Baja Fishing Report

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Tuesday, November 26, 2019
Storms keep anglers on their toes
Wednesday, December 18, 2019
Dorado close in and big off Cabo

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.


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.

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.

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 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.”

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.”

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