GOOD DORADO AND BLACK SEA BASS FISHING AROUND ISLA CORONADO
Aug. 10, 2006, Randy Langley, Dorado fishing with Loreto's Capt. Pedro Davis, Loreto, Baja Sur, Mexico:
I just returned from a stay in Loreto, July 31 through August 8th, where the fishing was great.
The somewhat larger dorado were abundant at Loreto and were basically located some 9-10 miles north of Coronado Island.
However, large schools of smaller dorado were basically everywhere.
Most of the dorado (also mahi-mahi or dolphinfish) we caught ranged from 15 to 25 pounds with some bulls weighing in from 30 to 40 pounds. In this same area we caught and released several sailfish. All of these fish we caught on conventional gear using live mackerel or sardines.
We also caught several black sea bass, cabrilla and even some small yellowtail just off the shoreline south of Coronado Island in about 350 feet of water on sardines.
We spotted several striped marlin but landed zero. However several boats in our group were specifically targeting the striped marlin and had no trouble bringing to the boat at least two each day while several got off.
Loreto weather ranged from 95 to about 103 degrees with the humidity quite high. Heck, it even rained pretty good early one morning for several hours but we had no bad wind and fairly smooth seas each day except for the normal "chop" in the afternoon return trip.
We fished with a long time friend and boat Capitan Pedro Davis whom we have known since he was a young man working for someone else as a boat captain. Pedro has owned his own boat for maybe 20 years and really knows all of the great fishing spots. Pedro does not just follow all of the rest of the pangeros to one particular place to fish. Pedro knows exactly where to find any particular species and we even kid him about having a built-in GPS system in his head. Also, Pedro takes a very large cooler in his boat filled with ice to keep you catch fresh until it can be cleaned legally. No cleaning of fish on the boat!
Some of our friends fished with boats from Arturo's Sportfishing and were just as successful. However, for the most part those pangeros just want to target one species, especially dorado, get the fishing over with, and head for the cleaning table. Don't get me wrong, they will do whatever you want them to do but they are not as enthusiastic about it as Pedro Davis. In Pedro's boat we had three guys and in some of the boats we had only two.
There was plenty of bait at Loreto including sardines netted live in the marina at a cost of $10 for all your bait tank would hold. Mackerel were available for a cost of $20 for 25, or you could catch your own easily with a Lucky Joe.
Squid were easily caught about one mile straight out from the Loreto marina and also close to Coronado island. The squid were not real large or real small and were about 30-40 inches in length weighing about 8-15 pounds. One squid made plenty of bait whether you wanted to troll strips for dorado or bait a rig for bottom fishing. We used the typical squid lure with an 8 ounce weight attached directly at the bottom of the lure for instant hookups when hitting the bottom.
In Loreto the Pesca Officials are really enforcing the limits on fish for sportfishing in Mexico. Several pangeros who tried to exceed the one billfish per boat or two dorado per customer were fined about 4000 pesos or $400 US dollars and their boats were taken. They don't care if you "catch & release". Also, some Americans think that if there are two Americans and a pangero on a boat they can keep three (3) dorado each. Two for each of them and two for the pangero. This is not true. Pangeros are not allowed to take any fish. However, if you give them some of your catch, caught within your limits, they can take it. It seems that the rules are being very strictly enforced and it's about time.
(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.