Tijuana Bull Ring
There are still a few calico bass in the kelp along with an occasional yellowtail, and you might also stumble across a random bonito school outside in the flats.
Trolling small feathers and/or rapalas remains the best way to locate the schools. Once found, fly-line small sardines or cast chrome jigs like the Colt Sniper for more.
Heads up: Bracelets are now required to fish within Pacific Island Biosphere Reserve areas, including the Coronado Islands, Todos Santos, and San Martin Island.
You can purchase bracelets for $5 per person per day at Fisherman’s Landing Tackle Shop, Point Loma Sportfishing Tackle Shop, and Dana Landing Market & Fuel Dock. You will need to provide your boat name, boat owner’s name, number of passengers, and dates you will be in the reserve areas, but you don’t need any other special IDs or info to purchase the bracelets. Everyone on board must have a bracelet to enter the Biosphere Reserve.
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Lower 9 / Coronado Canyon
The area runs from just NW of North Island down the Canyon pretty much all the way south to the 425.
Conditions have been grumpy, but the yellowfin, skipjack, and bonito bite continues. The main zone of fish also slid several more miles to the south and there were a few good kelps below the 9 Mile Bank toward North Island. The yellowfin and skipjack are a few miles to the southwest in the cleaner, warmer water.
For the most part, the best yellowfin are coming from a few kelp paddies that are holding very large schools of tuna. There are also some open-water schools of bonito and skipjack, with a very occasional open-water school of yellowfin either on its own or mixed with skipjack.
It’s taking a lot of chum to get the yellowfin to bite, which favors bigger yachts and sport boats over smaller private boats. You can increase your chum capacity by taking a pass or two of bait into an empty bucket to use for chunk.
Also hang on to your used and dead bait throughout the day to chunk up for later use. Finally, be sure to cast your hook bait right at the same time as you toss a couple pieces of live chum. This will greatly increase your hookup odds.
Most of the yellowfin are in the 8- to 15-pound class but there are a few larger ones up to 30-pounds. The skippies are anywhere from 3- to almost 20l-pounds. Brightly colored feathers continue to be best for the skippies. The yellowfin tend to like the plugs better. Cedar plugs, Rapalas and Halcos are getting the majority of trolled yellowfin. Black/purple is the hot color.
Inshore surface action throughout the bay has been a steady pick for bonito, barracuda and a few yellowtail for the few boats fishing recently. However, the almost always reliable go-to bottom fishing assures limits of lingcod, reds, sand bass and rockfish to fill the coolers.
Farther offshore, outside the Islands, the kelp paddies are holding dorado, yellowtail and some yellowfin tuna down deeper in the water column — maybe 50- to 100-feet. Farther offshore, schools of yellowfin can be found (mostly of the smaller variety) with a few up to 30 pounds mixed in.
Offshore has been “hit or miss” for most. One day there will be yellowfin tuna and maybe even a dorado or two in the count and then everyone gets fired up and runs outside the 240 and comes up short.
Squirrelly weather, erratic sea-temp, off-color water all seem to get honorable mention for the condition.
So far, the inshore has been much more productive — small to medium yellowtail, and more big bonito that seem to be consistent all up and down the coast now.
While the yellowtail and dorado on the south end high spots has been good, live bait, Rapalas, and surface iron are all working. Calico fishing is fantastic with 75- to 100-fish days not unusual. Plastics and stick bait are your best bet and bring plenty.
Along with wahoo, yellowfin are biting Rapalas at Benitos recently.
However, the recent storms have put the fishing on hold until the water cleans up.
Bahia de Los Angeles
Same story here as the several storm systems made their way across the peninsula. Sketchy reports of live bait being tough to come by recently.
Hopefully there will still be a last gasp of dorado before the water temps fall and send them packing down the Sea of Cortez in search of warmer water and bait schools.
The best bet is still going to be some of the rocky outcroppings along the shore line along the shore and around the islands.