ENSENADA — Bad weather prevented everyone from going out this past week. Wind waves ranged from 3 to 6 feet. The Port Captain even closed the port; lots of white caps and wind at about 20 knots.
“Our fingers are crossed because our good fishing depends on the weather,” Mariana Hammann from the Coral Marina Store said. “The fact that many bonito were caught prior to the week proves that the waters are full of diversity this year and the water temperatures seem better than last year. In 2011 we had no bonito catches and very few bluefin catches.”
In other Baja fishing action:
— LA PAZ: Given the bar has been set so high over the past few months, this past week was just a “normal” early spring week of fishing, but if the wind ever goes away it should be smooth sailing again.
“It was not our best week of fishing here for the most part,” Jonathan Roldan of Tailhunter International said. “Given the great bite we’ve had for the last three months, this past week was disappointing mainly because we’ve been spoiled by so many big yellowtail.”
“For one, we had the, full moon and high winds, especially to the south which pushed a lot of water around,” Roldan said. “This pulled up colder, greener off-color water from down deep. In the long-run, this is good. The cooler water with all the nutrients are a naturally occurring thing and brings up a lot of nutrients that makes the fish grow, but short term, it really shuts off the bite.”
“Plus, the winds continued to blow, in fact, one day we had to bring everyone back to town,” Roldan said. “It’s the first day we’ve had to cancel boats in about two years. It would have been nearly impossible to get bait anyway. With the winds battering some of our bait holes around the islands, it scattered the bait. Like looking for a needle in a haystack, the pangas had a hard time just getting into the spots close to the rocks without some risk to themselves.”
Roldan said they did get some yellowtail but not as many as they had been getting. “We also got some really nice cabrilla (Mexican seabass) and pargo (lost quite a few to the rocks) some of the biggest sierra I have ever seen and also lots of bonito. We had a number of families out so the bonito provided great action for many of the kids, most of who had never fished before. We also got a few roosterfish as well in the 20-pound class which looks like they’re finally showing up.”
— LORETO: Cass Tours sponsored a yellowtail tourney at the Oasis Hotel
this past weekend and although the wind blew them off the water one day and generally made life on the water miserable when they did fish, a few nice fish started showing up in their counts.
“Friday was their first day fishing and the boats that fished Carmen scored the first good yellows this season,” Rick Hill of Loreto Sea and Land Eco Tours said. “Saturday they got blown out but today (Sunday) the hardier ones fished. Monday will be their last opportunity for fishing and they fly back on Tuesday. The biggest fish so far is just under 32 pounds and the next four were within 2 pounds of each other. The big ones were all caught at Punto Lobo, north end of Carmen Island.”
Pam Bolles of Baja Big Fish Company said it was still slow in the yellowtail department but said some are starting to bite. “I think they are still actively spawning and we did have a two and half day severe north wind blow just pass,” she said. “I fished Saturday, it was tough but the cabrilla and pargo are feeding now.”
"The cabrilla and pargo are feeding along the shorelines of Carmen Island,” Bolles said. “I got a nice big cabrilla but we lost (farmed) several big fish, likely large cabrilla or pargo. Those fish are hungry but they are fast and they'll rock you in a hurry. We need to hook the bait with two 6/0s in tandem and use fairly heavy 40- to 50-pound line. They'll hit the bait hard and then go right into the rocks. The water is only 50 feet deep or less so if you're not paying attention you'll lose it.”
“Yellowtail are being reported at El Pulpito and San Bruno, also Coronado Island and all around Carmen and Catalana so hopefully we will turn the corner soon. I have been getting entries for The Great Loreto Yellowtail tournament the last weekend in April; I just hope we have good weather.”
Bolles said bait is for sale as always, but added that it’s also very easy to catch jig up off Coronado's southeast side.
Arturo Susarrey from Arturo’s Sportfishing reports yellowtail, in the last two weeks have been biting north of Catalina Island 35 miles. “They have been weighing from 23 to 28 pounds, and some days we have had as many as three of them,” Susarrey said. “After yellowtail fishing, you can troll with a Rapala type lure close of the for cabrilla and snapper.”
LORETO TURNING THE CORNER — When anglers can get out, a few more yellowtail have been encountered. While still in spawning mode, it appears a few more fish are starting to bite. Here’s the Grady Keeper party, with yellowtail from Catalina Island. PHOTO COURTESY OF ARTURO’S SPORTFISHING
— MAGDALENA BAY: It’s been blowing pretty hard over here but starting to settle back down. Scallop season opened on Sunday.
According to Bob Hoyt from Mag Bay Outfitters, there have been a few small yellowfin in the area from the Entrada up to Punta Pequena and lots of bait in the same area. “A few swordfish showed up in the shark nets but no marlin as of yet,” he said.”
— SAN JOSE DEL CABO (LOS CABOS): Water clarity has improved to the north of Punta Gorda, where were good numbers of striped marlin were encountered from the Gordo Banks to Desteladera, Palmilla Point saw an increase in action for yellowtail. Plus the bottom bite improved as well.
“Most charters targeting the billfish were having multiple opportunities while trolling lures and casting baits to tailers and feeding stripers,” Eric Brictson from Gordo banks Pangas said. “A handful of dorado were also found on the same fishing grounds; some of them up to 30 pounds but most of the time they were loners.”
“Charters found a mix of caballito and sardina for bait, although in recent days the supplies of sardina became very scattered from Palmilla to Chileno, where they had been so plentiful,” Brictson said. “Now the bait netters will need to search out new sources, perhaps in the direction of Vinorama once again.”
“Palmilla Point saw increased action for yellowtail with fish ranging up to 30 pounds but there are still no huge numbers,” Brictson said. “But it has been more productive than it had been, drifting live caballito down deep was the most successful, although some anglers also had strikes on yo-yo’s. Towards Cabo San Lucas there were areas where anglers reported good action on the yellows while trolling deep diving Rapalas.”
Brictson said it appears the bottom action is improving, as more, larger fish are showing up. “There were some amberjack starting to bite, one 80-pound fish was taken mid week and others in the 30- to 60-pound range,” he said. “Again, there were no big numbers, but at least they are starting to appear in the counts. These amberjack were mainly taken while working yo-yo jigs off the structure. Various snapper, pargo, cabrilla and grouper rounded out the action off the bottom.”
“Not much is being heard about yellowfin tuna, there were occasional sightings of tuna on the Iman Bank, but only a few of these fish were actually hooked into as they would vanish as quickly as they appeared,” Brictson said. The previous weekend there was one 120-pound tuna reported by a panga from La Playita and several other fish over 40 pounds as well. It is now the time when we should start seeing more tuna action associated with traveling porpoise.”
Brictson said there were a few wahoo to report in recent days, striking on baits and lures on the fishing grounds from La Fortuna to San Luis; smaller sized fish up to 20 pounds, but nevertheless an encouraging sign. “Surprisingly there were still many whales being sighted in the area, this is the tail end of season, most are headed north now,” he said.
“Along the shoreline anglers are finding sierra, roosterfish and jack crevalle, as well as some yellowtail,” Brictson said. “Most of the roosterfish are in the 5- to 12-pound class still but fun fighters on light tackle. Please remember that these fish should be released to mature and provide future stock, many anglers are not aware of this and many of the local skippers just do not seem to think about the future much.”
The combined panga fleets launching from La Playita and Puerto Los Cabos Marina sent out 64 charters this past week, with anglers reporting a fish count of 4 wahoo, 6 yellowfin tuna, 26 dorado, 16 shark, 18 striped marlin, 18 bonito, 16 amberjack, 24 yellowtail, 11 pompano, 58 pargo, 84 roosterfish, 33 cabrilla, 12 grouper and 185 sierra.
GETTIN’ THERE — Gary Weiss from Santa Monica with Gordo Banks skipper Jesus and his son Joe Manuel with a few yellowtail, they also lost five other strikes for various reasons. Note the construction (right corner) of the new Four Season Hotel rapidly rising adjacent to the La Playita panga docking area. If you haven’t been here for awhile, the new marina is “gettin’ there” really fast! PHOTO COURTESY OF GORDO BANKS PANGAS
— SAN QUINTIN: Don Eddie's Landing reports bad weather for the last two weeks and very few anglers around to haul up the lings.
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