Loreto, Mexico



Oct. 1, 2005, Bill Erhardt, Loreto, Baja Calif. Sur, Mexico:

I have been back fishing at Loreto in Baja for about two weeks, and since I have been back I have found the best fishing so far this year.

The first three days fishing I saw yellowfin tuna each day but managed only two striped marlin and four dorado, the largest around 20 pounds.

The fourth day out, Monday, September 26, I scored on 5 yellowfin to 26 pounds and also 1 marlin, 1 sailfish, 2 dorado and a bonito. That is a pretty good day of solo fishing in Loreto or anyplace.

On Wednesday I went out with Robert Lawson. We did not find the school of tuna until midday, and then although we had many bites, both tuna and billfish, we caught only two yellowfin, one 37 pounds and another around 30.

The school of tuna with porpoise over them has been northeast of the marina in Loreto offshore, about 25 miles out, slowly drifting south for the past week or ten days. Hardly anybody is fishing it.

Two days I was out there and saw not a single other boat all day.

On Thursday a stiff breeze piped up in the afternoon and the Sea of Cortez in this part of Baja California has since been unsettled as Hurricane Otis bears down on Loreto.

The many acres of baitfish that have been holding the tuna may have been broken up and scattered by the turbulent surface waters.

Yesterday I went out and could not find the tuna. The swells 20 miles offshore were 4 to 5 feet, and I came back in early with only 2 small dorado caught off Punta Lobo.

Since I have been back to Loreto and before the storm, the water has been a beautiful clear blue with surface temperatures in the mid-80s in the early morning to the high-80s in the heat of the day.

Loreto fishing weather has been so calm until early afternoon and sometimes all day that you can see from a mile away boils of tuna crashing balls of bait they have herded to the surface.

Twice I have seen Loreto surface water temperatures of 90 or above. About ten days ago between Catalana and Monserrate it reached 91 degrees, and earlier this week east of Coronado 20 miles out of the marina it peaked at 90.

In late August, with much more fishing than catching in Loreto, I made an early foray out to Thetis Bank and then on down to the East Cape to try for a big blue marlin on his way south for the winter.

I went to Thetis via Puerto Lopez Mateos at Magdalena Bay and was accompanied by Ruben Duran, without whom I would have never made it in and out of the entrada. We saw no billfish or wahoo and caught only two small dorado on the bank. On the way back in, however, about 10 miles outside the entrada we found yellowfin tuna and over about two hours in the late afternoon caught 14 averaging around 15 pounds.

On the East Cape, I stayed at the Hideaway at El Cardonal. Until my last day of about 3 weeks fishing, with the exception of a couple of hours on three mornings trying in vain for wahoo, I trolled big marlin feathers for blue marlin. I caught only one blue, around 175 pounds, and a couple of ambitious stripers. There were no other out of town fishermen while I was in El Cardonal. Three pangueros targeted blue marlin while I was there. We each caught one. Two were around 300 pounds and the other was about the size of mine, something under 200. On September 16, my last day on the East Cape I fished with Vicente, the dean of the El Cardonal pangueros. We jigged up three big squid and chunked them off Punta Pescadero for 15 yellowfin 12 - 20 pounds.

(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.