LA PAZ — For the most part, it was another one of those weeks you just really wanted to write-off. And then, just like that the waters warmed up and it was game on.
“At the 13th hour on Sunday, the weather perked up, water temperatures moved up and what had been such a dreary outlook suddenly had some promise,” Jonathan Roldan from Tailhunter International said. “Both our Tailhunter Las Arenas and Tailhunter La Paz fleets hooked a few more dorado and they were quality fish in the 20- to 40-pound class. Also, with 2 to 6 per panga, that was the best we’d seen all season.”
“On top of that we had several striped marlin hooked and released plus roosterfish in the 20- 50-pound class that kept things fun for our Las Arenas anglers,” Roldan said. “We saw a bit more blue water and a bit cleaner water. We can only hope the “curse” that has hit southern Baja in one of most difficult bites in recent years is on the way out.”
In other Baja fishing action:
— LORETO: For the past 10 days there has finally been something to chat about on the radios, as word spread that big dorado had finally shown up. And just in time for this coming weekend’s charity tournament!
“The water and the fishing have turned on like we haven't seen for three years,” Rick Hill of Loreto Sea and Land Eco Tours said. “On the north end of town we have been hitting full limits on yellowtail and if you get tired of yellowtail you troll. Two boats went out on Monday, one from the Hotel La Mission only got two sailfish and the other boat with two rookies came back with 7 yellowtail.”
“It's been crazy all week,” Hill said. “You start the day with a few yellowtail and finish with sailfish, marlin and dorado. The big dorado came in on Friday and weighed in at 25 kilos or 55 pounds. It took them 45 minutes and 4 times around the boat, while the marlin hit earlier with only a 25 minute fight. We’re talking big dorado like we haven't seen for years!”
Hill said everyone fishing the north side of town has been doing the same; yellows, cabrilla and then the warmwater monster. And just in time for the Tripui Dorado Tournament, this coming weekend. “We fished, Thursday on the south end of Carmen and came up with a few yellows, cabrilla (on downriggers and with weights) and cut offs from unknown sharks. I think we may be fishing way up north during the tourney and then try to make it back to the weigh-in at Tripui,” Hill said.
The event is an all charity event with no cash prizes. Tackle manufactures and local merchants are donating all the prizes and all the cash goes to local charities for books and computers for schools and the fire department. “We are looking good for the other upcoming events also,” Hill said. “Fishin for the Mission and the Vagabundos are doing annual events as well.”
LORETO 3 YEAR DROUGHT MAY BE OVER! — The first of the big bulls came in this past week, just in time for some very important charity events to benefit the lo0cal schools and firehouse. This one weighted in at 55 pounds! PHOTO COURTESY OF LORETO SEA AND LAND ECO TOURS
— MAGDALENA BAY: The water is still cold here and the only thing going on outside right now is the yellowtail. Off San Junico and Isla Magdelana there is a pretty good bite on the white seabass and the bay is still producing halibut, grouper and corvina.
— MULEGE: The dorado had moved in, but with mostly smaller fish until the weekend when larger ones started showing up, and close in as well.
“Dale-Annie Fisher from Rialto, CA caught her limit of dorado on more than one occasion,” Bob Frambes of Playa Frambes Lighthouse Resort said. “She was trolling a plastic feather just outside Conception Bay about 3 miles offshore. Fisher said there were lots of fish there including marlin and that she was amazed how many turtles she trolled by.”
— SAN JOSE DEL CABO (LOS CABOS): With Los Cabos now hosting the G20 Summit for world leaders, San Jose is seeing unprecedented security forces operating, with safety for everyone being the highest priority. If you are here or coming soon expect traveling delays due to heavy traffic through road blocks and various closures. They are saying also to be at the airport four hours early and that the toll road is closed.
“With the start of the summer season a week away, marine moisture is all there has been, no rainfall in sight, but plenty of sunshine,” Eric Brictson of Gordo Banks Pangas said.
“Anglers are being confronted with these unfavorable ocean conditions, not so much cooler temperatures, the greatest factor being the high chlorophyll levels that are creating greenish brown waters that just do not attract the baitfish; which in turn bring in the game fish. On Terrafin SST charts, we now see that the green water ranges to 40 miles offshore, even there, it does not even appear blue.”
“Inshore water temperatures range from 70 to 74 degrees, not too cool, it’s just the dirty current has not been what we want to see and for this week, it doesn’t matter much anyway since there are battleships potholing and there is a 5-mile restricted zone. This same pattern persists to as far north of Punta Arena, where there is a water break up to 76 and 78 degrees. So the water temperatures are okay, there just needs to be a switch in currents, to sweep in cleaner conditions, so anglers can find what they have come to expect.”
“But not many anglers appear to be in town now,” Brictson said. “Perhaps more would be ready to go fishing if recent reports were more encouraging and they didn’t have to deal with traffic delays and everything else. I believe many people are just hanging out at their resorts and enjoying the isolated relaxation; there are definitely more political diplomats and their entourages than normal tourists.”
“At this time we are being told by port officials that we can no longer fish in the jetty area, I guess that was evitable, being that these boats are fishing where boat traffic is heavy,” Brictson said. “Although now there are more military boats than anything else, it would be nice if these patrol boats acknowledged the marina’s no wake speed limits, these turbo jet PT patrol vessels create heavy wakes, damaging dock structure and have already been reasonable for many snapped dock lines.”
Brictson said the combined panga fleet out of La Playita and Puerto Los Cabos Marina sent out only 49 charters for the week, with anglers reporting a fish count of 1 striped marlin, 7 dorado, 12 bonito, 39 amberjack, 9 grouper, 19 cabrilla, 12 jack crevalle, 66 roosterfish, 6 pompano, 32 huachinango, 22 yellow snapper, 20 triggerfish, 10 sierra and 5 pargo Colorado.
— SANTA ROSALIA: It looks like there has been a slight slowdown in fishing here as bait was a little harder to fish and the tails have moved off some.
“Weather in the Santa Rosalia area has been mildly cooperative as we got some really good days mixed in with some rough water and a general south swell,” local angler Jim Anderson said. “Bait has been a little on the difficult side, but if you know where to look there is still good numbers of Spanish mackerel as well as green mackerel. A lot of the radio chatter was people looking for bait first thing in the morning but not connecting as well as they did earlier in the season as well.”
“The yellowtail are still showing up in large numbers but have moved a little closer to San Marcos Island and most of the pangas were using cut squid which is showing up,” Anderson said. “One boat weighed in 111 kilos of yellowtail at San Bruno, while most others had a few. I think the big numbers of yellowtail may be over for the season but we may still see some migrating fish stopping off on their journey north.”
Anderson said the big news was that dorado fishing was doing very well as they are getting warm water in the 80-degree range close to San Marcos Island. “We were able to find a lot of weedlines and sargasso patties holding fish even though most of the fish were not large, there were good numbers,” he said. “One resident of Punta Chivato found a nice dorado close to 45 pounds between Chivato and Tortuga. We managed to raise 2 striped marlin and one nice sized blue on Wednesday and the blue attacked a live bait thrown to him while the stripers were pulled in by the trolling rigs.”
Next weekend is the annual Bulls Only Dorado Tournament at Punta Chivato. For full information and entry forms go to www.bullsonlytournament.com.
— SAN QUINTIN: Here in San Quintin, anglers are just waiting for the water to warm up but in the meantime, the bottomfishing is still great, along with 10- to 15-pound halibut and a nice sand bass bite, but the fun is out on the edge of the kelp where willing calico to 8 pounds are eating up the Big Hammer swimbaits.
“The calico are great fun on light tackle,” Dana Stewart, restaurant manager at Don Eddie’s said. “One of the local fishermen reported a school of tuna down south; I hope they are headed this way. There is also a casual surf fishing contest this Friday (6-22) and everyone is itching to get wet.”
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