Loreto, Mexico



June 9, 2006, Bill Sumner, Hotel Oasis 4-Day Trip, excellent for sailfish at Loreto, Baja California, Mexico.

I just completed a four day trip to Mexico's Loreto vacation area, June 4-8, with R.J. Ransom, both of us from Las Vegas, fishing out of the Hotel Oasis with Captain Ismael Murillo.

We found beautiful spring-like weather conditions with both air temperatures and water temperatures a little cooler than normal for Loreto at this time of year. We had four great fishing days with little wind and very smooth sea conditions.

If you like fishing for sailfish, my personal favorite, the pez vela fishing was the best in at least 15 years, possibly the best ever in my 25 years of fishing Loreto. Sailfish were found not only in very large numbers, but also in large schools of 6 of 10 fish, all along the current line from San Bruno to Punta Lobos.

We landed and released from 6 to 12 sailfish per day for each of the four days we fished. We also missed a great many additional sailfish hookups as they became increasingly wary and would spit the hook very quickly if something was not right. It seems that sailfish learn quickly.

We also had the rare treat of seeing groups of sailfish swimming in a circle with their sails extended, encircling and herding schools of bait fish. This natural feeding technique is something I had never before witnessed in person. For all those who may have wondered if that big sail on their back actually had a functional use, this was a great opportunity to see one of nature's wonders, a sailfish team effort feeding party.

Sailfish were all caught on live bait. They were so thick, there was never any need to try trolling jigs.

Some yellowtail were still around off the cliffs at San Bruno and also off Punta Perico. We dedicated one day to making the long trip north from Loreto to Punta Pulpito. To our surprise, we found yellowtail up on the surface crashing baits like it was April. Flylining mackerel produced exciting action for an hour and a half before the yellowtail scattered and went back down. The yellowtail were all caught on live bait. I tried both surface iron and deep yo-yoing, but got no takers.

We landed seven yellowtail before the flurry was over. Most were in the regular 18 to 25 pound bracket. Our one big one was approximately 30 pounds.

The dorado fishing was on and off during our four days of Loreto fishing, so we concentrated instead on sailfish and yellowtail. However, we did go after dorado on one day and found them a few miles due east of Punta Lobos. The fish were scattered and small to medium in size. We saw surprisingly few flying fish, but we did find the clumps of sargassum weed to be full of flying fish eggs. Apparently, the flying fish hatch and the real breakout of Loreto's dorado fishing are running later this year. July may get an excellent run of dorado.

Loreto fishing area water temperatures were at about 80 degrees. The captains say it's a little cooler than normal.

Sargasso was fairly scarce and only in small clumps, few real paddies. Near shore, however, there was more and thicker Sargasso which will drift out with the wind in the coming weeks.

Bait was very plentiful. The bait sellers were stocked up and the mackerel were wide open off the foot of Isla Coronado. Making your own bait was ridiculously easy.

The Aerocalifornia airline shutdown problem has really impacted vacation tourism business in Loreto. Even with Alaska Airlines running, I would guess that Mexican hotel and panga sportfishing business is off by at least 50 percent, maybe even more. My best estimate would be no more than 12 to 18 boats per day are fishing out of the Loreto downtown marina. Normally in June, it would be at least double that or even more. With the lack of fishing pressure this has caused, my guess is that Loreto is going to see some absolutely dynamite fishing conditions in the upcoming weeks.

(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.