What a difference a month makes … from “slow” to “go”! The tuna—both yellowfin and bluefin—seen last month finally began to bite in earnest on both sides of the border, offshore and in some cases pretty close to shore. Below the border, offshore yellowfin are far more prevalent weighing in from 15 pounds to over 100 pounds and are mostly found traveling with porpoise on all the high spots outside the Coronados and Todos Santos Islands.
Keep an eye out for kelp which have dorado, yellowtail, and tuna beneath them. Also, the first marlin of the season was brought into Marina Coral so keep your eyes peeled for them as well.
Inshore, the Coronado’s have also sprung to life. The area around the Middle Grounds has a fair amount of yellowtail; same for the Lighthouse and South Kelp. The best action though is down in the Rockpile area and in towards Descanso.
Many are trolling feathers, X-Raps and other plugs which are working well for locating the schools which they are fishing with fly-lined sardine after a jig stop. The yellows are mixed in size with fish from 5- to 20-pounds being caught, but most are in the 5- to 10-pound class.
There are also some big bonito and barracuda showing. The bonito are mixed in with the yellowtail while the barracuda are showing best at Ribbon Kelp and South Kelp. There are also some found right on top of the Rockpile.
Todos Santos, off Ensenada, is a similar story … for that matter all the way down the coast to San Quintín, reports are the same with halibut and corvina in the bay and yellows, calicos, and finally the much-awaited summer white seabass bite has begun.
The summer season at Cedros Island is producing some large mossback yellowtail along with trophy-sized calico bass. A recent addition announced by Cedros Sportfishing of direct air service to the Island from Tijuana Airport via CBX Border crossing will be an attractive option for some.
On down the coast on the Vizcaíno Peninsula—Bahía Asunción, La Bocana, and Abreojos—the season is just getting started. Recent offshore weather disturbances are creating large swells and waves which are welcome occurrences for surfers.
They also have slowed the fishing somewhat; however recent report of miles and miles of sardines spotted offshore by sportfishers traveling up the line to California is encouraging news.
Confirming the possible prospects was the late report from Bahía Asunción that tuna had been caught not far offshore the day this report was being prepared. Something that hasn’t happened in several years there.
This seems to support the recent report from Magdalena Bay of early season striped marlin sightings.
Over on the Sea of Cortez side, Bahía de Los Ángeles yellowtail and bottom fishing finally turned on; however the dorado have yet to appear in time for the Pesca La Baja Tournament. ### Teams participated in the 3rd of the series. Next up will be Ensenada on August 25-26. www.pescalabaja.com
The hoped for back-to-normal dorado run in Loreto has had mixed results with a few larger ones up to 30 pounds. However the 33 teams in the Fishin’ for the Mission event only managed to come up with a 15.2-pound dorado during the event that experienced grumpy sea conditions. In the yellowtail division a 36.8-pounder was the top catch. Hopes are still high among some locals that the dorado bite is just around the corner.
One notable catch recently was this huge pargo by Outpost Charters tipping the scale at a remarkable 81 pounds.
Down in La Paz, Gary Bulla, flyfishing guide, checked in with the news that one of his group, Dr. Ben Wilson, had caught a Baja milkfish on a cast fly! One of the first I’ve heard of.
While the weather has been a bit squirrelly, the variety and volume of wahoo, dorado, pargo, and the continued large roosterfish bite, seems promising for the upcoming month’s fishing out of both La Paz and Los Arenas.
The East Cape area is hitting on all cylinders. Offshore the striped marlin and sailfish are being joined by the summer migration of blue and black marlin … just in time for the first of the summer/fall Bisbee billfish series with the East Cape Offshore held at Hotel Buenavista Beach Resort August 1-6. Plenty of yellowfin tuna are around and are being caught by chunking squid. The dorado shootout held recently produced a few whoppers, one weighing in at 61.2 pounds. Inshore the epic roosterfish bite that began in mid-April continues to produce some remarkable catches throughout the region.
Down Los Cabos way, the Volkswagen-sized yellowfin have already arrived with few being weighed in each week. On the billfish front, the stripers and sails are beginning to bite with some boats reporting multiple releases every day. Adding to the excitement is the arrival of more and more of the larger blue and black marlin.
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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.