December 2018 Baja Fishing Report

Baja Fishing Report Gary GrahamDid Santa come early for Baja Anglers? It’s not quite time for Santa, but conditions for most of Baja are more like late fall than winter in almost all areas.

Just below the border the Bull Ring area is mostly in bottom fishing mode with a mix of reds, flags, tree fish, Johnny bass and other assorted rockfish plus some sheepshead and whitefish. The kelp line is seeing a slow-to-fair at best bass bite along with some short ‘barries’ and mackerel.

 

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Below the Coronado Islands the best fishing is down around the Rockpile. The actual zone is just a bit E and SE in a hard bottom area.  The bite is a little deep from 25- to 32-fathoms and they are showing best in the bottom third of the water column.

The bite continues to be mainly on the larger yoyo iron. A 6xjr will work but not nearly as well as the bigger jigs. You need the full-size salas, 6X or 7X, or the Tady 4/0. For the dropper loop the boats are saying to bring 10- to 12-oz. torpedo’s for fishing the sardine.

Still plenty of bonito around. Most are in the 5- to 8-pound class but there are a few topping the 10-to 12-pound mark and they are eager to jump on a trolled feather or Rapala.

 

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Down at Ensenada in addition to more of the same there are still some football sized yellowfin to be caught along bonito. Plus, sheepshead, lingcod and other bottom stuff.

San Quintín and Castro’s camp both have had few visitors recently so reports are sketchy. Mostly bottom fish and an occasional surface yellowtail or barracuda.

 

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Below there the Bahía Asunción and La Bocana yellowtail, dorado, wahoo are beginning to thin out and seem to be making room for the grouper that have moved into the area.

 

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Farther down the Pacific side the billfish at Magdalena Bay seem to be on the move. Beginning their slide on down the coast. Meanwhile some tanker snook along with some hefty pargo showed up to keep visitors and locals alike marveling over the size of the crop this year.

 

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Still on the Pacific Side is the “Finger Bank” approximately 50-miles above Land’s End at Cabo San Lucas. The striped marlin action has been off the charts for several months with double-digit releases common. Plus, there is always a possibility of a cow sized yellowfin tuna beneath the porpoise.

 

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Rounding the corner and heading up into the Sea of Cortez a few whale sharks have begun to arrive always a crowd pleaser and a hoot to swim along with.

 

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At the Gordo banks wahoo, yellowfin tuna are still hanging out and are often the center of attention at the scale in the afternoon. An additional late season bonus are rooster fish in the surf along with a few snook and dorado.

 

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At our next stop, East Cape winter is on their mind with sierra and north winds that are always a sure change season. Still many fall species still in the neighborhood. The trick is picking the right day to fish. This is a conflicted community that is about 50-50 between fisherfolk and wind surfers. It’s easy to figure out who is rooting for what.

 

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At Muertos and La Paz more winter talk. Recently it was windy and cold. In fact, the port captain closed the Port of La Paz to boat traffic prohibiting all watercraft from going in or out because it was too rough.

So what little fishing was inshore for pargo, cabrilla, snapper, and bonito. Most of the folks right are walk-in fishermen just wanting a day of fishing and who happen to be visiting La Paz so this kind of action is just fine with them.

 

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Loreto still is enjoying some Roosterfish are chewing baits in front of the marina as the sun comes up and a second session has been happening farther up the coast in the middle of the afternoon.

 

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Cabrilla and snapper are hitting consistently in the shallow water rock piles around Coronado and a few spots on the north side of Carmen Island.

Boats fishing offshore still scoring a few tuna fishing with a kite. However, the last offshore boat still fishing caught a couple nice sized ones and declared that they were shutting down for winter.

 

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Up at Bahía de Los Ángeles the few fishing there found similar wind driven fishing. Remarkably even with cooler sea temps the top water bite can still be good, one report recalled that they even had a dorado right to the boat before it spit the hook. Almost everything was biting a 4 1/2 oz led flutter jig.

Overall the above is a pretty impressive report for the beginning December. Can it last throughout the month remains to be seen? However for those looking for an excuse to escape the shopping, sales and holiday bargains, fishing at Land’s End may be a tempting alternative. All-in-all, it might be a great time to escape to Baja for a pre-holiday fishing trip.

Gary Graham, That Baja Guy

Questions and comments are welcome.

 

gary grahamWith 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.

 

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