Loreto, Mexico



Aug. 6, 2005, Don Bear, Loreto, Mexico Fishing Report:

Fishing at Loreto this past week has been a mixed bag: baqueta, cabrilla, yellowtail, other lesser bottom species, a few dorado, some tuna, both yellowfin and skipjack, and relatively abundant sailfish and marlin.

However, none of the foregoing fishing has been wide open. Loreto vacation fishing weather has been hot and humid, the seas calm since Tuesday's storm, with water temperatures around 84 degrees.

On Sunday and Monday, Loreto Capt. Paulino Martinez led his fly-fishing customers to a school of breezing oceanic skipjack, catching 6 of them up to 8 lbs. These are true skipjack tuna, not the black skipjack, "barrilete," common to this area. The locals are mistakenly calling the skipjack bluefins, "tuna azul," but the stripes on the belly clearly identify them as oceanic skipjack.

The Tuesday storm shut down the Loreto panga fleet around midmorning. Paulino Martinez and his customers, after taking just one cabrilla, had to take cover at San Juanico for 4 and a half hours before it was safe to return to Loreto. But the next day he led the same customers to 5 cabrilla and 2 large yellowtail of about 30 lbs. fishing along the shore north of the Mangle area. All the fish were taken with jurelitos.

On Wednesday, Francisco Murillo and Francisco Martinez, fishing the "Boya" area, a few miles northeast of the San Bruno bajo, caught 5 and 2 large dorado, respectively, using jurelito as bait. Jurelitos have been easily available from the baitsellers outside the Loreto marina.

On Friday I joined Fabrizio Marangoni of Nopolo and Jerry Gaskins of Camarillo on Frabrizio's boat with Manuel Torres as captain. We launched at Pto. Escondido, a dream ramp compared to the one here in Loreto, and fished the Pta. Perico area, catching 1 small dorado, 1 sheepshead and 5 pinto.

A school of large yellowfin appeared the same day at Bajo Mercenarios, about 35 miles northeast of Loreto, with Francisco Martinez, Antonio Martinez and Francisco Murillo each catching 2 yellowfin from 60 to 110 lbs. However, success was not a sure thing; Paulino Martinez could not generate a single strike fishing in the same area, and all of the foregoing three reported breakoffs due to faulty tackle.

Yesterday I fished with Paulino Martinez on his panga--my boat is still impounded in my garage by the street work in front of my house!--catching 1 oceanic skipjack of about 5 lbs. and 1, 100-lb. sailfish released, but not tagged. I remembered to take my tagging pole along but forgot the tags!

We encountered several schools of the skipjack near the Mercenarios bajo, but had only two hookups. We trolled feathers, live bait and cast spoons into the schools, but the fish were touchy and very fast-moving. In frustration we returned to the Boya area, deciding to entertain ourselves with a sailfish, probably the closest activity to a sure-thing right now in Loreto.

Sailfish are being routinely caught here right now, although many fishermen are passing them up in preference to spending the time hunting dorado and tuna.

We did not see any yellowfin yesterday, but Francisco and Antonio Martinez located them after we left the Mercenarios area, each catching one up to 60 lbs. However, they also reported on the radio that a tuna seiner had arrived in the area around noon and was making sets. Since Mercenarios is outside the marine park, such activity is legal, but it will be a shame to lose just about the only bright spot this summer as far as pelagic species are concerned in an otherwise disappointing dorado season.

Finally, Alvaro Murillo reported catch a large bull dorado a few miles off Pta. Perico.

(See "Mexico Fishing News" online for current fishing reports, photos, weather, and water temperatures from Loreto and other major Mexican sportfishing areas. Vacation travel articles, fishing maps and seasonal calendars, and fishing related information for Loreto may be found at Mexfish.com's main Loreto page.