For those looking for an old Baja experience or an introduction to the Sea of Cortez, a trip that is often overlooked is a Midriff Island trip with the Tony Reyes group; this unique spring and summer time option is a mother ship operation where anglers fish from pangas — ideal for a father-son, a couple of buddies or a larger group to enjoy; the trips are priced at a reasonable rate.
On the Pacific side, just below the border, the Coronado Islands are taking a back seat to the offshore action for the bluefin tuna bite. There are small numbers of yellowtail along the weather side of North Island from Pukey Point along with a few barracuda at Ribbon Kelp and at South Kelp caught by trolling sardines.
San Salvador Knoll / Out West of the 226/302
Most of the fish seem to be moving into U.S. waters, although there are still some kelp-paddy yellowtail and some mixed bluefin and yellowfin around.
Jake Lanier, Carlsbad, Calif., landed a 113-pound striped marlin on a cedar plug trolled on 50-pound mono at the 425 after approximately one hour of combat. Jake was a guest aboard Trollin’ Dirty of the Freedom Boat Club of San Diego.
While few boats seem to be venturing beyond Isla Todos Santos at Ensenada, there are limits of yellows and barracuda to be had.
In addition to yellows and barracuda, there was the annual Sue & Carl’s Surf Perch Derby in San Quintín that always has a great turnout!
Down at Cedros Island, the small fishing community was abuzz with Jeff Mariani’s pending IGFA World record (if line tests). Mariani, owner of Cedros Tackle Kayak Tours, while fishing with the Hobie fishing team, tied into the 108.6-pound, 64-inch broomtail grouper after making a routine cast. He let his surface iron flutter down about 40 feet before starting the retrieve and was slammed. After a 20-minute fight managing to keep the fish out of the rocks, he landed his catch of a lifetime.
From Bahía de Los Ángeles to Gonzaga Bay, the yellowtail have begun their summer run with some nice-sized models; adding variety to catches are some equally impressive grouper and cabrilla.
At Punta Chivato the “Bulls Only Dorado Tournament” drew18 boats and 51 anglers and brought 10 dorado to the scale, the largest being 21.3 pounds taken by Theresa Cove, Lake Elsinore, Calif., aboard their Dos Luz, a 21-foot Covecraft panga they built themselves.
Earlier in June in Mulegé, Dave Schroeder won Largest Dorado with a 34.8-pounder. Charlie and Linda won the Calcutta with a 31.9-pounder and a 22.5-pounder. Steve Ochs won Biggest Other with a 22.2-pound yellowtail.
While farther down the coast, Loreto prepares for three different dorado events:
-Villa del Palmar at the Islands of Loreto’s First Annual Fishing Tournament June 29 through July 2
-Tripui Sports Fishing Tournament June 29 through July 2
-“Fishin for the Mission” Tournament – July 7 through 9
A note from James Callard confirmed there have been no dorado in Loreto yet but the yellowtail have been feeding in shallow water.
“Team work with guide, Ramon Davis, got the 45 pounder out of the rocks after multiple runs — Avet reel needs work, back is sore, but what a blast! Glad this one was not caught on a Hobie!”…James Callard
Plenty of variety at Los Arenas with “bucket list” fish not uncommon. Vicki Mitchell from Carmel, Calif., was fishing with Captain Adolfo when she hooked and released this big rooster.
An unprecedented sword fish float at East Cape had everyone in a tizzy as some boats scored two in one day!
Further fueling the fishing flame was the arrival of some Volkswagen-sized yellowfin tuna like this one landed aboard the Jen Wren weighing in at 313-pounds. Add in some trophy-sized roosterfish and the ongoing wahoo bite and some would say June was very good for the area.
While San José and Cabo have had some good fishing recently it’s been sporadic. The billfish scene has been dominated by striped marlin and sailfish with a few blacks and blues plus a swordfish or two in the mix.
For quantity and quality, yellowfin tuna was the big news. A higher number of 100+ pounders hit the dock with a few breaking the two hundred mark!
The most success on tuna has been by using a kite while fishing the porpoise schools and one of the most effective lures has been the rubber Yummee lure. http://carolinalures.com/products/yummee-flying-fish-9inch
Lastly, while there have been fewer than normal smaller roosters, the grandes have been prowling the beaches and out a few miles.
John Hanning hooked this monster on the fly from the beach guided by my friend Grant Hartman, of Baja Anglers (who shared this photo). This is the largest roosterfish I personally have ever seen caught from the beach on any tackle!
I think it’s safe to say that June in Baja has lived up to its promise. Prospects for a memorable Baja summer seem likely, but we will compare notes next month.
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