Yellowfin Are Moving North; Big Yellowtail Tempt Anglers

The tuna fishing is still “hit and miss” offshore along Baja California Norte’s Pacific Coast, but the inshore bite continues to develop in fine fashion.

Photo by: K&M-Sportfishing
Mighty Yellowtail -- Capt. Kelly Catian offered a fresh angle on how to catch one of Bahia San Quintín’s legendary yellowtail.
Photo by: Shari Arce
Hefty Halibut -- After a cooler-than-normal start, the fishing is starting to pick up in the waters off Bahia Asuncion.
Photo by: Reel Baja
Something to Crow About -- Tim Lee proudly showed off the trophy-grade roosterfish that he recently caught off an East Cape beach, while on a trip with fly-fishing guru Jeff deBrown.

From Bahia San Quintín, Capt. Kelly Catian at K&M Sportfishing said, “We will be going offshore soon. It sounds like the yellowfin are almost in town -- and in good sizes, as well. I talked with Capt. Mike from BG 90 and got some good news: There are big ‘tails on the bush, and lots of tuna sightings. He said that they were on their way up the line from Cedros.”

At Isla Cedros, Jose Angel Pacheco at Cedros Outdoor adventures reported, “This week’s group enjoyed excellent fishing of yellowtail southwest of the island, and amazing fishing action for calicos on the east and south. The bass were so abundant close to the shore and in the kelp that we estimated the catch (and release) to be more than 500. Double and triple hooks were common, mostly using swimbaits, but they were also biting on pretty much anything else you would throw in the water.”

About 7 miles south of the island, anglers found plenty of 20- to 30-pound yellowtail, biting on a combination of iron, live bait and trolling plugs, Pacheco added. “It helped that many San Diego long-range boats were also there, to get right on the spot.

“The highlights were three thresher sharks of up to 200 pounds,” Pacheco said. “One of these took more than 1.5 hours to pull out.”

A little farther south on the Baja California mainland, Shari Arce at the Blowhole Bed & Breakfast in Bahia Asuncion reported, “Bottomfishing lately has produced some nice calicos, sheephead and whitefish -- but no pelagics showing yet. ... There are also lots of halibut off the beaches, and the little pier is crowded with kids hauling them in.”

Down the Pacific Coast of Baja California Sur, Gary Graham at Baja on the Fly said rumblings out of the Bahia Magdalena region indicate there is a decent yellowtail bite on the ridge -- and locals are reporting dorado and striped marlin outside of Cabo Lazaro. “This seems backwards to the way it should be in a normal year,” Graham said. He added that the action also remains consistent inside the esteros for halibut, corvina, small snapper and a few snook.”

Eric Bricston at Gordo Banks Pangas in San Jose del Cabo reported that schooling dorado moved in throughout the region last week. The majority were juveniles weighing less than 10 pounds, for release -- but there were larger “keeper” fish mixed in. “The dorado were striking on a combination of lures and bait, Bricston said.

“Yellowfin tuna were only found in limited numbers near Iman and San Luis Bank,” he added. “Early in the week, there was one tuna caught from a local panga that was in the 170-pound class. A handful of other yellowfin in the 20- to 50-pound range were accounted for, but anglers were lucky to catch one of them.”

Schools of bolito and some smaller yellowfin are now found on the offshore fishing grounds, and this has attracted some larger-size black and blue marlin, Bricston said. “Several black marlin were hooked into this week; the problem was that the majority were on lighter tackle and were lost after extended battles. At least a couple of medium-size blacks were landed out of the Puerto Los Cabos Marina. There are a few sailfish and striped marlin to round out the billfish action, and several of the stripers were of impressive size.”

For fly-fishing enthusiasts, Jeff deBrown said the time is right for casting flies from beaches along the East Cape.

“We currently have great fly-fishing for roosterfish,” deBrown said. “We are seeing very good numbers of big roosterfish in the 20- to 60-pound class, cruising the beaches and feeding on bait that is holding tight to the shore line ... If you are fly-fishing for roosterfish from a panga, we currently have more small to medium-size rooster fish inshore that I have ever seen before.

“We also have excellent fly action on dorado right now ... We have clean, clear, blue water just half a mile from shore, and it is currently holding some very nice fish. Most of them have been in the 10- to 25-pound class, with fish up to 45 pounds also being caught. Most of the bite has been from La Ribera to the lighthouse. The fish have been concentrated between 1 and 5 miles offshore.”

From: http://www.fishrapnews.com/news/newsArticles.aspx?x=12615 

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