January Fishing Report

La Paz Fishing Report /January 29th

Happy January, I hope everyone had a fun and safe holiday.
Now that everybody has had their fill of family and food and cold weather it’s time to fish. The mornings start out a little chilly I definitely recommend long pants and a hoodie to start the day, but by mid afternoon I’m pulling the shorts out and tossing the jacket. We hit 80 degrees the few days the wind didn’t blow last week.
Now normally writing a report in January is challenging. The waters a mess the wind is blowing and the fish are somewhere else.
Well the water is cold and green with horrible visibility, the wind is blowing relentlessly but, we have fish. In fact this maybe the earliest start for yellowtail that I can remember. Bait is more then plentiful. Sardines are for sale right outside the marina and Mackerel and caballitos are easily made on most days throughout the bay. The only exception to that is when we are on a full moon. The big bait scatters and are hard to find.
Usually by the end of January we start sending boats out to all the normal YT spots looking for signs of fish settling in for the season. This year we didn’t have to, they are here and they are legit. 20-40 lbs. The biggest concentration of fish so far has been on the seamount El Bajo. Some days they are hugging the bottom around 150 feet and other days they are suspended mid column in 300 feet of water. Jigging seems to be the most effective way to fish. Scrambled egg or blue and chrome being the most popular colors.
For boats that are equipped with down riggers its like shooting fish in a barrel. There’s nothing more effective then controlled depth fishing. Pin a Mack on a 2/0 circle hook and send it down and follow your sounder. As soon as you locate the school it’s instant bendo. We’ve had some boats come back with a mixed bag of Yellowtail, AmberJacks, Cabrilla and Pargo. The last couple of days the wind has been cooperating, finally. To our surprise while fishing for yellowtail, schools of tuna have joined in. I’m talking 40-60 pounders. Super legit. This is not common but not rare either. Seems like every other year we get tuna that hang around Espíritu Santos Island. Some days you just see them breeze by and other days they’re on the chew. Definitely keep your eyes open.
To add to your experience there are a lot of whales around. You will have a better then not chance of a photo op if you so choose.
As we get get closer to spring the fishing and weather will both improve, as I said the fishing is good but getting out of the bay has been the challenge.
Anyway that’s the week.
Stay safe and be kind to each other.
Keep the faith
Now, as we transition from fall to winter the north winds start to blow more frequently, this is normal. Fortunately Mag Bay offers so many fishing options if we need to tweak our plan due to weather or water conditions it’s literally a short chat over a beer and voila you have a new plan.
To the north of Mag, the water temperature changed more often than usual. Some weeks more than 5 degrees swings. When the water conditions were good the wahoos were stacked. Whether you were spear fishing or rod and reel limits of wahoo were plentiful with quadruple hookups very common. When the water conditions changed we would fish further south for marlin and tuna. The tuna ran a bit on the smaller size this year but were plentiful. Chasing them under schools of porpoise or chunking on the seamounts we got our share. We did manage to both spear and catch a few in the legit #250 lb range. The striped Marlin are chasing down the bait balls this time of year. This is quite a site as you will see large groups of frigate birds come out of nowhere giving you an exact location of hundreds of Marlin going nuts feeding on large schools of bait. The Dorado are just everywhere. We would normally pick up a few on the way out and a few more on the way back to the anchorage trolling just about anything laying around.
South of the anchorage are miles of reefs that see little to no fishing pressure.
These reefs are loaded with Gulf and Broomtail grouper 50-60 lbs with many busting you off on 100 lb leader like it was nothing. Yellowtail are also mixed in on the same reefs. A couple drops with a jig and bendo. They seemed a little smaller this year then last but honestly I prefer the meat on the smaller ones. Anyway I think you get the idea it’s just all around spectacular trip.
When you get back on the hook a hot shower, cold beer and a freshly cooked meal is the perfect way to watch a bitchen sunset relax and plan your next day.
We are already booking trips for next year. This trip is becoming very popular and space is limited so if you have some specific or favorite dates in mind please don’t hesitate to call. It truly is a trip of a life time.
Keep the faith
Scott Ohara

Scott Ohara

For Scott, the tug is the drug... He's now retired from business to pursue his passion and fish as much as he possibly can.

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