Chris Holmes, a Louisiana Field Reporter and Columnist, shared this live bait set up while we were filming a Hobie Kayak trip at Loreto – the best live bait set up I’ve seen in a while — simplicity itself. It’s so good I carry a sample in my wallet to show folks. Check out their website: livebaitclip.com
Yellowtail are a common catch in the Sea of Cortez in winter, but this year, my inbox is filled with photos of ‘tails caught from the Coronado Islands all the way to San Quintin.
It should be noted that weather is a factor; storms have continued to arrive from the north bringing wind and high surf!
Excellent yellowtail action for the few boats running out to the Coronado Islands. The story remains the same with fish being found on the sonar and then being caught on yoyo irons and dropper loop sardine from the north end of South Island from the Gap, around and down the lee side to about the Ribbon Kelp. Most of these yellows are under 10 pounds with the average about 5- to 6-pounds.
There are a few bigger fish on the weather side of North Island in the afternoon.
Bonito are around in fair numbers, decent-sized fish in the 4- to 7-pound class, and they are spread over the Middle Grounds down to the Ribbon Kelp.
For these, try trolling a silver/black Rapala or a small blue/white or red/white tuna feather and fish with anchovies after you get a jig stop.
Lastly, there are a small number of barracuda at the Ribbon and South Kelp.
For those wanting in on the yellowtail action but preferring not to drive to one of the ports, several sport fishing boats from the San Diego fleet are offering 1.5-day trips to Colonet, approximately 112 miles south of San Diego with excellent results. Call one of the San Diego landings for information.
Friends at San Quintin echo reports of good fishing interspersed with a few days of grumpy weather.
Jumping over to the upper Gulf area, a favorable family trip was reported from Gonzaga Bay while the winds were quiet. Bahia de Los Angeles has been seasonally quiet.
On the west coast of Laguna Ojo de Liebre, south of Guerrero Negro, good numbers of whales are reported with more arriving daily.
While the villages dotting the Vizcaino peninsula coast have mixed reports, Bahía Asunción is featuring surfing, which probably means there haven’t been many anglers visiting.
At La Bocana, the estero produced good catches of spotted bay bass, corvina, pompano, grouper and snook on plastics and live bait, plus an impressive halibut from the “Glory Hole.”
Offshore grouper, yellowtail, and a mossback weighing 52-pounds taken in 35-feet of water close to shore and yellowfin tuna are biting like it’s still fall — go figure! There were even a few striped marlin spotted offshore.
In Mulege, locals are planning a Yellowtail Tournament — February 17 – 21, 2016.
Captains’ meeting will be held Wednesday, Feb 17 at 3o p.m at Jungle Jims!
The protocol will be identical to all other events with a few options — namely an opportunity to enter a separate event started by Stulege last year for the largest yellowtail caught in a specified time frame: say Feb. 17 until April 17. The entry for this is $500 pesos. Any questions or comments can be emailed to email@example.com phone 153-0168
Loreto anglers can make or buy live bait recently and put it to good use in-between blows by catching a mixed-bag of pargo, grouper, sierra and a few yellows in deep water.
At Magdalena Bay both San Carlos and Lopez Mateos have begun their annual whale watching season. Another interesting development is that a few boast fishing offshore are seeing more marlin than they did during the normal peak month of November.
La Paz and Muertos Bay are enjoying unseasonal success for billfish, wahoo and a dorado or two on good days.
Same story at East Cape; just a few miles outside the entrance to La Ribera Marina there are stripers on the surface and yellowtail on the bottom.
Toward the tip, San Jose and Cabo are reporting slow striper and dorado bites. Inshore the sierra seem to be the best target.
Underlining additional odd catches recently are black snook along the beaches on both sides of the tip near Cabo — an extraordinary catch as well as elusive. Although once you hear about a “snook bite,” you are probably too late.
Good Luck and Tight Lines…
Questions or comments are welcome. firstname.lastname@example.org
With more than five decades of fishing experience – from light tackle and fly to offshore billfish – Gary Graham has experienced all aspects of fishing in the Southern California and Baja waters. His observations of species behavior, tackle and techniques are always from his unique perspective, earning him the respect of his peers as well as anglers who eagerly follow his Baja reports and features.
Gary maintained a home at East Cape in Baja Sur for more than 18 years and still spends nearly half of each year exploring the entire peninsula in his self-contained Roadtrek van. He observes everything Baja, from the mysteries of a tide pool on a deserted Baja beach filled with tiny sea creatures to the largest billfish in the sea.
Contact Gary at email@example.com