LORETO, MEXICO: Winter yellowtail action jumped up a notch in size and numbers last week, with fish landed into the high-30 pound range close to town, and a continuing steady bite at Punta Pulpito and Isla Ildefonso to the north.
LORETO, MEXICO: Ana Luisa Valdez of ARTURO'S SPORT FISHING said Capt. Alejandro Amador landed "abundant" yellowtail at the bajo between Islas Coronado and Carmen on Saturday, including fish close to 40 pounds.
Earlier in the week, anglers Joe Placone and Rick Sikorski returned from the same area with 9 yellowtail. Arturo Susarrey also reported continued sightings of breezing 25 to 35-pound fish around Isla Ildefonso, in a bite that has been going on for several weeks. Anglers were also filling sacks by bottom fishing for cabrilla, snapper and triggerfish in the same areas, Susarrey said.
LORETO, MEXICO: BILL SUMNER and Bob Pegan of Newport Beach, and Rob Orr and Kim Zetterberg of Dana Point returned Sunday from fishing Saturday with Capts. Ismael and Luciano out of the Hotel Oasis, and they confirmed the hot yellowtail bite. "We landed 13 big yellows before the wind drove us in," Sumner reported, "Bob Pegan got the biggest fish. The yellowtail were absolutely first rate. We fished the outside of Carmen Island and found large schools of top-quality fish, both on the surface and about 100 feet down. Our largest was 37 pounds, smallest 28 pounds, virtually all 30-pound class yellowtail. It just doesn't get any better than that."
LORETO, MEXICO: Loreto tourism got a big boost from Aeromexico recently as daily service was initiated from Los Angeles, via a stop-over at the Hermosillo hub, with possible connections to Hermosillo also from Phoenix, Las Vegas, Salt Lake City, and Tijuana. The basic flights are: Aeromexico #2290, departing LAX daily at 1:05 p.m., and Aeromexico #2291, returning from Loreto daily at 9:55 p.m. Wendy Wilchynski of Villas de Loreto said more help is on the way, with more service between Cabo San Lucas to Tijuana--via Loreto--being started by Aero Caribe on March 7.
Wendy and husband Ron Bellerive will be away from Villas de Loreto for the next week, as they attend a wedding in Hawaii.
LORETO, MEXICO: Pam Bolles of BAJA BIG FISH COMPANY said Loreto weather has been typically windy in the afternoons with air temperatures between 50 and 70 degrees, and rough seas outside the islands when the nortes are blowing. Yellowtail action around Isla Coronado was hit-or-miss earlier in the week, she said, and steadier in deep water at the northern locations when the wind allowed boats to run that far.
Bolles advised anglers to bring Lucky Joe rigs for making bait. "The bait sellers have been very unreliable," she said. "Prepare yourself with Lucky Joes and focus on Size 4 hooks. The larger mackerel are hitting them, and that's what the deep-feeding yellowtail want."
Inshore, Bolles said the good bite on sierra continues off Isla Coronado. "The sierra are averaging about 2 to 5 pounds. There are a lot of them. Make sure you rig up with wire leader. Lightweight wire is hard to come by down here, so bring some of your own. I like to use Sevalon 27-pound, nylon-coated wire. There are so many sierra in the water, rogue fish are severing lines while you're fighting caught fish."
Bolles also confirmed final details on her Fly Fishing 101 seminar scheduled May 11-18. The all-inclusive beginner's course has "no prerequisites," she said. All tackle, fly-tying materials and special equipment, meals, ground transfers, and lodging are included. The course will be held at the little bay called Playa Blanca, just south of Puerto Escondido, at the small and private El Santuario beach resort. Participants will take home a complete 8WT fly fishing outfit and a complete fly assortment. The seminar includes from-the-ground-up classroom sessions, rigging instruction, 3 fully-guided fishing days, and it is limited to only 8 participants. Details: firstname.lastname@example.org, or direct dial phone 011-52-613-135-1603.
ENSENADA, MEXICO: Sammy Susarrey of LILY FLEET said last week's action around Bahia Todos Santos was mostly on scattered yellowtail, both on the bottom and under birds on the surface, around Isla Todos Santos, plus log barracuda close to the rocks.
At midweek, the Amigo caught 18 large barracuda and a yellowtail with 3 anglers aboard, and earlier the Lily found 5 yellowtail to 20 pounds while jig fishing the bottom for lingcod. When cleaned, the yellowtail were found to be full of squid.
Susarrey said he got caught in a double-whammy when he changed email addresses right in the middle of the recent Mexican telephone area code mix-ups, and he gave his new contact information as: direct dial phone, 011-52-646-186-7485; email, email@example.com
PUERTO SANTO TOMAS, MEXICO: Sam Saenz of the PUERTO SANTO TOMAS RESORT said that Dennis Spike's COASTAL KAYAK FISHING group of 22 kayak anglers had a good week at the resort, catching numbers of lingcod, "huge" whitefish, rockcod, and calico bass. "The weather started out windy, with big swells on Thursday and Friday," Saenz said, "but things got better by Friday, and good by Saturday and Sunday. The group was very pleased with the fishing." Saenz promised a full report from Coastal Kayak Fishing after Spike returns to the States.
SAN QUINTIN, MEXICO: The San Quintin area saw a drop in yellowtail action, but continued to kick out some of Baja's steadiest action on limits of bottom fish last week.
SAN QUINTIN, MEXICO: Tony Marquez, reporting for DON EDDIE'S LANDING and TIBURON'S PANGAS, said about 22 boats fished out of San Quintin over the weekend, catching full limits of rockcod to 8 pounds, on squid and cut mackerel. "The anglers are back," Marquez said, "and they really got a run for their money."
Anglers were so focused on bottom fish, there weren't that many yellowtail caught this weekend, Marquez said. A few boats went out past Isla San Martin for calico and sand bass. In addition to rockcod, limits of large whitefish were brought in, and there were 10 yellowtail landed, weighing from 8 to 16 pounds.
"It seems that the rockcod are back," Marquez said. "There was no exact count on all the fish landed. All I can tell you is that there was a lot."
San Quintin weather was sunny, with some wind during the week, and with calm seas over the weekend, cold nights, and water temperatures at 59 degrees.
SAN QUINTIN, MEXICO: Pete Hillis of PEDRO'S PANGAS said that although yellowtail fishing was spotty toward the end of the week and only a few were caught, everyone limited on bottom fish at the 15-Fathom Spot and 240 Spot. The best fish of the weekend was a 22-pound lingcod caught by Paul Hillis Jr.
SAN QUINTIN, MEXICO: Earlier, ROBERT ALLEN and his girlfriend, Jennifer, fished with Capt. Hector of Pedro's Pangas on the Romy, and landed 3 yellowtail to 35 pounds, plus one very large bonito, lingcod, rockcod, whitefish, and a sheephead, at the 15-Fathom Spot. The yellowtail were taken on blue-and-white iron, and the rest of the fish were caught on squid, Allen said. "Jennifer had the time of her life and says she prefers the bigger fish. All I've been hearing since is 'when are we going back.'"
SAN QUINTIN, MEXICO: At the OLD MILL HOTEL, Nancy Harer said El Capitan Sportfishing found the yellowtail action much slower over the weekend, and only 4 were caught, as anglers concentrated on sand bass, sculpin, rockcod, lingcod and whitefish. Harer said USGS biologist Marnie Shepherd recorded 9 hunters over the weekend, who shot 200 brant. It was the highest count of the season, which began in November, and ends later this month. One brant carried a 1991 band from the Yukon Kuskokwim River Delta in Alaska, and another carried a 1993 band from Russia, Harer said.
SAN QUINTIN, MEXICO: Gene Allshouse of SAN QUINTIN SPORTFISHING said he expects the yellowtail action around Isla San Martin to improve as the over-supply of pelagic red crabs in the area settles down. Meanwhile, his Skipjack has been picking up some yellowtails, plus finding steady action on all bottom fish species, he said.
BAJA CALIFORNIA, MEXICO: Doris Middleton of LAGUNA TOURS said the gray whale count at Scammon's Lagoon is now 839, with 361 mothers with calves, and 117 singles. Middleton said there is a big drop in numbers of tourists from the U.S. and other foreign nationalities this year, and so far, most whale watchers have been from Mexico. More visitors were expected as the whale count peaks during the next 6 weeks.
MAGDALENA BAY, MEXICO: Gary Graham of BAJA ON THE FLY reported very light fishing activity out of San Carlos last week, as most visitors concentrated on whale watching. "With more and more whales arriving every day, the focus this week has been on the whale watching more than the fishing," he said. Local air and water temperatures ranged from 62 to 71 degrees, with scattered clouds and windy afternoons. Graham said that for those fishing the mangrove channels, the best catches lately have been on 3 to 5-pound corvina, with a few larger fish showing up occasionally.
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Fishing action at the tip of Baja California slowed down for all species last week, although boats making long runs were still averaging a little less than a billfish per day, and some lucky boats were finding pockets of wide-open action on yellowfin tuna.
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: PICANTE FLEET'S Roberto Juarez reported Cabo San Lucas air temperatures of 53 to 81 degrees, water temperatures of 70 to 72 degrees, humidity 83 percent, and winds of 10 to 12 knots on both the Pacific and Cortez sides. Five boats fishing Saturday caught (including released fish): 8 striped marlin, 12 dorado, and 36 yellowfin tuna, with the best action found at the Golden Gate Bank on the pacific side. A single boat accounted for 20 of the tuna.
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Tom Garcia of CABO MAGIC reported on 8 boat-days fished during the week, with a count of 6 striped marlin, 9 dorado, including a 40-pounder, 9 yellowfin tuna to 25 pounds, and 12 sierra.
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: At SOLMAR FLEET, Rene Santa Cruz said most boats were fishing at the Golden Gate Bank in alternating days of rain, choppy seas, and sunny calm weather. Fewer boats were fishing, and the counts took a dip, most noticeably in yellowfin tuna, which dropped to 98 from the previous week's 443.
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: At PISCES FLEET, Tracy Ehrenberg said that 46 percent of boats sent out caught marlin last week, and 79 percent caught marlin or other species. "The fishing was generally pretty hard, due to its lack of consistency," she said. "Boats were having to run a long way, some days up to 34 miles, and didn't always meet with success."
The top Pisces Fleet catch for the week was an unusually large 230-pound striped marlin, landed by 11-year-old Jordan Johnson of Canton, SD, aboard the 42-foot Ni Modo. The big striper was caught 30 miles south of the arch. Pisces anglers caught a total of 34 striped marlin last week, of which 30 were released, Ehrenberg said.
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: George Landrum of FLY HOOKER SPORT FISHING said water temperatures in the general area varied within a wide range, from 65 to as high as 76 degrees, with the warmer water found about 30 miles out. "There were only two areas that were kicking out striped marlin on a regular basis," he said. "Nearest to Cabo was the 95 Spot, and later in the week, an area 38 miles south was swarming with striped marlin. A bit of a long distance, but worthwhile if that's what gets you going. Elsewhere, most anglers were lucky to spot a marlin."
With the yellowfin tuna and dorado also scattered, Landrum said the best action last week was actually on near shore sierra. "The sierra showed up in force, and most of the boats that wanted them were able to easily limit out by mid-morning. The fish were very close in and were nailing practically anything you put out there."
SAN JOSE DEL CABO, MEXICO: Eric Brictson of GORDO BANKS PANGAS said stiff winds hampered offshore fishing for the La Playita fleets last week, in water temperatures ranging from 69 to 74 degrees. "Despite more people arriving in town and many of them eager to try their luck at an offshore fishing experience, the combination of the north wind and meager fish counts did not help local charter businesses." Brictson said.
Although fish counts were generally down, the San Jose del Cabo area still produced a varied catch for panga anglers, including yellowfin tuna, striped marlin, dorado, skipjack, sierra, pargo, cabrilla, grouper, roosterfish, and amberjack. Brictson said, "There was good variety available, just not an abundance of any particular species, except sierra. Average daily catches were generally just several fish per boat, with some charters actually reporting no fish at all."
Live sardina bait continues to be scarce at La Playita. When available, it allowed a few boats to score well on scattered pockets of yellowfin tuna. Other boats did well on near shore sierra caught on trolled hoochies and small Rapalas.
Beach fishing guide Mike Santry of LA PLAYITA TOURS said he's been catching sierra from the surf in 68-degree water, and that roosterfish are also being seen, but none were landed last week.
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: VISTA SEA SPORT'S Mark Rayor was in Costa Rica last week, claiming the prize he won last fall in a Magdalena Bay fishing tournament. His wife Jennifer, stuck at home, said East Cape water temperatures are about 68 degrees at diving depth, and visibility is 30 to 50 feet. "Conditions are actually good at the offshore reefs, as well as our northern sites, which are protected from the winds," she said. "There is an abundance of sea life at all sites, with large schools of manta rays leading the pack at Cabo Pulmo."
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: LARRY COOPER, manufacturer of the center-mounted launch wheels seen on many of the tin boats at MARTIN VERDUGO'S BEACH RESORT, arrived in East Cape last week for a 3-month stay at his house near Playa de Oro. "The trip down was good," he said. "Best road ever! Pretty dead here. Hardly any boats in. Big north winds, but weather in the high 70s. Very nice."
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: Shannon Moe, reporting for the Van Wormer resorts of HOTELS PALMAS DE CORTEZ, PLAYA DEL SOL, PUNTA COLORADA, said 13 boats chartered last week caught a total of 47 fish, all dorado, in conditions that were consistently windy except for Tuesday.
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: At RANCHO LEONERO, John Ireland reported water temperatures of about 70 degrees, and only a few boats going out, in windy conditions, mostly targeting the plentiful sierra. He said some local fishermen were yo-yoing yellowtail north of Punta Pescadero, and some were catching dorado at the shark buoys. Other boats took 2 striped marlin off Los Frailes. Commercial fishermen were also hand-lining quantities of amberjack and pargo off the La Ribera reef, Ireland said.
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: Gary Graham of BAJA ON THE FLY said wind waves continued to hamper beach fishing last week. One client, Wister Smith of Scottsboro, AL, did manage a roosterfish and a sierra from a boat, before the winds rolled in. The wind has been picking up consistently about 10 a.m. each morning, Graham said.
LA PAZ, MEXICO: Jonathan Roldan of TAIL HUNTER INTERNATIONAL said last week's action centered on school-sized yellowtail on the south side of the hill, mainly around Ensenada de los Muertos. One angler, Taylor Redgway of Oklahoma, landed three firecrackers, and then stopped a 46-pound yellowtail on a fly-lined sardina. Besides yellowtail, a few small, off-season dorado continue to be caught, sierra are present in good numbers, and some pargo, but not the dog tooth pargo, are starting to make an appearance on both the La Paz and Las Arenas sides, Roldan said.
Roldan said he is personally leading a "Rockfish Lip Ripper" trip on April 11-15, and is scheduled to be in La Paz on May 17-21, June 5-11, June 22-July 6, and August 2-12.
MULEGE, MEXICO: At the HOTEL SERENIDAD, Don Johnson said they are bracing themselves for a group of about 100 planes scheduled to arrive for a whale watching trip in two weeks. Diana Johnson said some water temperatures down to the low 50s have been recorded, making the fishing slow on local yellowtail, cabrilla and bonita, but that bartender/captain Alejandro went out on Wednesday and saw 4 whales. "You can see them right in front of Mulege," she said. "It is so beautiful."
SAN CARLOS, MEXICO: Dive master Vince Radice of the SONORAN SPORT CENTER said water temperatures are about 60 degrees, with 20-foot visibility, and weather has been generally windy and cloudy. Last week, sardine boats entered the bay and wiped out the local population, he said, but the huge finback whales are making an appearance too. "Yesterday, I was teaching a dive class that turned into a whale watching trip. We had adult finback whales right next to the boat for over an hour, and I mean right next to the boat, 25 feet away, with mouths open gorging themselves on plankton. It was the best trip I ever had in 12 years operating here. It is very hard to observe finback whales. They usually move fast and do not hang out."
MAZATLAN, MEXICO: Nora Alonso Rice of ARIES SPORTFISHING FLEET said 12 boats have already registered for the 4th Annual Marina El Cid Billfish Fly Tournament on May 13-18. The tournament has two prize categories, one for billfish, and a second for dorado and tuna. The El Cid Resort is full for Carnival, she said, and the boats were busy last week, fishing 14 to 28 miles from the harbor, and finding an average of about 4 billfish strikes per day. Overall, 29 offshore and inshore boats chartered for the week reported: 10 marlin (7 released), 1 sailfish, 43 yellowfin tuna, 28 red snapper, 25 mojarra, 27 triggerfish, 20 corvina, 4 mako shark, and 11 toro.
IXTAPA ZIHUATANEJO, MEXICO: Stan Lushinsky of IXTAPA SPORTFISHING CHARTERS said, "The sailfish action has been nothing short of the very best season we have had in many years. These outstanding results are definitely attributable to an increased awareness and compliance with tag-and-release efforts, as well as the government's establishment of a 50-mile conservation zone on the west coast of Mexico."
IXTAPA ZIHUATANEJO, MEXICO: Paul Phillips of the FINTASTIC TOTAL CATCH & RELEASE TOURNAMENT said, "The sailfish bonanza is continuing. Santiago Valdovinos on the Gitana tagged 12 out of 13 on Monday.
"This January, the results of 3 years of effort began to show in ZIH. We have monitored catch rates for 4 years. The average catch for the boats monitored in the past 3 January periods has been about 300 sailfish. This January, in approximately the same number of charters, these boats tallied close to 900 sailfish. Congratulations are in order to Capts. Alfredo Vargas, Santiago Valdovinos, Ed Kunze, "Pepino" Servin, Javier Vargas, and others, for their promotion, education and commitment to the tag-and-release program."
IXTAPA ZIHUATANEJO, MEXICO: Ed Kunze of MAR Y TIERRA SPORTFISHING said Ixtapa water temperatures averaged about 78 degrees, in calm blue water right to the beach, and the average catch has been holding up at 3 to 5 sailfish per day, plus some dorado to 35 pounds.
Fly angler PJ Cunningham of Idaho raised 16 fish, cast to 10, and hooked 3, Kunze said, and Capt. Margarito of the Gaby posted at least 5 released fish for 5 straight days.
"The tuna have disappeared," Kunze said, "but the annual migration of humpback whales has occurred. The whales are always a good sign because the blue marlin will be only a week or two behind them."