Spotted Bay Bass Fishery in SQ Bay?

surf launch

Member
Dec 27, 2006
338
164
43
San Diego
Name
Rob
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14 ft Livingston and 12'aluminum skiffs
Been fishing out of San Quintin for quite some time and have caught plenty of halibut and sand bass back in the bay but never a spotted bay bass. Of course there must be some in there but I always figured because the water is usually so cold much of the year, there couldn't much of a fishery.........perhaps I'm wrong. I heard a rumor that many years ago, professional bay bass guide Mike Gardner did an exploratory trip here and caught some bay bass but over-all the fishing for the spotties was poor. Interestingly though, the hand full that were caught ended up being quite large. Any insight about this topic would be appreciated.
 
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dwaynesda

dwayne
Apr 27, 2003
908
328
63
santee
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Name
dwayne
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Cabo 216
I have had a place there for 25 years and yes, you would expect the fishery to be better. We catch plenty of small ones fishing for macs but nothing very large. Interesting observation we saw a few years ago. They discovered shrimp in the bay and every boat that could drag a net was doing so. All the by catch we saw them get were all immature fish, all 3 species of bass, halibut, perch etc. It sure looked to me that SQ Bay is a nursery more than anything.
 

crabdancer

Kook
Apr 18, 2012
418
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LA/Santa Cruz
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Shannon
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Edgewater
This is a really interesting question. I haven't targeted spotties in San Quintin but I have fished some other pocket populations in naturally formed estuaries. The lack of fishing pressure didn't necessarily mean good fishing.

The fish did look and act different from the ones I've caught in developed bays and harbors. They were more oriented toward bait than structure and they were much lighter in color.

I would go as far to say that channel dredging, dock construction, and quarry rock seawalls in developed areas compliment natural structure like shell beds and eel grass to actually improve bay bass fishing. That and separating major harbors from historic river deltas (not the case in SQ) probably keeps fry from leaving the harbor on big tides or runoff events. They are broadcast spawners after all.

Here are a few shots of bass from different habitats:

Natural estuary, no development, fish was coughing up smelt. It was very light in color and seemed like it was 'old' for its size. Could be a lack of year round prey or stiff competition for territory.

IMG_2663.JPG


Downtown Long Beach rip rap fish eating shore crabs. This one was like lipping a green bass, I'm guessing its teeth were worn down from a winter time crustacean diet.

IMG_2211.JPG


And a hand shot for scale. Just to be fair to the fish.

IMG_2847.JPG
 

surf launch

Member
Dec 27, 2006
338
164
43
San Diego
Name
Rob
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14 ft Livingston and 12'aluminum skiffs
Estero bay (Ensenada) has a good spotted bass fishery, although contingent upon how hard its been hit by gill netting any particular year. Several decades ago, it was incredible spottie fishing until the floods of the late 1970's silted in half the estuary. The water temp from Ensenada north it quite a bit warmer than the San Quintin area and I think that may play some part in keeping the spotted bay bass from really thriving there, just a hunch I have.
 
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El Hefe

Newbie
Sep 20, 2006
78
8
8
60
Torrance CA. / San Quintin BCN. Mex.
Name
Jeff Sterr
Boat
22' Amato Panga
as stated above most of the Grouper are juvenile
we have been strictly catch and release on these guys
hope to create a solid fishery in a couple of years on the bigger models.
as far as spotties I caught a nice one last month on the jetty in front of my house
in SQ but I think it was a hybrid crossed with a sand bass
I will look for the photo and post it.
tons of 8 - 10 inch sandys in front.
 
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robertebaker

BOILERMAKER.
Aug 11, 2008
688
262
63
Vista, CA, USA
Name
Bob Baker
Boat
No
Never caught a spottie in SQ. Was with Juan once when he caught a nice King Salmon (that sucker was way lost). Caught some of the Broomtails. I hope they get established. Didn't know they were there and I wonder how long they have been there.
 

scoop

100 Ton Captain
May 24, 2006
166
128
43
San Diego
Name
Copper
Boat
Mako 184cc
This is a really interesting question. I haven't targeted spotties in San Quintin but I have fished some other pocket populations in naturally formed estuaries. The lack of fishing pressure didn't necessarily mean good fishing.

The fish did look and act different from the ones I've caught in developed bays and harbors. They were more oriented toward bait than structure and they were much lighter in color.

I would go as far to say that channel dredging, dock construction, and quarry rock seawalls in developed areas compliment natural structure like shell beds and eel grass to actually improve bay bass fishing. That and separating major harbors from historic river deltas (not the case in SQ) probably keeps fry from leaving the harbor on big tides or runoff events. They are broadcast spawners after all.

Here are a few shots of bass from different habitats:

Natural estuary, no development, fish was coughing up smelt. It was very light in color and seemed like it was 'old' for its size. Could be a lack of year round prey or stiff competition for territory.

View attachment 897895

Downtown Long Beach rip rap fish eating shore crabs. This one was like lipping a green bass, I'm guessing its teeth were worn down from a winter time crustacean diet.

View attachment 897894

And a hand shot for scale. Just to be fair to the fish.

View attachment 897896
I dont think that dredging is good for any fishery. There are tons of great spotty fisheries in Baja on both sides where there is no dredging...and I mean crazy good. SD Bay used to be spectacular before they dredged the channel 20 years ago and it really has never come back. Sure, it is still an amazing fishery...but nothing like it was 20+ years ago. There are a few deeper channels 3/4 of the way out of SQ Bay that have some good spotty fishing. However, with all the other much better fisheries there...I never target that area.
 

crabdancer

Kook
Apr 18, 2012
418
451
63
LA/Santa Cruz
Name
Shannon
Boat
Edgewater
I dont think that dredging is good for any fishery. There are tons of great spotty fisheries in Baja on both sides where there is no dredging...and I mean crazy good.
I agree with what you're saying about regular dredging projects.

I was comparing the pre-development conditions of the wetland areas that were turned into harbors and ports. They were large expanses of 1-10' deep water at mean. Great waterfowl habitat and fish nurseries but limited in the capacity of year round resident fish. I've done well in those types of areas but not the quality and quantity I'd expected.