The five-village Pesca La Baja series that we have followed through their tour, along with their 700 fishing participants, came to an explosive end in Ensenada. Some concluded that the “El Nino of 2015” just keeps on giving. Let’s be clear here: This entire report is influenced by that notion.
So here we go…
Roberto Valadez Garcia from Mexicali won second place with his historic catch of a blue marlin weighing 318 pounds, the largest ever caught in Ensenada. There were also two wahoo weighed in, another first for that event.
While there are still yellowtail at the Coronado Islands, between the Mexican gunboat and the sea lions, most anglers are staying clear of the area and fishing in the blue water outside the Islands with extraordinary results. They have been taking many of the fish normally found farther down the Baja Coast — striped, blue and black marlin, as well as dorado, yellowfin tuna and wahoo.
There are more wahoo down the Baja coast than I have ever seen. If you have never fished for them, the Marauders in the photo above are the hot ticket. These heavy lures swim deep and can either be rigged with wire or heavy fluorocarbon (100 pound). The difference between the two is that the leader will be bit more often than the wire; however, more lures will be lost.
Color does matter and unless a fishing buddy has some suggestions, switch colors around until you figure it out. We usually have a collection of spray paints and if we have a favorite color we just touch them up when paint gets chewed off by the wahoo’s sharp teeth.
The offshore action is similar to that found from outside the Coronado’s all the way down to Magdalena Bay. Other oddities showing are short-billed spearfish and sailfish with catches reported at Cedros and off Ensenada.
Levi pulled that 39-pounder out of San Quintin Bay!
From Ensenada down to Punta Baja, around the islands as well as inshore, the good fishing includes yellowtail, with a few white seabass mixed in, plus always the prospect of limits of rockfish. Also tuna and dorado are found just outside San Martin to round out the list.
Recent squalls that swept up Baja dumped torrential rains in some areas. At Bahia de Los Angeles, fishing was reduced to mostly bottom fish for a time. Dorado and yellowtail are down but not out, and the bite should resume as the weather returns to sunny and hot days.
Back on the Pacific side, the entire Viscaino Peninsula, from Turtle Bay to Abreojos, is reporting wahoo, tuna and a sprinkling of billfish farther offshore.
At Magdalena Bay, reports are that sea temps are in the low 80’s on the banks outside Lopez Mateos. Fishing is good but not great. Bill Erhardt fished there recently and caught five wahoo and one tuna, but it took six hours to do it. Calm days are few and far between. Not a lot of wind, but usually between 10 to 15 knots which makes going and coming, as well as boating fish in a small boat, uncomfortable.
There have also been reports of a growing number of billfish showing up on the Thetis.
Punta Chivato had their access road flooded during the recent rains and repairs are underway. And while we are on the subject, there were wash outs reported near Loreto and between Constitution and La Paz.
Not to be outdone, Loreto also reported six inches of rain which put a dampener on the fishing for a few days. The commercial hand-line fishermen have been out since then and they report that their spots are producing normally … reds, triggers with a few firecrackers and barred pargo.
Bait fishing has been restricted to the deeper spots away from the coast. The exception to that is the big-eyed jacks that are hitting trolled Sabikis outside of the Marina before sunrise.
Plus one sport boat from Tripui/Escondido area fished the north side of Coronado and got limits of 20-pound (on average) yellowtail.
Live mackerel are being caught by the bait suppliers off the south side of Coronado at night. Lots of mackerel is the report, so it looks like another heavy yellowtail season according to local Rick Hill.
La Paz and Las Arenas endured its share of rain as well, according to Jonathan Roldan at Tailhunters International. However the catches have been impressive.
Angela Farrell, fishing out of Las Arenas, battled this huge blue marlin for almost two hours with the big fish pulling the panga around. The fish was not able to be released so the meat was donated to the pueblo of nearby San Pedro. Captain Moncho lends a hand.
Still some nice-sized roosterfish there as well.
“Good fishing but different” is the story at East Cape. With bottom fishing producing a mixed bag catch — including some whopper amberjack for the Neilson boys staying at Rancho Leonero.
Farther down Baja’s tip, the larger tuna are filtering in as Jeff Hamm’s catch confirms. Lots of small dorado and tuna account for the influx of the larger blue and black marlin that are the focus of a number of tournaments during October.
That wraps up the slightly soggy update with unbridled anticipation for what the “El Nino” thingy may offer in October.
Good Luck and Tight Lines…
Questions or comments are welcome. email@example.com
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