Pesca La Baja held their fifth and final Championship event, the Grande Finale, in Ensenada on September 23 and 24. Richard Elizondo, a San Quintín angler, was named the overall winner of the entire series of events held in San Felipe, Gonzaga Bay, Bahía de Los Angeles, San Quintín, and Ensenada.
The yellowfin tuna snap above the border continues with both private and charter boats offering only sketchy reports of bottom fish and big bonito in all the stock spots from North Island to the Rockpile off the Coronado Islands.
Sea temps are cooling and the coastal surface action has slowed; anglers are still enjoying some surface action, but most attention has turned to the remarkable bottom fishing found along the northern Baja coastline from La Salina to San Quintín for lingcod, sheepshead, Johnny bass, boccaccio, red, and even a few calico.
The yellowtail fishing has been slow at Cedros Island, although the Western Outdoor News group recently returned with reports from several with their personal best yellowtail along with calico bass.
The Vizcaíno Peninsula has recently experienced unsettled conditions as a parade of storms made their way past far offshore. Once the sea calmed, the wahoo snap resumed at Bahía Asunción along with yellowtail and big calico bass. At La Bocana, there have been few reports for either offshore or the Esteros. Magdalena Bay seems to be on-track for another good fall season according to locals with more wahoo, striped marlin and tuna showing up each week.
From Bahía de Los Ángeles down the coast to Gonzaga Bay, mid-80’s daytime temperatures and coolish low 70’s nighttime temps, along with bottom fishing chatter, indicate fall is arriving here.
Be aware from Santa Rosalía all the way down to below Loreto on Mex 1, cleanup continues after a series of storms that swept across the Peninsula’s mid-section in mid-September.
The report at Loreto is that few boats are doing more than subsistence fishing with yellowtail topping the list. However, closer to town and cheaper on fuel are the old faithful bottom fish. While it has been a good year for yellowtail, for triggerfish — the fish that get “no respect” — it has been a fantastic year!
La Paz fishing isn’t wide-open fishing, but there have been some “great catches!” Many anglers are hooking wahoo, their first roosterfish… their first tuna… first dorado…or even their first billfish.
At East Cape striped and blue marlin, as well as sailfish, are biting and ballyhoo seems to be working best. La Ribera is the place to be as well as farther south near the lighthouse and off Cabo Pulmo.
Tuna are everywhere — off La Ribera, the lighthouse, Cabo Pulmo and south of Frailes — from football- to 40-pounders. Hoochies and squid are doing the most damage. Schools of dorado are everywhere with good-size fish in the mix along with wahoo. Fish were taken all along the coast as far as Frailes. Plus roosterfish were found along all the beaches with the best areas at the marina and Leonero beaches.
The Puerto Los Cabos panga fleets are producing various grades of tuna, ranging from football-sized, in the 20- to 50-pound class, a handful over 100 pounds, and a couple of super cows caught by local anglers fishing on the Gordo Banks weighing over 300 pounds.
At Cabo San Lucas, billfish action for striped marlin has continued strong; adding to the excitement there have been a few blue and black marlin and a few sailfish. Just in time for the BIG MONEY tournaments including Los Cabos Billfish, Bisbee Los Cabos Offshore, and the monster Black and Blue, followed by the WON Los Cabos Tuna Jackpot in early November.
The yellowfin tuna, which seem to have been around most of the summer, continue to be on the catch list with plenty of football-sized fish to practice on before tackling some of the larger ones which are being found farther offshore on the Pacific side; some of the fleet found these larger ones for anglers looking for the battle of a lifetime.
Although most of the dorado are smaller (under 10 pounds), there are enough larger ones to make fishing them worthwhile. Since there is a limit on how many can be kept, experienced anglers release the smaller ones and wait for larger ones to keep.
Closer to shore, roosterfish, skipjack, smaller tuna and dorado are a great way to get started. Other possibilities are pargo, cabrilla and amberjack found deeper in the water column.
Good Luck and Tight Lines…
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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 firstname.lastname@example.org