ENSENADA, MEXICO: A memorial for Fred Hoctor, longtime Baja California columnist for Western Outdoor News, will be held Sunday, August 12, at 1:00 p.m. in Punta Banda at the La Jolla Camp boat ramp. Fred's wife, Sylvia, has said there will be a scattering of the ashes and then a potluck and reminiscing time at the salon afterward. In lieu of flowers, etc. donations may be made to The Billfish Foundation, Attn: Fred Hoctor Memorial Fund, 177 Riverside Ave., Suite F, #1034, Newport Beach, CA 92663.
The fund will support preservation of billfish and other associated species in Mexico, thus offering great fishing opportunities for future generations.
ENSENADA, MEXICO: LILY FLEET, Ensenada, July 26, 2001, Sammy Susarrey, Reservations Tel/Fax, 5 to 9 p.m., 011-52-617-46747; Cell 011-52-618-67485. Today the Tamara fished at GPS numbers 31.33/117.06 and reported limits of albacore, also 3 dorado to 20 pounds and 6 yellowtail at the kelp paddies. Water temperature was 67.3 degrees. We have good anchovies for bait. The Lily reported today 12 big bonito to 10 pounds, 6 calico bass to 4 pounds, 3 sandbass to 5 pounds, and limits of barracuda. Also 2 white seabass to 12 pounds inside the bay, two miles inside Todos Santos Island. Lots of schools on the surface. Best jig was UFO #2 in chrome.
JULY 27, 2001-- Today the Tamara fished with 5 anglers at GPS numbers 31.42/117.02, reporting 23 albacore to 20 pounds, 2 dorado to 20 pounds, and 3 yellowfin tuna. Most of the fish hit Zukers in white. Lots of bait in the water today. Water temperature was 67.2 degrees. We have nice sardines and anchovies for bait.
ENSENADA, MEXICO: SERGIO'S ENSENADA SPORTFISHING CENTER, Ensenada, July 26, 2001, Sergio Susarrey, Reservations Tel 011-52-617-82185. This past week our vessels have had the best counts of the season of the outer banks!
Until Monday (7/24/2001) the catches of albacore were very much the same that was an average of two to three per rod along with another two to three yellowtail and a few of tuna and dorado.
On Tuesday (7/25/2001) the counts went up to the roof with an average catch of albacore well over of ten per rod on charter boats and five per rod on open party trips. The following day's results were just as great as the day before. Also during these two days the tuna and dorado counts went up.
On Thursday (7/26/01) the bite slowed down with an average catch of only one albacore per rod and about the same of yellowtail.
With a somewhat depressed feeling, boats went back into action on Friday (07/27/01). The early morning radio reports of the fleet reported that the fishing was back into high gear with excellent catches of albacore and yellowtail. Also the tuna numbers were the best of the season.
The counts of the day finished as follows:
Ensenada Clipper (25 anglers): 40 albacore, 15 yellowtail and 9 tuna.
El Cazador (8 anglers): 35 albacore, 23 yellowtail, 18 dorado, and 6 tuna.
Today (Saturday (07/28/01), the big bite continues. At time of writing this report (3:15 p.m.) the Ensenada Clipper with 30 anglers radioed in to give us the following results: 50 albacore, 30 yellowtail and 4 tuna. The El Cazador with 15 anglers reported : 40 albacore, 28 yellowtail and 3 tuna.
The boats are fishing 30 to 45 miles off Todos Santos Island. Local fishing improved at the end of the week with great catches of bonito, barracuda, calico bass and lingcod. The charter boat I scored big on large size white seabass (15 to 25 pounds), and even a few yellowtail were also caught. Currently we are offering a daily departure to the outer banks leaving at 2 a.m. and the local boat which departs also on daily basis at 7 a.m.
SAN QUINTIN, MEXICO: PEDRO'S PANGAS, San Quintin, July 29, 2001, Pete Hillis, Reservations 888-568-2252. Air and water temperatures have remained the same as last week. Winds have not played a role this week on whether we got boats out or not.
Fishing with us this weekend were George Leon and R. Michalowich (both from Colton, CA). They fished two days with us and brought in limits of albacore and yellowtail. Also with us were Mike Koltun, Howard Lee, and Eunice and Nelon King (all from Redondo Beach, CA). They also brought in limits of yellowtail, but also brought in 2 nice dorado (15 pounds), 1 albacore (20 pounds), and 1 yellowfin tuna (25 pounds). John Holod (Portland, WA), Sergio Guzman (Ensenada), and Frank Duarte (Huntington Beach, CA) brought in 12 yellowtail (12 to 18 pounds). And finishing out the weekend were Joe and Ruben Mielnik (Anchorage, Alaska) who took limits of yellowtail (12 to 18 pounds), large rock cod, and a really nice albacore (35 pounds).
As for general information, all tuna, dorado and yellowtail were caught 15 to 20 miles off the point on a 240 heading using Rapalas, jigs, and some live bait. We'll check in with you next week.
MAGDALENA BAY, MEXICO: BAJA ON THE FLY, San Carlos, July 28, 2001, Gary Graham, Reservations Tel 800-919-2252; Fax 760-746-7260. Temperatures: 86-degree high; low 70. MARLIN--A few spotted out 25 miles 240 degrees from the entrance. DORADO--They are in the same area as the marlin. TUNA--Not enough to talk about. YELLOWTAIL--Slow. CORVINA--Power plant produced fair catches as well as near the bridge at the entrance to town. SNOOK--Mario's spot is holding a few larger fish in the mid-teens. HALIBUT--Just inside the entrance on the South side.
QUICK COMMENT--Lots of red crabs at the entrance have got the halibut and sierra all excited. However, there are so many in the water it is hard to get anything to take an artificial.
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: PICANTE FLEET, Cabo San Lucas, July 28, 2001, Sergio Cortes, Reservations Tel 011-52-114-32474; Fax 011-52-114-35969. Fish available: Striped Marlin, Blue Marlin, Yellowfin Tuna & Dorado. Water temperature: 82--86. Air temperature: 86/76. Humidity: 72%. Wind: 8-10 Knots (Pacific), 8-10 Knots (Sea of Cortes). Fleet production (6 boats): 2 Blue Marlin, 4 Sailfish, 3 Striped Marlin, 3 Dorado & 2 Tuna. Hot spots: San Jaime Bank (Pacific Ocean). Luckiest boat: Picante Express (31' CABO). Captain: Jaime "Hook" Gonzalez. Angler: Peter Fulton. Production: 1 Blue Marlin 300 pounds and 2 Sailfish 80-90 pounds(released).
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: FLY HOOKER SPORT FISHING, Cabo San Lucas, July 28, 2001, Capt. George & Mary Landrum, Reservations Tel 011-52-117-01271; 011-52-114-87452. WEATHER: It has been a very nice, warm, humid week here in Cabo. We had a Hurricane pass well to the south of us mid-week and it brought in a few light breezes from the east on Wednesday, along with a few days of overcast skies. Oh, I almost forgot, we also had a few scattered light showers! Daytime temperatures were in the mid to high 90s and it got down to the high 70s Wednesday evening, really perfect conditions. The prevailing light winds have been from the northwest.
WATER: The water keeps getting warmer almost every week. The Hurricane that passed to the south also seemed to bring in the warm Cortez water that had been sitting a little offshore to the East. We now have a band of warm water that extends across the cape and out towards the San Jaime and Golden Gate banks. This water is between 82 and 84 degrees and extends from shore to a little over 25 miles out. At that distance the temperature drops a few degrees but still stays warm. The surface conditions have been excellent with very little rough water found. The Sea of Cortez did get choppy on Wednesday due to the easterly winds but it was just wind chop, nothing big or nasty.
BAIT: Plenty of Caballito are available and there are Mullet also if you ask ahead of time. The normal $2 per bait has not changed.
BILLFISH: We have had a pretty good mix of Billfish this week. Boats have caught Blue Marlin, Striped Marlin and Sailfish. The majority of Blues have been caught on lure with the favorites being black/green and Dorado colors in sizes from 12-14 inches. Most of the Blues were caught either south of the cape or up the Sea of Cortez side. As the Pacific continues to warm they should appear there as well. While the number of Striped Marlin has dropped considerable they have become much better about eating when they are found. This week most of them were south and a little to the west of the cape. They appear to have moved along with the temperature change. A fairly good mixed bite on both lures and live bait with the smaller 9 inch straight running surface lures in the usual blue/silver, black/green, Dorado and silver getting lots of strikes. The Sailfish have been rather abundant with a lot of boats getting multiple hookups on the spindle beaks. Unfortunately the majority of them have been hooked up on gear that really outclasses the fish and they are brought to the boat quickly. They have been found with the Dorado and for the fortunate few, have been caught on spinning tackle or smaller conventional reels while live baiting for the Dorado!
YELLOWFIN TUNA: There has been pretty steady action on the smaller football fish in the 15-35 pound range close to shore on the Sea of Cortez side from the lighthouse to the Westin. There have been some fish in the area as large as 50 pounds also and these fish have been caught slow trolling live Mullet and Caballito, with Mullet getting most of the strikes. Larger fish in the 60-120 pound range, with a few in the 200 pound class were found on both Tuesday and Friday about 25 miles outside. These fish were Dolphin associated and those boats that were first on the scene found the bite to be good. The fish were not too picky for the first couple of boats but then by the time 6 or more were working them the bite shut down and no one got a hit. Both live bait and lures worked as long as you were the first on the scene.
DORADO: Some nice Dorado, up to 70 pounds, were brought in this week, but the majority were in the 15 pound range. There has started to be a fairly steady bite just offshore on the Pacific side of the cape on the 15-pound size fish and when any debris is found floating the bite has been great on the larger fish. Slow trolled smaller live baits have been the ticket for the Dorado just off shore and tossing live bait to floating debris has accounted for almost all the larger fish. Lures are also working well just off the shore and tuna feathers or 6-9 inch straight running lures in silver or blue/silver are getting plenty of hits when the fish are found.
WAHOO: A few Wahoo have been caught but as most of the time, there has been no steady action on them. High-speed lures and deep running plugs are working as long as there are fish in the area.
INSHORE: Inshore action has been almost exclusively centered on Yellowfin Tuna and Dorado. Both species have been on the Sea of Cortez side and there has been lots of Dorado on the Pacific side up just past the lighthouse. Slow trolled live bait or deep running plugs have been the ticket here. There has been little action on other species this week.
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: PISCES FLEET, Cabo San Lucas, July 24, 2001, Tracy Ehrenberg, Reservations Tel 011-52-114-31288; Fax 011-52-114-30588. BILLFISH: We are definitely now back on track here at Land's End. Although striped marlin continue in the area, we are now seeing blue marlin and sailfish, pretty much on a daily basis caught by the Cabo fleet.
Overall we had an 85 percent catch success rate for all species combined, with 60 percent of boats catching billfish. There were some nice fish this week, such as a 440-pound blue caught by Steven Lee from Baton Rouge, LA on July 24th, aboard Paulina. Rebecca scored two blues in the same day for Rubin Kremling, one released and one boated at 350 pounds, as well as nice 45-pound dorado. Tracy Ann had an exceptional day July 24th, releasing one blue marlin and two sailfish as well as boating a 45-pound tuna for Colin Comer from Houston, fishing with Greg Givens and Oscar Durham. July 22nd was a good day for La Brisa and anglers Richard Malajian and David Regins from New York--they released both a blue marlin and striped marlin and boated a large dorado for the table too. Sean McClure, from Arlington TX, was another lucky angler to get a 350-pound blue too (his wife also did great on small game). This is how the catches went most of the week, though striped marlin dominated--still being finicky about the bait offered, it was frustrating to cast bait time after time and not meet with success.
Seas were pretty flat most of the week, but as we got the close of this report, hurricane Dalia, far out at sea, did cause some big swells. It seems like we will see an increase on blue marlin, and sailfish and smaller game is on the same schedule.
Pisces anglers caught a total of 26 striped marlin this week, all released, six blue marlin, all but one released and 4 sailfish, released.
OTHER SPECIES: We are now starting to see big dorado, ranging from 20 to 50 pounds, taken on both live bait and lures; mostly found in one's and two's. For the first time in quite a while, we saw an increase on yellowfin tuna, who are now getting a bit of size to them, at 50 pounds. These were individual fish, picked up while trolling, with some taken on live bait. Shawna McClure from Arlington TX, caught a beautiful 60-pound roosterfish on 30-pound-test line that took her one hour and 10 minutes to bring to the leader after taking a live bait. Pangas are still catching a few small snapper and cabrillas, as well as skipjacks, pompano and the odd yellowtail here and there.
LOCATION: Mostly off of Chileno, off of San Jose and Punta Gorda. WEATHER CONDITIONS: Clear skies most of the week, seas flat, then developing swells up to 5 feet at the close of the week. AVERAGE WATER temperature: 71-74 close in, 80 on the outer Gorda. BEST LURES: Live bait.
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: BAJA ANGLERS, Cabo San Lucas, July 27, 2001, Grant Hartman, Reservations 888-588-3446. Hi folks, I am still amazed how quickly the fishing conditions can change overnight in Cabo. Just a few weeks ago we had cold green water in our area and the fishing was so-so. This last week the water temperatures have improved considerably, and so has the fishing. Offshore we are still catching striped marlin, but the fish are a bit closed mouth and prefer live bait. Sailfish, dorado, yellowfin tuna and blue marlin are cruising our waters again, and the fishing is just starting to really take off. The dorado can be found close to Cabo, just a few miles from the harbor. Most of the fish are under 20-pounds, but expect to catch 2 to 4 fish in a day. Yellowfin tuna, 20-60 pounds, are located one to two miles off the Westin Hotel. The fish are holding deep, so live bait is a must. The sailfish and blue marlin are located in the blue water 4 to 20 miles offshore. Lures are producing the best results. Inshore, the roosterfish and jacks have returned to our area. They are moving around a lot, but it has been good action when we find them. Roosterfish from 10 to 20 pounds are common, but a few big fish in the 50- to 60-pound range have been caught this last week. A few snappers and yellowtail have been caught lately, but not enough to write home about. I am leaving for St. Thomas for a marlin tournament tomorrow morning and I'll be back on the 8th.
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: CORTEZ YACHT CHARTERS, Cabo San Lucas, July 27, 2001, Mazatlan, Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo, Larry Edwards, Reservations 619-469-4255. It all works out to about a billfish per boat-day fished, but now, we are seeing a bit of a variety, i.e., stripers, sails and blues. Dorado are scattered about the area and there is no concentration. However, the ones being taken are still in the trophy size ranges, typically in the 25-60 pound range. Overall counts reflected 4 blue marlin (2 released), 4 sailfish released, 19 stripers (6 released), 13 dorado and 2 yellowfin tuna.
Weather is hot, hot, hot, sunny, mostly clear. Sea conditions on the Cortez side remain calm with water temperatures at 80 degrees. Live bait remains critical for the stripers, which are still not overly eager to cooperate. Best fishing area is above and outside the Gordo Banks. Bait supply remains good, mostly cabalito.
SAN JOSE DEL CABO, MEXICO: GORDO BANKS PANGAS, San Jose del Cabo, July 28, 2001, Eric Brictson, Reservations 800-408-1199; Fax 619-447-4098; 011-52-114-21147. Tropical weather prevailed this past week. Hurricane Dalila passed within less than 300 miles of Cabo San Lucas before heading out on a northwest track. Though it was a minimal strength storm, nevertheless it did create high surf that shut down operations for the La Playita panga fleets for three days. On Thursday the boats were able to launch once again, but with the low tide conditions in the early morning they had to use extra caution. Days were sunny, in the mid 90s. There was scattered cloud clover, along with high humidity. The water was still greenish through much of the region, but there was blue water found north of Iman and further offshore. Water temperatures continued to be up and down but for the most part averaged 76 to 80 degrees, warmer water was reported further offshore. Still plenty of mullet available for bait, with minimal supplies of sardinas for anglers that had the patience to wait extra time in the morning for a chance at a handful of the preferred tuna bait.
Overall catches for panga anglers included yellowfin tuna, dorado, amberjack, jack crevalle, roosterfish, pargo and skipjack. The cruiser fleet was starting to report more consistent action for blue marlin. One of the more productive areas was outside of Gordo Banks, towards the Cabrillo Seamount, this is where there was blue water over 80 degrees found. The number of fish was not great for the summer season, but most everybody was catching fish. Average catches per boat ranged from 2 to 8 fish in combination. Most common species was yellowfin tuna. They weighed in the 15 to 50 pound class. The best action for the tuna was found by anglers that were lucky enough to have the live sardinas, though they were also hooked on retrieved yo-yo type jigs or by trolling cedar plugs, Rapalas and feathers. The tuna were found mainly within a mile or two from shore in the areas between Punta Gorda and La Fortuna. The same spot produced a few dorado up to 45 pounds, but they continued to be few and far between, maybe an average of one dorado for every two boats.
Along the shoreline there continued to be a mix of action for roosterfish, jack crevalle and amberjack. Roosterfish were found in good numbers off of La Laguna and ranged up to 50 pounds. Some anglers reported catching and releasing as many as 10 of the roosters. Best bet was trolling with live mullet, but you could go through a lot of bait, because there were plenty of jack crevalle and pesky needlefish mixed in the same area. The big bite that had been happening for amberjack close to shore has tapered way off but there were some of them still hanging along the shore near Punta Gorda. The ambers that were taken, weighed 20 to 30 pounds and hit on mullet and Rapalas. Good Fishing, Eric.
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: BAJA ON THE FLY, Buena Vista, July 28, 2001, Gary Graham, Reservations Tel 800-919-2252; Fax 760-746-7260. TEMPERATURES: High of 93 with a low of 74. Flat calm all day yesterday (Fri.); same this morning. STRIPED MARLIN--Best action off of Cabo Pulmo and Las Frailes. YELLOWFIN TUNA--A few down toward Cabo Pulmo and below Las Frailes under porpoise schools.. DORADO--A few being found early morning around the shark buoys. Larger fish are being found in open water.. ROOSTERFISH--Good inshore action continues early morning and mid-afternoon in front of La Ribera and Rancho Leonero.. JACK CREVALLE--The bigger fish are seen close to the beach at Punta Arena.. BARRILLETE OR MEXICAN SKIPJACK--Fair catches in front of La Ribera. PARGO AND CABRILLA--Reef in front of Hotel Rancho Leonero producing a few.
OFFSHORE: The Bisbee Black & Blue tournament finished up yesterday with only a few qualifying fish and most under the minimum weight of 300 pounds. The best news was some larger tuna were found under the porpoise below Las Frailes. One toad was brought in last night at Rancho Leonero that weighed over 200 pounds. Not on a flyrod I regret to say. INSHORE: Roosterfish, jacks and sierra continue to produce some great action. BEACH: Roosterfish strung out all along the beach from RBV to La Ribera.
QUICK COMMENT--Beach and inshore are still the best bet. I caught several small roosters driving over to the office to write this report. See-through deceivers and a white Clousers with gold eyes worked the best.
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: RANCHO BUENA VISTA, Buena Vista, July 27, 2001, Tamara Moyeous, Reservations 800-258-8200. Hot temperatures and beautiful sunny days were abundant along with the fish this week. Water temperature at 80 degrees. A total of 8 striped marlin, 6 blue marlin, 4 sails, 28 dorado and 58 tuna made up the catch. Anglers participating in the 13th Annual Tag & Brag Tournament netted the following: Carl and Eddie Gelsman from San Francisco caught a 47.5-pound dorado with a cedar plug; Robert Massey released a 250 pound blue marlin caught with 80-pound test and a pink lure; Bud, Mark and Tom de Matteo released 2 stripers and 1 blue marlin. Best regards, Tami.
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: EAST CAPE SPORT FISHING, Los Barriles, July 27, 2001, Dave Dixon and Gil Mendiaz, Reservations 800-837-1556; Fax 805-493-5446. Hi Gene. I'm heading down tomorrow for three days of fishing, so should have lots of good info and pictures (I hope!) for next week.
The passing of hurricane Dalia slowed things for a couple of days, but the bite before was pretty good and is on the upswing again. The billfish bite has been strong. The male blue marlin are in in numbers, with fish to 400 pounds being taken. There are stripers in the area as well, and our boats are reporting multiple sailfish hookups for those trolling the Ocho Ocho. The dorado are also hitting on the troll, with most fish being mid-sized (20-40 pounds). Yellowfin tuna action has been surprisingly concentrated at the north end of Isla Cerralvo. Cerralvo is typically a winter tuna hotspot, so things are a bit backwards this year! The sea surface temperature maps give a hint as to why, with very warm water (to 95 degrees) on the outside, and 85 degrees on the inside, including the region in between Cerralvo and the Baja peninsula. Inshore continues to pump out great action on the jacks, including roosterfish, jack crevalle, and some BIG amberjacks being reported. Richard Corbin even nailed a 45 pound yellowtail!
More fishing reports and information for East Cape, Mexico, can be found in the Mexico Fishing News archives.
MARLIN CATEGORY: 309 pound Blue Marlin; angler, Ray Vasquez, Bailey, CO; boat; Tio Pepe; prize money, $64,608.
TUNA CATEGORY: 133 pounds; angler, Zane Hinrichs, Placerville, CA; boat, Rude Girl; prize money, $5,166.
DORADO CATEGORY: 55 pounds; angler, Bob Hendricks, Ponte Vedra, FL; boat, Picante Pride; prize money, $5,166.
During this year's East Cape Bisbee Tournament a total of 66 Billfish were caught on 41 boats entered over the 3 days (34 Blue Marlin, 26 Striped Marlin, and 6 Sailfish). Of those, 34 Blue Marlin caught, only three were brought in to check for a qualifying weight of 300 pounds. Two of those did not make the minimum, leaving the only qualifying fish during the tournament a 309 pound Blue Marlin. It was presented at the scales on the final day at 2:10 p.m., only 50 minutes prior to lines out of the water. The fish was caught by Ray Vasquez of Bailey, CO, who along with his wife Patti, just moved to the East Cape. The $64,608 they won was a nice welcome wagon gift! Ray hooked the fish on 80-pound-test using a 3.5 Zuker Orange Dorado lure. They boated the fish in a little over an hour and a half and headed directly for shore to get the fish weighed in as quick as possible. Fish begin losing weight almost immediately after being caught, so time is money. If his team would have been entered in all the daily jackpots, that same fish would have won over $125,000. The boat finding the winning fish was the Tio Pepe, which charters out of Hotel Palmas de Cortez.
The winning Tuna was caught on day two and weighed in at 133 pounds. Several challengers were brought in on day 3 around the 100 to 115 pound mark, but the fish held. It was caught by Zane Hinrichs of Placerville, CA aboard the Rude Girl, which also fishes out of Hotel Palmas de Cortez.
Day two also produced the winning Dorado, a 55 pounder caught by Bob Hendricks of Ponte Vedra, FL. They were fishing aboard the Picante Pride which charters out of Cabo San Lucas. The highest points award was given to the Miss Corona, which released 7 Billfish in the last two days of fishing. No money is awarded for this, but I mention it because the skipper Chuey and deckhand Pedro are our amigos. The Miss Corona fishes out of Hotel Palmas de Cortez.
One of the good causes from this tournament was a drawing organized by Karen Kennedy who owns East Cape Tackle here in Los Barriles. Tickets were raffled off for the give away of two brand new reels that were donated by Accurate Reels and East Cape Tackle. Part of the proceeds for these drawings was donated to the Children's Orphanage in La Paz, BCS.
We had a small hurricane pass to the South of us earlier in the week and indirectly our weather and surface conditions were affected. The system never moved close enough by to be much of a direct threat, but associated weather cells did send us strong winds and rough seas on Tuesday and Wednesday. Monday's fishing was slow to start the week and the wind and waves did nothing to improve it. Water color and temperatures were both affected and it wasn't until Thursday that things settled down. After a nightlong moderate blow on Wednesday, Thursday a.m. appeared with calm seas and finally some fish being caught. The best spots were to the South off of Los Frailes, down to Destillideras on Yellowfin Tuna and a few Dorado. Several pods of Porpoise were found in these areas with some nice sized Tuna. Ranges on Tuna actually ran from an abundance of small 10 to 15 pound class fish to many in the 30 to 60 pound class and a few up near and over the 100 pound mark.
All but one charter returning on Thursday with Dorado was limited to a single or double; most blind strikes on jigs. A respectable number of Blues were caught, but as I said above, finding one of any size is tough. Most estimates on those released are running 200 to 250 pounds. The best action was again down off Los Frailes and that general vicinity, although a few Blues were also released from the waters up towards Cerralvo Island. Adios, Smokey Dave.
LA PAZ, MEXICO: JONATHAN ROLDAN'S TAILHUNTER ADVENTURE SERVICES, La Paz, July 28, 2001, Jonathan Roldan, Tel 626-333-3355; Fax 626-333-0115; Pager 323-349-8111; Message Pager 877-310-7734. Pescadores! Well, it's been raining here on and off for the past 3 days. Nothing crazy. Just afternoon squalls that fortunately hit AFTER we're done fishing. The problem is that when it rains here in Baja, about 10 months of rain comes down in 10 minutes and basically drowns us all! The "upside" is that it washes alot of stuff like trees and debris into the water and within a few days that becomes perfect dorado habitat. Nevertheless, we sure had at least one really bumpy day on the water in the pangas. I was with Vic Ochoa and his group and we sure bounced. Maybe the roughest day I've seen out here in awhile and actually saw a couple of guys seasick for the first time all year!
As far as the bite is concerned, just when I thought it was getting more consistent for Las Arenas, it went wacky again! I cannot believe this. The Ochoa group popped a few tuna here and there that were quality fish in the 35-40 pound class and had a solid day of dorado, but for the most part it was a pick bite all week. Some days it was on and other days you should stay at the hotel. On the days it was good, north point at Cerralvo was again the hotspot for big tuna to 80 pounds with (not lying) some really big yellowtail, even though it's July!. Still some wahoo around although not many getting caught, but lots of stories of guys getting zipped. Also, there's a spot just west of Las Cruces that seems to be pretty consistent for dorado, relatively speaking. However, it's on fire one day and then it's cold as ice the next.
In all honesty, the best bite right now has been out of La Paz. The gap between Cerralvo Island and Espirtu Santo has been raging with dorado under sargasso paddies or in the current breaks. It will be interesting to see what the rains push down in terms of debris. However, as is par for the course, one day the fish are punks and the next they are quality monsters. I fished with Ann Kelly and her family, including 9 year old, Ryan, from Long Beach and got them their first dorado that were all 15 pound fish and lots of fun. Next day the fish turned into 30-50 pound mahi with so many fish swimming around the boat that you couldn't get to the bigger fish because the "smaller" 30 pounders were jamming the bait too quickly.
Probably the biggest news was the explosion on El Bajo this week. It's been a dead issue all season, but this week the big boys came to play. Ann Kelly and her dad, Ed from San Diego rolled up on the bank and said that hundred pounders were catching air going after the baitfish! They didn't get any of the "bigger" ones, but were still able to stack some 6 "small" fifty pounders on the deck which were personal bests for both of them. It will be interesting to see if this turns into something. Talk at ya later!
LA PAZ, MEXICO: FISHERMEN'S FLEET, La Paz, July 25, 2001, David Jones, Hotel los Arcos, Reservations 011-52-112-21313; Fax 011-52-112-57334. Fish report As I mentioned in last Sunday's update, the fishing down here at the close of the week was miserable. A few nice fish, but compared to what you and I expect down here in July, a bust. Well, once we got over the moon stuff things have improved, perhaps not come roaring back as I had hoped, but definitely improved.
With the exception of Ted Howell and Willy Braddick, a couple of really good fishermen down from Washington and Idaho, who just had miserable luck, everyone else is starting to crank 'em in. Red Davis and his group down out of the California foothills from Jamestown have been doing very well on Dorado with Capt. Martin. They found some sargasso up around Las Cruces today and did well on fish to 40 pounds.
The Tuna are beginning to hit with an early morning bite at the Punta Arena Lighthouse and then later at the south point of Cerralvo Island. The Tuna are a little smaller than last week with 35 pounds being the average. Some big Marlin have been sighted down in front of Muertos, off the lighthouse, and at the South Point. Javier and I are going out to see if we can snag one of those tomorrow.
A few Wahoo have been hooked, but none landed this week, and some nice Pargo are still coming off the south point for those wanting to work hard. The weather is in flux, with out first real hurricane this summer coming past us yesterday. Some ground swell was noted, but she's out to sea now and seemingly forgotten. The last two afternoons have had the summer afternoon rain squalls that are so common down here in July and August, but these have been the first ones this year. Yesterday's took place while I was burnin' some steaks for Ted and Willy and Mike and Re Ferrell from Colorado, and it's a good thing that there is a native Californian runnin' the show, 'cuz I don't know another group willing to Bar-b-que in the rain. It was nice, and a nice change to the weather that needed something new.
And in the way of new things, I had a chance to finally try out a new, to me, thing on my last trip out with Ken Allen. We had both been intrigued at last spring's Fred Hall Show with a product made by TyGer. It is a leader material made of stainless steel, but it is flexible enough to tie knots in. "?" you say, as I did, but it works. Ken and I were dragging Rapala's looking for some rumoured Wahoo, and did not catch any, but did pick up several Yellowfin Tuna to 40 pounds and this stuff held great. We were using the 40 pound version, and I connected both to the main line and to the Rapala using the UniKnot, and they worked great. I will be using this stuff for Wahoo in the near future, if Chris doesn't cop it from my bag, and would highly recommend that you give it a try if flexible wire would satisfy one of your current fishing conundrums. You can get in touch with Robert Sherman, who is the sales honcho, at www.tygear.com or call them at 707-938-3373. It's pretty cool stuff.
LORETO, MEXICO: VILLAS DE LORETO, Loreto, July 28, 2001, Wendy Wilchynski, Reservations Tel/Fax 011-52-113-50586. Gene. The temperature outside is 97 degrees and the water temperature, right from El Fuerte themselves is 84.5 degrees! They are having a great day out there, right this minute! Lots of sailfish and dorado. They all caught fish! The weather isn't too bad either, not too hot. Villas de Loreto is offering a WILD price of $47.07 U.S. per night for 1-2 persons (including tax!), a whopping 40% discount on the rooms, for Aug. and Sept. Fishing from here usually runs $120.00 U.S. per boat per day. We have lots of freezer space, so come on down. Looking forward to seeing you all! Bye for now, Wendy.
LORETO, MEXICO: ARTURO'S SPORT FISHING, Loreto, July 28, 2001, Arturo Susarrey, Reservations Tel 011-52-113-50766; Fax 011-52-113-50022. In the last weeks we have had some cloudy and windy days and some sunny and calm days. These changes are affecting a little the number of fish caught. Air temperature 90-95. Water temperature: 80.
DORADO: We have been with the same Dorado situation, for two weeks. This week a lot of big schools coming inside, between east Coronado Island, north Punta Lobos (Carmen Island) and Puerto Almeja north of Loreto. The last fed days we caught Dorado between 15 and 20 pounds, and the biggest one scaled 45, with and some others at 30 to 45 pounds. On sunny days with flat water, the Dorado show up much better than on the cloudy and windy days.
STRIPER East and north of Punta Lobos and north of Loreto at Punta Almeja, are the best areas, with weight around 100 pounds. SAILFISH: There are a lot of them are in same areas as the dorado, medium size between 80 and 90 pounds.
LORETO, MEXICO: BAJA BIG FISH COMPANY, Loreto, July 27, 2001, Pam Bolles, Reservations Tel/Fax 011-52-113-50448. Temperatures have been in the 100+ range but they've cooled lately and now the highs are in the high 90s and lows are in the low 80s. Humidity is high. Skies are partly cloudy due to afternoon thunderstorms over the mountains to the west. We are seeing t-storms over the mainland as well with lightning at night and during the early mornings. Winds are prevailing from the south. Calm in the early mornings then starting by mid-day. By afternoon they are quite strong, then calm again. For the last several nights, the winds have been building up @ 1:00 a.m. and continuing until about 4:00 a.m. This is probably from the storm activity to the southwest of the cape region. These winds have been affecting our seas during the day during the past several days but have given the seas a break yesterday and today.
Come visit our shop!: We're located in front of the "El Pescador" Supermarket and we have lots of t-shirts and tank-tops in stock with our cool logo for only $10!
After the storms we experienced in the beginning of the month, the dorado which had been consistently large from late May through June, had shrunk in size. They were coming in few and far between and in the puny 5-10 pound range. Gear fishermen were hit with a double whammy, no bait and small fish along with a very bright moon. As the moon dimmed, the fish got progressively larger and more frequent, however the bait situation remained dismal at best. Since then we have been able to get live bait and the fish have been plentiful and large. We were catching small to medium sized dorado to the south between Punta Perico and Monserrat during the middle of the month then large fish were found again off Punta Lobos. Fish in the 30 pound range have been consistently fished off Punta Lobos, Punta Perico, and north to San Bruno and San Basilio, but the swelly seas of a few days ago put the fish under, even though there is a lot of sargasso out there right now.
Yesterday lots of fish were landed off San Basilio, today they were found under a series of large sargasso paddies that extended for almost a mile east of Punta Lobos. Those that didn't hit this area got skunked. The fish are moving around a lot right now and you'll need to be in the right place at the right time to get into them.
There are still a lot of sailfish. The San Bruno area continues to be the sure bet for the sails as there are lots of them there. They are typically well over 100 pounds (100-130 pounds). Right now, trolling feathers are working best, as they seem uninterested in the squid people keep throwing at them. Colors for artificials that are working best: green/white, blue/white, Tres Generaciones (pink/green/red), pink/white, green/yellow. Another method that's proving effective is to flyline a dead bait to tailing and feeding fish.
LORETO, MEXICO: MEMO'S FLEET, Loreto, July 27, 2001, Guillermo Chavez, Reservations Tel 011-52-113-51310; Fax 011-52-113-51305. I was kind of busy moving the boats to La Paz due to very slow season in Loreto so now we are going to operate out of the Cantamar Hotel in Pichilinge in a joint venture with Fernando Aguilar, owner of Hotel Cantamar and Baja diving and service. Now people can scuba dive some days in his boats and fish other days with us. He has a marina facility and ground transportation also.
Fishing now in this area of La paz is super at the Bajo. We are catching lots of dorado and tuna at the same time on live bait as well trolling red lures. Also by la Reyna we hooked some striped marlin, near 150 pounders. The water temperature is now in currents near 88 degress. Last Sunday we had 45 strikes on dorado, small but only 3 miles out of San Lorenzo Channel, in a small patch of seaweed about 3 square feet. Now we are starting to see blue water. It was greenish in color and cold this year. We are still catching yellow tail with yo-yo.
BAHIA DE LOS ANGELES, MEXICO: CAMP GECKO, Bahia de los Angeles, July 27, 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. Weather has continued on the cool side for our usual average, with mild to no winds at all. The humidity has gone up, a bit more than the last few days, but the water temperature is still only 76. The water color is still green. Billfish and the dorado have remained too far south for us to go after them so hopefully in a week or so they will come after us. But there is a good amount of yellowtail in the local islands some of them up to 60 pounds but most of them 25 or under. The white sea bass bite is still good on Guadalupe Reef on 30-40 pound fish. The sierra are inside the bay at about 40 feet of water trolled with small lures. Baitfish are plentiful, and an unusual amount of flying fish have arrived in the area. Thank you, Abraham.
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 July 27, 2001. Trip #14 out of San Felipe. Average water temperature 70 degrees. Fish count: 108 yellowtail 25-48.5 pounds; 66 spotted bass; 61 cabrilla 10-16.5 pounds; 31 red snapper 8-14.5 pounds; 4 grouper 75-86 pounds; 3 dorado 10-13 pounds; 3 sheephead 6 pounds; 2 shark 16 pounds; 1 broomtail grouper 8 pounds.
Biggest fish of the week: Philip Brooks, 86-pound grouper. Second Place: Jeff Miller, 75-pound grouper.
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 July 26, 2001. A group of fireman led by Mike Skinnell and Richard Voss encountered lower water and air temperatures. Air was down to 80 degrees, and high water temperature was 77. No Dorado this week. Bob talked to a commercial fisherman and was told the bite was an a.m. affair, we only fished the area on Sunday in p.m. Eighty percent of the yellowtail were caught at San Esteban. Fish report: 1 broomtail, 158 yellowtail, 76 cabrilla, 123 giant squid, 7 pargo, and 136 misc. No report for next 2 weeks.
MAZATLAN, MEXICO: The dynamite dorado action continues and the sailfish counts inch upward too. Largest fish for the week was a 178-pound blue marlin that died during the fight and was taken by anlger Scott Gentry, Maumelle, AR, fishing aboard the Aries 5. According to Geronimo, the sailfish bite was good enough, but it was hard to get anglers interested in leaving the fast-paced dorado action for the slower pace of the billfish. Overall counts reflected 11 sailfish, 1 blue marlin, and 439 dorado, with many releases.
Weather is hot and humid with some cloud cover, rain in the near mountains. Sea conditions are excellent, clear and flat, with water temperatures in the low 80s. Best fishing is 18 miles southwest of Marina el Cid. Billfish are all being taken on rigged trolling baits. Dorado were eager on most artificials and live and rigged baits, as well as strip baits. (If it moved, they bit it.)
IXTAPA ZIHUATANEJO, MEXICO: Stan Lushingsky/Susan Richards -- Ixtapa Sportfishing Charters. Very little fishing activity was reported last week primarily due to some bad weather which affected the area for several days. When the fleet was able to get out reports continued to be very good for sailfish and school yellowfin tuna in the 30-60 pound class. The schools of tuna are reported to be inside the 15-mile mark and sailfish activity is also present in that band of water. Capt. Chiro aboard the Yellowfin II landed 2 sailfish and 1 dorado in one day of fishing. Capt. Miguel Alvarez of the El Soltar reported a single 300-pound black marlin. Capt. Alvarez also reported that several giant yellowfin tuna in excess of 300 pounds were also brought in. Inshore, action remains hot for big roosterfish and Capt. Aldoph Espinosa has reported average daily catches to be in excess of 6 roosters. Blue water remains close to shore and at last report the weather was clearing nicely.
Weather was windy and rainy, with rough to moderate seas. Best fishing area 5-15 miles off shore. Bait supply is good.