Baja Bytes Fishing…Monday, March 4, 2019
Stripers, dorado, roosterfish top Baja tally. While yellowfin tuna and yellowtail play peek-a-boo for most.
Its Fred Hall time and I hope to be there Wednesday through Friday. Stop by the BD Booth and say Hi.
Wanda Hair Taylor – BD Fly Fishing Chick
Tijuana Bull Ring
Scattered light rain this morning but otherwise conditions were good. Little action reported this week…fishdope.com
At last word there was some signal of deep yellowtail down at the Rockpile, although this dope is now almost a week old.
Rockfish action has been very good just to the north of North Island with lots of nice-quality reds and other assorted red rockfish…fishdope.com
Nice calico bass university point…Sammy Susarrey Amador
The Pacific Voyager scored 21 yellowtail along with 100 reds and 40 lingcod. Not every boat there got them though — at least one didn’t catch any at all but did score limits of reds and a bunch of lingcod. Once again like in the past several weeks most of the yellows were caught on the larger yoyo irons like the 6X and 7X. Scramble egg, blue/white and red crab colors all worked well.
Due to the extreme long distance … roughly 115 miles … we strongly recommend taking one of the big sportboats out of San Diego and Mission Bay…fishdope.com
Laguna Ojo de Liebre
Today’s whale party in Laguna Ojo de Liebre was the craziest I have seen in 30 years here!!! We had at least nine (9) different whales playing rambunctiously at our boat for over an hour. It was a mish-mash of fins, flukes, spouts, spy-hops, and tails only inches from the boat. We must have petted them all!
In the fray we were bumped and thumped a bit and felt like we were part of a rough-house play session with moms and calves and a couple of mating trios — completely off the charts exciting…Shari Bondy, Whale Magic Tours
Video of the work-in-progress on the seawall…Ross Zoerhof
Bahia De Los Angeles
The yellowtail are on a mad bite this week with most of our boats coming back with limits. I need to qualify that statement a bit by explaining that the majority of all the Loreto boats are hauling loads of tourists out to see the blue whales.
We have clients from all corners of the world who target this time and this area to experience the world’s largest creatures.
Yeah, we got dorado in the summer and yellowtail when it gets cold and sloppy, but Loreto’s busiest tour time is mid-February to maybe mid-April.
Yellowtail, cabrilla and all the rest are here and “on the chew,” just waiting for the serious Baja bottom-hunting fishermen to return.
Back to the ‘tails — 15 to 20-pound average, mackerel on an 8/0 or 9/0 circle with 80# leader and assorted torpedoes…Rick Hill
While slow-trolling a sardina in about 12-feet of water at the north end of Cerralvo Island just east of La Paz, Roger Thompson got blasted by this huge yellowtail that ripped some line before he could turn it. He and his wife got five of these, including one he said he couldn’t stop as it headed for deep water and almost spooled him. They also got some trophy cabrilla.
The week started blustery with white caps even in the normally calm La Paz Bay. For this time of the year, that’s not unusual. Fortunately, we didn’t have anyone out fishing, but we probably couldn’t have gone out anyway.
However, as the week went on winds diminished somewhat, at least enough to get out, although there was still some chop and it was good to have a jacket or sweatshirt on.
Fishing out of Bahia de los Muertos, we hit quite a mix of fish, especially for so early in the year with warm-water species mixing with the normal cold-water species. Big cabrilla, jack crevalle and both white bonito and skipjack kept the rods bent, as well as the smaller snapper and pargo.
However, we also got some legit yellowtail over structure at both the north and south ends of Cerralvo Island as well as just outside of Bahia de los Muertos on both sardina and Rapalas and topped it with some flurries of dorado and even wahoo.
Live bait is still hard to come by with all the rough water, but we’re dragging lures and using dead bait effectively and the fishing is not too far off the beach.
It was also calm enough to get out to swim with the whale sharks in La Paz Bay. We had as many as a dozen in the shallow waters, but on the choppy days it’s hard to see them, let alone swim with them… Jonathan Roldan, Tailhunter International
First boat out this season … yesterday.
Alfredo Porras our Federal congressman and friends fished on El Jefe from 10:00 a.m. till 1:00 p.m.
They picked up yellowtail, amberjack, cabrilla, and grouper, all on live mackerel right in front of the marina on the first drop-off.
A good start…John Ireland
Puerto Los Cabos
Not quite as many anglers in town this week, though still a fair number; many people are arriving just to escape the cold northern weather — some of them wishing to try their luck at local fishing. Many people do not realize that most fish species do have seasons and this time frame is not peak season for most of the gamefish species, the exception being striped marlin, sierra or snapper. It is still a great time to see whales, with plenty of these mammals around, though by month’s end most will be heading on their northern migration.
Weather patterns are mostly the same — northern winds, switching to the south at times, though not as strong as they had been earlier in the winter. Once again, we saw a cooling trend and greener water sweeping into the area from the north. Water temperature has ranged from 68 to 72 degrees. The main bait options have been caballito, ballyhoo, and mackerel with chihuil also being found at times; another option was smaller-sized skipjack and some slabs of squid — everything but sardina — no signs reported for them.
Most action is being found from straight off San Jose del Cabo to the Iman Bank. Some charters have scouted as far north as Vinorama but there has been no location where the action has been hot from day-to-day. Early in the week, before the water cooled and color turned over, there were good numbers of decent-sized dorado found. Most of this action was found later in the mornings and very close to shore. Trolling caballito and ballyhoo worked well; some anglers used chihuil or mackerel. We saw a couple of dorado up in the 25-pound range, though the average was more like 10- to 12-pounds. Still nice fish for the winter season. Late in the week this dorado action slowed way down to where anglers were fortunate to find one of these fish.
Offshore action was dominated by the striped marlin, with areas straight off the PLC Marina, from one to four miles was where more marlin were being encountered, although stripers were also found near Iman Banks and close off Punta Gorda.
Even a sailfish was hooked close to shore, not a normal species in the cold water.
After it was landed it was released. Most stripers were striking on various trolled baits, and were ranging in sizes up to 120 pounds, a bit larger than we had been seeing.
The yellowfin tuna bite was very spotty. We were only hearing of maybe one or two tuna per day being found. The cooler off-colored water, combined with windy conditions, made this a tough go. Same deal for wahoo — a few smaller fish early in the week, then none as conditions turned over.
More bottom action is being tried now, mainly small red snapper, bonito and triggerfish. We did see a 40-pound amberjack and a handful of baqueta grouper taken off the Gordo Banks…Eric Brictson, Gordo Banks Pangas
Cabo San Lucas
The dorado counts were spotty, and the yellowfin tuna counts were also down a bit from the previous two weeks perhaps because of fewer boats targeting the tuna that were almost 30 miles out.
The striped marlin fishing continues to produce positive results on the Pacific side with fishing continuing to concentrate just a few miles off the Lighthouse and out to the Golden Gate and San Jamie Banks. The seasonal migration has begun to turn the corner following schools of bait into the Sea of Cortez. Stripers were again reported off Palmilla and around the Gordo. The fleets reported solid counts of striped marlin with most boats averaging one to two fish per day with a few still reporting multiple fish for their anglers. The yellowfin were occasionally found in the 25- to 30-mile range to the south and southwest, as well as off the Golden Gate and Gordo Banks. The key is to find the pods of porpoise and you will also find the tuna. The size this past week was averaging in the 20- to 30-pound range.
Inshore fishing has continued to produce nice catches of schools of skipjack with the sierra and jack showing in good numbers from Solmar to El Arco. Roosterfish had a good showing this past week in the surf from Solmar around the point at the Lighthouse and in the Palmilla area.
Cabo Climate: Late February was a bit cooler than normal with a mix of mostly sunny to partly cloudy skies. The outlook is for warming to average daytime temps in the upper 70s and evenings in the mid-60s. The two-week forecast is for mostly sunny-to-partly-cloudy skies with zero chance of rain forecast through mid-March. Winds are expected to pick up a bit into the 9-to 12-mph range through mid-March, mostly out of the West and WSW. Humidity is expected to run in the mid-60s into mid-March.
Sea Conditions: Seas have been relatively calm in the mornings throughout the area with some swells and chop showing up in the afternoons as breezes increase. Forecast is for more of the same with winds in the 9- to 12-mph range from the West and WSW. Sea temps have cooled and stabilized but there are some plumes of cooler water being pushed by the currents. Temps are running from 70- to 74-degrees on the Pacific side and in the 72- to 73-degree range on the inside around the Gordo.
Best Fishing Areas: The marlin hot spots have remained primarily to the west and north but decent action was again reported on the inside this past week. The Lighthouse area was a major hot spot again this past week. Most of the fish were being found from two to twelve miles off shore. Good numbers of stripers are also showing in the Golden Gate and San Jamie areas. Success was also reported soaking live bait off Palmilla and the Gordos. When found, the yellowfin are 25- to 30-miles out to the South and SW near the Herradura, and the 110, 120, 140 and 160 Spots. Catches of quality yellowfin were also reported off the Golden Gate area and some larger, although fewer, yellowfin were also reported around the Gordo. We did not get any first-hand reports of the Finger Bank this past week but assume there are still good numbers of striped marlin there for those willing to make the 50-mile run.
Favorite Bait: Trolled black/green or green/silver mackerel-looking lures, along with live mackerel or live caballito were the favorite for the marlin. Trolled feathers and cedar plugs were the ticket for the yellowfin. Hoochies were by far the preferred and most productive lures for the sierra. Poppers near the surf were the most successful bait for the jacks and roosters.
Bait Supply: Live bait is available at $3.00 per bait upon exit from the harbor. Mackerel, when available, are popular with the captains.
The sailfish showed up again which balanced against the yellowfin disappearing from the counts. The striped marlin fishing continues to improve with the seasonal migration. Their inshore fishing continued to produce exceptionally strong results. Tourist activity has been a bit down compared to historical averages but those anglers who went out were again generally rewarded with good action. The port lost one day of action due to storms, high winds, and rough water.
The offshore boats reported a mix of striped marlin, sailfish and dorado. More striped marlin were sighted than were hooked as the fish were still a bit finicky perhaps coming off the full moon. The sailfish reappeared late in the week and were cooperative on trolled lures. The dorado showed up late in the week to add to the action. The inshore boats reported great action on the snapper and continued success on the sea bass and queen trigger, whether on four-hour or six-hour trips.
Mazatlán Climate: Late February was very pleasant but cooler than normal. However, the outlook into early March is favorable with low 80s in the daytime and upper 50s to low 60s in the evenings. The forecast through mid-March is for mostly sunny to partly cloudy skies with breezes picking up a bit into the 9- to 13-mph range primarily out of the West trending toward the WSW and WNW toward mid-March. Humidity is predicted to be in the upper-50s going into mid-March for very pleasant fishing conditions. There is no precipitation forecast through the middle of March.
Sea Conditions: The water is seasonally cooling and is now in the 70- to 72-degree range resulting in a larger showing of the striped marlin but fewer sailfish sightings. Anglers enjoyed mostly calm seas this past week with some afternoon swells and chop with winds in the teens. The outlook is for relatively calm seas in the mornings with some afternoon swells and chop as the winds pick up in the afternoons.
Best Fishing Area: The offshore bite for billfish is beginning about 10- to 12-miles out with best results to the west and southwest of the Marina El Cid. Inshore, the super pangas are finding success all along the coast, especially around the rocks. The water is very clear from the shore out to the offshore breaks.
Best Bait & Lures: Freshly caught rigged trolling baits and smoke trail lures produced the best results for billfish. The tuna are being caught on feathers and cedar plugs.
Bait Supply: Freshly caught bait are readily available from the bait boats
Ms. Kitcia Berenice Ceja-Diaz, the Aries Fleet and Marina El Cid Office Manager and fishing reporter
Ixtapa – Zihuatanejo I
The independent fleet reported a pickup in sailfish action again this past week along with some bonus blue marlin out at the 1000 fathom mark. The dorado action was again slow but there was a good bite on the blue marlin farther out. The yellowfin were again found out at the 30- to 35-mile mark for those willing to go the extra distance. Great warm blue water extends almost all the way to the 100-fathom line 5- or 6-miles out. Fly-fishing and spinning rigs for jack and bonito inshore has continued to be steady. Rooster action this past week was good as there was cooler green water very near the shore and the roosterfish were cruising the break lines. Large schools of quality jack were reported off the rocks. Nice sierra were again being reported 100- to 200-yards off the beach.
The February sailfish action was very solid with fish this past week moving out a bit to the 8- to 10-mile mark. Capt. Temo reported quality-size sailfish with many surpassing the 100-pound range. The overall action was solid this past week with most of the boats reporting at least one or two sailfish for their clients. The yellowfin were found 30 to 35 miles out past the 1000 fathom mark with some fish weighing over the 100-pound mark. The blue marlin are being found as close as 15 miles out just past the prime sailfish bite. Inshore the bonito and the jacks continued to be cooperative. The roosterfish made a solid showing cruising the break lines along a bit of off-colored, cooler green water very near the shoreline. The White Rocks was a hot spot this past week for the big jack with large schools of fish reported. The best rooster counts were to the south toward Vicente Guerrero.
IZ Climate: February reflected typical late winter climate and a mix of mostly sunny-to-partly-cloudy days. The two-week outlook is for warmer temps and mostly sunny skies. Daily temps are predicted in the upper 80s and night-time temps in the mid- to low-70s with humidity expected to run in the mid- to upper-60s through mid-March. They are now in their dry season and there is no precipitation projected into mid-March. Winds are expected to be mild in the 7- to 10-mph range from the West and WSW.
Sea Conditions: The offshore water temperature has stabilized and is in the 82- to 84-degree range from the 5- to 6-mile mark at the 100-fathom line all the way out to the 1,000-fathom line at 25 or 30 miles. Inshore temperatures are running a bit cooler at 79 to 81. The offshore water at the 1000 fathom mark is now clear blue all the way into the 100-fathom mark, with breezes in mid-single digits. The seas are very calm, particularly in the mornings.
Best Bait and Lures: Rigged trolling baits and smoke trail lures continue to produce for billfish and dorado with most boats preferring a mix of rigged baits for the billfish and smaller lures and feathers for the dorado. Inshore top water poppers are the favorite for the roosterfish, bonito and jacks. Cedar plugs and feathers are working best on the yellowfin when found.
Bait Supply: The bait supply remains good, and freshly-caught bait are provided gratis with most charters. Live bait are readily available at this time and are $5.00/dozen paid directly to the bait vendors.
Captain Temo Verboonen – owner/operator of the Secuestro de Amor and Macho Banana.
Sailfish -The evolution of the Hero Shot-Todd Staley
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