During September, the elephant in the room, as always, is hurricanes or chubascos. Last year was the least active Pacific hurricane season since 2011 – a nice run, and hopefully, this year the trend will continue.
At the Coronado Islands, multiple sport boats have been catching yellowtail. However, there was an issue with the wind, as it was blowing from 10 to 15 knots with gusts to 20, making it not so private-boat friendly recently.
The best signs of yellowtail were in the Middle Grounds, with some similar action along the weather side of North Island, but conditions were ugly thanks to the wind.
The yellows are biting the fly-lined sardine fished on 25-pound test, and the surface and yoyo iron fished on 40-pound test. Bluefin prefer a fly-lined sardine on a lighter line, 15 to 20 pound is working best.
Ensenada offshore action for tuna remains an item. However, recent weather has kept most local boats close to shore where they have been scoring nice catches of the three B’s – bass, barries, and bonito.
From Ejido Eréndira (60-miles south of Ensenada) and San Quintín, legal-sized white seabass have begun to bite much to the delight of locals and visitors alike. Farther offshore private yachts traveling up and down the coast report striped marlin, dorado, and a few tuna.
Big yellowtail and white sea bass weighing over 30 pounds, trophy-grade calico bass, fat halibut, chunky California sheepshead, and even huge black sea bass are all on the chew in the rich waters surrounding Isla Cedros right now. They are just waiting to be caught by one of the lucky anglers who are visiting the Island.
With the sea temps around Bahía Asunción averaging from 79 to 82 degrees, the fall season appears to be off to a robust start. Exotics will soon follow the mainstay yellowtail. Already a few dorado have been caught, and hopefully, wahoo and tuna are on the horizon.
Both Lopez Mateos and Puerto San Carlos are checking in with positive reports both offshore and inshore. Dorado and yellowfin outside of Puerto San Carlos and good fishing inside the mangroves at Lopez Mateos.
Bahía de Los Ángeles continues the summer into the fall season with a nice mix of dorado, yellowtail, and all kinds of bottom fish. Go early and stay late! It’s nicer offshore on the water than onshore, where it is sweltering all day! One report has the fish at Punta Animas, where limits of quality yellowtail were caught in the deeper 250/300’ water by mid-morning.
Loreto is on the backside of one of the best dorado, striped marlin, and roosterfish seasons in recent memory. Fish still seem to be around. However, the anglers have thinned out, and few tourists in town seem to be interested in fishing.
Recently in La Paz, the bite continues for dorado up to about 20 pounds. The Las Arenas fleet had a smattering of dorado, but also roosterfish. Along the rocks, pargo and cabrilla were more than willing to bite.
The 5th Annual Wahoo Gold Cup was held out of Hotel Palmas De Cortez in Los Barriles. A record 49 teams participated in this year’s event with a record purse of over $58,000 in Jackpots. The angler, EJ Herbst Jr. from Las Vegas, NV, and Captain Jose Perez, and their team on the winning boat, “Terrible,” landed a 41.0-pound wahoo that won them a 2021 Volkswagen Polo valued at $13,000. In addition, they swept the four jackpots and took home $45,825 in cash. The team landed the wahoo on the north side of Isla Cerralvo in the afternoon using a purple Nomad lure.
Seven wahoo ranging from 26 to 41 pounds were weighed at the tournament scale, with thirteen landed during the tournament. Teams were only allowed to weigh one wahoo per boat, so they brought only the largest to the scale. Of course, as in all wahoo tournaments, there were many reports of wahoo striking lures, then biting through the lines.
Team Maritime, with angler Sergio Coto, took Second Place with a 32.6-pound wahoo. In addition, the team won a return trip to Hotel Palmas De Cortez with a day of fishing included.
Third Place went to Team Los Compadres with angler Antonio Tamayo who landed a 29-pound wahoo and won a return trip.
Anglers found yellowfin tuna on the Gordo Banks and smaller football-sized fish mixed with many black skipjack. The tuna usually hit the sardina early in the mornings; after that, it was mainly the skipjack. Working the bottom on these same grounds produced a handful of nice dogtooth snapper and grouper up to 40-pounds.
El Farito, near Vinorama, is where the 20 to 50-pound yellowfin tuna are biting while drift fishing with sardina or strips of squid. Overall, this action was a tough bite, with few fish hitting early, then shutting entirely down. A few sailfish and striped marlin were hanging around. We only saw a few scattered dorado hooked, primarily small fish.
And at Cabo San Lucas, the billfish action slowed somewhat, while the bull dorado helped fill in the blanks, along with some 100-pound tuna found their way to the scales. Plus good roosterfish action closer to shore.
Gary Graham – That Baja Guy
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.