There are lots of yellowtail and big bonito around, with a number of them out on the Flats towards shore and on the Middle Grounds.
Moving down to the area from the Lighthouse to the South Kelp Reef, there are yellowtail, some big bonito and if you are lucky, a small 12- to 15-pound bluefin tuna. But beware! There are a TON of hungry sea lions.
The best technique seems to be slow-trolling sardines; use at least 30-pound test, though 40- to 50-pound would be the better choice to “horse” those fish away from the sea lions.
If the goal is bluefin, stick with 20- to 25-pound fluorocarbon since they are more finicky eaters.
The Rockpile reports are slow for surface fish, although rockfish action has been good.
Speaking of rockfish, some nice quality reds, chuckleheads and sheepshead are showing out to the west of South Island in 200- to 300-feet of water.
Though there’s lots of life in the Canyon, it appears 99% is bonito. There’s also spots of puddling ‘bones’ being found just to the west of the Islands.
Offshore below the Islands, 425-101/Upper Hidden Bank
This area remains the upper limit of the good kelp action for yellowtail and dorado below the border.
West of Ensenada / Hidden Bank / Upper 500 / 238
Very good fishing for yellowfin, dorado and yellowtail along with lots of skipjack. Many of these fish, including the yellowfin, are small — under 10 pounds — although a handful of better yellowfin up to about 20 pounds are being caught. The fish are hanging out on kelp and some boats are also catching quite a few yellowfin and skipjack on blind jig stops. There were limits of mainly 10- to12-pound yellowfin along with plenty of dorado and yellowtail … VERY good fishing!!!
Local charter boats and private boaters are finding fair surface action for small yellowtail, bonito and barracuda throughout the bay and at Todos Santos Island, plus good bottom fishing for rockfish and halibut.
The La Pesca la Baja tournament held in Ensenada recently. 152 anglers competed in the event. The Surface category was dominated by yellowtail with the largest weighing 9.2-pounds caught by Andrew Ruiz earning him 25,000 MXN. While the Bottom division was won with 11.4-pound halibut landed by Ronnie Gibson.
A weird cold current swept into the area, effectively shutting down the fishing of any kind; short lived, now the sea temps are back up and hungry blue and yellowfin tuna are cavorting offshore with the porpoise.
Adding to the excitement, several locals capitalizing on some ideal tides decided to do an exploratory trip for white seabass. Though usually WSB don’t show up this early, they scored on several tanker-sized fish confirming that an early season is in the offering.
Yellowtail fishing is full speed in the afternoon right in front of the marina on yoyo iron. Visiting anglers caught 20 fish in 2 hours. Not small — all were 25 to 35 pounds.
The calico bass fishing is slow with only smaller fish from 1 to 3 pounds biting in 25- to 40-feet of water.
Yellowfin tuna are everywhere! Some were even caught from kayaks using trolled sardines, plus the kayakers also caught dorado beneath the kelp a few miles off the island.
There were white seabass spotted but not biting well. One angler, while reeling in a small calico bass from 50-feet deep had a white seabass weighing approximately 50+ pounds follow his hooked fish all the way to his kayak before inhaling it. Excited, the angler tried to set the hook, but set it too soon and missed the big fish!
Bahia de Los Angeles
Once again, the dorado were a tad late arriving; once they arrived, the schooling fish were on the smallish side with only a few trophy-sized fish in the mix. Most visitors are seasoned anglers who wisely release the small fish and wait until the larger models show up.
Grouper and cabrilla action has heated up as summer settles in. No one is complaining about the action here.