Yellowfin tuna show up for East Cape sportfishing charter boats

Mexico Fishing News, July 29, 2002



EAST CAPE, MEXICO: Boats fishing out of Bahia de Palmas made their first good yellowfin tuna catches of the season last week. Chris Moyers of East Cape Smoke House, reporting for 355 boats chartered from combined fleets including the Van Wormer resorts of Palmas de Cortez, Playa del Sol, and Punta Colorada, had a fish count including released fish of: 417 yellowfin tuna, 18 blue marlin, 230 striped marlin, 28 sailfish, 486 dorado, 4 pargo, 8 wahoo, 1 amberjack, 1 cabrilla, and 16 roosterfish.

Moyers reported weather in the low 100s, water temperatures of 79 to 82 degrees, and moderate seas, except for Tuesday and Wednesday when distant Hurricane Elida brought wind, swells, and a brief spell of rain over the mountains. The tuna were caught in three separate schools, with larger fish to about 150 pounds coming from an area about 30 miles straight east of Los Barriles, Moyers said. Two other locations, north off Punta Pescadero and south off Punta Arena, yielded mostly footballs.

EAST CAPE, MEXICO: Dutch light tackle angler Peter Langstraat reported on a trip to Bahia de Palmas, saying he found a large bag of mixed species on trolled Rapalas and dead sardines, including cornetfish, triggerfish, pargo, grouper, needlefish, black skipjack, amberjack, roosterfish, 18 bonefish, sierra, mixed jacks, green jacks, lookdowns, colorado snapper, and graybar, yellowspotted, and spottail grunts. "All in all, a good result, with no less than 23 species," Langstraat said.

EAST CAPE, MEXICO: At Buena Vista Beach Resort, Axel Valdez reported on 65 boats chartered, with a combined catch including released fish of: 33 striped marlin, 80 dorado, 20 yellowfin tuna, 1 wahoo, 36 roosterfish, 6 snapper, 10 jack crevalle, 3 bonita, 8 pompano, 4 triggerfish, and 57 black skipjack. Yellowfin tuna were located only on the last day of his reporting period, Valdez said. Otherwise the count would have been much higher. "Finally they are here. We caught some to 200 pounds. The numbers may not show it, but there are a lot. There are three big schools, mostly about 27 miles out."

EAST CAPE, MEXICO: Tami Moyeous of Rancho Buena Vista had a fish count for 17 boats chartered, again with tuna showing up right at the end of the reporting period: 24 striped marlin, 4 blue marlin, 7 sailfish, 12 roosterfish, 20 dorado, and 15 yellowfin tuna.

EAST CAPE, MEXICO: At Rancho Leonero, John Ireland reported 194 yellowfin tuna to 150 pounds, 48 dorado to 52 pounds, 15 roosterfish to 75 pounds, 18 pargo to 18 pounds, 15 amberjack to 40 pounds, 3 wahoo to 48 pounds, 3 yellowtail to 22 pounds, 3 sailfish (released), 13 striped marlin to 150 pounds (released), and 3 blue marlin to 350 pounds (released).

Ireland said the tuna bite averaged about 20 pounds per fish, but with some 150-pound gorillas showing up, and hoochies and squid-colored lures working best. Rancho Leonero's tuna were coming mostly from 10 to 25 miles offshore and to the south. The dorado bite continued in all areas, Ireland said, with good numbers of fish to about 45 pounds.

EAST CAPE, MEXICO: Gary Graham of Baja On The Fly said recent Hurricanes Douglas and Elida had little effect on the fishing, and roosterfish were still dominating the inshore catch. Schools of mullet were still hanging around local beaches from La Ribera to Punta Arena, where they were being chased by larger roosters. Jack crevalle were being caught in smaller sizes.

EAST CAPE, MEXICO: Marisol Verdugo said boats were busy at Martin Verdugo's Beach Resort last week, releasing striped and blue marlin, and landing large dorado to over 50 pounds, plus many from 30 to 40 pounds.

EAST CAPE, MEXICO: At Vista Sea Sport, Mark Rayor said water temperatures at diving depth have warmed to 78 degrees and visibility was good: "For the first time in a while, we can see the reefs in 50 feet from the boat. Snorkeling close to shore was difficult for a few days as a result of the hurricanes, but now is excellent"

EAST CAPE, MEXICO: Pepe Murrieta of Pepe's Dive Service said he's been taking clients on night dives on the Cabo Pulmo coral reef: "At night you can see sleeping parrotfish. A lot of sea life is more active. It's a different world. Today there was a huge manta ray over at El Bajo about one-and-a-half miles out from the coast. It was probably 15 feet from wing to wing. They don't have a stinger. They're plankton feeders. The diving is getting very good."

Murrieta reported surface water temperatures at 86 degrees, temperature at depth at 65 degrees, and visibility at 100 feet close to the surface. Below 35 feet deep, visibility was about 50 feet.

EAST CAPE, MEXICO: Earlier, visiting anglers John and Traci Valade reported 6 dorado to 40 pounds and 5 marlin to 170 pounds, while fishing 2 days out of Palmas de Cortez with Moses and Marcia Mani. Another East Cape angler, Gary, on the Alma Rosa III out of Playa del Sol, reported on a 3-day trip with a total catch of 8 striped marlin, 5 sailfish, and 15 dorado. All fish were caught from Punta Pescadero north.

In other mainland Mexico and Baja fishing action this week:



ENSENADA, MEXICO: The albacore bite slacked off toward the end of last week as yellowtail action picked up the slack. At noon Sunday, Sergio Susarrey of Sergio's Sport Fishing Center said the Shir-Lee was reporting only 1 albacore, but over 80 yellowtail while fishing the offshore banks straight west of Ensenada. The boat had also caught a single dorado, Susarrey said.

On Saturday, the Shir-Lee caught 6 albacore. On Friday, the Cazador caught 10, the Shir-Lee 6, and the Quest 4.

At midweek, the Shir-Lee had landed 88 albacore for 10 anglers, and the Cazador had checked in with 80 albacore and 1 yellowtail for 11 anglers.

ENSENADA, MEXICO: Tecate trailer boaters, Barney and Lance Phillips had a great early-week trip out of Marina Coral: "After first light, we arrived at 31:30 117:03. The water temp was a warm 65.7, so we kept heading out. At 31:30 117:05, we had a jig stop after the temp dropped to 64.7. The albacore came to the bait, and after 45 minutes we quit to rest and clean up the boat. Then back to the troll for 10 minutes and another jig stop and bait show, wide open. We quit with albacore boiling around the boat, and were back at the ramp at 10 a.m. Can I say it just doesn't get any better?"

ENSENADA, MEXICO: At the Ensenada fish market, visitor Keith Berkley found some unusual, large, shark-like brown fish with big teeth and very rough skin, about 50 pounds each, being sold in numbers, and he took some photos which were identified by fish expert Peter Langstraat of Holland. They turned out to be escolar, Lepidocybium flavobrunneum, a type of snake mackerel that is found worldwide and is sold in Japan as fish cakes. It lives at least 600 feet deep and rises to the surface to feed on squid and other sea life at night.



SAN QUINTIN, MEXICO: Albacore counts nose-dived last week, but appeared to be making a comeback by Sunday afternoon. Yellowtail were caught in good numbers all week. Jim Harer of the Old Mill Hotel reported at press time Sunday afternoon, saying Kelly Catian of El Capitan Sport Fishing had another great albacore bite going outside. Harer said San Quintin had excellent weather last week. Twelve private boats fished from the hotel, 8 out of Pedro's Pangas, and 10 out of El Capitan Sport Fishing, Harer said. Few albacore were caught, but the yellowtail were running to over 20 pounds, mostly at the 240 Spot. One dorado was also caught, 42 miles off the coast. Harer reported water temperatures along shore averaging about 63 degrees, and 65 to 66 degrees 10 miles off shore.

SAN QUINTIN, MEXICO: Pete Hillis of Pedro's Pangas said the weather was "absolutely beautiful" last week, but the albacore just disappeared. Hillis said 2 large commercial seiners had been working the area over, and possibly that was the reason the fish had scattered: "Maybe we have too much publicity about the area!"

Hillis said pangas were landing nice yellowtail to 25 pounds, plus plenty of the usual bottom fish, including one of the year's largest white seabass.

SAN QUINTIN, MEXICO: Earlier, Gene Allshouse of San Quintin Sport Fishing reported water temperatures of 64 degrees 15 miles outside the bay, and over 66 degrees at 20 miles out.



MAGDALENA BAY, MEXICO: Gary Graham of Baja On The Fly reported San Carlos weather in the low 80s, with water temperatures ranging from 69 to 82 degrees. Outside the entrada, seas were rough, with swells up to 15 feet, although 83-degree water was reported to the south, Graham said. Tuna seiners were working the area on yellowfin tuna to 40 pounds. Some yellowtail were caught under birds at Bahia Santa Maria, and inside, halibut were on the sandy beach across the channel. In the mangroves there was a steady pick on corvina, grouper, and a few snook to 10 pounds.



CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Fishing action was moderately improved last week, as distant Hurricane Elida brought several days of hot and humid weather, swells and surf, and water temperatures jumping into the mid-80s.

CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Tommy Garcia of Cabo Magic reported on 23 boats chartered during the week with a catch including released fish of: 11 striped marlin (all released), 5 blue marlin including 2 weighed at 400 pounds, 1 yellowfin tuna, and 10 dorado including several "very very large" bulls.

CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Larry Edwards of Cortez Yacht Charters said although more blue marlin are being seen and caught, Cabo boats still only had about a 50 percent chance of landing a billfish last week. Gaviota Fleet boats had a combined catch of: 4 blue marlin, 11 striped marlin (8 released), 6 dorado, 1 wahoo, and 3 yellowfin tuna. Water temperatures to 85 degrees were found while fishing from the 95 Spot to the Gordo Banks.

CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: At Picante Sport Fishing, 6 boats chartered Friday had a combined catch including released fish of: 12 striped marlin, 5 dorado, and 6 yellowfin tuna.

CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Nancy Woods of Pisces Sport Fishing reported 59 percent of boats chartered catching billfish or other species. Pisces had a billfish count including released fish of: 18 striped marlin, 3 blue marlin, and 4 sailfish. Pisces boats fished about 30 miles offshore to find good water conditions, and 2 wahoo of 40 and 60 pounds were also caught.

CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Capt. George Landrum of Fly Hooker Sport Fishing said water temperatures at the tip of Baja were no lower than about 76 degrees, and almost every boat was getting at least one strike from a blue marlin: "This is what we have been waiting for all year. With the improvement in the catch, and the fact that there are big fish out there, everyone is looking at a busy summer from now on."

CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: At Solmar Fleet, Rene Santa Cruz reported a catch of 8 blue marlin (5 released), and 25 striped marlin (20 released).

CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: About 150 other private and charter fleet boats had a combined catch including released fish of: 26 blue marlin, 88 striped marlin, 7 sailfish, 33 dorado, 8 yellowfin tuna, 6 wahoo, and 1 mako shark.



SAN JOSE DEL CABO, MEXICO: The La Playita panga fleet was hampered by storm swells from Hurricane Elida last week. Eric Brictson of Gordo Banks pangas reported, "Everyone is just waiting for conditions to stabilize so we can start catching fish again. The water is warm, and anticipation is high. Next week we will hopefully have more than just the weather to talk about."

Brictson also reported that the panga Alicia belonging to Capt. Jesus was doused with gasoline and set afire last week: "An investigation is now under way and there is one prime suspect, but of course it is hard to prove anything without eye witnesses. The police officers had to be paid a fee before they would even consider starting any sort of detective work."



LA PAZ, MEXICO: Mino Shiba of Mosquito Fleet reported water temperatures up to a more normal 80 to 85 degrees and a catch including 2 blue marlin of about 250 pounds each, 15 striped marlin, and lots of dorado of all sizes: "This year the fishing is a little late, but right now we have a lot of fish." Shiba said live skipjack or small bonito baits are working for the marlin, and the dorado are hitting trolled lures around the weed paddies. The best colors were purple, green mackerel, and yellow-orange. "The fishing is getting better," Shiba said. "For September and October we're gonna have more fish than other years."

LA PAZ, MEXICO: Jonathan Roldan of Tail Hunter International confirmed the improved action last week: "The past 10 days or so have been the most consistent chew we've had all season. Most of the biters have been dorado, whether you were fishing the La Paz or the Las Arenas sides. Still no tuna to speak of, but we're sure seeing a lot of billfish."

LA PAZ, MEXICO: Earlier, Roldan had sent a photo of the "zebra fish" that has been used as a live bait recently around La Paz. "It's really pretty," he said, "all neon blue on top with black stripes! They are about 8 inches long. Even the skippers didn't know what to call them so everyone just started calling them 'zebras.' We are jigging them with Sabiki rigs at the buoys. It looks like a slimmer caballito all dressed up for an evening at the disco. We've never used them before. Heck...I'd never even seen one before, and when I asked our skippers the name, they all laughed and shrugged their shoulders." The fish was identified by Peter Langstraat as the pilotfish, Naucratus ductor, of the Carangidae family of jacks and pompanos. In recent weeks, Roldan reported the "zebra fish" as the hot ticket for amberjack and tuna.



LORETO, MEXICO: Distant hurricanes off the tip of Baja caused some cloudy and swelly conditions last week, but the dorado bite continued. Arturo Susarrey of Arturo's Sport Fishing said the action dipped a little at midweek, but picked up again on dorado to 44 pounds. Consistent fish from 20 to 35 pounds were being caught around Isla Monserrate and Punta Perico, and yellowtail to 35 pounds were also being caught on squid and mackerel at La Vaca, Susarrey said. Loreto weather was in the 90s.

LORETO, MEXICO: Pam Bolles of Baja Big Fish Company said the weather has been excellent except for winds on Tuesday, and "there is no shortage of dorado out there." Bolles said the best areas have been east of San Bruno and Isla Coronado, especially on weed patches. "There is more sargasso out there than we've seen all season, and much of it is holding fish," she said. "Dorado are also schooling in open water. Sizes are ranging from 15 to just under 50 pounds, on a combination of trolled mackerel and squid. I would say go for the squid, it's highly effective and it's FREE of charge!"

As an alternative to purchased sardina and mackerel baits, Bolles recommended catching squid with the big squid jigs sold at the downtown Deportes Blazer store: "Use the famous 'squid jig,' a long metal rod (about 10 to 12 inches total) with several layers of snag-hooks that look like upwardly bent nails. You can attach this to a hand line or heavy monofilament on a big rod. The squid are averaging 15 to 20 pounds and will go over 40 pounds. We broke an 80-pound class conventional rod on a 50-pound squid this summer, so you never know. I buy mine at the Deportes Blazer in the center of town. They have some good ones for about 100 pesos, and they sell all the parts too!"

LORETO, MEXICO: At Alfredo's Sport Fishing, Linda Ramirez said Capt. Emilio had 6 large dorado one day at midweek, and 4 dorado the following day. At Villas de Loreto, Wendy Wilchynski said, "Lot's o' dorado now. There seems to be no end in sight. Even with the full moon, they didn't skip a beat."

LORETO, MEXICO: Professional photographer Mitchell Rose reported that the recent Fishin' for the Mission tournament had a 23-boat turn-out and donated $3,500 to the Loreto Mission. "The wife and I came in fourth and we had a ball," Rose said. "There was a party Saturday night, and the padre thanked everyone who attended." As evidence of the quality dorado now being caught at Loreto, Rose reported the winning weights of two combined fish each at 74, 59, and 52 pounds.



MULEGE, MEXICO: San Lucas Cove resident Ross White just returned from a trip hampered by motor problems, reporting Santa Rosalia weather "bearable" in the 80s and 90s, and down to about 75 degrees at night, humid, "with some mosquitoes when the breeze died." White said there was wind most days, but only a few days when it was uncomfortable in the boat. While changing spark plugs more-or-less constantly, White's group jigged for triggerfish, barred and spotted sandbass, and sculpin. A few hours of trolling yielded smallish dorado, large black skipjack, needlefish, and several four-foot-long squid.

MULEGE, MEXICO: Wayne Neff reported the Punta Chivato campground is operating normally and charging $10 per day. The pit toilets and showers were working, and Neff said the old Hotel Punta Chivato is producing some excellent Italian dinners under its new ownership and name of La Posada.

MULEGE, MEXICO: Gary and Peggy Thomas reported on a successful trip to Mulege, with 15 to 25 dorado caught per day on the troll, and best results on pink-white, blue-white, and black-purple. "The best area seemed to be 8 to 9 miles from the lighthouse on a 60-degree heading," they reported. "We also caught some around San Marcos and off Punta Chivato, but the point seemed to be holding the best quality. Our biggest was a 36 and the next biggest was a 27. Lots of 8 to 18 pounders, but few over 20. We didn't try bait. We released all but 4. Water was 79 when we arrived and warmed to 84 by the time we left."



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 June 26 with a fish count of: 137 yellowtail, 30 to 45 pounds; 97 pargo; 210 cabrilla; and 12 white seabass to 30 pounds. Velez reported windy conditions, and some large yellowtail breaking off 100-pound test line at Bernabe Rock. The best fishing overall was at Snake Island. Velez said dorado were being seen at Morro Blanco and he expected to be into them next week.



MAZATLAN, MEXICO: Larry Edwards of Cortez Yacht Charters said boats were averaging more than 2 sailfish per day, between spells of rough seas caused by distant tropical storms. Aries Fleet boats had a combined catch including released fish of: 2 blue marlin, 43 sailfish, 24 dorado, 8 roosterfish, 18 corvina, and 9 burritos. Mazatlan weather was in the 90s, with some afternoon showers, and the best fishing area was 22 miles from Marina el Cid on a heading of 240 degrees.

MAZATLAN, MEXICO: Nora Alonso Rice of Marina el Cid said many of the dorado caught were large, 45 to 50 pounds, and they were being landed with live trolled bonito baits caught on feathers around the buoys. She said the recent rains are a good sign because "once it starts to rain the dorado show up."



IXTAPA ZIHUATANEJO, MEXICO: Paul Phillips of the Fintastic Total Tag & Release Tournament reported weather disturbances from tropical storms last week, but boats finding a steady 2 to 3 sailfish per day when they were able to get out. Yellowfin tuna were well within range at 15 to 20 miles, and they were mixed with a few marlin. Some roosterfish were still taken, despite rough near shore conditions.

IXTAPA ZIHUATANEJO, MEXICO: Stan Lushinsky of Ixtapa Sportfishing Charters said Capt. Miguel Alvarez caught numerous yellowtail jacks and a 60-pound roosterfish on a live bonito and Z-WING downrigger. Offshore, some boats scored on as many as 5 or 6 sailfish on some days, and only 1 or 2 on other days, Lushinsky said.

Fish Photo 1 Fish Photo 1

Keith Berkley found these unusual shark-like fish being sold on the Ensenada fish market. They were identified by Dutch fish expert Peter Langstraat as escolar, Lepidocybium flavobrunneum, a type of snake mackerel that is found worldwide and is sold in Japan as fish cakes.

Fish Photo 1 Fish Photo 1

Giant stony coral and schooling blue pargo, two sights seen on night dives with Pepe's Dive Service at Cabo Pulmo. Photos courtesy Pepe Murrieta.

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Aaron Horton of West Hollywood pulled this hefty amberjack off Cerralvo Island while fishing out of La Paz with Tail Hunter International. Photo courtesy Jonathan Roldan.

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Ben and Josh Cohen of Paso Robles show off a 22-pound summer yellowtail caught recently while fishing at Loreto with Arturo's Sport Fishing. Photo courtesy Arturo Susarrey.

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Chris Lippincott, Scott Shandle, Rob Hijar, Kelly Steinke, Steve Asakowicz, David Bridgeman and Tony Gregory, left to right, fished with Arturo's Sport Fishing of Loreto last week and caught quality dorado of 39, 40, 36 and 34 pounds. Photo courtesy Arturo Susarrey.

Fish Photo 1

The "zebra fish" that has been used as a hot live bait recently around La Paz. "It's really pretty," he said Jonathan Roldan of Tail Hunter International, "all neon blue on top with black stripes!" The fish was identified by Peter Langstraat as the pilotfish, Naucratus ductor, of the Carangidae family of jacks and pompanos. In recent weeks, Roldan reported the "zebra fish" as the hot ticket for amberjack and tuna.

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