Although boat traffic has been light because of inconsistent weather conditions, those who are having a look have been rewarded with some nice 12- to 20-pound yellowtail with the weather side of North Island, the Middle Grounds and the South Kelp Reef (SKR) being the best bet. Even if the fish are not showing under birds, slow-trolling sardines and/or mackerel has been producing good results.Usually early morning and late afternoon is the best time. Even in the wind, iron and plastics thrown tight to North Island on the lee side and under the birds at the Middle Grounds scored numerous calicos. Both yellows and bonito are breezing around and willing to eat slow-trolled sardines and Rapalas along with surface iron on the drift.
Tijuana Bull Ring and below
As the water cleaned up, action improved; there are spots of barracuda and some yellowtail. Try slow-trolling sardines or slow-trolling X-Rap 20’s or 30’s.
A much better option than drifting is fishing the bottom for sand bass and sculpin. None of the halibut or the big flatties that normally show this time of year are around.
Speaking of consistent, Punta Banda continues to have a good grade of yellowtail up to 20 pounds, mostly tight to the Island along the kelp line, also some fat bonito from 5 to 10 pounds under the birds feeding on bait.
When the surface action slows, the bottom fishing is a good way to limit out on rockfish and lingcod.
Not much news farther offshore. Mostly party boats which are there are seeing tuna on the surface but catching fewer as they refuse to bite.
Spotty weather, cold water and a few visiting anglers at the Island yielded an occasional yellowtail and some calico bass on the surface along with scratchy bottom fishing. In the Bay a few locals found a few decent-sized halibut and keeper corvina. It appears that the conditions are finally beginning to be more spring-like as sea temps begin to rise.
Upper Sea of Cortez
In a mere four years, Pesca La Baja SEPESCABC has established itself as one of the “must-attend” family tournament series in Baja – not only drawing residents of communities where they are held, but also drawing a growing number of anglers from California and beyond. What’s not to like? A competitive event, it is a fiesta wrapped in a proven tournament formula attractive to both locals and visitors.
While most tournaments in Baja have a “cause”, Pesca la Baja simply celebrates sportfishing and the individual communities of anglers who share a common passion for the sport, merged with the challenge and rewards of winning, of course.
The numbers of participants or spectators has grown every year as has the enthusiasm for the event. It manages to blend local and visiting anglers into a unique celebration of sportfishing in towns and villages throughout Baja Norte where “Pesca la Baja” thrives.
Total immersion comes in many shapes. Fishermen from outside Baja and beyond that I’ve spoken with over the years delight in the chance to share their passion for fishing with local anglers, in many cases creating lasting bonds of friendship during these two-day events that have allowed an introduction to Baja’s rich family and fishing culture. Of course, under normal circumstances, this is often something that can only be accomplished after years of residing or traveling and exploring the rugged coast of Baja.
The first of the 2017 series was held recently at the local dock in San Felipe on the Sea of Cortez; 130 anglers on 35 boats departed early Saturday morning under sunny skies with moderate wind.
The second event will be held at San Luis Gonzaga, June 16-17 and will be based at Hotel Alfonsina’s, followed by the third at Bahía de Los Ángeles, on July 21-22 at the local launch ramp.
Then, the location moves west across the Baja Peninsula to the Pacifica at Ensenada, August 25-26 at API Sportfishing Docks before the fifth and Grand Finale, September 22-23 at the Old Mill Hotel in San Quintín.
For more information www.pescalabaja.com