Baja Bytes Weekly Overview 03/17/17

Friday, March 17, 2017
Gary Graham

Que Pasa

Sea Shepard found nets 16 kilometers north of San Felipe — Mex Biosphere (Protected area) with fish in an advanced stage of decay. For whatever reason, the culprits didn’t return for their catch. So what. . . they’ll just kill more. Also last week Sea of Cortez fishermen burned and turned over 15 Mexican Fish and Game vehicles and 3 boats in a government yard.

https://www.bdoutdoors.com/forums/threads/66-totoaba-in-gill-nets.650801/

Baja Norte

The Coronado Islands had much better water conditions and more yellowtail are moving into the Islands. There are now fish in the Middle Grounds and along the weather side of North Island. Anglers caught them today on the surface iron, the yoyo iron as well as on sardine. Things are looking very good right now…fishdope.com

Bahia El Descanso has a bit cleaner and there are some small schools of yellowtail around. Seems most of it is deep-water fish and those being caught came on the yoyo iron. The fish are coming off sonar marks and the schools are moving very quickly. …fishdope.com

Yellowtail and reds are on the menu at Ensenada according to local Pangero Sammy Sussery.

Guys are still finding lots of 4- to 8-pound bonito around but sadly the numbers of yellowtail are quite low. Just a few fish on trolled Rapalas and on the yoyo iron at San Miguel Reef.

The bonito are spread out all over the place from Salsipuedes to the north to all around Todos Santos Island. Trolling mackerel or sardine colored Rapala X-Raps is working very well in locating the schools.
There have been a couple of barracuda caught this way over the past week too. …fishdope.com

Ed Martinez landed this tanker on his last trip to Colonet

The bite at Colonet resumed this week. One boat was down on the High Spot and found the 12- to 20-pound yellowtail still around and willing to bite the yoyo iron and at times the sardine when fished with a 1- to 2-ounce slider.

There were also a few giant bonito. These are monsters with the little ones running at about 10 to 12 pounds. The big ones are huge with some pushing the 17- to 18-pound mark. These are being caught by accident on the yoyo iron and on the sardines meant for the yellowtail. …fishdope.com

Weather was great in San Quintin, but fishing was slow by SQ standards; all of the boats in our group got yellows on Fri. and Sat. On Sunday, we only got a couple of yellows. Bottom fish were hard to find even when targeted but we managed a few each day. Again, on Sunday one boat had a pretty good score of reds and Capt. Juan and Rosarito Jimmy found all you could want of giant whitefish. All yellows on yoyo iron with blue/white getting the most but some came on other colors. The lings mostly came on the flatfalls…Bob Rehfuss

https://www.bdoutdoors.com/forums/threads/fred-hall-and-sq.650326/#post-4288628

The Upper Sea of Cortez

I returned late last night from an awesome Northern Baja trip with Pete Gray and Juan Cook. With their nice cameras, Juan and Pete recorded the fantastic two days in detail. I will share the highlights when they send me some of the shots…Rick Jensen

Flatties biting at San Felipe orchid martinez San Felipe…Orchid Martinez

Baja Sur

Today’s greatest hits at Laguna Ojo de Liebre with La Mar Laguna Marina Eco-tours .We had a whale party with 8 whales all around and under our panga for a long time — wore ME out! Laguna Ojo de Liebre…Shari Bondy

Vizcaíno, Ascensión, La Bocana and Abreojos…remains quiet.

In Loreto, Rick Hill, Pinchy Sportfishing . . . It looks like we have turned a corner here in Loreto and because the weather has been off for the past few years. I am not sure if this change is on time or early!

Two significant fish behavior signs kicked in this week with the first being yellowtail boiling on the surface. Both at San Bruno’s high spot and off Carmen’s “Perico” there were schools of yellowtail breaking the surface. Attempts to get them biting bait and iron mostly failed but sure got our blood boiling for more.

The second springtime event is the awakening of the cabrilla. We are seeing more cabrilla biting at the high spots and a bunch of 12-pound fatties smacking trolled lures along the rocky coastlines.

We had late fall bites on cabrilla but most of the past two month’s action was void of these rocky bass-types.


Green, green, green and it isn’t because of St. Patrick’s Day. We are seeing lots of serious green vegetation patches floating in the current lines and blowing up on the north facing beaches!
That’s exactly what we want to see and that also gets the blood boiling and the saliva flowing for dorado should be coming soon.

As far as yellowtail hitting the fish boxes, it has been moderate action strung all over the Loreto area. Yellowtail at San Bruno and the boats working Catalana Island have also struck ‘tails with cabrilla mixed in. Still no monster yellowtail but these next few weeks could break our 35-pound mark, maybe even 40 plus!

A couple of yellowtail that returned to the boatyard.

One has obviously been selected by Sara’s sister, Jenna, as the honored guest at tonight’s sashimi and cerveza party. The bigger models are fine for trophies but this 12-pounder is perfect for sashimi or the barbeque!

Puerto Lopez Mateos, Magdalena Bay, report pending

La Paz

PENDING

Robert Weiner, Orange County, staying at Rancho Leonero with a 130-pound yellowfin taken yesterday on trolled ballyhoo, north, on the south end of Cerralvo Island.

East Cape, season for Rancho Leonero boats found spring-like conditions producing quality yellowfin tuna, wahoo, yellowtail and sierra by the bucketful…John Ireland

https://www.bdoutdoors.com/forums/threads/rancho-leonero-resort-starts-off-big.650495/

Eric Brictson, Gordo Banks Pangas, San Jose del Cabo, schools of sardina are being found near Palmilla; on most days sufficient supplies were being netted. Other bait options included ballyhoo and strips of squid. Most of the local action has now been found off of Palmilla, to Punta Gorda, La Fortuna and to the Iman Bank. Not much at all is being found farther offshore for the charters that did scout that out. There’s a lack of billfish action at this time with most charters fishing closer to shore and over the normal rocky structure areas until reports offshore improve.

Yellowfin tuna action was very spotty; the tuna were seen at times on the surface, but were very finicky, not hitting on lures either. Best chances were found while drift-fishing or slow-trolling with live sardina at La Fortuna and the Iman Bank, we were only seeing a handful of yellowfin landed each day. Anglers were fortunate to land one of them; the fish we saw averaged 20 to 30 pounds though we did see one 60-pound fish brought in mid-week. There were more black skipjack than anything else.

Off the bottom, on these same grounds, we saw a mix of species such as yellow snapper, island jack, amberjack, cabrilla, red snapper, pargo and triggerfish. Not a lot of larger fish, mostly in the 4- to 10-pound range — no big quantities either, but all very good eating. Strong currents have been running which never helps anything, especially when fishing the bottom. Inshore the main action was for sierra to 8-pounds while using sardina.

We have not seen any dorado recently, though we did have a big surprise with a wahoo bite developing off of Punta Gorda . . . this is something we normally would see in December.

89-year-old Frank Harbin with his catch of wahoo. Frank is from Chico, Calif., but he also has a residence in San Jose del Cabo.

Even though the water temperature is in the lower 70s, there were sizable schools of wahoo holding in this area, ranging from 15 to 60 pounds, all less than a mile from shore. Fish were a bit finicky, coming up on baits — most often not striking, but other times they would hit sardina or rigged ballyhoo and many also hit on yo-yo jigs. A few of the local skippers tried other techniques normally used only while trying to snag baitfish such as mullet; not an approved method, but wahoo are very elusive and open game.

Of course the word got out about this action later in the week and then we saw free divers with spears working the same spot; this is always a quick way to spook the fish out of the area.

You can sure tell its Spring Break time in Cabo San Lucas as the town is filled with College students.

A few photos from the last few days — some really good fishing this year. …Baja Anglers, Grant Hartman

This week saw almost exclusive catches in the other category, with the main gamefish being caught by our boats in the fleet being: sierra mackerel, grouper, yellowtail, red snapper, roosterfish and amberjack. Boats remained for the most part on the Pacific side and used macarela (mackerel) for live bait, or it was cut up as bait and sunk to the bottom to coax out the grouper and other deeper water inshore fishes. Two boats this week landed marlin, one of them having gone out to the Finger Bank, while the other was lucky enough to find a marlin near the Old Lighthouse at Cabo Falso.

The Pisces Tracy Ann was the boat that landed the first and largest marlin of the week coming in at 150 pounds by some anglers from Massachusetts.

Finally, a couple of stripers were landed and released this past week, with one aboard the “Gaviota II” and one aboard the “Tuna Time”. According to Captain Roberto Marquez, the boats are beginning to see more and more stripers but the fish are very finicky and too stubborn to bite. However, just seeing them back around the area is a terrific plus and encouragement for the anglers and the crews as they will begin to bite, sooner or later, and restore some fishing faith in the community.

Cabo Climate: A week full of sunshine and toasty warm weather with daytime average at 80 and nights cooler at 64. Humidity ratio averaged 56%. Great weather for all visitors.

Sea Conditions: Sea surface breezes flowing mostly from the westerly directions at a 10 mph average. Pacific side remains cooler from the Finger Bank to Cabo San Lucas and goes around the corner, all at about 70 degrees. The 95 Fathom spot to the 1150 Fathom spot and up across the Gorda Banks and into the northeast, all at 73 to 74 degrees.

Best Fishing Area: the released stripers came from the Jaime Bank and the Herradura. Most of the mixed-bag catches came from Cabo Falso area.

Best Bait/Lure: The stripers, jurel, toro, roosterfish are all taken more on the live baits with a few taken on artificials.

Live Bait Supply: Remains plentiful for the caballito at the $3.00 per bait. …Larry Edwards, Cortez Charters.

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