LORETO, MEXICO: Tuna were still playing hide-and-seek in most areas of Baja last week, but the spring dorado migration pushed well up into the Sea of Cortez, in heavy bait conditions, and fish counts jumped at least as far north as Loreto.
LORETO, MEXICO: Pam Bolles of Loreto's BAJA BIG FISH COMPANY said, "We're in the dorado! The summer is already starting."
Bolles said her pangas and fly fishing shop are close to maxed out at the moment, after a "nice vacation" during her one-week Flyrod 101 seminar at Ensenada Blanca.
LORETO, MEXICO: Arturo Susarrey of ARTURO'S SPORT FISHING said Loreto weather couldn't be nicer, despite a day of unseasonal north winds last Tuesday. By the weekend, conditions were near-perfect, in the low 80s and flat calm.
"Dorado are being caught 10 miles out from Punta Lobos (north Carmen Island)," Susarrey said, and boats were returning with 5 to 6 fish each up to about 45 pounds. Noting the heavy concentrations of weed and squid in the water, Susarrey said it looks like the bite may go straight through August.
Yellowtail have definitely tapered off, although fish to about 35 pounds were still being caught in some areas to the north, Susarrey said. Squid to about 6 pounds, and mackerel bait are being caught off the east side of Isla Coronado, and mackerel and caballito are also being sold at the marina.
LORETO, MEXICO: Ty Miller of EL FUERTE SPORT FISHING said just about all boats out of Puerto Escondido were limiting on 15 to 35-pound dorado, working inward from the backside of Isla Catalan on "hundreds of sargasso paddies floating around."
Good numbers of sailfish were also being spotted, and Miller fretted about an overpopulation of billfish that might make it difficult to get to the dorado.
"This happened some years back, and what a fiasco!" Miller said. "Be prepared for billfish blowing up under the paddies while fishing for dorado." Miller reported flat seas over the weekend, with air temperatures about 87 degrees and water temperatures about 78 degrees.
LORETO, MEXICO: At VILLAS DE LORETO, Wendy Wilchynski acknowledged, "We have a lot of fish around." Villas de Loreto will be the host for an all-expenses-paid vacation for 2 people won by Duane Walsh with a 6-pound trout at the recent Kiwanis Club kid's benefit derby held at Dixon Lake in Escondido. Walsh's winning fish was good for airfare, transfers (donated by Blue Water Tours), lodging, lunches, and choice of any activity offered by Villas de Loreto, including fishing, diving, kayaks, island picnics, and back country trips to Mission San Javier, said tournament coordinator Fred Wollman of Valley Center, CA. The tournament raised over $12,000 which will be donated to charity.
ENSENADA, MEXICO: A steady yellowtail pick and more teaser albacore showed up last week for LILY FLEET fishing out of Marina Coral. Sammy Susarrey said 2 anglers fishing at midweek scored on 7 yellowtail to 20 pounds near Punta San Miguel by trolling live sardines early in the morning. Todos Santos Reef also produced good numbers of lingcod to 10 pounds, in water temperatures of about 65 degrees. On the same day, the Tamara scored on 4 albacore to 10 pounds and 13 yellowtail to 15 pounds while fishing kelp paddies 18 miles off Todos Santos Island on a heading of 220 degrees. The albacore hit small black-and-purple feathers, Susarrey said.
SAN QUINTIN, MEXICO: Anglers flocked to San Quintin over the weekend, enjoying beautiful weather and excellent bottom fishing after a couple of windy days earlier in the week.
SAN QUINTIN, MEXICO: Jim Harer of the OLD MILL HOTEL said, "We had the worst wind we have seen in 5 years. We thought there would be no fishing for Memorial weekend. Then, the wind went away and the sun came out. Hurrah!
"I believe every hotel in the area is full. Everyone is having a great time. I wish there was room to list all the fishermen who came this week."
Harer said PEDRO'S PANGAS sent out 12 boats during the week, all reporting limits on large rockcod, whitefish, and lingcod to about 12 pounds.
Six private boats also fished out of the Old Mill Hotel over the weekend, all getting limits on bottom fish.
SAN QUINTIN, MEXICO: Kelly Catian of EL CAPITAN SPORTFISHING, and a private boat run by Russel Pancog of San Diego, both ran out about 40 miles looking for tuna and yellowtail, but all they found was an area of bonita that would not hit, Harer said.
SAN QUINTIN, MEXICO: At DON EDDIE'S LANDING, Tony Marquez said the bottom fishing continues to get better and better, the hotel is full, and 90 percent of available boats fished this week. "The rockcod is strong, especially around the 240 Spot, and the sizes are increasing," Marquez said. Lingcod were caught to about 21 pounds, and a flurry of action on bonita was found about 2 miles north of Isla San Martin.
SAN QUINTIN, MEXICO: MIKE STEELE of San Diego reported on a recent group trip to Don Eddie's Landing that occupied 14 rooms and used 5 boats (3 from Tiburon's Pangas) for a fun fishing tournament that featured a $10 entry fee and a jackpot for biggest fish.
"We fished with Jaime Garcia of Tiburon's and that man put us on some fish. Fishing at 290 to 300 feet, we were able to boat over 15 large lingcod up to 22 pounds.
"We were overloaded by 11:30 and headed into port. Big action on 8X jigs, white-and-anything. My favorite BOLA jig (white and green-yellow) was the main ticket with squid attached for the King Lings.
"There was a 3-way tie for the jackpot, as every boat had big lings in the same weight range.
"It was hilarious, as each boat was lying to each other throughout the day. We called the other boats saying we had a couple of reds and a seasick fisherman and going in. Meanwhile we had huge lings in our hold. Everyone was doing the same thing. The weigh-in was a blast, looking at everyone's face.
"This will turn into a yearly invitational for sure. Tiburon and Don Eddie's were very service oriented. It doesn't get any better than that."
MAGDALENA BAY, MEXICO: Gary Graham of BAJA ON THE FLY reported San Carlos air temperatures of 65 to 75 degrees, and water temperatures ranging from 60 to 66 degrees in windy conditions and strong tidal currents. A few yellowtail were picked up at the entrada, Graham said, but corvina in the mangroves was "pretty tough," and "even the halibut quit biting." A few sierra were found on current rips off Punta Belcher, and one boat found a few snook just south of Devil's Curve, and a few more at Los Barriles Channel.
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Yellowfin tuna all but disappeared for last week's Rolex/IGFA 2002 Offshore Championship tournament at Cabo San Lucas, but there were plenty of striped marlin, good numbers of dorado, and a stubborn sprinkling of wahoo.
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: At PICANTE FLEET, Mario Bojorges reported on 9 boats chartered Friday with a combined catch including released fish of: 17 striped marlin, 16 dorado, and 3 wahoo. Cabo weather was in the high 80s, and water temperatures ranged from about 69 degrees to about 75 degrees.
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: At CABO MAGIC, Tommy Garcia reported on 41 boats chartered during the week, with a combined catch including released fish of: 40 striped marlin (100 percent release rate), 61 dorado to 85 pounds, 10 yellowfin tuna, 30 roosterfish, 2 sierra, 2 mako shark, 2 jack crevalle, 3 skipjack, and 1 wahoo just under 90 pounds.
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: PISCES FLEE'S Tracy Ehrenberg said marlin counts dipped during the Rolex/IGFA tournament due to anglers' unfamiliarity with the circle hooks required by tournament rules, but later boats were scoring on up to 2 to 3 fish per day at week's end. Dorado were also coming in steadily to 40 pounds, and there were a few tuna to about 20 pounds, plus inshore roosterfish to about 35 pounds, and the occasional wahoo to as much as 80 pounds.
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Rene Santa Cruz of SOLMAR FLEET said the fishing improved again over the previous week, although he still doesn't consider conditions good enough to shout about. Most Solmar boats were fishing on the Cortez side and around the arch to the Old Lighthouse. The top Solmar angler for the week was Tom Terrier of New York, NY, on the Solmar I with Capt. Mario, who released 2 striped marlin on live mackerel about 10 miles of Chileno Bay, and finished his day with 2 dorado in the 30-pound class.
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Capt. George Landrum of FLY HOOKER SPORT FISHING said he's now seeing patches of blue marlin water up to 83 degrees to the south and east, and on the Gordo Banks. "Looks like an El Nino year for sure and the bite on the blue marlin should happen soon!" There were 3 top fishing spots for the week, Landrum said: off Chileno Bay, 15-20 miles south of the arch, and between the Old Lighthouse and Golden Gate Bank on the Pacific side.
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Larry Edwards of CORTEZ YACHT CHARTERS said GAVIOTA FLEET boats had a combined catch for the week of: 39 striped marlin (33 released), 3 wahoo, 1 yellowfin tuna, 1 mako shark, and 47 dorado.
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Other private and fleet reports, representing about 170 boats chartered during the week, had a combined catch including released fish of about: 80 striped marlin, 91 dorado, 13 wahoo, and 44 skipjack.
SAN JOSE DEL CABO, MEXICO: Eric Brictson of GORDO BANKS PANGAS said San Jose weather has been near-perfect with temperatures near 90 degrees and mostly calm winds and seas. Water temperatures have been in the upper 70s, with good clarity. The near shore bait supply has been good, especially off La Playita beach where "the annual arrival of huge schools of mullet is now in full swing."
The local panga fleets are bringing in dorado, pargo, jack crevalle, and a mix of bottom fish, Brictson said. Boats are catching 2 to 12 fish per day by trolling lures and bait, and jigging off the bottom, fishing mostly to the northeast of La Playita.
"Inshore fishing picked up substantially in recent days," Brictson said. "Pargo of the dog tooth snapper variety were being hooked on trolled mullet, though they proved to be very tough to land. More fish were cutting lines than were actually landed. Some nice fish of 10 to 20 pounds were landed.
"Roosterfish were starting to show in greater numbers, and several to 30 pounds were caught and released. The stretch from La Playita to Punta Gorda was a good bet.
"Surf fishermen were doing well on a variety of sierra, jack crevalle, croakers, and pompano off La Playita, where the baits schools are now congregating. The next month should be one of the best for anglers fishing from shore."
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: Fishing action remained good to very good at East Cape last week, with billfish and dorado holding steady in rising water temperatures.
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: At historic RANCHO BUENA VISTA, Tami Moyeous reported "killer fishing" during the week, with a combined fleet fish count of: 51 striped marlin (47 released), 4 sailfish (2 released), 23 dorado, and 3 wahoo. Moyeous said the Ranch still has a few openings for the Tag & Brag Tournament next month.
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: Chris Moyers of EAST CAPE SMOKEHOUSE, reporting for 294 combined fleet boats, had a total count including released fish of: 1 blue marlin, 290 striped marlin, 15 sailfish, 194 dorado, 14 yellowfin tuna, 1 pargo, 9 wahoo, 2 amberjack, 5 cabrilla, and 30 roosterfish. East Cape weather was in the high 80s, and water temperatures averaged about 74-77 degrees.
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: At RANCHO LEONERO, John Ireland reported boats averaging more than 1 striped marlin per day, plus aggressive dorado, some wahoo and pargo, and "lots of roosterfish rounding out the menu." The billfish are spread all over from 2 to 20 miles off shore, Ireland said, and dorado are concentrated to the north, from Los Barriles to Isla Cerralvo. Huge schools of mullet were attracting roosterfish and pargo to 45 pounds to all area beaches.
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: Marisol Verdugo of MARTIN VERDUGO'S BEACH RESORT, said up to 10 boats per day were chartered last week, and most boats were releasing at least 1 striped marlin per day, and landing several dorado to about 45 pounds, plus a fair number of wahoo.
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: VISTA SEA SPORT'S Mark Rayor said, "It's as good as it gets!" The reefs are full of eagle rays, turtles, free swimming moray eels, huge pargo, and "schools of big eye jacks that make it dark when we swim into them," Rayor said, plus "so many 100 to 200-pound class grouper we can't keep count," and "hammerhead shark swimming over the top of us." The water temperature at diving depth was 73 degrees, with mild currents.
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: Eddy Beaulne of EL CARDONAL'S HIDEAWAY said dorado, marlin, and wahoo are being hooked within a couple of miles of the hotel, and bait is plentiful right off the beach, where there are many large roosterfish being caught and released.
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: At BAJA ON THE FLY, Gary Graham said beach fishing was slow, due to a couple of days of wind that turned the water over. But he had a group of lady anglers led by Lori Ann Murphy who scored on skipjack, yellowfin tuna, marlin, and wahoo on one day of offshore fishing. "All the wind roiled the water over and it is going to take a few days to clean up," Graham said. "There are a few roosters and jacks here and there, but not the concentration we were seeing before."
LA PAZ, MEXICO: The dorado bite continued to improve last week in warming waters. David Jones of FISHERMEN'S FLEET said, "There is a steadily building supply of dorado. They are coming both outside and inside, with Boca de Alamo, Muertos Bay, Punta Perico, and the Las Arenas light all being reliable with sardines or bonito strips. The dorado have been to 45 pounds with an average in the mid-20s."
Otherwise, Jones said the week's action was on tuna, wahoo, marlin, yellowtail, amberjack, pargos, cubera snapper, roosterfish, sierra, and cabrilla, "all hitting the beach this week, not tons of them, but good quality fish, and for those who work hard, a fair-sized pile."
LA PAZ, MEXICO: At HOTEL LAS ARENAS, Linda Glassman Davis reported a combined panga fish count of: 33 dorado to 45 pounds, 28 pargo to 18 pounds, 11 yellowtail to 20 pounds, 7 amberjack to 22 pounds, 6 cabrilla to 12 pounds, 6 yellowfin tuna to 40 pounds, and 2 roosterfish to 20 pounds. Good near shore dorado numbers were seen around Punta Arena and Punta Perico.
LA PAZ, MEXICO: Jonathan Roldan of TAIL HUNTER INTERNATIONAL said he sees conditions getting better and better in the next few weeks: "Things continue to improve for fishing in both the La Paz and Las Arenas areas. Nothing is busting wide open, but we're just waiting to turn the corner, and it sure seems like it's gonna go any day now!"
MULEGE, MEXICO: A few scattered dorado showed up in Mulege waters last week, but the main migration of fish still had not arrived.
MULEGE, MEXICO: Mulege fly-in resident RON GRANT returned from a trip to the HOTEL SERENIDAD, saying the weather was close to perfect, in the mid to high-80s, with very little wind and calm water in the high-70s. "Everything is set for dorado season," Grant said. "A few dorado showing, but very low count. One boat may get a couple, with other boats not finding any fish. Feathers are getting the first strikes, with cut bait hopefully getting a follow-up fish. The location of choice is 60 degrees off the lighthouse about 16 to 22 miles."
Grant said there are still some deep yellowtail off the north end of Isla San Marcos, and south off Isla Ildefonso. "I took the long boat ride all the way to Tortuga Island looking for dorado, and found yellowtail working on the northwest side of the island. Got limits for everyone on the boat in less than an hour."
MULEGE, MEXICO: At San Lucas Cove, semi-resident angler ROSS WHITE had to cut a trip short due to a family emergency, but relayed a message saying 20 to 25-pound yellowtail were being taken off the north end of Isla San Marcos, plus leopard grouper and yellow snapper near the island, and small cabrilla inside the cove. White said the channel between the cove and island is plugged with bait, and trolling was resulting in instant hookups of squid and barracuda. No dorado had been caught by boats fishing out of the cove for about a week.
SAN FELIPE, MEXICO: Andrea Velez of BAJA SPORTFISHING, INC. reported on a six-day trip to the Midriff Islands by the panga mothership, Erik, returning to San Felipe on May 24 with a combined fish count of: 267 yellowtail, 107 cabrilla, 5 white seabass, 2 grouper to 47 pounds, 10 pargo, and 89 giant squid. The Erik fished at Refugio, Diablo, Suspiro, Ensenada Grande, Golden Reef, and Isla San Esteban where most of the yellowtail were caught, Velez said.
SAN FELIPE, MEXICO: Bob Castellon of SEA OF CORTEZ SPORTFISHING reported on a six-day trip to the Midriff Islands by the panga mothership, Celia Angelina, returning to San Felipe on May 23 with a combined fish count of: 63 yellowtail to 37 pounds, 1 black seabass of 57 pounds, 1 grouper of 67 pounds, 36 giant squid, full limits of cabrilla, and 157 miscellaneous fish. The Celia Angelina fished at Isla Tiburon, San Francisquito, Bahia de los Angeles, and Golden Reef, Castellon said. Weather was 71-82 degrees, and water temperatures were 61-65 degrees, with some windy conditions.
SAN FELIPE, MEXICO: In San Felipe, Catalina Meders of the TITLE COMPANY BOOKSTORE overlooking the bay said last week was "NOISE-TOWN," with lots of Memorial Day visitors. "The sidewalks and streets are crawling with people, and there are so many ATV's it is dangerous to walk across to get a fish taco," Meders said. "But everybody seems to be having a marvelous time mainly just getting a kick out of MAKING A LOT OF NOISE (which somehow seems to be the point of the weekend). Last night people were dancing in the street outside my house 'till way after 3 a.m., but they were all having such a good time, and it only happens once a year, so I can hardly complain. They will leave tomorrow in one long caravan, and the town will be almost eerily quiet again."
MAZATLAN, MEXICO: Larry Edwards of CORTEZ YACHT CHARTERS said blue marlin outnumbered stripers in water temperatures reaching the low-80s last week off Mazatlan. ARIES SPORTFISHING FLEET boats operating out of Marina el Cid had a combined count including released fish of: 6 blue marlin, 5 striped marlin, 23 sailfish, 6 yellowfin tuna, 15 dorado, 7 roosterfish, 10 bonito, and 23 cochito. Mazatlan weather was virtually dead calm in the low-80s.
IXTAPA ZIHUATANEJO, MEXICO: The full moon and strong currents have scattered the fish, but boats are still finding up to 2 or 3 sailfish per day, reported Stan Lushinsky of IXTAPA SPORTFISHING CHARTERS. Top boat for the week was La Bamba, with 8 sailfish in 3 days, and a good story was provided by Capt. Adolfo of the Dos Hermanos, who saved the day when his client Mike Visocky was spooled and broken off by a 50-pound roosterfish. According to Lushinsky, Capt. Adolfo found the line floating in the surf, re-tied it to Visocky's spinning reel, and maneuvered the super panga for almost an hour until the fish was landed.
IXTAPA ZIHUATANEJO, MEXICO: Paul Phillips of the FINTASTIC TOTAL CATCH & RELEASE TOURNAMENT said there are "plenty of fish and very few fishermen" in town right now. Sailfish are grouping in pods about 8-10 miles out, Phillips said. Tuna are just outside the sailfish, and marlin are being hooked up and broken off.