Barracuda and bonito being caught in Ensenada sportfishing

Mexico Fishing News, December 13, 2000



ENSENADA, MEXICO: LILY FLEET, Ensenada, Sammy Susarrey, December 8, 2000, Reservations Tel/Fax, 5 to 9 p.m., 011-52-617-46747; Cell 011-52-618-67485. Today the Lily fished at Todos Santos reef with 3 anglers, reporting nice schools of medium barracudas and big bonitos.

All fish caught on UFO #2 jigs in chrome and on Rapala CD14s in dorado color. Excellent action.

Anglers came home happy. Water temperature 59.3 degrees. Some small lingcod were also reported around Todos Santos Island. For surfers, we have trips to the big swells at the island, departing at 5 a.m., up to five surfers, for $145, returning at 3 p.m.

December 10, 2000-- Today the Tamara from Ensenada fished at Maximino Reef with 4 anglers, reporting nice quality red snapper, all big fish, on yo-yo jigs and Scampis combinations. The catch: 28 red snapper, 2 salmon grouper, 1 lingcod, 2 miscellaneous. There were also schools of yellowtails on the reef, but they didn't cooperate. Water temperature is 58 degrees. Most of the bottom fish caught were feeding on small squid, which will bring more fish to the area.

December 11, 2000-- Today the Tamara fished with 4 anglers at Todos Santos reef, reporting slow fishing. Water temperature 58 degrees. At Salsipuedes Point they found 16 red snapper, 1 lingcod, 4 bass and 3 salmon grouper. Tomorrow, we are going south to Punta Banda, Maximino Reef. We still do not have live bait, but we are still fishing with frozen squid and jigs on the bottom. Weather is nice. No swells and no wind. Cold in the morning, but coffee fixes the cold days. We are taking surfers to Todos Santos Island for the big swells.

In other mainland Mexico and Baja fishing action this week:



CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: FLY HOOKER SPORT FISHING, Cabo San Lucas, December 10, 2000, Capt. George & Mary Landrum, Reservations Tel 011-52-117-01271; 011-52-114-87452. WEATHER: I think I am beginning to run out of words to describe the type of weather we have been having for the past month. This last week has been no different. It has been a week of high 50's to low 60's at night and high 70's to low 80's during the day. Very few, if any, clouds have meant dry days for us and low humidity. The winds have been light and variable all week.

WATER: The water temperatures keep dropping and the warmest water we have found for the past week occurred off of Cabo at the 95 spot. There the water was about 79 degrees and blue. The Pacific side of the Cabo San Lucas fishing area above Todos Santos and the Sea of Cortez above Gordo Banks have been in the high 60's and low 70's with the remainder of the water south of those points being in the mid to high 70's. There have been no boundaries or breaks where a definitive and distinct temperature barrier has formed. Due to the light winds we have not experienced any severe water conditions. Most of the week the swells have been 1-3 feet and with a light wind chop, perfect for fishing.

BAIT: There were plenty of Caballito available at the marina at the usual price of $2.00 each. I have seen no Mackerel for the past week. Some days Sardinas were available from the Pangas but often we had to go towards San Jose to find them. Prices were $25 a scoop in Cabo and $10 to $20 a scoop up the coast.

BILLFISH: Just like last week the Striped Marlin were the main catch with very few of any other species caught. Boats finding the bait fish concentrations near shore with their depth sounders were consistently catching from 2 to 6 Striped Marlin a day and hooking up to more. These fish were being caught on live bait dropped deep using 4 to 8 ounce torpedo sinkers on the swivels. Those without a quality depth sounder were lucky to do as well because the best bite was early and they had to wait for the better-equipped boats to find the bait concentrations. Occasionally a Marlin was caught by someone "fly-lining" live bait but the concentrations of fish were deeper in the water column. Boats relying on trolling lures were finding fish by working the 100-fathom drops. The best lures were "Petrolero", "Bleeding Mackerel" and "Dorado" colors in the 9" size. Both the Pacific side and the Sea of Cortez side were producing fish but the majority were found on the Pacific side of the Cape.

YELLOWFIN TUNA: There have been lots of football Tuna available on both sides of the Cape. Every boat going out that has a clue on how to fish has been able to find Tuna. The best bite has been early in the morning. The areas just up the Pacific side of the Cape, right off the Arches and up in front of the Palmilla Hotel have been producing consistently for the boats using sardinas for chum and bait. Off shore in the Porpoise the fish caught early in the day have been in the 25-50 pound range and earlier in the week if you got out as far as 40 miles on the Pacific side and got lucky in the Porpoise there were fish in the 100-pound class caught. Cedar plugs were working on the medium sized fish and Striped Marlin lures produced well on the large guys. The football size Yellowfin off the Arches are still getting attacked by the seals and the sea lions but there are enough fish that everyone gets to go back with dinner.

DORADO: After an absence of almost a week a good concentration of 10 to 20 pound Dorado showed themselves on the Sea of Cortez side close to shore. These may be the tail end of the concentrations that were up on the East Cape last month, getting chased south by the cooling water. Sardinas were the most productive for these fish but feathers were working as well. These fish showed up on Thursday and are still around today. If the water doesn't cool too fast these fish may be around for a while.

WAHOO: Just as a few other people have said, it appears as if the Wahoo run for this season may have been a bust. Unless they show up as I am writing this report (it is the full moon) then we probably won't see them again with any kind of regularity until the water warms up. An occasional fish of 20-30 pounds was caught this week.

INSHORE: Tuna and Sierra have been the mainstay of the near shore Panga fleet this past week though many of them have been able to target the concentrations of Striped Marlin. The Tuna have ranged between 10 and 25 pounds and the Sierra have been on the small side at 3-5 pounds.

NOTE: If you have been dreaming of catching a Marlin this was the week to have been here. We are hoping the bite continues through this week but with the full moon it may drop a bit. As you can tell by the report above, fishing this week was excellent by any standards. Treat your self to a fishing trip in Cabo as a Christmas present!

CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Fly Hooker Special Report for December 4, 2000

Tim and Jill Lawrence had such a great time on the Fly Hooker yesterday catching and releasing 6 Striped Marlin that they decided to go today also, since we were open due to an unexpected cancellation. They were nice enough to invite me to accompany them as I had the day off. Thanks! What, did you think I would say no?

We picked up bait on the way out and headed out to the Pacific side off the lighthouse. When we arrived there were over 30 boats in the area already. Yesterday the Fly Hooker was the third boat! Guess good news travels fast. We fished the live Caballito deep and were rewarded with only one hook-up and that fish jumped once prior to having the Sampo swivel malfunction and pop open. We did have several other Marlin check out the baits as we worked the area. A few of the boats, which at one time numbered over 60, were observed to hook-up and the ones that did were getting their bites early. We were contacted by friends on another boat and were told of a good Yellowfin Tuna bite. It was taking place among porpoise 23 miles south of the lighthouse. Sounded like a good thing to us so we decided to head out there and check it out. We were told that the Yellowfin were running 40-60 pounds and there was a steady bite and that clinched it for us. On the way out we passed several boats cruising in from the area. Juan talked to them on the radio and they said their anglers were tired of catching Tuna and wanted to go in. That is the kind of news I like to hear! We spotted the porpoise splashing and feeding with only one boat working them. There were a lot of Frigate birds working them also so our expectations were high as we pulled up and put out the lines. Jill and Tim were amazed to see so many porpoise in so small an area and were oohing and aahing over the activity for the next two hours, at least when they were not busy fighting fish. Perhaps the large Tuna bite was earlier in the day, or maybe the other boats just didn't know how to tell a tuna's weight, or maybe they were just being fishermen and exaggerating a bit, but all our fish were between 10 and 25 pounds. Many more than the 12 we kept were hooked up. Jill caught the majority of the fish since Tim wanted to hook-up on the fly gear. A very nice customized G-Loomis 15 weight rod and a Billy Pate Bluefin reel were a little overpowering for the 20-pound Yellowfin he caught, but it looked like fun anyway! He had out a blue/white/silver fly was being attacked almost every time we got into the fish. Eventually I determined it was time to head for home and we left the porpoise and Tuna behind. On the way in we spotted one tailing Striped Marlin and tossed a live bait to it but the fish sounded as we got close. All in all a good day and Tim and Jill get to try on the Fly Hooker again on Wednesday! Until then, Tight Lines!

CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Fly Hooker Special Report for December 5, 2000

The Fly Hooker is out today on a last minute charter booked locally. Three couples have heard about the good fishing taking place over the past few days and want to get a piece of this great fishing action. Can't say as I blame them! Not wanting to run short on bait they purchase $40 of Caballito on the way out. They reasoned that it was better to have too much than not enough. Juan and Manuel took the Fly Hooker to the plateau off the lighthouse and in the first hour they caught one 20-pound Yellowfin Tuna. Very few of the boats were catching Marlin so they decided to start trolling. They had one Marlin hook-up on a lure after trolling for about and hour. Everyone got a chance to feel this fish for the next 15 minutes as the rod was passed back and forth. Then the fish shook the hook loose! Oh well, that happens with Marlin quite a bit. Later on another one appeared in the lure spread and Juan dropped back a Caballito. This fish was hungry and after about 30 minutes with a lot of aerial action everyone had a chance to feel this great fish fight. It was brought to the boat and tagged with a Billfish Foundation tag and released. Later in the trip a 30-pound Dorado fell victim to a "Bleeding Mackerel" Zuker lure and provided dinner for the party. A great time was had, good fishing, good water, great crew! Thanks folks and until next time, Tight Lines from Mary, George, Juan and Manuel, the Fly Hooker crew.

CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Fly Hooker Special Report for December 6, 2000

This is the third day of fishing on the Fly Hooker for Tim and Jill Lawrence and they say they have caught enough Marlin. Fun time is over and now it is time to load up on some fillets to take back home. They would really like some Dorado or Wahoo but will make do with Tuna if they have to. Since the Dorado and Wahoo are pretty scarce right now this is what they might have to do. Keeping in mind the objective, lots of fillets, Juan and Manuel head to the area 23 miles out on the Pacific side where they found the porpoise and Tuna the other day. Unfortunately the water is barren and there is no life to be found. During the search they do catch and release one Striped Marlin. Jill had gotten the video camera working earlier and was able to get some great footage of Tim fighting the fish and a lot of jumping in the background by the star of the show. All right, enough Marlin already! While trolling they do have large Dorado come into the lure spread three different times. Even when live bait is let back into the spread these fish are unwilling to eat. Maybe a harpoon would work when they are closed mouth like this! The total catch for the day is one Striped marlin tagged and released. Manuel is going to check with his friends tonight up in San Jose to see if there is anything going on at Gordo Banks. If it is happening up there that may be the target for Tim and Jill's last trip on Friday. We,ll keep you updated! Until then, Tight Lines from Mary, George, Juan and Manuel, the Fly Hooker crew!

CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Fly Hooker Special Report for December 7, 2000

Once again the Fly Hooker has a last minute charter! We had aboard the boat three related couples from Arizona who decided that it would be nice to go out and catch a Marlin. Boy, I wish it were as easy as that! Sometimes it is though, and this week has been a great time to do it. It worked for the Fly Hooker today as they were flying two Marlin flags, a release flag (we only have one) and Tuna flags! Juan and Manuel headed to the Pacific lighthouse for the early morning Marlin bite and managed to catch one right away and a little later hooked a double. After about 15 minutes the first fish came off and five minutes later the second one did likewise. Not to worry though, the guys had placed the boat at the right spot! It was only 20 minutes later that another double hook-up occurred and while one fish pulled the hook right away, the second fish was tagged about 20 minutes later! Everyone decided that was enough work for the day and that it was time to go and look for dinner. Juan and Manuel slow trolled small Caballito just outside the green colored shore water and they hooked up with six Yellowfin Tuna in the 10-30 pound range. A great day fishing and everyone got to catch fish! We sure wish it happened every time but now and then things work out right! Until tomorrow, Tight Lines from Mary, George, Juan and Manuel, the Fly Hooker crew.

CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Fly Hooker Special Report for December 8, 2000

Today is Tim and Jill Lawrence's last day of fishing on the Fly Hooker. So far it has been great and they have one cooler of Tuna fillets to take home and have caught and released a total of 7 Striped Marlin aboard our boat. Knowing where the Tuna were found yesterday helps to make the decision on what to go for today! They still have a cooler that need to be filled so the idea is to go for the fillets instead of the Marlin. Juan and Manuel head up the Sea of Cortez early, leaving the marina about 6:10. They arrived off of the Palmilla area at daybreak and purchased sardinas from the Pangas there and proceeded to fish for the Tuna that had been in the area the day before. Six Tuna were the result of chumming with the sardinas, and Tim got one of them on the Fly Rod! Later on they found a school of Dorado! Shoot, I was thinking the water had cooled down so much that the chances of finding any more than an individual here and there were in the range of very slim to none! Guess the water inshore is still warm enough to keep some of them around. Once again the Sardinas came into use and they were like tossing peanuts to elephants. As a result, there were five Dorado in the boat by the end of the bite and once again Tim had gotten one of them on the Fly Rod! He was also a little embarrassed to admit that he had lost a few others that had bitten. Jill let us know though and she has a right to be proud of him. What I,d like to know is why he didn't let her fight one? Humm? This was a great end to a wonderful Honeymoon vacation for the Lawrence's and we were assured that we would hear from them again. Hopefully we can make it up to Anchorage one of these days and take advantage of the friendship we formed this past week. Thanks Tim, thanks Jill, you are great folks and Mary, myself, Juan and Manuel look forward to your next Cabo fishing vacation! Until then, Tight lines from the Fly Hooker crew!

CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: PISCES FLEET, Cabo San Lucas, December 7, 2000, Tracy Ehrenberg, Reservations Tel 011-52-114-31288; Fax 011-52-114-30588. What an incredible week, actually the best week we've had all year. Absolutely outstanding fishing, I don't even know where to begin. Chuck Key from Del Rey Beach, Fl and Steve Reynolds from Dallas, Tx, were delighted to release seven striped marlin in one day aboard Tracy-Ann. Teddy Baer, a charter captain from Key West, Fl, is currently enjoying a "busman's holiday" (he fishes for a living and goes fishing on his vacation)-this guy loves to fish; accompanied by Donna Feldman, they had unbelievable fishing, aboard Tracy Ann with captain Benito. Their best day was Sunday, Dec. 5th, when they released a 500 lb plus blue marlin, two large striped marlin (see incredible photo below taken by Donna), a sailfish and a 20 lb dorado. They also released five striped marlin and a yellowfin tuna on Friday, Dec. 1st and another five striped marlin on Monday, Dec. 4th. As if this wasn't enough they also released another four on Dec. 7th and a dorado, followed by two more on the 6th and three tuna.

Another group that did exceptionally well, was Captain Richard Thomas from Pensacola Fl, fishing with Bob & Dave Quisenberry from Kentucky, accompanied by eleven year old Robert. Their first day out was aboard Rebecca and they scored 5 striped marlin released, with the first fish caught by 11 year old Robert (see photo below). Next day out, aboard Andrea, Dave Quisenberry, hooked up to a huge marlin, that took an orange/black lure 34 miles out from the old lighthouse, the fish died just as it was brought to the boat and later weighed in at 525 lbs. This same party went on to release three more striped marlin and also boated twenty-one yellowfin tuna, in their consecutive two days. British anglers Bob and Vera Carlson, from Cumbria had five striped marlin aboard, "Adriana", all fought stand-up, sadly the last fish was tail-wrapped and died. All together Pisces anglers caught a total of 100 striped marlin this week, with 97 released, we also had two blue marlin as mentioned above and two sailfish, released.

OTHER SPECIES: Yellowfin tuna catches really took off this week, with most found off of the old lighthouse, weights averaged 15 lbs, but some went as large as 90 lbs. Boats caught anywhere from one to a maximum of 16. Dorado catches have slowed even more, with just about a dozen for us this week -- weights were nothing to write home about, at an average of 15 lbs. Some wahoo catches, on the small side at 20-50 lbs. Some sierra inshore, just a few roosters.

LOCATION: The old lighthouse on the Pacific side, marlin catches as close as one mile to shore, tuna catches up to 30 miles offshore. Pretty much everything was concentrated in this area, though some boats did go up to San Cristobal, Jaime Banks and Golden Gate.

WEATHER CONDITIONS: Ideal, flat blue seas, sunny skies, air temps, in the low 80's.


BEST LURES: Orange combinations and live bait.

CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: BAJA ANGLERS, Cabo San Lucas, December 13, 2000, Grant Hartman, Reservations 888-588-3446. Hi Folks, Striped marlin fishing has been awesome over the last 10 days. Joe Freeman from Bend, Oregon hooked 7 striped marlin in a day's fly fishing, and almost all of our clients caught more than one striper a day on the fly. The stripers were located at the old light house. Most boats were fishing with live mackerel 100 to 200 feet deep, but we were teasing up the fish with lure, and live bait combinations. At times we would see 20 to 30 striped marlin mixed in with the porpoise chasing the mackerels to the surface. This great heart stopping explosive action is something to witness. These marlin are exceptionally strong. A combination of good water temperatures, and plenty of Macks to munch on are making these stripers the Arnold Swartznegers of marlin. Those that didn't want to battle the marlin went after the hot yellowfin tuna bite we had. Some yellowfin action is still to be had at the arch, but the hot bite has been on the Sea of Cortez side. Football sized tuna (10 to 25-lbs) are being caught 1/2 mile off the Palmilla hotel. Inshore fishing for Sierra and smaller Roosterfish is okay, but to tell you the truth we have not been targeting them with the hot marlin bite going off. We are now on the full moon period, and the bite has slowed down considerably. As we move into the waning moon the bite should start to pick up again.

The weather is perfect. Daytime highs low 80's, night time in the low 60's. Some humpback whales are starting to show up. The Gray whales will start to arrive mid January through March. Porpoises, mantas, and sea turtle are being spotted daily.



SAN JOSE DEL CABO, MEXICO: GORDO BANKS PANGAS, San Jose del Cabo, December 10, 2000, Eric Brictson, Reservations 800-408-1199; Fax 619-447-4098; 011-52-114-21147. Anglers were treated to excellent fishing along with plenty of warm wintertime sunshine. The north winds that typically plague this area during this time period have been almost nonexistent for the past couple of weeks, which was great news and meant that ocean conditions were ideal. Despite low temperatures now drooping into the 50's, the high's have still been in the low 80's and the water temperature is hanging in there at an average of 75 to 78 degrees and with the lack of strong wind has been able to maintain its clear blue color.

Sportfishing fleets at San Jose del Cabo found consistent action for a wide variety of game fish species in both the direction of the Pacific and Sea Of Cortez. Plenty of sardinas are available from the beach areas around San Jose del Cabo, they were the bait of choice for the medium sized fish. The panga charters had great combined overall catches of yellowfin tuna, dorado and wahoo, they also were catching sierra, skipjack, amberjack, grouper, pargo and striped marlin.

Cabo San Lucas waters have recently seen large schools of mackerel moving in and this is attracting big numbers of striped marlin, cruiser fleets were reported catches of 2 to 10 marlin per boat everyday, wide open to say the least. The striped marlin migration was also working its way up into the area of the Gordo Banks and they were seen tailing on the surface, hooked from pangas by anglers using both live bait and trolling lures.

Other good news has it that the Mexican longline permits that were issued this past year are all being canceled by Jan. 1 and that the assistant of the Secretary of Mexican Fisheries has been fired, this is the best thing to happen in years toward future conservation efforts.

The fishing grounds from Red Hill, Punta Gorda and Iman Bank were particularly productive for yellowfin tuna, dorado and wahoo. Most common catches were tuna and dorado, live bait was best but the fish also were hitting on trolled Rapalas, cedar plugs and feathers. The yellowfin tuna weighed from 10 to 60 pounds, boats were catching as many as a dozen tuna per day and were finding about half that many dorado in their daily catches, with most of them in the 10 to 20 pound class, several larger bulls to over 30 pounds did make it to the scales. Punta Gorda was the place to be this past week and it was a good idea to get an early start, as once the word got out about the hot action there was several dozen boats working the area. Big talk was that the wahoo finally started to hit with some consistency and especially early in the morning at Punta Gorda. Pangas had as many as eight strikes a morning and landed up to three fish weighing up to fifty pounds while trolling a combination of marauders, rapalas and skirted lures. Anglers also caught wahoo while trolling live chihuil, a couple of the wahoo taken, on the live bait weighed close to 80 pounds, while the average fish was around 35 pounds. It goes to figure that the crowds of anglers now slack off just as the wahoo start to go on the bite. Over the weekend though the action did slow off as the moon neared full and the fishing pressure picked up. Good Fishing, Eric.



EAST CAPE, MEXICO: BAJA ON THE FLY, Buena Vista, December 13, 2000, Gary Graham, Reservations Tel 800-919-2252; Fax 760-746-7260. TEMPERATURES: High of 77 with a low of 63; with the water temperatures dropping to around 72 or 73 degrees. BLUE MARLIN - Pretty much gone for the season. STRIPED MARLIN - None were reported. YELLOWFIN TUNA - Good fishing throughout Las Palmas Bay. DORADO - Good fishing near the buoys in front of Punta Pescadero at East Cape. SAILFISH - Probably over for the year. ROOSTERFISH - Still a fair showing of smaller roosters in front of the hotels and all the way to La Ribera. JACK CREVALLE - Action continues sporadically up and down the beach. BARRILLETE OR MEXICAN SKIPJACK - A few mixed in with the tuna. PARGO AND CABRILLA - Nobody we know targeting them this week. OFFSHORE: Most of the action is closer to shore. INSHORE: Dorado and tuna continue to be the best bet. BEACH: Plenty of sardina along the beach is holding the rosters, jacks and sierra tight to the shore. QUICK COMMENT -The tuna and dorado continued to put on a good show this week for the few fishing. With nice weather, Ray Barker Smith couldn't resist hitting the beach one final time before returning to England and had good fishing for jacks, sierra and a few roosters. Most of the hotels are reporting very few people and are expecting more to arrive next week for the holidays.

EAST CAPE, MEXICO: EL CARDONAL'S HIDEAWAY, El Cardonal, December 12, 2000, Eddy, Reservations 011-52-114-10040.

Special Report On El Cardonal's New Road and Coming Season

Hi every one, we hope that everyone had a good Thanksgiving time may it be Canadian or American.

The road is been worked on but don't you go and think is in the final stages coming out of Los Barriles is still through detours. About 20 guys, a couple of wheel barrows and a one sack cement mixer to do about 200 feet of concrete has taken more that a month. Maybe I should make a pool (not a water one but a betting one) for the next arroyo. but again the winner might not live long enough to collect his price. They did do some more work in the mountain but never touched the lumps of dirt that were dumped at the beginning of the road and all along for about a mile or so. They had said the first 8.8 km (5.47 miles) were to be finished in October . that October went by, and we are getting nearer the next one everyday... maybe.

We are told that highway one going to the border is in very good condition, "the best it has ever been". One thing that is new this year is the number of "topes" that the road department have put on the pavement south of La Paz. Beware every time you are entering a village or small town. first at San Pedro there are at least 9 topes going across the town, El Triunfo has 5, San Bartolo 8 or 9. These new topes are well indicated by signs and white diagonal lines on the pavement plus some are painted yellow. what you have to be aware of is the vehicle that follows. Do not wait and make a full sudden stop... you could end up been rear-ended.

So you won't go up the new road and get stuck:

I had a nice sign to indicate the turn off to get back on the old road but I guest someone needed the plywood and the 4x4 posts or that someone did not want anyone to know how to get to El Cardonal. So if you drive up : after the second big arroyo you will climb a gentle hill. At the top you will first notice a white washed wall on your right then you will see a small road entrance on the same side. Take that exit it will get you on the old road. How's the washboard. Not that bad. I just wrote a letter to the governor about the road and normally he has a grader on the road within 15 days. At least the last 3 times I asked him he did. The project for grading the road every month and half is still a project. The person that was supposed to do the canvassing is still not up to it or just plain forgot. But as everything in Baja it will get done one day.

As all fashions, the topes, one is now in El Cardonal. About 3 miles after Punta Pescadero Hotel, as you come up to the first little agglomeration of houses there are 5 topes and then after the arroyo, about a mile from our entrance, there are 4. The problem is that there are no signs, so be very careful.

Fishing, we have had wind:

Every day for the last 37 days. Today there is no black line yet at the horizon. It could be our luck of having a calm day and fishing will be back as an activity. Actually it is a good thing that we have wind in the winter, it provides a great relief on the fishing pressure so that the species can get bigger. yesterday and today no wind. hope it last until next April..


one thing that is not getting bigger is our turtle population. again we have found dead babies on the beach, where on the beach? in tire tracks. Some were actually squashed by the tires. so for the 4x4 equipped, pls do not drive on the beaches.


We would like to remind everyone that our camping prices have changed a little or we should say the occupation rates have changed. We now have 4 full hook up places and 5 electrical/water equipped places and lots of wild camping spots. From this year on when one occupies a place where there is full hook up availability the price will be: 11.00 us $ if he is fully hooked up (elect- sewers-water). If he does not need to be fully hooked up as mentioned the price will be 10.00 us$. Same price will apply to all spots where there is electrical and water connections. Only the wild camping spots will be at 8.00 us $.

Suites: our suites rates will go up after next April. We would of like to stay at the present prices but with an increase of 244% on the prices of the basic things of life here in Mexico it is impossible plus as of January there will be 15% IVA tax (now 10%) on everything even food and medicine. The rates will go to 49.00 us $ per night and we will have discounts for longer stays.

For our returned guests that have or will reserve before the first of February 2001 for stays before the first of August 2001 the old prices will apply. After that February deadline the new rates will apply to everyone.

As for the boat rates we have to wait until we get info from the owners. But as usual the rates will go up and the raise will be immediate. Sorry we only provide a service and we have no say in what "El Capitan" wants for his boat.

One new service is diving equipment, we now have diving equipment and better snorkeling equipment to rent right here on site.

This year we have had numerous guests that drove in with a rental car and camped. Some decided on a suite after reviewing one. But most were into camping, they flew down with all their camping equipment and then rented a car. So we at El Cardonal's Hide-a-way have decided to implement Baja's unique fly in-camping program from the first of April to first of Nov. we will have different size tents to rent. One two-room tent, one tent for 3 and one for 2 persons. plus camping stoves and propane tanks, tables, bbq, dishes etc. Our rates will be affordable. We will install the tent(s) wherever one wants it on our land. This will enable one to enjoy the best vacation in the shade or right in front of the beach. This program will include maid service if requested.

For the ones that just can not get away from the computer we now have one in the restaurant were one can read the new menu. We have added lots of new recipes. we also have improved our homemade bread.

We will also provide computer service for the ones that would want to send an e-mail or fax. No we do not have internet service yet but we will transport to an internet terminal or a fax terminal in Los Barriles to forward the message(s).

As most of you know we are the only tourist destination here in the region to provide ground transportation at a very affordable price. It has been very popular and we now have to make a modification. The 50.00 us$ trip will be for maximum 2 persons. For 3 and up we will charge the price of the necessary vehicle rented from Dollar's rent a car at the airport. In other words you will only have to pay for the daily rate for coming in and going out.

We hope everyone of you is enjoying life,

until next time,

Eddy, Beatirz, Veronica, Luly and Sofia



MAGDALENA BAY, MEXICO: BAJA ON THE FLY, San Carlos, December 13, 2000, Gary Graham, Reservations Tel 800-919-2252; Fax 760-746-7260. Temperatures: Some Clouds and a 76-degree high; low 53 with wind in the afternoons. Water temperature: 72 degrees in the mangroves and 70-73 offshore. The band of warmer water is getting pushed down from the Thetis toward the beach.

STRIPED MARLIN - Magdalena Bay marlin action has slowed somewhat from the red hot action of the last several months. DORADO - Good catches reported near the shark buoys. TUNA - Near the entrada to five miles out and up toward Santa Maria Bay. CORVINA - Several pangas fishing above San Carlos reported fair catches. SNOOK - Best action seems to be from Devil's Curve to Lopez San Mateos with several fish in the teens caught. HALIBUT - Good catches reported throughout the esteros (estuaries).

QUICK COMMENT - Our "Flyrod Marlin 101" series has been completed and what a season it has been! The action was literally non-stop for the entire five weeks and we only had two days the weather prevented us from getting out to the grounds. Every client caught multiple marlin on flyrod and reel and all have booked for next year.

The two weeks that I spent with the underwater film crews were a special treat and the knowledge that I gained during those trips will improve our chances in the future. To have the opportunity to watch bait balls formed and the behavior of the various species feeding on the bait until it disappeared was fascinating and educational. Normally, when we are fishing, once we hookup my attention is focused toward the fish and the angler. This time, I could stay in the tower and observe the action, seeing how the ball is formed, how the marlin contain it, how they feed on it, etc. I believe this will improve my ability to put our clients on fish in the future.

This year we never used a popper head on our flies and the across-the-wake presentation that we used improved our take rate dramatically. We started using significantly smaller flies this year... flies that you could actually cast. After changing to the smaller flies, we hooked the next 12 fish that we cast to. While 20 - 40 chances a day seems unlikely if not impossible, I assure you that was the norm according to my notes for this year's "Flyrod Marlin 101". I am looking forward to seeing all the film of the underwater action and sharing some of it with you at the shows this winter.



LA PAZ, MEXICO: JONATHAN ROLDAN'S TAILHUNTER ADVENTURE SERVICES, La Paz, December 11, 2000, Jonathan Roldan, Tel 626-333-3355; Fax 626-333-0115; Pager 323-349-8111; Message Pager 877-310-7734. Relatively speaking we actually had a pretty calm week that saw less winds for once. Not that it has really had much difference on the bite as the fish are still biting wind or no wind this late in the season. The wind is only a factor in getting to certain fish spots. Still not many anglers, but those who are down are pretty happy pulling on tuna. For some reason, none of our guys did well on the dorado this week, but I know other boats on the beach at Muertos had dorado in them. Just one of those things. I guys found the tuna honey holes in Muertos, Punta Perrico and a flurry off the lighthouse. Had one boat make it to Cerralvo to fish South Point and they came back skunked, but that was after they had tied onto a tuna that might have gone over 100 pounds before breaking off after 2 hours on 40 pound test! I didn't have any boats fishing Espiritu Santo Island near La Paz this week, but talking to some of the other pangeros there's jag of yellowtail that have popped up at some of the usual spots which has eyebrows raised for an early and long season on the forkies. We'll have to keep an eye on that. Without too many anglers on the water it's hard to gauge whether the yellows have moved in numbers to the inshore waters. If you're a light tackle guy, bring the guacamole and chips...lots and lots of sierra to be had! They make for great ceviche and trolling a small blue/hot pink hoochie with about a foot of wire gets an ice chest of these fish that look like a cross between a trout and a baby wahoo!

An FYI to everyone. If you hadn't already heard. Looks like the on-again-off-again musical chairs with Alaska Airlines is off again. After just jumping back in to much fanfare to La Paz, they are again discontinuing flights to La Paz in February. Also, if you're planning on coming down to fish this season, avoid the hassles. Just get a passport. You can even get it online now in a few days.

December 14, 2000-- Do you ever feel like you had a day when you literally were grabbing your ankles? Talk about getting kicked in the proverbial huevos... There was some kinda bite this week at el Bajo (the Embudo Banks on the charts) which is the underwater seamount about 8 miles NE of Isolotes. For those of you who know, when the place kicks out the trophies, you know it's banner fishing. Other days, it's can be a place of tough currents, murky water and chop. Even on flat days, the fish can sometimes go lockjaw on us. On the other hand, there are the days when it's one-stop shopping on everything from tuna to dorado and marlin to amberjack.

Well, this week, it was totally banner. Then we literally got jacked. The tuna came to party. WFO on the yellowfin as fast as you could drop a bait or kick out the chunk! 30-100 pound fish non-stop. Zing and zing powie! The few boats that found the bite, reported it was early Christmas on the Bajo!

Then, of course, the other shoe dropped...

Mexican seiners and shrimpers moved in. As one boat told me, they were working right off the southeast side of the drop off with the full net out and workin' full turbo! They could see tuna jumping inside the wraps! Then it went dead...

I have seen this happen before amigos. As sportsmen, it's pretty distressing. Yea, they do wrap alot of fish. However, it's main impact from what I have seen is that it scatters the school for a few days and we simply have to track it down again. Anyway, that's life until people can start doing without tuna sandwiches...

On the other side by Las Arenas, boy, have we got a mixed bag! It's still bumpy by panga standards, but sure 'nuff... still got tuna boiling. Boats getting 2-5 fish per day from 15 pounds to larger. Terry Solomon called me and said he was trolling between the lighthouse and the island where the other boats were doing the usual chunk and bait fishing. He got ravaged by two tuna in the 80 pound class! We usually don't do alot of trolling in the area so maybe we oughta start dragging jigs more often. In addition to the tuna, there's still dorado as well as more yellowtail, amberjack and a whole mess o' sierra running around in the area as well.

Water temps vary. Kinda strange. My divers say it's 71 on the surface, but a surprisingly warmer 75 down at depth. Bring a windbreaker or sweatshirt. You never know when it's gonna be windy. Some days it's sunny and hot and other days... well... it's not like fishing in say, Northern California, but it's not exactly Hawaii weather either! Happy Holidays everyone!

By the way, still spots open on the April 17-21 soiree that I'm hosting in Baja!



LORETO, MEXICO: VILLAS DE LORETO, Loreto, December 12, 2000, Wendy Wilchynski, Reservations Tel/Fax 011-52-113-50586. Dear Gene, the fishing has been great! People are catching yellowtail and nice sizes. The weather has been calm and nice and warm. Come on fishermen, What's holding you back!!! Don't forget we have a great package for you.

--4 days, 3 nights and 2 days fishing for $299.00 U.S. P.P. Check it out on our website

Bye for now, Wendy

LORETO, MEXICO: EL FUERTE SPORT FISHING, Puerto Escondido, December 13, 2000, Ty Miller, Reservations Tel 714-775-6658; Fax: 714-755-3501; Loreto 011-52-113-30863. Hola Amigos. Mother nature is still being very kind to us lately with some ideal fishing conditions at Loreto for working the outside Islands. Toad 30 to 35 pound Yellowtail are once again still holding off of Smorgasboard in about the 200 to 250 ft depth. Some nice 10 to 15 pound Huachinango (Red Snapper) are also cruising the reef and holding around the 150 to 200 foot mark. Yes, the Skipjack are still giving us a hell of a time and working our bait on the drop when we try to blow past them. It's not easy, let me tell you, but definitely worth it when you hang a quality Yellowtail or Broomtail. Speaking of Skipjack, I'm sure a lot of you have read that other fleets include Skipjack in their counts. Don't get me wrong, these guys, pound for pound, put up a fight right along side a similar size Yellowfin tuna but the food value is zippo! I will say, though, that our friends in Bora Bora in the South Pacific tell me that it's "to die for" when you catch a fresh one and put it on ice right away. After a slight chill they slice it up for sushi and tell me it's great! Anybody out there ever tried this with a Skippy? I'm going to have to think this one over!

There are a few nice Yellowtail sprinkling around the inside reefs lately but nothing showing in good numbers just yet. A bunch of little firecrackers are still swarming the inside islands and also holding up here in Puerto Escondido and giving the sardinitas in the shallows a hell of a time. Like I have been reporting, there is a ton of bait working this region and it's just a matter of time until the bomb goes off and the Yellows are up on top feeding and frothing all over the place.

Deja-vu on the bait status! Caballitos on the bump first thing and then the mackerel right behind them either at the bump or anywhere from Punta Coyote to Honeymoon cove in the 150 to 200 ft range.

Well it's been awfully quiet down here for Loreto as far as tourism and a lot of people in town are wondering where everybody is. Maybe they think you are all waiting for a new president before you can go on with life. Whatever the excuse, Loreto is still one of the last small-town places in the Baja to visit and with the near perfect weather we have been having along with the opportunity to catch some 'tails, what better place to vacation? Make sure to check out all the other activities that are easily accessible from Loreto like hiking our gorgeous Las Gigantas mountains and finding some of the ancient Indian rock paintings, or taking an off road drive to the untouched cove of Agua Verde, or hopping on a kayak and paddling out to one of our sensational islands, etc., etc., etc.! Hasta Luego!!

Air Temp: 80. Water Temp: 69. Winds: None. Sea state: Flat as a pancake!

LORETO, MEXICO: BAJA BIG FISH COMPANY, Loreto, December 10, 2000, Pam Bolles, Reservations Tel/Fax 011-52-113-50448. Temperatures: Highs in the mid to high 80's (F), lows in the high 60's (F). As soon as the sun goes down it's sweater weather, and early mornings out on the water will require a jacket and perhaps long pants to keep the comfort level up there. Dress in layers if you're headed out to fish. This will apply for the rest of the winter.

Skies: The skies have been mostly clear for the last couple of weeks.

Winds: Very calm, WOW!! When I headed back to the U.S. before thanksgiving the winds were howling, but since I've been back its been very calm. There has been only one windy day in the past two weeks.

Seas: The seas have looked glassy and summer like for the past couple of weeks.

Proposed Marine Park Use Fee: Still in the works. We'll keep you posted on it.

Notes: We're back online again. It took several weeks to get our phone situation sorted out. We moved to a new location in town and had to wait several weeks for a new phone! Now, you can find us right across the street from the Supermarket "El Pescador".

We're still getting Yellowtail, and the closest schools are right off the east side of Isla Coronado. The fish are on the small side weighing in at 15-20 pounds. There are larger fish way up north off El Pulpito and points further.

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The winter winds have arrived in Baja, and this photo from professional photographer, Mitchell Rose, shows why he "didn't go fishing" that day. Our Hot Bites! fishing reports will be a little thin until the spring season begins about the end of March. Many resorts are literally empty and some have shut down entirely for the next several weeks as water temperatures and surface fishing action reach their winter lows. But spring is a-coming!

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Mary Landrum is trying out her new scanner and sends this first effort. She says, "Tim Lawrence, landing his 17 pound yellowfin on the fly. Not very good, they came out of a disposable camera and the lighting is not very good. Hope you can do something with them. I'm still learning." Good job, Mary! Muchas gracias, and keep scanning those photos!

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Yes, there are wahoo at Los Cabos this year. Gordo Banks clients, Jim Brashear and Bill Gray, from Redding, Ca. caught this 50 pound wahoo on their final day of fishing, they also had excellent catches of quality yellowfin tuna and dorado.

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And, Bob Roth caught this 30 pound class wahoo while fishing from the super panga "Delfina" with skipper Jimmy. Ron also had other fish, including a 50 pound tuna.

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Also, the Randy Hammerdinger group had this fantastic catch of tuna, wahoo and dorado while fishing with Gordo Banks Pangas skipper, Jesus.

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Here's Baja's marlin guru, Gary Graham, of Baja On The Fly, caught finishing off a second plate of sushi today at the Onami Restaurant, Escondido, California. Gary had just returned to the U.S. after an incredible five-week fly fishing session at the Thetis Bank, just outside Magdalena Bay, and between well-deserved bites, he filled me in on this year's fish pile-up, which he described as just as good, maybe better than last year.

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One of this year's important discoveries was that marlin will hit a 6-inch fly just as readily as the foot-long "half a chicken" flies normally used for billfish. The smaller fly is castable by the average angler, and note the use of circle hooks, which Gary says get just as high a percentage of solid hookups as traditional hooks. Also note, that the silhouette of this fly is six-inches long, exactly as recommended for Baja species by Ray Cannon, Neil Kelly, Jeff Klassen, and now... Gary Graham. When I pointed out to Gary -- whom I think of as the ultimate, expert, hardcore saltwater fly fisherman -- that his new fly seemed to have the exact profile and size as a Jointed Rebel, he gave me the "look" shown above. Hah! Love ya, Gary...!

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Note: Dutch angler Peter Langstraat has fished Baja extensively and has kindly send several corrections for our Fish I.D. Section. Here's his latest contribution on the African Pompano: Dear Gene, thanks for adding my pictures and the readjustments you made. Attached to this mail you'll find the African Pompano, the fish that actually made me decide to drop you the first line. So far I caught only five of them, two the past June, one in October 99, one in June 99, and the first one in June 98. Three of them on a dead trolled sardine, one on a Popper, one on a trolled artificial fly. Lengths were between 25 and 28 inches, line class 8 lbs. Four of them in front of Hotel Punta Colorada, one at Bahía de Palmas in front of Hotel Palmas de Cortez. --Peter Langstraat

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Mystery photo quiz! A beautiful pair of stainless steel fishing pliers to the first three people who can give the location of this photo by our talented contributor, Denny S. Wu.

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Don't try this at home. A pair of divers play with feeding marlin by teasing them with live mackerel while video taping during Baja On The Fly's five-week session in the Thetis Bank area. Spectacular underwater footage was captured of billfish, tuna, dorado and whales feeding on huge bait balls until every last sardine or mackerel was consumed. Note the sharp bill of the feeding marlin coming out of the water. Mama!

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Cabo San Lucas fishing reports and articles.

San Jose del Cabo (Los Cabos) fishing reports and articles.

East Cape fishing reports and articles.

La Paz fishing reports and articles.

Loreto fishing reports and articles.

Mulege fishing reports and articles.

Santa Rosalia fishing reports and articles.

Bahia de los Angeles (L.A. Bay) fishing reports and articles.

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Rocky Point (Puerto Penasco) fishing reports and articles.

San Carlos (Sonora) fishing reports and articles .

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