pixel

Baja Fishing Report - Winter 2015
By Tom Gatch

Baja Fishing Report - Winter 2015

By Tom Gatch

Baja Yellowtail
Even though the shorts and T-shirts may be gone, yellowtail still continue to hang around the islands off northern Baja well into the New Year. Photo courtesy of Vonny’s Fleet

Looking back at 2014, most Baja anglers would have to agree that it was indeed an epic year for fishing south of the border. The El Niño driven spike in offshore water temperatures arrived just as predicted and, along with unseasonably warm weather patterns in the fall, gave a boost to offshore action that has continued on into the New Year.

At this writing, quality grade yellowtail are still on tap around the Coronado Islands off Playas Rosarito. Fish in the 12 to 20 pound class continue to make their way over the rails, with water temps hovering in the low 60’s; several degrees higher than normal.

Nonetheless, with rockfish closures affecting California waters for the next few months, Baja still allows anglers to catch and keep a full array of these popular and tasty bottom dwellers on a year-round basis. And now that the toll road between Playas Tijuana and Ensenada has recently been reopened, coastal panga camps, launch ramps and sportfishing services can easily be reached within a couple of hours after crossing the border.

Capt. Louie Prieto, of It’s 4 Reels Sportfishing out of Ensenada, confirms that the surface action remains productive, “We recently had a good day catching yellowtail and big bonito, and ended up 8 for 10 on 12 to 22 pounds. yellowtail, 15 bonito up to 10 pounds and a couple of rockfish thrown in for good measure. 2 of the yellows were caught on small X-Raps, and the rest of the fish were caught using blue and white 6x jr. size lures. On this particular day, blue and white was the only color combination working. The trolled fish were caught in the southern end of Bahia Todos Santos.” Prieto concluded, “The rest of our fish were caught NW of San Miguel Reef with depths ranging from 170 to 210 feet. The yellows and bonito were hooked from just off the bottom to 20-30 feet from the surface. Water temps range from 63 to 64.5 degrees. We also saw a couple of California Grey Whales inside Bahia de Todos Santos off of El Sauzal.”

Baja Sheephead
As the water begins to cool, California sheephead and other bottom species around San Quintin start to go ‘on the chew’. Photo courtesy of K&M Sportfishing

Just south of Ensenada, Vonny’s Fleet in Punta Banda continues to report a few yellowtail in the 20 pound class, along with plenty of rockfish and lingcod for anglers fishing off their pangas.

Down the coast in Bahia San Quintin, Capt. Kelly Catian of K&M Sportfishing said that his boats had one of their best years for tuna and dorado in 2014, and that the offshore bite continued into early December. He added that, as the water begins to cool off, more and more of his customers are picking up California sheephead along with the large reds and lings that have made this area a longtime favorite of anglers in search of an exceptional offseason bottom fishing destination.

Isla Cedros continues to live up to its reputation as a great fishery for big yellowtail and fat calico bass. Cedros Outdoor Adventures reports another banner year in 2014, and indicated that big calicos and yellowtail are still being brought in by their clients.

Trophy Yellowtail
Despite the onset of winter, Baja’s central Pacific coast off Bahia Asuncion is still kicking out trophy grade yellowtail like this one. Photo courtesy of Blowhole Bed & Breakfast, Bahia Asuncion

Back on the peninsula, the change in weather patterns that occurred in 2014 were not totally beneficial to everyone; particularly along Baja’s Pacific coast between Bahia Asuncion and Bahia Magdalena. Giant swells and pounding surf along the sandy beaches near the end of summer played havoc with the local Pismo clam population, as thousands of the coveted mollusks were unceremoniously cast up onto the beach where they eventually expired. Local fishermen predict that it may take a few years for the population to recover. Despite this onslaught, Shari Bondi at Blowhole Bed & Breakfast in Bahia Asuncion says that fishing before and after the episode has been good throughout the year, with recent catches of trophy sized yellowtail in the 30 to 40 pound class.

Anglers fishing out of Cabo San Lucas are still pulling in the dorado, even though it is not the time of year when catches of this species are particularly common. Pisces Sportfishing in Los Cabos reports, “We saw an impressive amount of dorado caught this week! Even with fewer boats out we saw almost double the number of fish caught compared to last week. The fish have been found in the same locations, even though water temperatures have risen a few degrees, making the water amazingly warm for the season.”

Just around the corner in San Jose del Cabo, Eric Bricston at Gordo Banks Pangas indicated, “The bite has been more finicky in recent days, some areas would be very good one day and then very tough the next. The best action shifted further towards Vinorama, and most charters were catching a combination of species. There continue to be the larger grade of yellowfin hanging around the Gordo Banks, we know of at least one yellowfin tuna in the 250 pound class that was caught earlier this week from a private center console, they hooked up with the cow while trolling a live skipjack. Other big tuna were lost after extending battles and a handful of 50 to 90 pound tuna were accounted for as well. But overall the numbers on these larger yellowfin were very few.”

Baja Dorado
Lucky anglers fishing near the tip of Baja at Cabo San Lucas continue to catch dorado as if it were peak season. Photo courtesy of Pisces Sportfishing

Bricston went on to say, “The best chances at hooking into a wahoo recently was while using live chihuil baitfish, slowed trolled over the inshore structure and ledges north of Punta Gorda. Though chihuil baitfish were not easy to obtain, only found seasonally in certain spots, special chum and small bait techniques required. Wahoo to over forty pound were landed, several charters were more fortunate, landing three or four wahoo, while losing at least as many strikes. Most anglers were doing very well to account for an all-around catch of, one wahoo, maybe two or three quality tuna, handful of skipjack and a dorado or two, as a bonus. Dorado were scattered, some charters were finding two or three, while others never reported seeing one, no particular place, hit or miss, luck of the draw, most dorado were weighing in the 8 to 20 lb. range.”

Although many East Cape fishing resorts are on hiatus for a month or so, great fishing opportunities remain a bit further up the Cortez coast off of La Paz. The sun is shining brightly, but seasonal winds from the north can unexpectedly impact the fishing conditions from time to time. The primary catch for anglers recently has been medium sized snapper and pargo with an occasional fat grouper thrown into the mix.

Baja Roosterfish
Big roosterfish can still be taken by diligent anglers fishing off La Paz Photo courtesy of Tailhunter International

Jonathan Roldan at Tailhunter International reports, “We did get out a few times this week. All of our fishing during the winter months are out of the Las Arenas and Bahia de Los Muertos areas. Because of the winds, waters are pretty turned over and green and dirty in some of our hot spots. However, we did get into some decent sierra along the beach drop-offs. Some were hefty 4 to 5 pound chunkers, which are always delicious eating. There were a few small pargo, snapper and cabrilla caught. We had some school-sized rooster fish caught and released and the bonito helped provide some action as well. As a side note, many folks don’t know that La Paz has become quite a mecca for whale sharks which have been increasing in numbers the last few season in La Paz Bay where they’re protected. At times there are 1/2 dozen to several dozen “juveniles” up to 15 feet long or more all in shallow water and fantastic for snorkeling!” Snorkeling in January? Leave it to Baja; a place where great fishing and outdoor adventure is available every month of the year.

4.7 146 Reviews
  • user logo
    Tony Vigil
    From logo

    My wife and I were in Baja the 1st week of October. Insurance through Baja Bound was quick and easy. Thank you

  • user logo
    Mark Sokol
    From logo

    Easy to obtain, good quality, auto insurance for Mexico.

  • user logo
    Kyle Spahn
    From logo

    I have used Baja Bound for years. Very easy and affordable.

  • user logo
    Pim Handgraaf
    From logo

    Great company. unlike their competitors, Baja Bound answers the phone and you're talking to a real person. Highly reccomend!

  • user logo
    Rebecca Marie Serratos
    From logo

    We've used Baja Bound Mexican Insurance for years, its quick, easy, and affordable. Whether you drive across the US/Mexico border once or...

  • user logo
    Teresa Stricker
    From logo

    Great service and prices!

  • user logo
    Edward Ramos
    From logo

    Great service, quick response time.

  • user logo
    Juan Zavala
    From logo

    Excellent

  • user logo
    benjamin bakke
    From logo

    Easy insurance for peace of mind

  • user logo
    richard colman
    From logo

    This is an update to my previous review. Baja Bound, unbidden on my part, reached out to me to assist. They coordinated a contact with...

  • user logo
    Rivera Jose
    From logo

    Quick easy to navigate website

  • user logo
    masa SAL.
    From logo

    Good seevice have use baja bound for many years good price....

  • user logo
    jos en elly balemans - wouters
    From logo

    We were trying to get an insurance for our RV in Mexico, we come from Europe and we drive with Belgium license plates. I tried a lot of...

  • user logo
    Isi Soto
    From logo

    Easy to get and the price is right

  • user logo
    John I. Mitchell
    From logo

    Professional and affordable.

  • user logo
    Clarissa Gomez
    From logo

    Thank God I had a safe trip but it did have me at peace knowing I was fully covered. The staff were friendly and very helpful.

  • user logo
    Michael Marble
    From logo

    Best Mexican insurance

  • user logo
    Rail1riders
    From logo

    Quick, easy, well designed website and not just for Baja. Good rates for temporal residente gringos. We’re now living in Jalisco. Printed...

  • user logo
    Jeff Dippel
    From logo

    Honestly their app is so fantastic and saves all my info I can literally buy the same insurance for my Baja trips in less than 45 seconds...

  • user logo
    Hector Cortez-aponte-cabrera
    From logo

    Been with Baja Bound for a while now. Never had the need to file a claim, until recently while in Baja. Someone crashed into our vehicle....

  • user logo
    Charles Gee
    From logo

    Incredibly fast and painless. Paid about $180 for a month of coverage. It was easier than going on line.

  • user logo
    Chyla Nava
    From logo

    Great, easy to use service. I haven't had to file a claim (and hope I never have to) but the online portal is very easy to use, and it's...

  • user logo
    Kierian Kuklok
    From logo

    I have been a customer for years and when I really needed them they stepped up in every way. I had a freak accident to my car and they...

  • user logo
    Lourdes Montoya
    From logo

    Easy, fast, and affordable.

  • user logo
    Aj
    From logo

    Reasonable prices and we thought best chance to actually get results if we needed them.

  • user logo
    Benny Marquez
    From logo

    Great company and they use CHUBB which is a top notch insurance company.We got our policy online 30min before crossing the border and were...

  • user logo
    Adrianna Dorsey
    From logo

    Great company, great prices, and even better customer service. We've lived in Baja for 7 years and have used them for the past 6years....

  • user logo
    Gary Counts
    From logo

    So convenient and easy to navigate thru the online process. I'll never use any other Mexican insurance service!

  • user logo
    Joey Digiovanni
    From logo

    Easy to work with 😉. Always courteous and helpful. Have used them for all trips to Mexico. Easy website to navigate

  • user logo
    Jolene Bibian
    From logo

    Shauna at Baja Bound was AWESOME!! We had specific questions about how to quote the policy based on our vehicle type and she was super...

  • user logo
    Rebecca Newell
    From logo

    Great service!

  • user logo
    Maria Elena Smith
    From logo

    Easy and affordable.

  • user logo
    Mehdi Fahid
    From logo

    I reapplied for my Baja Bound Mexican car Insurance yesterday and I spoke to Ms. Shauna. This lady processed my application quickly and...

  • user logo
    Benjamin Driebe
    From logo

    Absolutely fantastic, I already forgot her name because I have a terrible memory but the woman that helped me on the phone was wonderful,...

  • user logo
    richard carr
    From logo

    fast replies and great price!

  • user logo
    Juan Zuniga
    From logo

    I just would like to know if you guys are going to update the fastpass direction any soon, during the month of January the lane changed to...

  • user logo
    Richard Schweiger
    From logo

    Very professional, very helpful, great policy, I couldn't be happier with Baja Mexican Insurance, the friendly smiles and ease of it all in...

  • user logo
    Ryan Frisby
    From logo

    We use them every time we travel to Mexico. Luckily we have not needed their services yet but getting insurance through them is quick and...

  • user logo
    Jan Muhammad
    From logo

    I need a tourist visa for maxico I'm from pakistan help me sir

  • user logo
    Tracy Moore
    From logo

    Very easy, quick, and professional

  • user logo
    robert kepper
    From logo

    They are very good . There website doesn't show you need a title to bring a vehicle across the border.I was stopped and told I had to...

  • user logo
    Edilver Martinez
    From logo

    Our go to Baja car insurance, everytime we take a visit down south . Usually it's for a day trip either for a quick getaway with the family...

  • user logo
    Daniel “Dan M” Markofsky
    From logo

    Third time working with Baja Bound and they made it easy! Thanks!

  • user logo
    Steve Bender
    From logo

    Have never needed to use the insurance fortunately but the website always works great. Can buy a policy in about a minute.

  • user logo
    Jose Paez
    From logo

    Had a great experience getting insurance at Baja Bound, before I always stoped at the border to purchase my insurance, not anymore. By the...

  • user logo
    JUSTINE SERRANO
    From logo

    I purchased insurance through them & CHUBB for our trip to San Felipe. Unfortunately, we had to cancel due to our vehicle having an oil...

  • user logo
    Christian Minor
    From logo

    Team were on point, provided inside information, prices were great and they had my proposal already in the system when I called back....

  • user logo
    George
    From logo

    Excellent customer service

  • user logo
    Kellye Pummill
    From logo

    Fast and easy!

  • user logo
    Jennifer Toups
    From logo

    Baja Bound is and has been my go to Mexico insurance company. The website is extremely easy to use, keeps all your info for a quick...

  • user logo
    Cesar Lopez
    From logo

    Very convenient, great price !!

  • user logo
    Louis Schneidman
    From logo

    I had an awesome experience with Baja Bound. Family owned and highly personal, top notch customer service. I have total peace of mind...

  • user logo
    Phil Noble
    From logo

    If you’re looking for Mexican Insurance that you can trust and feel good about while traveling in Mexico, you’ve found the right place....

  • user logo
    Jeff Bunker
    From logo

    Great coverage options . Price buy and print policy , very quick and easy , highly recommend them when driving in Mexico

  • user logo
    Burrell DeVine
    From logo

    Easy to navigate and very competitively priced! I had to call in and add an additional day, they couldn't have been any more pleasant to...

  • user logo
    Nereyda Torres
    From logo

    Me gusta la asuguranza porque la puedes comprar por un dia y te asegura en Mexico por el tiempo que vas ya sea hasta por mes (Translated...

  • user logo
    james whitmer
    From logo

    Best insurance I've had so far

  • user logo
    Matt B
    From logo

    I always use Baja Bound to source my insurance while traveling to Mexico. Fortunately, I have not had to file any claims. I do appreciate...

  • user logo
    Refugio I. Rochin
    From logo

    Excellent online and by direct phone. Spanish and English with proven response to questions. Website is very informative about driving in...

  • user logo
    Kelly Carney
    From logo

    Yara is very helpful and explains everything. Love working with companies like this.

  • user logo
    Slumdog Gump
    From logo

    Changed some money. Good rate and friendly people.

  • user logo
    Jeff G
    From logo

    Went down to TJ June 11 2020 No problems going into TJ but the way back was a ordeal 6 hours in line to get back into the USA but no...

  • user logo
    don letson
    From logo

    Great renewal process, if only south Dakota would do the same for car registration.

  • user logo
    len buckholtz
    From logo

    SIMPLE, STRAIGHTFORWARD. OLD GUYS LIKE THAT. WILL DEFINITELY USE IN 6 MONTHS IF STILL RUNNING AROUND THE WILDS OF BAJA.

  • user logo
    Susana Judd
    From logo

    Easy, quick and fair prices. Easy to deal with if needed.

  • user logo
    Seismic Waterfinder
    From logo

    Very excellent service, needed insurance for Mexico, price was fair. The custumer service rep was Yara

  • user logo
    Nicolas Dervé
    From logo

    Very good ans very fast. We hope all will ben good if we need it.

  • user logo
    Blake Glassco
    From logo

    I will never drive south of the border without Baja Bound in my center console. I was in an accident a couple hours south of Ensenada and...

  • user logo
    JohnPaul Gemelli
    From logo

    Baja Bound could not have made it an easier ... also, I made a mistake and called them having to leave a message ... but, they called back...

  • user logo
    Jeff Brandt
    From logo

    so far so good, however I have read good things about them

  • user logo
    Sengoz N
    From logo

    SERIOUS.

  • user logo
    Kenneth Trass
    From logo

    Getting a policy was simple, Provided more than provider for price comparison.

  • user logo
    Esther Valencia
    From logo

    Super easy to purchase just the coverage you need when crossing the border in your own car. I especially appreciate the fact that I was...

  • user logo
    Larry Cottingham
    From logo

    Great service, very helpful people there.

  • user logo
    Luis Cortes
    From logo

    Easiest way to purchase insurance when traveling to Mexico. I have used their service for the last 7 years and it only gets easier and...

  • user logo
    j dougher ty
    From logo

    EZ Peasy insurance purchase. Great service every time I've used them. Had to cancel one time when my travel plans went away - no problem....

  • user logo
    Paul Niehouse
    From logo

    Extremely easy to acquire a policy. Many options available. Reasonable rates.

  • user logo
    Colin
    From logo

    Super-easy and instant. Very happy with initial purchase.

  • user logo
    Howard M Elster
    From logo

    2nd year with Chubb. No problems

  • user logo
    Cyndee Congrove
    From logo

    Great customer service, quick, friendly staff helpfully answered all questions, very patient with my learning curve on a new product. Would...

  • user logo
    Art Eugenio
    From logo

    I've had Baja Bound insurance for more that ten years now with thousands of miles logged in Baja. Fortunately, I've only had one fender...

  • user logo
    Gabe Matthews
    From logo

    Where do i start..... you dont know you have good insurance until you have to actually use it. I have had Baja Bound INS for over 5 years...

  • user logo
    keith berkley
    From logo

    Been going to baja for 45 years. This is best insurance company i have come accross.

  • user logo
    Ryan Perkio
    From logo

    I have been using BajaBound Insurance for 15 years - multiple trips per year. Their website is easy, their coverage is great, and the...

  • user logo
    RaMon McBride
    From logo

    I have not had any claims thus far so rating is based on ease of purchase.

  • user logo
    Larry French
    From logo

    By far the best service for Mex insurance in Baja. They are personally there for you if you have problems south of the border.

  • user logo
    Tudor Thomas
    From logo

    Baja Bound makes buying insurance for going south of the border as easy as it gets. The website is the easiest I have used and the staff...