LORETO, MEXICO: Good-sized winter yellowtail were caught last week all along the southern two-thirds of the Sea of Cortez, from East Cape north to Bahia de los Angeles, as anglers snuck out through gaps in the wind to score on 25 to 35-pound fish, and some larger.
LORETO, MEXICO: Arturo Susarrey of ARTURO'S SPORT FISHING said the San Nicolas Camp trips sponsored by Blue Water Tours at Saquicismunde Cove, 30 miles north of town, were taking limits of 23 to 27-pound yellowtail and releasing more. "One group of 7 fished for 3 days and caught 150 yellowtail," Susarrey said. "They kept just what was permitted, gave some to the captains, released some, and still had overweight ice chests."
Susarrey said there was wind to 25 m.p.h. on some days last week, but it was calmer and sunny by the weekend. Air temperatures were 61 to 82 degrees, with light breezes. Steady action on bottom fish continues under the yellowtail, including cabrilla, snapper, and triggerfish. Mackerel live bait is available at the marina.
LORETO, MEXICO: Ty Miller and Juanita Raney of EL FUERTE SPORT FISHING checked in from Juncalito with a report of large yellowtail at several points closer to town, including the back side of Isla Danzante off Puerto Escondido. Miller said Juanita's father, Buck Raney, hasn't weighed a fish under 30 pounds from the current bite.
El Fuerte will open charter fishing operations for the season in April, Miller said, and with the early run of big fish and good supplies of bait in the area, he's hoping for a banner year. For the present, he said, "Beware when fly-lining over the reefs. The fish are heading straight for the rocks, so hammer down on the drag and pull!" Miller reported last week's water temperatures off Juncalito averaging about 68 degrees.
ENSENADA, MEXICO: Sammy Susarrey of LILY FLEET said the Tamara is now back in the water after a refurbishing and painting. At midweek, the Amigo fished at Punta Banda with 4 anglers and reported 18 lingcod to 7 pounds, 13 red rockfish to 5 pounds, and 9 salmon grouper to 8 pounds. "We had an excellent, calm day," Susarrey said. Ensenada water conditions were green but clear at 59 degrees, and the best fishing around Punta Banda was found 190 feet deep.
PUERTO SANTO TOMAS, MEXICO: Expert kayak angler Trout Traubman reported on his recent trip to PUERTO SANTO TOMAS RESORT with a group led by Dennis Spike of Coastal Kayak Fishing. "Sam (Saenz) the local dueno was a good guy and his wife busted out some phenomenal food," Traubman said. "The weather and fishing cooperated, too. I caught about 40 fish in 2 days, primarily using a large pink twin-tail Scampi with white leadhead tipped with a squid strip. Other than that, it was candy bars and Krocs with squid heads.
"Lings, reds, cabs, whitefish, random rockfish and BIG calicos were the routine, with my buddy Bill catching and releasing a 20-pound-plus black sea bass."
SAN QUINTIN, MEXICO: Yellowtail and bottom fish continued to be caught at all the usual spots around the point and out toward Isla San Martin. Mauricio Garcia of DON EDDIE'S LANDING said about 20 boats chartered last week with about 45 anglers reported about 15 yellowtail, plus full limits for all on lingcod, whitefish, and rockfish. San Quintin weather was windy for some of the week, but flattened out nicely on Sunday. Water temperature was about 60 degrees.
BAJA CALIFORNIA, MEXICO: Doris Middleton of LAGUNA TOURS said the grey whale count on Scammon's Lagoon shot over 1,000 last week. Friday's census showed 1,169 whales in the lagoon, including 475 mothers with calves and 219 singles. More whales continue to arrive as the season peaks over the next few weeks.
MAGDALENA BAY, MEXICO: Gary Graham of BAJA ON THE FLY said there are still some diehard dorado and tuna being caught in 67-degree water west of the entrada, plus some deep yellowtail in the channel. Action in the mangrove esteros was only fair last week for pompano and corvina, but one oddball catch was a yellowfin tuna caught near Devil's Curve that weighed nearly 30 pounds. Said Graham of the almost miraculous catch, "Like I keep saying, it isn't what bites but what might bite! Whales are packing the main channels, Graham said, so now is the time to come and see them. San Carlos weather was 62 to 74 degrees with some wind in the afternoons. Water temperatures were not available, but were definitely cool.
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Jose Luis Sanchez of Cabo Resort Reservations announced last week that the Hotel Solmar of Cabo San Lucas will have its new website launched in time for the Fred Hall Show next week.
Sanchez said the new website will have an enlarged fishing section with a Frequently Asked Questions feature and enlargable photos of the 27-cruiser Solmar fleet, Baja California's largest.
Visitors may also sign up for an eNewsletter, and Sanchez said sign ups will be encouraged by the giving away of free fishing trips to members of the website's email database. The website will also include news of special offers, weather, and other current information, Sanchez said. Contact: www.solmar.com.
Fishing continued to be very slow for marlin last week, and boats were spreading out over a wide area in search of fish, finding mostly school-sized yellowfin tuna, some scattered dorado, plenty of sierra inshore, and a flurry of enormous giant squid.
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: PICANTE FLEET'S Mario Bojorges reported Cabo San Lucas air temperatures of 66 to 86 degrees, water temperatures of 70 to 73 degrees, relative humidity at 32 percent, and winds of mostly 10 to 12 knots on both the Pacific and Cortez sides. Five boats chartered on Friday reported 1 striped marlin, 27 dorado, and 15 yellowfin tuna, fishing mostly at the Golden Gate Bank on the Pacific Side.
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: At CABO MAGIC, Tommy Garcia reported on 7 boats chartered during the week and catching: 13 dorado, 6 giant squid, 1 roosterfish, 2 sierra, 1 red snapper, 2 striped marlin, 1 bonito, and 16 yellowfin tuna, including a 200-pounder.
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Larry Edwards of CORTEZ YACHT CHARTERS said GAVIOTA FLEET caught mostly yellowfin tuna last week, including many 40 to 50-pound fish, and several in the 200-pound range. Top fish for the week was a 220-pound yellowfin taken aboard the Gaviota VII by Minnesota angler Dennis Schneider. Gaviota Fleet's combined count for the week was: 5 striped marlin (all released), 29 dorado, and 136 yellowfin tuna. Most boats fished the Jaime Bank, and outwards about 25 miles, Edwards said.
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: At SOLMAR FLEET, Rene Santa Cruz reported 162 yellowfin tuna were caught, and only two marlin during the week, in addition to dorado, sierra, bonita, and giant squid. Dick Wilkes of Solmar Fleet joked that the 2 marlin caught represented an "explosion" in numbers, since only 1 was caught the week before.
Santa Cruz noted the unusually large and numerous giant squid encountered during the week, some of which weighed about 50 pounds. Angler Robert Morsefield said, "The ocean was alive with action. We saw our first marlin, watched whales, saw hundreds of dolphin, and what seemed like an ocean of squid."
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Tracy Ehrenberg of PISCES FLEET said it was another slow week for marlin. "The boats just aren't seeing billfish. They are traveling in all directions, but rarely found them this week." About 12 percent of Pisces Fleet boats caught marlin last week, and about 85 percent of the boats caught marlin or other species, including giant squid to an awesome 80 pounds. Pisces boats fished mostly on the Pacific side, from the Old Lighthouse to San Cristobal, and out to about 30 miles. A total of 5 marlin were caught, plus yellowfin tuna to 80 pounds, small dorado, and abundant sierra.
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: At FLY HOOKER SPORT FISHING, Capt. George Landrum said he hoped that a plume of warm, blue water slowly working its way in from the west would bring more fish soon. "The water is 72 to 74 degrees and very blue," he said. "It started the week outside the San Jaime Bank, and has spent 7 days pushing 28 miles. We hope it means that the runs to the fish are going to get shorter soon, but that remains to be seen."
Landrum also commented on the usual run of huge squid. "Want calamari rings the size of fruitcakes? These squid were 3 to 5 feet long and weighed between 40 and 80 pounds. They were very good eating! A chunk of cut bait on a hook, a pull to set the hook, and away you went! A very interesting sight to see on the surface! Concentrations covered several acres and were south and west of the cape."
SAN JOSE DEL CABO, MEXICO: Eric Brictson of GORDO BANKS PANGAS said water temperatures last week were 68 to 71 degrees, and Santa Ana-like winds pushed daytime air temperatures up to about 90 degrees.
The La Playita panga fleets were mostly bottom fishing north of Punta Gorda for bonito, skipjack, amberjack, cabrilla, grouper, and huachinango, with the average catch improving to about 15 fish per boat, Brictson said. The most frequent catch was true Pacific bonito running from about 5 to 12 pounds. Although the supply of sardina live baits has improved, the larger fish were being caught on yo-yoed iron jigs in brown-yellow, blue-white, and chrome-blue.
A few dorado were also found close to shore, Brictson said, and one 25-pound female dorado hit a Rapala just outside of the surf line off Punta Gorda.
SAN JOSE DEL CABO, MEXICO: Surf fishing guide Mike Santry of LA PLAYITA TOURS said the beaches were slow last week, but he's starting to see roosterfish, in addition to the abundant sierra. "We have been fishing a little later in the morning this month," he said, "but will start earlier now that the weather is getting warmer."
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: Old Baja hand, George Carter has been organizing a fun fishing tournament at East Cape's historic Rancho Buena Vista every year for the past 39 years, and he says, "Most of my friends have either passed on to the ocean in the sky, or are too old to fight the big fish of Baja."
But Carter hasn't let that stop him. This year's event is scheduled at the Ranch on July 14-19, and Carter says both old-timers and newcomers to Baja are very welcome to join in the fun.
He's especially interested in helping new anglers learn the ropes of big game fishing for marlin, tuna, dorado, and sailfish, plus the inshore roosterfish and jacks that roam the beaches in summer.
"Any fisherman who's ever wanted to try Baja big game fishing should come and join us," said Carter. "I can inform them on what to bring, what to expect, and all the ins and outs of traveling to Baja. I really enjoy first-timers. They really appreciate the East Cape when all the rookie mistakes are eliminated for them."
Details are available by calling Carter at 310-541-8388.
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: John Ireland of RANCHO LEONERO called in to report boats scoring on big inshore yellowtail to 45 and even 50 pounds last week, until winds suspended the action on Wednesday.
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: Chris Moyers of EAST CAPE SMOKEHOUSE, reporting for the Van Wormer resorts of HOTELS PALMAS DE CORTEZ, PLAYA DEL SOL, PUNTA COLORADA, said 28 charters sent out for the week caught (including released fish): 2 blue marlin, 66 dorado, 7 yellowfin tuna, 30 yellowtail, 3 cabrilla, and 23 roosterfish. East Cape water temperatures were 67 to 70 degrees, and air temperatures were 58 to 78 degrees.
Moyers said, "The yellowtail are being reported off La Ribera, anywhere from 1/2 mile to 4 miles off, as well as off Los Frailes. Guys are using small mackerels and sardines mostly, with one angler reporting success on a yo-yo jig.
"The few tuna caught this week were landed 10 to 15 miles off Los Frailes. A couple were caught about 10 miles off Cabo Pulmo as well. Sardines did the trick. The 2 small blue marlin landed this week were both on lures about 10 to 15 miles off Cabo Pulmo. Sierra continue to be found to the south, anywhere from La Ribera to Cabo Pulmo, including Los Frailes and Punta Arena. Sardines are the ticket."
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: At VISTA SEA SPORT, Mark Rayor said he and Jennifer will be at the Fred Hall Long Beach Show on Friday and Saturday. Rayor called East Cape diving conditions "spectacular" last week with some strong currents in clear blue water. "Not as tropical as some might expect, but the payoff is worth it," he said. "Huge grouper, amberjack, diamond back stingrays and bat rays are being sighted on every dive at Cabo Pulmo." Rayor said that dive master Chuy took a look at the depth finder during one trip last week, and couldn't see the bottom because of the thick schools of fish. "Big eye jacks, manta rays and sea turtles can be seen from the surface. It appears we are in store for a banner spring."
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: Gary Graham of BAJA ON THE FLY said good catches of sierra are being made from Rancho Leonero to Punta Arena, and yellowtail are being reported in front of La Ribera. Some quality cabrilla have also been taken from the rocks around Punta Pescadero, and there is a good pre-sunrise beach bite going on for ladyfish and sierra.
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: At RANCHO BUENA VISTA, Tami Moyeous said they will have their usual booth at the Fred Hall Show, and Marisol Verdugo of MARTIN VERDUGO'S BEACH RESORT said the same. Verdugo said the campground has been full most of the winter, but is starting to have some space now as the winter crowd begins to leave. The Verdugo boats are out of the water for maintenance, but are expected to be operating next month, she said.
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: Eddy Beaulne of EL CARDONAL'S HIDEAWAY said the hotel was very busy last week, and he's putting the final touches on a number of improvements for the season, including more landscaping and paint for the suites, new kayaks and boating and diving equipment, a bigger menu for the restaurant, and new camping amenities.
LA PAZ, MEXICO: Mino Shiba of La Paz' historic MOSQUITO FLEET said business was finally picking up last week, and so was the fishing. Two groups fished on the Las Arenas side recently, including Richard and Kevin Florczak of Agoura Hills, CA, and scored on combined yellowfin tuna, yellowtail, and dorado, and Mino says there are more yellowtail clustered around the south end of Isla Espiritu Santo and some "real big ones" all around the wreck of the ferryboat Colima that sits out in the middle of Canal de San Lorenzo. Mino, attesting to the size of those fish, said he farmed 2 of them personally.
LA PAZ, MEXICO: Jonathan Roldan of TAIL HUNTER INTERNATIONAL said the few anglers getting out were finding firecracker yellowtail, plus some larger fish to 20 pounds off Bahia de los Muertos and Punta Perico, and a few dorado mixed in. Roldan added that although no fish have been landed yet, one of his boats got rocked repeatedly on the beginning of the spring pargo bite. "These were the steroid-laden 30 to 40-pounders," he said. "The fish came up boiling and the guys dragged some baits through them, only to be rocked again and again on 50-pound line. Hate 'em, but love 'em!"
Roldan said he's keeping a suspicious eye out for the possible El Niño that may be building, and noted that perhaps the winter dorado and yellowfin tuna, and the scattered bait he's seen recently are signs of things to come.
LA PAZ, MEXICO: At FISHERMEN'S FLEET, David Jones said his anglers have been scoring on pargo on the back side of Isla Cerralvo, plus the usual sierra and cabrilla. Other pargo to 20 pounds are being caught at Punta Perico. He's also seeing a few yellowfin tuna at the north end of the island.
MULEGE, MEXICO: Fly-in resident RON GRANT just returned from a 6-day trip, reporting light winds, air temperatures to the low 80s, and water temperatures to the mid-70s.
"The fishing was good, but there's a real lack of fishermen going out," Grant said. "Found the larger yellowtail south near Punta Teresa. The fish ranged from 30 to 40 pounds, feeding on top. Birds were working the entire area. The big yellows hit iron, any color. Some of the boats made live bait that worked as well. Smaller yellowtail were working around Santa Ines Island, but hit mostly live bait. Few hookups on iron. I did not talk to anyone that went to Isla San Marcos or Isla Tortuga. No need to make the longer runs."
Grant said he took a day off for whale watching at Laguna San Ignacio on the Pacific side. "It's really worth the trip. Yes, you get to pet the whales. Don't try the drive pulling a boat, or in a large RV. The 25 to 30 miles from San Ignacio to the lagoon is about as bad a dirt road as I've seen in Baja."
MULEGE, MEXICO: Diana Johnson of the HOTEL SERENIDAD said the runway is in good condition, and the hotel was very busy with groups of Flying Samaritans, Mooney Pilots, and Baja Bush Pilots, all coming in for whale watching on both the Pacific and Cortez sides.
BAHIA DE LOS ANGELES, MEXICO: Abraham Vazquez of CAMP GECKO at Bahia de los Angeles said "Believe it or not, the weather is great here!" Vazquez said the usual north wind early in the week was "not too bad. I think with the coming El Niño, the weather is a little crazy again. Conditions in general have been very good, and you can definitely feel springtime in the air."
Vazquez said the yellowtail fishing definitely picked up last week. "The Los Machos bite is still very good, and there are a good number of yellows showing up in the local area again, some nice ones to 40 pounds around Calavera and also north of Smith Island. There are some smaller ones about 8 to 12 pounds behind Horse Head and around Punta Pescador. The catch has been on iron for the bigger ones, and on trolled Rapalas for the smaller ones."
Vazquez added that bottom fishing is good, with some nice-sized baquetas caught last week. Bahia de los Angeles weather has been about 56 degrees to the low 70s, with water temperatures down to about 56 degrees. Camp Gecko's cruiser will be put in the water for the season during the last half of April, Vazquez said. The road was in pretty good shape for the first 5 miles, then some potholes. Gasoline is available in the village at 135 pesos for 5 gallons.
SAN CARLOS, MEXICO: Vince Radice of the SONORAN SPORT CENTER said whale watching continues to be excellent for the large finback whales, and last week he said a pod of killer whales was observed making an intense attack on a large school of dolphins and feeding on them.
MAZATLAN, MEXICO: ARIES SPORTFISHING FLEET manager Geronimo Cevallos reported a super inshore corvina bite, according to Larry Edwards of CORTEZ YACHT CHARTERS, and said he personally had been releasing 20 to 40 fish a morning. Overall, Aries Fleet boats operating at Marina el Cid reported: 4 sailfish, 9 striped marlin, 1 shark, 25 yellowfin tuna, and 7 dorado. Inshore, 8 days of panga fishing produced: 46 corvina, 92 mojarra, and 44 red snapper.
IXTAPA ZIHUATANEJO, MEXICO: The fantastic sailfish bite of the past several weeks finally slowed down somewhat, although Marcos Vargas of VARGAS SPORTFISHING said boats were still raising 4 to 10 fish per day, and releasing about 3 fish per day. Some boats were still scoring double-digits. Ixtapa weather was in the mid-90s, with calm seas, and water temperatures of 78 to 80 degrees. The best fishing area was 10 to 15 miles out on a heading of 220 degrees.
IXTAPA ZIHUATANEJO, MEXICO: At IXTAPA SPORTFISHING CHARTERS, Stan Lushinsky said his top boat for the week was Capt. Miguel Alvarez' El Soltar, which landed 16 sailfish in 2 days of fishing with angler Rob Gillanders and his group from the Northwest Anglers Association. The El Soltar also reported a 9-sailfish day with angler Randy Carreon, who also lost a 400-pound class blue marlin. Other species landed during the week included bonito, dorado, sharks, roosterfish, jacks, and salema.
IXTAPA ZIHUATANEJO, MEXICO: Paul Phillips of the FINTASTIC TOTAL CATCH & RELEASE TOURNAMENT said that although there were still plenty of sailfish around, the yellowfin tuna had moved out past 25 miles, and were no longer being caught. Phillips said the good news for inshore anglers is that the killer whales have finally left, so the roosterfish are showing up again. Capt. Martin Cortes of the Isamar reported catching 5 roosters in a day, Phillips said.
IXTAPA ZIHUATANEJO, MEXICO: Ed Kunze of MAR Y TIERRA SPORTFISHING said boats were averaging about 2 to 4 sailfish per day on fly tackle. "A typical day was experienced by Greg Benson from Chicago," he said. "We raised 9 sailfish, had 5 follow the hookless teasers and come to the boat, hooked 2, and tagged and released 1." On conventional tackle, Ben Petterson, fished on a panga with Capt. Antonio early last week and landed a 464-pound blue marlin using a 9/0 Penn Senator.
HUATULCO, MEXICO: Stan Lushinsky of IXTAPA SPORTFISHING CHARTERS checked in with a report from Capt. Carlos Austin of Cancun's MUNDO MARINA FLEET. With a good offshore sailfish bite slowing down, Capt. Austin reported anglers scoring well on blackfin tuna, wahoo, barracuda, Spanish mackerel, and king mackerel. Sailfish action was expected to improve with warmer water temperatures and the changing of the moon next week, Lushinsky said.