East Cape fishing charters are scoring on tuna and billfish

Mexico Fishing News, September 30, 2002



EAST CAPE, MEXICO: Sailfish, and yellowfin tuna from football size to over 100 pounds, provided the best offshore action for boats out of Bahia de Palmas last week, as early fall water temperatures hit 90 degrees on some days and marlin counts dipped during a waning full moon.

EAST CAPE, MEXICO: Chris Moyers of East Cape Smoke House reported on 207 boats from combined fleets including the Van Wormer resorts of Palmas de Cortez, Playa del Sol, and Punta Colorada, with a catch including released fish of: 13 blue marlin, 15 striped marlin, 138 sailfish, 107 dorado, 587 yellowfin tuna, 3 pargo, 9 wahoo, 1 amberjack, 1 pompano, and 3 roosterfish. East Cape weather was party cloudy in the high 90s, with generally calm seas and water temperatures of 86 to 92 degrees.

The yellowfin tuna ran to a high of 209 pounds, with many of 50 to 80 pounds, Moyers said. They were caught on sardinas and cedar plugs, 5 to 12 miles off Punta Pescadero and El Cardonal to the north, 20 to 25 miles straight east of Los Barriles, and south to Los Frailes.

EAST CAPE, MEXICO: At Rancho Leonero, John Ireland said the larger tuna were found 30 to 50 miles out, on live sardina, cedar plugs, and hoochies. Leonero boats were also into consistent sailfish all week, Ireland said, plus scattered blue and striped marlin, and limits of dorado for most anglers. Wahoo were taken daily on hoochies, Marauders, and Rapalas, 1 to 5 miles off the Las Arenas lighthouse and Los Frailes.

EAST CAPE, MEXICO: Gary Graham of Baja On The fly said few anglers visited East Cape last week, and offshore fishing was hit-or-miss: "By mid-morning, it is interesting how many of the boats that started out offshore, end up back inshore trying to save their day." On the beaches, the best action was before sunrise or after sunset. Larger roosterfish were being cast to, but were not hitting reliably.

EAST CAPE, MEXICO: Earlier, Curt Collier reported on a trip with friends to Martin Verdugo's Beach Resort that featured yellowfin tuna: "What a great place! What a great guy! I hooked up a BIG one on a small blue hoochie. I was almost spooled on the first run and almost spooled again on about the fourth run. After an hour and 15 minutes, I got it to the boat backwards and tail-wrapped. Then he ran again. After a total of two hours, Steve got it a foot from the gaff, and it busted off! The skipper guessed it at 120-plus. Steve then caught and released a nice sailfish, and Anita boated a 125-pound striper that we kept to smoke.

"Anita and I went out again on a cruiser with Miguel and Jesus. In front of Cabo Pulmo we picked up three 8 to 10-pound yellowfin, a 50-pound bull dorado, a 22-pound female, a small dorado, and a nice sailfish. Our first dorado ever!

"Now the big day. The water was very flat and Anita and I went out again with Miguel and Jesus (great guys!) and I hooked up a 24-pound wahoo at 7:45 a.m. in front of the lighthouse. An hour later, close in to Cabo Pulmo, I spotted some boiling dorado and we landed four about 16 pounds each and released a small one. We heard on the radio about porpoise 35 miles off Pulmo and I said 'let's go!' We boated 16 yellowfin as fast as we could get in the water and I had a cow cut off on the prop. We guessed 70 to 90 pounds.

"East Cape Smokehouse did a fine job. We bought an extra cooler the next day and headed home with a ton of great fish and memories for a lifetime!"

EAST CAPE, MEXICO: At Vista Sea Sport, Mark Rayor said diving conditions at Cabo Pulmo could not be much better, with minimal effects from distant Tropical Storm Julio, lots of sea life, and "incredible" visibility.

EAST CAPE, MEXICO: Pepe Murrieta of Pepe's Dive Service said water temperatures were 86 degrees at diving depth, and divers were observing lots of species, including a mako shark. "It looked like he was not worrying about the Shark Norma 029 at all," Murrieta said. "It was just cruising above the reef close to the divers and slowly moved his way out of the bubbles." The Pulmo reef was also visited by jumping manta rays and baby sea lions last week, Murrieta said.

EAST CAPE, MEXICO: Fernando Hernandez reported on a trip to Hotel Palmas de Cortez with friends Pablo Carrera and Eduardo Alvarez that netted dorado, football yellowfin tuna, and a surprise catch of 5 wahoo of 45 to 60 pounds, from a school of them found only half a mile off the Punta Colorada lighthouse. "If you don't believe me, ask Bobby Van Wormer," Hernandez said. "We got them with purple lures between the lighthouse and Punta Colorada. The captain told us we were lucky to run into a school."

EAST CAPE, MEXICO: Jerry Fukkui reported on a slow trip out of Palmas de Cortez in mixed water conditions following the passage of Tropical Storm Iselle: "I would grade the fishing as scratchy at best," Fukkui said. "For 2 days we caught only 2 sails, 1 dorado of 40 pounds, and 2 roosters. We did not have one jig strike! All fish were caught on fly lined caballitos. Other then that, we had a terrific time and my girlfriend had a wonderful experience catching her first saltwater fish. Will plan a trip again, but this time not in a full moon phase."

In other mainland Mexico and Baja fishing action this week:



ENSENADA, MEXICO: Sergio Susarrey of Sergio's Sport Fishing Center said on Sunday the Ensenada Clipper with 15 anglers caught: 6 albacore, and 84 yellowtail. El Cazador with 12 anglers caught: 15 albacore, 1 dorado, and 17 yellowtail. The Shir Lee with 17 anglers caught: 2 albacore, 3 skipjack, 3 dorado, and 110 yellowtail. The Quest with 12 anglers caught: 5 albacore, and 35 yellowtail.

On Saturday, the Shir Lee with 17 anglers caught: 17 albacore, 6 skipjack, and 65 yellowtail. The Ensenada Clipper with 27 anglers caught: 14 albacore, 3 skipjack, 2 dorado, and 137 yellowtail.

Sussarey also reported that the boat Diversion had a double trolling hookup on yellowfin tuna estimated at "well over 50 pounds."

ENSENADA, MEXICO: Sammy Susarrey of Lily Fleet said the Amigo fished Punta Banda Bank at the end of the week for good catches of cowcod and lingcod before noon. The Tamara fished at GPS numbers 31:29 117:28 and caught plentiful of yellowtail. The boat also saw three large schools of bluefin tuna, but could not get them to bite. In the afternoon, more bluefin were seen breezing on the surface about 14 miles from Marina Coral on a heading of 220 degrees, Susarrey said.

ENSENADA, MEXICO: Earlier, trailer boater Barney Phillips had a so-so trip on albacore: "Because of heavy fog we arrived at Mike's bait receiver after 6 a.m. Mike gave us the numbers 31:24 by 117:04. When we reached this area the water conditions were good, temperature fine, but we never got a jig stop.

"We trolled out to 31:24 by 117:16, then turned north toward the 295. After a long ride we only had three jig stops for albacore. They wouldn't come to the boat on chum.

"By early afternoon, we were losing interest when we stopped on kelp that was loaded with nice yellowtail. We landed 12 and released a few.

"In hopes of finding more albacore or bluefin, we turned in toward Todos Santos Island. There was 30 miles of good water in front of us. When we reached 31:30 by 117:13 we finally got a triple jig stop."



PUERTO SANTO TOMAS, MEXICO: After reading last week's column on shore fishing possibilities north of Sam Saenz' Puerto Santo Tomas resort, Matt Quilter reported on a wild catch of very large opaleye at that location: "We had our pick of several nice campsites overlooking the many little coves. Had no luck chucking plastic or Krocs, so I went back to my youth and scrounged a few mussels and tried them.

"Imagine my surprise when my pole is practically ripped from my hand on the first cast and my line is immediately broken off. Sheephead, maybe?

"I immediately hook up again, and finally get a look at the culprit. Turns out it was an opaleye. A really big opaleye. Actually, a REALLY big opaleye. I caught them all day long, each one seemingly bigger than the previous one. The smallest one I caught was easily 3 pounds heavier than the biggest one I ever saw at home.

"While I realize that the lowly opaleye is probably the least glamorous fish that swims in the Pacific, these things were HUGE, the size and shape of footballs. The biggest one was probably about 8 pounds. As is usual on Baja trips, the fun is wherever you find it, and it was tons o' fun battling an epic opaleye bite. Never thought I would use that phrase to describe opaleye fishing!"



SAN QUINTIN, MEXICO: The Old Mill Hotel's Jim Harer said John Wells of Anaheim Hills caught a 65-pound yellowfin tuna last week, while fishing with El Capitan Sportfishing. Otherwise, there were many limits of yellowtail and bottom fish including halibut, white seabass, and lingcod last week, and a general tapering off of albacore action. San Quintin weather was sunny, with little wind, and water temperatures of 66 to 71 degrees. Harer reported that El Capitan Sportfishing sent 10 boats out during the week, and Pedro's Pangas had 25 boats.

On Sunday afternoon, some boats were reporting renewed albacore action.

SAN QUINTIN, MEXICO: At Pedro's Pangas, Pete Hillis said the prize catch of the week was a 27-pound lingcod, and all boats were enjoying the warm weather and limiting on yellowtail to 21 pounds and bottom fish. The big lingcod was caught by a member of Jim Bennides's group of 25 anglers from Todd Pipe & Supply in El Monte, Hillis said: "Although the tuna bite was down, everyone still brought in lots of fish to take back home."

SAN QUINTIN, MEXICO: Eddy Marquez of Don Eddie's Landing said boats were not finding any tuna at all, but were scoring on plenty of yellowtail and bottom fish, including a 17.5-pound sheephead landed by Bob Kelleman of El Cajon, about 120 feet deep at the 240 Spot.



MAGDALENA BAY, MEXICO: Gary Graham of Baja On The Fly said reports are arriving of warmer water temperatures and marlin around the Thetis Bank as the fall season approaches. "One report indicated a pretty good show right on the Thetis," Graham said. "Back at the entrada, a few yellows were caught down deep, and down at Boca Flor de Malva in Almejas Bay there was a pretty good whack on some snook to 20-plus pounds." San Carlos weather was in the high-80s and local water temperatures averaged 67 to 84 degrees.



CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Tommy Garcia of Cabo Magic had 55 boats chartered during the week with a catch including released fish of: 15 striped marlin, 13 blue marlin, 125 dorado, 52 yellowfin tuna, and 2 wahoo. "Excellent results," Garcia said. "We saw continued catches of sizable yellowfin tuna. The end of the week brought impressive dorado action. For the first time this season we can report a near-tie with striped and blue marlin action."

CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Fabiola Valdez of Picante Fleet reported on 4 boats chartered Friday with a catch including released fish of: 2 striped marlin, 1 blue marlin, 8 yellowfin tuna, and 12 dorado.

CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Larry Edwards of Cortez Yacht Charters said Gaviota Fleet boats had a catch including released fish of: 7 striped marlin, 2 sailfish, 1 wahoo, 42 dorado, and 45 yellowfin tuna. Cabo weather was mostly sunny in the 90s with somewhat choppy seas. Edwards said billfish action slowed down last week during the full moon, and he expected it to rebound soon.

CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: At Fly Hooker Sport Fishing, Capt. George Landrum said Cabo water temperatures averaged in the low-80s on the Pacific side and close to 90 degrees on the Cortez side. Offshore water conditions were deep blue with lots of flying fish everywhere, and live bait, when available, was mostly caballito and mullet. "Blue Marlin have been scattered but most are being found on the Sea of Cortez side," Landrum said. "With the moon on the wane, more boats are starting to rig live skipjack as baits. Striped marlin have been found everywhere but the concentrations seem to be directly to the south of the cape and along the Pacific side out to about 10 miles."

CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: At Solmar Fleet, Rene Santa Cruz reported boats still scoring on large blue marlin to 550 pounds. Solmar Fleet boats had a combined catch including released fish of: 35 striped marlin, 10 blue marlin, 3 sailfish, 30 dorado, 28 yellowfin tuna, and 1 mako shark. The big blue marlin was landed by the Solmar I with Capt. Mario Arvallo, who also scored on a 770-pound blue last week.

CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Tracy Ehrenberg of Pisces Fleet said results were good last week, with 42 percent of boats landing billfish, and 90 percent scoring on all species combined. Several large blue marlin were landed to about 500 pounds, and fishing was on both the Cortez and Pacific sides.



SAN JOSE DEL CABO, MEXICO: Eric Brictson of Gordo Banks Pangas said bumpy water conditions hampered the La Playita panga fleets last week, and live bait was scarce. Overall, the bite was not consistent, he said, and the best fishing spots were changing daily.

One short-lived bite that materialized was on 25 to 40-pound wahoo off Red Hill, Brictson said. "The fish were found within one-half mile of shore while trolling lures. Pangas reported 4 to 6 wahoo apiece. A couple tipped the scales to 75 pounds." With the yellowfin tuna bite slowing, the most consistent action last week was for dorado, which have been running mostly 5 to 15 pounds, but with some monsters to 70 pounds also landed.

SAN JOSE DEL CABO, MEXICO: Luis Duhart of Victor's fleet at Playa Palmilla said very few anglers fished last week. Cruisers were at the Gordo Banks, catching abundant small tuna for baits on blue and black marlin. A 490-pound black was landed on Tuesday by the Kaleena with Capt. Gustavo, Duhart said, and dorado were "everywhere, but nowhere exactly. You can catch them near land, and mainly around the Westin Hotel, about a mile from the coast."

Duhart added that local people are highly concerned about the government's proposed Shark Norma 029-2002: "The whole community is getting together to try to make it void, and we are meeting constantly to reach the proper authorities and stop it. Any help we can get is very much needed."

Victor's Fleet is booked through Jigstop Tours, and has 11 super pangas and 4 cruisers.



LA PAZ, MEXICO: David Jones of Fisherman's Fleet said, "While this last week wasn't horrible, it wasn't yet up to par either." Clients were making do with what was available last week, Jones said, including some yellowfin tuna close to 100 pounds, some medium dorado to about 25 pounds, cabrilla, and pargo. The tuna were coming from the southeast corner of Isla Cerralvo, and there were also some roosterfish to 50 pounds caught on cocinero and sabalo baits around the beaches on the Las Arenas side. Richard Castaneda of Cass Tours caught a massive Humboldt squid with a body a foot thick, Jones said, and he was hoping for a photo of it.

LA PAZ, MEXICO: Jonathan Roldan of Tail Hunter International said conditions have been generally good and "everyone is taking home fish and getting bent."

"Our best action continues to be on the Las Arenas side of the hill," Roldan said. "We've still got some gorilla tuna cruising the fish zones off south Cerralvo. Tuna up to 100 pounds continue to be the heavyweights on the scene, preferring fresh dead chunks of squid. Squid is also working for the dorado which are not big. We're taking fish to the 10 to 20-pound range, perfect for light tackle."



LORETO, MEXICO: Local angler Don Bear said Irwin Gersh and Steve Spies fished 5 days last week with independent panguero Paulino Martinez, for 23 dorado, 3 pargo amarillo, 2 cabrilla, 1 barrilete and 1 amberjack. "One of Steve's dorados weighed in at 48 pounds," Bear said. "Bait was cut squid, everyday except Friday, when they used mackerel, with no significant difference in the number of strikes. They fished north, east, and south of town, up to 35 miles away. The dorado were somewhat more plentiful near Pulpito, but they experienced nothing like a wide-open bite. Most of the dorado were under 20 pounds. Except for Monday, when a stiff north wind came up, the sea was flat calm. Weather continued to be hot and humid."

LORETO, MEXICO: Arturo Susarrey of Arturo's Sport Fishing said Loreto weather has been in the low 90s, with generally calm seas and water temperatures of about 76 degrees. With the dorado season beginning to taper off, Susarrey said the best action has been moving around. "It's good two or three days, and then gets unstable," he said. Mackerel and squid bait continued to be available in front of the lighthouse on the east side of Isla Coronado.

LORETO, MEXICO: At El Fuerte Sportfishing, Ty Miller reported dorado on the troll, south and west of Isla Monserrate, and mackerel baits available at Playa Juncalito between 6:30 and 7 a.m.



MULEGE, MEXICO: Charlie Plott returned from a great trip to Hotel Serenidad, saying, "Don Johnson exhibited his traditional hospitality in spite of the fact that he had hardly any staff during September." Mulege weather was occasionally windy, but otherwise near perfect, and dorado to rod-breaking calibers were found 5 miles east of Punta Concepcion.

Plott also reported an excellent restaurant discovery, the little place called "Prof. Angelina" that is attached to the north end of the Pemex station just south of town.

"Get the camaron brocheta con mango or the chili relleno con mariscos," he said. "The latter is filled with every critter in the sea and served with a cream sauce with nuts. If this person came to L.A., she would make a fortune."



BAHIA DE LOS ANGELES, MEXICO: At Bahia de los Angeles' Camp Gecko, Abraham Vazquez called the fishing fair for yellowtail in the 15 to 25-pound range, with the best available action around the light-colored point on the northeast side of Isla Smith. Good numbers of sierra and barracuda were in the bay, but dorado were nowhere to be found. Weather was hot, to 110 degrees, and water temperatures were about 84 degrees inside and outside the bay.



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 Sept. 27th with a catch of: 141 yellowtail; 25 to 30.5 pounds; 1 grouper, 55 pounds; 8 dorado, 12 to 18 pounds; 114 cabrilla, 8 to 12.5 pounds; 16 red snapper, 8 to 10 pounds; 1 broomtail grouper, 12 pounds; 1 sheephead, 8 pounds; and 130 spotted bay bass. Midriff water temperatures averaged 83 degrees. Reyes reported that all trips are sold out for the remainder of the season, except Oct. 6, which has some spaces left.



MAZATLAN, MEXICO: Larry Edwards of Cortez Yacht Charters said good numbers of dorado and about 1 billfish per day were being caught by Aries Fleet boats out. Mazatlan weather was in the mid-80s with afternoon showers and water temperatures in the low-80s. The best fishing area continued to be 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 Tropical Storm Julio "pretty well messed up the fishing for the week. Not much happening around town. Thunderstorms and no clients. Such is September. Things should pick up and the weather improve here shortly."

Fish Photo 1

BRAGGING RIGHTS--Left to right, Mike O'Dell, Fred Green, and Cooke Bausman III, with the 425-pound blue marlin they landed last month to win the 2002 Bisbee's East Cape Tournament on O'Dell's 35-foot Cabo, Sonrisa. The Rancho Leonero resident team won $60,394, with skipper Lorenzo Marron and mate Felipe Gonzales. "The two days of prefishing and the three days of fishing the event with two of the best fishing partners you can imagine and two of the greatest crew members you can have was fun and a wonderful experience," Green said. "The thrill of winning was exciting. The memories will last forever. For us fisherman, it gives us bragging rights for a looooooong time!"

Fish Photo 1

BEGINNER'S LUCK--David Leedy joined his father Bob's 20-year tradition of fishing at Rancho Buena Vista last month, and rookie David landed a 195-pound striped marlin and a 66.5-pound dorado the next day.

Fish Photo 1

Franklin Chong and Jackie Yamada came to La Paz from Alaska last week and got their limits of pargo and dorado with Capt. Lamberto of Mosquito Fleet. Photo courtesy Mino Shiba.

Fish Photo 1

LAS ARENAS TUNA--"This is what fall tuna fishing in Las Arenas is all about!" said Jonathan Roldan of Tail Hunter International. "All of these tuna range from 68 to 92 pounds!" Left to right are Tail Hunter anglers, Jeff Wickline of Playa del Rey, CA; Ivan Urrutia of Miramar, FL; Tim Gatlin of La Verne, CA; and Mark Costa of San Diego. Photo courtesy Jonathan Roldan.

Fish Photo 1

Catching Loreto dorado to 37.5 pounds with Arturo's Sport Fishing last week were, left to right, Larry Kramer, Frank La Salvia, and Sanders Achen of Casa Grande, AZ. Photo courtesy Arturo Susarrey.

Fish Photo 1

Whale shark at Cabo Pulmo. Photo courtesy Pepe Murrieta, Pepe's Dive Service.

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