SAN QUINTIN, MEXICO: PEDRO'S PANGAS, San Quintin, January 29, 2001, Pete Hillis, Reservations 888-568-2252. Hello from San Quintin. Sorry for no reports for the past several weeks. However, we have not had any newsworthy reports to report! Fishing at San Quintin during the months of December and January has been real slow. And due to the change in the issuance of hunting licenses (for outfitters), the hunting has been pretty much nothing at all.
But this week, we had Joe Ferris of Carlsbad, and Chris Burback of Oceanside fishing with us. They brought in limits of yellowtail, all between 15 and 20 lbs. The first two were taken on Rapalas and the rest were taken on blue/white and scrambled egg jigs at the 240 spot. Limits of reds with some ling cod were also taken.
Ed Keefer (Vista) and Gary Keefer (Tustin) brought a group of friends down with them and went out with us, too. With them were Rick Edwards (Irvine), Paul Barbour (Orange), Steve Waters (Oceanside), and Chris Paurazas (Carlsbad). They also brought in limits of yellowtail in the same range, 15 to 20 lbs. and limits of reds. These were also brought in at the 240 and the 15 fathom spot.
Weather was rainy and cold during the week, but started to lift on Friday. Saturday the waters were a little rough, but Sunday has been beautiful, although cold. Thanks.
ENSENADA, MEXICO: LILY FLEET, Ensenada, January 30, 2001, Sammy Susarrey, Reservations Tel/Fax, 5 to 9 p.m., 011-52-617-46747; Cell 011-52-618-67485. Today the Lily fished with 2 anglers at the reef north of Todos Santos Island that we call "Bajo Nuevo" (new reef).
We caught 1 yellowtail, 12 pounds; 4 barracudas, 3-4 pounds; 5 bonitos, 3-4 pounds; 2 medium lingcod; 17 red snapper; 1 bass; and 12 miscellaneous fish. All fish caught on frozen squid and yo-yo jigs. Ocean flat and calm, 59 degrees. The yellowtail at Ensenada were caught on the bottom 145 feet deep, and the bonito and barracuda on the bajo at 18 feet deep. We saw a lot of mackerel close to the beach. One of my friends said divers told him they saw a lot of nice sand bass and big halibut at the Three Brothers spot, about 1.5 miles from the oyster farm. Another commercial fisherman said the Punta Banda bank has been slow since the storm, with a strong current requiring 2-pound weights.
MAGDALENA BAY, MEXICO: BAJA ON THE FLY, San Carlos, January 27, 2001, Gary Graham, Reservations Tel 800-919-2252; Fax 760-746-7260. Temperatures: Some clouds and a 72-degree high; low 45 with little wind in the afternoon, Water temperature: 61 degrees in the mangroves and 69-71 offshore. STRIPED MARLIN - Seem to be gone. DORADO - Not many left. TUNA - Only a few caught. YELLOWTAIL - Still good action near the entrada. CORVINA - A few caught close to Devil's Curve. SNOOK - Great catches at Mario's Spot. HALIBUT - Good catches near Magdalena Island.
QUICK COMMENT -- Excerpt from Fred Hoctor's column in current issue of Western Outdoor News detailing a snook trip made by Gary Graham and guest freelance writer Steve Dally:
At Mario's Spot in Magdalena Bay, fishing heavier Clousers, Bob Popovic's jiggie and Gary Graham's own Baja Deep Diver, they made casts toward the mangroves and allowed the current to sweep the flies back into the channel, retrieved with short, slow pulls across the bottom. With the strong current, the fly was suspended a few inches above the bottom and seldom snagged on the mangrove roots. An unmistakable tap-tap, a quick strip-set and the line came tight. In came a small cabrilla with lots of heart. After an hour of this non-stop action and numerous cabrilla ranging from 3-inches to 2-pounds, Dally began to grow bored and lose patience. "I assured him it was not what bit, but what might," said Gary. "Sure enough, moments later I had the familiar tap, tap and strip set, the line hissed as it came tight and 30 yards down channel the biggest snook I have ever seen rolled with my Popovic's conehead firmly stuck in its jaw. Seconds later, the fish came past the boat pushing a bow wave that looked like a nuclear submarine to me. The next sound was the thwack, thwack of the handle of the reel hitting my hand as I tried to palm the reel and regain control of the fish. Suddenly the line came slack and he was gone," reported Graham.
"The razor-like gill plates had severed the line above the 50-pound bite tippet. With legs that felt like spaghetti, heart pounding and hands trembling, I re-tied my leader and cursed myself for having brought only one of Popovic's coneheads. Three casts later another tap, tap and I came tight on another cabrilla. When I brought it to the boat and reached down to remove the fly, there was a piece of 50-pound bite tippet sticking out of its mouth, and attached to that was my Popovic's jiggie. Apparently, after the snook had broken it off, the fly came free and as it tumbled to the bottom, the hungry cabrilla grabbed it. What luck! I removed my fly and tied it back on for the next round." --Tight lines.
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: PICANTE FLEET, Cabo San Lucas, January 31, 2001, Sergio Cortes, Reservations Tel 011-52-114-32474; Fax 011-52-114-35969. Fish available: Striped Marlin, Dorado, Yellowfin Tuna & Wahoo. Water temperature, 69-72. Air temperature, 74/53. Humidity, 56%. Wind, 9-10 Knots (Pacific), 8-9 Knots (Sea of Cortes). Fleet production (6 boats): 2 Striped Marlin, 11 Dorado, 38 Yellowfin Tuna & 2 Wahoo. Hot spots: 18-20 miles off Cerros de Arena (Pacific Ocean). Luckiest boat, Picoso (35' CABO). Captain, Hector Winkler. Angler, Daniela Mercury. Production: 1 Striped Marlin 145 lbs. (released), 6 Tuna & 1 Wahoo.
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: FLY HOOKER SPORT FISHING, Cabo San Lucas, January 28, 2001, Capt. George & Mary Landrum, Reservations Tel 011-52-117-01271; 011-52-114-87452. WEATHER: We have had steady cool mornings and evenings this week but the daytime temperatures have been in the comfortable mid 70's to low 80's. Mid week had consistent cloud cover but on Friday it had disappeared. Perhaps it was the wind that struck on Saturday that forced the clouds away. We had steady easterlies at 20-25 knots all day but the wind shifted to a more northerly direction and decreased its intensity on Sunday.
WATER: Average temperatures close to Cabo have been 70-73 degrees. The Pacific early in the week started getting green and the temperatures dropped to about 68 degrees for several days. There has been a hotspot about 20 miles due south where the water has been at a steady 73-75 degrees. The Sea of Cortez maintained slightly higher average temperatures and blue water. Swells from the southeast at 2-4 feet changing over the weekend to east at 3-5 feet were not too uncomfortable.
BAIT: Mixed Mackerel and Caballito at 2 dollars per bait were readily available. Some Sardinas were found but not in a steady, consistent supply here in Cabo.
BILLFISH: A fairly consistent bite was on for most of the week and most of the boats were able to find Marlin tailing. If you were lucky these fish were hungry and would eat but often they ignored the offering. Average size was 110 pounds but a lot of smaller fish were hooked. Best luck was had pitching bait to tailing fish. Dropping bait deep off the lighthouse was not very successful due to the green water and choppy conditions on the Pacific.
YELLOWFIN TUNA: Gordo Banks put out some nice Tuna this week in the 40-100 pound range but some days were better than others. Quite often the Porpoise pods provided football fish and once in a while a real toad was hooked up. All in all it looked very good for Yellowfin this week. Most of the larger fish were caught on live bait, Sardinas at Gordo and Mackerel in the Porpoise. When the Porpoise were moving too erratically spreader bars produced an occasional large fish.
DORADO: Sporadic showings of Dorado all week were the story here. An occasional piece of floating debris produced good catches but otherwise it was a fish here and a fish there. Larger fish were found with the debris and caught on live bait. Average size of these fish was 25 pounds. Trolling fish were averaging 15 pounds but an occasional fish would hit the 40-pound mark.
WAHOO: Now and then is the story here. Luck played more of a part than skill for those who caught Wahoo this week. Good luck on these fish.
INSHORE: The fisheries moved to the Sea of Cortez side due to the cool, green, choppy water on the Pacific side. Catches included Dorado, Tuna, Bonito, and Roosterfish, lots of Sierra and an occasional Yellowtail and assorted bottom fish. Until next week, TIGHT LINES!
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: FLY HOOKER SPECIAL REPORT FOR JANUARY 22-28, 2001
On the 22nd Randy and Jean McGuire fished aboard the Fly Hooker. The target was Striped Marlin and while they saw and tossed baits to 6 tailing fish, they were unable to get any of them interested in eating. Randy was able to bring in a nice Dorado of about 25 pounds that Juan filleted. They had a great time and saw Marlin, Whales and Porpoise plus left with Dorado for dinner.
The 23rd saw a group composed of two couples come in with 16 football Yellowfin Tuna. They were too tired to continue fishing for the Tuna and a bit later some very large fish were caught from those Porpoise. They also got to fight and release a nice Striped Marlin estimated at 120 pounds.
On the 24th the crew was able to get one Dorado on the boat. They went for Yellowfin in the same area they were found yesterday but had no luck.
25th of January the Fly Hooker was able to find a log floating on the Pacific side. Eight Dorado of 25-35 pounds tired everyone out and they headed back to the marina early. Another boat that stayed with the log was able to end up with 17 nice fish. On the way back the Fly Hooker caught one Yellowfin Tuna as a bonus.
On the 26th Jeff and Scott Burroughs were the lucky Fly Hooker anglers. Scott is a 3rd baseman for the San Diego Padres and he and his dad were using this trip as a warm up for a 10-day long range trip leaving on the 27th. Jeff was nice and let his son fight both Marlin. Scott was able to bring both fish, estimated at 120 pounds apiece, to the boat for pictures, tagging and releasing
On the 27th there were no fish caught by the Fly Hooker and the wind picked up early in the morning and blew like the dickens for the rest of the day. Until next week, TIGHT LINES from the Fly Hooker crew, Mary, George, Juan and Manuel!
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: PISCES FLEET, Cabo San Lucas, January 25, 2001, Tracy Ehrenberg, Reservations Tel 011-52-114-31288; Fax 011-52-114-30588. BILLFISH: We had incredible fishing the first couple of days of this report. Once again boats were stacked up, a mile or so off of the Old Lighthouse and we experienced the same marlin frenzy, as we did in December. Boats raced each other to bait striped marlin, which could be seen all over the place, giving us some tremendous catches, such as those of Douglas and Ted Smokstad from Minnesota; they fished aboard "Adriana" and were impressed to release six striped marlin and one sailfish, on January 19th . This same day our boats averaged four marlin apiece. Milton Leff fishing with the Bramptons, and Al Brandenburg, all from London, Ontario, were some of the lucky anglers to release four, aboard "Andrea". The marlin bite stayed like this for a couple of days, but as quickly as it came upon us, it was gone, causing boats to seek fish further afield. Most times they did find fish, but not in great numbers, the average dropped to two per boat and then down to mostly small game for a couple of days. Later in the week, "Ruthless" did release four for Michael Hess and party from Aurora, Illinois, but this was the exception rather than the rule. The marlin did stay off of the lighthouse but further out, from 5 to 16 miles. As we close this report the marlin bite has steadied again, with most boats getting one or two. Our overall catch success rate this week, for all species combined was 95%. Pisces anglers caught a total of 54 striped marlin and two sailfish, all released.
SMALL GAME: Dorado throughout the week, though it cannot be said to be plentiful, every third boat or so, brought fish back in the 25 to 30 lb class. At the start of the week a lot of skipjack were caught, which was entertaining when nothing else was going on. By January 22nd we started to see some good numbers on yellowfin tuna with the Milton Leff party from London, Ontario boating 14, aboard Andrea in the 20 to 45 lb category, at the Jaime Banks. By the 24th the tuna were more spread out, with catches of up to a half dozen taken off of Cabeza de Ballena as well as Jaime Banks and the odd one off of the lighthouse. Inshore there was plenty of action on sierra, which are big right now, as well as steady action on roosters. Just the odd wahoo here and there, small at around 20 lbs.
WEATHER CONDITIONS: Seas moderate, then calm, skies partly cloudy. LOCATION: Old Lighthouse, San Jaime, Cabeza de Ballena. BEST LURES: Live bait, green combinations.
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: REEL EASY SPORTFISHING, Cabo San Lucas, January 30, 2001, Mike & Renee Hebert, Reservations/Fax 011-52-114-33579. My apologies for not posting the weekly report but the El Chilito was out of service (unscheduled) for the last two weeks for engine repairs, and the Sea u Later was in dry dock for two weeks (scheduled) for inspection, touch up, and minor warranty items. Four days real work and 10 days paperwork. "Man that Hurts." But we are back and plan to get back to our regular weekly posting.
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: HOTEL SOLMAR SUITES, Cabo San Lucas, January 26, 2001, Renee Santa Cruz, Reservations Tel 800-344-3349. "Pangas were the name of the game this week," according to Rene Santa Cruz, manager of the Solmar Sportfishing Fleet in Cabo San Lucas. Panga fishing was especially good because of generally kindly seas, with alternating overcast and sunny days, plus fish finding good feed close to shore.
"Our super pangas even cruised to Gordo Banks along with cruisers to find tuna in the 40 to 50 pound range," Santa Cruz said. Fishing was wide ranging, however, from Gordo Banks on the Cortez around the horn to the Lighthouse on the Pacific, with dorado generally at about 35 pounds, and a smattering of well-fed roosters.
Gregory Keith, Riverfalls, WI, spent several days this week on Solmar pangas, reporting "the Sea of Cortez alive with whales, sea turtles, and jumping manta rays" His fishing areas ranged from 2 miles off the Arch almost to San Jose. He had a double hook-up on roosters, a bag full of dorado, jack crevalle, and several 35 pound tuna. "It wasn't exactly Zane Grey at work, but it was exciting fishing," Keith said.
Frank Klassen, Kingsburg, CA, had a hot day on his Solmar panga, boating a 40 pound dorado, and 7 tuna in the same weight range. His fishing was just offshore from the Westin Hotel on the Cortez. In the same area, Cindy Hiley, Monroe, MI, took 5 sierra and 2 dorado 30-pounders, fishing on the "Vigia" panga.
It was also a week of first-time deep sea anglers who returned home with tall fish stories: Aima Lemda, Chugiak, AK, blistered his hands conquering his first marlin on the San Lucas IV in 55 minutes, off the Lighthouse; Reg and Joan Siebiska, Hastings, MN, took 13 tuna in the 35 to 40 pound class on the 28' San Lucas VII, ranging several miles offshore on the Cortez.
SAN JOSE DEL CABO, MEXICO: GORDO BANKS PANGAS, San Jose del Cabo, January 28, 2001, Eric Brictson, Reservations 800-408-1199; Fax 619-447-4098; 011-52-114-21147. Visiting anglers continue to take advantage of the incredible wintertime action out of San Jose del Cabo for yellowfin tuna. The bite has lasted for months and surprisingly has continued to be very consistent throughout the month of January. For the panga fleets operating out of La Playita it has all been happening within 5 to 12 miles from where they launch. Though the water temperature has dropped to an average of 70 to 72 degrees and has been greenish the tuna are being found in large schools throughout the region and especially at the Gordo Banks, Punta Gorda and Cardon.
The yellowfin have had a preference for the live sardinas, which did become a little more scarce this past week and harder for the commercial pangueros to net due to higher surf conditions, they still were available and definitely worth waiting for. Anglers that were relying on artificial lures did not produce catches comparable to what the bait fishermen did. Average daily catches were from 5 to 15 tuna and sizes ranged from 12 to 96 pounds. The majority of the larger tuna were taken on either the Inner or Outer Gordo Banks and though the fish were more abundant on the spots closer to shore, they were smaller fish, mostly under 40 pounds. The bite was switching around each day as to where the hottest action was found. It appears that the tuna might bite all winter, as long as the bait supply holds and that the water conditions do not drastically change.
Dorado were being taken at a rate of about 1 to 3 fish per boat, being found in a wide area from inshore to offshore. The average size was 10 to 20 pounds, but several bulls close to 30 pounds were accounted for. They were striking trolled lures and bait at about an equal ratio.
Reports from Cabo San Lucas were that the striped marlin bite did slow way down and there was strong wind out of the south. So many of the cruiser fleets were now scouting out the waters of the Sea of Cortez, where the seas were both calmer and warmer. Schools of mackerel were encountered off of San Jose in recent days and it should not be long before numbers of the striped marlin in local waters increase.
Other activity included some fair action for amberjack and pargo on the various rock piles to the north of Punta Gorda. They hit on yo-yo style iron lures and most were in the 10 pound class, but one monster amberjack of 77 pounds was taken by Paul Mizeur from Rio Dell , Ca. while fishing with skipper Tony of Gordo Banks Pangas. Paul had an incredible day of fishing, as he also accounted for a 96 pound tuna, which was the largest one taken from La Playita all week. Along the shoreline there was a mix of sierra, jack crevalle and roosterfish, some of the roosters were up to 15 pounds and several near record sized jack crevalle of 25 pounds or more were taken. Good Fishing.
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: BAJA ON THE FLY, Buena Vista, January 31, 2001, Gary Graham, Reservations Tel 800-919-2252; Fax 760-746-7260. TEMPERATURES: High of 74 with a low of 59; some high clouds and strong winds in the afternoon. STRIPED MARLIN - Good catches for the few East Cape fishing boats targeting them. YELLOWFIN TUNA - Best bet is up toward Muertos Bay. DORADO - Fair catches in front of Cabo Pulmo, a few fish being found in the boat line in front of the hotels. ROOSTERFISH - Still a fair showing of smaller roosters and sierra along the beaches in front of the hotels. JACK CREVALLE - A few mixed in with the roosters and sierra along the shore. BARRILLETE OR MEXICAN SKIPJACK - Fair catches reported mid week. PARGO AND CABRILLA - Try the structure between La Ribera and Punta Colorado. OFFSHORE: A few billfish, dorado and small tuna. INSHORE: The best bet is small sierra and roosters close to shore. BEACH: A lot of bait spotted, with roosters, jacks, and sierra chasing it.
QUICK COMMENT - Here is our guide Jeff DeBrown's first-hand report from a Sun. (1/28) beach trip:
"Today I thought the beach was great. By 10, the client had five roosters, two trumpets and a bunch of shots (we had to follow the fish down the beach) at two HUGE yellowtail. They had a very forked tails that were yellow and were very dark fish. They were just lazily cruising about 10 feet off the beach. The baitfish would skitter, but they never really made an attempt to feed on any of them. Then, by 10:30, the client had two small jacks also. The roosters were in front of Rancho Leonero (between the hill and the hotel). We saw one good rooster cruising and stopped to let the client cast and got five with another two hook-ups but did not get them to the hand. They were all small, but they sure are cool fish. The yellowtail were actually seen first just south of the house, mid-way to the point. The jacks were along Bartle beach. We went all the way to the lighthouse, but did not see a thing -- not even bait. The water was clear and looked great. The wind picked up at about 12:30, but never was a factor and it settled down by mid-afternoon. On the way home, we saw two very big roosters crashing bait right on the point just south of the house. Not bad Jan. fishing!"
Yvonne and I will be off to the International Sportsmen's Exposition in San Mateo. We will be in booth #1430 - the same one we were in last year. Stop by and look at some of our new flies and photos of this year's catch. Gary will be appearing at 6:30 on Fri. night in the Adventure Theater.
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: EL CARDONAL'S HIDEAWAY, El Cardonal, January 31`, 2001, Eddy, Reservations 011-52-114-10040. El cardon reports some new programs, especially for tent campers and divers. The camping system gives you the option of camping in a special way without having to carry all the camping equipment. In other words we supply everything you need, even maid service!
The diving system guarantees you a dive master with you at all times and a boat captain also. If any of you would like to receive full information, please let us know and it will be a pleasure to forward what you would like to see.
New at El Cardonal's Hide-A-Way:
Unique VIP on the beach camping service.
Tents: 1-4 persons, $15-$40 per day, or $99-$265 per week.
Diving with boat and dive master, including tanks, lunches, 2 dive spots, snorkeling, maximum, 2 persons, 8 hours, $150 per person, 4 hours, $90 per person.
Call for information on vacation packages up to 8 days, including gourmet meals, diving, snorkeling, beach furniture, ice chests, room service, and all amenities.
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: RANCHO LEONERO, Bahia de Palmas, January 27, 2001, John Ireland and Roy Baldwin, Reservations 800-646-2252; Hotel 011-52-114-10216. Mild conditions continue, with daytime highs in the mid 70s, evening lows about 60, calm days with water temp about 70. Light fishing pressure with few boats going out. Schools of mackerel are keeping the gamefish close in. The striped marlin bite remains steady, with tailers taking mostly flylined live bait, mostly south, from the lighthouse to Los Frailes. Dorado from 10-20 lbs. are spread throughout the bay, schooling under floating debris, taking live bait, hoochies and lures. Football sized tuna remain north, while larger fish from 25-35 lbs. are located from Cabo Pulmo southward, taking hoochies, live bait and strip bait. Skipjack are hitting bait and hoochies throughout the bay, while schools of sierra are just off the beaches, taking hoochies and small Rapalas. Bottom fishing for pargo off La Ribera producing excellent results.
Barry Burchell, of Aucedale, South Africa, while fishing on Leonero boats this week, took striped marlin, tuna, sierra, dorado and pargo.
LA PAZ, MEXICO: JONATHAN ROLDAN'S TAILHUNTER ADVENTURE SERVICES, La Paz, January 28, 2001, Jonathan Roldan, Tel 626-333-3355; Fax 626-333-0115; Pager 323-349-8111; Message Pager 877-310-7734. Still pretty darned steady fishing down here by anyone's standards. It was windier earlier in the week, but then flattened out nicely. Much like spring-time conditions with sun and only sporadic wind. We certainly have the weather, the sun, the fish, but just not many fishermen this time of year.
That bite of Muertos/Arenas is not as concentrated, but certainly there's no lack of fish. Instead of wide open-all-your-fish in-two-hours kinds of days, it's more of a steady bite. By the end of the day, the pangas are returning with a nice mix of tuna, yellowtail, dorado, cabrilla and the occasional ambjerjack and wahoo. Emphasis on the yellowtail as we're seeing the best yellowtail bite I can remember. Bait is not a problem although it tends to be smaller than I like, requiring smaller hooks, but it doesn't seem to make much difference to the forktails. If they're anywhere near the pangas, they come raging. Most are that nice 10-15 pound tail, ideal on light tackle or bass rods, but the problem is that everyone now and then, there's a 20-25 pound ripper in the pack that comes to the table with a big stick and wails on the angler! I haven't tried it yet, but there are schools breezing on the surface and pushing up the bait and I'm dying to throw a skip jig at them to see if I can get them to grab air like tuna or dorado!
Speaking of dorado, in the same areas, there must be currents of warmer water going through because every now and then, a boat will get double hookups on two or three punk dorado or a larger bull. The come out of nowhere and are gone just as quickly. It's a really unusual year. Oh, yea. .. there's also our buddies the yellowfin tuna. Same areas. Fish are school-sized. Fly lined sardines or a rubber core gets the bait into the zone with very little bother from bonito, skippies or needlefish, but just wait until the water warms!
LA PAZ, MEXICO: HOTEL LAS ARENAS, Punta Arena de la Ventana, January 30, 2001, Linda Glassman-Davis, Reservations 888-644-7376. Hola Amigos. Captain's Roman, Chuy, Guicho, Johnny and Tony report the following: 11 yellowtail to 8 pounds; 2 tuna to 16 pounds; 6 sierras to 6 pounds; 9 Cabrilla to 5 pounds; 1 Dorado to 6 pounds; 1 Pargo, 4 pounds. Fourth Night free through March. The weather is warming up. See you all at the shows.
LORETO, MEXICO: EL FUERTE SPORT FISHING, Puerto Escondido, January 31, 2001, Ty Miller, Reservations Tel 714-775-6658; Fax: 714-755-3501; Loreto 011-52-113-30863. Hola Amigos. Weather has been hard on us with the Northerly winds blowing strong on and off this past week. That main body of yellowtail from last week is still playing hide and go seek! There are some "home guard" yellows still being plucked off the local reefs, but not in large quantities. I will say, though, these "home guards" are averaging 40 pounds plus! These are making a great filler until the yellowtail show in big numbers.
Rudy Gibson (Baja Quest) and his amigos, Chuck, Allen, and Dave hit the outside islands hard for three days and paid the price of the big seas and strong winds by getting soaked and beat up on the way home. They did score on some big broomtail groupers off of Smorgasbord Reef and The Slide at Isla Catalana.
On their last day they hit the South Reef of Isla Catalana in the late afternoon and found the yellows swarming the high spot. On their first drop they had a triple banger! Unfortunately with the sun going down and the sea state huge, it was not possible to hang around very long to put a hurtin' on the fish. The good news, though, is that it gives us a report and maybe some confirmation that the yellows have possibly moved to the outer islands for now. As soon as it is fishable, we will be there!
Bait is "deja vu" outside the harbor on the Bump, with the Caballito bite starting up at 6:30 a.m. Well, I have to tell you, it's not easy playing this waiting game with these fish and the wind. Luckily, I have been working on the construction of our new office in front of the park to pass the time. All I can say is, stand by and follow the weekly reports! Hasta!
Air Temp: 66. Water Temp: 65. Winds: Cold, Northerly. Sea State: 3-4 feet.
Next item of interest is our office. Just to give you all a little update, believe it or not, construction is actually progressing!! Of course, we have been doing most of it. Such is the reason it's progressing, however, we are excited about the future! It won't be too long now before we move in. Ty and I finished framing the palapa roof and the oja's will be going on tomorrow or the next day. The doors and windows will be in by the end of the week."
LORETO, MEXICO: BAJA BIG FISH COMPANY, Loreto, January 30, 2001, Pam Bolles, Reservations Tel/Fax 011-52-113-50448. Temperatures: This is the coldest time of the year here and to us locals, it really feels chilly. Expect afternoon highs in the mid 70's and early morning lows in the low 40's. Overcast and or windy days will feel much cooler, so if you'll be traveling down here soon, bring some warm clothes (sweatshirt/jeans, etc) as well as shorts and t-shirts. IF you're planning on fishing, think about that early morning wind chill when you'll be motoring out.
It has been overcast a lot. It even sprinkled on Saturday (1/27). This overcast is either high clouds or fog from the Pacific side that burns off in the late morning and re-forms at night.
Instead of telling you "this week its been calm", or "this week windy"...I will say that this is winter and our wind patterns are cyclic. Expect at least 4 days out of every week scheduled to be very windy, making the fish bite slow and the ride miserable. I'm not one to beat around the bush am I? At any rate, the winds should continue this way through the month of February and I cannot predict what they will do on any given date beyond about two days into the future. My advice to those planning on fishing here soon is to "play it by ear" when you get here. If its windy when you arrive, wait until it calms before scheduling your fishing day. This is the slow season here it won't be difficult to find a boat.
Seas will be very rough during windy days but during calm periods, those times with absolutely no wind, the seas will be glassy and very summer like. If the winds seem to be light, the water from port to the islands will appear deceivingly calm. If you have good eyesight, look at the horizon between Islas Coronado and Carmen. If it is not perfectly flat, then its rough out there. The Yellowtail are generally found beyond the protection of the islands (except when they're off La Cholla), so if its rough out there, expect a rough ride, and challenging fish bite.
Yellowtail: I'm hearing reports that are all over the board. I'm also hearing about netting and longlining to the North, but I have not been out there myself to witness it (I have a 9 month old and fishing doesn't happen often for me these days). Nevertheless, the Yellowtail bite has been slow since last Monday (1/22). They're at the surface in most of the locations that people have been fishing. Punta Lobos and La Vaca saw lots of fish earlier last week but as of this morning its been skunk city. La Cholla at least produced some breakoffs yesterday morning, but none landed. Word is that Punta Pulpito has not been seeing fish activity and several angry fishermen (fishing with other fleets) have been complaining of commercial over harvesting and spotting longliners. San Bruno and Puerto Almejas have produced very little in the way of Yellowtail this week. We need to take into consideration that the winds have been up all week long. Even the during the deceivingly calm period last week from Wednesday through Saturday, the swells beyond the islands made fishing, a challenge to say the least. This is pretty typical of January fishing, except for the surface activity. When the winds calm some more, we'll see real progress.
Bait: The bait sellers are not out there selling their wares every single day. As a result, you'll need to rig up that lucky joe and send it deep in hopes for mackerel and bigeye.
MULEGE, MEXICO: MULEGE, January 29, 2001, Michael Melton & Jens Kolbowski, reporting for baja-web.com. Air Temp, 50-70. Water Temp, 65. Humidity, 75%-80%. Sea moderate. Skies clear. Wind NE. Lots of Whales with babies. Bottom fishing excellent at Mulege. The wind calmed this week, and more fisherman are bringing in big cabrilla up to 18#s. Fish biting around most of the reefs. Best colors red, orange or pink. Also limits being caught with cut bait. YELLOWTAIL: Large schools of big fish are in the area now, however still trying to find the right formula for catching them. Most fish being caught on live bait. The best areas so far are off Pt Chivato.
MULEGE, MEXICO: GALERIA SIRENA @ ECOMUNDO, January 30, 2001, Becky Aparicio reporting from the shore of Bahía Concepción. Weather cold and windy, not good for fishing, outside the bay kayaking, but great for reading, hammocking, eating, etc. Lots more people are visiting the book store as it's cozy and wind free. We've had lots to chat about, too.
In Mulege there is a big push to enact the new seat belt rules. The police are handing out flyers reminding folks to keep their cars in good maintenance, use seat belts, register vehicles, as well as get legitimate licenses to drive. You have no idea how common it is not to have licenses.
The "land bridge" north at Santa Rosalillita to Hwy 1 is completely paved and I expect the Bay of LA portion will be begun soon. Don't have a clue why but that doesn't need to be an issue here. But all are talking of the new road signs everywhere in all of Baja. Now is the time to visit, beaches are nearly bare of RV's, campsites are plentiful and plenty of rooms in town. This is whale season and good sightings at all the whale spots in Baja Sur.
The Loreto Turtle Conference was held 1/26-28 and was another success. Our local Mulege Ecology Club of school kids represented us and did a great presentation. Other presenters were local politicos, ejidetarios, enviro groups, business people, etc. AJEA and Antares as well as Wildcoast and ASUPMATOMA sponsored the "cross pollination of ideas" seminar, attended by folks from Mazatlan, Sonora Seri ejidos, Hawaiian fishing folk, Bay of LA turtle people, as well as all points in Baja Sur and a second school group from Abreojos. We learned a lot about habitat management for turtles, scientific data collection and ideas to foster the conservation of turtles. We came away with great posters, t-shirts and hats, all celebrating turtles and commitment to their protection. Very exciting stuff.