A monthly Baja fishing report by Gary Graham -That Baja Guy
Warm sunny days and cooler evenings combined with a broad array of water- related activities is an ideal combination for both the first-timers and the many repeat visitors who arrive in Baja during the winter months.
Cabo San Lucas sportfishing thrives on its reputation of being user friendly for all anglers. Inshore, sierra is a favorite that offers the perfect combination of being tough to catch, yet tasty in a fresh fish ceviche that can
be prepared at your preferred restaurant. Along with sierra, there is the “bucket list” roosterfish, ranging in sizes from WOW to OMG. Dorado is another great eating fish that is a thrill to catch as the gleaming gold and green beauties leap skyward trying to escape. Farther offshore, both striped marlin and yellowfin tuna are often mainstays during these months.
The ideal time for Whale Watching in Cabo is from mid- January to mid- March when humpback, blue, and a few gray whales are often within a few miles outside of Lands’ End rocks. Along the Baja Sur coastline, where the Sea of Cortez and the Pacific Ocean converge, humpback whales offer astonishing photo ops with their remarkable leaps that take them almost completely out of the water.
Venturing into the Sea of Cortez outside Puerto Los Cabos Marina is where the cow-size (over 200 pounds) yellowfin tuna and the wahoo are often found. The best close-to-shore action is for roosterfish and sierra, using live bait, plus a few dorado and wahoo.
With its reputation for fierce north winds this time of year, while discouraging some sport fishers, the East Cape area has gained in popularity with the kiteboarding crowd. However, outdoor devotees have discovered that they can choose one or the other; on less windy days the dorado, roosterfish, and sierra are often eager to bite, while kiteboarding instructors are always available on windy days to teach sailing fundamentals.
In La Paz, in addition to sportfishing, local Government officials are permitting a limited number of visitors to swim with the baby whale sharks in the bay. Only experienced outfitters have been selected, in order not to crowd or harm the mammals, according to Jonathan Roldan of Tailhunter Sportfishing. His captains have received permits and they are available to escort folks for a swim. The animals are often in about 10 feet of water – at times there have been over a dozen of them in shallow water!
Farther north in Loreto, huge schools of medium-sized sierra have been slashing anything that hits the water within 30-minutes of the marina. Mixed in with the sierra are similar- sized dorado and small roosterfish. By mid-January, visitors will be able to observe some of the largest mammals on earth cavorting in Loreto Bay National Marine Park where the blue whale, often growing to 100-feet long and over 200-tons, spend their winters along with finback whales, dolphins, mantas, and other wild sea life. *