August 2022 Baja Fishing Report

“Imagination is a must in August!”  

Baja Fishing Report Gary Graham

Were the albacore off the Central California coast this week a reminder of days gone by or a promise of the future? In 2015, when the bluefin reappeared off the Southern California and Baja coasts after being absent for decades, they were considered an oddity that would soon disappear.

Far offshore from the Mexican border, stretching down to San Quintín, the bluefin tuna await the determined angler in search of an adventure. Will the albacore show up there eventually also?

With little wind and almost no swell, Rick Jensen recently shared that he was slow-trolling mackerel and sardine close to shore in the same zone where there was lots of bait on the surface and layered below… “We had some vicious hits! We lost fish… and a few slugs!” He added that he had SIX yellowtail within the first hour, one strike while still dropping back another bait.

The second event of “The Copa de Baja” tournament will be in San Quintín on August 26 and 27, and the Grand Finale in Ensenada will be on September 23 and 24, 2022.  

Another consideration if you are driving down is from Santa Rosalía on the Pacific side to Jesus Maria, there are plenty of places to pull off and fish the surf. Corbina, halibut, surf perch, and a few exotics like white sea bass or corvina might take an artificial or fresh bait.

Apparently, the waters off the Vizcaíno Peninsula have heated up, and both locals and visitors are catching small tuna and dorado. With the warming trend, sportfishing should continue to improve and remain in place until late Fall.

In Magdalena Bay, López Mateos and Puerto San Carlos report warmer sea temperatures and limits of yellowfin tuna and some late-season yellowtail. After a slow start, the mangroves are producing a variety of species, including grouper, corvina, pargo, and a few snook.  

As summer settles in, Bahía de Los Ángeles is hot in more ways than one. According to Captain Pancho at Daggett’s, yellowtail lead the way with backup from the go-to grouper and other bottom fish, including a halibut or two.

From Santa Rosalía to Mulegé to Bahía Concepción, it has been pretty quiet. Perhaps it’s because of this recent news clip published this week by Gringo Gazette. Indeed, it’s something to ponder. Stay tuned!

“President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador approved funding to our state of nearly $80 million U.S. to improve infrastructure in the Mulege municipality, home of Santa Rosalia, Mulege, San Francisco de la Sierra, and the Cedros Island. Tourist attractions will be enhanced, too. Mulegé, located in the northern part of our state in the Sea of Cortes, is internationally famous for its gorgeous beaches, rich fishing grounds, the Gustave Eiffel-designed church, and cave paintings. Dozens of ex-pats enjoy living in this 4,000 inhabitant’s quaint town.”…Gringo Gazette

At Loreto, it would be safe to say that this has been one of the best dorado seasons in several years, in quantity and quality. While the dorado has begun to slow, billfish and roosterfish continue to fill the gap.

Fishin’ For the Mission held early in the month at the iconic Hotel Oasis, enjoyed excellent participation and lots of dorado with 28 teams participating in the event.

It was great to see so many dorado caught in the tournament this year. Almost every team brought dorado to the scale, and the boats that didn’t probably decided the dorado they hooked were too small to weigh in.

The First Place across the board was team Sea Demo with a 14.2-pound dorado on Day One, backed up by a 39-pounder on Day Two for a total of 53.2 pounds. They also caught a 109.9-pound gulf grouper to take First in the other species with one fish. …Chris Wheaton, Tournament Director.

The weather settled down at La Paz and La Ventana, and the dorado action took center stage. In La Paz, FONMAR hosted “Fishing in the Five,” which attracted 167 entries kicking off 64 events to be held in the 5 Municipalities of Baja Sur, including La Paz, Los Cabos, Comondú, Mulegé, and Loreto. The total number of dorado weighed (percentage in terms of participation registration): 52 dorado represented 32% of the teams entered. The winning fish weighed 46.3 pounds.

At East Cape the following week, the Dorado Shootout at Van Wormer Resort attracted 147 teams for the one-day event. There were 45 dorado weighed – 21 were 40-pounds or larger, and 42 were over 30 pounds. The winner, angler Esaul Valdez of team La Buena Vida from Spa Buena Vista, took First Place with a 57-pound bull dorado. Esaul won a 2022 Volkswagen Amarok valued at $40,000, and since the team was across the board in all jackpots, they also took home $275,230 U.S.

The dorado news, while impressive, was like a switch that was turned on, and the action for roosterfish close to shore, yellowfin tuna, wahoo, and billfish farther offshore suddenly lit up! This was just in time for the Bisbee East Cape Offshore, August 2-6, and the 6th Annual Van Wormer Resorts Wahoo Gold Cup – on August 20th.

At the Gordo Banks, it was the same story!

Billfish, dorado, and yellowfin tuna are found farther offshore, and the yellowfin are more often found associated with porpoise, from 15 to 40 miles from the beach. Tuna are striking on various lures, feathers, cedar plugs, etc., with sizes ranging from small footballs up to 70-pounders. We expect these yellowfin will soon move to high spots, making them more accessible to regular morning charters.

Dorado ranged from small schoolies up to 40+ pound bulls. The larger ones were farther offshore, but many were found closer to the beach, as blue water was shifting near shore. Only a few reports of wahoo seen free swimming or lost at a hookup, so they are in the area, just not being caught.

Action closer to shore off the rock piles remained excellent for various species: pargo colorado, African pompano, yellow snapper, barred pargo, bonito, amberjack, leopard grouper, dogtooth snapper, and others. 

The action at Cabo San Lucas has been the best in several months. Many boats are returning with multiple flags flying, signifying the number caught and the variety of different species.

 Gary Graham-That Baja Guy  

That Baja Guy

Gary Graham

Cellular (760) 522 3710

Weekly Podcast

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gary graham

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.

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