At the south of the Mexican and San Diego border is Ensenada, and it’s right next to Bahia de Todos Santos, one of the more beautiful natural harbors in the area. This is one of those places anglers can never get enough of, so grab your gear from Eat My Tackle and give this a try.
Where to Fish
Ensenada gained its reputation for the yellowtail, but its beautiful beach provides plenty of opportunities to catch yellowfin cracker, spotfin, corbina, barred surfperch and halibut among others. You will also want to check out the various kelp beds as they are good spots for bonito, barracuda, calico bass and even more yellowtail particularly during spring and throughout fall.
About 8 miles off the shore is Las Islas de Todos Santos, and it’s the place to be if you’re after some of the more in demand fish in the region. The species here are among the tastiest as well with the Pacific red snapper and lingcod present throughout the year.
If you’re in the mood for bigger fish then check out the Punta Banda peninsula and it’s rugged tip. Situated not far from La Bufadora, this is the home of the most powerful and hard fighting yellowtail you’ll ever come across. If you’re looking for some action you’re not going to be disappointed.
Timing and Bait
As mentioned earlier, a lot of the deep water fish are present throughout the year, but some like the yellowtail are most active during the late days of summer until early fall. You’ll find yellowtail and other fish up to 60 miles from the shore as well as close to islands, offshore banks and similar locations.
Standard fishing methods work and you’ll also benefit by keeping an eye out for diving or circling birds as it’s probably a sign fish are nearby. The best baits are live mackerel or sardines. There are many ways to lure the fish, but if they’re deep in the water, just set the hook close to your bait’s anal fin.
Surface iron jigs are among the most efficient artificial lures especially if they’re chrome or blue and white. Look for a school of baitfish where yellowtail is giving chase and place the bait in the middle of the baitfish. After a few seconds you’ll feel the yellowtail take a bite, and when it does, pull the lure back with medium speed.
If it’s late summer you may find more fish at current breaks’ warm areas and close to kelp paddies, but if you’re after the big yellowtail, stick near the coast. Consider fishing from a boat off the Punta Banda peninsula’s tip right at the bay’s southern end.
If you’re just after school sized yellowtail a 20 to 30 lb. configuration will do fine but if you’re in rocky spots or kelp beds, don’t settle for anything less than 65 lbs. as you’ll be landing one of the bigger ones. Don’t forget your fluorocarbon leader as it makes the line less visible.