ENSENADA, MEXICO: Sammy Susarrey of LILY FLEET reported strong currents making it hard to reach the bottom at Punta Banda on Sunday, but better conditions at Maximino Reef and Punta Santo Tomas. The best fishing action was found on big 10-15 pound lingcod, Susarrey said, and the best lure was the 6-ounce Slammer 200 in red, black, and yellow, and in sardine colors.
The yo-yo'ed Slammer 200 was outfishing live bait, according to Susarrey, as the lingcod were found about 150 to 200 feet deep.
ENSENADA, MEXICO: Ivan Villarino of VONNY FLEET said Ensenada action is settling into the normal winter pattern, with most boats staying in local waters for steady bottom fishing. Fishing pressure was very light last week, although water conditions were mostly flat and calm. Villarino said the new Mexican telephone areas codes are starting to be implemented and his service has been spotty the last few days, but his old number of 011-52-615-42046 was still working as of Sunday. Vonny Fleet provides guided panga fishing in local Ensenada waters, and has rooms available on the shore of the bay near Punta Banda.
SAN QUINTIN, MEXICO: Campo Lorenzo resident STAN VATH said San Quintin weather was excellent last week, with temperatures in the low 70s, clear skies, and no wind. On Thursday, Vath, Larry Biedeback and Gerry Goree fished along shore and caught limits of calico bass to 8 pounds, sandbass, and rockcod on iron and Fishtraps. "Barracuda were also abundant," Vath said, "and bait was everywhere. The seas were flat. The place was virtually deserted. No pangas were out and the launch ramp had no traffic whatsoever."
SAN QUINTIN, MEXICO: Eddie Marquez of DON EDDIE'S LANDING said renovation work has now begun on the former Old Mill restaurant and bar, with completion hoped for by March. The facility is scheduled to be reopened as the Cannery Row complex by new owner Lee La Rosa. The Old Mill Hotel reamins open as usual.
MAGDALENA BAY, MEXICO: BAJA ON THE FLY'S Gary Graham said high concentrations of striped marlin have finally been located off Bahia Magdalena, and fly anglers Cynthia Garrity and Dr. Marlene White each landed a striper on Saturday. White's marlin was her first ever on the fly. "We moved away from the other marlin boats and went on a scouting mission all alone," said Graham. "Our boat, the Mary Lee, found lots of tuna on the Thetis Bank, then moved to Cabo San Lazaro where we got multiples of yellowtail on the fly. Next, we went 17 miles out to the Double 6s and found the marlin we'd been looking for, big time! There were fish behind every teaser we put in the water." Air and water temperatures off Bahia Magdalena were 69-75 degrees, with water conditions excellent, Graham said.
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Capt. George Landrum of FLY HOOKER SPORT FISHING said water conditions were mirror-like on the Cortez side last week, and with the approach of cooler weather, more mackerel live bait has been available lately. "Striped marlin are the billfish of the week," Landrum said. "There are still a few blues being caught but the focus has been on the stripers. A lot of these fish are being caught by boats slow-drifting live baits in the middle depths, dropping down caballito or mackerel with a small egg sinker ahead of the leader. There are also plenty of tailing fish being spotted but the catch ratio on them has not been high." Landrum said that the yellowfin tuna catch has dropped due to purse seiners working the area, and those tuna being caught are football-sized, schooling fish in the 15-30 pound range, caught close to shore. "If the federal government does not take steps to stop the purse seiners, there will be no more anglers coming to Cabo for tuna. Those guys keep setting until the fish are gone," Landrum said.
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Marco Arechiga of PICANTE FLEET reported Cabo weather at 69-82 degrees, water temperatures of 81-85 degrees, humidity 61 percent, and winds of 12-14 knots on the Pacific side, and 8-10 knots on the Cortez side. Seven Picante Fleet boats chartered on Saturday landed 7 striped marlin, 2 blue marlin, 15 yellowfin tuna, and 20 dorado. The best fishing was found at the Golden Gate Bank on the Pacific side, and Picante Expresso with Capt. Eulogio Zumaya and angler Randy Thomas had the best day, with 3 striped marlin to 160 pounds released, plus a dorado.
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Although dorado continued to dominate the fish counts at the tip of Baja California, the "catch of the week" was another giant blue marlin. The 820-pounder was landed off Cabo Falso last Tuesday by the 31-foot Bertram, Mucho Loco II. It was the second 800-pound plus fish in two weeks, and the third late this season. "I can't remember a time when there have ever been so many large fish so close together," said PISCES FLEET'S Tracy Ehrenberg. "The fish took a lure attached to a 300-pound leader on 80-pound test line, just three miles off the Old Lighthouse. It goes to show that Cabo is one of the best spots in the world to fish for marlin, and it does produce the big ones too, not just lots of stripers." Last week's 820-pounder apparently had no trouble finding enough to eat, said Ehrenberg, despite the fact that it was missing its bill from a point just in front of the eyes. Pisces Fleet boats had about a 50 percent success rate on billfish last week, Ehrenberg reported, with stripers dominating the catch, but some blues and a lesser number of sailfish also landed. The overall fleet success rate for all species combined was 77 percent, including tuna, dorado and wahoo, as well as billfish. "Karina had an outstanding day, with 2 striped marlin and 1 blue marlin released for Ted Rarrick and Greg Standford from Scottsdale, AZ," Ehrenberg said. "John Rygiol and his party from Dana Point, CA also did well aboard La Brisa last week, with 3 striped marlin releases and two tuna. Pisces anglers caught a total of 4 blue marlin, 34 striped marlin and 1 sailfish, all released."
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Dick Wilkes of the HOTEL SOLMAR SUITES FLEET said dorado continued to dominate the catch last week, "topping even the explosive catch of the week before." Solmar Fleet manager Rene Santa Cruz said "the dorado were so eager to bite they would have taken white rags for bait." The fleet found its best action 10-20 miles offshore between El Arco and the Old Lighthouse, Santa Cruz said. The top Solmar angler for the week was Paul Rodrigo of Palmdale, CA, fishing on the 28-foot San Lucas V, with Capt. Titi. Rodrigo released a 140-pound striped marlin hooked on live mackerel, and landed 6 dorado in the 40-50 pound range, plus a 70-pound bull. He finished his day with 2 yellowfin tuna, while fishing 10 miles off El Arco. All of Rodrigo's fish were hooked within a 4-hour period, Wilkes said. Another top Solmar catch for the week was a 280-pound yellowfin tuna landed during the second annual Cabo Carolina Cup 2001 tournament, which was limited to 28-foot boats. The big tuna was landed by Fran Plythe of North Carolina aboard the San Lucas VIII with Capt. Mario and Mate Hector.
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Larry Edwards of Cortez Yacht Charters said GAVIOTA FLEET boats were finding very good action last week on the Pacific-side Golden Gate and Jaime Banks. "The Pacific side has truly come alive," Edwards reported. "The banks have enormous supplies of Pacific mackerel, holding the fish on location." Gaviota boats reported a 520-pound blue marlin, taken aboard the Gaviota XI with Capt. Julian Ruiz, and an overall fleet count of 10 blue marlin (6 released), 2 sailfish (released), 26 striped marlin (20 released), 3 amberjack, 52 yellowfin tuna, and 178 dorado.
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Expert Los Cabos shore angler Jeff Klassen OF JEFF KLASSEN SPORT FISHING said winter surf fishing is picking up for shore casters. "My old pal Nick Myers just got back and had a hoot of a time on a number of different species," Klassen said. "His gang pretty much fished the gulf side exclusively. In around the rocks they bagged hawkfish, barred pargo, yellow snapper and yellowfin croakers, not any real monsters, but it kept them busy. "They did get into some large jacks though, along a few of the sand beaches past Punta Gorda. Stick with root beer colored plastics and poppers around the rocks. Use Rangers and poppers along the sandy stretches. If you fish along the Pacific beaches, make sure you have a few Krocodiles or similar spoons for the sierra."
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Dave Palmer of FIESTA SPORTFISHING said the 10-boat, 2-day, modified release format Fiesta Sportfishing Cabo San Lucas Tournament of the Los Dorados Fleet was won by: First Day, "Los Sucio Viejos," Lloyd Hulbert, Gerry Surz, Pete Kirberg and Dick Kirberg of Phoenix, fishing on the 28-foot Carolina, with 16 dorado, 6 shark, and a 60-pound yellowfin tuna. Second Day, "4 Hookers," Gary Hunt, Ed Lande, Mike Rittner and Mark Pierce of Hollywood, fishing on the 42-foot Gris Annel, with 2 striped marlin and a 250-pound plus blue marlin. Overall, 20 boat-days fished during the tournament produced 15 marlin (15 released), 135 dorado (18 released), 3 yellowfin tuna, 2 wahoo, 11 shark, and 20 other fish.
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Resident angler JOHN AMBROSE of Todos Santos said perfect, "restaurant-sized" huachinango were being caught 50 brazas (about 300 feet) deep at the locations known as Bajo de Orozco and Baja del Medio. Fishermen were dropping cut mackerel and skipjack to catch them, Ambrose reported, and the fish were the perfect size to fill a single serving platter.
SAN JOSE DEL CABO, MEXICO: Eric Brictson of GORDO BANKS PANGAS said the La Playita fleets were booked to near capacity last week, as early winter crowds returned to San Jose del Cabo, and some anglers found it difficult to locate a panga. "If you did not have advance reservations it proved to be difficult to locate a respectable boat and skipper," Brictson said. Fishing action was steady on yellowfin tuna, dorado, wahoo, rainbow runner, amberjack, pargo, sierra, skipjack and some billfish. "The most common catch has been the yellowfin tuna. The average daily catch per panga ranged from 2 to 10 fish in combination," he said. San Jose weather was windy at midweek, with a strong swell from the south, and some rough seas. Brictson said that water temperatures were about 80 degrees, and color is blue offshore, but nearshore water is green and stirred up. "Overall, the fishing has not been quite up to expectations but nevertheless anglers have been catching quality fish, and the majority of the people are having an enjoyable time," Brictson reported. "Yellowfin tuna were being found throughout the region, but the two main areas are close to shore from Chileno to Gray Rock for the football-sized, 10-15 pound fish, and on the Inner Gordo for yellowfin from 40-80 pounds. The people targeting the smaller fish were averaging catches of 6 to 12 fish, while the anglers heading the Gordo Banks for the bigger tuna were working hard to land 3 or 4 quality sized fish." The dorado bite continued to be very scattered, but anglers who located a school could quickly catch three or four fish in the 10-20 pound class, according to Brictson. Larger dorado were being hooked on marlin lures further offshore.
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: Gary Graham of BAJA ON THE FLY said the beach bite is very early in the morning and concentrated around the first arroyo north of Los Barriles. "Shoot for gray light if you can," he said. The beach has been producing roosterfish, bonito, some pargo, and jacks. Several quality fish were also reported at Rancho Buena Vista, Graham said.
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: RANCHO LEONERO'S John Ireland said East Cape fishing was good and steady last week with a consistent bite on roosterfish and school-sized dorado and yellowfin tuna. Fishing pressure was light, despite continued warm weather and calm seas. East Cape air temperatures were in the mid-80s, and water temperatures were still around 84 degrees. Ireland said Rancho Leonero boats were finding lots of sierra inshore, plus roosterfish to 20 pounds. Live mullet was the best bet for the roosters. The dorado caught last week were a notch up in size, averaging about 20 pounds, with most fish caught on live sardinas. There were also some larger bulls to 50 pounds taken outside on marlin lures. The active bite on 5-10 pound tuna continued, and limits were being taken off the Slide north of Los Barriles, and off Cabo Pulmo. Sailfish were still available in good numbers, although few anglers were fishing for them, according to Ireland.
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: Shannon Moe, reporting for the Van Wormer resorts of HOTELS PALMAS DE CORTEZ, PLAYA DEL SOL, PUNTA COLORADA, said 122 boats sent out during the week caught 5 blue marlin, 2 striped marlin, 14 sailfish, 77 dorado, 496 yellowfin tuna, 5 amberjack, 1 cabrilla, 3 roosterfish, and 14 sierra.
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: Mark Rayor of VISTA SEA SPORT said diving conditions remained about perfect at East Cape last week. "The north wind has only threatened us so far with nothing serious to back it up!" Rayor said. "The seas are still calm, wonderful, and beautifully blue. The currents are starting to pick up a bit and the temperatures are ranging from 75 degrees at depth to 82 degrees on the surface. We're still seeing large sting rays, turtles and some really nice sized amberjack as well as the usual array of tropical fish."
LA PAZ, MEXICO: At HOTEL LAS ARENAS, Linda Glassman-Davis said 60-80 pound tuna were being landed off the south end of Isla Cerralvo, in addition to smaller tuna and dorado, sierra, and yellowtail around Los Muertos bay. The fleet count for the week included: 121 yellowfin tuna to 80 pounds, 18 dorado to 30 pounds, 12 pargo to 20 pounds, and 5 cabrilla to 6 pounds.
LA PAZ, MEXICO: David Jones of FISHERMEN'S FLEET said winter's north winds are starting to show, and night air temperatures are in the 60s, but he's still finding water temperatures around 80 degrees all over the La Paz side of the hill. Fishing in the Los Muertos area has been up and down, Jones said, with the tuna bite slowing down and dorado showing up some days and other days not. At week's end, "all bites were functioning well," said Jones, and anglers were scoring on lots of small tuna, dorado to 20 pounds, and larger yellowfin to 75 pounds off the south end of Isla Cerralvo. "We have also started to see some smaller pargo and cabrilla beginning to show," he said. "We have hooked a couple of wahoo this week, and are still seeing billfish. As the northerlies become part of our meteorological landscape the Bajo will be less and less accessible. It's a shame because the tuna bite there has been very good."
LORETO, MEXICO: Wendy Wilchynski of VILLAS DE LORETO said anglers caught tuna to 80 pounds in the Isla Catalan bite, in addition to yellowtail.
LORETO, MEXICO: Arturo Susarrey of ARTURO'S SPORT FISHING said Loreto weather is finally starting to feel the effects of the approaching winter. North winds blew last week, and water temperatures were 80-82 degrees, with air temperatures dropping to 73-80 degrees. Occasional 10-15 pound dorado were being caught at La Vaca reef, north of Isla Carmen, and yellowtail of 20-25 pounds were found to the north. Northwest of Isla Catalan, 40-50 pound yellowfin tuna were coming in at the rate of about 2 fish per boat. Susarrey said fly anglers were scoring on 12-20 pound roosterfish. Giant squid were steady at 5-20 pounds, between 5:30 and 6:30 a.m., about 2 miles off Loreto, and Susarrey recommended that anglers bring 3-4 inch squid jigs.
MULEGE, MEXICO: Mulege resident, JOHN DINNING said his center-console Sea Pro is still finding water temperatures over 80 degrees as far out as Isla Tortuga, and has been scoring on dorado to 15 pounds and sierra to 3-4 pounds. Dinning also reported concentrations of small yellowtail, especially around the north end of Isla San Marcos.
MULEGE, MEXICO: Fly-in angler RON GRANT said Mulege winter residents were returning in numbers last week, but tourist traffic was still very light, and beach front RV parks had plenty of prime spaces available. Mulege weather was near-perfect, in the 80s during the day, cooling off to the 60s at night. Grant said the runway at the Hotel Serenidad is generally in good condition, but with a few soft spots in the middle. Water temperatures were in the mid to high-70s. Mulege fishing was relatively slow last week, according to Grant, except for lots of firecracker yellowtail scattered throughout the area, with the best concentration being at the south end of Isla San Marcos. Sierra were being found at the mouth of Concepcion Bay, and there were some small dorado found 10-12 miles from the lighthouse on a heading of 065 degrees. Grant also said the squid fishermen cleaning their catch in the channel between San Lucas Cove and Isla San Marcos were attracting dorado and other fish to the area for those interested in making the long run from town.
BAHIA DE LOS ANGELES, MEXICO: At Bahia de los Angeles' CAMP GECKO, Abraham Vazquez said weather has been in the low 80s during the day and into the mid-60s at night. Humidity has been normal at about 50%, and a strong westerly blew one day last week, plus a moderate norther for a couple of days. Water temperatures have dropped to 74-76 degrees. Vazquez said fishing was good for yellowtail until the wind hit, mainly on 10-20 pound fish from the back side of Isla Smith, caught by trolling Rapalas. The hot spot last week was Punta Los Machos, where 18-30 pound yellowtail were caught on iron. Leopard grouper and barracuda were hot on Rapalas, and sierra were getting scarce. "We still have a good number of whale sharks in the bay," Vazquez said. "And, there are thousands of dolphins close to the islands. The road to San Francisquito was graded again this week, that's two times this year."
SAN FELIPE, MEXICO: Bob Castellon of SEA OF CORTEZ SPORTFISHING said a special one-day trip out of San Felipe to nearby Consag Rock was enjoyed last week by a group lead by Steve Carlson. The trip aboard the panga mothership, Celia Angelina was mainly for fun, burgers, beers, and a bunch of triggerfish and sierra, Castellon said. Weather was 80 degrees, water temperature was 70-degrees, and prevailing northeast winds were 5-10 knots.
IXTAPA ZIHUATANEJO, MEXICO: Earlier, Stan Lushinsky and Susan Richards of IXTAPA SPORTFISHING CHARTERS reported final results for the 2001 Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo Total Tag & Release Tournament. Four teams fishing during the 3-day event hooked 71 sailfish, landed 51, tagged 39, released 5 others, and attempted to release 7 others that could not be revived.
IXTAPA ZIHUATANEJO, MEXICO: Marcos Vargas of VARGAS SPORTFISHING said fishing action was still improving. Last week, 11 non-tournament boats sent out scored on: 12 sailfish to 80 pounds (all released), 3 dorado to 40 pounds, 1 striped marlin at 120 pounds; 3 tuna to 80 pounds, and a 20-pound roosterfish. Weather was calm at 86 degrees, and water temperature was 84 degrees.
IXTAPA ZIHUATANEJO, MEXICO: Paul Phillips of ZIH CHARTER CAPTAINS reported on the final results of the Third Annual Fintastic's Total Tag & Release Tournament, which was fished in very good sailfish conditions last week. Fifteen anglers fished on 7 boats during the event, landing 105 sailfish and 1 blue marlin over 3 days. Tags were set in 96 fish, and there were 2 other releases, and 8 fish that could not be revived. The top boats were: first place, Whisky II; second place, Marlin Azul; and third place, Vamonos II.
IXTAPA ZIHUATANEJO, MEXICO: Ed Kunze of MAR Y TIERRA SPORTFISHING said roosterfish are making a strong showing, and fly anglers have been keeping busy with mackerel and bonita inshore. Canadian, Matt Palmer, landed an estimated 300-pound blue marlin Tuesday with Capt. Luis on the Gringo Loco.