Good catches for Midriff mothership pangas fishing out of San Felipe

Mexico Fishing News, July 1, 2002



SAN FELIPE, MEXICO: Midriff water temperatures as high as 77 degrees were reported last week as anglers found generally good fishing and weather conditions from San Francisquito northwards to the Golden Reef.

SAN FELIPE, MEXICO: GORDON BYRNE reported on a 6-day Midriff Islands trip by the panga mothership Capt. Villegas, returning to San Felipe on June 28 with an excellent catch of: 377 yellowtail, 10 to 40-plus pounds; 345 cabrilla, 10 to 15 pounds; 39 pargo, 4 to 8 pounds; 39 white seabass, 15 to 20 pounds; and a 90-pound grouper, plus several in the 30 to 40-pound range. Byrne reported "absolutely great" fishing conditions with weather in the low 90s and average water temperatures of about 71 degrees.

The best yellowtail action was found at Punta Remedios, Byrne said, and the best cabrilla action was at Isla Partida, using MirrOlure 111MRs in hot pink, fire tiger, and orange-gold.

SAN FELIPE, MEXICO: Bob Castellon of SEA OF CORTEZ SPORTFISHING reported on a 6-day Midriff Islands trip by the panga mothership Celia Angelina, returning to San Felipe on June 27 with a catch of: 92 yellowtail to 28 pounds, 186 cabrilla to 17 pounds, 6 white seabass to 14 pounds, 181 giant squid, 33 pargo to 12 pounds, 1 grouper, and 184 miscellaneous fish. Castellon said bait is becoming more plentiful in Midriff waters as temperatures rise. Midriff weather averaged about 93 degrees, Castellon said, and the highest water temperature found was 77 degrees at the Golden Reef.

SAN FELIPE, MEXICO: Tony Reyes of TONY REYES FISHING TOURS reported on a 6-day Midriff Islands trip by the panga mothership Jose Andres, returning to San Felipe on June 28 with a catch of: 382 cabrilla, 8 to 11.5 pounds; 178 spotted bass; 65 yellowtail, 14 to 32 pounds; 69 giant squid, 19 to 36 pounds; 15 sheephead, 6 to 8.5 pounds; 4 barred pargo, 6 to 9.5 pounds; 2 white seabass, 11.5 to 18 pounds; 1 shark, 22 pounds; 1 broomtail grouper, 11 pounds; 165 miscellaneous fish released. Midriff water temperatures averaged 73 degrees, Reyes said.

SAN FELIPE, MEXICO: Catalina Meders of San Felipe's TITLE COMPANY BOOKSTORE overlooking the bay reported very hot weather last week with daily temperatures over 100 degrees. "We have all waken up to the fact that Baja is HOT in the summertime," she said. "We might as well enjoy the feeling of living in a sauna, and stop trying not to sweat. The sea is wonderful!"

In other mainland Mexico and Baja fishing action this week:



ENSENADA, MEXICO: Boats fishing out of Bahia Todos Santos found generally slower albacore action last week, but continued excellent local fishing for all bottom species, bonita, barracuda, yellowtail.

ENSENADA, MEXICO: Sergio Susarrey of SERGIO'S ENSENADA SPORTFISHING CENTER said El Cazador fished about 30 miles southwest of Punta Banda on Saturday with 12 anglers, and caught 9 albacore and 20 yellowtail. On Sunday, the Shir Lee fished with 12 anglers for 10 albacore and 25 yellowtail. Local boats had a week of "epic fishing," Susarrey said, with fish "everywhere you look," including barracuda, bonita, sandbass, and "one of the best bites on yellowtail that I've seen in years."

ENSENADA, MEXICO: Earlier, Sammy Susarrey of LILY FLEET reported 11 albacore for the Tamara at GPS numbers 31:23 117:00, but in "very windy and bumpy" conditions. The Amigo and Lily were finding excellent action on log barracuda and big bonito just inside Todos Santos Island.



SAN QUINTIN, MEXICO: Jim Harer of the OLD MILL HOTEL said strong early week winds layed down on Friday, but "water temps just don't seem to get above 60 degrees."

Harer said PEDRO'S PANGAS had 32 anglers and EL CAPITAN SPORTFISHING had 10 anglers during the week, with everyone landing limits of red rockcod, whitefish, and lingcod, but no yellowtail or tuna. Harer said the only reports of albacore he's heard were from "a local farmer turned fisherman. But, no one has seen it, and I am not sure he knows the difference between a tuna and a yellowtail.

"The weather has been very pleasant, so no real complaints have found their way to the suggestion box. We'll keep praying to the fish gods."

SAN QUINTIN, MEXICO: Tony Marquez of DON EDDIE'S LANDING said they had a very busy weekend with all available boats fishing and bottom fish limits being landed at the 240 Spot and Ben's Rock. Marquez said "a few locals are still bringing albies from 30 miles out. Some charters stayed within 10 miles, with no luck." Marquez said water temperatures are starting to go up, and he's got his fingers crossed for the big Fourth of July tournament. San Quintin weather has been "very sunny, with hot days, calm seas, light overcast in the morning, and very light wind. Bring lots of sun screen."

SAN QUINTIN, MEXICO: Bad news, by the way, for anybody actually hoping to win Don Eddie's Fourth of July tournament. Top rod, BEVERLEY HAWLEY-MARTIN, and husband Ed, have announced their intention to fish again with local guide Bear in his super panga. For the past several tournaments, this has proven a tough combination to beat. Said Bev, "Another oysterfest, and hopefully lots of big fish. We'll see."



MAGDALENA BAY, MEXICO: "Summer conditions are finally starting to happen," said Gary Graham of BAJA ON THE FLY. Graham said a few snook to 15 pounds were released last week, and one boat even went outside for a "handful of tuna to 50 pounds," about 25 outside the entrada on a heading of 210 degrees. San Carlos weather was 60 to 72 degrees, and water temperatures were still down at about 60 to 65 degrees.



CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Spotty fishing continued at the tip of Baja California last week, with water temperatures cooler than normal, and billfish action mostly slow.

CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: At PICANTE FLEET, Sergio Cortez reported on 6 boats chartered Friday, with a combined catch including released fish of: 2 striped marlin, 2 wahoo, 16 dorado, a 3 yellowfin tuna. Cabo weather was in the low 90s, and water temperatures ranged widely from 64 to 74 degrees.

CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: "This was a week of challenge for anglers," said SOLMAR FLEET Manager, Rene Santa Cruz, as the fleet checked in with a catch of: 6 marlin (4 released), 1 sailfish, 28 dorado, 25 tuna, and 16 sierra. Santa Cruz said Cabo veterans were blaming the slow fishing on cold water temperatures found of both sides of the arch, even though winds have been light and air temperatures comfortable. Solmar Fleet found its best action for dorado on the Cortez side, and tuna and billfish at the Jaime Bank on the Pacific side.

CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Larry Edwards of CORTEZ YACHT CHARTERS said GAVIOTA FLEET boats had a combined catch of 13 striped marlin (10 released), 9 wahoo (to 80 pounds), 18 yellowfin tuna, 1 cabrilla, 1 sierra, and 95 dorado. Edwards said Gaviota Fleet boats found good fishing on the Pacific side when the weather let them out. On other days, they fished on the Cortez side and caught fewer fish. Gaviota Fleet boats found a wide range of water temperatures from the high 60s on the Pacific to the low 80s on the Cortez.

CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Earlier, Tracy Ehrenberg of PISCES FLEET reported up-and-down fishing with a combined success rate on all species of 65 percent, and 40 percent on marlin. Over 100 dorado were caught, from 15 to 65 pounds, Ehrenberg said, with boats averaging 2 to 8 fish over a widespread area. Only a few yellowfin tuna, to about 30 pounds were caught, although a 180-pounder was caught by the Tracy Ann.

CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Resident angler JOHN AMBROSE of Maya Roca Real Estate in Todos Santos said local water temperatures are averaging in the high 60s and low 70s, and there's a lot of mackerel around, but still no dorado. Black snook are still on the beaches but "tiene la luna," and won't bite, Ambrose said. Local pangueros were doing well on deep grouper caught in several local areas, and 2 unusual white seabass were also caught last week, one from the beach, and another from a kayak. Both fish weighed more than 40 pounds, Ambrose said, "odd, they don't usually make it down this far south. Some 20-pound yellowtail were also caught. Any day now, the water will turn blue and warm, and yellowfin tuna and dorado will be coming. Let the good times roll!"



SAN JOSE DEL CABO, MEXICO: Eric Brictson of GORDO BANKS PANGAS said, "It is only a matter of time before this crazy weather settles down and conditions return to normal." Brictson said the La Playita panga fleets continued to scout the offshore banks last week, but with very limited results. The best action was found close to shore for roosterfish, which Brictson said were being found in large numbers and sizes throughout the area.

"Many anglers reported releasing from 6 to 10 roosterfish, weighing 15 to 25 pounds," Brictson said. "Several of the larger ones topped 50 pounds."

Good sized amberjack to 60 pounds were also being hooked everywhere, but San Luis and Chileno were the most productive areas, Brictson said. The best method on amberjack was to drift deep baits with 2 to 4-ounce weights.



EAST CAPE, MEXICO: A steady billfish bite, including decent numbers of blue marlin, paced the action out of Bahia de Palmas last week.

EAST CAPE, MEXICO: Chris Moyers of EAST CAPE SMOKEHOUSE reported for 330 combined fleet boats including the Van Wormer resorts of HOTELS PALMAS DE CORTEZ, PLAYA DEL SOL, PUNTA COLORADA, with a catch including released fish of: 14 blue marlin, 245 striped marlin, 6 sailfish, 171 dorado, 96 yellowfin tuna, 8 pargo, 7 wahoo, 37 amberjack, 4 pompano, 1 cabrilla, and 183 sierra. East Cape weather was in the low 90s and water temperatures averaged 77 to 80 degrees, with moderate afternoon winds.

EAST CAPE, MEXICO: At BUENA VISTA BEACH RESORT, Axel Valdez reported on 70 boats chartered during the week with a combined catch including released fish of: 2 blue marlin, 48 striped marlin, 2 sailfish, 25 dorado, 33 yellowfin tuna, 2 wahoo, 62 roosterfish, 2 snapper, 2 jack crevalle, 8 amberjack, 5 bonita, 8 triggerfish, 1 cabrilla, and 11 skipjack. Valdez reported the best offshore water conditions northwards from Punta Pescadero to Punta Perico. Boats fishing southwards, he said, are having to run about 25 miles offshore to find fish. The best inshore fishing was south around the Punta Arena lighthouse.

EAST CAPE, MEXICO: John Ireland of RANCHO LEONERO said all hotel boats targeting billfish are landing at least a fish per day, with the best action found about 7 to 12 miles offshore north of Punta Arena. Blue marlin were caught by 8 of 70 boats chartered during the week, Ireland said, and roosterfish continue to be caught in awesome numbers and sizes to 70 pounds, plus amberjack to 65 pounds. "It's been a record year," he said.

EAST CAPE, MEXICO: At RANCHO BUENA VISTA, Tami Moyeous reported on 19 boats chartered during the week with a combined catch of: 23 striped marlin (18 released), 1 blue marlin, 6 dorado, 1 pargo, and 1 grouper.

EAST CAPE, MEXICO: Gary Graham of BAJA ON THE FLY said clients are scoring on large roosterfish and amberjack on the fly, and he's expecting the next few months to have "some of the finest fishing we have seen during the summer in some time." On the beaches, Graham said pompano were showing in large numbers. "We even caught a rainbow runner that was swimming with the pompano the other day," he said.

EAST CAPE, MEXICO: Mark Rayer of VISTA SEA SPORT said the water temperature at Punta Pescadero jumped to 73 degrees on Friday and visibility was back to 40 to 50 feet, but conditions south at Cabo Pulmo remained "ugly" due to cold green currents.

Rayer also said the Navy's promised patrol boat showed up at Cabo Pulmo last week. "They have been checking permits on all the fishing boats and telling them to stay out of Pulmo," he said.

EAST CAPE, MEXICO: Pepe Murrieta of PEPE'S DIVE CENTER reported Cabo Pulmo water temperatures were about 65 degrees with visibility "some days 10 feet, and some days 40 feet." Despite the murky water, Murrieta said he's seeing dense schools of jacks, green turtles, cabrillas, dolphin, and amberjacks. "This is the time of the year for green turtles," he said. "Here at the Marine Park we monitor them every year. Last year we had 365 nest, and we released hundreds of them."



LA PAZ, MEXICO: Slow fishing was reported last week by Jonathan Roldan of TAIL HUNTER INTERNATIONAL. "Fishing is about as tough as it has ever been," Roldan said. "We're all working hard for whatever fish we can put on board right now. Normally, we're plugged with tuna and dorado, but it's hit-or-miss on both species at the moment.

"That being said, most of the fish we're taking are trophy-sized. Tom Agosta and his 11-year old son, Tommy, got 2 tuna at the south end of Cerralvo that topped a hundred pounds.

"It seems that the big fish will only eat big baits and are not much interested in our sardines. I cut open the stomach of a few fish and they were filled with either big baits or red crabs. No doubt, there's plenty of fish in the area. Getting them to eat has been difficult."



LORETO, MEXICO: DON BEAR returned last week with reports from pangueros Paulino Martinez and Rodrigo Murillo, and visiting angler Kent Baker of Escondido. Two boats fishing early in the week at Punta Cholla and Punta Pulpito caught a total of 4 yellow snapper, 2 cabrilla, and 13 dorado, with 7 smaller ones released, and 1 fish of 45 pounds. Three yellowtail were also lost on the rocks.

One boat returned from Punta Pulpito without a strike. Another panga fished La Vaca at the north end of Isla Carmen and caught 2 yellowtail. At midweek, Murillo ran 29 miles out to blue water and caught 7 keeper dorado.

LORETO, MEXICO: Arturo Susarrey of ARTURO'S SPORT FISHING said Loreto weather was in the low 90s with light winds. Boats were returning with 1 to 3 dorado per day, up to about 43 pounds but mostly 15 to 25 pounds, from Isla Monserrate and the north end of Isla Carmen. "Today two of our boats went out to South Monserrate Island and found seaweed and dorado, but still, the water is cold and green. We hope next week we will have some good news," Susarrey said.

LORETO, MEXICO: At midweek, Linda Ramirez of ALFREDO'S SPORT FISHING said 4 pangas chartered during the week with Capt. Sergio had all limited on dorado up to 40 pounds.

LORETO, MEXICO: PETE JENISTA reported on a remote camping trip to Bahia San Nicolas with partner Jeff Rumble, fishing in 63 to 68-degree water and "a single small pocket of 72 degrees offshore."

"Cold water slowed the bite severely," Jenista said. "However, we were able to land over 120 fish of at least 20 different species, keeping only a few for the ice chest. There were no dorado to speak of and even the yellowtail at Punta Pulpito were slow. What was really sad was the EXTENSIVE gill netting going on all around Punta Pulpito. They will ruin this excellent near shore fishery in no time at this rate."

Jenista and Rumble fished from a 12-foot Zodiac launched from shore with squid bait, and scored on goldspotted bass, "a couple of nasty morays," golden eye tile fish, leopard grouper, octopus, round stingray, goat fish, and an estimated 5-pound chino mero.

LORETO, MEXICO: At VILLAS DE LORETO, Wendy Wilchynski said some clients limited on large dorado last week, and others have been catching a lot of giant squid. Wilchynski and husband Ron Bellerive scored third place in last week's dune buggy race from Todos Santos to La Paz. "We are very happy, as it was our first race with the new car," she said. "Twenty-two seconds between 2nd, 3rd and 4th place! Great fun!"

LORETO, MEXICO: Pam Bolles of BAJA BIG FISH COMPANY said, "Weather is giving us a very difficult time. I sure wish it would give us a break and make the fishing easier and CLOSER IN! The winds are a big problem lately. We seem to be feeling them every few days, in almost a winter-like pattern, except they're prevailing from the south."

Bolles cooler than normal water has kept the dorado scattered. "They are not schooling like they should for this time of year. We're finding them this week as mostly loners. For those fishing conventional, choose sardinas over mackerel. The fish aren't interested at all in the mackerel.



BAHIA DE LOS ANGELES, MEXICO: JOE MORSE of La Mesa reported good yellowtail action on fish to over 34 pounds during a fly-down trip to San Francisquito with his brother, Charlie Morse, Gene Chaffin and Phil Petersen. Finding 66 to 70-degree water temperatures, they fished in front of the resort, and to the point just to the north, in depths of 20 to 150 feet, and in heavy concentrations of birds and bait that "blackened the water" in the bay at times, Morse reported. "Phil started the first day with a 34 pound 11 ounce jurel that he landed with his brand new high-speed Trinidad reel. I craned up a 32 pound 7 ounce yellow with a Shimano 20 two-speed. My brother Charlie, who fishes from his wheelchair, got smoked on a 'tail that was cruising with a bunch of 40-pound-plus bruisers that were busting the surface off the point. Gene, who was fishing from his 'rubber duck' inflatable, muscled in a 31 pound 2 ouncer from the beach in about 20 feet of water. We filled our 94-quart cooler with tons of yellowtail, a pargo, cabrilla, grouper, and 'eatable' squid."

BAHIA DE LOS ANGELES, MEXICO: MIKE STEELE of San Diego and his 8-man group squeezed in 2 fishing days on a 3-day trip to L.A. Bay, over nighting at San Quintin's Don Eddie's Landing, and scoring on 21 yellowtail out of 3 pangas chartered at Casa Diaz. Steele reported hot weather and all the bottom fish you wanted, plus scattered surface yellowtail of 15 to about 30 pounds. All fish were caught on blue-white and green-white jigs in 6X size. Steele said, "While heading to Don Juan Cove for some clams, we came across some birds working, chased them down for 3 yellowtail in the 15-pound range." On their second day, Steele reported, "there were 30-pounders boiling 20 feet from the boat. What a sight!" The group also landed bass, triggerfish, L.A. Bay "lings," and whitefish.



MAZATLAN, MEXICO: Larry Edwards of CORTEZ YACHT CHARTERS said ARIES SPORTFISHING FLEET boats were averaging more than 3 billfish per day. The fish are only 14 to 16 miles outside Marina el Cid, Edwards said. The Aries fleet catch including released fish was: 59 sailfish, 2 striped marlin, 12 yellowfin tuna, 5 dorado, 8 red snapper, and 32 cohito. Mazatlan weather was in the low 90s, with light breezes and water temperatures of about 80 degrees.



IXTAPA ZIHUATANEJO, MEXICO: Paul Phillips of the FINTASTIC TOTAL CATCH & RELEASE TOURNAMENT said there were plenty of fish last week, but very few anglers. "Only 2 to 3 boats per day were fishing," he said. "They are taking 2 or 3 sailfish per day, or if targeting tuna, up to 4 or 5 per day, up to 100 pounds or better. Marlin are still around, with a 50-50 chance of a hookup. Roosterfish to 80 pounds are in the outer surf."

Fish Photo 1

Mike Steele's 8-man group from San Diego fished recently on pangas chartered at Casa Diaz during a 3-day run to L.A. Bay. Steele reported hot weather and all the bottom fish you wanted, plus scattered surface yellowtail of 15 to 30 pounds.

Fish Photo 1

BIG BLUE--Mark Rayor, right, of Vista Sea Sport caught this 550-pound blue marlin last week with Capt. Jesus "Chuy" Cota, right, off Punta Pescadero. It is believed to be the biggest fish caught this year at East Cape. Rayor said he fought the blue for one hour and ten minutes, and said he feels Cota is "the best captain on East Cape." Rayor added, "He won the East Cape Bisbee with me 2 years ago. Without his talent at the helm, I never would have landed that fish today. We were about 3 miles straight east of Pescadero near the shark buoys, trolling marlin lures. The fish hit a Pakula soft head flying fish pattern lure. The battle was stand up with a Calstar rod and Shimano TLD50 with 80-pound Ande. The first 15 minutes was spent running half-throttle, chasing the fish, just trying to not get spooled." The marlin was donated to a local school, Rayor said.

Fish Photo 1

Richard Hoglan and Greg Munoz landed 5 dorado recently with Capt. Lionel of Arturo's Sport Fishing of Loreto.

Fish Photo 1

Joe Morse of La Mesa reported good yellowtail action on fish to over 34 pounds during a fly-down trip to San Francisquito with his brother, Charlie Morse, Gene Chaffin and Phil Petersen. They fished in front of the resort and around the north point.

Fish Photo 1

Leonard Fletcher of Carson, CA trolled a purple feather to score his first albacore recently, fishing out of Bahia Todos Santos with Sergio's Sport Fishing Center of Ensenada.

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