By Gary Graham
As spring break comes and goes – and March winds diminish – April seems poised to once again be a transition month with some interesting possibilities already on the table.
Some anglers eagerly await the exotics while others are wisely going with the flow, capitalizing on the phenomenal yellowtail fishing that survived the mild Baja Norte winter … now being joined by a similar strengthening bite in Baja Sur. This is second only to a sierra bite which seems to be gaining strength from San Felipe to Cabo San Lucas.
Coronado Islands, Ensenada, San Quintin, Cedros Island as well as Bahía de la Ascensión, La Bocana and Abreojos are all reporting similar yellowtail runs of not only the school-sized fish in the10- to 15-pound class, but also many in the mossback class from 30 pounds with one whopper caught from a kayak by Ross Zoerhof at Bahía de la Ascensión.
Zoerhof’s story will resonate with many of you: During the past several years he had visited twice, spending 10 days fishing from his kayak, topping his personal best YT catch each trip with the largest being an impressive mossback of 42 pounds.
His successes convinced him that he would like to live in the area and he moved there earlier this year.
“After a couple of sessions I had been able to find some yellows, but nothing of any real quality, except for one 35-pounder a couple of weeks ago,” Zoerhof confided.
“Well, recently, I went out and stuck this beauty that came in at 50-inches to the fork and 47.8 pounds,” Zoerhof continued. “He totally kicked my butt on the kayak! I had a couple of fishing-related goals upon moving here. One was to catch a 50-pound yellow. After the fight that this one gave me, I want no part of something bigger. These bad boys are on steroids down here!”
Over on the other side of Baja, in the Sea of Cortez, the long-awaited winter yellowtail bite finally exploded.
News came rumbling in, first from Punta Chivato. Gary Black texted, “Yellowtail are wide open and large … most hitting the 30-pound mark!”
Then similar good news came from farther down the coast at Loreto. Rick Hill sent a report that the yellows had also begun biting there. “Our daily boats have been working the areas around Coronado Island with good success for both good-sized yellowtail and lately, cabrilla, while most yellows are 18- to 22-pounds with one out of six being in the 26- to 30-pound range.”
This bodes well for next month’s yellowtail tournament to be held at The Hotel la Mision. They invite you to this year’s annual April Yellowtail Tournament. It’s open to the public and everyone is welcome.
So the litany continued all the way to the tip. Wherever the yellows have been hiding they are back and there are plenty big ones in the mix in all the usual places.
Live bait or Mega-Baits plus both surface and yoyo metal lures mentioned in the March report will get the job done.
The sierra mackerel are biting from shore down at Cabo. They are also biting inshore trolling with hootchies. In both cases, remember these fish have teeth that can cut a leader like a hot knife in butter.
One more thing: if you are trolling, keep the speed faster rather than slower, 6- to 8-mph will produce more strikes. Also, one of the most common errors made is neglecting to circle around after you catch a fish. Chances are there was more than a single fish where you had the bite.
If fishing for sierra (or anything else bigger) from the beach, it’s time to move on from your small, light tackle spinning outfits to longer and heavier rods loaded with 40-pound braid … you won’t be disappointed with the results!
For those who crave exotics, don’t despair. In another month or two it will be your time.
Meanwhile, the roosterfish are making an early appearance at La Paz according to Jonathan Roldan, Tailhunter International Sportfishing.
Plus the striped marlin are the dominant catch at East Cape right now.
You may fish any kind of shark with your fishing license HOWEVER from May 1 through July 31, it is prohibited to fish shark.
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
One thought on “April Baja Fishing Report”
great report good to hear the fishing is heating up ! Tight lines good camping