May 2024 Baja Fishing Report

Baja Fishing Report Gary Graham

Hooray for May—one of Baja’s finest months as moderate temperatures slowly rise. From border to tip, the surface action begins in earnest. Now is the time to check your fishing tackle, add fresh line, and read up on new techniques revealed since you last fished.

Coronado Islands / Rock Pile

Some 15 to 25-pound yellows have recently been caught at the Islands and the Rockpile. They were primarily located with sonar and hooked on Yoyo lures, though occasionally, they are seen on the surface under bird schools.

At the Islands, the best zone has been from Pukey Point down the weather side of North Island to the Keyhole, where conditions were cleaner compared to the Middle Grounds and South Island. However, a few fish were metered in the lee of South Island.

At the Rockpile, anglers metered fish around 175 to 250 feet and more a few miles south of the Rockpile. Over the past few weeks, almost all the yellows were caught on Yoyo iron.
The Rockpile bottom fishing yielded red rockfish, sheepshead, whitefish, and lingcod.

Salsipuedes / Ensenada / Punta Banda / Santo Tomas

In the Punta Banda area, the quality yellowtail action in the 15 to 25-pound class has been on and off. Usually, the yellows are found breezing under bird schools, feeding on the baitfish driven to the surface, and biting mint-colored surface iron.
Reports are the yellows are located at Salsipuedes and down the coast at Isolete. If you are looking for bottom fish, the bite is excellent at Santo Tomas!

San Quintín

In San Quintín, local targets are yellowtail, calico bass, and halibut at the kelp line near San Martin Island.  White seabass, sand bass, and halibut are often found in the sandy flats south of the launch ramp.

San Felipe

Only 120 miles below the border crossing at Mexicali, San Felipe’s waterfront boardwalk has plenty of fishermen offering panga services for day trips. May is an ideal time to check out the upper Sea of Cortez, which has flag cabrilla, blunt head triggerfish, grouper, catfish, white snook, corvina, sole, and Pacific sierra.

Gonzaga Bay

According to Captain Juan Cook, anglers visiting uncrowded Gonzaga Bay in May caught yellowtail, various grouper, sierra, halibut, and other species. He confirmed that fishing is similar or even better for gulf grouper, leopard grouper, and yellowtail.

Bahía de Los Ángeles

Fishing in Bahia de Los Angeles ordinarily begins in May when yellowtail frequently feed near the surface.  As sea temps climb, you can find big ones on the iron/dropper loop. That may include white sea bass, sheepshead, grouper, cabrilla, spotted cabrilla, golden grouper, various bass, and bonito.

Cabo San Lucas  

Recently, several banks have consistently produced striped marlin, yellowfin, and a few dorado from different banks surrounding Land’s End. The calm seas, clear skies, light afternoon breezes, and sea temperatures ranging from 69 to 74 degrees have made conditions perfect for spring fishing.

Recently, Punta Gordo Bankproduced striped marlin and nice-sized yellowfin tuna, making it one of the go-to spots to consider.

Puerto Los Cabos 

The primary highlight was the yellowfin tuna bite at Iman

Bank caught with live and dead sardina. Most Captains reported they only come up for an hour or two. Many averaged around 20 to 30 pounds, though some larger fish were in the mix. The largest tuna came in at 122 pounds and was caught on a dead sardina. They had many weighing between 70 and 100 pounds, and they mainly used 40 and 50# test lines as they could be finicky. According to the angler, the battle on the 122-pounder was nearly two hours.

The Iman Bank produced a handful of smaller dorado and wahoo, and a few larger wahoo – the largest weighing 40 to 54 pounds. This action came on live sardina.

The boats that fished around rock structures at Cardon caught yellow snapper, grouper, and amberjack. Closer to shore, they saw Spanish mackerel (sierra), Jack crevalle, and roosterfish. One boat focused on roosterfish for a few hours and reported releasing seven nice ones. All great news as May arrives.

East Cape  

Large sardina schools have arrived along the shore, with small to medium-sized roosterfish scattered throughout the area. There are occasional marlin in front of La Ribera, along with snapper and grouper in the rocks from Punta Pescadero to Cardinal. At Isla Cerralvo, there are larger roosterfish, jack crevalle, and a few dorado.

One group fishing locally reported they had caught and released 17 roosters weighing an average of seven pounds on the fly. They caught the fish up and down the coast from Punta Colorado to Palmas de Cortez. An oddity was a guest from the Spa who caught and released a small black snook on a flyrod.

La Paz 


The water is getting warmer and bluer as it clears up. Temps range from the high 60s to mid-70s in some spots.  The warmer water brings in a sargasso bloom that will grow until the still-warmer water burns it off.

It can be a bit gusty in the mornings and kicks up whitecaps in the bay, then settles down.  It is a bit choppy outside, but most of the winds are from the south and don’t prevent us from most fishing spots.

The variety of species is growing and includes yellowtail, dorado, tuna, cabrilla, pargo liso, barred pargo, snapper, sierra, jack crevalle, bonito, roosterfish, skipjack, pompano, and palometa.

Another sign of spring is the sardina schools, and La Paz has mackerel under the anchored tankers.



It’s nice weather, and the excellent yellowtail bite continues. Now all we need is the dorado. The 2024 Fishing Tournament at Marina Puerto Escondido is scheduled for May 17-19.  More Info

Bahía Concepción

Great yellowtail action and a few other species are also beginning to show.

If I missed a spot that you are curious about, feel free to shoot me an email with your questions. As you probably can tell, Baja has been my passion since 1973, and I enjoy nothing better than talking about it. 

Gary Graham
That Baja Guy 

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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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