Baja Bytes Weekly Overview Friday, January 6, 2017 Gary Graham Que Pasa What a week . . . and unfortunately it is not about great fishing! My travel advisory earlier in the week spelled it out. http://www.bdoutdoors.com/forums/threads/baja-travel-advisory.645880/ A devaluating peso, deregulation of Mexico’s fuel industry causing a 20% rise in fuel costs, in addition to the common fuel shortages over the holidays, all drenched with heavy rain in Northern Baja. Rumors circulated, tempers flared and frustration set in. All of which needs rapid, reasonable solutions. Hopefully calls for help will be heard and somehow the peace can be restored for everyone. Meanwhile, I’m going to stick with what I know — “fishing.” Baja Norte Grumpy weather often followed with small craft warnings silenced the fish chatter this week for the most part. Coronado Islands, Ensenada and Punta Colonet all seemed to be victims of the bad weather. Except for Joe Zaragoza who had some friends come down and wanting to get some lines wet and since rock fishing is closed in California headed south. Booked Last Cast to fish local. There was life everywhere birds, seals, whales. They chased birds for an hour, the fish were on the move so they headed over to San Miguel their buddy in the boat “Seal” was out there as well the lucky guy got himself a nice fat yellow. While they made drift after drift and had some good ol’ rock fishing. Weather was beautiful and the swells were down until the wind picked up around 1 PM. I see a lot of potential this year … http://www.bdoutdoors.com/forums/threads/ensenada-1-4-17.645978/ Before the recent storm, Walter Korbler, who fished with K&M Sportfishing at San Quintín, commented, “I think January and February are two of the best months of the year for yellowtail.” “Bahía Ascensión started off 2017 with a gale and rain!!!” Shari Bondy commented. While down the coast at La Bocana over New Year’s Captain Juan complained the water was five degrees cooler than last year. That apparently sent the yellowfin packing and caused the yellowtail to have lockjaw. He and his group had to settle for calicos, sand bass, tile fish, barracuda, Mexican cod and bonito. Even the grouper that had been biting well over a week or two ago failed to cooperate. On the plus side, they did find a friendly dolphin to hand feed some of their unused bait. The high-liner of the week was Californian Rick Jensen who snookered a 50-pound yellowtail in 80-feet of water with light iron. http://www.bdoutdoors.com/forums/threads/larry-hansome-hansen-la-bocana-aventura.645951/ Baja Sur In Loreto Rick Hill, Pinchy Sportfishing, added that on the fishing scene the yellowtail are popping up all over the place. Firecrackers seem to be the most frequently landed yellows but 20+-pound yellows were being caught out at Punta Lobo and “Sailfish.. For the bait soakers it was a slow pick, but a few of the gringo boats with downriggers scored near limits. Weather continues to be an issue as it always is in January. The best news of the week has to do with the fact it is normal for this time of year; the thing that we haven’t seen since El Niño rolled in two years ago — frigates, frigates and more frigates! Rick commented, “We saw a wild hour-long fish boil just outside of “Marquez” on Carmen’s west side. The fish turned out to be huge bonito slashing flying fish with frigates, sea gulls, boobies and pelicans diving into the act. “I saw more frigates there in that one action than I have seen all last summer. It’s looking like a sweet year is coming down the pike and with gasoline’s 20% hike down the tubes (soon), it should be super, super yellowtail season! (I got gas this morning and only the normal lines were at the pumps. No stress in Loreto so far. We have enough gas for two or three days of trips and by then things should be settling down).” In Magdalena Bay the arriving gray whales and their young have appeared on cue to entertain for the annual migration of tourists to the area . . . always a crowd pleaser for the visiting whales. No surprises in La Paz as the wind and kite surfers frolic during the winter. It’s the winds — great for the wind and kite surfers but not so good for fishing. It’s still bright and sunny with temps in the 80s. It’s winter. Thankfully bonito are still providing action despite a difficult week to fish because of winds. Not much to talk about at East Cape; the surf fishing was slow. Mostly just lady fish in the evenings on crankbaits. Did hear that one boat sneaked out on a calm day and anglers were rewarded with dorado and tuna, plus a released striped marlin and a couple of sailfish. Weather patterns cooled off over the previous week at San José Del Cabo while winds from the north continue to prevail. Ocean swells were minimal, water temperatures are now holding in the 73- to 74-degree range, with greenish water being found pushing into certain areas. Anglers were using strips of squid, caballito and some mackerel for a variety of game fish. No huge numbers, but charters have landed one or two, and even up to six yellowfin per outing. Average sizes were in the 15 to 30-pound class, but also quite a few tuna to 50-pounds are being caught. There was a recent trend for the yellowfin to strike more readily on either mackerel or caballito, instead of exclusively on strips of squid like during previous months. Either drift fishing or slow trolling the live bait has proved to be most successful technique recently. Dorado have continued to be quite scarce, only an occasional single fish, a couple of dorado as large as 15-pounds. More dorado were actually found closer to shore than farther out — also later in the day, nothing much early. Wahoo have been very quiet for a few weeks now, though late this week, there were a few of the wahoo up to 45-pounds landed near the Iman Bank. Roosterfish action became very quiet this past week as well, a few sierra were found, no numbers though, also some jack crevalle. Bottom action was limited to mainly triggerfish and a mix of smaller pargo and snapper species. photo by Jeff DeBrown Cabo San Lucas Inshore action, in spite of cool weather, has been producing some exciting roosterfish and jack crevalle for some of the visiting fly fishers. There has also been a decent billfish bite drift fishing the Cabo Falso Drop Off Area using live bait and sinkers. Out farther on the Jaime Bank, the yellowfin tuna were located traveling with the porpoise. Cabo Climate: A partly cloudy day for Sunday that turned into a full week of sunshine on the days following. Daytime air temps averaged 80.4 and nights a little cooler at 64-degrees. Humidity level at 55.4% average. Sea Conditions: Surface breezes flowing in from the southwest at an average of 7.4 mph. Water temps that now range from the Finger Bank on the Pacific side to Los Frailes on the Sea of Cortez side, are all in the 73- to 74-degree ranges. Best Fishing Area: The billfish bite was best in the Cabo Falso Drop Off area and the tuna bite was best at Jaime Banks. Best Bait/Lure: Drift fishing live baits was best for the billfish. Tuna were eager to bite on the varied colors of feathers, cedar plugs, tuna clones and more. Bait Supply: Excellent bait supply for caballitos and still some mackerel available, all at the $3.00 per bait rate.