Good mixed bag fishing for Ensenada boats

Mexico Fishing News, May 16, 2001



ENSENADA, MEXICO: LILY FLEET, Ensenada, May 11, 2001, Sammy Susarrey, Reservations Tel/Fax, 5 to 9 p.m., 011-52-617-46747; Cell 011-52-618-67485. Today the Tamara fished with 5 anglers, catching 8 sheephead to 5 pounds, 18 sandbass 3-5 pound, 9 lingcod 5-6 pounds, 2 calico bass to 4 pounds, and 22 log barracudas. Most fish were caught at University Point. Water temperature was 64 degrees.

Other boats trolling from Punta Banda reported log barracuda, yellowtail to 12 pounds and a few white seabass to 20 pounds.

May 12, 2001-- Today local boats reported some white seabass at San Miguel Point, 40-45 pound fish, most caught trolling, squid color and dark brown. Also some barracuda on UFO jigs and some yellowtail at Todos Santos reef. Water temperature is 64 degrees.

May 15, 2001-- Fishing locally, we report 25 white seabass 2 miles inside Punta Banda, also medium barracuda. This fish has been in the same place several days eating small anchovies. Water temperature has been 65 degrees. Also, some whiteseabass were caught slow trolling (2 knots) Yozuris and Rapalas in pink color. We have medium anchovies for bait. The fish have been showing up about 9-11 .am.. University Point has been producing good bass and some sheaphead.

May 17, 2001-- Today the Amigo fished with 3 anglers, leaving at 5:30 a.m. for Todos Santos Reef. Water temperature was 68 degrees. Lots of schooling sardines. We got limits of log barracudas, and 9 bull calico bass at the reef. On the way back we stoped at University Point and caught a 4-pound lingcod and 6 sandbass to 3 pounds.

ENSENADA, MEXICO: SERGIO'S ENSENADA SPORTFISHING CENTER, Ensenada, May 16, 2001, Sergio Susarrey, Reservations Tel 011-52-617-82185. HOT SPOTS: Todos Santos Island. What a difference a few days can make!

Finally superb surface action has been available for Ensenada anglers with large amounts of log size barracuda(from 7 to 12 pounds) being caught along with an average catch of one to two yellowtail (from 12 to 18 pounds) per rod also to make things a little more interesting all of last week anywhere from five to ten white sea bass per trip were being put on the decks of the boats. There were a few of them well over 30 pounds. Indeed a very good start for the upcoming summer season. The boats have been working between the north point of Todos Santos Is. and Punta San Miguel, all vessels fishing now with live bait and still using frozen squid which makes great bait for bass and it has also been working good for chumming.

ENSENADA, MEXICO: GORDO'S SPORTFISHING, Ensenada, May 14, 2001, Erick Ptacnik O, Reservations 011-52-617-83515; 011-52-617-82377. Fishing is getting better lots of barracuda and big big white sea bass 30 pounds and up.

In other mainland Mexico and Baja fishing action this week:



PUERTO SANTO TOMAS, MEXICO: PUERTO SANTO TOMAS RESORT, Puerto Santo Tomas, May 13, 2001, Sam Saenz, Reservations Tel 714-256-2577; Ensenada 011-526-174-5683; Remote Santo Tomas Cell 011-52-617-13364, after 6 p.m. or 6:30-7:00 a.m. Hi Gene. The weather and fishing has been excellent for the last six days. Short range visibility and overcast on the mornings which clears up at noon. The surface fish have arrived at the Soledad Reef and bay, including the San Jose light house point. One panga caught 30 barracuda and five yellowtail 6 to 20 pound range. The bottom fishing has been excellent, full sacks of lingcod, whitefish, some calico bass action on the kelp beds.--Sam



SAN QUINTIN, MEXICO: SAN QUINTIN SPORTFISHING, San Quintin, May 15, 2001, Gene Allshouse, Reservations 011-526-165-9229. Howdy all. The weather continues to hold out as well as the Yellowtail bite. However they now prefer live bait as they are feeding by the moon with the clear nights. They are still biting the Irons but you have to get them excited first. The water temperature is up to 61 degrees and with the warm nights the Albacore have got to be just outside. I am planning a trip out myself to try and locate them for this coming weekend's action. The Island is holding some of the largest Calico Bass I have ever seen and they are biting on just about everything. The bottom fish are still being caught in big numbers as well as big fish. Especially the Ling Cod at the 240 spot. The Halibut bite in the Bay has tapered off some what from the recent pressure but as the game fish move in it should pick back up. As always, I hope to see you all here and "Happy Fishing."



BAJA CALIFORNIA, MEXICO: BAJA PEOPLE AN INTERVIEW WITH PETER LANGSTRAAT: Regular readers of this page know that quite a few of our "Baja" fish species specimen photographs are actually emailed from Holland by a remarkable angler named Peter Langstraat, who travels to East Cape once a year for a vacation at Bobby Van Wormer's Hotel Punta Colorada. Peter is one HELL of a fisherman, amigos, judging by the number of species that he has caught and photographed, and here are some of his thoughts on Baja fishing in general, and conservation in particular, all prompted by an email exchange that happened this spring with another reader of this website, Albert Polito of Los Angeles. Thanks Peter and Al for sharing this valuable information with us. As a note, Peter's comments on the endangered status and conservation of the barred pargo, could apply equally well to all resident reef species in Baja.--gene


Hi Gene. I recently looked up Peter Langstraat to ask this very successful fisherman about some of his techniques. I thought I would share with you our correspondence, as I find it very interesting. He's very generous in sharing his knowledge. --Albert Polito


Hi Peter. I have seen your pictures and read your comments on Gene Kira's website and looked you up, finding you on I hope you don't mind me writing you and asking about your fishing techniques. It appears that many of the fish you've photographed were caught at night or very early morning, as there seems to be a flash in the picture. Many or most of these look like surf or shore-caught fishes.

I will be a week in Bahia de los Angeles in late May/early June and may try fishing from the beach as well as by panga and kayak. Do you have any comments/techniques relative to night fishing or beach fishing that I might find useful? Thanks for your sharing of photos and information!--Albert Polito

Dear Albert. For fishing at night it is the best to use a sliding-sinker. Put your main line thru it, attach a swivel and on the other side of the swivel a "hookline" of 2 to 2.5 feet (including a 30 lbs wire-trace of about 1 foot).

To attach the hookline to the wire you can use a uni-knot (double is the best) tied into a loop of the wire. In general I use a strong type 1/O or 2/O hook size, however these are European sizes, I don't know if American sizes are the same. You can compare the hook size with the size of the mouth after you've caught a few, and if necessary adjust to that (especially if fish get unhooked now and then during the fight).

Good baits would be pieces of squid, mackerel, mullet, bonito or tuna. Depending on the current you would need sinkers between 2 and 5 ounces. If you fish close or inside of the rocks use heavy 20-30 lbs lines.

However I would recommend you to fish at least 50 yards outside of the rocks. Especially at night the "rock-fish" tend to venture out to sand or the next rock area, it is my feeling that they do that because they stayed in the original area all day, know what there is and want to find "something new". I've caught many "rock-species" on sand, with the first rock area 3.5 miles away on both sides. This also means you can fish lighter lines, have more fighting fun and don't have the annoyement of loosing your tackle all the time and poison the water with lost sinkers.

On the south side of Bahía Los Angeles there is a nice sand area with close to your right and a bit further away to your left some rock areas.

Try to fish from about 3 hours before high tide to about 2 hours after. If the current is strong and you need a 4-5 ounce sinker, it is better to attach a 20 lb leader line to your main line (only if your main line is less than 15 lbs). You can do this with a uni-knot again. It should be of such length, that if you are ready to cast there are still 2 or 3 loops of the 20 lb line around the spool of your reel. This is to prevent your main line from breaking while casting.

A rod of 8 to 12 feet long is recommended. For fishing during the day you will use the same method. You can also cast 3 to 4 inch spoons (Krocodile are the best), Rapalas or jigs. You would do me a favor releasing especially Pargo if you catch them. They will be the next fish to become extinct if things will go on like this. Remember you're not releasing just ONE fish, but about 400,000 eggs per year or the fertilizer of those eggs. I hope you can do something with my info.

P.S. Don't ever forget your flashlight.--Peter

Hi Peter. I have a couple more questions for you. When you speak of a 30-lb. wire trace, are you speaking of solid metal strand, or a braided or woven black coated wire leader?

I suspect that when you speak of pargo to be released, you're speaking of Barred Pargo?

I was unaware that this species is facing depletion. If this is the case I will release barred pargo. As I love eating fish, I imagine that I will be catching mostly spotted bay bass and triggerfish? I really like porgy too and hope to hook up to those. So I'm curious if you could tell me what other species I might encounter there, though certainly the surprise is much of the fun.

I suspect that reef fishes that cruise the sand flats at night do so for the same reason we like fishing open water... there is no structure for their prey to flee too. Either that or also there may be nocturnal species of crab and shrimp that are encountered on the flats. I know there are white crabs that burrow in the sand near the high tide line... I have seen these at Punta Chivato and I bet they're widespread throughout the gulf.

Thanks again for writing, Peter, I really appreciate it!--Albert Polito

Hi Albert: Wire: braided. coated. Depletion of (indeed) BARRED Pargo: this is not an official standpoint but my personal point of view. I've heard enough stories of old-timers that told me how 20-30 years ago they could not avoid Pargo at any given day. Nowadays you are lucky if you encounter a couple of days in a row where you will catch a few, but don't be surprised if you don't catch any for 3 weeks in a row.

Only at mating time which is right now, you could catch them every day. This is what every commercial panga and a lot of "sports"fisherman pangas and cruisers are doing right at this moment and they kill them all, including fish that have never reproduced yet. During the whole year Pargo's are being hunted. In their spare time any Mexican with or without sportsfisherman--or commercial panga or cruiser--will go especially for Pargo.

No Mexican and very few Americans want to hear of my point of view, because the Pargos taste so nice. By the way,the official standpoint on the depletion of the Totuava and the Cabrilla also came too late. Your catch: mainly Spotted Bay Bass, Triggers, various Groupers and with artificials probably Barracudas and maybe Ladyfish. You never know however, sometimes any (even unexpected) species can be present like never before and overrule the "normal" species. If you hook onto something you cannot control at all, they could be large Rays. Switch to 20 or 25 lbs and please release those as well. Porgys are usually individual fish, but you never know and they should be there. Your ideas about fish cruising open water are right.

If only a ban could be put on the mating period of the Pargo, their depletion could be postponed for one or maybe a few more decades.

Just like with the Bluefin Tuna the point of no return has been reached for the Pargo (the point of no return being that fish are killed before they ever reproduce). As you know, worldwide mature Bluefins are hardly being caught anymore (even by commercial fisherman), let alone the 1000-lb. fish that once were available also for sportsfisherman.--Kind regards, Peter



MAGDALENA BAY, MEXICO: BAJA ON THE FLY, San Carlos, May 16, 2001, Gary Graham, Reservations Tel 800-919-2252; Fax 760-746-7260. Temperatures: 78-degree high; low in the mid 60's. Fair skies with some wind in the afternoon. TUNA--Still waiting for them to arrive. YELLOWTAIL--They're down deep on the south side of the entrance. CORVINA--Santa Margarita Island is producing good catches. SNOOK--Not much to talk about. HALIBUT--Near the sand dunes on Magdalena Island.

QUICK COMMENT--Finally, the weather has begun to settle down and the offshore temperatures continue to rise. In the esteros, rumors of larger snook have everyone excited. Me too.



CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: PISCES FLEET, Cabo San Lucas, May 15, 2001, Tracy Ehrenberg, Reservations Tel 011-52-114-31288; Fax 011-52-114-30588. A pretty fair week here in Cabo, with 86 percent of the boats we sent out catching fish of some kind, with around 55 percent getting striped marlin.

The striped marlin fishing was actually pretty frustrating as boats reported seeing as many as 50 in a day, but getting them to bite was another issue. Most were gorged on squid which is abundant in Cabo waters right now.

Fishing was a long way off this week, with boats fishing as far out as 38 miles form Red Hill, 20 miles off of Cabeza de Ballena and outside Destiladeres to add to the long distances covered we again are experiencing colder weather, with heavy fog most mornings. Pisces anglers caught a total of twenty-one striped marlin this week, all released.

Yellowfin tuna were the most widely caught fish this past week, despite some commercial boats sweeping through the Gordo are and cleaning them out later in the week. We had boats that caught up to nine in the 15 to 25 lb class, off of Cabeza de Ballena and others that did pretty well off of the Old Lighthouse on the Pacific side. Fair amounts of skipjack and bonita closer in to shore. No wahoo for us this week, but we did hear of some around the 40 to 50 lb mark being caught.

WEATHER CONDITIONS: Fog most mornings, seas moderate, some overcast days. Windy on the Pacific. LOCATION: Sea of Cortez, Destialderes, Red Hill, Punta Gorda, Cabeza de Ballena. AVERAGE WATER TEMP: 70.

CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: REEL EASY SPORTFISHING, Cabo San Lucas, May 12, 2001, Mike & Renee Hebert, Reservations/Fax 011-52-114-33579. Hola Gene. Last week was really a " hot " fishing week with the return of the Striped Marlin and the arrival of the larger Dorado! Captain Alvaro Gastelum of the Sea u Later and Captain Tony Gutierrez of the El Chilito reported some very nice Striper action from Chileno to the Gordo. Total catch for last week were 13 Striped Marlin, 7 Dorado, 20-50 pounds, and 37 Yellowfin Tuna, 15-30 pounds. All Striped Marlin catches were on live bait with all 13 being successfully released. Yellowfin and Dorado were caught on lures. Water temperatures varied from 69 degrees to 74 degrees with mostly calm seas and plenty of bright sun shine.

CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: HOTEL SOLMAR SUITES, Cabo San Lucas, May 11, 2001, Renee Santa Cruz, Reservations Tel 800-344-3349. The weather and fishing both warmed up some this week for anglers on board boats of the Solmar Sportfishing Fleet, according to fleet manager Rene Santa Cruz. Air temps moved up to the 90 degree mark, and water surface temperatures ranged to 73 degrees. But the really good sign for things to come was the strong comeback of dorado in Cabo waters, Santa Cruz said. The Solmar fleet counted 52 dorado this week, compared to a total of zero for the entire Cabo fleet only a few weeks ago. The fishing area extended farther out this week, moving to 15-20 miles out from El Arco over to Chileno and Palmilla in the Cortez, with some action on the Gordo Banks farther into the Sea.

CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: PICANTE FLEET, Cabo San Lucas, May 16, 2001, Sergio Cortes, Reservations Tel 011-52-114-32474; Fax 011-52-114-35969. Fish available: Striped Marlin, Yellowfin Tuna, Dorado & Wahoo. Water Temperature: 72-76. Air temperature: 89/72. Humidity: 34%. Wind: 10-12 Knots (Pacific), 10-12 Knots (Sea of Cortes). Fleet production (6 boats): 4 Striped Marlin, 19 Tuna & 9 Dorado. Hot spots: Cerro Colorado and Los Frailes (Sea of Cortes). Luckiest boat: Picante (40' Tolly). Captain: Juan "Lapa" Peralta. Angler: Jack Schultz. Production: 1 Striped Marlin 150 lbs.(released), 2 Dorado & 2 Tuna.

CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: FLY HOOKER SPORT FISHING, Cabo San Lucas, May 13, 2001, Capt. George & Mary Landrum, Reservations Tel 011-52-117-01271; 011-52-114-87452. Sad news here, the strong winds blew the cold Pacific water back into our area. While not as cold as they could have been, after being used to temperatures in the 74-degree range, confronting the mid 60s in front of the cape was not good news. The good part of the news was that while the warm water had moved away, it had not moved to far to get to. Up past Gordo Banks the temperature was still in the 74-degree range and if you could get up to Los Frailles there were reports of the water as warm as 77 degrees.

BAIT: Good news here! We are getting a fine mix of Caballito and Mackerel; I just hope it holds up this coming week. The baits are nice sized and there have been Sardinas available also.

BILLFISH: All right, the bad news is that it is quite a long run to get to where the Striped Marlin are hanging out. Up past San Jose and up off Punta Gordo or as far as Los Frailles, depending on the day of the week with early in the week requiring the longer runs. The good news is that the fish are hungry and will get hungrier as the moon wanes. Hopefully the warm water will move back into this area soon and it will not require a 2-hour run to get to the fish. The bite has been pretty steady with a solid 50/50 mix of fish on live bait and lures. Most boats making the run are seeing at least 6 fish or more and the further you go the more fish you spot. We are getting more reports of Blue Marlin showing up also, so that is a nice portent of things to come!

YELLOWFIN TUNA: Early in the week the fishing for football-sized fish was very good out in front of town, out about 12-17 miles. There were larger fish being caught on a steady basis at Gordo banks by boats using chunks and live Sardinas. Porpoise were spotted on a daily basis but very few of the pods found seemed to be holding fish. As Thursday came around we began to see the reason why. The purse seiners had moved in and had obviously been working the porpoise hard. It appeared that having the cake was not enough and we have photos and verified reports of at least one purse seiner moving in on Inner Gordo and setting on the inside pinnacle. Oops, there went the icing! Guess what guys; there went all the Tuna that had been supporting the sports fishermen out of Los Cabos! Guess that the idea of having at least a 12-mile limit for commercial fishermen went out the window this week!

DORADO: They are starting to show up and in the early part of the week you had a good chance of getting at least one of these beautiful acrobats in the boat. As the wind started to blow in the cool water the concentration (what there was of them) moved north up the Sea of Cortez. Boats working up that way were still finding them later in the week and as this week comes around we can only hope that the warmer water where they are holding moves our direction also. Most of the fish found were caught on lures but if there was something floating in the water live bait worked well to pull off a Dorado or two.

WAHOO: Guess it was the full moon for the Wahoo, there seems to have been a dearth of these speedsters this week.

NEARSHORE: Hot and heavy action on Bonito and Skipjack Tuna was the name of the game this week. There were some very nice sized Sierra caught but they were not too thick. A good catch was a half dozen or so in the 4-8 pound range. There were a few nice red snapper and a few Dorado taken by the Pangas, along with some Roosterfish. The Roosterfish are still on the small side, give it another month or so and we might see some of the larger ones show themselves.

CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: JEFF KLASSEN SPORT FISHING, Cabo San Lucas, May 12, 2001, Jeff Klassen, Reservations Tel 360-402-3474. Guess what? THE ROOSTER ARE IN! Yes it has been confirmed. The first of the large roosterfish have been spotted and caught and does that make me feel good. Ricardo at Deportes Pisces in San Jose (he sells our lures there) called me yesterday to order more poppers and Rangers and he told me that the mullet are already in around San Jose and that is good news indeed. When the mullet are in the Roosterfish, jacks, snook and pargo aren't far away from them. Although I didn't get a report from a surf fisherman in that area, I did hear from a few folks who caught several 30 to 50 pound roosterfish from pangas. La Laguna might be a place to check out these days. I'm still hoping that there are pargo concentrations around Playa Tortuga, just a few miles further east from there.

BAJA ANGLERS, Cabo San Lucas, May 12, 2001, Grant Hartman, Reservations 888-588-3446. Hi Folks. THE ROOSTERS ARE HERE! THE REALLY BIG ROOSTERS ARE HERE! May is Cabo's prime roosterfish season and one of the most exciting times in Cabo for us fly fishers.

In fact, all of the inshore fishing is great right now. We are catchin big sierra, yellowtail, travalle and Pacific jacks. All of these fish are great fun on-the-fly and on the right days can give you non-stop action. The kind that gives you heavy arms and a happy heart. Most important, we have been chasing and casting to big roosterfish over the last few days. Each day the numbers are better. As the full moon wanes we expect optimum conditions and a rare combination of big fish and big numbers.

Yesterday I fished with Reynolds Palmeroy and his pretty wife Betty. Our day started slow but mid day we found the fish. By days end it was a "special" fishing day to be remembered for a lifetime. Reynolds caught a huge 20# yellowtail in shallow water, plus 8 snapper and countless big sierra.. All on-the-fly.

The big news, however, is that we found schools of big 30-40 pound roosterfish crashing bait on the surface. Casting into schools of "busting" roosterfish is a fly fishers dream. This day we could not get these big fish to take a fly. Didn't sleep much last night, I was fighting fish in my sleep all night long. The Roosterfish followed me home. Today, I hope we find the roosterfish again.

Folks, believe me when I tell you May is our prime time for roosterfish and all the inshore species. This kind of action is rare anywhere in the world. Big roosters are the kings of the Baja region. The crown of their dorsal fins cut the water while they chase prey. They feed like a pack of wolves...working together to herd up the bait fish. The whole pack crashes the school simultaneously.

This sight makes me fishing crazy. We wait all year to see this action. I am obsessed with roosterfish. My wife calls roosterfish my "mistress" and chuckles over the fact that a man can spend so much energy on a fish.



SAN JOSE DEL CABO, MEXICO: GORDO BANKS PANGAS, San Jose del Cabo, May 13, 2001, Eric Brictson, Reservations 800-408-1199; Fax 619-447-4098; 011-52-114-21147. This week both the weather and the fishing had setbacks. High temperatures peaked near 80 degrees, there was scattered cloud cover and overall conditions were cooler than normal. There also was marine fog and breeze, this all attributed to greenish water once again sweeping into local waters and hampered efforts to reach the favored fishing grounds. Water temperatures ranged from 70 to 75 degrees and swells were moderate, tides were very low early in the morning and made it tough going for the commercial pangeros to net the schooling sardinas, anglers were able to get the bait, but it took patience and supplies were limited.

The action on the Gordo Banks, which had been so consistent for months slowed to a standstill, contributing factors seemed to be the back side of the moon phase, the off colored cooler water and minimal bait supplies, but the main reason without doubt was that several full size commercial tuna purseiners wrapped their nets around the banks, well inside of their 12 or 13 miles supposed legal limits. Local fleets had seen the tuna boats in the nearby vicinity on Wednesday and apparently after all of the sportfishing charters had gone in for the day the armada made plans for their evening assault, many of the residents of Punta Gorda reported seeing the lights of them working under the bright moon on the banks throughout the evening. Of course the local authorities were informed of the illegal action, claiming they did not have jurisdiction and could not help with this incredibly unfortunate situation. So now here we are waiting for some more fish to migrate onto the banks and for the weather to improve.

In the meantime, despite the poor situation offshore, anglers have found some respectable action off the bottom and along the shoreline. The most common catches were sierra, roosterfish, pargo, skipjack, African pompano, jack crevalle and grouper (cabrilla). Fleets were searching for new hot spots and what action they did find was very spread out and in no particular location each day. Trolling with live sardinas produced the best results, with other anglers also having mixed success with rapalas and iron yo yo style jigs. It was now the time when many different options were being targeted in order to find some action. The pompano were being taken close to shore on live bait, in several different areas, best spot was near the shipwreck off of La Salina, just south of Punta Gorda, they averaged 8 to 12 pounds and were fun scrappy fighters on light tackle, not to mention their superb eating qualities. Sierra could be found along the shoreline but are not as numerous now as they had been, though the average size of them is up, ranging from 5 to 10 pounds. Roosterfish are showing in greater numbers throughout the area and the size was also increasing, with many fish in the 10 to 20 pound class being reported. One of the better areas was between Punta Gorda and La Laguna, the schooling mullet are a bit behind schedule on their annual migration and once the schools of the favored baitfish do appear in quantity, the gamefish will most certainly follow.

No good news on any significant billfish action, though most cruisers are heading into the Sea of Cortez in search of action, they did find good numbers of striped marlin at Desteladera Bank, on certain days and many boats reported multiple fish days, but it was not consistent from day to day, just as the weather pattern was off track.



EAST CAPE, MEXICO: BAJA ON THE FLY, Buena Vista, May 16, 2001, Gary Graham, Reservations Tel 800-919-2252; Fax 760-746-7260. TEMPERATURES: High of 87 with a low of 60. STRIPED MARLIN--Plenty out there. Now, if we can just teach them to them to bite. YELLOWFIN TUNA--Porpoise are holding a few. DORADO--Sargasso (floating pods of seaweed) close to Punta Pescadero produced great catches for everyone there. ROOSTERFISH--Some quality fish in front of both hotels. JACK CREVALLE--Good catches continue from both the pontoon boat and the shore. BARRILLETE OR MEXICAN SKIPJACK--A few scattered here and there. PARGO AND CABRILLA -Punta Colorada was the place to be this week. OFFSHORE: Finally, a good pop on the dorado and when the marlin get with the program it is going to be some great action. INSHORE: With no wind, the inshore fishing just keeps going and going. BEACH: La Ribera has lots of sardinia schools close to the shore and sierra, roosters and jacks know it.

QUICK COMMENT--Dorado three miles out in front of Punta Pescadero, more and more marlin seen every day, roosters thick in front of Hotel Buena Vista mixed with good-sized jacks and ladyfish make for an active morning. Our saltwater fly-fishing fanatic Englishman, Ray Barker Smith, is back with a friend, Marlene White, who fished with us last Nov. Using see-through deceivers she got her first dorado on the fly and then went on to get her second, third, etc. What a great way to spend her birthday. Ray, not to be outdone, racked up a nice score as well.

EAST CAPE, MEXICO: EL CARDONAL'S HIDEAWAY, El Cardonal, May 12, 2001, Eddy, Reservations 011-52-114-10040. Hi everyone. The fish are back. One of our guest caught rooster fish right from the beach. The water is finally warming up. We now have 6 suites available all the time. New menu in the restaurant and lots of new snorkeling and full diving shop with a diving master. We also got new long surf fishing poles. How's the road? Getting better. We finally got the grader...maybe the governor was tired of reading my letters...also the new road as been paved. only 2 km is used by the general public to get to us and after that short distance there is only 10 miles of dirt road.

EAST CAPE, MEXICO: RANCHO BUENA VISTA, Buena Vista, May 15, 2001, Tamara Moyeous, Reservations 800-258-8200. Hi Gene. Hot weather, blue skies, no winds and waters at 75 degrees set up a nice week for fishing at Rancho Buena Vista. Thirty stripers, 8 sails, 22 roosters, 42 dorados, 56 tuna and 3 pargo.--Thanks, Tami

EAST CAPE, MEXICO: BUENA VISTA BEACH RESORT, Buena Vista, May 4, 2001, Axel Valdez, Reservations 800-752-3555. Hundreds of billfish being spotted, but the squid still are in and they seem not to be too hungry. Good numbers of dorado, and small size tuna. Inshore fishing continues to be one of Baja's best years. You must bring your light tackle gear.

Last Week Fish Report. Total boats out, 61. Weather Temperature: Mid 70s. (Captured/ Released): Striped Marlin 2/ 5; Dorado 30/ 2; Tuna 96/ 0; Roosterfish 1/ 112; Bonita 0/ 1; Skip Jack 0/ 6; Cabrilla 4/ 2; Jack Crevalle 9/ 15; Red Snapper 34/0; Pompano 1/0; Sierra 1/0; Triggerfish 7/0.

EAST CAPE, MEXICO: RANCHO LEONERO, Bahia de Palmas, May 12, 2001, John Ireland and Roy Baldwin, Reservations 800-646-2252; Hotel 011-52-114-10216. Continued great weather, with daytime highs about 90, nice evenings in the mid 60's, mostly sunny skies, flat clear seas with warming water temp to 76deg. Jumping and tailing striped marlin remain thick throughout the East Cape, however the fish are still line shy as they are gorged on the huge schools of squid and red crabs in the area. Almost all strikes were on plastic, with squid colored trolled lures working best. The yellowfin tuna bite is consistent, with fish from 15 to 65 lbs found about 3-4 miles off Cabo Pulmo, in the same area that produced a steady bite for months on end last season, with the fish taking exclusively live sardinas. Solo big bull dorado to 50lbs were taken daily this week, mostly on red trolled marlin lures, with smaller fish taking hoochies and live sardinas. Wahoo were also taken daily this week, mostly on trolled rapalas or marauders, with an 80 lb 'hoo taken on Saturday. The inshore bite for roosterfish and jacks remains active, with live sardinas and mullet working best.

EAST CAPE, MEXICO: EAST CAPE SPORT FISHING, Los Barriles, May 12, 2001, Dave Dixon and Gil Mendiaz, Reservations 800-837-1556; Fax 805-493-5446. Fishing in the last few weeks has gone from scratchy to pretty much outstanding all around. One supposes if Santa Claus was late for Christmas, he'd leave us all something extra in our stockings. Mother Nature has done us the same favor at the East Cape, bringing the gift of wahoo in numbers.

Our skippers are reporting that the water has pretty much cleaned up and warmed up, with the nasty green stuff replaced by the warm blue water we love to see. Sea surface temperature maps show the continuing influx of warm water, with temps. throughout the Cape running between 73 and 77 degrees F. As for breaks, they're everywhere, to the extent there's no point in giving locations. The real point is that the water is extremely active right now, and the gamefish are responding by actively feeding.

EAST CAPE, MEXICO: HOTELS PALMAS DE CORTEZ, PLAYA DEL SOL, PUNTA COLORADA, East Cape, May 13, 2001, reported by Dave "Smokey" Manuel, East Cape Smokehouse, Hotel Reservations, 800-368-4334. Both nighttime and daytime temps receded back down into the 60's and 80's respectively this past weekend, despite that, water temperatures continued to inch upward and the weather conditions proved very favorable for fishing each day. Not much change in regards to what's available; Striped Marlin and Sailfish numbers are up and down depending on the day, Yellowfin Tuna are still scarce, but Dorado have finally returned the last few days in numbers that suggest it may be more than in an occasional fashion. In other words, there were a few schools of Dorado found and for the first time in several weeks many of the charters hit multiple Dorado, not just one or two. Nearly all Dorado taken were from off Punta Pescadero up to the waters off the Southern tip of Cerralvo Island; the size range was wide, running from 10 lbs up to in the 40's. The most concentrated spot was just 4 or 5 miles off Pescadero where a large area of floating seaweed was found with Dorado schooling underneath. Sardines were the most effective bait here and most were taken early in the day before noon. Dorado are also hitting jigs being trolled through this area by charters looking for Billfish and a few others were taken as far North as Muertos Bay on both jigs and Sardines.

The Striped Marlin population moved to the North and also in closer to shore from that 40 degree heading of the last report. Most charters headed nearly due North or North-Northeast this weekend and spotted jumpers and tailers in as close as 6 to 10 miles and out as far as 26 to 28 miles. Friday was the hottest bite with 35 Sails and Stripers taken on 25 charters; Sunday was exactly the opposite with less than a handful on 20 boats. Like I said, it's on again, off again. Occasional jig strikes are being reported, but by far the best success is with live bait or squid. Not much news to report about Tuna. I've talked to a few boats that have continued to search down off Cabo Pulmo and Frailes for Yellowfin and have had some success, but it has slowed down big time since two weeks ago. The weekend report two weeks ago had 352 Tuna caught on 69 charters, compared to this weekend's report of 13 being taken on 70 charters. You do the math! Bait supply recently has been pretty good on Sardines, but big bait has been somewhat limited, mostly due to the number of charters fishing. The bait pangas often times will limit the number available to local anglers during busy periods to insure charter fleets have an ample supply for resort guests.



LA PAZ, MEXICO: JONATHAN ROLDAN'S TAILHUNTER ADVENTURE SERVICES, La Paz, May 15, 2001, Jonathan Roldan, Tel 626-333-3355; Fax 626-333-0115; Pager 323-349-8111; Message Pager 877-310-7734. This is more for those of you coming down in the next week or two, but thought all the rest of you crazies would want to know as well. Fishing really took an upswing the last day or two. I think (fingers crossed) that someone finally turned on the lights. Big tuna--up to 80 pounds -- north side of Cerralvo Island. Medium tuna--40 pounders--El Bajo. Punk tuna--Punta Perrico and Arenas area. Yellowtail at El Bajo and La Reyna...up to 35 pounds. Pargo, cabrilla and yes...GROUPER same spots! Dorado making more of a showing. LOTS of amberjack all of a sudden up to 40 pounds and SQUID!!!!!! Bring a squid jig. Good to eat and good for bait! Also, first marlin of the season hooked up and brought to leader at the 88. Short and sweet this time! Just hope it keeps up. I"ll be on the fish all week with fresh reports for ya! Keep it tight and bent! Jonathan

LA PAZ, MEXICO: HOTEL LAS ARENAS, Punta Arena de la Ventana, May 15, 2001, Linda Glassman-Davis, Reservations 888-644-7376. Hola Amigos. We are happy to report that the fishing has picked up tremendously! Captain's Valente, Roman, Buho, Israel, Cachora, Adrian, Jorge, Loreto, Johnny, Efren, Beto, Luciano, Ramiro, Fidel, Manuel Salvador, Guicho and Tolon report: 25 Yellowfin Tuna to 58 pounds; 23 Cabrilla to 12 pounds; 8 yellowtail to 14 pounds; 4 Red Snapper to 6 pounds; 6 Dorado to 22 pounds; 8 Amberjack to 10 pounds. We are catching assorted mackerel, lots of large squid is in the water, small live bait is plentiful. With a full house this weekend, our General Manager Patricia Navarro may be sleeping in her office! Looks like the fishing opened up just in time! Saludos to all!--Linda

LA PAZ, MEXICO: FISHERMEN'S FLEET, La Paz, May 8, 2001, David Jones, Hotel los Arcos, Reservations 011-52-112-21313; Fax 011-52-112-57334. Howdy Gene. Let's start out with the good news. The weather has been absolutely fantastic. After a storm front went by last Thursday, and dropped some rain, the weather has been steadily improving. The last two days have been real hummers, with temps approaching 100, light breezes and flat seas. What great climate to experience while waiting for a fish to latch a lip lock on your sardine. The bad news is that this last week you would have waited a long time. The fishing started out the week at "really terrible", and has improved slowly to "OK" as of today. At the beginning of the week the sardines, which had been thick in Muertos, were hard to find. The Captains report that very early in the morning and then again late in the afternoon there have been schools of Jack Crevalle in the Bay, feeding steadily on the Sardines. It doesn't take too many days of this for a lot of Sardines to be turned into Jack Poop (brother to the other famous Jack), and those that survive to beat a hasty retreat. Bait during the middle of the week was difficult, with Captains resorting to Lady Fish, Goat Fish, the occaisional Mackerel, or trolling Rapalas in order to score.



LORETO, MEXICO: EL FUERTE SPORT FISHING, Puerto Escondido, May 9, 2001, Ty Miller, Reservations Tel 714-775-6658; Fax: 714-755-3501; Loreto 011-52-113-30863. Hola Pescadores. It's time for transition again! The yellowtail bite off of Isla Catalan is slowly fizzling out. Most boats are coming back in with only two or three 30 lb. class yellowtail and a few decent cabrilla. The water color has been fading back and forth from green to blue and should start to stabilize soon with the algae bloom dissipating. We are all anxiously watching the signs of the sea and waiting for the dorado and billfish to show. Looks like things should start happening first out near Catalan where the cobalt blue water is starting to appear. A few tailing marlin have been reported already along with some peanut sized dorado. So, we are waiting to see if this place is going to go off soon. It sure looks good!

Bait has moved out to the Deep Bait Hole. However, with this moon phase we are in, the bite has been as late as 7:30 a.m. This makes it a little hard to get an early start. Mostly green macks are being caught with a few Spanish mixing in. Let's hope Mother Nature is kind to us again this year and we roll right into another great dorado and bill fish season. We will be sure to keep you posted as we wait for the invasion!

Air temperature 92. Water temperature 74. Winds, none. Sea state, greasy!

LORETO, MEXICO: MEMO'S FLEET, Loreto, May 15, 2001, Guillermo Chavez, Reservations Tel 011-52-113-51310; Fax 011-52-113-51305. Hi Gene! ¿Como estas mi Amigo? I'm sorry I din't wrote last week. I was in East Cape kind of busy, but I'm now in Loreto., and for mid-May the ocean water is cold compared to last year. That's the reason fishing is really slow. There is lots of cabrilla around, 15 pounders, some yellowtail, but dorado still too far out, still around Catalana Island and getting closer to Monserrat Island. Maybe for first week of June the water gets hotter. I hope. I'll keep you posted mi Amigo. Next week. Take care of yourself.--Tu Amigo, Memo Chavez



BAHIA DE LOS ANGELES, MEXICO: BAHIA DE LOS ANGELES GOES ONLINE--EMAIL SERVICE AT CAMP GECKO. As of yesterday, Dr. Abraham Vazquez' Camp Gecko at Bahia de los Angeles has a satellite modem working and can be emailed at This is a major development for the people of Bahia de los Angels and the entire Midriff Area. As explained in his fishing report below, Doc has graciously offered his email service as a link to the outside world for other residents of remote L.A. Bay. Nice going, Doc! And congratulations!

BAHIA DE LOS ANGELES, MEXICO: CAMP GECKO, Bahia de los Angeles, May 16, 2001, Abraham Vazquez, Tel 011-52-515-19454; Fax 011-52-665-03206 (goes to Guillermo's), satellite EMAIL direct to Camp Gecko at L.A. Bay. The air temperature is getting hotter, low 90s in the day and low 70s at night. The winds have not been strong at all except for the north bay at night where the westerlies have blown almost every night for the past week. The humidity is still in the 55% range. Days have been clear, seas calm. The fishing has not improved much from the last few weeks. The yellows are still absent, the bottom fishing is still good with some red snapper (huachinango) and lots of leopard grouper starting to show on the catches. The bait is very abundant since the water temperature went above 60 (present is 62-65). A few whales and dolphins, lots of nesting birds, and a few stingrays still lurking in the shallows of the bay. The road is in fair shape. Hwy 1 is getting pitted from Catavina to the Parador and the road coming in to Bahia is still great first 9 km and rest is okay. I guess the big news is that we can get e-mail now, I would like to also offer it as a link for any one trying to contact a local resident.that's all for now--Abraham V.



SAN FELIPE, MEXICO: TONY REYES FISHING TOURS, 6-day Midriff Islands trip aboard the panga mothership, Jose Andres, Tony Reyes, Exclusive booking agent, The Longfin, 714-538-8010, TRIP ENDING MAY 11, 2001. Third trip of the year from San Felipe. Water temperature 70. Fish count: 1055 Spotted Bass; 121 Squid 15-25 lbs; 97 Cabrillas 8-11 1/2 lbs; 42 Red Snapper 6-9 1/2 lbs; 21 Sheep Head 8-13 1/2 lbs; 16 Yellow Tail 10-13 1/2 lbs; 9 Broom Tail 6-10 lbs; 4 Shark 10-12 lbs; 3 White Sea Bass 15-25 lbs; 1 Leather Fish 38 1/2 lbs; 1 Pinto Bass 12 lbs.--Report by "The Ice Man"

SAN FELIPE, MEXICO: SEA OF CORTEZ SPORTFISHING, 6-day Midriff Islands trip aboard the panga mothership, Celia Angelina, Bob Castellon, Reservations 626-333-9012; Fax 626-336-1966; San Felipe 011-52-657-71778, TRIP ENDING MAY 9, 2001. On one of the better trips of the past couple of years Bob OBRYANT of Simi Valley under perfect weather conditions sent 16 anglers to Punta Final, Cardinosa, Refujio Bay and finally the last stop of the trip The Golden Reef. Castellon says fishing was pretty much wide open on all our stops! Grouper to 85 lbs, 119 Yellowtail to 47 yes 47 lbs, 212 Cabrilla to 22 lbs, 24 Pargo to 15 lbs, 336 misc., and we released 3 grouper under 25 lbs and 30 cabrilla to 4 lbs, 96 giant squid to 30 lbs. 85% of fish were taken on the MirrOlure 111. Hot colors were Fire Tiger and Hot Pink. The air went over 90 degrees but the water temp is holding at 68 degrees. Bait is almost impossible to make. The water and air temp were excellent, the only thing lacking was live bait which we did not need. We had an excellent trip. Bob, Sea of Cortez Sportfishing.

SAN FELIPE, MEXICO: JIG STOP TOURS, 6-day trips aboard the mothership, Captain Villegas, Larry Burson, Reservations Tel 949-496-0960; 800-521-2281; Fax 949-496-1384, SOCORRO ISLAND AND MIDRIFF TRIPS TO MAY 11, 2001. SOCORRO REVIEW The Captain Villegas finished it's second season in Cabo San Lucas with a series of 5 week-long trips to the Revella Gigedo Islands, specifically Isla Soccoro and Isla San Benidicto.

All 5 trips went off without any problems. The ship's meticulous maintenance and preparation paid off again. There were no apparent difficulties with engines, air conditioning, or supplies. All these trips are limited to 18 anglers maximum or 2 per panga. The trip from Cabo to Socorro takes 20 to 22 hours and trip back to Cabo generally took 24 to 25 hours. The two target fish species were Yellowfin Tuna and Wahoo. The Wahoo at Socorro are usually 25 to 50 lbs and the Tuna are 70 to 150 lbs. The early trips in January and February had great fishing. The last two trips had a lot of competition with San Diego Long-Range Fleet, with sometimes 4 or 5 boats there. Usually they prefer to fish other areas but the bite was off for some reason.

The typical panga catch for the week was 6-10 Wahoo to 50 lbs, 8-15 Yellowfin Tuna to 150 lbs, 20 to 30 Green Jacks to 25 lbs, 20-25 unusual reef fish such as Leatherbass, Grouper, Snapper, Parrotfish and some unidentified. Each panga can choose it's own activity. The mothership always anchors in a quiet protected cove. Socorro Island is small enough for the panga to fish completely around it, which we did looking for Wahoo. The terrain is very rocky with many boiler rocks and exposed reefs.

Each night, the day's catch was filleted and put in the freezer. The zip-loc bags of fillets were frozen solid for trip home in the coolers. Everyone brought back plenty of great eating fish.

MIDRIFF TRIP, May 6 to May 11, 2001 This was our first Midriff trip for the season. As expected the Cabrilla fishing was fantastic! At Puerto Refugio, a bay at the North end of the big Island of Angel de La Guardia, the big Cabrilla were in the shallows fighting to be first to the live Mackerel or lure. They scored limits of Cabrilla 5-15 lbs, and released many smaller ones. Live Mackerel was best, but you soon use your supply when the fish bite instantly. Trolled lures worked well, such as Cabrilla Killers and Mirrolures. Casting iron was productive for the Tady45, Salas 6XJR, and Action's jointed jig.

The week's counts were limits of 490 Cabrilla, 92 Yellowtail, 4 Grouper, 29 Sierra, and 35 Pargo. The ship went directly to Puerto Refugio, then to Isla Estanque (Tank Island), then to Isla Raza, then back to Refugio. On the final day they fished Isla San Luis, near Gonzaga Bay. The Yellowtail were 12-25 lbs and found in all areas fished. The best zone was Puerto Refugio, with the Yellow's on the surface. The weather was calm and the water was 70 degrees.

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WOW! Ever since he got his Nikon digital camera, Baja On The Fly's Gary Graham has been an "ace" photographer. Here's one of his best shots yet, a flying manta ray popping out of the water near Rancho Leonero.

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BAJA HISTORY DEPT:-- From Mitch Rose, this evocative photo of an old L.A. Bay mining wagon.

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African pompano and bonefish, just two of Dutchman, Peter's Langstraat's, extensive lifetime species list. All four photos in this section courtesy of Peter Langstraat.

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Peter with a nice jack crevalle, and his photo of a barred pargo, which he feels will be wiped out soon unless it is protected.

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Just a litter feller. Baja photographer Mitchell Rose sends this photo of a baby grey whale getting its nose petted this winter.

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Big Baja Bull: Pisces Fleet client, Robert Drake from Jacksonville, Florida with a 60-lb class dorado.

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Gordo Banks Pangas clients, Dale and Gina Lambert, went out fishing in the memory of Sandra Jill Powell, who was a long time panga angler in Baja, but is no longer with us. We will remember you, Sandra.

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Don Wisley, right, from Oregon with guide Tony and their overall catch, which included sierra, amberjack and hammerhead shark.

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Gordo Banks Pangas skipper " Jimmy " shows off this species, rarely caught in Baja, which was identified as a golden trevally, but other pangeros were calling it a yellow pompano, either way it was a quality catch on light tackle while trolling a live sardina close to Punta Gorda.

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Jonathan Roldan clients last week, Mitch Chavira and Rene Romero of San Diego, who, Jonathan says, make a habit of showing up on the beach with a lot of fish.

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Newly online medical doctor Abraham Vazquez and some scenes from Camp Gecko and beautiful Bahia de los Angeles.

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We finally got Cabo's famous surf fishing guide, Jeff Klassen, to take his shirt off for a photo. Jeff modestly claims that his amazing physique is due to hours and hours of casting with a 24-foot spinning rod. See Jeff's regular report in the Los Cabos section.

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