“Get in Tune in June!”
Oddly enough, below the Border, the Bull Ring and Coronado Islands have been slow getting started this year. However, from Ensenada to San Quintín, check this out!
This photo is of a catch of BLUEFIN TUNA (one of many) caught off the coast of Ensenada, according to Victor Mendez, head of sportfishing at the Secretariat of Sustainable Economy and Tourism of the Government of the State of Baja California and Director of the National Sportfishing Federation A.C. and the newest Special Representative of IGFA in Baja.
In addition, Mendez is responsible for the “Copa Baja California.”
“Copa Baja California” is a series of fishing tournaments that will begin at San Luis Gonzaga on June 17 and 18, 2022, then continue at Bahía de Los Ángeles on July 29 and 30, followed by San Quintín on August 27 and 28, with the final championship in Ensenada on September 23 and 24.
First-timers and seasoned anglers have discovered that the four events are an ideal way to become introduced to the uniquely different fisheries in Northern Baja. In addition, fishing with numerous local teams and getting to know them is always an invaluable way to gain insight into local knowledge that is priceless on return trips to the various areas.
Blue fever seems to have taken hold from the Border down to San Quintín, perhaps accounting for inshore fishing reports which have been non-existent for several weeks or longer.
The season is just getting started at Cedros Island, and it didn’t disappoint the early arriving anglers who scored near-limits on the legendary yellows that hang out there.
Farther down the west coast at Asunción, on down to Magdalena Bay, reports of cool sea temps and breezy conditions seem to be the story. Another month or two and that all should begin to improve.
At Bahía de Los Ángeles, Ross Zoerhof found some yellowtail on the surface quite willing to bite his trolled Xraps. Others scored on hefty grouper and pargo while bottom fishing.
Locals are big on Jigging! The weapon of choice this week was a big Glow Knife Jig. Fished in deep water (250-300ft). Slow pitch jigging is so fun and catches fish! The bite can be both early and in the afternoon with the tide changing.
Yellowtail were also caught in shallower water 50-80ft on deep dive rapalas. Bonita (with teeth and lighter meat) are getting thick being caught both jig and trolling as a bye-catch while targeting yellows and Dorado.
Trolling back into the bay a medium size Roosterfish (20-pound) was caught on the troll and released. All in all, fishing has been good since full eclipse moon. Along the rocks, some big cabrilla getting taken along with snapper, pargo, sierra, jack crevalle and lots of common and white bonito. Two boats with a total of 5 people caught 18 yellows in one day.
The Loreto area had a boost from several different tournaments held recently. Pink Promise, the Loreto Women’s Fishing Tournament, attracted 60 teams targeting yellowtail. The tournament proceeds benefitted “ONCO,” a local charity.
Another local event was the Hotel La Misión Tournament, with 31 boats targeting yellowtail.
At Marina Puerto Escondido, MPE, the Third Annual Marina Puerto Escondido Tournament attracted 51 teams. In addition, the event paid out a total amount of $577,800 to the three categories, yellowtail, dorado, and most billfish released during the two-day event—the largest cash amount ever paid out in the Loreto area.
In the Dorado Category, the payout of $232,150 is believed to be the biggest sum ever awarded for a dorado in a fishing tournament anywhere in Baja and perhaps the world!
While yellowtail dominated the event, the early show of some nice-sized dorado was a welcome sign for June as sea temps began to rise.
Waters remain cooler at La Paz around Espírito Santo Island area than farther south around Cerralvo Island. There, 15 to 25-pound yellowtail are biting on live sardina, caballito, and jigs. Unfortunately, many larger fish are getting lost on the rocks!
Farther south at La Ventana fleet, the good news is that more roosterfish have moved into the area, specifically close up to the rocks and along those long stretches of flat beach. Most of the fish seen are 15 to 30-pounders released. If the larger ladyfish bait or mullet moves into the shallows, the huge monster roosters (up to 100 pounds) may show. Over the past week, the skipjack and yellowfin have arrived, signaling the summer is coming early this year.
East Cape has just not kicked into gear. Off-color, cold water (inshore and offshore) has kept the lid on the excellent fishing anticipated in May. However, June could be the breakout month after a dismal spring!
At last, bait schools have begun to show at San José del Cabo. Mullet schools are moving in along the beach stretches. These baitfish are attracting more roosterfish, some of which are over 40 pounds, just in time for the June bite.
After a brief lull, the striped marlin are beginning to appear. Although the marlin are scattered offshore at San Jose del Cabo and near the 1150 Spot and are not around in huge numbers, there is still a fair chance of catching multiple fish. So far, the dorado and wahoo activity has been so-so.
The few yellowfin tuna caught came from near Vinorama while drift fishing bait and they were sporadically biting earlier in the morning. Sizes ranged up to 30 pounds.
Most local boats are concentrating on the bottom and inshore action, which has been more consistent than surface pelagics. Using a combination of yo-yo jigs and various bait for red snapper, yellow snapper, barred pargo, whitefish, triggerfish, amberjack, leopard grouper, bonito, sierra, jack crevalle, black skipjack, and African pompano.
At Cabo San Lucas, the inshore roosterfish and jack crevalle are being caught and released. Offshore, yellowfin tuna and wahoo made up for the lack of dorado in the area. Unfortunately, few boats are targeting billfish, so it’s difficult to gauge the volume of fish offshore surrounding Lands End. However, with the sea temps climbing offshore, they should begin to show by mid-June.
Gary Graham-That Baja Guy
That Baja Guy
Cellular (760) 522 3710
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.