April 2023 Baja Fishing Report

Coronado Islands / Rockpile

There are still signs of yellowtail around the islands. Conditions are good, but the fish are unsettled due to the recent variable weather. There is no surface action as the fast-moving schools are down deep.


There have been reports of yellowtail around Punta Banda between the storms and some exceptionally large bonito running outside the Bay between Punta Banda and the Banda Bank.  All of them are 10-pound-plus fish. So although there is no volume, they are out there. The locals are getting a few with feathers while looking for bird schools.

Most of the local panga fleet is going down the beach to Santo Tomás and Soledad, where they are hammering nice reds and lings. 

San Quintín

It has been a spotty bite as the weather improves. Nice-sized yellowtail and bottom fishing have produced a few ling cod and reds.

Gonzaga Bay

Although the weather was windy and cold at the beginning of the month, and the water was rough, it was fishable for yellowtail; by the end of the month, the boats were enjoying some flat blue water.

Magdalena Bay 

“This was my 4th year watching the February gray whale migration in Magdalena Bay. With my sister-in-law, Claire, and four of her friends, the whales did not disappoint. Multitudes of mating whales kept us entertained. We each now know the process by which these 40-ton animals reproduce.

During the mating process, whales divide into a group of three, consisting of one female and two males. The dominant male extends a single flipper and holds it motionless above the water’s surface as a signaling device. The female then advances, using a graceful contact, grazing the male with her flippers until they both lie belly-to-belly. The trio will stay together in that position for up to an hour, mating several times, which can last up to two minutes, concluding with a mighty shudder. While this process occurs, the second male is on the far side of the female, forming a brace to hold her securely next to her mate. The male “unit” is known as “Pink Floyd.” From what we saw, there will be many baby whales 13.5 months later back in Magdalena Bay!” …Janet Downey

Cabo San Lucas 

Anglers enjoy the clear skies and calm seas as they search for various fish species. Among the dozen or so favorites this time of year include striped marlin, swordfish, dorado, sierra, and roosterfish. From the beach, the sierra action has been extraordinary for those who prefer solid ground beneath their feet.

Puerto Los Cabos 

This week more wahoo appeared in the fish counts. Ranging up to 35 pounds, they were found near Punta Gorda and were striking best on slow-trolled bait.

Iman and San Luis Banks produced mainly bonito on the yo-yo jigs, with a few red snapper, yellow snapper, barred pargo, leopard grouper, amberjack, and fortune jack (dark fin amberjack), with triggerfish mixed in. The best chance for finding yellowfin tuna up to 60 pounds was on Iman Bank while using strips of squid or sardina. The bite was sporadic day to day. Inshore, the sierra action was consistent, averaging 2 to 6 pounds.

East Cape 

As north winds subside, the dorado and roosterfish have begun to show. The dorado are a few miles offshore, starting to be found under anything floating. The roosters are small, feeding along the shore of sandy beaches where schools of small sardina gather. Sea temps are climbing, which is a good sign for later in April.

La Paz 

Whale Shark Watching Tours Are Back!

La Paz is enjoying some of the best fishing in a long time! Yellowtail are crashing the bait schools all over the area!  North, south, and east sides of Cerralvo Island are hot and points around Espirito Santo Island.  Areas near Bahia Muertos, Punta Perrico, and Punta Arenas also produced fish that ran from 10 to 40 pounds, with many fish lost in the rocks and the reefs. Some nice-grade 30-70 pound yellowfin tuna were also hooked.

The fish are eating a variety of live bait, including sardina, mackerel, and Caballito.  They were also willing to hit yo-yo jigs and knife jigs, plus trolled deep-running Rapalas, Yo-Zuri, and Nomads. Inshore, there was great action on cabrilla, sierra, jack crevalle, bonito, and snapper. Plus, some free-swimming dorado were also boated.


Nice weather and great fishing for cabrilla and grouper around the Islands. Plus, there have been signs of better times for yellowtail as Spring settles in.

Mulegé and Conception Bay

Yellowtail have moved into the shallows along with the warm air. As a result, there have been many fish boiling on the surface. The yellows are caught on surface iron and trolling Rapalas south of Mulege.

Also, there have been reports of big yellowtail boiling on the north side of Isla San Marcos. Isla Tortuga has been producing baqueta down at 400 to 1000 feet. They are being caught on mackerel and heavy jigs up to 500g.

All in all, April should not disappoint anglers who come to Baja to fish with new tackle purchased during a way-too-long winter!!!

Tight Lines!

That Baja Guy
Gary Graham

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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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