Stripers & Wahoo astonish visiting anglers

Discussion in 'Baja Bytes By Gary Graham' started by Baja Bytes, Nov 25, 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, November 25, 2016

    Gary Graham
    Que Pasa

    “I was wondering if anyone had the straight info on bringing bait into Mexico? I have taken frozen squid and they let me through with it . . . but I have heard of people who have had it confiscated, too. I just returned from Cabo and our captain, Juanito, asked that we bring all the sardines we could when we returned in May as it is killer bait. So I was wondering if anyone had taken sardines down before to be used for bait. If so how? Should I just go to Tijuana, purchase it there and have it shipped? I’m in Long Beach and have access to the bait barge so I could get great sardines! Any info will be appreciated.”

    Coronado Islands

    We are told there are some yellowtail sonar fish showing along the weather side of North Island. These are nice fish in the 12- to 20-pound class. No big numbers being seen or caught though.
    Rockfish action is good. Spots to the North of Pukey Point are working, but the best quality is out to the SW of South Island near the 71 Fathom Spot.
    Some nice big reds in the 3- to 6-pound class are being pulled up out there in 450 to 500 feet.
    There will be more coverage coming beginning on Friday so we’ll get a better picture of what is going on. …



    ‘Tis the season for bottom fishing! …Sammy Susarrey Amador

    San Quintín


    Water 67 degrees on the 240 and the 6-yellowtail on the 6x and 7x blue and white. Find the bait balls and get on them, nice-size 20-pounds plus. Looks like it's going to be a great winter -- old man happy! …Alex

    Bahía de Los Ángeles

    I'm leaving for Bola today and decided not to take my skiff; it’s not ready and I don't want to rush it. I'm taking my wife and two girls, 6- and 7- years old. Is there someone there for sightseeing tours for a few hours or so, depending on weather? It's their first time and I hope they enjoy it. Also what would a panga cost for one person? Of course all depending on the wind, I would like to get some bottom fish. …RG

    Cedros Island

    My friends and I had a great time at the Island this trip and did a lot of exploring offshore as the weather was excellent Saturday and Sunday.

    We ventured off the North End of the island on Saturday as I had a tip from a yacht that had just went to the island to deliver some things for me.

    We found the yellowfin biting right on the numbers I received. Also big skipjack kept us working hard on the trolling rigs. We came in and fished the North End near Punta Norte and had great calico fishing to 6 pounds. Fish were not along the shore but out still in 50-feet of water.

    The next day we ventured off the South End of the Island. Weather was great. No tuna hit the jigs but the jumbo-sized bonito were around and the action was basically non-stop for more than the 20-mile loop that we did out there. Schools of birds were all over them as the bonito were just gorging on sardine. Each one was stuffed full. Great fighting when they are over 10 pounds for sure.

    We came in to San Augustine and found good calico fishing along the shore and out deeper. We also found a couple of coves that went wide open on the juvenile-size white seabass. Several were pushing the legal size (for the U.S.) but all fish were released to grow and fight another day.

    Near the end of this day we found the birds working on the South End near the airport. Endless calicos to 5 pounds were inhaling bait! One of my buddies put on a heavy diamond jig to get below the cloud of calicos and he was immediately rewarded with a big yellowtail that weighed 35 pounds on the scale once back at the dock. His PB fish. Great way to end the night.

    The next 2 days the wind was up so we fished the front side of the beaches as I was catching lots of halibut on my last trip down there the prior month. The fish were really in and we averaged 25 halibut per day all on plastics. We did have a couple of big fish episodes that led to line failure. Most fish were in the 6- to 10-pound class . . . very good eating.

    Calico fishing was not great in shallow water but once you got out to 50 foot or more they could be found schooling around deep bait balls.

    Overall, a great trip with lots of action going on all around the Island if you worked at it and listened to what the Island was telling you...Jeff Mariani, Cedros Tackle

    Bahía Ascensión


    Todd Verbeke, Alicia Mascho-Verbeke and Dan got a mixed bag fishing with Juan today -- yellowtail, sheepshead, whitefish, bonito, sand and calico bass; oh, and a sunburn! …Shari Bondy

    La Bocana


    Julio Meza and friends scored big on the grouper, all released . . .




    The struggles of Luis; I happily helped Luis carry the loaded fish box to the fillet table on Tuesday. Inside and sticking out of the top were a pair of California sheepshead that are regular residents locally but don't pop up in the fish count that often. Digging a little deeper in the pile were the whitefish and pinto bass which were no surprise. Pull out a bonito, a green jack and a sierra -- that's when I wonder where that boat had been fishing!

    Fishing has been a real mix this past week with a few surprises popping up.

    First we need to do a safety reminder about fishing this time of year.
    Currently we should focus on the projected wind speeds and directions so that all the water activities can be enjoyable and non-life threatening! If you are sporting stainless steel replacement joint parts or a fussed disc or two, let us know ahead of time!

    One fishing trip came back early due to rolling (and rocking) at the "50" high spot.

    It's a bummer for people to come to town with one day to hit the water and it turns out to be the worst day of the week (and then you run into the guy that gives you the, "you should have been here yesterday" song and dance)!

    There were no “big fish” fish stories to report this week but a long-awaited "little fish" fish story might be even more important.

    Sardina are back in town. Maybe they were waiting until the election was over but whatever the reason, they are back and visiting many bait tanks!

    Hopefully we can start seeing cabrilla more often at the fillet table not to mention more medium-sized yellowtail.

    I have nothing against our jurelito and bigeye baitfish friends but with sardina and mackerel, the fish count is bound to explode.Life is full of surprises! …Rick Hill, Pinchy Sportfishing

    Magdalena Bay

    “We wanted to report on our Mag Bay trips. On both trips we released in excess of 100 marlin.

    That's right!!

    In fact the captain and mate are saying more like 250 marlin for the

    two trips combined.”

    “We caught wahoo and dorado as well but concentrated on marlin.”

    “Weather was great for both trips. The fish for both trips were 6 to 8 miles above the Thetis Bank so the 30-mile trip back and forth from Santa Maria was a limiting factor on how long we were able to fish each day. The fishing area covered at least 2 miles by 4 miles every day with birds diving on the bait the marlin were chasing. There were at least 10 to 50 or more marlin on every bait ball.”

    “That's a lot of marlin!!! During the first trip bait was plentiful in Santa Maria; but for the second trip we had to get mackerel from Mag Bay which cost us some time. All fish were caught on live bait using 9/0 or 10/0 circle hooks with 3-feet of 60# fluoro to 80# leader. The deck hand would grab the leader and the fluoro would break between the swivel and the hook. We used hundreds of hooks and many, many yards of fluorocarbon. Lots of doubles, triples and even some quadruple hook ups. Amazing, we never had one outfit get spooled but came close many times.”

    “Captain Bill and mate Cain did a superb job. We drove away from the fish every day. They were there weeks before we got there and I'm sure they are still there.”

    “Hopefully they will move down off Cabo and make a great Thanksgiving/Christmas present. A 50-foot cast or simple dropback was almost always successful. Crystal clear calm water made it even more fun.”…Warren Gunther via

    La Paz


    Paul Heir from Cameron Park, Calif., got a couple of nice wahoo fishing at Bahia de los Muertos with Tailhunters and popular Captain Pancho. He was using a deep-diving Rapala.

    Things are really sliding into different conditions with each passing week. More wind. Still wonderfully, sunny but cooler. More snowbirds showing up, not so much interested in fishing as just finding warmer conditions than where they were coming from. Fewer families right now as the holidays are fast approaching and families have other things on their plates.

    As for fishing, there are far fewer anglers than we had even a week or two ago. This is that “gap” between the holidays and the start of our off-season when we don’t see so many anglers again until late March or April.

    There are still fish out there, but it’s hard to get a great read on things when there are so few boats on the water. That one boat fishing for only one day might find the fish and have a banner time; or, they might miss the fish entirely. Or if they had been just 500 yards away in a different spot, they might have hit a honey-hole! One or two pangas can’t cover the whole ocean.

    So, one thing is for sure. There’s not a lot of boat traffic out there! Further, it’s a crapshoot for fishing. We do the best we can and we go have fun!

    The other thing that’s guaranteed is that the winds are going to get stronger from the north. We have already shut down our Tailhunter La Paz fleet for the season. It’s just too unpredictable to be outside the bay when it can be blowing outside even when the bay looks calm. But even in the bay, sometimes, there’s whitecaps these days.

    So, all of our fishing has been pretty much with our Tailhunter Las Arenas Fleet from Muertos Bay where at least the waters are a little more protected and the fish are closer.

    But, that being said, we had four days this past week where I recommended that the clients not go fishing; instead, I recommended that they wait and fish a different day because the winds were too strong. That made all the difference. But, those were cases where the clients were with us for a few days and had flexible schedules.

    It’s different if some fishermen only have one day to fish or are walk-in clients to our store and want to go fishing -- “tomorrow.” I can only advise them that it might be pretty windy if that’s what the forecast says or tell them it’s not even safe to go out because the winds will be gusting.

    All that being said, folks that went out this week got some nice variety from Bahia de los Muertos.

    There’s still some wahoo biting not too far outside of Metros and around Punta Perico. The fish are nice-grade -- 30-pound class fish most times. Some a little bigger. Some a little smaller -- but still…a wahoo! We’re still losing more than we’re putting in the boat. These wahoo have gotten cagey. They’re tough and fast and they’ve got those sharp teeth and are even biting off the Rapalas!

    We also found a few tuna out there in front of the old Hotel Las Arenas, too. Just about 100 yards or so off the beach, there’s some breezing yellowfin weighing 20 to 30 pounds that are willing to eat the squid.

    Near that same area, we also surprisingly got into some late-season, hefty 30- to 50-pound roosterfish as well. I can’t remember getting roosters this late in the season, but that could also be because I can’t remember anyone fishing for them this late, but still…GREAT CATCH and another exotic tough trophy fish!

    Rounding out, there’s some pargo, cabrilla, jack crevalle, bonito, snapper and sierra working as well… Jonathan Roldan, Tailhunter International

    East Cape



    Nice dorado on the Bite Me! … Van Wormer Resorts

    As the standard cliché goes: All good things come to an end. It looks like the great weather we had for virtually all of 2016 is behind us for a few months.

    No complaints! It's been a great fishing year. The highlights were probably the great blue marlin bite and the consistent year-long wahoo bite. The lowlights were mainly the lack of sardina and the inconsistent dorado bite.

    This week was marred by a few windy days. Earlier in the week the fishing was good. …Gary Barnes Webbé-goes-all-good-things-come-to-an-end.643208/


    Pablo Koniesto and Haden Watson, La Paz, BCS. …Hotel Buena Vista Beach Resort

    San José Del Cabo


    Hope everyone is enjoying their Thanksgiving Holiday. Crowds of families are now visiting the Los Cabos area this last holiday vacation period before the Christmas Season; next week the fall season will be winding down, slight break, preparing for the rush of visitors during the last week of the year. The weather recently has been typical for fall, slight chill early in the morning, with lows in the upper 60s. Daytime highs are still reaching into the 80s. Mainly clear sunny skies, with some afternoon scattered clouds. Over the past weeks, winds have been persistent and unpredictable, mostly out of the north, which is normal for this time of year. Ocean swells have been moderate; water temperatures did drop some with the north winds pushing in cooler currents and water is averaging in the 80 to 82 degree range, ideal for the more sought after gamefish species.

    Anglers found the most common fish encountered to be yellowfin tuna, wahoo, dorado, and a few billfish. Not much inshore now, though surprisingly there were some roosterfish being found off of the San Jose del Cabo hotel zone, slow-trolling bait. A scattering of early season sierra also showed up, but still no signs of any sardina schools moving into the region, this is always the preferred bait for the winter time inshore action. There were some mackerel found off the hotel zone of San Jose del Cabo, early in the season for the mackerel to arrive; maybe this is a sign that water temperatures will cool off faster than we had thought. Bait suppliers out of the Puerto Los Cabos Marina have been offering live caballito, ballyhoo and slabs of squid. There are some skipjack and chihuil being found on the offshore high spots, but these baitfish are never a guarantee and even more sporadic if the wind is gusty.

    The bite for larger grade yellowfin tuna on the Gordo Banks became tougher through the week, with only a few tuna over 100 pounds reported. Recently the best action for yellowfin was closer to shore off of Punta Gorda, drift fishing with strips of squid; also some pompano were hooked in the same area. These yellowfin were in the 10- to 25-pound range -- often not biting much until late morning; even the wahoo action was better later in the day, with the best area being from La Fortuna to the Iman Bank, Slow trolling caballito or chihuil. Rigged ballyhoo was also working, as was trolled lures. Anglers were fortunate to land one wahoo, though others had as many as three, ranging to 45 pounds.

    Dorado action has been good with many fish in the 10- to 20-pound class range from Chileno to Iman. Reports from the Pacific towards Pescadero, was that the dorado were thick, sounding like reports from years past, when there were so many dorado that it could be hard to catch any other types of fish.

    A few black marlin still hanging around in the warmer water. No big numbers of billfish now, though a few sailfish and striped marlin were also reported. Only a handful of bottom fish being accounted for an occasional amberjack, pompano, yellow snapper, cabrilla, bonito, huachinango, dogtooth snapper and triggerfish, though no significant numbers of any of these species. …Eric Brictson, Gordo Banks Pangas

    Los Cabos


    The Fish Tales’ team took a trip south of the border to Cabo San Lucas for a little R&R and ended up catching a few fish, too! They managed to land 8 tuna, a striped marlin and a nice sail fish. If you are ever down there, look up Pisces Sportfishing. Top notch crew! — at Pisces Sportfishing!!!

    The billfish bite has slowed up a little this past week but the dorado bite continues to provide good action for most of the fleets and even better, the fish are all in the 20-30-poundsranges and appear pretty eager to bite rigged baits and artificials.

    A mostly sunny & warm week with a few scattered clouds and an averaged daytime temp at 86 degrees and nights at 64 degrees. Humidity ratio was an average of 56.5%. All in all, a very nice week for fishing.

    The Pacific side had stable water temps from the Finger Bank to Cabo Falso area, including the Golden Gate and Jaime Banks, at 78 degrees. From Cabo Falso to Los Frailes, the temp held at 81-82 degrees. Surface breezes were varied and flowed at an average of 8.5 mph most days and for the most part, waters were calm and clean on both sides of the peninsula.

    Generally, in the area of Migrino and along the shoreline and out to about 2 miles or so, for dorado, tuna, an occasional wahoo end even an occasional billfish, too.

    Rigged baits were working best for the dorado and billfish and even an occasional wahoo was being lost due to using the lighter mono leaders. Artificial lures were also doing well trolling through the same areas.

    A very good live bait supply was available through the week and there was still a very good supply of green mackerel at the banks and close to the shore line peaks, including Cabo Falso drop-off area.

    Just got back from Los Cabos…
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2016
  2. Tunahead

    Tunahead Long Time Tuna Abused Member

    Costa Mesa
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    Great report Gary. Some nice skinnies out of La Paz now.
    Waiting for word back from La Paz Hawk down there. News at 11. LOL
    Baja Bytes likes this.
  3. Vigilant32

    Vigilant32 I've posted enough I should edit this section

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    Thanks for compiling great reports from all of Baja.

    The striped bite off MagBay is amazing. I just wonder when & why ego & bravado supplants sportsmanship?

    I like to see the hooks removed from all those marlin vs. breaking off a leader to release a fish.

    Reports of One yacht hooking 300 fish during a trip. To me that puts them in the fools category with zero respect for the health of the fishery. It certainly doesn't make them better men or fishermen or sportmen, imho. Did they throw the dishes over the side instead of washing them too?
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2016
    Tunahead and Baja Bytes like this.

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