Despite choppy seas and wind howling in the riggers, John Wick scored this mini-cow bluefin tuna on his downrigger while trolling out toward the Airplane Bank out of Ensenada — underscoring how unusual the 2016 season is!
In spite of the recent inconsistent weather, the fishing at the various Islands — Coronado’s, Todos Santos, San Martin and Cedros — have all had their moments when the conditions permitted. Yellowtail dominated the catches at the Coastal Islands; at the Ribbon Kelp, most were smallish with the largest barely making the 8-pound mark, then the better grade of 20 pounder’s popped up under the birds at Pukey Point.
Inside the Coronado’s at Salsipuedes, the Ensenada fleet has been finding yellows breezing from there south to Isla Todos Santos. Those throwing lures are coming up with the best scores.
At San Quintin, Captain Kelly Catian boasts that fish are showing on the surface and chewin’ surface plugs!
When that action slows, there are always a few nice-sized lings to round out the day’s catch.
Farther down at Cedros Island, the season is just getting underway as May rolls around. Initial reports suggest that calico bass are biting and the yellows should be soon.
At Bahia Ascension, Shari Bondi commented that a couple of eager anglers managed to score several nice-sized yellowtail to get the season started.
Highlighting the impending season was the recent white seabass catches at La Bocana.
The non-report from Magdalena Bay wrapped up the West Coast report. However, as April fades and May arrives, hopefully the Esteros will shake off the winter doldrums.
On the Sea of Cortez side, San Felipe sprang to life with a hot sierra bite at Consag Rock — just in time for first leg of the “Pesca la Baja” (Fish Baja) tournament on May 13 – 14. “Fish Baja” website
North Winds are finally subsiding at Bahia de Los Angeles — a good sign that the annual spring yellowtail show should soon arrive.
At Gonzaga Bay the excellent cabrilla action has the steady procession of anglers smiling from ear-to-ear.
Santa Rosalia, Punta Chivato and Mulege are still quiet as the roosterfish action has suddenly sprung to life at Bahia Conception, according to Mark and Olivia’s Playa Buenaventura. When I asked for a photo of their roosterfish, they sent the photo above. I assume they were celebrating their catch with one of the most ambitious “Bloody Marys” I have ever seen!
Aboard his kayak at Loreto, Jim Callard cast toward feeding activity in only 6-feet of water and hooked a 30-pound yellowtail which he boated 20 minutes later, after being dragged half the distance to Coronado Island.
Luis Orozco with Captain “Tito” and some fish from Punta Lobo. After a long ride and an empty fish box, the day was saved by one quick stop on the way home. When “perro” poops out, you should try a few of the rocks off Lobo.
There was some nice action on a large pargo up north between “Mangle” and San Basilio.
On his first trip to La Paz, on his first day Mark Bevans, from Kenai, Alaska, scored three roosters. Other action included yellowtail, small dorado and wahoo for the fleets at Muertos and La Paz.
East Cape anglers recently enjoyed an early show of striped marlin and sailfish a few miles offshore.
Adding to the excitement was a wahoo snap for the few boats fishing. Matt Clifton landed their first wahoo of the season in front of Las Palmas.
Gordo Banks Pangas’ client, Mark Spra, landed a larger yellowfin down deep, on a strip of squid with half the hook showing; then topped off the day with a few sierra while trolling for roosterfish on the way back to the Marina.
Los Cabos billfishing has been lagging so far this spring, causing most boats to resort to inshore action for roosterfish and jacks on the surface. Fishing deeper, Dave, Sr. and Dave, Jr. from Pittsburg, Penn., scored seven grouper (5-10-25-30-35-pounds), and two ladyfish (1- and 2-pounds).
As noted at the beginning of my report, I suspect that it because of the grumpy weather that Wick’s tuna was caught on a downrigger while trolling. They probably were forced to slow their trolling speed. Regardless of the size of boat, an outrigger can be an important addition to your bag of tricks, so it might be worthwhile to do a little research on one.
So far the most exciting fishing news is toward the border on the Pacific side as the exotics make their appearance several months earlier than normal. However, Baja Sur finally seems to be heating up as spring settles in.
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