1 pounds on this day.


Pisces’ Rebecca also did well — holding the lead in the dorado division of the tourney until the last 20 minutes or so, with a 20.8 pounder caught by longtime Pisces angler Fred Vandenborek and friends, the Timmers. Since no fish over the 30-pound mark were caught the first day, the monies were rolled over, and the weight limit was reduced to 15 pounds. The winning dorado weighed 21.7 pounds, caught by Team Outcast, and they took home $80,000.


In addition to the Tuna Jackpot, Ehrenberg said marlin fishing this week was still incredible, with crews focusing on fish right off the Old Lighthouse. The billfish releases totaled 229 – mostly striped marlin but also sailfish and a few blues. Apparently the marlin became a bit more difficult to catch off of the lighthouse, being “picky” eaters for the casted live bait that their boats targeted them with.


Also, according to Ehrenberg, with the fishing being so good and close by, the action and competition for marlin releases were both fierce, as there were around 80 to 100 boats fishing the area daily. Still, she said, the crews and anglers proved their worth, with up to 15 striped marlin released on the best days. Towards the end of the week, they saw the marlin thin out in this area, but the dorado quickly moved in. To close out the week, they caught 64 dorado on Nov. 9 alone – with a total of 204 fish caught for this week (respecting catch limits).


And in other catches, Ehrenberg said it was very nice to see some wahoo coming through – again between 30 and 40 pounds each – and even a nice 50 pounder caught on Pisces’ Bill Collector 2.


The best baits this week were mackerel, caballito and ballyhoo bait, cedar plugs and feathers (in lime green, petrolero and guacamayo).


Pisces also had their 4th Annual Satellite tagging study on striped marlin with GrayFishTag Research. A total of 31 striped marlin were caught, tagged and released between all boats, with another 30 marlin spotted and/or raised at least, fishing right off of the Old Lighthouse.


“There were close to 30 people participating in these efforts who traveled from all over the world to be here… people with the same interests and love for sustainable fishing,” said Ehrenberg. There were participants from Mexico, USA, Costa Rica and as far as Papa New Guinea, as well as some awesome players in the fishing world like Captain Dave Marciano of Hard Merchandise from the TV Show Wicked Tuna.


More details on the fleet and catches can be found at www.piscessportfishing.com.


wahoowereon
WAHOO WERE ON the prowl this week out of San Jose del Cabo for the Gordo Banks Fleet.


SAN JOSE DEL CABO — Eric Brictson of Gordo Banks Pangas reported another busy week in Cabo because of the tournament, though not necessarily for tuna fishing.


He said, “Through the past week, the action for tuna (which was previously found on San Luis Bank) came to a standstill. Only later in the week were a handful of free-feeding yellowfin even spotted. The tuna found during the two-day WON event were outside of Cabo San Lucas and on the Pacific grounds – nothing found on the Gordo Banks.”


Brictson said the highlight this week was actually the wahoo found north near Vinorama. Most of the fish landed were on slow-trolled baits (mainly on caballito, since chihuil are now hard to obtain). Apparently the number of wahoo was limited, but they were more common than dorado, tuna or any other game fish. Most wahoo were in the 20- to 35-pound class – with their largest weighing in at 43 pounds.


Bottom action was limited, with more triggerfish than anything else, and billfish action was more toward the Pacific, but they did see a handful of striped marlin and one blue marlin out of San Jose del Cabo.


Inshore, there were good numbers of small roosterfish taken and, with sardinas being scarcer, they did not see more than a few sierra.


The combined sportfishing fleet launching out of the panga area from Puerto Los Cabos Marina sent out an estimated 140 charters for the week and anglers reported an approximate fish count of: 2 blue marlin, 6 striped marlin, 13 dorado, 1 yellowfin tuna, 43 wahoo, 6 yellow snapper, 8 barred pargo, 1 bigeye jack, 1 amberjack, 4 leopard grouper, 12 Mexican bonito, 8 yellow snapper, 2 sierra, 32 roosterfish and 35 triggerfish.


rogerthompsonfishing
ROGER THOMPSON, FISHING the south side of Cerralvo Island across from Las Arenas in La Paz, caught this tuna on 40-pound test. He said he has caught bigger tuna, but few that were this scrappy! He was embarrassed to admit this fish took about four hours to put in the boat. “It pulled the panga,” he told us.


garywagnerwho
GARY WAGNER, WHO owns the Giggling Marlin Bar in Cabo San Lucas, was staying near Las Arenas this week. He knew he had a battle on his hands when he switched down to 25-pound test fluorocarbon and this big yellowfin tuna bit the line. He was on the fish for more than three and a half hours!


LA PAZ — Jonathan Roldan of Tailhunter International in La Paz reported some blustery days, but also some nice ones this week. “The problem was,” he said, “no one was fishing!”


“While the snowbirds have started to descend on La Paz to enjoy the sunshine, the off-season has started and not many people are fishing because of the unpredictable winds,” he said.


However, Roldan did say they had some folks out, and on the days it wasn’t bumpy and windy there were some fish to be caught.


“Most surprising were the big tuna hung on the south side of Cerralvo Island,” he said. “Go figure. Everyone leaves and the big tuna show up! These were pretty beastly animals. They ranged from 60 to 100 pounds and there weren’t many of them, but the ones that did bite would only eat light line, which is incredibly problematic when you are using 25 to 40-pound line and a powerful tuna crunches your bait. These fish required three to four hours of backbreaking battles to get them to the boats!”


For other species, Roldan reported that there’s still some decent dorado around running 10 to 15 pounds or so — not a lot, but enough to keep it interesting. “Mix in some bonito, jack crevalle, a few pargo and snapper and the occasional little roosterfish and it could be a fun day.”


LORETO — Rick Hill at Pinchysportfishing.com reported blowing winds again this week, “with three days of bouncing wet fishing and not a lot to show for the pain.”


However, he said things turned around later in the week, and they saw some great weather, along with the biggest action for the yellowtail's cousin, the toro.


Apparently the cabrilla, pargo and firecracker action rounded out the fishing, with much of the bite north of Coronado Island. And it’s still “easy pickin's” on smaller dorado, with a few 20-pound fish hiding below the crowd. “Getting a sardina past the hungry tots has been the trick,” said Hill.


To contribute to Baja reports, send them to Baja@wonews.com.


•   •   •   •   •

We hope you enjoyed this article on our no-charge website wonews.com. Of course, this site contains only a small fraction of the stories that Western Outdoor Publications produces each week in its two northern and southern editions and its special supplements. You can subscribe to the print issue that is mailed weekly and includes the easy flip-page full-color digital issues, or you can purchase a digital only subscription. Click here to see the choice.


Time to Fish Hard, Party Harder
Cabo Tuna Jackpot in its 21st year runs Wednesday to Saturday this week and offshore is where the bigger tuna over 200 have been located, but they are mixed in with smaller fish on the porpoise on the outside

CABO SAN LUCAS — It’s time to get your tuna on, as the 21st annual WON Los Cabos Tuna Jackpot runs this week, Wednesday to Saturday, Nov. 6-9, staged out of the Hotel Tesoro and IGY Marina with more than 150 teams and possibly a record $1 million in prize money, a first for the tourney.


To get updated reports on the team numbers and recent catches, go to the Facebook page Cabo Tuna Jackpot or wonews.com, on the tourney blog. The big fish – the super cows of 300 and up or even the high 200s – are not being caught or reported, but there have been healthy tuna of 167, 182 and 220, 250 pounds recently caught by charterboats during the two-day 2nd annual Pelagic Rockstar 20-boat tourney held Saturday and Sunday.


pisces32foot
THE PISCES 32-FOOT Sea Bum captained by Tito Oloascoaga scored this 220-pound yellowfin Nov. 1 for angler Mario Ruiz.

The biggest fish of the week was a 220 pounder caught Nov. 1 by the 32-foot Pisces charterboat Sea Bum captained by Tito Oloascoaga, and the angler was Mario Ruiz who endured a long battle. As this was being written, the results came in for the Rockstar tourney without details on the payouts. The 22 boats recorded 9 tuna each day, 2 wahoo and 2 dorado the second day after 2 wahoo were caught the first day.


The winner of the Rockstar tourney was the boat Por Que No with a 166.3 pounder while fishing outside more than 40 miles on the temperature break on the porpoise. The second place fish was a 162.7 pounder the first day by the Chino Bonito, which won last year’s Rockstar and Bisbee’s tourneys. Third place tuna was a 161.7 weighed in the second day, Sunday, by Wyatt’s Torch. The tourney had a total payout of $170,000. No individual team payout information was available by press time.


A fish on the Pisces C-Rod could not make the 6 p.m. deadline and was reported to be in the 250-pound class. It was caught on the outside. Another fish of 200 pounds was not in the tourney but was unloaded and carted away down the malecon Sunday night before anyone could get any information. Things are secretive around tourney time.


“The season’s fishing is not slowing down any time soon,” said Rebecca Ehrenberg of the Pisces Fleet. “We had an almost a 100 percent success rate for our boats this week, with a total of 108 boats out and 106 catching fish! There were 291 billfish released, which included striped marlin, blue marlin around 200 to 250 pounds and sailfish. There were 160 tuna caught this week; including a cow-sized 220-pound yellowfin caught on the Sea Bum. The Tracy Ann also hit the dock with a nice 181-pound tuna caught by anglers Rolla Ogle and Harrell Minzenmayer. Other yellowfin caught ranged from 15 to 45 pounds mainly.”


Ehrenberg said dorado numbers this week did go down somewhat, with 40 fish caught total. Other catches this week included wahoo mainly, some skipjack and bonita and even a pair of roosterfish sprinkled in.

In other news. The Bisbee’s final Black & Blue Marlin Tournament results were posted and can be found on their website Bisbees.com. We reported the basics last week as three teams claimed over $1 million each.


wahooareon
WAHOO ARE ON the target list off Cabo for tourney anglers this week with the Cabo Tuna Jackpot which has optionals for dorado, wahoo and tuna. These were caught off Puerto Los Cabos with a Gordo Banks Panga.


SAN JOSE DEL CABO — Eric Brictson of Gordo Banks Pangas in San Jose Del Cabo filed a Saturday report and as usual, hit the nail on the head.


What is apparent is the Gordo is not, or has not, been holding huge tuna, and this Cabo Tuna Jackpot will be all about finding the porpoise on the outside temp break. At least that is the talk of the town.


“Fall season is now at its peak, as scores of anglers are arriving daily, many of them now preparing for tournaments, including the WON Tuna Jackpot scheduled for this coming week,” said Brictson. “This Sunday was the Los Cabos Iron Man event, which means many streets and Highway closures, adding to already congested logistics or trying to get anywhere. Fall weather patterns started off calm this week, before the north winds picked back up midweek, even had one day where there was light, scattered rainfall. Ocean water temperature ranged 80 to 84 degrees with moderate swells and at times swift currents.”


Bait is always a concern for local fleets with so many boats clamoring for it who have not planned for the tournaments by bringing slabs of squid, flying fish or ballyhoo.


“There’s always heavy pressure this time of year on local bait resources, we are now seeing a combination of sardinas, slabs of squid, caballito, ballyhoo and some skippers able to find chihuil. Surprisingly supplies are holding up better than we would imagine, and it will be interesting to see how supplies hold through this month,” he said. “Charters are scouting out all directions, most local sportfishing fleets are fishing grounds from the Gordo Banks, Iman, San Luis and as far north as Vinorama.


“Action has been spread out and changing from day to day as to where the bite is best. Early in the week, the best action proved to be for wahoo near Vinorama, finding the chihuil baitfish was the secret to success – not always easy to obtain these candy baits as it's more of a super panga deal on certain high spots with specialized rigs. Not many wahoo were striking the trolled lures at this time, best chances were on slow trolled trap-hooked baits and early morning before too many boats congregated. The wahoo were averaged in the 25- to 35-pound class. High boats brought in five, others one, two or three, of course many other were lost for the normal wahoo reasons.”


Dorado remained scarce and scattered, with boats only seeing one or two fish for all groups of charter’s per day, and Brictson said he heard of more numbers on the Pacific, but even there the dorado were not nearly as numerous as previous months. More marlin appeared, even in the direction off of San Jose del, though the billfish were much more active towards Cabo San Lucas and on the Pacific.


“We even had some sailfish and at least one 180-pound class blue marlin was accounted for. With the warmer water there are still chances at the larger-sized black and blue marlin,” Brictson said. “Yellowfin tuna were elusive, being targeted on San Luis Banks as wells as Gordo Banks, though very few were actually landed this week. Most of the tuna we did see were in the 60- to 90-pound range, and a few smaller 10- to 20-pound fish. These yellowfin hit a wide variety of baits, not on lures. Drift fishing with squid or using chihuil and live skipjack produced strikes. Heavy pressure, combined with lots of natural food source and swift currents, now have these fish skittish and finicky – of course, on any given day they could become more aggressive, as there are definitely still yellowfin through the area.”


The combined sportfishing fleet launching out of the panga area from Puerto Los Cabos Marina sent out an estimated 140 charters for the week and anglers reported an approximate fish count of: 1 blue marlin, 2 sailfish, 14 striped marlin, 18 yellowfin tuna, 11 dorado, 52 wahoo, 4 barred pargo, 10 leopard grouper, 38 Mexican bonito, 8 yellow snapper, 2 dogtooth snapper, 8 sierra, 6 Pacific golden eyed tilefish, 4 rainbow runner, 4 jack crevalle, 24 roosterfish and 25 triggerfish.


jeffwedekindis
JEFF WEDEKIND IS the owner of Chinook Shores Lodge in Ketchikan, Alaska. He came down for an end-of-the-season getaway and sunshine to fish in La Paz and was out with Tailhunter Sportfishing when he hooked this dandy bull dorado just 50 yards from the beach there at Bahia de los Muertos.

LA PAZ – Jonathan Roldan of Tailhunter International reported that on the good side, the sun was out all week and the snowbirds from Canada, Alaska, Europe and colder areas are filtering into town. On the downside, it wasn’t the best for fishing.


“Northern winds ramped up and it’s just the start,” said Roldan. “This is what happens during the colder months. Two days we couldn’t even go out because the Port Captain shut down the port to all boat traffic and there were several other days when it would have been better if we had just not gone out at all.”


He added, “The strong winds have the waters stirred up and dirty. It brings in colder, greener waters as well. Additionally, the currents and waves are up so makes for a less-than-comfortable day of fishing. Plus, if the waves are crashing the shallow areas, it makes it hard to get bait. However, kudos to our anglers and captains for hanging in there. They braved the rougher seas with tight grins and still caught some fish.”


Roldan said there there weren’t a lot of fish caught unless you’re counting bonito, jack crevalle and needlefish. However, some of the largest dorado of the season were hooked as well as a few wahoo and tuna. They even had several marlin hookups as well (fish were lost).


“The better fishing was with our Tailhunter Las Arenas fleet, where it’s a bit more protected. I imagine as the winds increase and become more frequent, we’ll be doing most of our fishing from that area.”


cedrosoutoorhosted1

cedrosoutdoorhosted1a

cedrosoutoorhosted1b
CEDROS OUTDOOR ADVENTURES hosted Steve Leiphardt and his fishing buddies, Jason Welsh and Craig Murakami, who were in search of big yellowtail last week, and encountered a wide-open bite on quality grade forktails up to 47 pounds with most in the 30- to 40-pound class.

CEDROS ISLAND — Tom Gatch of Cedros Outdoor Adventures said the island Gatch, a freelance outdoor Baja writer. “As time passes, it has become obvious that recent efforts to preserve and maintain the Island’s unique marine environment have begun to pay off in grand style.


“This year, visitors fishing around Cedros Island have been treated to a spectacular array of species. These have not only encompassed the trophy-sized yellowtail and calico bass that made the Island famous, but also include big broomtail grouper, black seabass, golden dorado, fat California halibut, chunky ocean whitefish and a plethora of other incidental species that were caught over the past few months.”


Steve Leiphardt and his fishing buddies, Jason Welsh, and Craig Murakami, paid their first visit to Isla Cedros in search of big yellowtail last week, and encountered a wide-open bite on quality grade forktails up to 47 pounds that exceeded their wildest dreams.


Leiphardt reported, “Most of our yellowtail were in the 30- to 40-pound class, and we caught most of them while slowly trolling live mackerel on 30- to 60-pound test fluorocarbon leaders. To top things off, we also fished around Christmas Island on our last day, where we caught and released a bunch of big calico bass.”


LORETO — “Three days of wind put the damper on fishing this week and when we got back out on the hot spot, the fish had blown off to new secret coordinates,” said Rick Hill of pinchysportfishing.com. “Good bottom fishing and back to little dorado. This coming week looks good and reconnecting with the bigger versions will be the challenge. Looks like it is time to break out the serious bottom rigs!”


SAN QUINTIN — High spots like Ben’s Rock and the 240 Spot turned up big yellows for the fleets out of the bay, as Facebook posts indicated the season is far from over for Jaime’s Pangas and K&M Sportfishing. As for the white seabass action, there were no reports of recent catches, but it has been an up-and-down bite.


To contribute to Baja reports, send them to Baja@wonews.com.


soakingadead
SOAKING A DEAD MACKEREL just off the Punta Arenas lighthouse near La Paz across from Cerralvo Island, Roger Thompson got a big-time bite from this hefty yellowtail. He also got several others, but wasn’t able to land them. Roger is from the Long Beach area, but has a place nearby in La Ventana.

•   •   •   •   •

We hope you enjoyed this article on our no-charge website wonews.com. Of course, this site contains only a small fraction of the stories that Western Outdoor Publications produces each week in its two northern and southern editions and its special supplements. You can subscribe to the print issue that is mailed weekly and includes the easy flip-page full-color digital issues, or you can purchase a digital only subscription. Click here to see the choice.


Page 1 of 20 First | Previous | Next | Last

Luna Sea Sports Ad