SAN QUINTIN, MEXICO: Boats fishing out of Bahia San Quintin last week scored limits on albacore, plus plenty of yellowtail, and a sprinkling of bluefin tuna and dorado thrown in for good measure.
SAN QUINTIN, MEXICO: Gene Allshouse of San Quintin Sport Fishing said several boats returned with limits by noon over the weekend, in excellent conditions, with water temperatures ranging from 63 to 67 degrees. Fish were found 8 miles off the point at headings between 220 and 240 degrees. Allshouse said the tuna are hitting feathers of any color trolled tight to the boat, darker colors in the morning, and lighter colors later in the day.
SAN QUINTIN, MEXICO: At Pedro's Pangas, Pete Hillis called it "wide open albacore, limits for all" on fish of 25 to 30 pounds. In addition to bluefin and yellowtail, some marlin were also seen, but as of Sunday morning none had been hooked. Pedro's Pangas sent 15 boats out for the weekend. San Quintin weather was in the mid-80s with calm seas.
SAN QUINTIN, MEXICO: Tony Marquez of Don Eddie's Landing said boats landed albacore to 35 pounds, yellowtail to 39 pounds, 4 dorado to 12 pounds, and 8 bluefin tuna to 16 pounds, with some boats limiting by 11 a.m. Marquez said the hotel is sold out for the Labor Day Tournament, but other close-by accommodations are still available. There will also be one final tournament for the year over Thanksgiving Day weekend.
ENSENADA, MEXICO: Albacore action picked up at the end of the week for Lily Fleet. Sammy Susarrey reported 5 anglers on the Tamara landed 20 albacore to 25 pounds and 8 bluefin tuna to 30 pounds at GPS numbers 31:47 117:17. Seas were flat and glassy, and the fish were caught on big sardine bait, Rapalas, and zucchini and Mexican flag feathers.
The Amigo fished Punta Banda Bank for limits of bottom fish in three hours, including large lingcod, cow cod, and red rockfish, and the Lily fished at Salsipuedes for limits of lingcod.
ENSENADA, MEXICO: At Punta Banda, the Vonny Fleet pangas did well all week on rockfish, lingcod, sand bass, calico bass, and a few white seabass and yellowtail, according to Ivan Villarino. The Vonny I with Capt. Beto Zamora landed calicos to 6 pounds, and the Vonny III with Capt. Cruz Zamora caught lingcod to 16 pounds, plus salmon grouper and assorted bottom fish. Most fish were caught on plastics. The yellowtail were feeding deep on pelagic red crabs.
Earlier in the week, both pangas launched at Villarino Camp and ran to the tip of Punta Banda in calm seas, with very light breezes and air temperatures in the 70s. Around the boiler rocks off La Bufadora, they fished from the surface to about 120 feet deep with cut squid, plastics, and jigs. There was no surface action, but lots of Bulera Johnny Bass (olive rockfish) were caught in a good mid-water bite, and on the bottom they caught small lingcod, treefish, chilipepper rockfish, and starry rockfish.
Water temperatures were 66 degrees on the north side of Punta Banda, and 56 degrees at the point.
MAGDALENA BAY, MEXICO: Few boats fished out of San Carlos last week, reported Gary Graham of Baja On The Fly, but offshore, sightings were made of dorado, tuna, and striped marlin. White seabass were reported at Punta Hughes, and snook to 15 pounds in the mangroves. San Carlos weather was cooler, in the high-70s, and water temperatures ranged from 69 to 76 degrees.
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Fishing continued to improve at the tip of Baja California as blue marlin and sailfish numbers went up, striped marlin continued to be caught, and another very large dorado was weighed, this one an 80-pounder reported by Cabo Magic. Another dorado caught by Gaviota Fleet was weighed at 72 pounds.
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Tommy Garcia of Cabo Magic said 50 boats chartered during the week had a catch including released fish of: 4 blue marlin, 30 striped marlin, 4 sailfish, 78 dorado (including 3 of about 60 pounds, and the monster 80-pounder which was weighed), 68 yellowfin tuna, 1 wahoo, 1 roosterfish, and 1 hammerhead shark (released). Garcia said the yellowfin tuna included a fish of 170 pounds caught on Cabo Magic by Skip Moyer of Florida. The 80-pound dorado was caught on the Manana.
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Larry Edwards of Cortez Yacht Charters said Gaviota Fleet boats landed a 290-pound yellowfin tuna and a 72-pound dorado at the Golden Gate Bank. Overall catches for the week including released fish were: 3 blue marlin, 2 sailfish, 42 striped marlin, 32 yellowfin tuna, and 60 dorado. Cabo veteran Edwards remarked: "This is the first time I have been reporting Cabo that the fishing was on the Golden Gate in August. Must have something to do with El Nino."
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Picante Fleet reported 4 boats fishing Saturday with a combined catch including released fish of: 4 striped marlin, 20 dorado, 5 yellowfin tuna and 1 wahoo, with the best action coming from the Gordo Banks and the 95 Spot.
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Merle Erickson of Chicago had an excellent week with Pisces Fleet aboard the Tracy Ann with Capt. Julio Castro and mate Edgar Renteria. In seven fishing days, Erickson released 2 blue marlin to 300 pounds, 2 sailfish, and 13 striped marlin, and also landed 7 dorado to 50 pounds.
"I would note that Julio and Edgar released the most billfish in Cabo last year," Erickson said, "and Julio was the top striped marlin release captain in the world in 2001. These two guys are currently the top striped marlin release crew in the world for 2002, per the Billfish Foundation.
"They seemed frustrated that so many other boats in Cabo keep killing marlin every day and no one seems to care. I explained that there were lots of 'us' who believe it is important to reward the release ethic and who want to fish only with guys who release billfish when possible."
Erickson also reported 3 seiners working the Jaime Bank, and a distinct lack of yellowfin tuna in the fleet counts. Tracy Ehrenberg of Pisces Fleet said boats had a 99 percent success rate on combined species last week, and 86 percent on billfish.
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Capt. George Landrum of Fly Hooker Sport Fishing said water temperatures on the Cortez side ranged into the high-80s. Most boats targeting blue marlin were going northeast to the Gordo Banks area.
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Rene Santa Cruz said Solmar Fleet boats concentrated on the Pacific side and scored well, with a total catch including released fish of: 65 striped marlin, 15 blue marlin, 1 sailfish, 71 dorado, 17 yellowfin tuna, and 1 wahoo. Four-billfish days were recorded by Solmar anglers Sherry and Dana Speak of Kansas on the Solmar II with Capt. Javier, and by George Casale of New York on the Solmar III with Capt. Pepe.
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Earlier in the month, Mark Jackson of San Diego had a struggle, trying to get some large eating dorado on several boats, including the panga Mariana with David Urrea, and the cruisers Gaviota VIII and Minerva II, but his persistence and assertiveness with his skipper finally paid off.
On the panga, Jackson only caught 3 chicken dorado while fishing 3 to 4 miles out of the marina.
The next day on the Gaviota VIII, Jackson said, "Again fishing was slow. We dragged all sorts of feathers to no avail. We must have spotted 10 marlin that only laughed at our offerings. Finally we came across 5 to 6 stripers sitting on top ready to go. We threw a couple live baits and we were on. Mine took about 45 minutes to land and looked to be in the 180 to 200-pound range."
Still lacking a decent dorado, Jackson next fished the Minerva II: "Minerva's Bait & Tackle is a great little shop in downtown. The day was a near repeat of Saturday with 2 stripers on the boat--but no dorado.
"I decided I had to give it another try, and fished solo on a small cruiser called the Angelina on Monday. Another stripper. Don't get me wrong they're a great adversary with many jumps and blistering runs, but they don't cook up all that great on the barbie.
"Just when things were starting to look like no dorado for the day, we spotted a small log in the water. We trolled jigs around it for nada.
"I told the skipper I wanted to throw a live bait, but he said it would be pointless. I told him to humor me, and he reluctantly obliged. We trolled around it a couple of times for nada, and I got the evil eye from the skipper.
"I told him I wanted to spend the rest of the day slow trolling the live bait and got about 50 yards from the log and got a double. One was about 20 pounds and the other was about 25. Went another couple hundred yards and had another double. I landed a 35-pounder, and the deckhand lost one that looked to be about 50 pounds. Slow trolling the live caballitos was the ticket for my mahi-mahi."
About 150 other fleet and private boats had a combined catch including released fish of: 165 dorado, 33 blue marlin, 145 striped marlin, 2 sailfish, 2 wahoo, and 39 yellowfin tuna.
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: Rancho Leonero resident Chip Shapley fished in the annual La Ribera Festival locals' tournament last week, and got blanked, but still had a good time before returning to the states for the season. "Anyway, I'm heading back north next week," Shapley said. "It's been a good summer down here."
Shapley described the festival: "The La Ribera tournament coincides with a large celebration of Ascension held each August. The fiesta includes horse racing, cock fights, carnival rides, games, food and dancing into the wee hours.
"There is a boat parade lead by a heavily decorated panga carrying the statue of the Virgin from the local church. All the boats fishing in the tourney take a half-hour cruise around the harbor, some carrying a dozen or more friends and family. After this, the fishing starts.
"Action was a bit slow, but some boats caught sailfish, blue marlin and dorado. Prizes went to the biggest 3 marlin brought in. There were separate prizes for pangas and 'cruisers' (anything bigger). I believe the top prize went to the panga Alexis, which we passed twice, both times hooked up on different fish. The second was a blue that they boated which was in the neighborhood of 450 pounds. Paco, the fleet manager at Rancho Leonero, caught a big dorado fishing off one of the Leonero pangas."
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: Several private residents of the East Cape/Los Cabos area reported local hotel cruisers trolling illegally inside the Cabo Pulmo Marine Park last week. The reporters said they have now obtained cameras and will record future violations for submission directly to Profepa in Mexico City, thus going over the heads of local inspectors who may, for one reason or another, not be reporting these boats. The Cabo Pulmo Marine park has no paid local manager because of budget cuts by the Mexican government.
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: Rancho Leonero's John Ireland reported on 70 boats chartered during the week with a combined catch including released fish of: 101 dorado, 74 tuna, 28 striped marlin, 15 blue or black marlin, 13 sailfish, 22 pargo, 31 roosterfish, 30 jack crevalle, and 18 amberjack.
East Cape weather was generally calm in the mid-90s, with near shore water temperatures about 80 degrees, and 83 to 86 degrees off shore.
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: Axel Valdez of Buena Vista Beach Resort reported on 68 boats chartered with a combined catch including released fish of: 9 blue marlin, 16 striped marlin, 19 sailfish, 62 dorado, 22 yellowfin tuna, 2 wahoo, 18 roosterfish, 1 hammerhead shark, 8 snapper, 2 jack crevalle, 6 amberjack, 3 ladyfish, 1 pompano, 20 triggerfish, 2 cabrilla, and 16 skipjack.
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: Chris Moyers of East Cape Smoke House reported on 344 boats chartered from combined fleets including the Van Wormer resorts of Palmas de Cortez, Playa del Sol, and Punta Colorada, with a combined catch including released fish of: 31 blue marlin, 117 striped marlin, 58 sailfish, 357 dorado, 291 yellowfin tuna, 67 pargo, 1 wahoo, 6 amberjack, and 4 roosterfish.
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: Tami Moyeous of Rancho Buena Vista reported on 22 boats chartered with a combined catch including released fish of: 8 striped marlin, 2 blue marlin, 4 sailfish, 9 dorado, and 28 yellowfin tuna. The previous week, 30 boats reported: 13 striped marlin, 2 blue marlin, 2 sailfish, 38 dorado, and 62 yellowfin tuna.
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: The beach and inshore light tackle fishing "can't get much better," said Gary Graham of Baja On The Fly. "Focus, focus, focus...Don't get sucked into a promise of larger fish offshore. If you stick it out inshore you won't be disappointed. Gray light and sundown in front of your hotel is a must if you are looking for some flyrod action."
On roosterfish, Graham said East Cape action is just plain hot: "It can't get much better either from the boat or the shore where the sardina schools are. Ask the bait guy where they caught the sardina that morning and head for that area. Plenty of small jack crevalle and mixed in, and there are some 20-pounders that will dust you in a heartbeat."
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: At Vista Sea Sport, Mark Rayor met an angler last week who participated in the catch of a black marlin variously reported at 640, 660, and 670 pounds out of Hotel Punta Colorada:
"She was calling to cancel her snorkel tour because of being too tired. They were trolling a petrolero marlin lure. A dorado came up and ate the jig, and the marlin ate the whole thing. When they landed the fish, it had one hook in the dorado and the other in the marlin."
Rayor said diving conditions at Cabo Pulmo are "spectacular," with a water temperature at depth of 84 degrees and excellent clarity. "If I didn't know better, I would swear we can see Mazatlan, it is so clear. Sea life is prolific. Turtles, rays, grouper, and snapper have been abundant with an occasional hammerhead or nurse shark."
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: Ed Migale had a good trip to East Cape recently, catching 12 species on light tackle in good conditions. He advised fly-in visitors to take duct tape to the airport upon departure so they can re-seal their ice chests after they are opened for security inspections. Migale said he had no problem taking his loaded reels as carry-on luggage. He flew on Alaska Airlines.
LA PAZ, MEXICO: Mino Shiba of Mosquito Fleet reported water temperatures up to 88 degrees and steady action on dorado to about 40 pounds, plus some striped marlin and sailfish around Isla Espiritu Santo. Some yellowfin tuna of 20 to 60 pounds were available around Isla Cerralvo, and there were plenty of giant squid for everyone. Shiba also reported some big wahoos, including one of 100 pounds, caught at El Bajo, and some big blue and black marlin spotted in the same area.
LA PAZ, MEXICO: At Tail Hunter International, Jonathan Roldan said some teaser yellowfin tuna in schoolie sizes have been caught around Isla Cerralvo, but the bite goes hot and cold. Dorado were the main catch, plus some billfish, although they have been sluggish to hit the baits because of abundant bait in the water.
LORETO, MEXICO: Hugh Cobb of Oceanside's Pacific Bait & Tackle said he's been too busy to fish lately, but was finally going to take a break and fish with Linda Ramirez' Alfredo's Sport Fishing this week. "I've been speaking to Linda," he said. "She did remind me that I should encourage anglers to get on down there soon, because this dorado bite can't go on forever. Along with six other North County guys, I'm driving there on Wednesday for four days of fishing. We plan to initially fish for the coolers, then leave the schools and head outside a bit to troll for big bulls and billfish. Of course, whatever the results, we're going to have a blast."
LORETO, MEXICO: Arturo Susarrey of Arturo's Sport Fishing said Loreto weather has been excellent in the mid-90s, with water temperatures averaging 86 degrees. Susarrey said the best dorado action is centered southeast of town, about 12 to 15 miles off Isla Carmen. Actually, hordes of dorado are everywhere, averaging 15 to 25 pounds, east of Isla Coronado, north toward San Bruno, and in between.
LORETO, MEXICO: Pam Bolles of Baja Big Fish Company, said the dorado fishing is still wide, wide open: "Went out today and the dorado bite is VERY HOT!!! Damiana caught her first dorado today! Francisco is quite the fly rodder. We were double hooked up on flies all day long. Could have stayed longer, but too much sun."
Bolles said she's been having fun catching giant Humboldt squid. "They're aggressive and will go after you if you're in the same water they are. We saw this summer that they are cannibalistic too, as we pulled up several that went for squid bait at night. There are a lot of squid fishermen out there, now that tourism is very slow. At night, it looks like another city on the water."
LORETO, MEXICO: Wendy Wilchynski of Villas de Loreto went fishing with Ty Miller's El Fuerte Sport Fishing at Puerto Escondido: "They sure know their stuff!! We had so many fish on and had so much fun! We kept 3 big male dorado and then went and had a great snorkel to top off the day."
Miller said he's finding lots of dorado on the current breaks between Isla Monserate and Punta Perico: "No fish over 40 pounds this past week, but very solid in the 18 to 35-pound class. Flylined baits are the key."
BAHIA DE LOS ANGELES, MEXICO: Abraham Vazquez of Camp Gecko at Bahia de los Angeles reported slow fishing inside the bay, although some small yellowtail were being caught at Soldado Reef. No dorado were reported anywhere in range. Vazquez said water temperatures were down to about 78 degrees, and the color was green, with bait scarce. Bottom fishing was good. Weather has been in the low-90s, and the road is in good condition. Vazquez said, "We might not get the dorado this year because the water is still cool and we are running out of summer. I hope I am wrong."
SAN FELIPE, MEXICO: Gustavo Velez of Baja Sportfishing, Inc. reported on a six-day Midriff Islands trip by the panga mothership Erik, returning to San Felipe on August 16 with a catch of: 171 yellowtail, 267 cabrilla, 45 dorado, 2 grouper of 40 and 42 pounds, 30 red pargo, and 120 giant squid. Midriff weather was excellent with no wind. The Erik fished from Bahia de los Angeles south to Isla Salsipuedes.
SAN FELIPE, MEXICO: Tony Reyes of Tony Reyes Fishing Tours reported on a six-day Midriff Islands trip by the panga mothership Jose Andres, returning to San Felipe on August 16 with a catch of: 7 yellowtail, 20 to 25 pounds; 7 grouper, 40 to 70 pounds; 1 black sea bass, 61 pounds; 14 dorado, 18 to 24 pounds; 46 cabrilla, 8 to 14 pounds; 5 red snapper, 9 to 14 pounds; 5 broomtail grouper, 8 to 10 pounds; 2 sheephead, 12 pounds; 77 spotted bay bass; and 8 shark, 14 to 17 pounds.
SAN FELIPE, MEXICO: Bob Castellon of Sea of Cortez Sport Fishing reported on an earlier Midriff Islands trip by the panga mothership Celia Angelina, returning to San Felipe on August 8 with a catch of: 70 yellowtail, 156 pargo, 105 cabrilla, 77 giant squid, 2 dorado, 3 grouper, 7 grouper under 25 pounds released, 1 amberjack, 190 spotted bay bass, 150 miscellaneous fish, and 1 huge hammerhead shark estimated at 350 to 400 pounds.
Castellon said the hammerhead shark measured 10 feet 9 inches long from the snout to the tip of its tail, and it was 24.5 inches between the eyes. It was caught by David Yavelok of Rancho Cucamonga, and Castellon said, "I am still trying to figure out how they got it into the skiff."
Jackpot winner Pete Matthews of Los Angeles took 2 large grouper on the same day, 1 in the morning, and 1 in the afternoon. His fish weighed 86 and 97 pounds, Castellon said. "It was one of the better trips of the year for the bigger fish." The Celia Angelina fished at Bahia de los Angeles, San Francisquito, Isla San Lorenzo, Snake Island, Devil's Point, and a final day loading up on pargo at the Golden Reef. Bait was available but not abundant, air temperatures were in the low-90s, and water temperatures ranged to 83 degrees at the Golden Reef.
MAZATLAN, MEXICO: Larry Edwards of Cortez Yacht Charters said Aries Fleet boats were catching more than 2 sailfish per outing. Overall, 19 boats chartered had a catch including released fish of: 1 blue marlin, 48 sailfish, 28 yellowfin tuna, and 6 dorado. Mazatlan weather was cloudy with some afternoon thundershowers and water temperatures in the 80s.
IXTAPA ZIHUATANEJO, MEXICO: Paul Phillips of the Fintastic Total Tag & Release Tournament said boats are averaging 1 to 3 sailfish per day, but hardly anybody is fishing. Yellowfin tuna and marlin are also within 15 miles, and roosterfish are in the surf.
Phillips announced the IGFA approval last week of the first tournament qualifier for the 2004 Rolex/IGFA Offshore Tournament that is organized by Mexicans. The new tournament, is called the Primer Torneo Internacional de Pesca del Pez Vela, Marlin y Dorado, or in English, Zihuatanejo International Deep Sea Tournament. Phillips said the new tournament will be held Jan. 23-25, 2003.
IXTAPA ZIHUATANEJO, MEXICO: Stan Lushinsky of Ixtapa Sportfishing Charters said the few boats fishing last week enjoyed good sea conditions and excellent catches, including Harry Johnson of Wilmington, DE, who fished on the Dos Hermanos for 3 days and caught 11 roosterfish, 15 yellowtail jacks, 22 bonitos, and 2 sailfish lost.
Lushinsky said some excellent boats and crews are still available for his Ixtapa Zihuatanejo Total Tag & Release Tournament, scheduled Nov.