LORETO — The yellowtail fishing has been great and San Bruno has been the hot spot for the last several days and consistent lately for nice-sized fish. If you don’t break off, tangle your line up, hook on to someone else’s line, get robbed by a sea lion, anchored in the rocks, broken off or all your bait dies, then the legal limit of five per person has been a sure thing.
According to Pam Bolles of Baja Big Fish Company, the yellowtail at San Bruno are ranging in size from 10 to 30 pounds with a few larger ones. “Most are in the mid 20s and they are at the bottom and also feeding at the mid water column,” she said. “At the bottom an 8-ounce weight is required as the current is very strong. You’ll need at least 4 ounces of weight to keep the mackerel down enough for near surface hits.”
“There are also cabrilla and pargo where the yellowtail are, down deep,” Bolles said. “They’re also just off the shorelines, in shallow water with large boulders. They are taking slow trolled live mackerel and jigs as well as Rapala style lures. They are from 5 pounds to over 30 pounds. These species will take flies although without sardina for chum it will be less productive than we’re used to.”
Bolles said roosterfish are off the marina and can be caught from either a boat, kayak or standing on the break-wall. “Roosterfish from 5 to 20 pounds have been caught right there. The bite generally starts after 9 a.m. and goes on for over an hour but it will turn on again in the afternoons, too.”
Rick Hill of Loreto Sea and Land Eco Tours said fishing has been consistent for most parties. “Anglers are getting yellowtail with cabrilla and a few roosters,” Hill said. “Yellows are averaging 20 pounds and with the other species, size is the surprise. Pinto bass and whitefish are still coming up at La Cholla and the San Bruno reef, but most boats are chasing the yellowtail.”
“Making bait has been very easy this season and I hope it stays that way,” Hill said. “Or you can always buy bait, but when the supply is this good, just bring your Sabikis and Lucky Joes.”
We counting down to the Tripui Tournament on June 22 (registration) with fishing on 23 and 24; if you’re in the area please consider participating in this local community fundraiser.
LORETO LIMITS — Yellowtail limits were the norm for anglers, like this one Pam Bolles holds. When you get tired of fighting the yellowtail, just kick back and troll for the rock dwellers. PHOTO COURTESY OF BAJA BIG FISH COMPANY
In other Baja fishing action:
— MAGDALENA BAY: This past week it was all about the halibut fishing although small tuna were also being caught just outside.
According to Mag Bay Outfitters, the bay fishing has been very good with limits of halibut. “Surf fishing from the island has been incredible,” Bob Hoyt said. “Island guide Chris Schwab took two angling surfers out and they each caught limits and tossed back another 25 or 30 halibut.”
“And the lift pole boats from the cannery found schools of 12- to 15-pound tuna 22 miles from the entrance.”
— SAN FELIPE & NORTHERN SEA OF CORTEZ: Beautiful skies, calm waters, and warm temperatures greeted the Tony Reyes as it left San Felipe Harbor last Sunday, May 20.
“The boat headed south to the Midriff Islands fishing Partida, La Raza, San Francisquitos and San Esteban on Monday and Tuesday,” Tom Wade from The Longfin said. “Yellowtail were abundant up to 32 pounds and cabrilla were up to 15 pounds. Other experiences included orca and whale shark sightings and a catch and safe release of a giant turtle.”
“Wednesday the boat moved north to the southern point of La Guarda, finding more nice yellowtail in the morning and moving up the east side of the island in the afternoon to find even more yellowtail and cabrilla,” Ward said. “All day Thursday was spent in the spectacular Refugio Bay area at the northern point of La Guarda. The bite continued to be good on both yellowtail and cabrilla there. The wind picked up late Thursday evening and into Friday morning holding the boat in the bay and not allowing any fishing early Friday morning.”
“Once the wind died down a bit, the boat headed back for San Felipe,” Ward said. “Charter masters Roger Rohm and Mitch Forward hosted an excellent trip once again while Reyes and the crew provided an outstanding experience. The pangueros put the anglers on fish every day for four straight days; bringing on board over 400 yellowtail and over 300 cabrilla. The crew worked tirelessly to provide seamless transitions and the cooks once again prepared tasty meals including fresh yellowtail sashimi and ceviche.”
— SAN JOSE DEL CABO (LOS CABOS): Water temperatures varied from a chilly 58 degrees on the Pacific side of Cabo San Lucas, to 64 to 66 degrees off of the San Jose del Cabo region, while north of Los Frailes, where this Pacific current terminates the ocean temperatures held in the76- to 78-degree range. This is a 20-degree variance in water conditions within a 50-mile stretch of coastline and an example of the tough transition we are still going through.
“While anglers have had to work harder and have more patience in the cooler waters, surfers put on their wetsuits and were eagerly awaiting the larger swells that were being generated by Hurricane Bud, the season’s second named storm,” Eric Brictson of Gordo Banks Pangas said.
“Green off-colored water is normally associated with colder currents, migrating pelagic gamefish seek out more favorable habitat and anglers have to have patience waiting for conditions to recover,” Brictson said. “Sometimes this can happen overnight, other times the turnaround can take weeks; currents do need to shift back from the north, in order for the warmer currents off of the East Cape region to shift back in the direction of Los Cabos.”
“Striped marlin have been the main attraction found offshore,” Brictson said. “Fish have been more scattered with recent conditions, but most charters are having opportunities. There are no great numbers now, but catches of one or two marlin were not uncommon. The billfish were striking on live caballito and lures, often encountered tailing on the surface, hitting dropped back baits most of the time 5 to 20 miles offshore. There were very few dorado talked about this past week and that will most likely be the scenario until waters warm back into the mid70s.”
Brictson said increased swells made it tough for the pangeros to net sardina, but supplies of caballito have remained steady. “As conditions stabilize we do expect to see larger concentrations of bolito and skipjack surface on the fishing grounds. In the meantime we wait for a warming trend.”
“While there were no tuna, dorado or exotic wahoo frenzies to report, anglers did find some mixed inshore action along the shoreline and off the rocky high spots,” Brictson said. “But this option was not consistent from day to day; certain spots produced well one day, then the next day slowed to a standstill. While reports of great action came in from other areas, it’s hard to try everywhere in one morning.”
“The week started off with great yellowtail and mixed cabrilla, grouper action found off of Palmilla to Red Hill in 100 to 150 feet of water,” Brictson said. “The yellowtail were striking on yo-yos, surface trolling bait, downrigger baits, Rapalas and even on surface trolled marlin type lures and they were a nice grade of fish between 20 to 30 pounds. A few amberjack were mixed in, with leopard grouper to 15 pounds and gulf grouper to 30 pounds rounding out catches. Yellowtail at times were seen cruising in the swells, as were marlin. These fish appeared to be on the move as unsettled ocean conditions have them scattering in new directions.”
Brictson said roosterfish provided steady action for anglers while trolling live baits close to the shoreline. “Most of the roosters were less than 15 pounds, but there were some impressive fish over 50 pounds also starting to appear,” he said. “The next several weeks is when we normally see the bigger roosterfish start patrolling local beach stretches, cold currents have also set their schedule back.”
“This next week local residents will be gearing up for the traditional national holiday of the Dia de la Marina,” Brictson said. “In La Playita there is always heavy anticipation in this event. There will be three days of activities including late night dances, carnival rides, parades, horse match races, off road vehicle races and of course more than enough cerveza.”
The combined panga fleets launching from La Playita and Puerto Los Cabos Marina sent out 82 charters for the week with anglers reporting a fish count of 5 striped marlin, 3 dorado, 18 amberjack, 4 dogtooth snapper, 88 various pargo species, 78 roosterfish, 19 jack crevalle, 26 cabrilla, 8 pompano, 56 yellowtail and 16 sierra.
— SANTA ROSALIA: The yellowtail bite has been holding up and fishing looks to be good for the San Lucas Cove Yellowtail Tournament this coming weekend.
“The weekend found us with sore muscles and big smiles for the week as things wind up and we get ready for the San Lucas Cove Yellowtail Tournament,” local angler Jim Anderson said. “Bait has been very easy to come by and the yellowtail have been chewing everything thrown at them. We found them ready to pounce on green mackerel both flylined with a small lead weight.”
“There were lots of pangueros also fishing the bajos and it sometimes was a real challenge to avoid the pangas while drifting, but everyone was catching fish and a party atmosphere soon developed so whenever lines crossed no one got too upset,” Anderson said.
“After the tournament this coming weekend, it will be time to get offshore and start checking out the billfish and dorado which must be out there with the temperatures reading in the upper 70s,” Anderson said. “The squid boats, which are converted shrimp boats from the mainland showed up in the Santa Rosalia area and squid are starting to show.”
“The seiners were out in force last night and all were really low in the water line as they steamed off to Guaymas,” he said. “I hear how they scoop up everything in the area, but I really did not notice much difference while making bait this morning. We did pull up on one of the big seiners and they were loading up on sardine.”
— SAN QUINTIN: Associates of Don Eddies Hotel had the privilege of attending the grand reopening last evening, Saturday, May 26, of Don Eddie's Hotel in San Quintin. Dignitaries in attendance were Ramon Villavencenzio of the Baja Department of Tourism and Mr. and Mrs. Lorenzo Biedebach, owners of Campo Lorenzo. Both of them are proud sponsors of the upcoming 4th of July Tournament along with Tecate Cerveza, Western Outdoor News and Squidco just to name a few. The tournament will be held on Friday, July 6.
“The wind blew this weekend but only served to pump up the spirits of those in attendance,” Beverly Martin said. “The party went on until 2 a.m. with all agreeing that the new kitchen and bar reopening was a great culinary success. New head chef, Dana Stewart, newly relocated from San Diego to San Quintin, has come up with some gourmet house specialties such as jumbo prawns in a mango, chipotle sauce with garlic smashed potatoes and young asparagus. Stewart also announced that Don Eddies will be growing their own produce and using compost bins to recycle vegetables.”
"We look forward to a record-breaking fishing season this year," Tony, Marquez, owner of Don Eddies Hotel and Restaurant said. “All rooms have been refurbished and are ready to go. With so much excitement surrounding the upcoming tournament, it will be a success for sure.” Rooms are still available for the event at www.doneddieshotel.com.
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A GOOD SPRING-TIME BITE — Limits of calico, sand bass and whitefish were the norm for Capt. Juan and his partner while they fished for a weekend barbeque including this enormous sand bass his wife Shari Bondy proudly displays. PHOTO COURTESY OF CAMPO SIRENA