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Baja Reports - by Pat McDonell

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Tuesday, June 26, 2018
Summer action goes off


Cedros bass: Off the charts in size, numbers
Join WON in a September trip for yellows, bass and likely tuna and dorado again; East Cape still going off on tuna

CEDROS — Mike Ryba of Reebs Lures was in the reports last week for Cedros Island, on another trip with Cedros Outdoor Adventures. Big bass, and lots of them. In the past years, the kelp areas had been impacted with El Niño, but the kelp forests are coming back, and the big bass are trophy sized.


cedrosislandisturning
CEDROS ISLAND IS turning up some huge calicos. Here is luremaker Mike Ryba of Reebs Lures with a beauty, on this 22nd trip to the Island with Cedros Outdoor Adventures. Only a few spots remain for the WON trip Sept. 14-17. Email kevin@wonews.com for details.


Ryba provided WON a nice first person report this week.


“Cedros in June has always been my favorite month for calico fishing,” he said. ”Being my 22nd trip to the island, I had good expectations on great calico fishing. We found amazing fishing on the south end of Cedros at St. Augustin, and it’s packed with thick kelp and big calicos. There was plenty of current and empty kelp lanes for use of many lure presentations.”


As far as weather, he said, they had gusty winds on day 1 and 2, but the other three days were glassy and calm. The sun was blistering, but the mornings and evenings were cool.


“We ventured to Punte Norte in hopes of big bass and it didn't disappoint. On our first hour, we managed one solid 8-pound calico on the Reebs Bolt Thrower spinnerbait. It was taken and released in three feet of water on a fast wind over the reef. We did catch a few others, but the quantity at Punte Norte wasn't there. So we headed back to St. Augustin and there we caught over 90 calicos in the kelp.


“Overall, the fish were to the south and we fished that area for the remainder of the trip. We did try for yellowtail and managed 1 on the troll, and also lost 2. We soaked macks for about an hour for nothing. The water was cooler at 63 degrees, but it seemed evident the yellowtail were about to go off with just a few more degrees in water temp.”


He added, “It was a great trip hosted by Cedros Outdoor Adventures as usual. Super friendly staff, always willing to help. The food was outstanding and the accommodations were superior.”


If you want to test your skill for calico bass and yellowtail, there’s no better spot than Cedros Island. Whether yo-yoing iron over a deep spot of fish or throwing to crashing yellowtail boiling just yards away, Cedros Outdoor Adventures is an experience you should not miss.


WON has its 2018 hosted and sponsored charter with Pat McDonell going to the island, Sept. 14-17, and the cost is $1,720, which includes all ground and flight transport to and from the Baja Dreams Lodge, meals, fishing, and filleting.


For booking that trip, contact Kevin@wonews.com. For all other trips, check their website at www.cedrosoutdooradventures.com and call them at (619) 793-5419.


sheilagiovannaverduzco
SHEILA GIOVANNA VERDUZCO of Los Barilles holds a nice tuna aboard the El Rogalo on a charter with Scorpion Sportfishing last week.


EAST CAPE — John Ireland of Hotel Rancho Leonero fired off a report on Sunday and said, well, it’s been just another week in paradise. Great weather, flat seas, fantastic fishing.


“Great fishing again this week,” he said. “So far it's been a stellar year! Lots of good sized yellowfin, a consistent billfish bite, big pez gallos (roosters) guaranteed, some big wahoo, improved dorado fishing and unbelievable bottom fishing for big pargo and amberjack. Lots of cabalitto and plentiful big sardine are available daily.”


Taking the yellowfin first, Ireland said there’s a nice spread of fish, with 20 to 50 pounders close in from the lighthouse south, most taken within a half-mile of the beach on live sardine and cabbies. The tuna are also outside under the porpoise taking hoochies and cedar plugs. Some big tuna were taken north off Pescadero to 85 pounds.


As for wahoo and dorado, a couple of nice sized wahoo are hitting the cleaning table daily, 40 to 65 pounds. The dorado bite is improving, some nice bulls and many more smaller dorado taken this week.”


Reports indicated that East Cape roosterfish this week are much bigger with all anglers targeting them releasing at least one over 40 pounds daily off the Lighthouse and all beaches, Ireland said.


Matthew Clifton of Scorpion Sportfishing at Los Barilles said the marlin were found within as little as one mile off Rancho Leonero to the Lighthouse. Trolled ballyhoo was more effective than lures.


“Trolled live bait was also very effective once the marlin were located,” Clifton said. He added that the El Regalo captured first place fishing in the charity Stars and Stripes tournament out of the Hilton Hotel and Chileano Bay near Los Cabos. “Congratulations to Capitan Arturo, deckhand Jorge and Team Helix.”


marlinfishingis
MARLIN FISHING IS going off in waters just off Cabo. Here’s a cool multiple-hookup on stripers by a Redrum Sportfisher on a trip last week. Tuna fishing for small yellowfin has been so-so under the porpoise outside. Roosterfishing has been solid, reported Capt. Mike Tumbiero of the charterboat Renegade Mike.


CABO SAN LUCAS — Marlin and small tuna and roosterfish are on the beaches and there’s a growing number of tourists in an otherwise slow season. That’s how locals put it, but on any given day you can have incredible marlin fishing, a blue marlin mixed in here and there, and for those wanting to chase the yellowfin, they are on the outside on the porpoise, but not in any larger sizes. If there are any big tuna being caught, they are not being reported. Give it time. The water is warming up.


“It’s hit-and-miss right now,” said Capt. Mike Tumbiero of the charterboat Renegade Mike, who has been posting some great footage and photos of clients scoring several roosterfish a day.


As a reminder, it’s time to get in your WON/Los Cabos Tuna Jackpot entries for the Nov. 7-10 event, the 20th annual tournament. You can sign up for the $1,000 entry, get your team number, and add jackpots later if you wish, at any time a week prior to the tourney. There is some incentive now for getting in your team entries as a there is a full-day charter on the Jen Wren Sportfshing’s Vaquera, a $1,450 value, fishing with Capt. Mark Rayor who is always in the hunt for big money at any tourney.


Last year Team Vaquero won $132,800 on the 35-foot Cabo sportfisher Vaquera, taking four tuna optional jackpots with a 239 pounder.


If you have not fished the tourney, or have not participated the last few years, you need to come to Cabo for this one. It will be special, and a preview supplement to WON will have all the details on this landmark tourney, the biggest in Mexico year after year. Get details at www.loscabostunajackpot.com and the editable signup sheet is there.


billmitchellof
BILL MITCHELL OF Carmel, CA fishes with the Tailhunter Fleet at least once a year and on a quick getaway with his flyrod fished La Paz and got this nice roosterfish he released just off the rocks as well as several others plus jack crevalle and bonito.


kurtandbrenda
KURT AND BRENDA GALLOW from Washington have come down several times to fish with the Tailhunter Fleet in La Paz. While fishing with Capt. Armando, they always do well. Five minutes after dropping back some Rapalas near Cerralvo Island, Brenda got this fat wahoo followed by Kurt with the second wahoo.


LA PAZ — Jonathan Roldan of Tailhunter International said it was a week of highlights and lowlights and not much else in between as big fish hit and there were assorted small fish for fun.


“You either got fish, or you didn’t!” he said. “The big fish were big. No doubt! If you got one, it could make your day. Or your trip!


For the Tailhunter Las Arenas/ Muertos Bay Fleet, the action around Cerralvo Island and Punta Perrico again focused on the bigger grade of tuna that popped up about three weeks ago. And these fish were not pushovers!


“The tuna were big and grumpy. The smaller fish were 40 pounders. The larger fish (we caught) were 60 pounders. Anyone who’s fought Baja yellowfin of that size knows these aren’t little “football” tuna,” said Roldan. “And we lost probably 60 to 70 percent of the fish that were hooked either through inexperience, busted lines or hooks… or simply bad luck because well… that’s fishing! Good fishermen lost big fish. Rookies caught big fish. No rhyme or reason. But either way, it’s heart-breaking when you’re on a fish for up to an hour or two and it busts off.”


Some days, said Roldan, if you just looked at the numbers, it looked like a terrible fishing day. Very fish coming in.


“But after you talk to the anglers, almost all of them had a shot at a fish or two, or three, and dumped the fish! Good fishing, bad catching. And, there were also days when the fish were crashing and breaking and just not eating.”


On top of the tuna there, they also had a nice jag of wahoo chewing on Rapalas up to 50 pounders. Many fish were lost there, too.


For the Tailhunter La Paz Fleet, anglers had fewer highlights of big fish but had more action.


“There were some school-sized dorado. In the rocks there’s lots of snapper, big pargo and cabrilla and even some hold-over cooler-water yellowtail and amberjack,” said Roldan. “Lots of fish lost in the rocks, but you could easily have 10 to 30 biters a day even if you lost most of those fish, you still got a nice chest of fish at the end of the day. I think I counted about a dozen different species.”


this50poundloreto
THIS 50-POUND class dorado was caught on a run with Outpost Charters out of Marina Puerto Escondido. The bite is going off on the bigger dorado and the yellows, too, with tuna now moving into the mix under porpoise. The Fishin’ For The Mission dorado tournament is going on this week. Details to come on the 28th annual charity event.


twowonreaders
TWO WON READERS from Seal Beach, Joe and Randy pose with the first dorado of the season for them. It was caught on a panga trip off Loreto while trolling a blue and white Zucker tuna feather. LORETOTOURS.COM PHOTO


ooutpostchartersout
OUTPOST CHARTERS OUT of Puerto Escondido caught a real variety of fish, yellows and cabrilla and pargo. It was a trip forced to stay close due to winds, but the action was off the charts.


LORETO — This week the emphasis for a few days in town and at the marina will be on dorado with the Fishin’ For The Mission Tourney, now in its 28th year, and run by Chris Wheaton out of the Hotel La Mision. Results will be available, but the timing is good as the water and the action is heating up with reports of fish to 50 pounds caught, although most are in the 12- to 20-pound class. It will take a longer run to better water to get the bigger dorado.


Rick Hill of Loreto Tours.com said “We still have lots of sargasso floating around in water that is slightly cooler than normal for late June and early July. The warmer water is outside of Carmen and Catalana islands. As you might expect the water also holds the billfish and dorado. Closer in to town this week we have been working the waters of Coronado for dorado in the smaller versions. Most fish have been under 9 pounds. Yellows are still on the chew up north but the dodos are closer to town. Still acres of bait everywhere you look.”


Jay Yadon of Outpost Charters out of Marina Puerto Escondido has been going after gamefish inside and out, the bigger dorado up to 50 pounds, but most in the 12- to 20-pound class. He posted a report, though, about a trip that due to winds, had to fish locally, and the action was outstanding on a variety of species.


“With the weather report not looking so great for the Loreto waters we suggested to our clients that it would probably be better to cancel and fish early before an afternoon wind was supposed to arrive,” said Yadon. “They trusted our judgment and they were glad they did. We left Puerto Escondido, made a quick stop to make some bait then headed out. Within minutes of arriving to our spot we were hooked up to a yellowtail. The bite was on!


“We hooked up to several good-sized yellowtail, lost a few but managed to put 6 on board. The yellows turned off for a bit but we landed a large cabrilla which put up a great fight, along with a few more cabrilla and a pargo. With the afternoon winds approaching and several great fish on the boat we all decided it was a good time to call an end to four great days of fishing together. Some full coolers will be headed home with these GREAT customers!”


thetunaseason
THE TUNA SEASON locally has yet to develop for the pangas out of San Jose Del Cabo, but that should change soon. Meanwhile, there’s plenty of gamefish variety for Gordo Banks Pangas customers.


SAN JOSE DEL CABO — Eric Brictson of Gordo Banks Pangas reported the following on Saturday: “As we progress further into the summer season we are seeing moderate crowds of tourists arriving, many of these are family groups enjoying the start of school vacations. Tropical storms are recently forming off of Southern Mexico and heading off to the west, staying clear of any impact with land. Tropical Storm Emilia is far off to the west and weakening rapidly at this time and a newly forming Fabio with follow the same westerly path as did Emilia. Pacific currents are still pushing in off of San Jose del Cabo and to the north, creating cooler and greenish water conditions. We have seen water warming back into the 76-degree range, but still it is very stirred up and off colored. Swells have been moderate.”


He added, “Bait supplies consisted of caballito, mullet and some sardinas. On the fishing grounds there have been sporadic baifish schooling, some days not as much. Also lots of sharks now on the fishing grounds from Iman Bank and towards San Luis. There was good action for red snapper (huachinango) for anglers using yo-yo jigs, the problem was the sharks were so numerous and aggressively taking the hooked fish and cutting off many lines in the process, these large concentrations of sharks seem to be a new issue we are dealing with the last couple of seasons.”


Other shallow-water structure fishing was producing various species of grouper, yellow snapper, pompano, bonito and a few amberjack. Along the shore roosterfish and jack crevalle were the most common fish, a few late season sierra in the mix. The majority of the roosterfish being found were in the 10- to 20-pound class, though a few fish up in the 50-pound class were encountered further north near San Luis where water clarity was better. “Still no action for dogtooth snapper, this is the time of year where these brutes are found patrolling the inshore rocky reefs, we are hoping for a late season flurry for these largest of all snapper,” Brictson said.


“The striped marlin action continues outside of Iman and towards Desteladera, some days better than others, no large concentration like a month ago, though everyday there is billfish action reported,” he said. “Many smaller sized marlin in the 40- to 60-pound range, also a handful of nicer sized stripers up to 140 pounds. Trolling lures, baits, casting to tailing fish or drift fishing baits down deeper were all producing marlin strikes.”


Only a few smaller sized dorado were seen recently, Brictson said. “The yellowfin tuna action was mainly now found further offshore associated with fast traveling porpoise. Most of this activity was from 15 to 30 miles offshore. Spotty action, a lot of searching involved and the tuna being found were averaging in the 12- to 18-pound range.”


The combined panga fleets launching out of La Playita, Puerto Los Cabos Marina sent out approximately 77 charters for this week. Anglers reported a fish count of: 29 striped marlin, 5 dorado, 26 yellowfin tuna, 8 pompano, 125 bonito, 16 yellow snapper, 105 red snapper, 22 cabrilla (leopard grouper), 14 baqueta, 3 broomtail grouper, 8 amberjack, 70 roosterfish, 11 barred pargo, 1 sculpin, 16 sierra, 85 triggerfish and 24 jack crevalle.


CORONADOS — A parking lot at the middle grounds to North Island all week, and why not, the fishing for the 10- to 20-pound forkies on bait and surface iron has been amazing. WON was out last week and we had quick limits of yellows for four plus bonito and barries in good sizes mixed in. Be sure bring your passport and the FMM and proper registration and fishing licenses for Mex. They can all be obtained easily online. A good bit of advice. Going inside after getting limits at the islands and working the coast of Baja Norte on the edges of the kelp areas slow-trolling macks or drifting for halibut on the outside off those kelp areas has turned up some big white seabass as well as halibut. Another tip: When buying FMMs for the boat and listing passengers at $25 a shot, insert the date you are fishing and extend the FMM’s departure date by up to six months. Then you can use the FMM again for that number of passengers for multiple trips — unless you get checked. Then you should get a new one for the next trip(s).


Upcoming July Baja Sur tournaments:


June 28 - 30 — Vagabundos Yellowtail Tournament. Tournament headquarters is Guillermo's. For more local information go to bahiadelosangeles.info which has accommodations, guides, etc.


July 21 — East Cape Dorado Shoot Out at the Van Wormer Resorts in Los Barriles. The heaviest dorado caught will win a car. This is one of the largest fishing tournaments in Southern Baja with an average turnout of 130 teams each year.


July 31- Aug. 4 — Bisbee’s East Cape Tournament, Fishing Wednesday, Thursday, Friday. See www.bisbee’s.com


* * *


CONTRIBUTE! Baja reports can be sent to WON at Baja@wonews.com. Deadline for the next issue is Sunday morning.


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