Bluefin and yellows erupt at Coronados

Discussion in 'Baja Bytes By Gary Graham' started by Baja Bytes, May 6, 2016.

  1. Baja Bytes

    Baja Bytes Baja Editor BD Writer

    Lake Elsinore, CA USA
    Gary Graham
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    Baja Bytes Weekly Overview
    Friday, May 6, 2016
    Gary Graham
    Que Pas


    Kiko Vega, Governor of Baja California, announced plans to reactivate part of the Escalera Nautica project to use some of the previously approved funding to improve the Port of Santa Rosaliita on the Pacific side of the peninsula. Plans include offering a full-service port including fueling, electrical and marina services. Santa Rosaliita was chosen for its strategic location to make the region more attractive for boating and sailing as well as accessible from the peninsula ports of Ensenada and Cabo San Lucas.

    Coronado Island


    “Some of the best surface iron fishing I've ever seen on either side of the border today (and yesterday didn't suck). #vivaelnino #yellowtail #bloodydecks #fishing #sportfishing #localknowledge — at Popotla, Rosarito B.C.” …Ali Hussainy

    Yellowtail and bluefin are all the rage these last few days. There have been yellowtail spread from just past the border all the way down the outside of the Islands to the Finger Bank. The upper part of this zone has mostly been happening along the deeper drop off about two miles outside the Islands and along the ridge outside and below South Island, and it’s mostly been yellowtail with a very few spots of 20- to 40-pound bluefin.

    This morning, though, the best activity is centered in a triangle inside the Upper Finger, the 101, and the Rockpile, with both yellowtail and bluefin schools (including some spots of fish over 100 pounds) mixed right in the same general area.

    Both species are in tight schools and are up and down pretty quickly, so private boats are doing better than the sport boats as they are able to ‘run and gun’ faster to get on the fish when they pop up. The general pattern is to keep an eye out for terns dipping and diving over spots of fish busting up on schools of small anchovy. Most of the time it’ll be 15- to 25-pound grade yellowtail, but there are small spots of bluefin from 25 pounds all the way up to over 100 pounds here, too.

    The good news is that both the yellowtail and bluefin have been slightly more willing to eat finbait. Still, though surface iron is your best bet for the bluefin, a good approach would be to throw iron a few times as you first slide into a school, and if it charges the boat you can switch up to your bait rigs.

    Be sure to use a short fluorocarbon leader for your bait setups, even on your 40- and 50-pound gear, as it is more bite-resistant than mono and bluefin; they are notorious for chewing through the line during a long battle. Circle hooks are also a big help to have a better chance of getting a good hook set in the corner of the jaw. Typically you’ll want to match your fluorocarbon breaking strength to your main line, i.e. a 40-pound leader on 40-pound mono, but you can also jump up a line class and use, for example, 50-pound fluoro on 40-pound mono.

    We strongly suggest using no less than 40-pound gear even if you are only seeing 25-pound class fish, as there have been plenty of bigger grade fish mixed in with the smaller ones. You’ll be hard-pressed to land one of the 100+ giants on 40-pound gear so have 50- and 60-pound setups ready in case you run across a spot of these guys. …


    “Went fishin’ with Luc Ofield on his boat, "Anglers Choice," today. Finally got a tuna for this year after many trips. Got limits! Just off South Island.” …Harry Okuda



    “Hola from John Wick, Captain/owner of MV Fei Long, Ensenada, MX Coral Marina. I caught this bluefin within 50 miles of Ensenada on the troll and it was filled with tuna crabs. Find the crabs and often the tuna with them. This one weighed approximately 135 pounds.”

    “My boat is a customized, long-range Sportfisher and I fished south all the way to Puerto Vallarta this last winter. Of all the ports and harbors, I consider Ensenada my home base with its great close fishing.”

    Last weekend, the "Reel Adventure" found yellowtail chasing bait at the Punta Banda Bank near Todos Santos .

    They caught two, plus limits on barracuda and beautiful 12-pound bonito with live bait most of the time, plus with some frozen squid.
    On the same day after the surface action slowed down, they scored limits of red snapper.

    Weather caused grumpy seas beneath partly cloudy skies thatburned off in the afternoon. ...Marina Coral Store

    Yellowtail continue to be found up on the surface breezing around. The area from just above Salsipuedes down to at least Punta Banda is seeing this.
    Best time is when the wind isn’t blowing and the seas are calm. Then you can see the schools from a long distance. Surface iron is accounting for about 100% of the catch right now. For whatever reason, the fish just don’t want the sardines or the mackerel. …

    San Quintín


    Another great day! Dan killed ‘em in the bass boat -- water 59, no wind -- flat seas . . . squid on scampi’s -- reds, whites and sculpin in the hold. ...Alex Rekrut

    Bahía de Los Ángeles


    Drew Kodl with Juan Cook at Bahia De Los Angeles, Baja Mexico. Killed the cabrilla!


    Alfredo Sportfishing in Bahia de los Angeles, May 5, 2016. Very Good 10 great yellowtail! Blessed God. …Alfredo Diaz

    Today is my wife’s birthday, so her present was a fishing trip!! (any reason is good for it . . . ha ha)! We had a great day. Plenty of mackerel from the deck and in about 20 minutes or less we filled the tank -- not far from BOLA in the local island between Ventana and Smith Islands. The boiling was everywhere -- YT not very big between 5 and 15 pounds with jigs. We caught big ones with live bait and dropper loop. All the pangas caught something. Also caught a couple of cabrilla. … Joel Prieto Ceseña

    Gonzaga Bay


    We decided to fish off the Island closest to Alfonsia's out of Gonzaga and had good fishing on cabrilla up to 15 pounds. …Justin Cardenas

    Alfonsia's quoted me $90 for a doublé on Monday. Is that the normal rate? Jardines in San Quintin quoted me $50 for a double tonight. Is it because Alfonsia's is the only game in town? Seems a bit high for a Monday -- nothing going on down there right now. They said they only have one room, I guess will see when I am there. I am all for free enterprise, just checking the pulse. …Anthony

    Bahía Ascensión

    No report. …Shari Bondy

    La Bocana

    No report. …Juanchys Aguilar




    The new two-story building will provide an office for both the Port Captain and API. (API is a part of the state government responsible for managing most of the port facilities in Baja Sur).

    Spring is about to burst open into summer with today's daytime high temperature hitting 93 degrees.

    In the winter we have the "snow birds" . . . but does anybody know what we might want to call the group who come down as the snow birds leave and dig out their boats and fishing gear for dorado season?

    Seems to be at least a dozen part-time resident gringo boats doing the mothball cleanup/shake-down cruises, and the timing seems perfect!

    The winter fish will be working the shallows soon and the dorado should be just around the corner.

    The full moon just boogied out of town so the bite should be swinging back to normal with a little kick from the approaching summer currents.

    One of our dive trips came back today to fill me in on the underwater report with some welcomed surface information added in.

    Pilot whales were visited while they napped on the surface at Coronado's south tip known as "Lagrimas." One boat cut their engine and paddled up to get some “selfie-type” shots on their cell phone cameras.

    Later on, the same group spotted a marlin doing the same number at the mouth of Coronado's Bay.

    Underwater, they reported schools of sierra mixed with rainbow runners and some jacks (both yellows and roosters).

    As far as actual fishing goes, all the high spots have been worked over with only fair results on medium-sized yellowtail.

    Pintos, triggers and a few fire crackers were also in the mix.

    The big fish of the week was caught while trolling a Krocodile off Danzante Island's "submarine rock." The 30-pound yellowtail was a big shock for some rookies expecting 3-pound sierra!

    This same area has kicked out some surprise catches in the past twelve months.

    The bait situation has improved with the bait suppliers returning to the “tried and true” mackerel fishing methods and locations. They had been coasting on an easy road for the past two months by netting bait in the afternoon. Over harvesting by net and sea lions has put an end to that easy gig. Now the bait guys are having to be out all night to fill the bait tanks (back to work like their fathers and grandfathers before them)! ...Rick Hill, Pinchy Sportfishing


    Wild Kayak fishing on Baja’s Central Sea of Cortez! …Doug Olander

    Magdalena Bay

    No report. ...Bob Hoyt

    La Paz


    Roosters were caught . . . by others. Brian Horsley, Sarah Gardner, Gary Bulla, Mike Muscatello, Juan Lucero, Israel Lucero Ortiz, Hugh Davis, Laurie Martin. ...Mark Peeler

    Many tagged thanks to all released

    Giant pargo liso (mullet snapper) pulled out of the rocks by Jacinto Garcia from Mexicali with Tailhunters’ Captain Victor running the panga. Jacinto’s amigo, Miles Reiter from Monterey CA, battled a huge tuna over two hours before it wrapped around some buoy and busted off!

    Marcus Yoo got a break from his duties with the U.S. Army in Salt Lake City in between overseas deployments and raced down to La Paz on a last-minute fishing trip with only one day to get in some fishing. He made the most of it with some amberjack, small dorado and these huge double-fisted yellowtail from La Paz Bay…Jonathan Roldan, Tailhunter International

    East Cape



    Hey, this is Mark from East Cape Guides. I don't know what the IGFA WR is but the photo of the one the pangero Chuy is holding is a monster! We don't really target them outright but we do tend to hook more big pompano south of the Punta Arena Lighthouse along the inshore reefs at El Rincon to Las Baracas. We land them almost exclusively on slow-trolled live sardina or drifting live bait, strip bait or squid over reefs. They will also take trolled/casted lures and flies. I like to throw a 1.5-ounce blue or green chrome Kastmaster over rocks. They are excellent eating. Take them into town and get them prepared by one of the local restaurants. My favorite is El Pirata. …Mark, Van Wormer Resorts


    The Gallo bite has really picked up with bigger fish this week. …Gary Barnes Webb

    San José del Cab0


    Ocean temperatures are now ranging from the lower 70s on the Pacific side of Cabo San Lucas, to an average of 76/77 degrees near the Gordo Banks and further north. Nothing has changed on the bait situation, anglers are still using squid strips, limited caballito, ballyhoo and other baitfish being found on the fishing grounds. Sportfishing fleets are fishing in all directions, searching for the best possible action, with the more consistent catches being found from Red Hill, Palmilla Point areas, north to Iman, San Luis and Vinorama. No particular spot was producing any wide open action, though there were some decent catches, more so from the super panga charters, compared to the cruisers. Pangas are just a bit more versatile, stealthier and more suited for slow drift style fishing over structure, versus the cruisers which are more geared for open water action.

    Striped marlin action dropped off again, we heard some sporadic reports from the 1150 spot and some action straight off of San Jose del Cabo, no big numbers though and no baitfish feeding frenzy reports. Earlier in the week we saw more dorado than we have seen for some time, still no significant numbers, but at least we saw a handful of respectable dorado in the 15 to 20 lb. class. As fast as this action developed it diminished later in the week to just seeing an occasional single smaller sized dorado, a bit discouraging, but once again that is not abnormal for this time of year.

    Wahoo were being found from Red Hill, Palmilla, to Iman, San Luis and Vinorama, sizes up to 45 lb. Some anglers landed as many as three, while reporting many other lost hook ups. Strikes reportedly came on Rapalas, rigged ballyhoo, caballito and chihuil. Better action earlier in the week, a little more finicky later in the week, off colored water conditions never seem to help the wahoo bite. Just this week a handful of the more ambitious panga guides were scouting out possibilities of catching chihuil baitfish on the Inner Gordo Bank, this is rarely an real easy task, most mornings they did not even catch enough of these candy like baitfish until past 9:00 a.m., then they had to motor all the way north near San Luis Bank where more numbers of wahoo were schooling. Choppy ocean conditions in the morning on the offshore banks makes this type of hand line bait fishing a tough go, but once caught these baits can produce some quality action.

    Yellowfin tuna were still being found on Iman Bank and towards the north, though this action dropped way off this past week, nothing consistent at all, some charters accounted for up to three yellowfin, while others never even had a strike, strips of squid was the best bet for hooking a tuna, though a few were also taken on baits such as ballyhoo of chihuil and yo-yo iron jigs. Some decent quality yellowfin in the 25 to 80 lb. class were reported, just not many numbers.

    Closer to shore there were some late season sierra up to 8 lb. landed, also a handful of roosterfish and jack crevalle, though once again no big numbers and scattered action.…Eric Brictson, Gordo Banks Pangas

    Los Cabos


    We fished a few hours on Victors boat Santi out of Cabo Marina, got a few bait and headed about 15 miles towards San Jose; it was windy and we tried bait fishing -- no luck. So he cut up some squid and we dropper-looped for some white fish and some cabrilla, plus one large sheepshead that made our day and we enjoyed every bit for lunch. Didn’t see too many fish on other boats so I guess we did pretty well. It's time to fly home today and pack our gear an head to BOLA for a week of the fishing I enjoy. …Roger

    Seems like more and more yellowfin tuna action has moved back into Cabo and provided a much better day's fishing for many anglers. The yellowfin tuna are late arrivals this year and perhaps the bite is just beginning for the late spring bite?

    Also, the return of the live bait supply should begin to make some difference in the overall billfish catches, too, so stand by for better fishing reports to come from the eastern Pacific ports in the very near future.

    Cabo Climate: Air temps at 65 nights to 81 daytime highs and an average humidity level of 48%. About a 50-50 mixed week with several partly cloudy days and several bright sunny days.

    Sea Conditions: The Pacific side, from Golden Gate Bank south to the Jaime Bank all at 70 to 71 degrees; from Cristobal Point, south and east of Cabo San Lucas all at 73 to 74 degrees; from Cabo San Lucas to Los Frailes all at 77 to 78 degrees. Breezes flowing in from the westerly directions varied from calm mornings to about 15 mph in the afternoons.

    Live Bait Supply: The availability of live bait is back to normal and readily available at the $3.00 per bait rate. …Larry Edwards, Cortez Charters.
    Last edited: May 7, 2016
    Caseydmaze, Cy Bodden and dang 8521 like this.
  2. Tunahead

    Tunahead Long Time Tuna Abused Member

    Costa Mesa
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    AWESOME REPORT as usual. Congrats Harry on 1st tuna for the year!!
    (we were on Condor together few weeks ago for yellows at Colonet)
    All these big bluefin and I gotta wait until the 26th for a 4 day GEEZ! LOL
    I'll be more than ready to tangle with something by then hopefully. HA!
    Baja Bytes likes this.

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