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Baja Bytes Weekly Overview 1/27/17

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Que Pasa

Baja Bytes reportHad several calls about road conditions again this week — roads seem to be in good condition and gasoline was available all the way down. I did hear that diesel was still not available at Bay of Los Angeles. If someone has heard something different please post at the bottom this report. Thanks.


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‘Tis the Season (silly) . . .
Another Border Heads-up:

“Yesterday I went to my office in Tijuana with my Compadre and partner, Gerardo (he runs our legal program); after we left duty free with some goodies and entered the freeway to head to Mexico, we immediately were in a long line to cross the border. Gerardo shared with me that this past week the U.S. Customs officers have set up a check point on the U.S. side looking for people who are smuggling over $10,000 into Mexico and that one day this week they had the dogs out sniffing the vehicles. When we arrived at the front of the line, the officers stopped us and asked if we were bringing $10,000 or more into Mexico.

At 4:00 p.m. when we were crossing back into the states, that line was more than a mile long. Therefore, if you are planning to go to Mexico soon, you need to allow at least an extra hour of time just in case the inspections are in place.”

E.B Adair Jr., President
ADA VIS Global Mexico Insurance

It was announced that the governor of Baja California Sur intends to enact a controversial new 350-peso (U.S. $16) tax on tourists coming from abroad and staying for more than one day. Governor Carlos Mendoza’s reasoning is that the state has to find additional means to increase its income during times of crisis. He expects to collect up to 525 million pesos (US $24.5 million) a year with the measure.

It’s not carved in stone just yet, however the stencils are almost done. Needless to say the Tourist industry is having a hissy fit and frantically trying to block the increase.

With Mexican leaders spouting stuff like the following it sounds like an uphill battle:

“I don’t think that this 15 or 16 dollars will scare tourists away, when they spend that on chewing gum. . . .” said Labor Party Deputy Camilo Torres.

Of course, I’m sure everyone has heard of the Trump’s “I’m going to build a Wall” tax ideas being announced, floated or whatever you want to call it. At this point I’m not going to dignify them with an explanation because by the time you get around to reading this, the latest one will have changed, several times.

In case you were thinking that the “Gasolinazo” had calmed down, Guillermo Aboumrad, Director of Strategy at Brokerage Finamex warned on February 3rd, based on the current formula to determine fuel prices, an 8% increase will take effect.

So there you go — exactly one week into our new administration’s term (only 207 more weeks to go…)

Baja Norte

Okay, the weather settled down somewhat as winds backed off. Now it is so freezing cold no one seems to be venturing out to Coronado Islands or Ensenada recently.

The first boat to run back down to Punta Colonet found that the 15- to 30-pound yellowtail are still there and they are willing to chew the yoyo iron. The 6X and 7X Salas heavy’s and the Tady 4/0 heavy in blue/white, scrambled egg, and dorado colors were all working. So … there are openings on a number of trips heading down there this weekend. Check the Sand Diego Landing websites if you are up for some hot fishing cooled by chilly weather.

fish The latest chlorophyll shot shows good water at the Colonet High Spot.
It does not surprise me that those yellowtail are still there…fishdope.com

Still some yellows and bottom fish including some quality lings and things at San Quintin.

For the most part the operations are closed at Cedros Islands or at least the locals are mum about any worthwhile catches there this week.Down at Ascension

Down at Ascension, when they start posting sunset photos, it is a pretty good sign either no one is fishing or the fish aren’t biting. This seemed to be the case all the way to Abreojos this week.

Baja Sur

sew view Based on Rick Hill, Pinchy Sportfishing’s report the past several days, the port captain closed the boat ramp two days in a row because of wind. Which confirms other similar reports farther up in the Sea of Cortez all the way to San Felipe.

Hill continued, “It’s windy with a few disturbing gusts in the middle of the night and constantly ugly during the daylight hours . . . low 50s to mid 70s and “no rain!”

While earlier in the week the Sea was ideal, allowing dozens of boats to hit all the high spots from Puerto Almeja in the north to Catalana Island in the south.

The medium-sized yellows were moving around too much to allow a steady bite or odds on a sure thing. Basically they were biting on their own schedule – right time, right place!

San Bruno Reef and “Candeleros” kicked out 15-pound class fish but the best catches were on the first boats. The later boats ended up with a pick on reds, pinto bass and whitefish. Mackerel are being caught on the south and east side spots at Coronado Island without much trouble. Another good spot for bait has been outside of Loreto Bay just south of “the rock.”

Down south at Punta BajaDown south at Punta Baja the action has been on triggerfish (destroying bait) and a few of the targeted ‘tails. Most of the high spots contain more than one rock pile and moving around giving each one a chance is the best strategy. Keep an eye out for the commercial handline fishermen and you will see them do the same thing. If they are sitting, they are catching!
It’s still early in our season but things are looking more normal than they have for the past two years.

whale At Magdalena Bay, Puerto Lopez Mateos the week’s story remained the whale watching again. To be fair when the whales are in they are the money crop and the sportfishing is pretty much ignored until the mammals depart.

Fishing conditions and seasons are definitely changing at La Paz according to Jonathan Roldan, Tailhunter International. With each passing week, it’s a little cooler…a little breezier…the sun is going down earlier…the shadows are getting longer.

There a few anglers out on the water so they almost have the whole ocean to themselves. There are more and more cooler-water fish like sierras, cabrilla, jack crevalle, pargo and rainbow runner, but there’s still some great blue water pelagic fishing to be done.

The schoolie-sized dorado are still the main catch for the La Paz Fleet, as it has been pretty much all season. They’re smallish, but fun and provide lots of action. Catch-and-release has been very common because you can hook way over your limit in short order. Anglers get enough for their limits and coolers or for their dinner and then keep fishing just for fun and letting the extra fish go.

Most of the dorado continue to be 5 to 10 pounds, but occasionally, there’s a 15 or 20 pounder that makes it in. Often, there’s so many “squirts” they don’t give the bigger fish a chance to grab the bait! In those same areas, there’s still some marlin and sailfish feeding as well providing the occasional hookups.

At Muertos Bay, surprisingly, anglers are still getting so many wahoo! In fact, every day, pangas are hooking one to five wahoo each. Maybe getting one or two to the panga, but these are quality 20- to 40-pound fish!

There are still flurries of 20- to 30-pound yellowfin tuna hanging out as well and willing to eat the chunked squid drifting down on a bare hook in the current.

This is the time of year at East Cape that cheers can be heard for the north winds since most of the local focus is around the kite boarding competitions held annually in February and March.

However we do have another mystery fish to offer from an East Cape beach, I think.

San Jose del Cabo - Baja Bytes Weekly OverviewWHAT IS IT?

Eric Brictson, Gordo Banks Pangas, commented that San Jose del Cabo
has also been dealing with strong northern winds that made for some rougher days on the water for anglers; early morning there was the wind chill factor to deal with until the rising sun helped warm the day up anglers at San Jose del Cabo. Fortunately there were still some yellowfin tuna found close to shore off of Punta Gorda; this was the highlight of the catches in recent days.

Anglers drift fishing for the yellowfin tuna, using various baits, but sardina were the favorite if you were able to obtain them. The tuna were ranging in size from 15 to 40-pound average for one or two or up to six or more . . . close to shore over rocky structure along with a mix of bottom species, though no significant number, except for triggerfish. A few nicer-sized amberjack were accounted for, in the 50- to 60-pound class, also a handful of red snapper and leopard grouper.

They are hoping to see more yellowtail start to move in; there were increased numbers of striped marlin being seen off of the normal fishing grounds though still only a handful were actually hooked into.

Sierra are dominating the inshore activity, moderate numbers of fish averaging 2 to 4 pounds. A few roosterfish were also up to 15 pounds. Not the normal season that we find many roosterfish; normally the ones we do see are smaller, juvenile-sized fish.

Roosterfish - Baja Bytes Weekly OverviewCabo San Lucas, had far fewer boat trips out this week than last, with varied catches throughout the week, although it was mainly a small yellowfin tuna kind of week. Smaller game fish associated with inshore fishing were very common this week, lending itself to a great variety of fish species being seen by anglers this week. There were many of the extremely good eating sierra, Spanish mackerel, and roosterfish which are prized for the fight that they pack for their size. While some boats even landed some decent-sized grouper.

While a few stripers are being seen, they are almost all the non-biter types and adding more fishing difficulty to the days.

Cabo Climate: An overall sunny week with clear days that averaged 73 degrees and cool nights that averaged 57 degrees. Bring a jacket for the mornings.

Sea Conditions: Water temps are still falling. On the Pacific side, from the Finger Bank to Cristobal Ridge, all at 69 degrees. Just south of Cristobal and out to the 1000 Fathom Curve and on up to Los Frailes, all at 71 degrees. Outside the 1000 Fathom Curve and from the 95 Fathom Spot to the Cabrillo Sea Mount, rises to 72 to 74 degrees. Surface breezes flowing mostly from the southwest at an average of about 9.9 mph.

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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.