Held at various locations and offered on both the Pacific and Sea of Cortez sides of Baja Norte throughout the summer, the Copa Baja California is the best opportunity for visiting anglers to experience sport fishing, regardless of their level of expertise. https://www.copabajacalifornia.org/
Coronado Islands / Rockpile
While bluefin tuna continue to dominate the action offshore, the action at the Coronados thus far has been inconsistent for private and sports boats. Currently, occasional spurts of surface action and the sea-temp warming trend are good signs. But, for now, it is bottom fishing or drifting for halibut on the flats.
Bluefin tuna, in range of the local panga fleet, continue to dominate recent fishing news; another interesting note is the large size of some of the skipjacks caught recently.
It has been quiet recently, with few anglers venturing outside.Still, there are reports of bluefin tuna lurking on the outside. However, most anglers have elected to fish out of Ensenada because of heavy traffic on the road to San Quintín.
Lopez Mateos Magdalena Bay
Windy and cool weather has been discouraging, limiting most of the action to inside the Bay for grouper, halibut, and corvina. However, the few who venture outside reported a good sierra bite. Weather will improve as June settles in.
Cabo San Lucas
As Spring departs and summer arrives, the number of different species is dazzling and includes striped marlin, skipjack, yellowfin tuna, dorado, grouper, needlefish, ladyfish, sheepshead, jack crevalle, sierra, and roosterfish. Your choices are unlimited inshore, offshore, or even from the beach.
Puerto Los Cabos
Most fishing action is now taking place on the grounds from La Fortuna, Iman, San Luis, and towards Vinorama. Billfish have been centered around the 1150 Spot and to Desteladera. Striped marlin is the main deal, with a few scattered dorado in the mix. There are reports of yellowfin tuna traveling with porpoise North of Los Frailes, but this is more of a commercial or private boat situation because it is such a far range with fuel expenses.
There has been mixed success off the bottom, using a combination of bait, rapalas, and yo-yo jigs. Species include bonito, red snapper, barred pargo, yellow snapper, Amalco jacks, leopard grouper, and others, but all are very good-eating fish.
If you want to go farther offshore, the best action has been for marlin. The marlin have shown up on the banks in La Ribera and have been biting very well. There have not been many schools of dorado, just singles, but the fish have been good-size.
Some excellent bait schools have been found along the beach, including mullet and a few sardina. With the arrival of the bait, more roosters and jacks are also being caught near the beach. Most of the roosters and the jacks were in the five-pound range, but some bigger fish are starting to show.
There is quite a variety of fish, which is typical right now as the waters are becoming warmer, bluer, and more settled.
However, cooler water fish like sierra, Almaco jack, yellowtail, and pargo are still hitting, especially around structures with some very large cabrilla in the counts.
In addition, a few more warm water species are beginning to show also, including wahoo. And finally, some of the larger roosterfish are showing, along with some small schools of dorado.
The recent Marina Puerto Escondido Tournament produced some trophy-sized dorado weighing up to 44 pounds, along with nice-sized yellowtail, also in the 40-pound range.
Mulegé and Conception Bay
Locals continue to report that fishing outside has been gratifying. However, locals and visitors have remained close to shore, trolling Rapala 40s that produced smaller yellowtail, cabrilla, pargo, and bonito.
Bahía de Los Ángeles
According to reports, the fishing and the weather have been terrific! The yellows are working micro-bait 42 miles from the boat ramp at the north end of the big island, plus there have been lots of birds and bait in that area. All the fish were caught on surface irons Tady 45/mint and white. The fish are beautiful, from 22 to 28 pounds, and there is little pressure since most boats are fishing cabrilla or bottom fish. The water temperature in the Bay is 65.5 to 69–degrees, with some wind in the morning for the crossing but glass on the way home. There is lots of bait in the Bay and channel!
Our friend Captain Juan Cook recently disclosed one of his secret weapons used to capitalize on the area’s recent yellowtail and grouper bite – handmade knife jigs!!!
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.