Early season albacore tease Ensenada sportfishing boats

Mexico Fishing News, May 13, 2002



ENSENADA, MEXICO: Yellowtail, bonito, barracuda, and even some teaser early albacore made a nice showing off Punta Banda last week in improving spring conditions. Over the weekend, Sammy Susarrey of LILY FLEET reported 5 yellowtail to 12 pounds and 17 bonito to 10 pounds for anglers fishing 2 miles off Punta Banda on a heading of 240 degrees.

Another boat fishing 33 miles out on a heading of 185 degrees found 3 small albacore to 12 pounds, and another 2 albacore were caught by a commercial boat 15 miles off Punta Colonet, Susarrey said.

ENSENADA, MEXICO: Sergio Susarrey of SERGIO'S ENSENADA SPORTFISHING CENTER said the Clipper II found 20 yellowtail to 18 pounds for 12 passengers, plus 40 bonito to 12 pounds, 50 barracuda to 8 pounds, and a bunch of lingcod and assorted rockfish over the weekend. The yellowtail were caught at Todos Santos Island, Susarrey said, but he also had unconfirmed reports of more of them at Punta Banda and on offshore kelp paddies. On Sunday, the El Cazador with 10 anglers checked in with 19 yellowtail and 15 bonito, and the Clipper II with 11 passengers had 10 yellowtail and 20 bonito.

Susarrey noted the early albacore reports, and said that he'll start sending full-day outer banks trips this season on Memorial Day rather than wait for mid-June. "It could be another great early season," he said.

ENSENADA, MEXICO: MICHAEL HINO said shore fishing action is picking up along Estero Beach and, "my secret spot is not a secret anymore. But plenty of fish for everyone." Hino said he's seeing more halibut taken on small anchovies, and lots of yellowfin croaker on anchovies and some on mussel. A few corbina are hitting on sand crabs and ghost shrimp, he said, and he expected lots of action this weekend as conditions continue to improve.

In other mainland Mexico and Baja fishing action this week:



SAN QUINTIN, MEXICO: Jim Harer of the OLD MILL HOTEL said persistent winds last week limited the action out of Bahia San Quintin. "John Gilkerson of Los Angeles and 4 friends fished 2 days on their own boat," Harer said. "They only caught lingcod, early limits of 15 to 20-pound fish. The wind didn't stop until Sunday. There were reports of swells up to 10 feet." By Sunday afternoon, Harer said the weather was great and better fishing reports would be coming soon.

SAN QUINTIN, MEXICO: Gene Allshouse of SAN QUINTIN SPORTFISHING said among the few boats venturing out were some that did well on red rockfish and large lingcod at the 240 Spot and 15 Spot, plus a run of log barracuda coming from the north side of Isla San Martin. Allshouse said the good news was that water temperatures have started to climb and he was expecting albacore "any day now," in addition to white seabass and halibut as soon as the weather lets up.

"We also continue to mark a lot of yellowtail, and that bite should turn on as well," Allshouse said.



MAGDALENA BAY, MEXICO: Gary Graham of BAJA ON THE FLY said few boats fished at the entrada or outside last week, and most of the mangrove action took place up near Devil's Curve. San Carlos weather was in the mid-70s, and water temperatures ranged from 60 to 68 degrees. The week's best bets were halibut on the sandy beaches across the channel near Magdalena City, snook at Devil's Curve, and corvina at Devil's Curve, the bridge, and the power plant. Graham said warming water temperatures should bring some action in a few weeks for skipjack, tuna, and dorado offshore.



CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Striped marlin action off the tip of Baja climbed another notch last week into the "serious" zone, with many boats reporting at least double releases in steadily improving conditions.

CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: On Friday, Mario Bojorges of PICANTE FLEET reported Cabo weather in the low-90s, water temperatures of 71 to 74 degrees, relative humidity of 48 percent, and the best fishing coming from the Gordo Banks on the Cortez side. Five boats chartered Friday had a combined catch including released fish of: 11 striped marlin, 4 dorado, and 4 yellowfin tuna.

CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Tommy Garcia of CABO MAGIC reported on 12 boats chartered during the week, with a combined catch including released fish of: 13 striped marlin, 24 dorado, 2 wahoo, 1 mako shark, and 8 yellowfin tuna.

CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Other reports representing about 130 private and fleet boats had a combined catch of about 155 striped marlin, 77 yellowfin tuna, 125 dorado, 39 wahoo, 105 sierra, 31 yellowtail, and 144 skipjack.

CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Larry Edwards of CORTEZ YACHT CHARTERS said GAVIOTA FLEET boats found excellent billfish action on both sides of the arch, but the best tuna counts last week came from the Pacific side for those willing to run up-swell to the Jaime Bank area. "Most of the tuna taken were quality fish," Edwards said, "typically in the 50 to 100-pound range." Gaviota Fleet's combined fish count was: 28 striped marlin (25 released), 42 dorado, 12 skipjack, and 34 yellowfin tuna.

CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Capt. George Landry of FLY HOOKER SPORT FISHING said there was a brief temperature break off the 1150 Spot last week that had water temperatures into the low 80s, but things quickly settled back to the upper-70s range, mostly about 77 degrees.

Landry said last week's good news on yellowfin tuna on the Pacific side lasted until the purse seiners moved in. "On Tuesday, there were 3 seiners there, and the bite dropped off quite a bit. Wednesday and Thursday the bite was dead."

The nice wahoo bite of about 10 days ago cooled off quite a bit, Landry said, but some fish in the 35 to 40-pound range were still being caught on blind strikes.

CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: SOLMAR FLEET manager Rene Santa Cruz said last week's action was nearly identical to the previous reporting period, with a combined count fish of: 68 striped marlin (58 released), 59 dorado, 38 yellowfin tuna, 18 wahoo, 15 yellowtail, and a "big bag" of skipjack and sierra.

"It was good to have good fishing hold up for a second week in a row," said Santa Cruz. "We were hoping for a continuation of good fishing, to indicate the traditional seasonal turnaround in May. It seems we got it."

CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: At PISCES FLEET, Tracy Ehrenberg said last week was excellent, with an overall success rate for all species of 95 percent, and just about all boats doing well on striped marlin. Ehrenberg said, "We did have an odd boat here and there 'skunked,' but generally fishing was great. Lots of striped marlin spotted this week and they moved close, about 3 miles out from Cabo."

Top Pisces Fleet boats for the week included Adriana with a 4-release, plus 2 dorado, day for Shaun Oveson of Chicago and Kurt Kelso of Inverness, IL, and Rebecca and La Brisa, which both checked in with triple-release days. A private yacht, the Reel n' Deal, caught a 400-pound class blue marlin on May 7, and a couple of swordfish were also spotted last week, Ehrenberg said.



SAN JOSE DEL CABO, MEXICO: Eric Brictson of GORDO BANKS PANGAS said the La Playita panga fleets enjoyed good weather conditions last week with minimal swells and clear, warm water up to 77 degrees only a few miles from shore. More bait is now moving into the waters around the Gordo Banks, Brictson said, including big schools of flying fish, bolito, and skipjack, plus live mackerel and sardina from the commercial bait pangueros.

"Most charters were taking a combination of live bait and trolling lures on their daily trips," Brictson said. "Fleets have concentrated efforts from the 95 Spot to the Gordo Banks, finding spread-out action for striped marlin, dorado, and wahoo, along with a mix of quality bottom action for pargo, amberjack and grouper."

Wahoo action last week tapered off, but fish were still being caught early in the day on high-speed trolled lures, often while fishing for marlin or dorado.

Meanwhile, boats were finding lots of dorado to about 25 pounds throughout the area. Yellowfin tuna, absent for several weeks, continued their disappearing act, although Brictson said he expects things to explode at any time. "When are the tuna going to be here? It is only a matter of time. Apparently, some condition is just not to their liking now."

Close to shore, there were still no large schools of mullet to be found, and the action was generally slow, Brictson said.

SAN JOSE DEL CABO, MEXICO: Mike Santry of LA PLAYITA TOURS (operating out of the beach front La Playita Inn) was playing hooky with his grandson in Colorado, and had no fishing report last week, but he said he's building a website now which will debut soon, and is promoting package tours for beach fishing, kayak fishing, ATV trips, bird watching, and turtle release tours. He asked everyone to stay tuned for news of his new program in a few weeks.



EAST CAPE, MEXICO: True spring weather finally arrived and decent fishing prevailed at Bahia de Palmas, with water temperatures averaging 72 to 76 degrees, calm winds, and a rise in billfish numbers toward the end of the week.

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 225 boats chartered during the week had a combined catch including released fish of: 94 striped marlin, 5 sailfish, 176 dorado, 12 yellowfin tuna, 34 pargo, 2 wahoo, 21 cabrilla, 30 roosterfish, and 10 sierra.

EAST CAPE, MEXICO: At MARTIN VERDUGO'S BEACH RESORT, Marisol Verdugo-George reported on 25 boats chartered during the week, with catches of dorado and marlin, increasing on Friday and Saturday. On Friday, boats averaged 2 to 3 marlin each, plus 2 to 4 dorado in the 40 to 50-pound range. On Saturday, 6 boats averaged nearly 3 marlin releases, plus up to 3 dorado to 45 pounds. "As you can see, it seems like the fishing is getting better and better," Verdugo-George said.

EAST CAPE, MEXICO: At VISTA SEA SPORT, Mark Rayor said diving conditions were "perfect," and he was seeing "loads of sea life."

"Sighting eagle rays in front of our dive shop while snorkeling has been a sure thing for the last several days," said Rayor. "We are also seeing hammerhead sharks in the shallows between Punta Colorada and Las Barrancas. At Cabo Pulmo, El Bajo has been where all the action is. Giant jewfish and grouper, huge stingrays, amberjack, and free swimming green moray eels are everywhere." Rayor said currents are mild, visibility is 40 to 50 feet, and the water temperature at diving depth is about 75 degrees.

EAST CAPE, MEXICO: John Ireland at RANCHO LEONERO said the raging dorado bite of the last several weeks has finally tapered off somewhat, but striped marlin have taken up the slack and were in the "wide-open" class by the weekend. The yellowfin tuna bite is still developing, Ireland said, calling the action "sporadic."

Inshore, Ireland said the fishing is awesome right now, with lots of roosterfish and big jacks. "Fly fishermen took a 40-pound rooster from the beach at the lighthouse. Lots of squid still in the water. Fish are biting aggressively off all area beaches. Our manager Gary Barnes-Web, took 2 over 60 pounds, with live mullet and sardinas producing all the action."

EAST CAPE, MEXICO: Tami Moyeous of historic RANCHO BUENA VISTA said, "The weather is much better this week, with seas a lot calmer. Tony reports the catch was awesome: 52 stripers, 3 sails, 14 roosters, 48 dorado, 32 tuna, and 2 wahoo, with the largest caught by Rick Rasmussen of Salt Lake City, 84 pounds!"

EAST CAPE, MEXICO: Steve Crouch also announced the 14th Annual No Kill Tournament at RANCHO BUENA VISTA on June 22-26. As always, plenty of sponsored prizes will be given away, and the fishing looks to be good. "It's getting really close to tournament time, and I need all of you to make your arrangements and get entry fees in," Crouch said. Entry fees are $250, and information and reservations may be made by calling 800-258-8200, or 800-355-6441.

EAST CAPE, MEXICO: At BAJA ON THE FLY, Gary Graham said, "Back to back reports of good weather, hallelujah, we are on a roll!" The beach is producing plenty of sight casting opportunities for jacks and roosters, Graham said. "For roosterfish, La Ribera is producing the smaller guys, and better quality from Punta Colorada to the lighthouse. I'm seeing more and more jack crevalle. I counted 15 from La Capilla to Rooster Alley on Friday."



LA PAZ, MEXICO: Mino Shiba of MOSQUITO FLEET said, "We still have a lot of roosterfish around Espiritu Santo Island this week. Also, the cabrilla and pargo are biting around the island and El Bajo. The water temperature is about 72 to 76 degrees. We still have a lot of sardines, which is the main bait for the pargo and cabrilla.

"Some dorado have been caught lately, but not too many. You can spend all day trolling to get a couple. It is a little windy in the morning, but hot at noontime, over 90 degrees.

"Also, Mosquito Fleet has just completed putting new four-strokes in most boats, very efficient for fishing."

LA PAZ, MEXICO: Jonathan Roldan of TAIL HUNTER INTERNATIONAL said bait on both the La Paz and Arenas sides has been scarce lately. "If you fished with us last year, you may remember that the bait was so thick it looked like 10-foot thick ribbons along the beach and one cast net could fill a boat! This year, it looks like we're gonna have to work a little harder at it. Therefore, anglers, it would not hurt to bring squid."

LA PAZ, MEXICO: On the south side of the hill, Linda Glassman-Davis said the Hotel Las Arenas pangas didn't fish much last week because a move crew took over the hotel, but she still had a combined fish count of: 6 roosterfish to 25 pounds, 10 dorado to 35 pounds, 10 pargo to 8 pounds, and 15 sierra to 7 pounds.

LA PAZ, MEXICO: At FISHERMEN'S FLEET, David Jones said the fishing is improving steadily. "One boat had a 50-pound amberjack and some yellowtail taken at Punta Perico, and another boat had 4 nice dorado taken off Punta Arena. It hasn't quite broken loose yet, but it's breathin' hard."



LORETO, MEXICO: Linda Ramirez of ALFREDO'S SPORT FISHING said a panga fishing at week's end with 1 angler checked in with giant squid, mackerel, bottom fish, and a 25-pound yellowtail. "It was a beautiful day," she said. "They saw a turtle, the fish were boiling, and the ocean was like a mirror."

LORETO, MEXICO: Hugh Cobb of Oceanside's PACIFIC COAST BAIT & TACKLE said Ramirez also relayed an unconfirmed report of dorado around Isla Catalan, but she felt the reports were still to flimsy to rely on. "The yellowtail bite seems to have cooled," Cobb said, "although they are still catching a few large fish up north when they are able to locate them."



MULEGE, MEXICO: CHARLIE PLOTT checked in from a recent trip with his wife to the Punta Chivato area where he found excellent fishing one day out of three: "The day was amazing with birds stacking over aggressive schools of large sierra and cabrilla (really large) slashing through the bait. Of course we caught and released fish until we were tired. It was a classic fishing day--just fantastic. The water was about 70 degrees and like glass--no wind. Air temperature was in the low 80s. The pig roast at Serenidad was great as always."



SAN FELIPE, MEXICO: Spring was finally arriving at the northern one-third of the Sea of Cortez last week. Bob Castellon of SEA OF CORTEZ SPORTFISHING reported on a 4-day trip of the panga mothership, Celia Angelina, returning to San Felipe on May 8, with a fish count of: 98 yellowtail to 26 pounds, 132 cabrilla to 19 pounds, 45 pargo, 15 giant squid, 221 miscellaneous fish, and 2 grouper to 37 pounds. Eleven grouper under 25 pounds and 31 small yellowtail were released.

The Celia Angelina fished from Ensenada Grande to Snake Island, Castellon said, and will now begin its 6-day trips farther into the Midriff. Weather was above 80 degrees, and water temperatures ranged from 59 to 66 degrees. Castellon said the MirrOLure 111MR was the hot lure as usual, and the top colors were orange, and purple, with live bait very hard to find. Castellon urged people who are still fishing for totuaba to stop because it is illegal.

SAN FELIPE, MEXICO: Tony Reyes of TONY REYES FISHING TOURS reported on a 6-day trip of the panga mothership, Jose Andres, returning to San Felipe with a combined fish count of: 840 spotted bay bass, 135 cabrilla to 17 pounds, 109 squid to 35 pounds, 28 yellowtail to 26 pounds, 14 red snapper to 16 pounds, 13 sheephead to 12 pounds, 8 sierra to 9 pounds, 1 white seabass of 40 pounds, 1 shark of 14 pounds, and 1 broomtail grouper of 18 pounds.

SAN FELIPE, MEXICO: Gordon Byrne of BAJA SPORTFISHING, INC. reported on a 6-day trip of the panga mothership Erik, with a fish count of: 280 cabrilla to 20 pounds, 57 yellowtail to 35 pounds, grouper to 68 pounds, a few giant squid, and 168 miscellaneous fish.

SAN FELIPE, MEXICO: Catalina Meders of San Felipe's TITLE COMPANY BOOKSTORE overlooking the bay said, "the weather is so perfect it seems almost sinful." San Felipe weather was in the high 80s and water temperature was 70 degrees.

"Most of the snow-birds have flown and only us die-hards remain," Meders said, "beginning the long acclimatization to 3-digit temperatures.

"Yesterday there was a triathlon involving bicycling, running and swimming. Unfortunately I can't seem to find anyone who knows what the K distance was (hopefully the contestants did), but there was music in the streets 'till late.

"There were lots of flowers in the street on Friday (for Mother's Day), and I got a lovely red rose from the young man I have been teaching English to for about a year now.

"The town has been pretty quiet for about a week now. It's just soooooo nice when it turns back into a sleepy little fishing village."

SAN FELIPE, MEXICO: Puertecitos resident, PATTI HAYNES relayed a message from Sawman and Foxita at Campo La Costilla saying the fishing has improved a lot in the past couple of weeks, with yellowtail, corvina, snapper, bass, and white seabass now being caught.



MAZATLAN, MEXICO: Larry Edwards of CORTEZ YACHT CHARTERS said excellent tuna action popped up for ARIES SPORTFISHING FLEETlast week, but the billfish bite slowed a bit and moved farther offshore. Overall counts for offshore cruisers included 14 striped marlin, 1 sailfish, 21 dorado, and 82 yellowfin tuna. Inshore panga fishing produced 24 corvina, 8 red snapper, 22 mojarras, 12 jack crevalle, and 29 roosterfish. Mazatlan weather was sunny and warm with water temperatures about 80 degrees, and the best fishing was 30 to 34 miles out of Marina El Cid on a heading of 220 degrees.



IXTAPA ZIHUATANEJO, MEXICO: Ed Kunze of MAR Y TIERRA SPORTFISHING said 78-degree blue water is within a couple of miles of shore and lots of game fish are around. Boats are averaging at least 2 to 3 sailfish per day, and Capt. Alfredo on the Whisky I and Capt. Mecate on the Aqua Azul both got 5 in one day.

Kunze said the yellowfin tuna action has been spotty, but the Whisky III got a 250-pounder at 30 miles out. "In the meantime, Steve Lipe from South Padre Island, Texas was fishing with me and we had 100 to 150-pound tuna crashing all around us. We tried live bait, feathers, marlin lures, Rapalas, hoochies, cedar plugs, etc., and we could not get bit. Tuna were everywhere, but they were feeding on 3-inch long flying fish."

IXTAPA ZIHUATANEJO, MEXICO: Paul Phillips of the FINTASTIC TOTAL CATCH & RELEASE TOURNAMENT said last week's annual Ixtapa International Sailfish Tournament saw a big swing toward catch-and-release fishing. "With approximately 165 boats entered the results were more than great," Phillips said. "Only 144 Sailfish were brought to the scales, that many more were RELEASED!! This was the VERY first time this has happened. It speaks well for the captains of Zihuatanejo."

IXTAPA ZIHUATANEJO, MEXICO: Stan Lushinski of IXTAPA SPORTFISHING CHARTERS said Capt. Miguel Alvarez on the El Soltar landed 17 sailfish during the 3-day event, along with a 225-pound blue marlin. "The summer fishery is setting up well and the next months should be prime for both good inshore and offshore action," Lushinsky said.

Fish Photo 1

La Playita guide Chame Pino needed 45 minutes to subdue this hefty 88-pound amberjack off La Fortuna near San Jose del Cabo last week. Photo courtesy Eric Brictson, Gordo Banks Pangas.

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