Although the appearance of blue and yellowfin tuna off the northern Baja coast seems to have stolen the headlines for nearly two months, thus far only a small percentage of the masses pursuing them have had any success. Granted there have been a few remarkable catches exceeding 200 pounds, but it still remains that the catch-per-effort ratio is dismal.
Closer to shore, fishing the Coronados continues to be inconsistent. Strong currents have caused off-color and cold water conditions. Hopefully, July will bring improvement for both.
Many are opting for the epic sand bass bite off the Tijuana Bullring with a few halibut to sweeten the pot.
Hints of yellowtail and white sea bass caught here and there along the coastline from the border to San Quintín are pointing to an interesting month as a few photos of tanker-size sea bass are beginning to appear.
The fledgling season at Cedros Island is certainly getting off to a good start. There’s good weather and promising reports of yellowtail, white sea bass, and calico bass beginning to bite. The best spots for the calico is at Punta Norte and along southwest end of the island, while the yellowtail and white sea bass have been found feeding on large bait balls near the airport … plus there are reports of schools of big barracuda around also taking surface iron and Krocodile jigs.
Windy conditions have continued to hamper the fishing at Bahía de Los Ángeles. There appears to be some yellowtail still around … it’s just tough get on them. Along with the yellowtail, there are grouper and pargo in this area as well.
The third in the Pesca la Baja Tournament series is July 21-22 at the local launch ramp. This family event has grown in popularity with its unique prizes as more and more anglers bring their families to join in the fun. www.pescalabaja.com
After a brief flurry of dorado in Loreto earlier in the month, fishing slowed. A few yellows in the mossback category reaching 35 pounds were caught in 300- to 400-feet of water, but with the stiff winds prevailing, many opted to stay close to shore and load up on bottom fish.
In La Paz, Claire Swift from Dana Point, Calif., is quite the fisher-woman. She visited Tailhunter in La Paz and didn’t want to hear anything about the great dorado or wahoo bite. Her heart was set on getting a roosterfish to check off her bucket list. No marlin! No big pargo! She was there to catch a roosterfish! She had already caught all the others…so her first day out, she hooked four and posed with this big one with Capt. Arcangel of the Tailhunter Fleet. (I couldn’t resist the photo). Her fish was caught on a live ladyfish off the Punta Arena Lighthouse. All fish were released. –Jonathan Roldan, Tailhunter International
I might add that the roosterfish bite has continued since I first mentioned it last month … it’s an unprecedented bite that may not happen again for some time. From the tip to La Paz your bucket list roosterfish is just one cast away…don’t miss out.
That said, the dorado bite lit up in La Paz as well, which is very exciting news. With the exception of trout-sized dorado in the past few years, dorado this size have been a rarity and seldom have limits been met.
Not to end on a down note, but East Cape, Puerto Los Cabos and Cabo San Lucas had a horrible week as the wind from the northwest along with a cold current swept around the tip of Baja, and water temperatures plunged to 63° in some areas all the way above Los Barriles.
There were a few decent-sized fish caught including this 175-pound yellowfin tuna a few miles outside of Chileno Bay during the recent “Stars and Stripes” charity tournament held in Cabo San Lucas.
The good news is that if history repeats itself, the yucky green water should be clean before the 4th of July fireworks have crashed to the ground, and the good fishing at East Cape and below in June will return … better than ever!
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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.