Fish Report

Tijuana Bull Ring

Local action has been slow recently — not many bonito or bass, and just a fair number of little rock fish. Out west in the flats, however, the skipjack fishing has been great.

Coronado Islands

After a month or so of very little action, the 10- to 15-pound yellowtail are back on the bite.

The word we have is that yellowtail were seen on the rockfish area just to the NE of North Island and were taking the 6x jr., 6x and 7x yoyo iron, fished on 40- to 50-pound monofilament. Scrambled egg and blue/white were working well also.

Along with the yellowtail, a bunch of 4- to 6-pound bonito were seen spread out along the weather side of North Island.

Offshore

Captain Louie Prieto shows off one of the better-quality sheepshead caught on a recent outing.
Captain Louie Prieto shows off one of the better-quality sheepshead caught on a recent outing.

Below the 425 / Upper Hidden & Hidden Bank

This zone continues to be the best bet for yellowfin, with the most productive area being below 32.06, down in the Upper Hidden Bank area.

There is a temp break running east/west at that number. Temps are below 68°F, and to the north of it as well as 68°F to 69°F to the south.

The yellowfin, skipjack, yellowtail and dorado have nearly all been kelps now with not a lot of open-water jig stops happening.

The average-size yellowfin has been small, mainly from 6- to 10-pounds, with a few up around 20-pounds. The skippies were in the 5- to 8-pound range. The yellowtail have been little rats, from 1- to 3-pounds and the dorado have been small as well, from 5- to 10-pounds.

Lower 9 / Coronado Canyon / 425 / Upper Hidden / Hidden Bank

A couple of boats went exploring and checked out this area today. They didn’t find a lot of fish — in fact, most of the area was a barren desert, but they did find a couple of kelps which produced good numbers of yellowfin and skipjack along with a sample of rat yellowtail.

295 / 238 / 450 / 1140 Finger / Lower 500

Still the location where the biggest scores of yellowfin were coming from, but with a catch: 95% are on kelp paddies.

Easy limits of 6- to 35-pound yellowfin, along with some skipjack, yellowtail and a lone dorado were caught recently.

Most of the area is a desert now as well, with lots of dead water; but be sure and check out any kelp or any dolphin you run into, because these could be holding yellowfin.

Ensenada

Captain Louie Prieto checked in, reporting that for the last couple of weeks, yellowtail fishing has been spotty, but the big bonito and bottom fish have been biting full speed. Water was 63°F to 66°F inside the bay and has been flat and calm most days.

Several high spots at Bahia Salsipuedes were producing sand bass to 7-pounds, reds and chuckleheads to 5-pounds and one nice 23-pound sheepshead on a large root beer colored scampi tipped with squid. Best action was in 120- to 150-feet of water for all the bottom fish. There were several nice bonito on blue and white salas 6x jr. between Punta Pescadero and the Gas Plant. No birds were working anywhere in the bay, but when bait was found on the meter, the bonito have been found as well. Also, lots of bonito are reported a couple of miles inside of the southern end of Todos Santos Island. None of the deeper “go to” spots seem to be holding any yellowtail yet. Only a matter of time until they show. Live bait is not available until probably April, so bring squid.

San Quintin

Only a few groups recently. Troy Hutton, plus some amigos from Lake Arrowhead, Calif., found excellent action fishing aboard Captain Kelly Catian’s 25-foot Parker Offshore III, scoring a mix of yellowtail, big red rock cod and lingcod.

Bahia de Los Angeles

Currently, in a November tease mode with nice weather and only moderate breezes in the afternoons, most if not all the yellowtail action was dropper loop stuff, fishing at depths of 200-feet or so around the Islands. Cabrilla, grouper and pargo was also in the mix closer to shore. So far, north winds have not cranked up to full winter mode.

Fish Report

Tijuana Bull Ring

Wide open bonito fishing this morning in the Point Loma area down to IB. The bones were along the kelp line biting small sardines and chrome jigs along with a mix of calico bass, sheepshead, small rockfish and a few legal-sized lingcod.

More bonito can be found a mile or so outside.

 

Coronado Islands

The only surface fish that is being caught is the bonito which are along the weather side of North Island, the Middle Grounds, the Ribbon Kelp and the SKR. Some are big, coming in at well over the 10-pound mark, but 95% of them fall in the 4- to 8-pound class.

Slow-trolling sardines and Rapalas seems to be the ticket for the really big ones.

Other than this, the only thing biting are rockfish and whitefish.

 

Offshore

Below the 425 / Upper Hidden & Hidden Bank

This zone continues to be your best bet for a “local” yellowfin with the best area being below 32.06 down in the Upper Hidden Bank area.

There is a temp break running east/west at that number. Temps are below 68 to the north of it and 68- to 69- to the south.

The yellowfin, skipjack, yellowtail and dorado are nearly all on kelps now with not a lot of open-water jig stops happening.

The average size is small. The yellowfin are mainly 6- to 10-pounds with a few up around 20-pounds. The skippies are in the 5- to 8-pound range. The yellows are little rats, from 1- to 3-pounds and the dorado are 5- to 10-pounds.

 

Ensenada

After some shaky fishing when the hurricane passed far below in the Baja midsection, the surface action resumed with a vengeance. Limits of lunker-sized yellowtail were a pleasant surprise for anglers looking for a fish fix with limits rounding out good bottom fishing as well.

 

San Quintin

Like Ensenada, both inshore and offshore seems to be returning to the conditions prior to the storm. There has been some great fall action for the few anglers visiting the area now. Still, there’s some yellowtail along with great bottom fishing that is almost a given. Hopefully, the fall season will continue until November.

 

Cedros Island

As the lodges close down for the winter, the timing could not have been better with the recent storm that hit the area recently. The fishing remained good right up the the storm. Since then, it has been quiet.

 

Bahia de Los Angeles

Recent reports indicate the dorado that arrived during the summer are beginning to leave as the sea temps cool down. Already, there have been some comments about the north winds. Hopefully they won’t begin in earnest until late in November.

Meanwhile the bottom fishing for cabrilla, pargo and plenty of other takers is holding steady with most anglers limiting out often.

Fish Report

Tijuana Bull Ring

There are still a few calico bass in the kelp along with an occasional yellowtail, and you might also stumble across a random bonito school outside in the flats.

Trolling small feathers and/or rapalas remains the best way to locate the schools. Once found, fly-line small sardines or cast chrome jigs like the Colt Sniper for more.

 

Coronado Islands

Heads up: Bracelets are now required to fish within Pacific Island Biosphere Reserve areas, including the Coronado Islands, Todos Santos, and San Martin Island.

You can purchase bracelets for $5 per person per day at Fisherman’s Landing Tackle Shop, Point Loma Sportfishing Tackle Shop, and Dana Landing Market & Fuel Dock. You will need to provide your boat name, boat owner’s name, number of passengers, and dates you will be in the reserve areas, but you don’t need any other special IDs or info to purchase the bracelets. Everyone on board must have a bracelet to enter the Biosphere Reserve.

Biosphere Reserve boundaries are now available on the FishDope Charts (click the “Closures” layer). For more information, please click here.

And for the full Biosphere Reserve Declaration click here.

(may need to refresh a few times to display the document – in Spanish)

 

Offshore

Lower 9 / Coronado Canyon

Jeff Mariani shared a photo of this lunker-sized yellowtail caught just before “Rosa” dumped buckets of rain on Cedros Island.
Jeff Mariani shared a photo of this lunker-sized yellowtail caught just before “Rosa” dumped buckets of rain on Cedros Island.

The area runs from just NW of North Island down the Canyon pretty much all the way south to the 425.

Conditions have been grumpy, but the yellowfin, skipjack, and bonito bite continues. The main zone of fish also slid several more miles to the south and there were a few good kelps below the 9 Mile Bank toward North Island. The yellowfin and skipjack are a few miles to the southwest in the cleaner, warmer water.

For the most part, the best yellowfin are coming from a few kelp paddies that are holding very large schools of tuna. There are also some open-water schools of bonito and skipjack, with a very occasional open-water school of yellowfin either on its own or mixed with skipjack.

It’s taking a lot of chum to get the yellowfin to bite, which favors bigger yachts and sport boats over smaller private boats. You can increase your chum capacity by taking a pass or two of bait into an empty bucket to use for chunk.

Also hang on to your used and dead bait throughout the day to chunk up for later use. Finally, be sure to cast your hook bait right at the same time as you toss a couple pieces of live chum. This will greatly increase your hookup odds.

Most of the yellowfin are in the 8- to 15-pound class but there are a few larger ones up to 30-pounds. The skippies are anywhere from 3- to almost 20l-pounds. Brightly colored feathers continue to be best for the skippies. The yellowfin tend to like the plugs better. Cedar plugs, Rapalas and Halcos are getting the majority of trolled yellowfin. Black/purple is the hot color.

 

Ensenada

Inshore surface action throughout the bay has been a steady pick for bonito, barracuda and a few yellowtail for the few boats fishing recently. However, the almost always reliable go-to bottom fishing assures limits of lingcod, reds, sand bass and rockfish to fill the coolers.

Farther offshore, outside the Islands, the kelp paddies are holding dorado, yellowtail and some yellowfin tuna down deeper in the water column — maybe 50- to 100-feet. Farther offshore, schools of yellowfin can be found (mostly of the smaller variety) with a few up to 30 pounds mixed in.

 

San Quintin

Offshore has been “hit or miss” for most. One day there will be yellowfin tuna and maybe even a dorado or two in the count and then everyone gets fired up and runs outside the 240 and comes up short.

Squirrelly weather, erratic sea-temp, off-color water all seem to get honorable mention for the condition.

So far, the inshore has been much more productive — small to medium yellowtail, and more big bonito that seem to be consistent all up and down the coast now.

 

Cedros Island

While the yellowtail and dorado on the south end high spots has been good, live bait, Rapalas, and surface iron are all working. Calico fishing is fantastic with 75- to 100-fish days not unusual. Plastics and stick bait are your best bet and bring plenty.

Along with wahoo, yellowfin are biting Rapalas at Benitos recently.

However, the recent storms have put the fishing on hold until the water cleans up.

 

Bahia de Los Angeles

Same story here as the several storm systems made their way across the peninsula. Sketchy reports of live bait being tough to come by recently.

Hopefully there will still be a last gasp of dorado before the water temps fall and send them packing down the Sea of Cortez in search of warmer water and bait schools.

The best bet is still going to be some of the rocky outcroppings along the shore line along the shore and around the islands.

Bertoldo Garcia, fishing with Garcia’s Pangas in San Quintin, managed to find one of the elusive offshore yellowfin tuna.

Fish Report

Tijuana Bull Ring

Trolling along the outer edge of the kelp beds found along the shore have been yielding an occasional yellowtail to spice up the calico bite; also, watching for the bird schools is a giveaway to where the fish are feeding — barracuda, yellowtail and bass that might be chasing the bait to the surface. From there towards the International Reef, there are scads of big bonito also feeding on the surface.

 

Coronado Islands

Good fishing for that same 5- to 7-pound bonito that has invaded the entire south coast all the way to Ensenada. Yellowtail fishing, however, isn’t very good. It is slow now after a wild spring and summer. There are no reports of bluefin recently. The last ones seen/caught came from the area between Ribbon Kelp and the 5 Minute Kelp.

 

Offshore

Lower 9 / Coronado Canyon The area runs from just NW of North Island to down the Canyon pretty much all the way south to the 425.

Boats fishing here are scoring good counts of yellowfin tuna; most are in the 8-to 15-pound range with a few showing up in the 20- to 30-pound class. Skipjack are biting also. These are mainly in the 5- to 15-pound class and are jumping on small, bright-colored feathers.

There’s an occasional dorado lurking under anything floating as well.

 

425 / 371 / Upper Hidden Bank / Hidden Bank Here is where the fleet of sportboats along with private boats are loading up on yellowfin and skipjack. Some of the better stops are coming off kelp beds but the boats are also getting plenty of jig stops, finding fish on sonar marks and from finding breezers and bird schools.

The average-size yellowfin has increased a bit. Many are now over 10-pounds with quite a few of the 15- to 25-pounders mixed in.

The northern zone is just a little east of the 425 (FMM permits required), and the southern zone is between the 425 and the Hidden Bank (outside the 12-mile FMM zone).

(Inside the 12-mile FMM zone, FMM permits required passengers on U.S. boats).

 

Ensenada

Inshore surface action throughout the bay has been a steady pick for bonito, barracuda and a few yellowtail for the few boats fishing recently. However, the almost always reliable go-to bottom fishing assures limits of lingcod, reds, sand bass and rockfish to fill the coolers.

Farther offshore, outside the Islands, the kelp paddies are holding dorado, yellowtail and some yellowfin tuna down deeper in the water column — maybe 50-to 100-feet. Farther offshore, schools of yellowfin can be found mostly of the smaller variety with a few up to 30 pounds mixed in.

For the adventurous, there are striped marlin hanging around some of the high spots to the north and south up and down the coast.

San Quintin

Offshore has been hit or miss for most. One day there will be yellowfin tuna and maybe even a dorado or two in the count and then everyone gets fired up and runs outside the 240 and comes up short.

Squirrelly weather, erratic sea-temp, off-color water all seem to get honorable mention for the condition.

So far, the inshore has been much more productive — small to medium yellowtail, and more big bonito that seem to be consistent all up and down the coast now.

And of course, for the meat fishermen, bottom fishing is always a reliable alternative with some nice-sized lingcod, reds and other rock fish to add to the catch.

 

Cedros Island

There’s great fishing at the island right now. Yellowtail and dorado on the south end high spots. Live bait, Rapalas, and surface iron are all working. Calico fishing is fantastic with 75- to 100-fish days not unusual. Plastics and stick bait are your best bet and bring plenty.

The wahoo and yellowfin are biting Rapalas at Benitos recently.

 

Bahia de Los Angeles

Hot weather seems to have thinned out the number of visitors to the area. Hence, sketchy reports would indicate that there is live bait near the launch ramp.

The dorado are still in the zone on the surface and again anything floating is the key to finding them while you are trolling lures.

Most of the yellowtail are being caught around the pinnacles around the outer islands.

Inshore along the shore trolling rapalas in shallow water can be productive, particularly during the summer when creating your own breeze helps keep you cool while you are catching cabrilla, spotted bay bass and who knows what else.

Fish Report

Coronado Islands

The bite has been on the slow side again after cooler water pushed in from the southeast. Conditions across the islands dropped one or two degrees with the larger drops happening on the flats inside the islands and around South Island. Read more

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