Loreto, Mexico



March 11-15, 2007, Bill Sumner, Loreto, Baja California Sur, Mexico:

I, Bill Sumner of Las Vegas, and Ron Spencer of Temecula, did four days of fishing out of the Hotel Oasis at Loreto with Captain Ismael Murillo.

It seems all together fitting that this trip, being my 25th anniversary trip to Loreto, should also turn out to be my best ever for yellowtail fishing. All of the critical factors and fishing conditions seemed to come together perfectly. We had no wind, flat seas, 75 to 80 degree perfect spring weather, abundant bait, and lots of big hungry yellowtail crashing on the surface.

Actually, we just happened to be lucky enough to be there the day the spring yellowtail fishing in Loreto broke wide-open.

Our first two days of fishing were only moderately successful as we fished the Punta Lobo area for 5 yellowtail on Monday and 6 more on Tuesday. These fish were in the 20 to 25 pound bracket, what Captain Ismael likes to call "regulares."

On Wednesday we decided to go north to Bajo San Bruno based on a rumor among the Loreto captains that the San Bruno area was ready to go off.

Wow, were they right!

We found big breaking schools of powerful and really fat yellowtail, all in the 25 to 35 pound bracket. There were virtually none of the usual small schoolies that we would have expected for March.

We exhausted all the usual fishing superlatives to describe our 17 yellowtail day on Wednesday, followed by 15 more on Thursday. It was an all-time personal best for both of us. With extensive use of swiveled circle hooks, all the fish were either released or given to Captain Ismael for his family.

The fishing technique used was surface flylining or fishing midlevel in the water column with two ounce sinkers. Surprisingly, not one yellowtail the whole trip was caught on iron, and it was not for lack of trying. Almost no fish were caught deep although we lost a few to the rocks when they crash-dived for the bottom after being hooked. Everyone around us was also catching big yellowtail so there were a lot of very sore arms and shoulders back at the hotel.

We counted about 15 boats in the San Bruno area with about one-third locals and two-thirds gringo fishermen like ourselves. Overall, we saw fewer American fisherman in Loreto than expected, but there were also more of the hiking, kayaking, and whale watching folks than in previous years.

Besides the breakout yellowtail action, we were also treated to a rare opportunity to see blue whales calving in the Loreto area. We personally saw two adults, presumably a mother and father, cruising in the Punta Lobo area, plus a baby blue whale swimming around Isla Coronado. A French film crew was headquartered at the Hotel Oasis who had come there specifically because of the rare opportunity to film blue whales close to land.

As usual, I did a lot of fishing tackle testing and can report the following results:

1. We made a special point of using Shimano Trinidad 20's, instead of the usual 4/0 class reels, to see if they could take the pressure of big Loreto yellowtail. They performed outstandingly using Extreme Smoothie Drags and 65 pound Power Pro Spectra.

2. Extensive comparison of fluorocarbon vs. mono leaders showed absolutely no difference. We also tested Cajun "Red Lightening" leaders which worked fine, but also made no significant difference.

3. The best performing circle hooks were Owner SSW in-line's and red Penn Salt Flats ultra thin circle hooks. We were disappointed by several missed hook-sets with Owner Mutu's.