August 10, 2020 5:05 pm

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A monthly Baja fishing report by Gary Graham -That Baja Guy

Baja seems littered with many unfamiliar words and phrases in 2020 – pandemic, asymptomatic, super-spreader, flattening the curve, hand hygiene, social distancing, shelter- in-place, self- isolation, self-monitoring, and quarantine.

However, sifting through the babel, the fishing in Baja has lived up to the predictions of a few marine biologists who stated that the closure caused by the pandemic would do wonders for the resource.

Only a few were being allowed to fish for food for their families which provided a brief respite on the marine resources throughout the Spring.

To begin with, the amount of various baitfish, both large and small, being reported from Loreto to Baja’s tip has been impressive. Cindy Kirkwood, East Cape Tackle owner, observed recently, “If the bait arrives, the larger fish soon follow.”

Offshore, sportfishing boats targeting striped marlin from Cabo San Lucas up into the Sea of Cortez are finding large groups and, in some cases, they report double-digit releases. There are already a few larger blue and black marlin arriving on the various banks.

This is great news for the Bisbee East Cape Offshore Tournament (August 4-8) hosted by the Valdez family at Hotel Buenavista Beach Resort.

On the banks off of Los Cabos marina, as well as on the Pacific side, in addition to the marlin, the boats have been catching 20- to over 100-pound yellowfin tuna.

This is great news for the Bisbee East Cape Offshore Tournament (August 4-8) hosted by the Valdez family at Hotel Buenavista Beach Resort.

On the banks off of Los Cabos marina, as well as on the Pacific side, in addition to the marlin, the boats have been catching 20- to over 100-pound yellowfin tuna.

Photo By: Mario Banaga

The Van Wormer Properties hosted the “16th Dorado Shootout” at East Cape, which attracted 108 teams.

Raul Medina and his team, Offshore Life- style’s, entered across the board in the three cash optionals and sped 61 miles off East Cape to their hot spot to win the one-day dorado tourney at Hotel Pal- mas De Cortez. They landed a 54.9-pound dorado earning them a new VW, V6 four-door truck, an Amarok along with the $130,000 op- tional money.

At Muertos Bay, the roosterfish season is currently underway and by reports from both local Captains and the fewer than normal anglers fishing, the quantity of larger roosters (from 30 to over 100 pounds) is already in the double-digit range on light, medium, and heavy tackle along with spin and fly rods.

There are similar reports of off-the-chart rooster fishing on the Baja Sur beaches from Loreto to the Baja tip and up the Pacific side – the best in many seasons.

Photo By: Fernando Cavalin

In the oddity column, a 20-foot deep-sea oarfish was recently discovered washed up on Pichilingue, inside La Paz Bay, BCS by Fernando Cavalin, Tito Taylor, and Laura Lafont.

Often found in temperate to tropical oceans, the oarfish family contains three species in two genera. One of these, the giant oarfish, is the longest, most bony fish alive growing to 8m in length. They're rarely encountered except when sick, dead, or dying, and then they are found on the beaches.

The excellent sportfishing enjoyed by the few anglers fishing is expected to continue throughout the summer and into the fall. Local sportfishing operations report that their business is ramping up slowly which is good news for anglers arriving this month.

COVID-19 RULES FOR SPORTFISHING IN BAJA SUR.

Load capacity will be limited to 50% to provide sufficient social distancing.
Advanced disinfecting and sanitizing of boats and equipment. Daily record of employee temperatures. Face masks must be worn at all times.