Loreto, Mexico



June 25, 2006, Don Bear, dorado fishing still hit-or-miss, regulations being enforced at Loreto, Baja California Sur, Mexico:

Anglers fishing at Loreto should have all of their licenses in order and observe all limits in their catch. On Friday a U.S.-owned boat and a panga were confiscated by local authorities as they were loaded onto their trailers at the end of the day. The former did not have the proper boat license, while the latter brought in 9 dorado for 2 fishermen. It is unclear to me whether, for the purpose of Mexican sportfishing limits, a panga captain counts as a fisherman.

Dorado fishing at Loreto this past week has continued to be hit-or-miss, but with a few more "hits" than "misses" than in past weeks.

Billfish continue to show in excellent numbers.

Mackerel and squid are abundant within 3 miles of the Loreto marina, and sardines can be netted around Isla Carmen.

Loreto sportfishing area weather has been sunny and hot near 100 degrees every day, with oppressive humidity.

For the most part, the sea has been smooth, occasionally broken by white-capping wind waves.

Water temperatures in the Loreto fishing area have not risen, staying in the 80 to 81 degree range. Sargasso paddies are not abundant, and those that there are do not always hold fish.

Fishing out of Loreto on Monday, one of the few rough water days of the week, the 3 Martinezes, Paulino, Francisco and Javier, fishing east and north of Isla Carmen, all struck out, coming home with empty fish boxes. Don Heller and son Austin, along with Bob Roden, all of Escondido, went out with Kent Baker of Loreto on Kent's 216 Cabo and caught 2 dorado (also mahi-mahi or dolphinfish) on bait northeast of Isla Coronado.

On Tuesday, another bumpy fishing day on the water, the same group again went out on Kent's boat, but were joined by Captain Martin Davis. They caught 4 dorado to 30 pounds at the Punta Lobos bajo. Francisco Martinez, fishing the same area, led his fishermen to 1 sailfish, while his son Javier's customers caught 4 dorado to 25 pounds east of Punta Perico. Paulino Martinez guided his fishermen to 7 cabrilla, 2 pargo and 7 pintos fishing inshore around Isla Carmen.

Sea of Cortez waters in the Loreto vacation area calmed down on Wednesday, and Don Heller and son Austin joined Paulino Martinez and me on my boat, with Don catching a striped marlin that hit a trolled feather north of Punta Lobos. Austin lost another, larger marlin after a 20-minute fight. It had hit a trolled mackerel northeast of Isla Coronado. Don's marlin was tagged and released.

Also on Wednesday, Francisco and Javier Martinez led their Oasis-based fishermen to a total of 9 dorado 5 miles east of Punta Perico; all were caught on mackerel.

Fishing on Friday, the 3 Baker brothers, Marc, Jerry and Kent, joined Paulino Martinez and me on my boat fishing south of Punta Perico between Islas Monserrato and Catalana. Marc Baker caught, tagged and released a 150-pound striped marlin, and by the end of the day we also were able to catch 7 small dorado to 12 pounds. Both mackerel and sardines were hit by the dorado, while the marlin took a mackerel.

On the same day, the remainder of the Baker party went fishing on the pangas of brothers Martin and Antonio Davis. Ted Baker of Del Mar and Brian Ferenz of Carson City, Nevada, fishing with Martin north of Punta Lobos, caught 1 dorado and 2 sailfish. Todd Baker of Denver and Greg Kennedy of San Diego fished with Antonio in the same area and caught 2 dorado and 1 sailfish. All fish came on mackerel; the sailfish were released.

Yesterday the dorado were more in evidence northeast of Isla Coronado, where a school of good-sized dorado was located around a sargasso paddy. Ted Baker and Greg Kennedy, fishing on Martin Davis' panga caught 5 dorado to 30 pounds and 2 striped marlin, one of which came in dead and was not released. One of the dorado was released, in keeping with the 2-per-fisherman limit. Marc and Jerry Baker went out with Antonio Davis and caught 3 dorado and 1 sailfish released.

(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.