Yellowfin explode while other species struggle

Baja Bytes

Baja Editor
May 11, 2011
Lake Elsinore, CA USA
Gary Graham
Baja Bytes Weekly Overview 05/19/17
Friday, May 19, 2017, 2017
Gary Graham

Que Pasa

As air passengers steadily increase

It makes sense that it’s in Cabo San Lucas this time because this is not just a new international airport. It’s a second international airport.

It’s intended to complement the existing services offered in San Jose del Cabo Airport. The new terminal will increase Cabo’s air capacity by up to a million passengers in the short term.

The timing and location of the new airport goes hand in hand with the construction, already underway, of 12,000 new rooms on the Pacific side of Cabo. Clearly an airport is part of the necessary infrastructure required to support this development.

Director of Los Cabos Tourism Board, (FITURCA), Rodrigo Esponda, confirms one of the key target markets is New York - “We are working hard with our partners in New York to attract more visitors. Right now, we are focusing on two main demographics. The first is 30- to 40-year old professionals, who have the means to come and enjoy the whole luxury experience offered by high-end resorts in Cabo. The second group are families who can come and enjoy the wide range of fun activities, nature and water sports.”

Current expectations are that the new terminal will be able to handle up to a million new passengers in phase one and in time, the new airport will be able to handle up to 10 million passengers. But this will happen in phases and may take up to 5 years.

Baja Norte

Coronado Islands

This place hasn’t seen much attention for awhile but that might change now as there are some nicer-sized, 12- to 15-pound yellowtail along the weather side of North Island, out on the Middle Grounds and down at South Kelp Ridge. Yellowtail at all three areas are biting slow-trolled sardines and mackerel.
Be sure and stay away from all the tuna pens anchored up in the lee of South Island. They have very long anchor lines on them. Best bet is to give them a very wide berth when traveling near them…

Tijuana Bull Ring

Nothing to get very excited about … just some mixed sculpin, sand bass and chocolate rockfish showing on the pipe. The plastics, tipped with squid, is a good choice for a bait to use.

Be watching for bird schools. Yellowtail have been seen in the area under birds in the afternoon a few times over the past two weeks. With the better weather you might get lucky and find them…

Lower 9 Mile Bank/Coronado Canyon/226-302
Kelp paddy yellowtail is the name of the game right now. Not every kelp is holding and most of the yellows are well under the 5-pound mark, but if you find the right kelp and fish it with a very light line it can be a bunch of fun…

There doesn’t appear to be many bluefin around this far north; that or they are just hiding way down deep for the time being Kelp Paddy Yellowtail.

Lots of little yellowtail plus the guys are starting to see bluefin again.

Tuna are still hard to come by though. Some of the big boats reported seeing a number of spots up breezing in the early morning hours but they all refused to bite. We had one contact score a single 30-pound class bluefin on a trolled purple X-Rap 30 right between the banks. He told us he was looking at a number of spots of bluefin and big bonito but was having trouble getting them to bite.

Jim also reported that kelp in the area are holding small yellowtail. These yellowtail are mostly in the 2- to 4-pound class. Some of the kelp are holding more than others and he said most of the kelp he and his friend found were holding at least a few fish. They caught all they wanted on Colt Snipers, saving the sardine for tuna…


Yellowtail put a sheen on the local action…Sammy Susarrey Amador

Santo Tomas


Weather was cold and water looked a little dirty but the white seabass didn't seem to mind. …Russell

San Quintin


Looks like a more 'normal' year coming up for San Quintin with good signs in and offshore. May and June are normally the beginning of the big California halibut bite. A good place to look is along the kelp in the sand beds between the reefs at the point, the lee side of the island, and the roils in the Boca, where this early June 44-pound kayaked slug came from.

This weekend looks real good for those who want a shot at some; contact the local San Quintin Sportfishing Crews…Daniel Powell


We had sporty weather on Day One with some 15-knot chunk and cold water all day. Day Two was a little better with winds laying down enough for the boys to get out to San Martin for a crack at some surface action -- they had a steady pick on the ‘cuda with one nice yellow Thanks, Anton & Quin. …Kelly Catian

Bahía de Los Angeles

We headed down to Bahia Tuesday with no issues … road conditions south of El Rosario fair-to-poor but especially BAD between Catavina and the LA Bay turn-off. We encountered some of the biggest pot holes seen in years with no crews filling them, and they were there even on our return. If towing, I would be sure the trailer and tires are in top condition and seriously consider having an extra leaf spring, hub assembly and necessary hardware, etc. for field repairs.

Fishing was fair at best under full moon conditions all four days; weather nice until Saturday when westerly hit mid-morning blowing at 20+…Rob

Gonzaga Bay

Some “Do's and Don’ts” of Gonzaga

Cedros Island


Completely wide open yellowtail action along the front side of the island. There were several caught from shore on Wednesday.

Wind was blowing at the beginning of the week but has calmed down now; calico bass fishing is also improving. Halibut fishing finally started to slow down after a full winter of available biters along the lee right outside of town. Tons and tons of bait around, mostly anchovy and mackerel. …Jeff Mariani

Bahía Ascensión

Just a few random drone shots from Bahia Asuncion. Still playing around with the whole video editing process so expect better things as time goes by...Ross Zoerhof

La Bocana


This is a sample of what can be accomplished with technology at a very low cost; it only requires a willingness to do things … lab of the cooperative progress in La Bocana...Juanchy’s Aguilar


Only a couple of ‘hot spots’ opened up this week after the North Winds blew through. The reef outside of Pulpito was cranking out some good yellowtail action for the boats taking the long ride north. A good mix of medium and large yellowtail hit the fish box with many fishermen getting their five fish limit.

Live and recently live mackerel did the trick for most of those fish.

Candeleros and San Bruno Reef burped out mostly pinto bass. most of which were on the small size. Down at our southern end between Carmen Island and Monserrat there were two different flurries of action. One on iron for some medium yellowtail and a second event with big cabrilla.


Some LA tire guys, Tony and Gorge, with a few of the yellows caught up near Pulpito. Five fish for two guys is a good day's work. A bait tank malfunction turned half the mackerel to "recently" live bait but a little local magic with the fillet knife made them almost as productive as the wigglers.

The cabrilla haul for two boats was seven nice-sized cabrilla … one pushing 22 pounds and the smallest 14 pounds. Water temps and color are all ahead of schedule with a good showing of sargasso still in the current linesRick Hill, Pinchy Sportfishing

Magdalena Bay

Puerto López Mateos, report pending

Puerto San Carlos. Report pending.

La Paz


Dan Cherry and Betty Woods from Arizona hit the rockfish solid yesterday pulling up some trophy cabrilla and big triggers. …Jonathan Roldan, Tailhunter International

East Cape


The Mahi Mahi limits out on football yellowfin and the Rude Boy with anglers Chris Rager and Dean Lawver land a nice amberjack and a tuna! Time to come fishing! ...Van Wormer Resorts


The fish of the week are yellowfin biting just south of Pulmo Park off Los Frailes. Nice-size fish -- almost all taken on squid. Most anglers are limiting out. A very consistent yellowfin bite with decent-sized fish in the 10- to 30-pound range are being taken on squid south of Los Frailes. …John Ireland


It was something of an “odd” week with unnecessary wind ranging from 6- to 16-mph that lasted through last weekend. Fishing was nevertheless pretty darn good … and in some cases, perfect. Hard to figure!

In the “hard to figure” category was a very consistent wahoo bite. No giants, but plenty of tugs from good-size ’hoo throughout the area. They definitely added to a winning week for our skippers. …Felipe Valdez

Puerto Los Cabos

Late spring now, this past week was fairly quiet for the amount of visiting anglers we would expect to normally see, who knows what is creating the slack in tourism, we should see more activity the end of this month. Winds were finally weakening, after a couple of weeks of persistent south winds, as well as northerly’s at the same time, definitely still in the midst of crazy transition period. We need a couple weeks of hot and calm weather to get the fishing back on track.

Recently the climate has been on the cool side, with highs of 95 degrees, lows about 65 degrees, very ideal, comfortable climate for this time of year, surely it will become much warmer soon enough.

Ocean water temperatures have ranged from 70 degrees on the Pacific side of Cabo San Lucas, to 76 degrees off of San Jose del Cabo and to the north, actually a couple of degrees warmer closer to shore than it is further offshore. Sardinas supplies are becoming more limited, even surf conditions have been light, this is normal for this time of so far. Sometimes patterns can be later than normal, this appears to be what is happening this season.
The striped marlin bite has never really become red hot this year, normally the month of May is the peak season for stripers off of San Jose del Cabo. At this time they are finding limited numbers of marlin scattered anywhere from four or five, to fifteen or more miles offshore. Anglers are finding occasional tailing fish that will readily take larger baitfish once encountered, some boats are having multiple chances per day. Only a rare report of any dorado strikes, should be soon that we start to see some nice dorado move into the area. Wahoo very and far between as well, an occasional strike reported, most of them incidental and not being successful for actually landing the fish.

Highlight this past week out of San Jose del Cabo was looking for the regenerated yellowfin tuna action between Iman Bank and Vinorama. Anglers were using what available sardinas they could obtain and some people were using chuck bait from skipjack with success as well. The bite was sporadic, most days the best chances were found early in the day, daily totals ranged from one or two fish per charter, up to a half of dozen, sizes were ranging from 15 lb. to 45 lb.., average size fish in the 30 to 40 lb. class, nice grade fish for this early in the season. Lots of yellowfin tuna are now on these grounds, but are finicky as they often can be, gorging on the available natural food source, also a problem with too many aggressive black skipjack and of course the ever present sea lions can be a factor as well.

Not all that much action reported off the bottom structure, a few leopard grouper, amberjack, yellow snapper and barred pargo, more triggerfish than anything else, a few pushing up to 8 lb. Inshore the hot roosterfish action tapered way down, but we should see it redevelop on any given day, also sierra are still patrolling the shore, now in the later part of their preferred winter colder water season…Eric Brictson, Gordo Banks Pangas,

Cabo San Lucas


Angler Mike Cantor on Eat Me Lure caught this huge 82.0 lb dorado of a lifetime one mile south of Cabo Arch on a 9" EM-25C Mean Joe Green. Al Obrien was Captain of the 35' Cabo.


Fished Saturday night with Jaime; my buddy caught a sierra and about a 10-pound cubera. Talked to a random coyote and went on a cruiser yesterday, trolled up one small marlin. My friend didn't make it today and he missed out, hammered the roosters with Jaime and Jorge. Jorge said we caught 11, lost a few, too, plus four toros. …Richard

In spite of HOT weather, wind closes port for 3 Days. While billfish action improves slightly. Tuna remain missing while the missing dorado for most of spring are beginning to show a bit. Add to that the continued wahoo bite along with a decent inshore bite tempered the earlier in the week wind…Larry Edwards, Cortez Charters.
Last edited:
Upvote 0


Long Time Tuna Abused Member
  • Aug 11, 2006
    Costa Mesa
    GREAT REPORT and pics as always Gary. Keep em coming!
    I think that Treble Hook in the Finger got my shoulder on ice
    now beat for pain. OUCH! I get CT Scan Tuesday. News at 11. LOL
    May be awhile before I fish again! Hope that guy's OK now?
    • Like
    Reactions: Baja Bytes
    Upvote 0

    Baja Bytes

    Baja Editor
    May 11, 2011
    Lake Elsinore, CA USA
    Gary Graham
    GREAT REPORT and pics as always Gary. Keep em coming!
    I think that Treble Hook in the Finger got my shoulder on ice
    now beat for pain. OUCH! I get CT Scan Tuesday. News at 11. LOL
    May be awhile before I fish again!
    That's a bummer...Good Luck with scan
    • Like
    Reactions: Tunahead
    Upvote 0