Offshore runs productive for East Cape sportfishing fleets

Mexico Fishing News, April 22, 2002



EAST CAPE, MEXICO: Good action on marlin, tuna, and dorado put East Cape in the lead for offshore fishing last week, as the waters around Cabo San Lucas yielded a steady yellowfin tuna bite, and not much else.

EAST CAPE, MEXICO: Chris Moyers, reporting for the Van Wormer resorts of HOTELS PALMAS DE CORTEZ, PLAYA DEL SOL, PUNTA COLORADA, said 84 boats chartered during the week caught a combined total, including released fish, of: 100 striped marlin, 58 dorado, 12 pargo, 4 cabrilla, 15 roosterfish, and 9 sierra.

East Cape weather was in the mid-80s, and water temperatures averaged 72 to 76 degrees. Winds were mostly calm, with some breezes in the afternoons.

Moyers commented on the quickly improving action on striped marlin toward the end of the week:

"When you see all the flags, you begin to understand what is happening...marlin gridlock! Capt. Julio Cota, El Loco 11, released five. Over a 90 percent release rate prevailed this week. The main event was taking place off Punta Arena lighthouse down to Los Frailes, anywhere from 3 to 18 miles offshore. Packs of striped marlin were everywhere. Most boats sighted 20 or more fish."

EAST CAPE, MEXICO: At BUENA VISTA BEACH RESORT, Axel Valdez said 40 boats chartered during the week caught a combined total, including released fish, of: 27 striped marlin, 10 dorado, 102 roosterfish, 40 snapper, 5 jack crevalle, 5 ladyfish, 9 pompano, 11 triggerfish, 45 sierra, 15 cabrilla, and 1 skipjack.

Inshore fishing from La Ribera to the lighthouse continued strong for roosterfish and sierra, with good numbers also on cabrilla and snappers.

EAST CAPE, MEXICO: John Ireland of RANCHO LEONERO said, "There's exceptional fishing right now, with literally hundreds of striped marlin. Most of the fishing is close, 5 to 10 miles off La Ribera to the lighthouse. Lots of squid, red crab, and mackerel in the water."

Ireland said all anglers were getting multiple billfish hookups last week, and as for dorado, "Spectacular fishing continues, with all anglers limiting on fish to 65 pounds. The fish are from La Ribera to Cabo Pulmo."

Roosterfish were also very active on all area beaches, Ireland said, and the biggest caught last week were running close to 50 pounds.

EAST CAPE, MEXICO: At RANCHO BUENA VISTA, Tami Moyeous said the fishing was "pretty darned good" all week long, with a combine catch, including released fish, of: 24 striped marlin, 86 dorado, 6 pargo, 20 sierra, and 40 skipjack.

EAST CAPE, MEXICO: Marisol Verdugo George of MARTIN VERDUGO'S BEACH RESORT called it basically a striped marlin week. Fifteen boats chartered had a combined catch, including released fish, of: 16 striped marlin, plus a fair number of dorado.

EAST CAPE, MEXICO: Gary Graham of BAJA ON THE FLY said a cold front that moved through the area nearly brought beach fishing to a standstill, but that by about Wednesday, things were getting back to normal, and roosterfish and sierra were seen chasing sardinas again.

"The good news is that the offshore fishing held up pretty well, with more and more marlin showing," Graham said. "There are lots of squid around now, and all the marlin are pretty full and not real aggressive on the artificials. Dorado fishing also held up for the lucky ones who found the right school."

On another interesting note, Graham described some unusual "bait fish" sightings recently:

"While sardina are still the mainstay, we are seeing what appears to be very similar to the East Coast sand eels the stripers and bluefish feed on."

EAST CAPE, MEXICO: At VISTA SEA SPORT, Mark Rayor called conditions excellent, with warming water to about 74 degrees at diving depth. He called the water color "Tidy Bowl blue" with great visibility: "It's incredible how much sea life is on the reefs, from nudibranchs to giant grouper and amberjack, an occasional shark, and some turtles. All we are seeing from divers are huge smiles."

EAST CAPE, MEXICO: Eddy Beaulne of EL CARDONAL'S HIDEAWAY said that despite cooler water temperatures on the north side of Punta Pescadero, there were dorado, marlin, and jacks to about 25 pounds being caught, plus lots of huachinango on the bottom. Fly anglers were also doing well from shore, Beaulne said.

In other mainland Mexico and Baja fishing action this week:



ENSENADA, MEXICO: Fishing slowed down a couple of notches last week in cool and breezy weather. The recent teaser bite of yellowtail and barracuda failed to stay around, and boats were plugging away at steady bottom fish, including regular limits of lingcod.

ENSENADA, MEXICO: Sammy Susarrey of LILY FLEET said the Tamara fished the Punta Banda Bank over the weekend with 6 anglers, and caught limits of lingcod and salmon grouper on yo-yo jigs and white Scampis on the surface. "We saw lots of the jellyfish with the sail on it, and a few years ago, when we saw that jellyfish we had a very good year on albacore." Ensenada water temperatures were about 59 degrees.

Earlier, the Lily fished in windy conditions and reported a slow day.

ENSENADA, MEXICO: Ivan Villarino of VONNY FLEET phone 011-52-646-154-2046, said he's been doing the same old thing, fishing tight to the rocks around the tip of Punta Banda for steady action on plentiful bottom fish and lingcod. Villarino confirmed that he felt this season has been the best for lingcod around Ensenada in aabout 25 years, both for quantity and size.

ENSENADA, MEXICO: STEVE ROSS said he had a strange day of slow action recently, as he fished around Bahia de Todos Santos on his boat, Bad Dog. Fishing out of Marina Coral with squid, mackerel, and dead barracuda baits, and his favorite M.C. Swim baits, he and wife Gail went fishless along the shore between Marina Coral and the harbor, around the harbor entrance, off Estero Beach, and across on the south side of the bay. "After all this with no bites we pulled up to a group of 4 Mexican boats and tried their spots to no avail and noticed that they weren't getting bit either," Ross said, "not 1 bite for almost 4 hours of fishing. I threw at least 150 times and Gail dropped or dragged beautiful squids in all the known spots of the harbor." The pair finally settled for a 5-pound lingcod, and some nice rockfish in clean, 61-degree water. "Well, we had a beautiful day on the water, caught lots of nice fish," Ross said. "No reports of yellowtail yet and no signs of them on the Banda Bank for the 4 boats fishing in that area."

ENSENADA, MEXICO: Earlier, CRAIGE HARVEY reported on a day of fishing the boiler rocks around Punta Banda in his 16-foot Klamath. "Could not buy a hit from the calicos so I went out to deeper water and had continuous hookups on lingcod with a few reds and other bottom dwellers mixed in," Harvey said. The best bottom action was at 80 feet deep, and it was followed in the evening by a hot bite on medium barracuda that were chasing cast Krocodiles in groups of 4 or 5. Harvey's next trip is to Puertecitos and Gonzaga Bay early next month.

ENSENADA, MEXICO: Ensenada resident MICHAEL HINO, said shore fishing is producing plenty of sand bass and perch, plus an occasional halibut. "Shore fishing is better when you go farther south towards San Quintin," Hino said. "Top water action will not happen maybe for another 2 months, but we look forward to some white seabass action soon."

ENSENADA, MEXICO: And a bit farther north, kayak angler TODD GROESSL sent a photo of a 42-pound, 8-ounce yellowtail he caught recently at the La Jolla kelp, on an M.C. Swim bait, Calcutta 400 reel, 8-foot rod, and 25-pound leader. "I fought him for about 20 minutes as he pulled me around La Jolla," Groessl said. When asked exactly where the fish was hooked, Groessl volunteered "in the lip."

"After launching at La Jolla Shores, I hooked the fish at about 9:30 a.m. landing him just before 10 a.m. I had been slow-trolling a smelt that I caught earlier, for over a mile, outside the kelp line, when I saw some nice marks on the meter. I stopped to drift for a few minutes, and threw out a 6-inch M.C. Swim bait. Three casts and wham!"



SAN QUINTIN, MEXICO: Bad news for anyone planning to enter the Fourth of July Tournament at DON EDDIE'S LANDING. Top San Quintin angler, Beverly Hawley-Martin, who won the Easter Tournament handily and has made some other excellent catches recently, announced that she and husband Joe will be fishing again with their regular guide, Bear. This has proven itself to be a tough combo to beat.

SAN QUINTIN, MEXICO: Early in the week, ETHAN SCHAFFER of Encinitas reported on a day out with Pedro's Pangas and guide Antonio that resulted in 7 lingcod to 10 pounds, 11 ocean whitefish to 9 pounds, and about 10 assorted rock fish. All the fishing was at Ben's Rock with iron, squid, and live bait, in 75 to 120 feet of water. Schaffer said the water temperature was about 62 degrees, and there were no yellowtail caught that he knew of. Other anglers out with San Quintin Sportfishing were doing well on lingcod and rockcod at the 240 Spot, Schaffer said.

SAN QUINTIN, MEXICO: Over the weekend, Pete Hillis of PEDRO'S PANGAS said that wind has scattered the yellowtail, and as of Sunday morning, none had been reported. Lingcod and rockcod were abundant at the 240 Spot and 15 Spot, he said. San Quintin weather has been breezy, in the mid-70s, with cool evenings, and water temperatures hovering at about 58 degrees.

SAN QUINTIN, MEXICO: Jim Harer of the OLD MILL HOTEL said only a few boats braved the wind last week, but those that went out were limiting on the continued hot bite of lingcod and other bottom fish. "Wish there was more," he said. "We'll try next week."



MAGDALENA BAY, MEXICO: Overcast, chilly weather continued around San Carlos last week, reported Gary Graham of BAJA ON THE FLY, and the best fishing technique for these generally slow conditions is to hit known deep holes in the mangrove channels, using the current to sweep your fly out toward the center of the channel. There were some yellowtail lingering around the entrada, but not enough to justify the run, Graham said, and a few sierra were caught around the commercial pier.



CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Striped marlin and dorado took a vacation last week around the tip of Baja, as boats scratched around in windy conditions for day-saving catches of yellowfin tuna, and some sierra.

CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Tom Garcia of CABO MAGIC said 11 boats chartered during the week had a combined catch, including released fish, of: 51 yellowfin tuna to about 90 pounds, 68 sierra, 2 yellowtail, 1 skipjack, and 2 dorado.

CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Mario Bojorges of PICANTE FLEET said 5 boats chartered Friday had a combined catch, including released fish, of: 15 yellowfin tuna, 5 dorado, and 2 striped marlin. Cabo San Lucas weather was in the mid-80s, and water temperatures ranged from 60 to 67 degrees.

CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Other fleet and private boats, representing about 150 charters, had a combined catch, including released fish, of about: 155 yellowfin tuna, 53 sierra, 33 striped marlin, 11 dorado, 31 skipjack, and 2 roosterfish.

CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Larry Edwards of CORTEZ YACHT CHARTERS said GAVIOTA FLEET boats did well on yellowfin tuna at the Jaime Bank when the wind let them out. On other days, boats fished around the Gordo Banks on the Cortez side. Combined Gaviota Fleet counts, including released fish, were: 8 striped marlin, 2 wahoo, 1 dorado, 10 skipjack, 5 sierra, and 67 yellowfin tuna.

CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: At SOLMAR FLEET, Rene Santa Cruz said an early pop of striped marlin proved to be a false omen as the fish scattered for the rest of the week. "We expected a break-through into the new season," Santa Cruz said, "but it turned out to be the fishing equivalent of fool's gold, as anglers struggled throughout the week to raise fish." Solmar Fleet boats found their best fishing at the Golden Gate Bank, despite the winds and 3 to 6-foot swell on the Pacific Side.

"Dorado almost disappeared from our sights," Santa Cruz said, "but we had an upsurge of yellowfin tuna, and a mixture of small game fish including skipjack, sierra, and 1 roosterfish."

CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: At FLY HOOKER SPORT FISHING, Capt. George Landrum, said he saw a wide range of water temperatures, from as low as 68 degrees on the Pacific to as high as 77 degrees around the Gordo Banks. The best action during the week was for yellowfin tuna, averaging 10 to 25 pounds, for those willing to pound north to the Jaime Bank, Landrum said.

"Inshore, the action consisted almost entirely of sierra to 8 pounds and both skipjack and bonito," Landrum said. "A few snapper were caught, but the water was a bit rough for good bottom fishing. Fishing from the surf line to depths of 200 feet, the sierra cooperated for those using both live sardinas and those who pulled small Rapalas."

CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Barbara Wright and John Hennessy said they've had 6 good trips with English-speaking Cabo San Lucas panga guide, NAYO RUIZ, and they highly recommend him: "In spite of 67-degree water and a howling wind, Nayo and Miguel, father and son, put us on the wildest sierra bite imaginable and kept us on it everyday. What fun!"



SAN JOSE DEL CABO, MEXICO: Mike Santry of LA PLAYITA TOURS said the water on the beach was about 72 or 73 degrees last week, and lots more fish were being seen. "One guest this week caught 4 cornetfish in a row," Santry said. "Boy those fish are ugly. Croakers, sierra, and a few assorted bottom fish were taken this week."

SAN JOSE DEL CABO, MEXICO: At GORDO BANKS PANGAS, Eric Brictson said inshore water temperatures were about 68 to 70 degrees, and the La Playita fleets were still filling the sacks with inshore and bottom fish. "The La Playita pangas spent much of the week fishing off Red Hill. The sierra fishing was wide open and the fish were averaging 5 pounds or more. Early in the week there were concentrations of pargo colorado being found close to rocks off Palmilla. Trolling with mullet produced quality fish up to 14 pounds, but this was tricky fishing due to the southern swell and close proximity of the rocks."



LA PAZ, MEXICO: Mino Shiba of MOSQUITO FLEET said anglers were finding excellent action on yellowtail pargo and sierra last week, and the weather has been cooperating, with light winds and temperatures to about 90 degrees. Water temperatures have been 68 to 70 degrees, and schools of mackerel and roosterfish have been showing up around Isla Espiritu Santo and the Bajo. There are also some cabrilla in the mix, Shiba said. Mosquito Fleet has just gotten some new pangas with four-stroke Mercury engines that he said are working great.

LA PAZ, MEXICO: At HOTEL LAS ARENAS, Linda Glassman-Davis said last week's action was good on a wide variety of species including: 75 sierra to 6 pounds, 25 cabrilla to 10 pounds, 22 pargo to 25 pounds, 10 roosterfish to 35 pounds, 7 amberjack to 9 pounds, and 15 yellowtail to 20 pounds.

LA PAZ, MEXICO: Jonathan Roldan of TAIL HUNTER INTERNATIONAL called it "buffet-line fishing...two of those...three of those...and one of those, and a side of that for desert!"

"Even on the slower days," Roldan said, "it seems that you can literally almost catch all the cabrilla you want." Other fish available included yellowtail, tuna, dorado, pargo, and sierra.



BAHIA DE LOS ANGELES, MEXICO: At Bahia de los Angeles' CAMP GECKO, Abraham Vazquez said the weather has been in the upper 70s, and water temperatures have been 59 to 64 degrees. The water has been very murky due to plankton blooms, Vazquez said. More finback whales have showed up, and there are big schools of bait fish around Horse Head Island. Winds have been mild.

Yellowtail fishing has dropped off, but bottom fishing continues good, and the first summer yellowtail are starting to show at the south end of Isla Angel de la Guarda and Isla Partida, some on the surface, but most caught on yo-yo jigs. Giant squid are present in big schools around Punta Pescador and Quemado bay.



SAN FELIPE, MEXICO: Bob Castellon of SEA OF CORTEZ SPORTFISHING reported on the panga mothership Celia Angelina's first 3-day trip of the season to the Enchanted Islands. A plankton bloom made it hard to find bait, Castellon said, but overall, conditions look good. The Celia Angelina's catch included: 43 cabrilla, 5 white seabass, 81 spotted bay bass, 2 pargo, 8 broomtail grouper (6 released), 21 yellowtail, and 121 assorted species.

SAN FELIPE, MEXICO: Catalina Meders, reporting from San Felipe's TITLE COMPANY BOOKSTORE overlooking the bay, said the weather has been near perfect, about 80 degrees all week, and the water has been about the same temperature. San Felipe has gone into quiet mode following the departure of the Semana Santa crowds, Meders said:

"I've been trying to figure out how many minutes it would take me to throw on my bathing suit, grab a towel, run to the beach, jump in the water, then run back to the store again...probably about ten minutes all told. This is in view of the coming HOT season. More next week from sunny, salty, sultry San Felipe."



MAZATLAN, MEXICO: Larry Edwards of CORTEZ YACHT CHARTERS said ARIES SPORTFISHING FLEET boats were averaging about 2 billfish per day. The overall offshore catch, including released fish, was: 15 sailfish, 12 striped marlin, 15 yellowfin tuna, and 28 dorado. Inshore, 2 pangas chartered during the week caught: 12 corvina, 16 red snapper, and 12 mojarra. Mazatlan weather has been calm, in the high 80s, with water temperatures in the mid-70s.



IXTAPA ZIHUATANEJO, MEXICO: Paul Phillips of the FINTASTIC TOTAL CATCH & RELEASE TOURNAMENT said an offshore earthquake early Thursday morning temporarily shut down a steady bite on sailfish, marlin, and roosterfish in the surf.

"All of a sudden every type of fish developed lockjaw!!" Phillips said. "Thursday and Friday proved to be skunk days for most. The shaker was barely felt, but it was well known to the fish!"

IXTAPA ZIHUATANEJO, MEXICO: Ed Kunze of MAR Y TIERRA SPORTFISHING said the earthquake effect has happened before. One notable catch during the week was a 300-pound class blue marlin released after a fight of only 18 minutes by his client Harold Trusky of Indiana, fishing with Capt. Calli on the Vamonos II.

IXTAPA ZIHUATANEJO, MEXICO: At IXTAPA SPORTFISHING CHARTERS, Stan Lushinsky said the fishing has been up and down for up to 4 sailfish in a day, but with gaps in between. "While conditions continue to improve, the spring turnover has still not fully taken place, which has resulted in the on again, off again bite," Lushinsky said.

Fish Photo 1

Michael and David Drabinsky of Walnut Creek fished with Mino Shiba's Mosquito Fleet at La Paz for five days last week, and they had a great trip, including this nice yellowtail.

Fish Photo 1

Don Hennessy with a big dorado caught while fishing with Cabo San Lucas guide Nayo Ruiz on his panga the Ana Isabelle.

Fish Photo 1

Todd Groessl's 42-pound, 8-ounce yellowtail, caught from his kayak at the La Jolla kelp beds.

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