Baja Anglers Lose their Composure in October!
Limits of dorado from both sides of the Border remain top of the list for the second month in a row, and the excitement is that the smaller ones are sent splashing, as anglers eagerly pursue the larger fish that will add “mucho mas” fillets for their freezer. So it looks as though they may be around for a while.
Recent reports from Fort Bragg confirm that anglers are catching dorado and albacore that far north.
The final event of “The Copa de Baja” Tournament – the Grand Finale Held on September 23 and 24, 2022 in Ensenada attracted a large number of teams from Bahia de Los Angeles, Gonzaga, and San Quintin that competed for cash and merchandise prizes. As mentioned before these events are held throughout the summer every year and in easy driving range from the border. They are a great way to meet local fisherman in the different communities where they are held.
At San Quintín, the dorado seemed to have moved farther out. The few boats fishing have come up with near limits of yellowtail and have filled their coolers with a variety of different bottom fish, including some nice-sized, bucket-mouthed lingcod.
As October arrives, an assortment of species is caught at Cedros Island. Everything from the legendary 40-plus pound yellowtail, white seabass, dorado, bonito, barracuda, and ocean whitefish to chunky calico bass which are taken on a “catch and release basis ” plus a few trophy-sized flat rascals to check off the old bucket list.
Bahía Asunción (after Hurricane Kay’s visit) was just a bit soggy and is getting up to speed again. Lightly recently fished it, and it still produces a few yellowtail for the determined angler. Another area that is often overlooked is Punta Abreojos farther south. Again, the few boats fishing have been catching some quality-sized grouper.
It is still a tad early for the annual gray whale migration that attracts tourists worldwide to Magdalena Bay. Still, this month is the beginning of the renowned offshore billfish fishery that attracts anglers searching double-digit days for striped marlin, sailfish, and the occasional blue marlin.
The beauty of this time of year, however, is if the weather outside turns grumpy, you can still fish the mangrove-lined channels for spotted bay bass, broomtail grouper, corvina, halibut, pompano, a variety of snapper, sierra, black snook, palometa amarilla, and a host of other species.
Whether you choose Puerto San Carlos or Lopez Mateos, you will find a variety of accommodations and fishing boats for hire.
Bahía de Los Ángeles has been quiet after Hurricane Kay glided by. However, it cooled down after the blazing summer. October is always one of the better yellowtail months, and it is worth checking out if you are looking for the off-the-grid Baja experience.
At Loreto, fishing remains good. However, getting out to the fishing grounds has suffered a little due to upgrading work at the boat ramp.
Some boat launching is happening at the beach just north of the Desert Inn Hotel.
If you have a good four-wheel drive launch vehicle and want to fish (or scuba), Negrita Beach is the best game in town.
Fifteen-pound dorado and 5 to 30-pound roosterfish are still hitting live bait, and even tuna feathers have been getting bit.
Sierra should be showing up in the fish count soon. So fall is the time to shift to some newer options, even though the dorado won’t be leaving until December.
Currently, at La Paz, dorado remain the main game. So far, the hurricanes meandering up from mainland Mexico have not chased the dorado off. Locals predict that they should stay put until early November. There are also ample billfish around if an angler is looking for a change from the dorado.
The Van Wormer Resorts hosted their Tuna Shootout at East Cape, their third in the summer (Dorado, Wahoo, Yellowfin Tuna) Series. Receiving just over $33,000 for their winning 101.6-pound yellowfin tuna was Team “Eat Me Lures,” whose founder John Boyer was the angler
During October, visitors can expect billfish, dorado, wahoo, yellowfin tuna, and roosterfish, from or close to shore.
At Gordo Banks, most local fleets are fishing on the grounds from Cardon, La Fortuna, Iman, and San Luis Bank.
Most common catches were for smaller-sized dorado, though a few nicer-sized bulls up to 40-pounds were mixed in. Many of the smaller dorado were released. These fish were striking on various lures and bait.
A handful of wahoo were caught in the 15 to 30-pound range, striking on Rapalas and ballyhoo, though still not very active in the warmer water. They should become more active as the water cools off a few degrees. There was encouraging news that the yellowfin tuna were biting better the last few days; drift fishing with strips of squid on the Iman Bank was the most successful. We saw tuna ranging from average sizes of 20 to 50-pounds. A couple of charters caught up to five fish though overall numbers were not high. You had to be patient and on the right spot for the bite. Best action was found early in the morning.
At Cabo San Lucas, bull dorado returned, many in the 30 to 50-pound class. In addition, billfish, striped marlin, blue marlin, and sailfish were released, and some larger-grade tuna were found cavorting with the porpoise.
Gary Graham 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.