Fishing Report / Baja, Mexico, 8-day trip

Happy New Year! Dec. 26 I left for an 8-day fishing trip on the Red Rooster out of San Diego, California. The Red Rooster is a 105 feet cruiser with 10 crew members and on this trip we had 32 passengers. We call these LONG RANGE trips because they can be from 3 to 21 days long.

The target fish at this time of year is Yellowfin Tuna, Wahoo, Yellowtail, Dorado and we also catch bottom fish like grouper, halibut and snapper and while trolling, occasionally a marlin.

We left San Diego after loading on a large supply of 5 to 8 inch live sardines. We set out for the Alijos Rocks located about 500 miles south of San Diego and 150 miles offshore. The Alijos Rocks (picture included) are very much like Zenisu in Shizuoka.

The first day the weather was rough but we still caught about 40 yellowfin tuna from 30 to 90 pounds. We had to leave the rocks because of rough weather conditions so we headed east to fish the shallow banks off Baja and famous Magdalena Bay, the Mecca for stripe marlin fishing in Mexico.

The fishing reports from other boats told of large schools of yellowfin tuna (from 100 to 300lbs) swimming under dolphin schools. Both dolphin and yellowfin tuna eat the same baitfish and this is how they sometimes travel and search for food together.

We spent the next four days chasing schools of dolphin and then chumming up the schools of yellowfin tuna with live sardines. We caught over 500 yellowfin tuna for the trip between 30 and 160 pounds using this technique.

On the fourth day I caught my big fish for the trip. (Picture included). I was using a Tiagra 50 on a short tuna rod with 100lb line and a 3-foot 200lb leader. The fish hit my sardine and took a short run and then straight down, down, down. I clipped into my harness and started the fight. In a few minutes I could see the tuna swimming in big circles deep down so I pushed the drag to full and really started pulling hard. After another five minutes they gaffed my tuna and I could see it was easily over 100lbs. On the scale on the docks it weighed in at 130lbs.

The last day of the trip we fished for yellowtail at Cedros Island, 280 miles southeast and only 15 miles off the Mexican coast. We caught 100 yellowtails in the morning from 15 to 40 lbs and then headed for home.

For 32 anglers we had about 500 yellowfin tuna and 100 yellowtails for the trip. It was exciting and exhausting! These monster tuna pull like dump trucks and really make you work for every inch of line!

If you would like to talk about long range, stand-up fishing, please feel free to mail me at Send me a picture of your big fish!

Tight lines

Ralph Nunez
Team Sky Field