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Baja Bytes Weekly Fishing Report 06/19/17

Monday, June 19, 2017
Gary Graham

Que Pasa

Baja Norte state governor Francisco "Kiko" Vega

Baja Norte state governor Francisco “Kiko” Vega just announced that he is officially open for bids in order to find a partner to develop the Ojos Negros airport.

The bidding process is open until the 28th of the present month and the different projects will be presented exactly one month later.

Read the full article on Gringo Gazette North website at: http://www.ggnorth.com/index.php/2017/06/16/the-ensenada-airport-just-got-real/

Baja Norte

Coronado Islands

Some nice quality yellowtail are showing in the Middle Grounds.
Barracuda are also showing well at the Middle Grounds and down to the Ribbon Kelp area, the Light house and South Kelp.
Most are shorts and some are legal-sized fish up to 7 to 9-pounds. The iron and the sardine are both working and there are some mixed grade bonito. Some are the little guys but a few are the big ones in the 7 to 8-pound class. There was even a jumbo 12-pounder caught on a slow-trolled sardine in the Middle Grounds.
There are a few yellows at the Islands. Last report was at the Lighthouse Kelp down to South Kelp…fishdope.com

US/MEX Border

Best zone now is between the 302 and the Border as the fish continue to slide to the north.

There are some big schools of the 20 to 30-pounders and smaller spots of the big 100-pound+ bluefin. There are also a few of those 30 to 50-pound yellowfin roaming around.

These yellowfin are the sole reason why you should be trolling an X-Rap or a Cedar Plug while looking for spots of tuna as a few yellowfin have been caught this week on the troll.

Overall the bite remains very difficult for most. There is plenty to see but the tuna just do not want to cooperate. Lots of kites are flying and a few are hooking up on the yummy or the double-trouble rig.

If you find some foamers, the popper is worth a shot. Not so much so on the breezers though. You are better off with the bait or the Flat Fall on those.

Those who can carry a ton of chum are getting the smaller ones to bite occasionally you find these, 20-pound test fluorocarbon and a SMALL size 1 or 2 hook with a perfect HOT green sardine is your best bet to draw a strike, but of course if one of those 100-pounders bite you are screwed…fishdope.com


A recent red tide in the bay and around Todos Santos Island has had a serious impact on the fishing.

While action has slowed, local charters are scoring a mixed bag of yellows and barracuda on the surface and rockfish plus a few lingcod on the bottom. When the bite shuts off they have been heading west to find the clean water, then searching for kelp paddies that have yellowtail under them.

San Quintin

yellowtail, white seabass, halibut , calico and barracuda fishingLocals are rejoicing as the summer season begins to heat up with many favorites including: yellowtail, white seabass, halibut , calico and barracuda … all chewing finally! Fun fishing…Kelly Catian

Cedros Islandred crabs

Large yellows and calicos were biting at Punta Norte recently. Water was 63 degrees and red crabs have invaded the island. Every fish caught was stuffed with them. Surface and yoyo Kicker jigs were working on both.

Bahía de Los Ángeles

Very short morning for us as one of the Zooboys is heading home.
We went out for an hour and boated four yellowtail in the 15 to 18-pound class.
We were just inside Isla Flecha and the yellowtail had the bait pushed up on the inside of the island. We had several breakoffs as well.
Most of our time was spent near Calavera on the southwest up until we located the fish. Smaller jigs, blue/white/dorado colors were hot.

Stomach contents this week showed medium-sized macs.
Fish congregated around the cooler water; 68 degrees was typical where boils occurred… Don Weir


Gonzaga Bay

International Sportfishing championship hotelThe second of the tournaments of the International Sportfishing championship “fishing the baja” took place on June 18th based at Hotel Alfonsina’s.
Matías Arjona Rydalch, representing the Governor of the State, Francisco Kiko Vega de La Madrid, fired the flare over the Gonzaga Bay as 153 registered competitors aboard 54 boats raced for their favorite hot spot.

However participants reported “tough conditions with strong currents and swell hampered the fishing.”

Final results;
1 Jose Antonio Lozano
2 Hector Navarro Hernandez
3 Juan Pablo Romero Vazquez
1 Jose de Jesus Jimenez
2 Jose Antonio Perez Lozano
3 Abel Gaspar Gallegos

The third in the series will be at Bahía de Los Ángeles on July 21-22 at the local launch ramp.


The dorado scene blew wide open on Saturday for the Loreto boats.

Kelp paddies were boiling with small to medium sized dorado with fish blasting baits as soon as they hit the water!

There were wide open kelp paddies at both Punta Lobo and south at Punta Perico in the current lines.

Captain Tony Davis and Kevin Ellis with some perfect pan sized dorado.
Captain Tony Davis and Kevin Ellis with some perfect pan sized dorado.

Most of the fish in the fish boxes were 10 to 12-pound models. Many smaller dodos did the catch and release dance.

Our clients, Kevin and Peggy Ellis of Arizona broke a light weight graphite rod on a heavy weight blue marlin that was well over 200-pounds. After a 2 hour fight and a break-off at boatside it was still a terrific day. Limits of perfect sized dorado and a trophy to mark the events.

Before the kelp paddies erupted we did have dorado hitting feathers but only blind strikes. A few dorado over 20 pounds were caught out at the “30” spot east of Coronado.

Looks like we may have the summer dorado season that had passed us by for the past few years...Rick Hill, Pinchy Sportfishing

billfishCome on in — the water’s fine. Here are pic of a sail that along  with a small dorado both took the same lure the day. Others have been picking up a few peanut dorado soaking bait under widely scattered paddies and a billfish here and there, but overall the early promise of bait and seaweed has yet to bear fruit…Bill Erhardt


La Paz

beautiful wahoo
Megan Garrison tied into this beautiful wahoo just outside of Bahia de los Muertos and got it to the panga to pose. Megan is from San Diego.

There more and bigger dorado than have been seen in a long time at Las Arenas.

Not tons, but anything is an improvement over the last two years when fish averaged about 12” long! The dorado this week were nicer 8- to 20-pounders with a few in the 25- to 35-pound range and it was great to see some actual schools of dorado instead of one or two free-swimmers!

Wahoo are also still around with some fish in the 20- to 30-pound class, but also one estimated over 60-pounds. No guarantee how much longer they will be around as the waters get warmer which is bringing some of the billfish into the waters. We are seeing more sails, and striped and blue marlin hanging out on the surface just waiting for the waters to kick it up a notch or two in temperature and they’ll start biting.

Not much in the way of roosterfish as many anglers were out chasing dorado and wahoo.

Live bait is still an issue. Fly fishers are pretty much giving up although two of our fly anglers did see some action on sabalo and dorado. The fly fishers down here have all pretty much been fishing conventionally if they want to catch fish.

Very, very encouraging to see more dorado finally above La Paz as well with 10- to 20-pound fish in the mix … better than it has been in a long time. But, a lot of the fish are just not quite ready to go yet.

Local captains are saying that the area is set to blow up. Waters are getting bluer away from the islands (still green) and there are dorado everywhere — just not yet feeding on much or not willing to take a bait or lure. But, it’s bubbling and promising to hear that there’s dorado activity that could go off soon!

Same for billfish. More and more billfish showing up and look like they could go on the chew if waters warm and clear up just a tad more.

Inshore, there’s still amberjack, pargo, snapper and cabrilla as well as triggerfish biting nicely…Jonathan Roldan, Tailhunter International

East Cape

It’s been a pretty good start to June down here on the East Cape.Darado fish The best news has been the return of the dorado.

We are starting to see some decent size in the 30 to 50-pound class. This is the first time in three years that we have seen a consistent run of dorado of that size and it’s a welcome sight. The wahoo bite continues to be off the charts. This is the third straight year that we have seen record numbers of wahoo on the East Cape…Van Wormer Resorts


Seventy-pound roosterSeventy-pound rooster for Hunter Treviranus, fishing with the Bart Hall group this week on a tube mackerel…John Ireland


 dorado aboard Alegria and Tres HermanosThe Lope Montoya group from Los Mochis, Sinaloa fished schools of dorado aboard Alegria and Tres Hermanos. A grand time was had by all except for maybe the dorado…Felipe Valdez


I just returned from fishing the East Cape (two days) and San Jose (two days). Fish seemed to bite a lot later in the day on all days. Bite didn’t start until 10 a.m.

TunaOne boat told me that they were skunked and then got 8 tuna from 1:30 – 2:00 p.m.. If you fish for three days, I would expect one really good day and two average days…Mark


Puerto Los Cabos

Just coming off the full moon phase from last week, conditions are settled down in the direction of the Sea of Cortez, though the Pacific has had more wind, with much cooler water temperatures and greener currents, not the deep blue waters being found north of Punta Gorda.

Bait suppliers are mainly dealing caballito and mullet now; offshore grounds are seeing more bolito move in with some reports of chihuil also being present. All around action showed favorable improvement in recent days. Still no huge numbers of any particular species, but always a great sign when we see billfish, yellowfin tuna, wahoo, dorado and roosterfish all being found on a daily basis. Most consistent grounds were from the Iman and San Luis Banks, north to Vinorama.

This is where the water is clean and blue, with lots of baitfish schools present,

which in turn means that the gamefish have more than enough natural food source to gorge themselves on and are not always hungry and aggressive in striking what anglers offer.

Yellowfin tuna are scattered throughout offshore grounds, though best chance at hooking into a 40- to 60-pound yellowfin was in the vicinity of San Luis Bank and the bait of choice was either caballito or bolito, either while drift fishing or slow trolling. Other tuna in the 10- to 25-pound range were randomly striking trolled Rapalas, hoochies, yo-yo jigs, etc. The better grade of tuna were striking mainly on the larger live baitfish. Though these fish were limited in numbers and anglers were very fortunate to land one or two of them.

Inshore action is now dominated by roosterfish, with many fish in the 20- to 60-pound class landed, as well as a handful of even larger fish reported. A bit sporadic as to where the best action might be found on any given day. Also mixed in are some jack crevalle to over 25-pounds as well as some late season sierra … a few nice-sized fish close to ten pounds.

Not much reported for inshore dogtooth snapper or amberjack; we are expecting this annual bite to start up anytime, with schooling mullet now found along the shore line attracting the larger gamefish.

The highlight of the week has to be the dorado action.

After seeing very few of these popular gamefish for months, this week we finally saw more significant numbers, especially later in the week around the same San Luis and Iman Bank areas.

Many charters were accounting for three or four dorado per outing, which would have been unheard of during previous weeks. Sizes were respectable as well, as most of these dorado were in the 10- to 17-pound range. These fish were striking best on slow-trolled baits, but a percentage were also taken on lures. Wahoo are becoming more active, with many fish cutting mono leaders used while targeting tuna. Some wahoo to 30-pounds were landed on caballito, some on trolled Rapalas, but many more wahoo were actually missed than were caught.

The main concentration of striped marlin was found around the 1150 Spot farther offshore, though marlin were also encountered near San Luis and Iman Banks on some days. Also there were a couple of reports of swordfish sightings farther offshore as well…Eric Brictson, Gordo Banks Pangas

Cabo San Lucas

Cabo Summer SlamCabo Summer Slam draws its biggest field ever as 37 teams vied for more than $200,000 in cash and prizes!

Nestled at the very tip of the Baja Peninsula in Mexico is famed Cabo San Lucas, a city that draws travelers of all walks with it’s beautiful beaches, vibrant nightlife and it’s world-class fishing. The latter was the main draw this past week as the 4th Annual Pelagic Triple Crown of Fishing – Cabo Summer Slam Tournament commenced June 8-10.


The full moon phase had very little effect on the overall fishing and catching this past week and overall, the fishing report held up pretty well with stripers leading the way in the billfish category. While not wide open, there has been a steady increase in the number of larger dorado caught. Don’t use up your limit on those little guys, hold out for the bigs.

There are a few yellowfin … mostly the smaller variety with a few larger ones mixed in, along with a few wahoo in the count as well.

Inshore jacks and one of the best larger roosterfish bites in recent memory. Another surprise are the sierra that are usually long gone this time of year. Several landed recently were in the 15-pound class.

Cabo Climate: Mostly sunny and warm daytime weather averaging 76.4 degrees and 69.5 at nights.

Sea Conditions: On the Pacific side, from the Finger Bank to the Jaime Bank, the water temps varied from 66 to 71 degrees. Cabo Falso and around the corner to Las Frailes, all is 79-81 degrees. Surface breezes flowing in mostly from the westerly directions at an average of 14.1 mph. The Sea of Cortez side is mostly calm and good fishing.

Best Fishing Area: The better billfish bite was varied and between the 95 Fathom Spot to the 1150 Fathom Spot and the roosterfish continued to be in the same spot, just a bit north of Chileno Bay and a little south of Palmilla Point.

Best Bait-Lure: Live and rigged baits were best for the billfish and live baits were best for the inshore roosterfish bite.

Live Bait Supply: A good supply of live caballitos at the rate of $3.00 per bait and paid direct to the bait vendor at time of receipt…Larry Edwards, Cortez Charters.

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Gary Graham, the BD Outdoors Baja Editor, has more than five decades fishing experience off of Southern California and the Baja Peninsula. From light tackle and fly up to offshore marlin fishing, Gary has experienced all facets of this fishery. He's set several fly-fishing world records and in his first year as a member of the Tuna Club of Avalon, he received more angling awards than any other first-year member in the club's 109-year history. He's been involved with many California angling clubs and is the Baja California Representative for the International Game Fish Association. 
Gary's a conservationist as well as a writer and photographer. In addition to two books on saltwater fly-fishing, hundreds of his articles and photographs have appeared in publications around the world. Graham has devoted his life to finding new fisheries and developing new techniques — all of which he shares through his guiding, speaking, photography and writing.