September 2017 Baja Fishing Report

Baja Fishing Report Gary GrahamYou will need daily wrist bands or your Biosphere Passport if you plan on visiting the following places around Baja or the Mainland. (green sections in image below)


Step 1 – Register (If you plan on visiting these areas, click here to register and apply for your passes);

Step 2 – Pay at a Mexican bank;

Step 3 – Pick up at Semarnat Office in Ensenada, Guerrero Negro or La Paz.

baja fishing report

There are protected biosphere areas in Baja where visitors need to obtain a day wristband or an annual passport that will provide access in all of the areas and costs approximately $333 MXN each for one year. These can be purchased in bulk.

Wristbands are approximately $60MXN each per day. Currently both Ensenada Conanp office and/or La Paz have them available in limited quantities. We will update as more information is provided.

Here’s a link to the protected areas:


baja fishing report

From below the border all the way down past the Coronados and the high spots to Isla Todos Santos, fishing is booming. Surface and bottom fishing are both producing a mixed bag to fill limits. Closer to shore from the Tijuana Bull Ring, the flats and kelp beds are producing similar results for calico bass and small yellowtail.

The La Pesca la Baja tournament in Ensenada recently underscored the reports.


baja fishing report

Below Ensenada, San Quintín is on fire. Yellow and bluefin tuna offshore, not too far beyond Isla San Martin, are providing limits for eager anglers. This is good news for the scheduled Pesca la Baja Finale on September 22 and 23.


baja fishing report

While inshore the seasonal white seabass bite has kicked into high gear with the recent favorable tide, early exploratory trips are yielding quality, tanker-sized fish in remarkable numbers.

From Cedros there are glowing reports of yellowtail, dorado and yellowfin tuna at the Island. However, thus far no photos to support the reports. While farther down along the Vizcaíno coast, after a brief flurry of yellowfin tuna, locals report that they seem to be back on the normal pattern before El Niño, with the anticipation that their normal season will begin in October.


baja fishing report

At Magdalena Bay, wahoo rule offshore catches with tuna mixed in as well, producing limits for the few local boats running out of Lopez Mateos.


baja fishing report

Inshore the variety was awesome. Recent visiting anglers report catching snook, pargo, mangrove snapper, yellow snapper, red snapper, permit, spotted bay bass, triggerfish, corvina and pompano.


baja fishing report

Over on the other side of the peninsula — Bahía de Los Ángeles — the long awaited dorado schools have begun to appear … not exactly trophy-sized but lots of them.


baja fishing report

However, added to the mix is a nice grade of grouper to fill up the old fish box. On many of the stock high spots surrounding the Islands, flat fall lures and live bait are both producing good returns.


baja fishing report

Loreto continues to struggle with a poor showing of any sizable dorado which is evidenced by a recent tournament with 104 team members … with the exception of a few, they produced mostly dorado weighing less than 20 pounds, plus a smattering of billfish including stripers, sailfish and a few small blues that seemed to be feeding on the skipjack and small yellowfin.


baja fishing report

At La Paz, a nice selection of bait choices including ballyhoo ensured a variety, and a larger grade of 10- to 25-pound dorado continued to lead the catch. However, there were also other tempting prospects including rainbow runners, roosterfish up to 60 pounds, plus lots of tuna and bonito; throw in a few cabrilla, pargo, triggerfish and the occasional wahoo which suggests their season is in its full-speed mode.


baja fishing report

The recent East Cape Gold Cup Wahoo Tournament produced a number of wahoo including this whopper — a 55.5-pound monster on Flecha Recta with Sergio Daniel Sandoval. This confirms the terrific fishing going on now for billfish, tuna and huge roosterfish along with a continued dorado bite.


baja fishing report

The banks outside of Puerto Los Cabos have been providing some noteworthy catches of pargo, snapper and huachinango as well as small tuna and an occasional wahoo, while the billfish gang patiently await the blue and black marlin show to develop… which shouldn’t be far off with all the tuna and skipjack that have moved into the area.


baja fishing report

Down Los Cabos way, the Volkswagen-sized yellowfin reported last month still remain a popular target for many anglers as several each week are being caught.

While on the billfish front, the arrival of more and more of the larger blue and black marlin is an encouraging sign for the popular Big Money/Big Billfish tournaments coming in October.

Looking over my notes, with few exceptions, September has promised to live up to its reputation of being one of the best months to fish Baja… if the storms stay away.

Questions or 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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