Baja's Pacific coast lights up while hot water cools fishing in
Capt. Gary Graham
July 24, 2014
Baja Sur - Saltwater Fishing Report
Baja Bytes Conditions Recap
Friday, July 18, 2014
Mex 1 Tollroad Update - Only the section from La Misión to San Miguel Village is closed. You can use it to get to La Salina and Baja Mar but traffic for Ensenada is detoured onto the free road.
On June 24th and again on the 26th (2014), I flew over the toll road landslide construction site in a helicopter. The construction is not close to being completed yet...David K., Vagabundos del Mar
No report. Everybody is fishing for tuna and yellowtail outside of the Islands…www.fishdope.com
Early fishing report is looking good! "Let's Hook Up," with Ken Kuhn and his crew, hooked up a 72-pound bluefin tuna at the 238 Bank in 70 degree water. Awesome! ...Edgar Sanchez, Coral Marine Store
Doubles, triples, and quads.....Members of the Chula Vista Fire Department had excellent fishing with limits of tuna and yellowtail on both days. Thanks to Matt Di Amico for setting it all up!
Way to go calico!… Jose, Cedros Outdoor Adventures
The yellowtail bite is still on in Bahia Asuncion and the water has warmed up even more this week. The air temps are very pleasant -- around 80 degrees but it has been windy in the afternoons. Halibut are being caught from shore and nice calicos as well at San Roque Island.….Shari Bondy
There are some HUGE dorado around Loreto; this one was caught by lady angler Sean Ross aboard Bad Company. This is one of three massive fish we have heard about…Tracy Ehrenberg, Pisces Sportfishing
The fishing for the mission tournament went off without a hitch, as the saying goes.
Day One saw both dorado and yellowtail come in to be weighed with the biggest hitting 31 pounds. Yes, that's right! Dorado at 31 pounds and yellowtail at the same weight! With big dorado hitting the scales on Day One many contestants wanted to shift gears and try their luck at the "other fish" class.
Many boats got skunked on Day Two. Bottom fishing for bigger yellows was the plan, yet the wind didn't cooperate. Big swells knocked most boats off the high spots with Punta Lobo being the "bad to just plain dangerous" destination!
For the dorado crowd on Day Two, it was almost as difficult. Spotting fish, sargasso or weed lines was hampered by the winds. Blind trolling in crappy weather is just an extreme long shot!
Following the tournament we saw a few really slow days: Sunday, Monday and Tuesday. (I heard the "full moon" excuse more than once!) By Thursday we were back with glassy seas looking for fish. As I've mentioned before this season, if you want dorado, work the current lines. The triangle from the south side of Carmen Island to Montserrat and over to Danzante has had the most consistent current lines.
Not just any current lines, look for bubbles and "scum". No matter how insignificant they seem, you will find fish. You will come upon micro-trash and if you are seeing turtles consider yourself in the right place.
Today , we trolled lures exclusively and out-fished four other boats in the same area.
We had just finished a discussion about the lack of a sailfish showing for the past two years when bang! Surprise hits on both lures by one sail. No hookup but one "bite and spit." It shot the feather halfway back to the boat. Some years you have to plan your fishing around avoiding the sails, but so far it's been two years of slim pickin's for bills!...Rick Hill /Pinchy Sportfishing
She had just recovered from wrist surgery and was fishing gingerly all week, but when this big roosterfish hit, Jeanette Carroll from New Mexico wasn't going to let anyone touch her rod. She battled this 40- to 45-pound class fish all the way to the boat for 45 minutes near the mouth of Bahia de Los Muertos and then released it. Captain Victor lends a hand.
The week started OK. We got some roosters along with small to medium dorado. There were also some billfish, pargo and cabrilla. We even had bait. But as the week went on, our Las Arenas fleet had some of the worst fishing we've seen all season.
On the surface, I could say it was the lack of baits. That includes ballyhoo, sardines and mackerel that we usually use for most of the gamefish.
Later in the week we had some tropical storm cells pass through. This made for some rougher waters and gray skies. It got choppy. There were little flurries of rain here and there locally. We almost had another water spout form up one afternoon near Cerralvo Island prompting the panga fleets to head for the beach.
Later in the week we had folks specifically going for "home run" fish. Those are fish that you either get ‘em…or you don't. Instead of going for "action" they went for the top-shelf bad boys. They are trophy fish for a reason Frustrated anglers came back with nothing. But that's what happens when you swing for the fences. I like that kind of fishing myself. But, sometimes the big hitters strike out. Part of fishing. Part of the game.
About the flyfishing...Frankly, it's been tough. No one in Baja seems to have bait for chum for the fly fishermen. This El Nino has not been good to the flyfishers. Normally, we have sardina to toss out and get the fish going. The sardina are non-existent.
We have larger baits…caballito and mackerel, but you can't chum with that.
The ones who are strictly flyfishing are not doing well. They are strictly flyfishing. I did have 4 guys who just left this morning that were strictly flyfishing.
I kept offering to switch them to fish with my La Paz fleet where we are catching fish, but they insisted on staying with my Las Arenas fleet where there has been no bait…they caught pretty much zero fish for 3 days and left pretty frustrated. I wish I could have gotten them some fish. See below…we did find some roosters. The bonito were huge and would have been awesome on the flyrod. They could have gotten the dorado going on the bait then tossed a flyrod into the boils.
La Paz, while not as good as last week, was still very productive. There were some slow spots…but everyone got fish every day. The dorado were very cooperative with fish in the 5- to 40-pound class and some HUGE 12- to 15-pound dynamite bonito that put some light tackle guys on their knees! As well, we had several marlin and sailfish hooked up and either lost or released…even a few rooster fish…plus some nice pargo and cabrilla.
The difference is that we had more live bait…caballito and mackerel. Still a bit big to chum, but the baits brought the fish to the boat. You could even catch a bonito and then chop it up and use it for chum to bring even more fish to the boat.
But, overall, the La Paz fishing took care of everyone and got fish in the boat!
One of the nice things about having our two fleets is that as Las Arenas fishing got slower or more frustrating, or the weather got more unpredictable, we could have our folks fish with our La Paz fleet and get into the fish. That made all the difference between big smiles or frowns!
Mark Martis from Redondo Beach, Calif. has been coming to La Paz for decades and fishing with Tailhunters several times a year for about 12 years. Fishing near the south end of Espirito Santo Island he put this nice bull in the panga on light tackle using a live caballito for bait.
From Cascade, Montana, where he tells me it was 40 degrees below zero this past winter, Josh Matteson was on his first trip to Mexico. It was his first day ever of fishing on salt water! His first bait tossed in, produced this hefty bull dorado on the first cast. He said it sure pulled "harder than a rainbow trout." He was fishing north of La Paz on the west side of Espirito Santo Island…Jonathan Roldan, tailhunter-international.com
A truly massive roosterfish...a solid 70 pounder. John Synnuck came all the way from London for a big rooster and landed this beast on spinning tackle while fishing with me and Capt. Rene Macklis at Rancho Leonero Resort. These Brits are serious anglers and are willing to put in the effort to score big time! …Lance Peterson
Halco popper kills tuna.…Mark Rayor, Team JenWren
DORADO SHOOT OUT Saturday July 19 El Dorado mas grande will be awarded a 2014 4 x 4 Toyota Tacoma Los Cabos. Tuna or wahoo mas grande a Suzuki 140 HP four-stroke of Arjona peace Agency will award. So far, so good. We look to be on pace for 120-130…Eddie Damalu
San Jose del Cabo
Limited amounts of sardina, which have been absent from local waters for over six months, are now being netted and hauled by commercial pangueros towards the Vinorama grounds; a handful of San Jose del Cabo charters have obtained these baits and are using them to entice the yellowfin tuna which have been schooling with black skipjack within a couple miles of shore north of Vinorama. The tuna are quality fish, averaging 30 to 40 pounds. These fish were coming up to chummed sardina sporadically and there were many more skipjack than tuna being hooked into … in fact in these shallow waters the triggerfish were aggressive and had to be dealt with as well. The handful of charters making the long run and being able to secure sardina did account for one, two, three and in some cases even more of the yellowfin, having to battle a couple of dozen skipjack in the meantime.
Dorado were found on the same grounds as well, most of them were smaller-sized, though a few larger bulls up to 40 pounds were mixed in. On occasion, anglers ran across large schools of juvenile dorado; this would be great fly rod catch and release action.
The bottom fishing produced only a few snapper, triggerfish, amberjack, bonito and cabrilla. This was an early morning bite on yo-yo jigs and bait and was dependant on fluctuating currents.
Billfish action included blue and striped marlin, as well as sailfish … no numbers to speak of. The scattered action was found by trolling lures and bait within several miles of shore.
Inshore there was spotty action for roosterfish, jack crevalle and a few dogtooth snapper, though with the lack of schooling mullet along the shoreline…Eric Brictson, Gordo Banks Pangas
Billfish are scattered about the area. A few stripers and if you get even a little bit lucky you might find a sailfish or two as most are traveling in packs, while the stripers are mostly single fish strikes on live bait presentations. It appears that the water temperatures have become warm enough to have an adverse effect on the striper action in the area while favored by the sailfish.
Cabo Climate: Partly cloudy days that are mixed with intermittent sunny periods and temperatures that ranged from 78 nighttimes to 93 daytime highs.
Overall, sea conditions are excellent for the fishing in all areas. Sea temps on the Pacific side ranged from 83 to 87 degrees from the Finger Bank to Cabo San Lucas and changed from Cabo and into the Sea of Cortez to 87 to 89 degrees. Surface breezes were about 9 mph, flowing in mostly from the southerly directions.
The billfish are scattered about the area and on both sides. The Herradura, just south of Cabo, was good for a few boats as was the 1150 Fathom Spot, but even so, the fish were not concentrated. …Larry Edwards, Cortez Charters
More Fishing Reports: