Baja Bytes Weekly Overview Friday, February 3, 2017 Gary Graham Que Pasa Gonzalo Castillo aboard Hammertime delivers a quality yellowfin tuna weighing 150 to 180 pounds on a kite on inner Gordo Bank for happy client. UPDATE: 7:30AM PST Friday, February 3, 2017 Baja Gasoline - Diesel Availability / Highway Blockades: SHCP (Secretaría de Hacienda y Crédito Público) officially announced this morning that there will be no increase in the cost of fuels on Saturday, February 4, 2017, and for at least the next two weeks. On February 18th, the price of fuel will begin to fluctuate on a daily basis in anticipation of price deregulation on March 1st, where market competition will be allowed to set the local prices. There is some confusion remaining in the border areas over the recently implemented stimulus plan to help distributors better compete with the cost of fuels to the north. Hacienda announced they will be working to modify and streamline the program so the distributors will be able to receive the fuel rebates much quicker which should help to lower the cost at the pump all along the northern border regions. Currently, fuel is available and highways are open. Baja Norte There have been no reports of yellowtail since last month at Coronado Islands. There are rockfish in 180- to roughly 260-feet, out to the SW of South Island. There also have been some nice-quality reds out that way taken on sardines, squid and vertical jigs, plus a nice lingcod if you’re lucky. …fishdope.com Steady action for sand bass and a few sculpin continues to come from off the Tijuana Bull Ring south. Red crab-colored plastics and the lead head and squid combo are both working well for the 1- to 4-pound bass and sculpin. In spite of some nice weather in Ensenada, aside from a bit of chatter about whale watching, nothing else was heard. Farther down the coast at the Colonet High Spot, the sport boats fishing on the weekends scored full limits of 12- to 25-pound yellowtail. Most of the fish came on the larger yoyo iron like the Salas 6X or 7X or the Tady 4/0 or the JRI jigs in red crab and scrambled egg colors. When the bite was on though, it didn’t matter much as to the color. There were also a few surface iron fish, a few dropper loop sardine fish and a few caught using the ¾- to 1-ounce sliding sinker rig with a hot sardine as well. At times there were even yellows boiling on chum in the corner. …fishdope.com Locals Kelly Catian and Juan Cook found WFO yellowtail action at San Quintin. Juan was booked but he hooked us up with Captain Jaime and we were set. Jaime treated us with the mutual respect we gave him and we had an awesome experience on his panga. Today the mint green Salas 6x was a sure thing (of course I left them with Jaime- as a courtesy) and in the end all of the 6x were bit on yellows between 15- and 22-pounds (6x jr. was not producing for us today). https://www.bdoutdoors.com/forums/threads/san-quintin-yellow-fest.647376/ The Upper Sea of Cortez is still extremely windy and COLD. One visitor to Bahia De Los Angeles planned on staying the weekend to work on their casa. However, it was so freaking miserable that he left within seven hours. Noting that the desert is absolutely beautiful right now with leaves on everything . . . many areas look more like a forest than a desert. But the wind... …Doug Down Vizcaino way, Ascension, La Bocana and Abreojos were mum. Guess it was the wind. Baja Sur Based on Rick Hill, Pinchy Sportfishing’s Thursday evening report out of Loreto, “windy days finally blew out of town after giving us five days off the water.” Wednesday was our first day back and the boats were loaded with snowbirds wanting an island tour. It seemed like only one boat out of four headed for the fishing destinations! The fishing has not changed with a good pick on bottom fish and a good supply of perfect-sized mackerel. The seekers of serious fishing all worked over the area off Carmen Island's Punta Lobo. The "50" Spot and the assorted rock piles in that area were holding a few prize bottom fish including yellowtail to 25 pounds. Most yellows were in the 15- to 18-pound range and prize-sized huachinango to 16 pounds hit the decks. Closer to town, the boats worked Lagrimas south to La Cholla with mostly pintos, reds and a few cabrilla in the catch. A few small yellowtail were caught on live bait but this spot has always been great with cut bait. Kayaks and a few pangas have been working the waters just off the arroyo's mouth. Sierra and a few firecrackers are the targets down here. Whales are starting to be targeted by the annual whale watching crowd but like the yellowtail bite, they are hard to locate. Catch from out at the "50" ..... a ten inch mackerel snuggling in with friends; a nice 22 pound yellowtail and an 18 pound huachinango. Huachinango are a traditional dish in the restaurants -- cooked whole in hot oil. I personally don't own a pan big enough for the "wa-cheez" we have been seeing this season! At Magdalena Bay, Puerto Lopez Mateos Whales beginning to thin out. La Paz . . . Robert Hutton braved some crazy north winds and fished not only one, but wanted to go out a second day again with Captain Armando, and he got into some decent action. Check it out. They also had on a dorado plus almost baited a marlin close to shore! …Jonathan Roldan, Tailhunter International. East Cape Nice grouper by Chuy fishing out of Hotel Buenavista Beach Resort. Felipe Valdez scores the first yellowtail of the season! Gonzalo Castillo aboard Hammertime delivers a quality yellowfin tuna weighing 150 to 180 pounds on a kite on inner Gordo Bank for happy client. Eric Brictson, Gordo Banks Pangas, commented that San Jose del Cabo enters the month of February known for unpredictable, often cooler and windy, They are hoping with so much wind during this past month, January, that maybe patterns will shift and now settle down. So far this first week of the new month has been very nice; North Winds have laid down, days have been clear, with high temperatures in the mid-70s, early morning low temperatures are down near the 50-degree mark. Anglers are encouraged to wear layered clothing for early in the day before the sun warms things up. Supplies of sardina are limited off of Palmilla Point, though with lighter crowds the bait vendors have been able to work hard to net enough bait for the number of charters. After obtaining bait, boats are back tracking north to the area from Cardon, La Fortuna and Iman Bank. This is where the action for yellowfin tuna has been found, drift fishing with sardina -- both live and dead bait is being used, and still some squid strips are being rigged as an option as well. The action has been respectable considering this is not the normal time we find a lot of yellowfin tuna. We have seen tuna in the 10- to 50-pound range; most fish are in the 20- to 35-pound class. Average catches per charter has been ranging from two to six fish. Not much variety now besides the yellowfin tuna. Only an occasional snapper, pargo, cabrilla or triggerfish off the bottom. No dorado to speak of, just a couple of smaller fish. We did see one nice 40-pound wahoo caught where the tuna were schooling, hit on a sardina, lucky catch on mono leader, other wahoo have been seen free swimming, so these fish still are hanging around, even though water temperatures are now in the 70-degree range. They are not very aggressive at all. Strong currents have been running, though water clarity is still very good considering the cooling waters. Mackerel and sardineta are holding on local bait grounds; very few striped marlin are being caught. Still there are better chances for billfish at this time on the Pacific Banks. Not much going on inshore -- an occasional juvenile-sized roosterfish and a handful of sierra. Lots of whales remain in the area, also plenty of hungry sea lions on the fishing grounds, waiting to have the chance at easy picking of a hooked and struggling fish. Cabo San Lucas, The yellowfin tuna bite has been going off lately, with some astounding numbers of fish being caught per boat. The Pisces Ruthless landed 61 fish the other day (most safely released), and the total tuna for all boats in the fleet that day was 215. …Pisces Sportfishing While most fish have been football-sized, they provide some fun action and are then mostly released. Although we have seen some nice tunas up to 40 pounds, it has been another very difficult fishing week out of Cabo San Lucas during this time of changing currents and water temperatures throughout the area on both sides of the peninsula. The cost of fuel has been creeping steadily upward for the past few weeks and hopefully this governmental action will either level off or subside before the various fleets find it necessary to initiate increases in the charter rates. So far, the fuel cost increases have caused bottom-line profit effects but not yet to the point that they have been talking about rate increases at this time. Cabo Climate: A mostly sunny week with an occasional few passing clouds in the daily mix and an average daytime temp of 74.7 degrees with cooler nights down to 58 degrees. The humidity ratio averaged 57.1% for the week. Sea Conditions: Sea surface conditions averaged about 8.7 mph with the breezes flowing mostly from the southwest. Water temps on the Pacific side, from the Finger Bank to the Jaime Bank, were all at 68 to 69 degrees. From Cabo Falso to about 10 miles above the Gordo Banks, temps were all in the 70- to 71-degree range. Best Fishing Area: There has been no specific "best fishing area" for the past couple of weeks albeit, the only two marlin landed this past week was from the Cabo Falso area. Best Bait/Lure: Live bait for billfish and yellowtail and a variety of smaller lures for the sierra, skipjack and yellowfin tuna. Bait Supply: A good live bait supply continues with mostly caballitos provided at the $3.00 per bait rate.