Summer fishing warms up for East Cape charter boats

Mexico Fishing News, June 24, 2002



EAST CAPE, MEXICO: Boats fishing out of Bahia de Palmas continued to enjoy Baja Sur's best action last week, as patches of unusually cool, green water continued to plague most southern areas.

EAST CAPE, MEXICO: At East Cape's RANCHO LEONERO, John Ireland reported on 71 boats chartered during the week with a combined catch including released fish of: 11 sailfish, 4 blue marlin, 28 striped marlin, 77 pargo, 35 dorado, 35 amberjack, and 46 roosterfish.

Ireland reported East Cape weather in the upper 80s, with very mixed water temperatures from 70 to 81 degrees, and mostly calm seas. Inshore fishing continued good for jacks, pargo, and large roosterfish with many over 60 pounds. The striped marlin bite was only mediocre, due to cooler water temperatures, Ireland said.

EAST CAPE, MEXICO: At BUENA VISTA BEACH RESORT, Axel Valdez reported on 98 boats chartered during the week with a combined catch including released fish of: 1 blue marlin, 55 striped marlin, 3 sailfish, 84 dorado, 169 roosterfish, 2 shark, 9 snapper, 22 jack crevalle, 8 amberjack, 54 bonita, 1 ladyfish, 2 pompano, 30 triggerfish, 4 sierra, 1 cabrilla, and 92 black skipjack.

EAST CAPE, MEXICO: Chris Moyers of East Cape Smoke House, reported on 312 boats chartered from mixed fleets, including the Van Wormer resorts of HOTELS PALMAS DE CORTEZ, PLAYA DEL SOL, PUNTA COLORADA, with a combined catch including released fish of: 6 blue marlin, 241 striped marlin, 3 sailfish, 210 dorado, 18 yellowfin tuna, 18 pargo, 2 wahoo, 27 amberjack, 1 pompano, 2 cabrilla, and 103 roosterfish.

Moyers said the week's best fishing was found about 8 to 15 miles off La Ribera and Los Frailes, and about 15 miles off Punta Pescadero.

Although yellowfin tuna remained virtually absent from La Paz all the way around Cabo San Lucas, Moyers said a 100-pounder was landed by Capt. Paco of La Hielera out of Palmas de Cortez. "According to Paco," Moyers reported, "they were trolling about 600 yards off shore between Punta Arena and Punta Colorada. It was a beautiful fish and a heckuva sight for sore eyes around here!"

EAST CAPE, MEXICO: Gary Graham of BAJA ON THE FLY said windy conditions and a band of cool water that slid in along the beach at midweek slowed fishing down for a couple of days, but things were returning to normal by the weekend. Earlier, Graham said water temperatures along the beach had gotten down as low as 69 to 70 degrees in some places.

EAST CAPE, MEXICO: Mark Rayor of VISTA SEA SPORT called it "freak conditions for late June." Rayor said water temperatures at diving depth dropped from 77 to 68 degrees overnight at Cabo Pulmo. But, "huge grouper, schooling amberjack, turtles, large clouds of reef fish, plus an occasional hammerhead shark are taking divers' minds off being cold." At PEPE'S DIVE CENTER, Pepe Murrieta said visibility varied between 30 and 60 feet, depending on currents.

In other mainland Mexico and Baja fishing action this week:



ENSENADA, MEXICO: Steady offshore fishing for albacore and yellowtail, and good local fishing for yellowtail, bonito, barracuda, and bottom fish continued last week.

ENSENADA, MEXICO: Sammy Susarrey of LILY FLEET said 23 albacore to 15 pounds and 3 yellowtail to 10 pounds were found in 63-degree water on Saturday, and on Friday 37 albacore and 9 yellowtail were caught at the 238 Bank. The fish hit purple-orange, green-black, and zucchini feathers, and some were caught on three-inch sardines.

The Amigo and Lily also reported limits of yellowtail, bonito, and barracuda by 1 p.m. at Punta Banda and Estero Beach, hitting on live trolled sardines.

At midweek, the Tamara fished at GPS numbers 31:37 117:23 with 6 anglers and caught 37 yellowtail to 18 pounds and 17 albacore to 15 pounds in 61.7-degree water.

ENSENADA, MEXICO: Sergio Susarrey of SERGIO'S ENSENADA SPORTFISHING CENTER said on Friday, El Cazador with 15 anglers had 20 albacore and 14 yellowtail.

On Saturday, the Ensenada Clipper with 31 anglers had 35 albacore and 42 yellowtail; the Shir Lee with 8 anglers had 15 albacore and 33 yellowtail.

On Sunday, the Ensenada Clipper with 16 passengers had 35 albacore, 40 yellowtail, and 55 bonito; the Shir Lee with 8 anglers had 1 bluefin tuna, 26 albacore, 40 yellowtail, and 55 bonito; El Cazador with 14 anglers had 15 albacore, 8 yellowtail, and 75 bonito.

Susarrey said local boats fishing on Sunday had also excellent action on log barracuda, bonito, and large yellowtail, up to 2 fish per rod.

ENSENADA, MEXICO: Trailer boater BARNEY PHILLIPS of Tecate reported on an early week trip with "all the fish you wanted in super calm, nice blue water" found at the 1010 Bank at GPS numbers 31:42 117:42. Water temperatures ranged from 63.5 to as high as 67.8 degrees, Phillips said.



PUERTO SANTO TOMAS, MEXICO: Sam Saenz of the PUERTO SANTO TOMAS RESORT said surface fishing was good last week, although bottom fishing backed off a bit. "We had good weather all week," Saenz said. "The water was somewhat murky. We've been catching the usual bottom fish, with the added surface action for bonita, barracuda, and yellowtail all week long."

Saenz said Ray Tucker of Chula Vista caught several yellowtail to 30 pounds along the kelp beds about a quarter-mile from the village. Commercial pangueros are catching yellowtail and white seabass, and one local named Kamel caught a strange fish by hand last week that nobody could identify. "The fish rolled onto shore on a wave. Locals had never seen this type of fish. It looked something in between a white seabass and a yellowtail."



SAN QUINTIN, MEXICO: Jim Harer of the OLD MILL HOTEL said "things have not changed much from last week," with overcast mornings, and sunny afternoons and light to moderate winds. Water conditions were excellent, with no more than 2 to 3-foot swells and temperatures hovering at about 60 degrees.

Reporting on 4 boats chartered out of El Capitan Sport Fishing and 6 boats out of Pedro's Pangas, Harer said anglers were limiting on red rockfish, whitefish, continued large lingcod from 12 to 16 pounds, sheephead, a 33-pound yellowtail and a couple of other 15-pounders. The yellowtail were caught on live bait between the point and the 240 Spot, Harer said.



MAGDALENA BAY, MEXICO: Gary Graham of BAJA ON THE FLY said the persistent winds of the past several weeks finally subsided and "there are lots of langostina (pelagic red crab) everywhere inside the bay and outside the entrance."

But fishing action remained slow. "Maybe this is what is keeping the fish full and not very cooperative," Graham said. San Carlos weather was in the low 70s, and water temperatures were 60 to 66 degrees.



CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Cool currents, winds on the Pacific side, and green water continued to hamper local fishing around the tip of Baja last week.

CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Tommy Garcia of CABO MAGIC reported on 26 boats chartered during the week with a combined catch including released fish of: 5 striped marlin, 10 dorado, 5 amberjack, 5 roosterfish, 12 skipjack, 3 sierra, 1 cabrilla, and 6 red snapper, including a huge 60-pounder.

Garcia said the 60-pound snapper was caught by Howard and Connie Grodensky of Collinsville, VA, who fished 4 days and also caught 2 striped marlin (released), 4 roosterfish (released), 2 amberjack, 3 skipjack, 1 "huge" cabrilla, and 4 dorado.

CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: At PISCES FLEET, Tracy Ehrenberg said an enormous 300-pound striped marlin was taken by the Finatic on June 18. "This is the largest striped marlin that I have ever seen here and this could possibly be a Cabo record," Ehrenberg said. "The fish reluctantly took a live bait, on the fifth cast, 18 miles out from Punta Gorda in green, 74-degree water."

Ehrenberg said Cabo waters are cooler than normal after three weeks of persistent wind on the Pacific side. Pisces Fleet boats were fishing almost exclusively on the Cortez side. "Fishing has been a long way off with boats fishing between Punta Gorda and Destiladeres. Fish are being spotted on a daily basis, between 6 to 10 per boat, but getting them to eat has been difficult." Forty-four percent of Pisces Fleet boats caught marlin last week, with only 62 percent scoring on combined species. A total of 59 striped marlin were caught (55 released). Water temperatures on the Cortez side averaged 73 degrees.

CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Capt. George Landrum of FLY HOOKER SPORT FISHING said warmer water located 40 miles from Cabo San Lucas began moving closer to shore as the winds subsided during the second half of the week. On the Jaime Bank, Landrum said water as warm as 74 degrees was found, although it was as cold as 62 degrees between the bank and Cabo. On the Cortez said, Landrum said the unusually cool currents extended as far north as Los Frailes.

Some football yellowfin tuna and some dorado up to 45 pounds were caught on and near the Jaime Bank, but fishing for those species was still slow.

CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Larry Edwards of CORTEZ YACHT CHARTERS said "fishing took a holiday this week" for GAVIOTA FLEET boats. "The skippers are seeing and baiting good numbers," Edwards said. "But only about 1 fish in 10 takes the bait." Gaviota Fleet boats had a combined catch including released fish of: 16 striped marlin (7 released), 1 dorado, 1 red snapper, 1 roosterfish, 2 amberjack, and 5 skipjack.

CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Other combined fleet and private boats, totaling about 190 days fished, reported a combined catch including released fish of about: 33 striped marlin, 11 amberjack, 61 skipjack, 48 dorado, 38 roosterfish, 46 dorado, and no yellowfin tuna.



SAN JOSE DEL CABO, MEXICO: Eric Brictson of GORDO BANKS PANGAS said local boats were concentrating on near shore roosterfish and amberjack last week.

"The most consistent bite for the pangas was for roosterfish and amberjack," Brictson said. "The fish were hooked exclusively on mullet, slow trolling along the rocky beaches north of Punta Gorda. The first half of the week roosterfish kept anglers busy. Fish to over 50 pounds were landed. Many were in the 15 to 25-pound class. Six to 8 roosters per panga was common.

"By the weekend, amberjack were dominating. They are now on the surface, closer to shore, and taking the live mullet, very exciting fishing. These fish are weighing 20 to 60 pounds, and boats averaged 2 to 8 fish daily."



LA PAZ, MEXICO: Mino Shiba of MOSQUITO FLEET said the water temperature just doesn't want to warm up, but he's still catching dorado from 15 to 45 pounds on weed paddies, and plenty of giant squid to about 15 pounds. One panga loaded up on 45 squid last week, Shiba said, and some striped marlin are also showing up.

LA PAZ, MEXICO: Jonathan Roldan of TAIL HUNTER INTERNATIONAL said there are some decent catches being made, but the action is very spotty. "A boat can do half-a-dozen dorado one day and get goose-egged the next day."

Roldan mentioned Francisco Aquilar of Pirates Fleet, who told him: "You have no idea how hard it is to greet the boats every day and explain why some boats are getting fish and some are not. They ask me which is a 'better skipper,' as if it were the skipper's fault, or where the better fishing is. I have no answers!"

Roldan said La Paz surface water temperatures are in the mid to high 70s, but there's a cold thermocline about 60 to 90 feet deep, which may explain why there are still so many yellowtail and so many amberjack being caught this year.

LA PAZ, MEXICO: At HOTEL LAS ARENAS, Linda Glassman-Davis said the hotel pangas had a combined catch of: 65 dorado to 50 pounds, 4 roosterfish to 15 pounds, 6 pargo to 10 pounds, 15 amberjack to 50 pounds, 1 skipjack of 3 pounds, 3 cabrilla to 15 pounds, and 2 yellowfin tuna to 65 pounds.

LA PAZ, MEXICO: Ken Oda of the San Diego long range boat BREEZERS reported on 5 days of family fishing and sightseeing at the islands between La Paz and Loreto, ending on June 19. "The sightseeing was excellent," Oda said, "the fishing was our only disappointment."

Oda said the Breezers found cooler water than expected, no mackerel or caballito baits, and especially slow bottom fishing due to overfishing by commercial pangueros. A "poor man's mothership" operation was observed at Isla San Jose, where one panga towed several others into positions over the reefs, and Oda even observed a panguero fishing from the shore of Isla Catalan. "As a result of all of this intense commercial bottom fishing, the great inshore sport fishing this area was famous for has virtually disappeared," Oda said.

LA PAZ, MEXICO: At FISHERMEN'S FLEET, David Jones said water temperatures have been fluctuating between 72 and 80 degrees off Cerralvo Island, and he's been finding large yellowfin tuna at the north end.

Jones said roosterfish expert Bill Mathias had a good visit, landing 2 over 70 pounds, 3 over 50 pounds, and 3 others over 30 pounds.



LORETO, MEXICO: Part time resident angler DON BEAR reported Sunday that water temperatures are still down in the 74 to 77-degree range, and the best fishing is about 30 miles northeast from town. Mackerel bait is available at the marina, and sardinas were being netted all along the malecon and along the north shore of Isla Carmen. Squid in "huge numbers" were located 4 to 5 miles straight out from the marina.

Reporting on several recent fishing days by pangueros Paulino Martinez, Jose Luis Maurillo, Francisco Murillo, Alejo Murillo, Jose Luis Mayoral, and Jose Jesus Fernandez, Bear said the action has been variable on dorado, yellowtail, and sailfish, with two boats catching up to 6 dorado plus sailfish per day, about 30 miles out on a heading of 040 degrees magnetic, and up to 6 yellowtail plus dorado by another boat at La Cholla and Punta Tintorerra. Other boats had smaller catches of just a few dorado or yellowtail. Larger yellowtail were still around, and some fish were lost on the rocks.

LORETO, MEXICO: Arturo Susarrey of ARTURO'S SPORT FISHING said boats averaged about 3 dorado per day, including a 48-pounder. Two boats ran south to Isla Monserate, but found cold green water, Susarrey said.

LORETO, MEXICO: At VILLAS DE LORETO, Wendy Wilchynski said she and Ron Bellerive were busy with preparations for another dune buggy race, but that hotel guests were bringing in steady catches of dorado and sailfish, despite a recent drop in water temperatures. "Wish us luck on the race!," she said. "Bye!"

LORETO, MEXICO: Hugh Cobb of Oceanside's PACIFIC COAST BAIT & TACKLE said, "Dorado are to be found, but there are not concentrations of fish we can expect in another month or so." Cobb said Alfredo's Sport Fishing was reporting sailfish about as numerous as dorado. One Alfredo's boat landed 11 dorado in a day, last week, Cobb said.

LORETO, MEXICO: Linda Ramirez of ALFREDO'S SPORT FISHING said she had another boat with 4 dorado to 40 pounds, and another with a fly angler who fought one-and-a-half hours to land a 47-pounder.

LORETO, MEXICO: Pam Bolles of BAJA BIG FISH COMPANY said the dorado bite seemed to be coming back by the weekend. "The fish are still a long ways off," she said. "Expect a long trip. In the case of Punta Perico, we're going about 5 miles beyond it, then to the south towards Isla Catalan. Don't bother getting mackerel. Sardinas are way more effective."



MULEGE, MEXICO: Fly-in resident RON GRANT returned from a 5-day trip to the Hotel Serenidad, reporting heavy southeast winds that knocked out the action. "Rough water keeping most boats off the water," Grant said. "I did venture out, but was unable to see any activity in the rough water."



SAN FELIPE, MEXICO: Bob Castellon of SEA OF CORTEZ SPORTFISHING reported on a 6-day trip to the Midriff Islands by the panga mothership Celia Angelina, returning to San Felipe on June 20 with a combined catch of: 39 yellowtail to 30 pounds, 217 cabrilla to 16 pounds, 189 giant squid, and 221 miscellaneous fish.

Yellowtail fishing was on the slow side, Castellon said, during a charter led by Clarence Brown, but everybody enjoyed the catch of cabrilla and giant squid. The Celia Angelina fished at Cardenosa, Salsipuedes, Isla San Esteban, San Francisquito, Bahia de los Angeles, and Bahia Gonzaga. Rough seas prevented fishing at the Golden Reef, but the boat did fish at the Enchanted Islands, catching 39 cabrilla over 14 pounds. Castellon reported plenty of bait now available, in weather averaging 92 degrees, and water temperatures of about 79 degrees. He said the Celia Angelina loaned an anchor to the panga mothership Erik after the boat lost its own.

SAN FELIPE, MEXICO: Tony Reyes of TONY REYES FISHING TOURS reported on a 6-day trip to the Midriff Islands by the panga mothership Jose Andres, returning to San Felipe on June 21 with a catch of: 360 cabrillas, 8 to 16 pounds; 117 yellowtail, 18-25 pounds; 105 spotted bass; 15 squid, 8 to 22 pounds; 13 pargo, 10 to 14 pounds; 5 white seabass, 10 to 18 pounds; 3 broomtail grouper, 12 pounds; 2 grouper, 48 to 50 pounds; 1 dorado, 21 pounds; and 1 sheephead, 6 pounds.

SAN FELIPE, MEXICO: Gustavo Velez of BAJA SPORTFISHING, INC. reported on a 6-day trip to the Midriff Islands by the panga mothership Erik, returning to San Felipe on June 19 with a catch of: 197 yellowtail, 30 to 50 pounds; 258 cabrilla and broomtail grouper in good sizes; 26 red pargo; 5 grouper including one of 42 pounds; 300 goldspotted bass; and 127 squid to very large sizes. Velez said the Erik found "too much wind," fishing at Isla San Esteban, Cardenosa, Snake Island, and Refugio. The Erik returned to San Felipe early, due to high wind and swells encountered at the Golden Reef.

SAN FELIPE, MEXICO: Catalina Meders of the TITLE COMPANY BOOKSTORE overlooking Bahia San Felipe said, "Warning! It has gotten really hot here! The humidity has been outrageous. Yesterday was 102 in the shade and the water is approaching bath tub temperatures." Meders said she met a group of charged up anglers getting their trip orientation last week at Ted's Los Arcos Restaurant, and the highlight of the week was a visit by the circus, including camels, an elephant, lions, a tiger, llamas, monkeys, and Shetland ponies. "The town is pretty quiet this weekend," she said. "Anyone who can get to any body of water is headed right to it."



MAZATLAN, MEXICO: Larry Edwards of CORTEZ YACHT CHARTERS said ARIES SPORTFISHING FLEET boats averaged more than 3 sailfish per day, in calm water conditions and surface temperatures near 80 degrees. Aries Fleet reported a combined catch including released fish of: 64 sailfish, 2 dorado, and 1 wahoo. The best fishing area was 15 to 25 miles southwest of Marina el Cid.



IXTAPA ZIHUATANEJO, MEXICO: Paul Phillips of the FINTASTIC TOTAL CATCH & RELEASE TOURNAMENT said, "Talk about skimpy! Maybe 20 boats fished all last week."

Nevertheless, boats were averaging 2 to 4 sailfish per day, Phillips said, and the panga Linda also landed a 340-pound blue marlin last week. Water temperatures were running about 82 degrees.

IXTAPA ZIHUATANEJO, MEXICO: Ed Kunze of MAR Y TIERRA SPORTFISHING was ready to leave town, headed for a 10-week "guest" guiding stint with East Cape's Baja On The Fly. "This will be my last report for Zihuatanejo until I return in September," he said.

Kunze said schools of schooling yellowfin tuna were being sighted as little as 4 miles outside the bay. "But Captain Valdamar took his boat out to the 12-mile mark and got into big tuna. He told me 200-pound plus tuna were everywhere, but he could not match the small flying fish they were feeding on and drew a blank."

IXTAPA ZIHUATANEJO, MEXICO: Stan Lushinsky of IXTAPA SPORTFISHING CHARTERS said shifting winds have created an "on-again, off-again" bite, with some zero days, but others recording up to 3 sailfish, plus roosterfish, good numbers of yellowtail jacks, needlefish, grouper, and bonito. Zihuatanejo weather was in the 90s, with the best fishing, in scattered conditions, about 10 to 20 miles off shore.

IXTAPA ZIHUATANEJO, MEXICO: Marcos Vargas of VARGAS SPORTFISHING reported tropical conditions with evening rain, sunny days, calm seas, and water temperatures averaging about 86 degrees.

Fish Photo 1

Californians James Hagen, John Pelowski, Tony Seaton caught this 250-pound striped marlin while fishing with East Cape's Buena Vista Beach Resort last week. They tried to release the unusually large striper, but kept it when it could be revived. Axel Valdez of Buena Vista Beach resort said it was the third striped marlin over 200 pounds caught this month.

Fish Photo 1

Eighty-six-year-old Vincent Sotelo of Alhambra, CA caught these roosterfish, including a 46-pounder, with guide Francisco, at San Jose del Cabo recently. Sotelo made his catch while trolling mullet on 30-pound test line near Punta Palmilla.

Fish Photo 1

Sal Pilato of San Pedro, left, and his son Nick found windy conditions on their recent trip to Loreto, but did great on dorado anyway, fishing with their friend, Bob Morris of Long Beach, at the south end of Isla Carmen. "We usually fly down annually," Pilato said. "But for the first time in 5 years we drove down. We used squid for bait, and caught dorado on 40-pound line. Our panga captain did us fine."

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