Newton breezes by and fishing resumes

Discussion in 'Baja Bytes By Gary Graham' started by Baja Bytes, Sep 9, 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, September 9, 2016,
    Gary Graham

    Que Pasa

    FG Knot Made Easy
    Looking for a better way to secure your braid to fluorocarbon leader?

    IGFA’s Adrian Gray walks you through the tricky process of tying this remarkably durable knot that has become a favorite of anglers flinging poppers for big fish both from boats as well as from Baja beaches.

    Gray’s video will have you tying the knot like a pro in no time at all.

    Discover Baja Sur road update September 9, 2016

    -Scorpion Bay: Roads are completely flooded. Currently no access from any direction.

    –Santa Rosalía, Mulegé, and Punta Chivato experienced heavy flooding and roads washing out, causing difficult access

    -Highway 1 from Santa Rosalia to Mulegé is in rough condition with many parts washed out. Be patient and expect delays and detours.

    -There is flooding in San Ignacio but the roads are passable for all vehicles

    -Roads in and out of Lopez Mateos and Puerto San Carlos are open and passable

    -Highway Mexico 1 is washed out in three places between San Ignacio and Mulegé

    -There is construction between Ciudad Insurgentes and La Paz with a six-mile bypass that is now washed out around Km. 60. Police are advising drivers to not pass or to do so at their own risk.

    Coronado Islands

    The Islands themselves are pretty slow and dead, with a little bit of bonito but not much yellowtail. We had contacts that looked at the South Kelp Ridge, Middle Grounds, and around North Island today and they reported very slow fishing. Yesterday some yellowtail were found down around the flats SE of the Islands, but we didn’t get any specific reports from this area today. …


    “They say that the fishing inshore is good, but the offshore fishing is the worst in years!” …Roger

    “Rat yellowtail in the bay; good bottom fishing if you know where to go ... but that is for winter fishing. Outside flat out sucks -- kept thinking it's gotta’ break but so far, nada.” …Anthony

    “Went out yesterday (Sunday) for no surface fish - just bottom species (no lings either). Calicos were decent up to four pounds and there were small reds.” …Bruce

    All of the above seems to sum it up pretty well.

    San Quintín


    Great day out fishing with Captain Juan today; left the Old Mill dock under slightly cool, overcast skies but it turned into a beautiful and bright sunny day catching lingcod, reds, bonito, barracuda and a nice yellowtail...Aleciram Adepez

    Bahía de Los Ángeles


    Shot just enough 15-pound leopard grouper to have dinner each night. Found some great new grouper holes that were holding gulf grouper. Could not get close enough to them for a shot. Wind came up on the last day of our adventure. The adage of "If Smith Island wears a sombrero, sailor beware!" seems to be the local knowledge. …Pfish

    Cedros Island


    Come for the bucket list, stay for the service at Cedros Adventures! ...Scott Dahlem

    Bahía Ascensión


    Woo Hooo! Wahooooo ... the first wahoo for us this season was caught by Nelson, our deckhand; he was super-stoked! They had a great day catching some monster calico bass and some quality yellowtail also in the 20- to 30-pound range. …Shari Bondy

    La Bocana

    Report pending. …Juanchys Aguilar

    Santa Rosalia


    Santa Rosalia Tuesday during Hurricane Newton.



    Cabrilla and pargo caught along the northern coast.


    A few from San Basilio and a few from the Punta Colorada area. No biters on the troll . . . only a slow pick on top of the rock piles.

    Hurricane Newton came to town; did a lot of minor damage and quickly zoomed north.


    The one beached sailboat was towed back off the beach within 24 hours by a group of volunteer fishing captains.

    The phone and electric company are busy with some downed lines and broken poles. That's about the extent of that subject; 48 hours and we are back to fishing!

    On Monday we made the trek to San Basilio and worked our way south looking for cabrilla and pargo along the rocky coastline. There were at least two boats at all the hotspots we passed but it turned out to be another slow pick at the bottom crowd.

    Puerto Almeja, San Bruno highspot and Candeleros had fishing visitors but the results continued to be assorted bottom fish. Reds, whitefish and pinto bass were the most numerous biters and they aren't much of a challenge on yellowtail gear.

    The fly fishing crowd was not around our location at San Basilio. If they would have been, a huge school of 10-pound toro with a good 300 fish in attendance would have worn them out. The schools of toro are a good indicator for our normal September season. The other fish we use as indicators are not here so far.

    Sierra usually join the action with the toro and later in the month we would normally be hoping to see some wahoo at the far island (out where the big tuna was caught this spring). It's been a "non-standard" year so far but it isn't over yet!…Rick Hill, Pinchy Sportfishing

    Magdalena Bay

    Still lots of wahoo, tuna, dorado and marlin. Limits are the norm. …Bob Hoyt

    La Paz


    Tom Rose and Doug Ladderbush, San Diegans fishing La Paz for the first time with Captain Gerardo of the Tailhunter fleet, spent their first day fishing from Muertos Bay and got limits of 15- to 25-pound tuna in two hours just a few hundred yards from shore using chunks of fresh squid.

    It turned out to be one of the best weeks of the season down here. Not only did we have some outstanding weather with warm (but not hot) sunny skies and blue calm waters, but for the first time in about two years, the tuna crashed for our Tailhunter Fleet at Las Arenas/Muertos Bay with some outstanding catches. Mixed with some of the other species, it was the kind of week we have rarely seen since the El Nino weather conditions dropped in on us two seasons ago…and now apparently are diminishing.

    Will it continue? Read on…


    In a scene reminiscent of the glory days of the area, for about four days this week, yellowfin tuna came up from the trenches to within a few hundred yards of the beach or closer and crashed our pangas! It started with some football 5- to 10-pounders, but these turned into heftier, beefier, feistier 20-to 25-pound fish and pulled many first-time anglers right out’ve their flip-flops!

    Literally, a long casting distance from the beach in an area that stretched from just south of Bahia de los Muertos to just around the corner to Punta Perico and the old Hotel Las Arenas, the tuna rolled up with an appetite! Our pangas were slamming fish with limits in a few hours, then turning their attention to other species like dorado, wahoo and billfish. What a luxury. (For once, roosterfish weren’t center stage!). Even releasing fish, anglers were filling their take-home ice-chests in a single day of action!

    I spoke to one person who was scuba diving in the area and he told me, “There are huge schools of tuna milling around down there, even in the shallow waters!”

    For many of our anglers, not only was this the first tuna they had ever encountered, (“Man, I didn’t know tuna were THAT strong!), but for some, it was their first fish or first time fishing (“I caught two and had to sit down because my back and arms were cramping!”). Imagine your first-fish ever is a 20-pound yellowfin tuna!

    But, here’s the rub … the ONLY bait that was working was squid! Bellies of the fish were filled with small squid that the fish must have followed up from the deep. That’s why they were in the area.

    However, it’s impossible for us to catch little tiny squid! It’s impossible for

    us to hook them, unlike when the huge Humboldt squid come up from the deep with monsters that are 10 to 80 pounds and we can actually fish for them!

    Therefore, it became incumbent on us to scour the city of La Paz looking to buy all the squid we could find. The better stuff was the bodies, but squid bodies were in short supply. Also, this couldn’t be “bait quality” squid. This has to be fresh-dead squid that’s restaurant/table quality stuff. So, I had staff running around and over the course of just a few days, we purchased over 220 pounds of blocks of fresh-frozen squid and then vacuum sealed them into 2-kilo bags for our anglers to have! It made for some long days, but you do what you gotta do! As it is, there’s not much other bait out there at Las Arenas.

    Anyway, after four days, the bite quieted down and the frenzy turned to a trickle as the fish moved farther south. At the time of my writing this report, we have our whole fleet looking south today for the fish!

    However, as the tuna diminished, small-to-medium dorado came up which was the first time we’ve ever really seen dorado in the area so that was good news! We’ll keep you posted.

    My biggest concern as of the time of writing this is that there’s a bit of a storm and rain coming on Tuesday that might be a complete game-changer. It could make things better or it could dirty up the water -- cold water -- and scatter the fish, and then it will take several days to clear up again. Then, who knows?

    LA PAZ

    The story for our Tailhunter La Paz fleet were the billfish. I think almost every one of our pangas hooked a billfish at some point in the week. One day each of our pangas hooked at least one sailfish or marlin. Most were lost. Or, after a fight, they were released (thanks guys!). A few of the larger ones that were blue marlin were either kept (perfectly legal!) or were unable to be revived. The fish seemed to be right in the areas where, not surprisingly, we also found small dorado and small bonito which are perfect candy-food for billfish.

    Dorado were also around with a few of the better quality in the 20- to 25-pound class around with a lot getting lost and released as well.

    Inshore, there’s still some good steady action on big triggers and small-to-medium cabrilla and pargo. ...Jonathan Roldan, Tailhunter International

    East Cape


    Captain Baja explores arroyos after Newton passes.

    So-so fishing Thursday. A couple of marlin, some dorado. No tuna. Good inside for pargo, pompano and roosterfish.
    Most of our fleet out today. Hopefully, the fishing gets back to as good as prior to the storm. …Gary Barnes Webb


    Get your rods here right now!! Fishing after hurricanes are the best of the year and its starting today. Here's the catch of today on the Dottie BII with Capt Vicente Cosio…Hotel Buena Vista Beach Resort

    San José Del Cab0


    Out today on my Buddy Mike's boat (a real nice Cabo 35 Express) with his Son Alex for 4-5 dorado (kept one about 15#, released the rest) a barred snapper, and a bonus wahoo on the way back in. Alex set the hook, fought the fish, and brought him to the boat for the gaff-shot. Nice work Alex!...Kevin

    At last report we were following forecasts of tropical storm develop off of mainland Mexico, this was all with good reason, as Hurricane Newton quickly formed and gained strength as it headed directly for the Southern Baja Peninsula and the resort towns of Cabo San Lucas and San Jose del Cabo, making direct impact on Monday night and causing widespread flooding and property damage. Newton hit land as a strong category one hurricane, packing sustained winds of 90 mph, with gusts to over 115 mph. Five crewmen aboard a shrimp trawler which had departed from Ensenada and was heading towards Mazatlán sank in local waters and all men drowned, No deaths were reported on land. Although the damage left behind was nothing compared to that of Hurricane Odile two years ago, nevertheless it was substantial. The panga dock area in Puerto Los Cabos Marina was hit particularly hard, having just been rebuilt after the devastation of Odile, now major work will be needed once again. This area needs to be re-engineered or this appears to be an ongoing problem we will see for any large storm that strikes this vulnerable docking area. Throughout the region there were no basic utilities for most of the week. So everyone will be in clean up and recovery process during the coming weeks, hoping that this is it for the season and that no other storms come our direction.

    Before Newton hit, sportfishing charters were concentrating their efforts on the grounds from the Gordo Banks to as far north as Vinorama. Anglers were using baits such as caballito, strips of squids, as well as bolito and small skipjack which were found in large schools on the same fishing grounds. Water temperatures were 85 degrees or more, clear blue water being found close to shore. The Gordo Banks was the one area where larger sized yellowfin tuna were seen, though hooking into one was not a sure bet by any means, though fish of over 200-pounds were spotted and another class of tuna in the 40 to 60-pounds range were breezing the surface. These medium grade yellowfin did bite sporadically, with some charters landing two or three, or even up to eight yellowfin tuna. Yellowfin tuna were also found on the normal grounds north of Gordo, Iman to San Luis, striking more often on strips of squid, though no huge numbers. Same areas produced some decent numbers of dorado up to 20-pounds.

    Off of the offshore Banks there were a mix of striped, blue and black marlin being encountered, but again no big numbers, but everyday some billfish action was being found. We saw one black marlin of 380-pounds accounted for. A couple of wahoo reported, but these fish have been off the bite for the most part. Bottom action was spotty as well, though a few nice dogtooth snapper and amberjack were accounted for, more triggerfish than anything else off of the structure now. After the latest storm there could be many changes to which fish are biting best. So far in the first couple of days that the fleets have back in operation, the action has been slow, off colored water conditions, slowly improving each passing day. Yellowfin tuna of 30-pounds has been the common catch, a few scattered dorado, but only an average of a few fish per boat in combination. We do anticipate improved action in the coming week, as forecast looks favorable and will give the ocean conditions a chance to stabilize…Eric Brictson, Gordo Banks Pangas

    Los Cabos


    What hurricane hangover? The sun's back out and our boats are in the water. It wasn't too bad at all for the first day of fishing since Hurricane Newton barreled through on Tuesday. Fishing was strictly limited to the Pacific side, and saw quite a bit of action for most boats that headed out that way.

    Pisces boats caught either yellowfin tuna, dorado or striped marlin after the hurricane. While tuna weren't as large as they've been lately, we did see high numbers, with 50 being caught among all the boats…Pisces Sportfishing

    Cabo San Lucas spent more than 1.5 hours inside the eye of Hurricane Newton as it arrived on location early Tuesday morning, September 6, 2016, before moving on northerly and out of the area and according to one reporter, it was very calm during that time-frame until the back wall hit Cabo and got their attention. The Category 1 hurricane brought lots of wind but only a little rain and the typical loss of electricity for the town. However, overall damage reported was minimal and the harbor and marinas and boats, for the most part, did very well and we had no reports of sinking boat problems.

    The entire Newton storm system was gone from the area by mid-afternoon Tuesday and for whatever reason, the Port Captain kept the port closed on Wednesday even though it was sunny, no wind and nearly flat-calm waters.

    The overall combined fish reports reflected good fishing for the past week and more and more dorado showed up in the fish counts with most fish in the 20+ pound range. The boats reporting in for a total of 22 days fished, reflected 1 smaller blue marlin released, 7 stripers, (6 released), 1 sailfish released, 2 wahoo, 9 yellowfin tuna and 53 dorado. High billfish boat for the week released 2 stripers and 1 sailfish while landing 8 dorado and 4 yellowfin tuna.

    A mostly cloudy week with Thursday being mostly sunny. Daytime temps at 90.8 average, night temps at 75 average with humidity at 65.6 % average. Afternoon thundershowers likely for Sunday, September 10, 2016.

    Water temps from the Finger Bank to Cabo Falso were 82-83 degrees and from Cabo San Lucas to Los Frailes were all at 85-87 degrees. Surface breezes following Newton averaged 7.6 mph flowing mostly from the southeasterly direction with little to no swell condition outside the harbor.

    Rigged baits are working well for the billfish and for the bigger dorado. Artificials are also doing well for dorado, and feathers for the tuna.

    Live Bait Supply: Live bait still at $3.00 per bait and readily available. …Larry Edwards Cortez Yacht Charters
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2016
    Second Row likes this.
  2. Tunahead

    Tunahead Long Time Tuna Abused Member

    Costa Mesa
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    Great report Gary, and glad the damage not as bad this time. Whew. LOL
    Baja Bytes likes this.
  3. Second Row

    Second Row You Should Have Been Here Yesterday

    21' Grady White - Rusty Hook
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    I just saw this post Gary.. that was a fun trip at COA.
    Baja Bytes likes this.

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