Baja Bytes Weekly Overview 1/20/17

Friday, January 20, 2017
Gary Graham

Que Pasa

Baja Bytes qeen pasa news Southwest Airlines announced this week that they will begin flying nonstop to Los Cabos from San Diego in April, marking the airline’s first nonstop service between Lindbergh Field and Mexico.

The once daily flight to Los Cabos International Airport, which serves the popular tourist towns of San Jose del Cabo and Cabo San Lucas, will start on April 25, with booking available beginning Wednesday, January 25.

They will join two other airlines — Alaska and Spirit — that also offer nonstop service to the southern Baja Bytes California destination although Spirit’s flights are seasonal, not year-round.

Southwest is offering special introductory fares as low as $104 one way, starting Wednesday for travel beginning April 25.
Presently they fly nonstop to the Los Cabos airport from Los Angeles and Orange County and are scheduled to launch nonstop flights next month from Oakland, as well.

Southwest’s announcement comes as Tijuana’s A.L. Rodriguez International Airport is adding infrastructure improvements to ease air travel for Americans.

Cross Border Xpress

The Cross Border Xpress, a privately operated, enclosed pedestrian bridge connecting Rodriguez with a structure in Otay Mesa that includes airline ticket counters, 850 parking spaces and car rental booths, was officially debuted by the airport a little over two years ago.

The Tijuana airport, regarded as the second-best connected in Mexico, served nearly 4.4 million passengers in 2014. More than half of the users of the airport cross to or from California.

Baja Norte

Coronado Islands ECoronado Islands Enoughnough said regarding the weather; however, it’s worth mentioning’s mid-week report. “Dirty green water around North Island and Middle Grounds… One of our buddies took a look down the beach for yellowtail this morning. No yellowtail seen on the stock spots. He was checked by the Mexican Navy though. They were parked around the Ribbon Kelp area and were very kind and prompt with their check.

“They asked for boat registration, fishing licenses, ID in the form of a passport and his FMM’s. They told him they took photos of his documents and he saw them take a photo of his boat. They used a pool net to pass the documents back and forth keeping the boats from touching. Everything checked out and they told him to have a good time fishing.”

Make sure to have all your documents up-to-date as well as your FMM! See the Mexico Resource Page for more details.

Let’s justbass fishing jump down to Punta Colonet . . . again old dope from last weekend. The yellowtail bite was slower this weekend, but there are still some fish around and could go back on the bite at any time. In any event, the yellows down there are mostly in the 15- to 25-pound class and are eating full-sized 6x yo-yo iron. Color doesn’t really matter as long as you grind as fast as you can back to the boat. If you think you’re winding fast enough, speed up even more.
Fortunately, the rockfish and lingcod bite is good enough to fill the void when the yellows aren’t biting. Both species will eat jigs, too, or you can drop a live sardine down to the bottom on the edges of the high spots and pinnacles on a dropper loop.

yellowtail fish Snow at 8,000 feet above Meling Ranch last week and yellows at San Quintin this week. Took the aluminum skiff out for quick session…George Catian

IGFA World RecordJulio Meza completed his trip with Larry Dahlberg at Abreojos, the Grouper World Capital, experiencing the slowest fishing trip ever but we still managed a few good ones; we released a few above the IGFA World Record again. Expressing his appreciation to Dahlberg: “Thanks for cheering me on. You are very generous, great experience fishing with you! This trip really was a Hunt for Big Fish.”

Favorable reports coincided with the few days when the North Wind either diminished or blew out allowing anglers an opportunity to fish in the morning for some of the smaller yellows and white seabass in the Upper Sea of Cortez.

Baja Sur

Pinchy SportfishingAccording to Rick Hill, Pinchy Sportfishing, it was a pretty good week with only afternoon winds. Ample live mackerel available for sale or catch your own on sabikis.

Yellowtail are showing up on the high spots and then bugging out quickly. Several spots off Carmen’s Punta Perico were producing schoolie-sized 15- to 20-pound fish on one mid-morning stop. When things slowed down they checked five other spots for nothing.

Later, returning to the first spot yielded a triple with two fish on bait and one on iron as well as a catch-and-release of a 6-foot hammerhead that got the circle hook on mono in its lip.

soy sauce and the smokerOur captain, Tony Davis, with some yellowtail headed for some soy sauce and the smoker! These were caught off Carmen Island at one of the high spots called, “sailfish”.

Also down south this week they heard of a new spot to locate and try out. One mile outside and slightly north of “submarine rock” is a series of ledges holding big cabrilla and one unknown monster that broke 40# line just at the last wraps on the spool.

Cut bait has been a sure deal out at La Cholla and the “50” Spot off Carmen’s Punta Lobo. Mostly whitefish, pinto bass and triggerfish with this method.

Rapala on a downriggerBaja road report from yesterday’s arrivals stated, “All the gas stations are open and no demonstrators!” Mid-day traffic from Ensenada to San Quintin was heavy and slow.

We went out in the morning and caught this beauty trolling a Rapala on a downrigger in 35-feet of water. It weighed 35-pounds all cleaned out and 50-inches in length. It has major gill strakes and a yellowish tint in the mouth.

What is it?

At Magdalena Bay, Rodrigo Garcia confirmed that the grey whales have begun showing up in Puerto Lopez Mateos, noting that there were approximately 30 mothers and babies already.

dorado - Baja Bytes fishingSurprisingly, given that it is winter and chilly in La Paz . . . there’s still some dink dorado around, which are usually warm-water fish. Nothing big, but still fun. The rest of the catch focused on bonito, some snapper and cabrilla.

whale sharksOn the other hand, whale sharks are back in the bay and starting the year with a great opportunity to swim in the shallow waters of La Paz Bay with these “baby” whale sharks that can reach 20-feet in length. If you’re interested, contact us directly via e-mail at: [email protected]

At East Cape — While the North Wind is a welcome visitor for the “Lord of the Wind” Kite Boarding competition, it’s not so welcome for the local and visiting anglers. Recent balmy days enticed anglers onto the beach both early in the morning and late in the afternoon in hopes kites at beachof getting in on the sierra mackerel bite taking place just beyond the water color line. Unfortunately, the sierra have been out of casting range for most who had to settle for small cabrilla, ladyfish and grouper.

The few pangas that did make it out struck pay dirt for the sierra for ceviche plus they caught some huge skipjack.

Baja Bytes Yellows - Baja Bytes fishingSan Jose del Cabo had cooling air temperatures combined with moderate North Winds contributed to ocean water temperature dropping into the 70 degree range, according to Eric Brictson, Gordo Banks pangas.

The whale migration is definitely peaking now and should continue for the next month. Big news: The bait situation for the past week has been that schooling sardina has been found off of the Palmilla Point area; it will be interesting to see how long this resource will hold up; a very fragile fishery, we had not seen this baitfish for well over one year. Congregations of mackerel and sardineta are being found spread throughout the area as well, always a favorable sign.

More sierra are moving in along the stretches of beach now and with sardina being available, this has opened up another option inshore, although we have not seen big numbers of the sierra yet..

Yellowfin tuna continue to be the most common fish being found, at least for the fleets out of San Jose del Cabo. Recently the most consistent fishing grounds were back in the vicinity of the Iman Bank. The bite was sporadic, with boats averaging one, two or three yellowfin in the 15- to 40-pound class, drift fishing with sardina for bait proved to be the best bet. On Wednesday the action went wide open, with most charters having limits for their anglers, while the very next day the bite was very slow — the tuna could be seen on the surface, but proved finicky once again. A few snapper and amberjack were landed, but the snapper bite of last week slowed way down. We are hoping to see some yellowtail moving in with the cooling water.

Not much going on for striped marlin at this time, though some stripers were being hooked into near Iman where the yellowfin tuna action was found. We believe we will see more numbers of billfish move in soon, following the mackerel food source.

Boats - Baja Bytes fishingMore boats remaining in the slip as the water temperature cools off rapidly throughout lower Baja Bytes and the marlin are moving into the warmer waters areas more than 45 miles offshore. A few yellowfin tuna are being caught at the 40-plus mile mark out to the southwest of Cabo San Lucas, from school fish that are running with the porpoise. Overall, it was a very difficult fishing week for the Cabo fleets and the billfish bite has dropped off from the high number early this month

Cabo Climate: Daytime temps at an average of 75 degrees and nights at 59 degrees, with a humidity ratio of 62.4%.

Sea Conditions: Water temps are similar from the Finger Bank on the Pacific side to Los Frailes on the Sea of Cortez side and reflect almost everything in between at 71 to 72 degrees. Sea surface breezes flowing in mostly from the southwest at 8.8 mph average.

Best Fishing Area: No specific area was named for the week in the absence of the marlin bite. The few billfish caught were from the area surrounding Cabo Falso Drop-off area.

Best Bait/Lure: Live bait was best to have for the billfish even though the bite was very slow. Mackerel are still readily available at the banks and the billfish seem to be moving southerly toward the Golden Gate Bank from the Finger Bank.

Live Bait Supply: Remained good through the week at $3.00 per bait rate.

Bait Supply: Good supply of caballito at the $3.00 per bait rate. Mackerel still available on the bank drop-offs…Cortez Charters Larry Edwards

That Baja Guy-Gary Graham
That Baja Guy-Gary Graham, the BD Outdoors Baja Editor, has more than five decades fishing experience off of Southern California and the Baja Peninsul...