Friday, January 13, 2017

Baja Fishing Reports 1/13/17

Friday, January 13, 2017
Gary Graham
Que Pasa
The uprising against rising fuel prices (the gasolinazo) continues with no end in sight.
Latest crisis in Mexico is the people’s ongoing fight— a social disaster at the fuel pumps and the latest spark igniting the people’s outrage, with predictions of more increases coming in February. Odds are, shortages and protests are likely to continue.
UPDATE: 7:00 a.m. PST Friday, Jan 13, 2017…
Baja Gasoline – Diesel Availability/Highway Blockades:
UPDATE: 10:00AM PST Friday Jan 13, 2017
Baja Gasoline – Diesel Availability / Highway Blockades:
Different border crossings into Baja California, Mexico as well as toll booths along the scenic highway and a few sporadic highway locations in the San Quintin Valley area continue to be an almost daily target of protesters, displacing the SAT agents and allowing free passage through the tolls. The highway filters that have appeared at times, mostly in the Camalu area have allowed non-commercial vehicles through and are allowing the buses and trucks through once an hour.
At times, CBP has chosen to close access to the Chaparral border entry into Mexico in response and may block access on the southbound I-5 and 805, diverting traffic to Otay Mesa via the 905. In those cases expect for delays to enter Mexico due to the longer lines of vehicles waiting to enter.
Overall the situation with transpeninsular road access has been very good now with the exception of the aforementioned on again-off again road block/filter on the north side of Camalu where they continue to allow non-commercial vehicles through. Just show a little patience and you shouldn’t have any problems – they will appreciate you showing support with a thumbs up as you go through. There are no other confirmed reports of any other problems this morning and you should be able to drive up/down the peninsula without any other significant delays right now.
Fuel is currently available in most areas of the peninsula and the NE regions of the peninsula in the Mexicali-San Felipe areas are now getting back to normal supplies.
It is wise to avoid any areas of conflict as things could quickly escalate, as we saw several days ago in Rosarito at the Pemex terminal entrance. Continuing protests and marches are planned for the major cities of the peninsula and best to just avoid them completely. They are protesting against the Mexican government and their anger is not with expats or tourists. There are some reports of expats and tourists actually participating in the marches but that is unwise based on both safety and legal issues. It is illegal for foreigners to be involved in active political protests and could be subject to deportation…Ron Gomez Hoff, Talk Baja (Face Book)
Baja Norte
Small craft warnings more days than not, with plenty of rain in the mix as well; this hindered anglers at Coronado Islands for the most part of the week.
At Ensenada it was more of the same; however, Chilly Willy aboard the Reel Adventure slammed a quality yellowtail on one of the calm days.
Meanwhile at Punta Colonet, the action was mixed for the Dominator out of Point Loma Sportfishing. On a day-and-a-half-trip to Punta Colonet, fellow BD writer Joe Sarmiento shares some insider stuff in “Colonet Yellowtail Strategy.”
The Catian gang from San Quintin decided to let the weather do its thing while they took a ride up to San Pedro Martir to see the weather do another kind of thing.
Down at La Bocana, Julio Meza fished with his friend Larry Dahlberg and found slow fishing; however, there were no complaints on the quality.
There was scant news from the upper Sea of Cortez fishing as the north winds prevail. There was some talk of small yellows and white seabass biting when the winds backed off at Bahia de Los Angeles.
Baja Sur
I can’t fill you in on what is going on with the gas situation up and down Baja, but here in Loreto we have gas!
The stations have been open the entire time and selling whatever is requested.
The fishing scene continues to be a good pick at yellowtail and other bottom dwellers.
Yellowtail are being caught at most of the usual spots on live bait; if that gets too slow, the bite on assorted bottom fish is a sure deal with cut bait and using circle hooks.
Sierra and a few roosters are participating at the surface and near shore.
Live bait for the roosters and the sierra hit anything shiny that also wiggles.
Mackerel have been caught, around and after sunrise, just off the south side of Coronado Island.
The next few days will be a full moon and we shall see what happens with the mackerel. (Many times the bait sellers won’t even try to catch bait when the moon is full !)
Captain Tony Davies did an island tour on “cruise ship day” and spotted four humpback whales all within a few miles of Coronado Island.
All signs are still pointing to a great winter yellowtail season…Rick Hill
In Magdalena BayJonathan Roldan confirmed that the grey whales have started showing up in Bahia Magdalena at Lopez Mateos! Let Tailhunter set up a once-in-a-lifetime experience for a great day trip or overnight trip to the calm inner waters of the bay to spend a day or two with these amazing animals! Write him directly at
No surprises in La Paz . . . not much to tell this week. The town and visitors were still in “holiday hangover” from Christmas and New Years. Normally, this time of year, the folks who come fishing are walk-in clients off the street. Instead of being anglers who book months in advance who come for a “fishing trip,” these are visitors to town or snowbirds who’d just like a day of fishing.
At East Cape locals are buzzing about a tuna and billfish bite out in front of La Ribera when the winds back off.
Our friend Gonzalo Castillo caught this critter while fishing on the Gordo Bank. He sent the photo to me asking what it is?
So gang, help me answer him?
What is it?
The North Winds were light throughout the week at San José Del Cabo, though there were strong currents running and pushing in cooler water temperatures, as currents are now in the 70- to 74-degree range. Lots of mackerel also being found on the normal bait grounds, mixed with sardineta. Slabs of squid and caballito are also available.
Recently sporadic action has been the norm for a variety of fish, many of them smaller-sized structure species, being found in the same area where anglers are still targeting yellowfin tuna; most consistent places have been off of Punta Gorda to the Iman Bank. Most of the yellowfin tuna landed were in the 15 to 30-pound range.
Dorado were a bit more numerous this past week, though the majority of them were smaller-sized female fish that in reality should be released to help this species have a chance at rebounding.
Best bottom action now is red snapper (huachinango), with Punta Gorda being the most productive spot for this action. Snapper up to ten-pounds were striking on various baits. Only a few leopard grouper, yellow snapper or other pargo species were in the mix. Of course there have been decent numbers of triggerfish…Eric Brictson Gordo Banks Pangas
What a special birthday for angler Aaron Roberts, who turned 45 on what without a doubt is his most memorable fishing day. Rick RobertsShelly Grandmont also from Alberta, Canada were also aboard the Pisces.
Cabo San Lucas An incredible shut off for the fishing from Cabo San Lucas and for no real apparent reason other than perhaps a bit of a water cooling trend this past week that wrapped around Cabo from the Pacific side to Los Frailes. We had reports of a great number of 250-pound yellowfin tuna feeding at the Cabo Falso drop off but not a single bite using live bait and casting right in the middle of the frenzy.
Cabo Climate: It was a mostly sunny and clear week with a few days of passing clouds. Daytime air temps averaged 77.6 degrees; nights were cooler and averaged 59.4. Humidity ratio averaged 56.4% for the week.
Sea Conditions: Water temps were cooler from the Golden Gate Bank and around to Las Frailes, all at about 74 degrees. Gorda Banks to Los Frailes at 72 degrees. Outside the Jaime Bank to the southwest the temps reflected 75 degrees. Surface breezes were flowing mostly from the westerly directions and averaged about 9 mph with Saturday blowing about 14 mph. Some afternoon wind chop for Saturday but otherwise, good sea conditions in all out-bound directions.
Best Fishing Area: There was no specific area reported for the better fishing, albeit, lots of really big tuna were seen in the area off the Cabo Falso Drop Off area.
Best Bait/Lure: Nothing was working particularly well and a lot of different systems were being tried without success.
Bait Supply: Good supply of caballito at the $3.00 per bait rate. Mackerel still available on the bank drop-offs. …Cortez Charters Larry Edwards

Saturday, January 07, 2017

Baja Bytes Weekly Overview 1/6/17

Baja Bytes Weekly Overview 1/6/17

Friday, January 6, 2017
Gary Graham
Que Pasa
What a week . . . and unfortunately it is not about great fishing! My travel advisory earlier in the week spelled it out. A devaluating peso, deregulation of Mexico’s fuel industry causing a 20% rise in fuel costs, in addition to the common fuel shortages over the holidays, all drenched with heavy rain in Northern Baja. Rumors circulated, tempers flared and frustration set in. All of which needs rapid, reasonable solutions. Hopefully calls for help will be heard and somehow the peace can be restored for everyone. Meanwhile, I’m going to stick with what I know — “fishing.”
Baja Norte
Grumpy weather often followed with small craft warnings silenced the fish chatter this week for the most part. Coronado IslandsEnsenada and Punta Colonet all seemed to be victims of the bad weather.
Except for Joe Zaragoza who had some friends come down and wanting to get some lines wet and since rock fishing is closed in California headed south. Booked Last Cast to fish local. There was life everywhere birds, seals, whales. They chased birds for an hour, the fish were on the move so they headed over to San Miguel their buddy in the boat “Seal” was out there as well the lucky guy got himself a nice fat yellow. While they made drift after drift and had some good ol’ rock fishing. Weather was beautiful and the swells were down until the wind picked up around 1 PM. I see a lot of potential this year …
Before the recent storm, Walter Korbler, who fished with K&M Sportfishing at San Quintín, commented, “I think January and February are two of the best months of the year for yellowtail.”
“Bahía Ascensión started off 2017 with a gale and rain!!!” Shari Bondy commented. While down the coast at La Bocana over New Year’s Captain Juan complained the water was five degrees cooler than last year. That apparently sent the yellowfin packing and caused the yellowtail to have lockjaw. He and his group had to settle for calicos, sand bass, tile fish, barracuda, Mexican cod and bonito. Even the grouper that had been biting well over a week or two ago failed to cooperate. On the plus side, they did find a friendly dolphin to hand feed some of their unused bait.
The high-liner of the week was Californian Rick Jensen who snookered a 50-pound yellowtail in 80-feet of water with light iron.
Baja Sur
In Loreto Rick Hill, Pinchy Sportfishing, added that on the fishing scene the yellowtail are popping up all over the place. Firecrackers seem to be the most frequently landed yellows but 20+-pound yellows were being caught out at Punta Lobo and “Sailfish.. For the bait soakers it was a slow pick, but a few of the gringo boats with downriggers scored near limits. Weather continues to be an issue as it always is in January. The best news of the week has to do with the fact it is normal for this time of year; the thing that we haven’t seen since El Niño rolled in two years ago — frigates, frigates and more frigates!
Rick commented, “We saw a wild hour-long fish boil just outside of “Marquez” on Carmen’s west side. The fish turned out to be huge bonito slashing flying fish with frigates, sea gulls, boobies and pelicans diving into the act.
“I saw more frigates there in that one action than I have seen all last summer.
It’s looking like a sweet year is coming down the pike and with gasoline’s 20% hike down the tubes (soon), it should be super, super yellowtail season! (I got gas this morning and only the normal lines were at the pumps. No stress in Loreto so far. We have enough gas for two or three days of trips and by then things should be settling down).”
In Magdalena Bay the arriving gray whales and their young have appeared on cue to entertain for the annual migration of tourists to the area . . . always a crowd pleaser for the visiting whales.
No surprises in La Paz as the wind and kite surfers frolic during the winter. It’s the winds — great for the wind and kite surfers but not so good for fishing. It’s still bright and sunny with temps in the 80s.
It’s winter. Thankfully bonito are still providing action despite a difficult week to fish because of winds.
Not much to talk about at East Cape; the surf fishing was slow. Mostly just lady fish in the evenings on crankbaits. Did hear that one boat sneaked out on a calm day and anglers were rewarded with dorado and tuna, plus a released striped marlin and a couple of sailfish.
Weather patterns cooled off over the previous week at San José Del Cabo while winds from the north continue to prevail. Ocean swells were minimal, water temperatures are now holding in the 73- to 74-degree range, with greenish water being found pushing into certain areas. Anglers were using strips of squid, caballito and some mackerel for a variety of game fish. No huge numbers, but charters have landed one or two, and even up to six yellowfin per outing. Average sizes were in the 15 to 30-pound class, but also quite a few tuna to 50-pounds are being caught. There was a recent trend for the yellowfin to strike more readily on either mackerel or caballito, instead of exclusively on strips of squid like during previous months. Either drift fishing or slow trolling the live bait has proved to be most successful technique recently. Dorado have continued to be quite scarce, only an occasional single fish, a couple of dorado as large as 15-pounds. More dorado were actually found closer to shore than farther out — also later in the day, nothing much early. Wahoo have been very quiet for a few weeks now, though late this week, there were a few of the wahoo up to 45-pounds landed near the Iman Bank. Roosterfish action became very quiet this past week as well, a few sierra were found, no numbers though, also some jack crevalle. Bottom action was limited to mainly triggerfish and a mix of smaller pargo and snapper species.
Cabo San Lucas Inshore action, in spite of cool weather, has been producing some exciting roosterfish and jack crevalle for some of the visiting fly fishers. There has also been a decent billfish bite drift fishing the Cabo Falso Drop Off Area using live bait and sinkers. Out farther on the Jaime Bank, the yellowfin tuna were located traveling with the porpoise.
photo  Jeff DeBrown
Cabo Climate: A partly cloudy day for Sunday that turned into a full week of sunshine on the days following. Daytime air temps averaged 80.4 and nights a little cooler at 64-degrees. Humidity level at 55.4% average.
Sea Conditions: Surface breezes flowing in from the southwest at an average of 7.4 mph. Water temps that now range from the Finger Bank on the Pacific side to Los Frailes on the Sea of Cortez side, are all in the 73- to 74-degree ranges.
Best Fishing Area: The billfish bite was best in the Cabo Falso Drop Off area and the tuna bite was best at Jaime Banks.
Best Bait/Lure: Drift fishing live baits was best for the billfish. Tuna were eager to bite on the varied colors of feathers, cedar plugs, tuna clones and more.
Bait Supply: Excellent bait supply for caballitos and still some mackerel available, all at the $3.00 per bait rate.