July 18, 2021
Feeling more tropical this past week. With a pair of storm systems now in the Eastern Pacific, Hurricane Felicia and Tropical Storm Guillermo, which was the closer of the two, within a few hundred miles over the weekend. Both are following paths off to the west, in the direction of the Hawaiian Islands. The only impact felt in Southern Baja has been increased cloud cover and higher humidity levels, possibility of some scattered isolated rain over the more mountainous regions. Crowds of tourists are arriving, though again not a high percentage of these travelers are anglers.
Ocean conditions varied, lots of wind on the Pacific and often the south wind would swept into the Sea of Cortez later in the day. Water temperatures have averaged 80 degrees or higher, clarity fluctuating day to day as strong currents are sweeping through. Bait supplies remained steady for sardinas, mullet, caballito and some moonfish in the mix.
Local fleets were fishing grounds from Red Hill, Chileno, Gordo Banks, Cardon, Iman, San Luis and to Vinorama, action has been spread out, really no specific hot spot now. Offshore action was slow, though in recent days there were more smaller sized striped marlin showing up, also a few sailfish, no stories of big black or blue marlin yet. Dorado were very scarce, as were wahoo, though a few free swimming hoo’s were seen while boats were drift fishing over high spots.
Most consistent action has been for a variety of shallow to medium depth structure species, most common being triggerfish, spotted rose snapper, yellow snapper, barred pargo, amberjack, pompano, cabrilla and bonito. All of these fish being excellent eating, a few of the amberjack reached over 40 pounds, a couple cabrilla (grouper) to 30 lb. Average catch about a dozen fish per boat in combination.
The best chance for yellowfin tuna was near Vinorama, fairly close to shore, tuna in the 20 to 50 lb. range have been landed, though bite has been finicky, some days at least showing on the surface, on others not even being seen. These yellowfin would sporadically feed, anglers were fortunate to land one or two of these fish while drift fishing sardinas on lighter leaders.
Closer to the shoreline there was scattered action found for roosterfish while trolling live bait. Some of these fish were trophy sized, over 50 lb., though there were also many smaller juvenile sized roosters around, a bit strange for this time of year, as normally we see a higher percentage of the full sized adult fish.
This is the time of year we normally would find dogtooth snapper close to shore near rocky outcroppings, though that is not happening in recent years, I believe between ongoing gill netting and high concentrations of spear divers, this once world class snapper fishery is all but done, these fish should be protected and not be legal to kept at this stage, are nearly decimated for our region.
Good Fishing, Eric