Angler catches 7 roosterfish over 80 pounds in La Paz fishing

Mexico Fishing News, August 26, 2002



LA PAZ, MEXICO: David Jones of Fisherman's Fleet reported another great roosterfish trip by frequent visitor Bill Mathias of Tucson. Mathias, who releases all roosterfish, even potential world records, caught 12 big ones on cocinero baits while fishing the Las Arenas side, including 7 fish estimated at over 80 pounds, and one conservatively estimated at 124 pounds, which would easily beat the all-tackle record of 114 pounds.

Said Jones of the super-sporting roosterfish expert: "Bill uses a very refined tackle system based on 20-pound line, and he has undoubtedly eclipsed the world record many times, including a couple this trip, and he does indeed have some desire to hold that record. Our hats are off to Bill, who is not only a sportsman of the first water, but a gentleman and a truly nice guy as well."

Jones said the week's fishing around Isla Cerralvo has been producing yellowfin tuna of 40 to about 100 pounds, mostly on chunked squid, plus dorado to 35 pounds, and a few sailfish and marlin, including a 350-pound blue. "The dorado have not been swarming here, but the 2 to 6 per boat that we're getting have been of very good average size," he reported.

LA PAZ, MEXICO: Jonathan Roldan said fishing has been up and down on the La Paz side, but Las Arenas has been pumping out dorado and some quality tuna of 40 to 60 pounds. "After waiting all year long, the tuna finally came to play!" Roldan said. "In addition to the tuna, we had huge dorado on the beach, and pargo and amberjack also caught this week."

In other mainland Mexico and Baja fishing action this week:



ENSENADA, MEXICO: Ivan Villarino of Vonny's Fleet reported weather in the high 70s and water temperatures around Punta Banda of about 68 degrees. Panga angler Casey Drummon of Idaho scored on a 40-pound yellowtail while trolling a Rapala, and other boats had steady action on calico bass and sandbass.

ENSENADA, MEXICO: At Sergio's Sportfishing Center, Sergio Susarrey reported weekend fishing results: On Sunday El Cazador with 15 anglers caught 1 albacore and 150 yellowtail; the Ensenada Clipper with 29 anglers caught 1 bluefin tuna, and 15 yellowtail; the Shir Lee with 7 anglers caught 25 yellowtail. On Saturday, El Cazador with 12 anglers caught 4 albacore, 1 bluefin tuna, 1 dorado, and 28 yellowtail; the Shir Lee with 12 anglers caught 23 albacore, 2 bluefin tuna, 2 dorado, and 19 albacore; and the Ensenada Clipper with 36 anglers caught 16 albacore, 6 bluefin tuna, and 46 yellowtail.

ENSENADA, MEXICO: At Lily Fleet, Sammy Susarrey said the Tamara took 6 anglers out on a heading of 235 degrees from Marina Coral and landed: 9 albacore to 30 pounds, 15 yellowtail to 20 pounds, and 1 bluefin tuna of 30 pounds. The Amigo fished at Punta Banda Bank for limits of red rockfish, cow cod, and lingcod. The Lily fished University Point with 3 anglers for 3 white seabass to 20 pounds, and 9 large calico bass.

ENSENADA, MEXICO: Earlier, Louie Prieto reported on an excellent trip on the boat El Charro with Capt. Ismael and deckhand Antonio, fishing about 25 miles outside Isla Todos Santos with Angelica Garcia, Robert De La Paz, Jerry De La Paz, and Ed Shubin. Prieto called it "one of the best fishing trips I've ever been on."

"We started out at 2:30 a.m., and Mike Richardson baited us out with some nice sardines. We headed out and were trolling in grey light at about 17 to 20 miles from the island. Our first albacore hookup was about 45 minutes later and we picked 6 more on the troll within the next hour or so.

"We found a smallish kelp paddy around 10:30 a.m., and all hell broke loose on 18 to 25-pound class yellowtail. Our final count was 29 yellowtail, all between 18 and 25 pounds, 11 albacore, and 1 dorado. I would definitely look up El Charro."

ENSENADA, MEXICO: Trailer boater Barney Phillips had another good day out of Marina Coral: "The fishing was good all the way from the 117 line to the top of the 295. The best fishing was 117:10 by 31:38 for a nice grade of albacore and bluefin with a bonus of dorado to 25 pounds. The water temp was 65 plus degrees, color deep blue. If you're fishing the kelps for yellows have at least 40-pound string. They're big and nasty, and you might hang a big bluefin. For trolling, the best color on Rapala's was purple."

ENSENADA, MEXICO: Jeff Chiate reported an unusual run of bonefish at the Imperial Beach Pier last week: "I saw over 20 fish get caught within a half-hour period and many had two fish at a time. No one on the pier knew what they were catching. The fish were right outside the surf line and were taken on cut mackerel and mussel."



PUERTO SANTO TOMAS, MEXICO: Sam Saenz of Puerto Santo Tomas Resort said fishing was hampered by a severe red tide condition and wind that started on Thursday, but anglers still did well on bottom fish, especially lingcod to about 12 pounds, good calico bass, and a few yellowtail here and there.



SAN QUINTIN, MEXICO: Gene Allshouse of San Quintin Sportfishing said albacore limits were the rule last week until winds knocked his average down to about 8 to 12 per boat. "Still lots of yellowtail on the patties but they are smaller," he said. "There were only a couple of bluefin caught. The halibut bite at the point and in the bay averaged 2 to 3 per boat in the 15-pound class. There were also 2 black seabass caught in the bay."

Allshouse reported water temperatures ranging from 62 degrees at the point to 68 degrees about 12 miles out.

SAN QUINTIN, MEXICO: Jim Harer of the Old Mill Hotel said Pedro's Pangas sent 18 boats out last week and El Capitan Sportfishing sent 16. Until the winds hit, boats were scoring well on albacore to about 30 pounds, bluefin tuna, and dorado, including a 35-pounder. The winds on Saturday and Sunday were kicking up 4 to 6-foot swells outside, Harer said, and if it continued, the pangas might be kept ashore for day or two.



MAGDALENA BAY, MEXICO: Gary Graham of Baja On The Fly said San Carlos weather was in the low 80s, and water temperatures ranged from 69 to 76 degrees. There were reports of larger yellowtail, marlin, and dorado around the Thetis Bank, and Devil's Curve and Mario's Spot were producing some snook, grouper, and pargo. A few smaller corvina were caught near town at the power plant, bridge, and around the pier.

MAGDALENA BAY, MEXICO: Ken Oda of the San Diego long range boat Breezers returned from a trip to Alijos rocks and Magdalena Bay where his group fished with local guide, Enrique Soto. Practicing 100 percent release, they found fishing slow in the mangroves for 1 small snook, 2 pargo, and a handful of corvina. "What a difference from a year ago, when we experienced action all day long," Oda said. "I attribute this to the huge increase in illegal gill net fishing. We saw gill nets draped over the entrance to most mangrove tributaries where they undoubtedly snare literally everything swimming in and out. There were also gill nets positioned on the edge of many of the larger sand shoals. It was a disgusting abuse of the environment!" Oda's group did find super-hot action on spotted bay bass while fishing plastics on structure near the entrada.



CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Fishing was slightly slower over the full moon, but decent numbers of billfish and dorado were caught last week, plus a scattering of yellowfin tuna.

CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Tommy Garcia of Cabo Magic reported on 28 boats chartered during the week with a combined catch including released fish of: 19 striped marlin, 1 black marlin, 2 blue marlin, 70 dorado, 6 yellowfin tuna, and 1 wahoo.

CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: At Picante Fleet, 9 boats fishing Saturday had a combined catch including released fish of: 2 blue marlin, 6 striped marlin, 15 dorado, and 2 yellowfin tuna. Cabo San Lucas weather was in the low-100s and water temperatures averaged in the mid-80s.

CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Earlier, Pisces Fleet reported 78 percent of boats landing billfish, and 90 percent scoring on all species combined, for a total catch including released fish of: 3 sailfish, 31 striped marlin, and 3 blue marlin. Pisces Fleet boats were fishing relatively close on both sides of the arch.

CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Larry Edwards of Cortez Yacht Charters said Gaviota Fleet found its best catches at the Golden Gate Bank on the Pacific side, but the overall catch rate was down to about 56% on billfish. Gaviota Fleet boats had a combined count including released fish of: 1 blue marlin, 18 striped marlin, 2 wahoo, 13 tuna, and 42 dorado. Water temperatures at the Golden Gate were about 80 degrees.

CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: At Solmar Fleet, Rene Santa Cruz also reported a drop in fishing last week, with a combined catch including released fish of: 46 striped marlin, 12 blue marlin, 60 dorado, and 8 yellowfin tuna. Top catches for the week included a 300-pound blue marlin caught 4 miles off the hotel, a 380-pounder caught 4 miles off Cabeza de Ballena, and several doubles on striped marlin.

CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Capt. George Landrum of Fly Hooker Sport Fishing said distant Hurricane Fausto had no effect on local fishing, although there was a brief spell of long storm swells that passed through the area. Some tuna to 150 pounds were found with dolphin in the Gordo Banks area, Landrum said, but the yellowfins were still mostly footballs and not in any number: "Fingers are crossed around the marina that the bite picks up again by this coming midweek. We have last quarter moon on the 31st and new moon on September 7th, so those are dates to look forward to."

CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: About 200 other fleet and private boats had a combined catch including released fish of about: 3 wahoo, 18 yellowfin tuna, 105 striped marlin, 135 dorado, and 25 blue marlin.



SAN JOSE DEL CABO, MEXICO: Eric Brictson of Gordo Banks Pangas reported hot days and nights and mostly calm seas except for the last week storm swell from Hurricane Fausto. Water conditions were generally mixed and green, with temperatures of 78 to 85 degrees. Fishing was spread out in all directions Brictson said, and catches of marlin, dorado, sailfish, and yellowfin tuna were not abundant. Bait fish were in short supply due to surf and high tidal range.

"Most charters were doing more trolling with lures due to the lack of live bait," Brictson said. "Schooling bolito offshore proved to be one of the best bet for finding big dorado. Increasing numbers of larger bulls mixed in, with several tipping the scales to 60 pounds or more."



EAST CAPE, MEXICO: John Ireland of Rancho Leonero reported on 62 boats chartered during the week with a combined catch including released fish of: 96 dorado (plus many more released by kayakers), 93 yellowfin tuna, 21 striped marlin, 6 blue marlin, 10 sailfish, 44 pargo, and 38 roosterfish. East Cape weather was in the upper 90s, and water temperatures averaged 87 degrees, with clear, flat, blue seas and some afternoon breezes. Ireland said some larger tuna to 160 pounds were caught, and there was a raging pargo bite going on around La Ribera. Roy Baldwin of Rancho Leonero landed 15 pargo, including released fish, to 25 pounds, in 1 hour of fishing Saturday, Ireland said.

EAST CAPE, MEXICO: At Buena Vista Beach Resort, Axel Valdez said 70 boats chartered during the week had a combined catch including released fish of: 8 blue marlin, 1 black marlin, 5 striped marlin, 22 sailfish, 62 dorado, 28 yellowfin tuna, 21 roosterfish, 2 shark, 5 snapper, 5 jack crevalle, 6 bonita, 1 ladyfish, 18 triggerfish, 15 cabrilla, and 28 skipjack.

EAST CAPE, MEXICO: Rancho Leonero resident Chip Shapley had a personal experience with the wisdom that tuna make the best big marlin baits:

"With the day winding down, I got one last hookup on a hoochie. As I was reeling in the 15-pound yellowfin, my line went slack, as if the fish had turned toward me. I looked down next to the boat just in time to see a lit up 200-pound blue marlin swim by. The marlin had swallowed my tuna, on 30-pound line. Remarkably the fish stayed on through a 1 hour fight. The line finally parted after I worked the fish to about 15 feet of the boat."

EAST CAPE, MEXICO: Gary Graham of Baja On The Fly said his guide, Ed Kunze of Zihuatanejo has been scoring well for clients on dorado, roosterfish, jacks, and pargos. On the roosters, Graham said, "The smaller guys up to 15 pounds are close to shore and you should catch plenty. If you want to try the big guys use a slow trolled mullet without a hook to tease one up. When the big guy shows up switch the mullet for a larger fly, 5 inches at least."

EAST CAPE, MEXICO: Biologist-angler Chugey Sepulveda said the Punta Pescadero buoys are holding small tuna which are attracting large dorado and some blue marlin, but the dorado are "very sporadic" with some 60-pounders mixed with smaller fish. Needlefish were very thick along shore, Sepulveda said.

EAST CAPE, MEXICO: Pepe Murrieta of Pepe's Dive Service reported Cabo Pulmo conditions as ideal, with surface water temperatures of 88 degrees, visibility up to 100 feet, and few currents. The reef was alive with fish and many garden eels en masse on the sandy floor.

EAST CAPE, MEXICO: At Vista Sea Sport, Mark Rayor said, "Conditions couldn't be better." Rayor said one of his experienced guides called the density of sea life on the reef "overwhelming."

EAST CAPE, MEXICO: Several East Cape reports were received of poaching inside the Cabo Pulmo Park, and of heavy purse seining of tuna around Isla Cerralvo and the 88 Bank. A new East Cape inspector, paid for by local hotels, has recently arrived and has begun patrolling the area.



LORETO, MEXICO: Resident angler Don Bear reported slower but still good dorado fishing during a visit together with his wife Gail and son Doug. They fished four days with independent panguero Paulino Martinez. Including released fish in his counts, Bear said: "I fished four days, catching 74 dorados. Our worst day was Monday, 10 fish. Our best day was Saturday, with 41. The biggest change from two weeks ago is in the size of the dorados. We have caught nothing over 20 pounds, and about a fifth of the 74 were not potential keepers.

"We have found fish as far north as Punta Pulpito and as far south as Punta Baja, with the majority in the south. We have used sardines exclusively, but they are becoming harder to find. Most pangas are using squid. The weather has been excellent, with only a couple of hours of wind. Today was really hot, however, with a reading of 101 at 4 p.m."

LORETO, MEXICO: Pam Bolles of Baja Big Fish Company blamed the slowdown on the full moon.

"We've been catching dorado to the north," she said. "They are small, from 10 to 18 pounds. They are swimming deep and they are spewing up whole squid about 6 to 8 inches in length. I'm not seeing any large fish coming in at all."

LORETO, MEXICO: Arturo Susarrey of Arturo's Sport Fishing said Loreto water temperatures were about 87 degrees, and his boats were finding the most dorado around San Bruno.

LORETO, MEXICO: Earlier, Bill Sumner reported on a wide-open bite, with many successful releases using circle hooks, during a visit to Hotel Oasis with Capt. Ismael Murillo. Sumner also caught some very large Humboldt squid during the trip: "The biggest I have ever seen in Loreto. These things were way too scary to even think about bringing in the boat. They were 4 to 5 feet long overall, with eyes the size of billiard balls. My guess was at least 50 pounds, but that's entirely speculation."

LORETO, MEXICO: Linda Ramirez of Alfredo's Sport Fishing reported on a group led by Hugh Cobb of Oceanside's Pacific Coast Bait & Tackle that had mixed fishing for dorado, with some limits and some slower days.



MULEGE, MEXICO: Mike Steele read the reports for slow fishing at L.A. Bay, and diverted his trip to a wide-open dorado bite at Mulege.

Staying at the Hotel Serenidad, Steele's group fished in three pangas and trolled hoochies for skipjack baits, then headed out 5 miles for dorado: "The day ended with so many hookups, landings, shake-offs, and releases we lost count. At one point all boats were on a school of 30-plus fish. The water was glass and our day ended at noon with limits for all.

"We ended the 2 days with some of the best dorado fishing possible and all 10 anglers easily scoring multiple hookups. The owner Don Johnson and his staff did an excellent job."



BAHIA DE LOS ANGELES, MEXICO: At Camp Gecko in Bahia de los Angeles, Abraham Vazquez said the dorado fishing was excellent and still improving, mostly in the shallow water north of Smith Island. Dorado were caught on trolled bait and feathers, mostly in the 12 to 20-pound range, with some to 30 pounds. Many small yellowtail were also caught on the back side of Horse Head, in water temperatures ranging into the low-80s. At Guadalupe Reef, large huachinango were caught on deep bait.



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 August 22 with a catch of: 167 yellowtail, 198 cabrilla, 52 red pargo, 3 white seabass, and 27 squid. Of the squid, Velez said, "We got about 200 hits, but they were so big we could not land them!" The Erik had a few windy days, but generally great weather," Velez said. "We traveled toward San Francisquito to look for dorado, but anglers said too far, so they decided not to go. We returned to San Esteban, Partida, Snake Island, Ensenada Grande, and 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 August 23 with a catch of: 220 yellowtail, 20 to 37.5 pounds; 3 dorado, 10 to 14 pounds; 3 white seabass, 45 to 72 pounds; 54 cabrilla, 8 to 14.5 pounds; 18 red snapper, 8 to 12 pounds; 3 broomtail grouper, 14 pounds; 4 sheephead, 7 pounds; and 110 spotted bay bass.

SAN FELIPE, MEXICO: Chris Okamoto also reported on a Tony Reyes trip, saying, "We didn't really get many yellowtail this year. We got into some pretty decent grouper fishing. I got the biggest fish on the boat, a 70-pound grouper on 60-pound line, and Larry Fukuhara caught a 50-pound black sea bass, so bring tackle accordingly! During the trip we also saw sea turtles, manta rays, pilot whales, dolphins, and we even caught a huge pufferfish."

SAN FELIPE, MEXICO: Bob Castellon of Sea of Cortez Sport Fishing said the panga mothership Celia Angelina is now sold-out for its first three weeks at Bahia Magdalena this fall, but there are slots left on the trip of Nov. 30 to Dec. 5. Anglers are about evenly divided on flying into La Paz or driving to San Carlos for the trips, Castellon said.



MAZATLAN, MEXICO: Larry Edwards of Cortez Yacht Charters said good sailfish action continues, with boats averaging 3 per day. Aries Fleet boats had a combined catch including released fish of: 1 striped marlin, 38 sailfish, 11 yellowfin tuna, 22 dorado, and 12 red snapper. Mazatlan weather was partly cloudy in the mid-90s with water temperatures in the 80s, and the best fishing 20 miles from Marina el Cid on a heading of 210 degrees.



IXTAPA ZIHUATANEJO, MEXICO: Paul Phillips of the Fintastic Total Tag & Release Tournament said fishing is "steady" out of Zihuatanejo Bay, and boats are averaging 1 to 2 sailfish per day. Yellowfin tuna were inside 30 miles, and some larger roosterfish were caught along shore.

Marcos Vargas of Vargas Fleet said 4 boats fishing last week scored on an even 4 sailfish, the weather was hot and calm, and very few anglers were in town.

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Here's a nice 60-pound La Paz dorado caught last week by Sean Battaglia of Redondo Beach with Mosquito Fleet. Battaglia fished on the cruiser Marcela. Photo courtesy Mino Shiba.

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Beatriz Suarez, a teacher from Downey, CA, with her first big dorado, nailed off Rancho Las Cruces near La Paz with Tail Hunter International. Photo courtesy Jonathan Roldan.

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Angelica Garcia of Hacienda Heights fished with Louie Prieto on the Ensenada charter boat El Charro recently and ran into a hot bite of yellowtail, albacore, and one dorado. Also fishing were Robert De La Paz, Jerry De La Paz, and Ed Shubin.

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Leonard Fletcher of Carson, CA, had a nice catch recently with Sergio's Sport Fishing Center at Ensenada aboard the Shir Lee. Fletcher's catch included 4 yellowtail and 3 albacore.

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This 65-pound black seabass was one of two reported caught inside Bahia San Quintin last week by San Quintin Sport Fishing. Outside, limits of albacore were landed until winds began blowing over the weekend. Photo courtesy Gene Allshouse.

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Karl Engstrom of San Clemente and Geline Zampell-Moffatt of Dana Point show off a big white seabass caught recently just inside Isla Todos Santos at Ensenada. Engstrom said the bass hit about 200 feet off the rocks on a slow-trolled sardine swimming about 20 feet deep. Water depth was about 65 feet.

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For his ninth birthday Richie Orozco got a fishing trip to Cabo San Lucas with dad, Richard, and landed this striped marlin after it became twisted in the line and could not be released. Their catch for the day included the striper, 3 yellowfin tuna, and 2 dorado, while fishing on the Gaviota X.

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Capt. Roberto Olascoaga Jr. with a huge 80-pound dorado caught aboard the Cabo Magic boat Mañana on August 17. Photo courtesy Tommy Garcia.

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Joe Lopez, Larry Petro and Mike Carbajal, left to right, of Sun Valley, CA, with a 70-pound sailfish and dorado caught last week with Arturos Sport Fishing at Loreto. Photo courtesy Arturo Susarrey.

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Dennis Steele's group drove past L.A. Bay and ended up at Mulege where they ran into limits of dorado for everyone, including group member Dennis, shown here. Steele's group fished out of the Hotel Serenidad.

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Roland Driscol caught this 40-pound wahoo last week while trolling a skirted lead head near San Luis Bank with Gordo Banks Pangas at San Jose del Cabo. Driscol also landed dorado up to 30 pounds. Photo courtesy Eric Brictson.

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