SAN QUINTIN, MEXICO: "We have tuna!" reported Jim Harer of the OLD MILL HOTEL on Sunday morning, adding that good-sized yellowtail also showed up last week, and even the weather cooperated, as San Quintin enjoyed a spate of sunny days, warm evenings, and calm winds.
Harer said EL CAPITAN SPORTFISHING had limits on albacore, yellowfin tuna, and one small bluefin tuna, with albacore caught as large as 35 pounds.
SAN QUINTIN, MEXICO: Pete Hillis of PEDRO'S PANGAS said the yellowtail were running 20 to 25 pounds and the albacore mostly 15 to 18 pounds. He was finding the best action only 15 miles off the point on a heading of 270 degrees. Hillis also said the former Old Mill Bar and Restaurant has been remodeled and is being reopened as the "Old Cannery" under new manager Sergio Guzman.
SAN QUINTIN, MEXICO: Gene Allshouse of SAN QUINTIN SPORTFISHING said he started hitting albacore on Wednesday, and the bite improved steadily from 1 or 2 per rod, to limits by the weekend, on fish from 20 to a high of 27 pounds. Allshouse said he was picking up yellowtail from 20 to 25 pounds on the kelp paddies, and one 16-pound bluefin tuna was also caught.
SAN QUINTIN, MEXICO: At DON EDDIE'S LANDING, Tony Marquez reported albacore 15 to 17 miles out on headings between 180 degrees and 250 degrees, in water temperatures of 63 to 65 degrees. "Anglers had their hands full," Marquez reported, on albacore to 30 pounds, mostly on lures, plus yellowtail on live bait, squid and jigs, coming from the 6 Spot and the 15 Spot.
SAN QUINTIN, MEXICO: Earlier, Marquez said the successful Don Eddie's 4th of July Tournament had attracted 45 anglers for cash prizes ranging to $1,125. First place was split between 2 anglers: George Sanchez of Los Angeles with a 26.7-pound yellowtail, and Jeff Grennan of San Diego with a 22.3-pound lingcod. Beverly Hawley Martin reported that Grennan fished with her favorite guide, Bear, on the Fany II.
On Saturday, Sammy Susarrey of LILY FLEETreported limits on albacore averaging 12 pounds at GPS numbers 31:30 117:30, in water temperatures of about 64 degrees. The fish were hitting on black-purple and green-black feathers. The Amigo, fishing off Estero Beach, was also limiting on white seabass, sandbass, and a few yellowtail.
At midweek, Lily Fleet boats had scored albacore limits 35 miles out of Marina Coral at GPS numbers 31:44 and 117:17, and local boats were limiting on sandbass, log barracuda, and some yellowtail inside Punta Banda and at University Point.
ENSENADA, MEXICO: Sergio Susarrey of SERGIO'S ENSENADA SPORTFISHING CENTER had midweek counts of 30 albacore and 20 yellowtail for 13 anglers on the Shir Lee, and 26 albacore for 4 anglers on El Cazador.
ERENDIRA, MEXICO: ETHAN SCHAFFER of Encinitas, CA had a good trip recently to Castro's Camp, at the end of the Erendira turnoff south of Ensenada, where he landed 20 red rockfish to 7 pounds, 3 lingcod to 8 pounds, 2 whitefish, and 2 sheephead. "They have a huge freezer to keep your fish and a great little restaurant on the cliff," he said. "It's a very nice place and I'll be back. We went out about 10 miles, in cold water in the low-60s. We actually told our captain we needed to go in. He would have kept fishing until dark. Fernando, the owner, is a very nice guy. Overall we had a great time."
BAJA CALIFORNIA, MEXICO: LARRY DING of Corona, CA reported on a THE BAJA CATCH-style trip, fishing in and near Laguna Manuela from kayaks:
"The beach was covered with seaweed, but otherwise was reasonably clean. The sand was very fine and soft and blew all over the campground every late morning to afternoon when a northeast warm desert wind would blow in clearing the morning fog.
"Our first evening we threw some shrimp into the surf near our camp and in short order caught lots of yellowfin croaker, 2 corbina, a bonefish, and a few pufferfish. The action was steady and was best at the first cove near the morro.
"The next day we kayaked into the laguna. We found that hot spots were any areas of eel grass in the main channel where it connected with a flat or curve slowing the rapid tidal currents. These areas produced the best spotted bay bass action I have ever experienced. We had lots released in the 2 to 3-pound, 16-inch range. Any lure worked. Our prize surprise catch was a 23-inch, 8-pound grouper which I landed on a swim bait after a 10-minute fight on 10 pound test!
"The next day I caught and released over 40 bass in about 2 hours of actual fishing time. Surf fishing at the point was really good just as the sun went down, with corbina, pufferfish, skates, sargo and lots of yellowfin in the catch. Overall, the fishing in the bay was pretty much as good as the stories."
MAGDALENA BAY, MEXICO: Gary Graham of BAJA ON THE FLY was hoping dorado would start showing up as offshore water temperatures improve. In the mangrove channels, some snook and corvina were caught at Devil's Curve, Los Barriles, and Mario's Spot. Yellowtail fishing at the entrada was still slow. San Carlos weather was in the mid-70s, and water temperatures were 60 to 74 degrees.
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Marlin fishing was improved, but overall action was still slow off the tip of Baja last week, with about half of boats chartered landing striped marlin, scattered catches of dorado and yellowfin tuna, and cool water temperatures ranging from 68 to 73 degrees.
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Tommy Garcia of CABO MAGIC reported on 43 boats chartered during the week with a combined catch including released fish of: 17 striped marlin, 38 dorado, 74 yellowfin tuna, 3 wahoo, 1 roosterfish, and 6 red snapper.
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Larry Edwards of CORTEZ YACHT CHARTERS said GAVIOTA FLEET boats had a combined catch of: 13 striped marlin (8 released), 21 yellowfin tuna, and 28 dorado. Edwards said the majority of the marlin were caught on the Cortez side and the tuna and dorado were found at the Jaime Bank on the Pacific side.
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Capt. George Landrum of FLY HOOKER SPORT FISHING said boats were running about 25 miles to find fish on both the Cortez and Pacific sides, and the inshore action has also been slow.
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: At BAJA ANGLERS, Grant Hartman graded last week's sluggish fishing on his 10-point grading scale: dorado 3, wahoo 1-2, jack crevalle 3, tuna 3, blue and black marlin 3, striped marlin 3, cubera snapper 6-7, roosterfish 3, shark 3, skipjack and bonito 2, spanish mackerel 3.
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: SOLMAR FLEET manager Rene Santa Cruz said marlin catches doubled in slightly warmer water last week, but dorado and yellowfin tuna dropped off. The best marlin catches were found on the Cortez side at Palmilla, Chileno, and the Gordo Banks, Santa Cruz said. Despite the slow fishing, doubles on striped marlin were scored by 3 boats.
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: At PISCES FLEET, Tracy Ehrenberg said, "When boats were lucky enough to catch marlin it was usually just the one fish, though several were fortunate to have a couple. Normally by this time of year we start to see a smattering of blue marlin appear, but the persistently cold weather seems to be keeping them at bay." Overall, a little less than 50 percent of Pisces boats caught marlin, and 72 percent caught marlin, tuna, dorado, or wahoo.
SAN JOSE DEL CABO, MEXICO: A summer southern swell and low morning tides hampered launching some days last week, but fishing was slow anyway, as the La Playita panga fleets struggled along the beaches for slim catches of jacks. Eric Brictson of GORDO BANKS PANGAS had an honest assessment of the surprisingly slow fishing: "Pangas catches were perhaps at one of their all-time lows for the month of July, with the cool water being the major factor. Amberjack and roosterfish made up the majority of the inshore catches. There was a much higher than normal skunk ratio in recent days, with as many as 50 percent of the boats being completely blanked."
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: Fishing out of Bahia de Palmas continued to be the best in Baja Sur last week, with pleasant weather in the low 90s and water temperatures averaging about 78 degrees.
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: John Ireland of RANCHO LEONERO reported on 79 boats chartered during the week with a combined catch including released fish of: 3 blue marlin, 32 striped marlin, 61 dorado, 64 yellowfin tuna, 36 roosterfish, 5 amberjack, 1 wahoo, 1 pargo, and 1 sailfish.
Ireland said the dorado started slow, but exploded with a hot bite at the end of the week, on fish to over 50 pounds spread all over the bay from Punta Pescadero south to Cabo Pulmo, mostly 3 to 10 miles off shore.
Inshore roosterfish action dipped last week, Ireland said, but some big ones to 60 pounds were taken on the southern beaches, from La Ribera to Los Frailes.
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: Chris Moyers of EAST CAPE SMOKEHOUSE reported on 388 boats chartered from combined fleets including the Van Wormer resorts of HOTELS PALMAS DE CORTEZ, PLAYA DEL SOL, PUNTA COLORADA, with a catch including released fish of: 16 blue marlin, 333 striped marlin, 12 sailfish, 286 dorado, 245 yellowfin tuna, 3 pargo, 1 wahoo, 7 amberjack, and 39 roosterfish. Moyers reported mostly calm morning seas with afternoon winds and water temperatures of 76 to 81 degrees. One 143-pound tuna was caught, although most fish were in the 10 to 20-pound range, Moyers said.
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: At RANCHO BUENA VISTA, Tami Moyeous reported a combined catch for the week including released fish of: 48 striped marlin, 8 blue marlin, 7 sailfish, 53 roosterfish, 26 dorado, 38 tuna, and 1 wahoo.
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: CHIP SHAPLEY said the 7th annual Bruni Invitational Tournament had a successful turnout at Palmas de Cortez, with all billfish released, and cash prizes going to the skippers. Taking home the winnings were: Capt. Alberto on J&B, first place; Capt. Mario on Fresh Catch, second place; and Capt. Chuy on Miss Corona, third. Shapley said the group caught 101 "point fish" over 25 pounds during the tournament, including 7 blue marlin, 68 striped marlin, 21 dorado, 3 sailfish, and 2 wahoo, both caught by Kevin Nakamura. Another angler of the group also "caught" an approximately 8-pound, partially digested dorado that became snagged on a hook swallowed by another estimated 60-pound dorado, which got away when the smaller fish was pulled out of its stomach and reeled in.
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: Gary Graham of BAJA ON THE FLY said roosterfish are still giving fly anglers plenty of shots from the beach: "When this year is over this will be the benchmark for roosterfish. More roosterfish have been taken on the fly than I can ever remember in the past. If roosterfish are your passion, this is your year at East Cape."
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: Pepe Murrieta of PEPE'S DIVE CENTER said temperatures have been so cool that biologists from La Paz are coming to Cabo Pulmo to study its effect on sea life, which has been very abundant this year. He also mentioned the ironic situation with the federal government eliminating the budget for the Cabo Pulmo Marine Park, leaving it with no park rangers, at a time when it is planning to spend hundreds of millions of dollars on such projects as the Escalera Nautica marina complexes.
"We are getting a lot of poachers again," Murrieta said. "Poachers are getting lobsters and oysters out from the Marine Park and spear fishing! I talk to the government, and they say, 'Sorry, but we do not have budget for this park.'"
Cabo Pulmo water temperatures were 78 degrees on the surface and 65 degrees at the thermocline. Sealife included big amberjack, grouper, sea horses, eels, and green sea turtles.
LA PAZ, MEXICO: Mino Shiba of MOSQUITO FLEET said water temperatures are still down about 78 to 81 degrees, but he's catching dorado on weeds and current lines, mostly on small feathers in purple, green-black, pink-blue, and guacamaya. Some marlin to about 300 pounds were caught, and some larger tuna on mackerel at Isla Cerralvo.
LA PAZ, MEXICO: TIM HARDING of Huntington Beach had a decent fishing trip on marlin, dorado and tuna, fishing on a friend's 26-foot Blackman, but said he had a problem when he was required to check his reels with luggage for the flight home on Aerocalifornia. When he opened his bags, Harding said, he was missing a Shimano 30 2-speed, an Accurate 4/0, and a Shimano star drag reel. Harding said his calls to Aerocalifornia were not being answered.
LA PAZ, MEXICO: Jonathan Roldan of TAIL HUNTER INTERNATIONAL said he's seeing some improvement in water conditions and maybe an improvement in the fishing. "The waters have gotten bluer. Red tide is gone. Full moon is gone and the temperatures are actually starting to blaze. Best of all, it seems like the fishing has ratcheted up just a tad. Fishing is still tough and iffy, but I gotta say that anglers are hanging in there."
LA PAZ, MEXICO: At HOTEL LAS ARENAS, Linda Glassman Davis confirmed that the hotel has been closed indefinitely, citing renovations as the reason. Glassman Davis said the hotel website has been deactivated and the telephone lines will be disconnected as well.
LORETO, MEXICO: Pam Bolles of BAJA BIG FISH COMPANY was heading out to try some of her "X-flyfishing," i.e., casting for offshore dorado from a personal pontoon boat, photos promised.
Bolles said Loreto has lots of anglers and "plenty of dorado" now, with mostly calm seas and weather near the 100-degree mark. Dorado from school size to 50 pounds were being landed, mostly "between the sunrise and Isla Coronado," under birds and on weeds.
LORETO, MEXICO: Arturo Susarrey of ARTURO'S SPORT FISHING said fishing has been "really good," with schools of dorado hanging off the east side of Isla Coronado, mostly 15 to 25 pounds, but with some up to about 40 pounds. They are mixed with sailfish, he said, but they are not biting. Commercial boats were catching yellowtail to 30 pounds and amberjack to 40 pounds at La Cholla.
LORETO, MEXICO: HUGH COBB of Oceanside's Pacific Coast Bait & Tackle said Linda Ramirez of ALFREDO'S SPORT FISHING was looking for another boat to help handle the number of anglers last week, and at Villas de Loreto, Wendy Wilchynski confirmed that the dorado have brought a lot of much-needed business to town: "Today more fishermen and more fish!"
MULEGE, MEXICO: JOHN GILKERSON of Cypress, CA, had an excellent 8-day, 2-boat trip to San Lucas Cove with Jim Bentley, Jim Bentley Jr., and Matt Bentley, scoring on quality yellowtail, dorado, and other species. "We had fantastic fishing for yellowtail at San Marcos Island," he said. "The fish were big with very few under 25 pounds, and some in the 35 to 40-pound class
"We also fished Tortuga and found a new spot at the island that held lots of yellowtail as well as sawtail grouper and pargo. This fishing was so good we made the run to Tortuga for three days in a row.
"Something changed in the middle of our trip, and the water temperature at San Marcos Island jumped from 74 to about 80 degrees plus. The dorado moved in and everyone was catching lots of smaller fish in the 10 to almost 20-pound class within a few miles of the north end and off the backside of San Marcos Island.
"The seine netters started wrapping the bait grounds in the middle of our trip and making bait got more and more difficult. It looked like most if not all of the boats were coming from the mainland side. I hope this area doesn't get completely depleted by this excessive fishing pressure."
MULEGE, MEXICO: BECKY APARICIO of Mulege said so far, the dorado are running in mostly smaller sizes with few bulls around: "This summer's water for fishing hasn't been great. We have had great sea life encounters, however. Finback whales rested near us one foggy, wet morning east of Punta Chivato and the resonating sounds of their breathing was eerie and lovely. Manta rays are a fairly common sight and many have been mating and schooling on the surface and jumping acrobatically. The water is still pretty green and dirty and snorkeling is not terrific, though I did swim with a small school of rooster fish. They didn't have their crests up. What a surprise when I was able to identify them by the dark bars on their sides and large size."
BAHIA DE LOS ANGELES, MEXICO: BOB BURNETT reported on an excellent trip last week to Daggett's Camp at L.A. Bay, with a spectacular yellowtail catch: "BIG BIG TAILS and lots of them. Better than best!"
Burnett and Dave Treadway of San Diego fished 4 days and took 2 days off during their stay. Day one was typical: "Got a 37-pound and 39-pound 'tail, eleven 12 to 18 'tails, 12 bonita, and a bunch of miscellaneous."
Another day, they switched to 12-pound tackle and released over 50 yellowtail in the 5 to 10-pound range off Smith Island, and on another they used 50-pound tackle to land 5 fish to 43.5 pounds. "Glad we only had 6 baits," Burnett said, "I don't think I could have pulled on any more fish that size!"
Burnett reported L.A. Bay weather to about 95 degrees and water temperatures around 77 degrees, with cool breezes off the water and some strong westerlies. He recommended Daggett's Camp: "Ruben has 3 pangas for hire and all have VHF radios, GPS and live bait. He runs a first-class operation. It's clean, quiet, safe and friendly."
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 July 12 with a catch of: 100 yellowtail to 33.5 pounds; 5 grouper to 101 pounds; 1 pinto bass, 18 pounds; 1 dorado, 19.5 pounds; 1 white seabass, 22 pounds; 254 cabrilla, 10 to 15 pounds; 20 red snapper, 6 to 9.5 pounds; 5 broomtail grouper, 18 to 21 pounds; 6 sheephead, 5 to 8 pounds; 96 spotted bass; and 2 shark, 18 to 20 pounds.
SAN FELIPE, MEXICO: Gustavo Velez of BAJA SPORTFISHING, INC. reported on a 6-day Midriff Islands trip by the panga mothership, Erik, returning to San Felipe on July 12 with a catch of: 265 yellowtail to 20 pounds; 112 dorado, small, to 15 pounds; 150 pargo; 7 white seabass to 30 pounds; 9 grouper to 35 pounds; 80 giant squid; 302 miscellaneous fish, including spotted bass, triggerfish, and sheephead.
MAZATLAN, MEXICO: Larry Edwards of CORTEZ YACHT CHARTERS said ARIES SPORTFISHING FLEET boats had another sensational week, averaging 3 sailfish per boat. Aries IV was top boat for the week, with a 7-release day, Edwards said. Mazatlan weather was in the low-90s, with water temperatures near 80 degrees, and calm seas. Nora Alonzo Rice of Marina el Cid said the sailfish are being found in pods of 3 or 4 fish and were hitting on dead mullet and lures. Bottom fishing was slow.
IXTAPA ZIHUATANEJO, MEXICO: Paul Phillips of the FINTASTIC TOTAL CATCH & RELEASE TOURNAMENT said Zihuatanejo is in the summer doldrums, with few anglers in town, and most boats are only fishing 1 or 2 days per week. Sailfish were steady at 1 or 2 per boat, and roosterfishing was good along shore on fish to about 20 pounds.
IXTAPA ZIHUATANEJO, MEXICO: Phillips said Zihuatanejo guide Ed Kunze of MAR Y TIERRA SPORTFISHING is enjoying his "vacation" of guiding for Gary Graham's Baja On The Fly operation at East Cape. "He is really enjoying working with Gary," Phillips said. "I think the major thing is he has clients and the fishing is decent. He says he is learning a lot and that the fishing is a bit different but he is adapting to it."
IXTAPA ZIHUATANEJO, MEXICO: Marcos Vargas of VARGAS SPORTFISHING said 3 boats chartered during the week had a combined catch of 4 sailfish and 1 dorado. Ixtapa weather was hot, near 100 degrees, with calm seas, no wind, and water temperatures of about 86 degrees.
IXTAPA ZIHUATANEJO, MEXICO: Stan Lushinsky of IXTAPA SPORTFISHING CHARTERS said the action has been up and down, but travel writer Tony Pena had a good day with 12 roosterfish, 18 yellowtail jacks, and some bonita, with Capt. Adolpho.