Mixed billfish and dorado pace Cabo San Lucas fishing week

Mexico Fishing News, October 7, 2002



CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Good fishing for blue and striped marlin, sailfish, and school-sized dorado paced the action at the tip of Baja California last week, as security personnel began arriving for the international APEC economic conference Oct. 21-27, and locals voiced their concerns over Mexico's proposed Shark Norma 029-2002.

CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Tracy and Marco Ehrenberg of Cabo's well-known Pisces Fleet sent an urgent appeal about the Shark Norma: "This law is a way to disguise the illegal fishing of species reserved for sport fishing and enables commercial fishermen to use destructive equipment such as gill nets and long lines that also kill turtles and birds indiscriminately.

"The fishing techniques proposed have been banned in many parts of the world because of their threat to marine wildlife. Greed is the motivating factor and we cannot stand quietly by and allow this to happen, no matter what.

"We ask you to take a few minutes of your valuable time, to make your voice heard and join it to ours. Please write a few lines saying that you are against Norma 029 to the following list of addresses and send a copy to us too. So many people love this place for its incredible beauty and fishing, so take the time to help us.

"We will forward your letters to the right people: pisces@piscessportfishing.com, Pisces Fleet; gobernador@gbcs.gob.mx, Governor of Baja California Sur; ramaya@senado.gob.mx, Senator for Baja California Sur."

CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Pisces fleet meanwhile recorded a "super week here in Cabo with lots of action," as 92 percent of the boats chartered scored on billfish and other species in generally flat seas and pleasant weather conditions. Pisces anglers had a catch including released fish of: 12 blue marlin, 18 striped marlin, 14 sailfish, 1 black marlin, lots of school-sized dorado, and a few scattered yellowfin tuna in smaller sizes.

CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Tommy Garcia of Cabo Magic reported on 82 boats chartered during the week with a combined catch including released fish of: 37 striped marlin, 22 blue marlin, 14 sailfish, 172 dorado, 9 yellowfin tuna, 5 wahoo, and 1 roosterfish.

CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Picante Fleet had 8 boats chartered Saturday with a combined catch including released fish of: 5 striped marlin, 1 blue marlin, 1 sailfish, 3 wahoo, and 23 dorado.

CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Larry Edwards of Cortez Yacht Charters said blue marlin numbers were up last week, possibly because of the large numbers of dorado in the area. Gaviota Fleet had a catch including released fish of: 6 blue marlin, 2 sailfish, 20 striped marlin, 3 wahoo, and 17 yellowfin tuna.

CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: At Fly Hooker Sport Fishing, Capt. George Landrum said Cabo weather has been near-perfect in the low-90s, with generally calm seas and water temperatures of 84 to 86 degrees on the Cortez side and 78 to 79 degrees on the Pacific Side.

"The marlin action moved closer and got better this week," Landrum said. "A lot of fish were found less than a mile from the marina. Many more blues were showing up, most of them in the 200 to 300-pound range, but a few larger ones were hooked every day."

About the drooping yellowfin tuna count, Landrum said, "The tuna were very scarce this week, and the few that I know were caught were at the western edge of the San Jaime Banks. Even the football fish have been few and far between. Hopefully they will arrive again soon."

Landrum added that there was some action last week by local inspectors enforcing the normally ignored regulation against filleting fish at sea.

About 290 other fleet and private boats reported a combined catch including released fish of about: 93 striped marlin, 89 blue marlin, 33 sailfish, 280 dorado, and 26 yellowfin tuna.

In other mainland Mexico and Baja fishing action this week:



ENSENADA, MEXICO: Ivan Villarino of Vonny Fleet reported continued good bottom fishing for pangas at the tip of Punta Banda last week, with "rockcods, lingcod, and bass still strong on anchovies and Scampis." Capt. Beto on the Vonny I was bringing in a full ice chest daily, Villarino said, including some bonito caught on jigs. Ensenada weather was excellent, to the high 60s, with calm seas, and water temperatures averaging 64 degrees.

ENSENADA, MEXICO: Sammy Susarrey of Lily Fleet said the Amigo caught lingcod and medium barracuda at Todos Santos Reef, and the Tamara fished at Punta Banda Bank for good catches of larger bottom fish on yo-yo'ed lures, including large salmon grouper and cowcod to 14 pounds.

ENSENADA, MEXICO: Sergio Susarrey of Sergio's Sportfishing Center said on Thursday the Ensenada Clipper with 12 anglers fishing offshore caught: 12 albacore, 1 skipjack, and 48 yellowtail.

At midweek, the Shir Lee with 8 anglers caught: 4 albacore, 2 skipjack, and 21 yellowtail. El Cazador with 7 anglers caught: 5 albacore, 2 skipjack, and 27 yellowtail.



PUERTO SANTO TOMAS, MEXICO: Sam Saenz of Puerto Santo Tomas Resort said weather conditions were good and the seas were calm, with excellent bottom fish all week. Steve de la Cruz and Chuck Rodriguez of Fresno fished two days for full limits of rockcod, whitefish, and lingcod, Saenz said. "We looked for surface action, but never found any. A report from Ensenada indicated they caught a large number of yellowtail off Soledad Reef last Sunday. We fished that area on Saturday, but never encountered the surface bite."



SAN QUINTIN, MEXICO: Pete Hillis of Pedro's Pangas sent 16 boats out last week for continued excellent yellowtail and bottom fishing, although the albacore remained elusive. "Overall, we had a great week," Hillis said. "Albacore were still few and far between. Those being caught have been found 20 miles off the point on a 240 heading.

"Jim Noland and Chuck Noice of Buena Park, along with 4 other friends, were down this weekend. Chuck's boat went for the albacore but only 1 was brought in, a nice 24-pounder. However, they all limited on some nice yellowtail, 10 to 15 pounds, found in the surrounding paddies. Jim decided to go local and was not disappointed. He brought in nice rock and lingcod, and even one cowcod at 18 pounds."

SAN QUINTIN, MEXICO: Jim Harer of The Old Mill Hotel said San Quintin weather was excellent with lots of sun, no wind, calm seas, and lots of yellowtail limits. Harer said the yellowtail were hitting just about anything thrown at the kelp paddies and the bottom fishing was excellent, including an 18-pound sheephead, a 14-pound red rockfish, and lingcod to 20 pounds. "Lots of happy customers. We are still hoping for more tuna."



MAGDALENA BAY, MEXICO: Gary Graham of Baja On The Fly said reports continued last week of offshore marlin, dorado, and tuna about 15 to 30 miles outside the entrada on a heading of 210 to 230 degrees. Wahoo were also seen on the Thetis Bank, Graham said, and San Carlos weather was clear and calm, with local water temperatures of about 72 to 79 degrees. Some yellowtail were seen on bait outside the entrada. In a mangroves the action was generally slow. Some fair catches of sierra under birds were being made at Punta Belcher.



SAN JOSE DEL CABO, MEXICO: Luis Duhart of Victor's Fleet at Punta Palmilla said local people were holding meetings on what to do about Shark Norma 029-2002 during the APEC conference. The fishing was good last week. "We have been busy," Duhart said. "There have been lots of fish around. The sea is beautiful and very calm and blue. Most anglers are getting tunas of about 15 pounds and a couple of dorados per trip, mainly in the Santa Maria Bay area at the beginning of the week, and since Thursday, by the Outer Gordo Banks.

"Bait is still at La Playita, mainly sardines and mackerel. The small tunas are very good bait for the marlins."

Duhart said Victor's Fleet has been scoring reliably on the small dorado and tuna in all areas. The marlin were caught early in the week only a mile and a half off Bahia Santa Maria. On the Gordo Banks, a 270-pound black marlin was caught Saturday by Paul Hearn's group from Dana Point, CA, on a trolled bonito with Capt. Aaron on the Alejandra II.

SAN JOSE DEL CABO, MEXICO: Eric Brictson of Gordo Banks Pangas said San Jose del Cabo weather has been cooler, about 90 degrees, and water temperatures averaged about 80 degrees. Overall, the action was improved last week, Brictson said, especially on large concentrations of dorado to about 20 pounds. "Anglers targeting the dorado specifically have been accounting for morning catches of up to a dozen fish," Brictson said. "Santa Maria, Red Hill, Punta Gorda and La Fortuna have been particularly hot." The yellowfin tuna available were small, to about 15 pounds, and scattered reports of black marlin were beginning to come in. A 400-pound class black was reported caught by a panga at the Outer Gordo Bank, Brictson said. Other species caught on jigs over the rocks included grouper, pargo, amberjack, sierra, and skipjack. Beach fishing was limited to some small jack crevalle, pompano and croakers.



EAST CAPE, MEXICO: Chris Moyers of East Cape Smoke House reported on 173 boats chartered 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: 18 blue marlin, 15 striped marlin, 67 sailfish, 172 dorado, 187 yellowfin tuna, 1 wahoo, and 5 roosterfish. East Cape weather was mostly calm and sunny, in the high 90s, with water temperatures of 86 to 88 degrees.

Most of the fishing action on all species was south of Bahia de Palmas, Moyers said, from 5 to 40 miles out, but there were some dorado off Punta Pescadero and El Cardonal.

Generally, Moyers said the best fishing for blue marlin was 5 to 12 miles off La Ribera, Punta Colorada, Las Tachuelas, and Los Cerritos, and 40 to 45 miles off Cabo Pulmo.

EAST CAPE, MEXICO: Tami Moyeous of Rancho Buena Vista said 28 boats chartered had a catch including released fish of: 8 striped marlin, 4 blue marlin, 8 sailfish, 14 roosterfish, 21 dorado, 48 yellowfin tuna, and 2 wahoo.

EAST CAPE, MEXICO: Gary Barnes-Web of Rancho Leonero said boats were enjoying a "very good dorado bite," with anglers making easy limits in all directions. Yellowfin tuna were off-and-on, and roosterfish to 50 pounds were being taken on the reefs with iron, squid, and sardinas. Jim Kirkpatrick of Tempe, AZ, fished on a panga for 5 days and caught 33 dorado to 50 pounds, 9 tuna to 25 pounds, roosterfish, and pargo.

EAST CAPE, MEXICO: Gary Graham of Baja On The Fly said school-sized dorado showed up in force on Friday, and "most of the boats coming back to the hotels were festooned with numerous gold dorado flags."

"Down south outside of Cabo Pulmo, there was floating debris that produced some non-stop action catching both football-sized tuna and dorado," Graham said. "The sailfish is still king in the billfish department and they are fairly close in at Punta Colorada. And, there are still plenty of roosters closer to shore." On the beaches, fishing was good until Friday, when wave action slowed things down. Roosterfish and jacks were found mixed with sardinas under diving pelicans.

EAST CAPE, MEXICO: Mark Rayor of Vista Sea Sport was happy about his 60-pound dorado and said that diving conditions at Cabo Pulmo continued excellent, saying there was so much marine life in the water it had a Disneyland-like feel.

EAST CAPE, MEXICO: Pepe Murrieta of Pepe's Dive Service said he's been having a great time leading night dives over the coral reefs: "This week, the diving was supreme. Night diving was probably the most spectacular, with octopus, lobsters, sleeping parrotfish, sea cucumbers, and phosphorescence. It was incredible." Bottom water temperatures on the Cabo Pulmo Reef were about 80 degrees, and visibility was 90 feet.

EAST CAPE, MEXICO: An East Cape resident reported that a hotel cruiser was spotted fishing inside the Cabo Pulmo Marine Park, but it appears to have discontinued the illegal activity after receiving a warning.



LA PAZ, MEXICO: Jonathan Roldan of Tail Hunter International said dorado to about 15 pounds, plus some larger fish, are leading the bite on the La Paz side of the hill: "Perfect on light tackle and great on the barbecue!" Anglers were also scoring on pargo and out-of-season sierra, Roldan said, with spotty supplies of sardina baits, or stripped squid and bonito, but he also recommended that anglers bring hoochies and small feathers, "just in case."

About the unusual sierra bite, Roldan said, "If you're not familiar with sierra, just imagine a midget wahoo with teeth! They go about 3 to 10 pounds and are excellent eating, especially for ceviche, with a great white meat. I don't know why they are here at the moment, as they are usually found when the waters are cooler, like in the late winter and early spring. Bring some back to your hotel for some ceviche, tortilla chips, and beer at happy hour!"

On the Las Arenas side, Roldan said anglers caught some smaller yellowfin tuna, dorado, roosterfish, sailfish, and pargo.

"Independent panga captain, Ismail Murillo put us on the fish 5 days in a row. In by noon every day with limits. He was very patient with me as a semi-beginner. We all limited on large dorado to 45 pounds each day around Isla Monserrate and Isle Carmen. I also caught and released my first sailfish, and it was the experience of a lifetime for me."



LORETO, MEXICO: A great 2002 dorado season was winding down last week, as prevailing southern summer breezes wavered, and the first signs of fall appeared. Loreto weather was in the low 90s, with water temperatures dipping into the mid-70s.

LORETO, MEXICO: Arturo Susarrey of Arturo's Sport Fishing said, "dorado season is definitely beginning to decline." Some fish to about 25 pounds were still being caught to the north of town, but recent boats running south have come back without finding dorado, Susarrey said.

"We are not very happy to say that fishing was slow this week," Susarrey said. "Tomorrow all captains will try again in different directions, and hopefully we will report better fishing next week."

LORETO, MEXICO: At Baja Big Fish Company, Pam Bolles said west winds and early season north winds made sea conditions bumpy for three days, but then settled down: "We're starting to see winter patterns in the weather, and we should now expect unpredictable conditions during this period of transition until summer has passed." Bolles said in addition to the hard-to-find dorado, some yellowtail of 30 to 50 pounds were caught very deep around Isla Carmen, and 1 marlin was reported released.

One roosterfish was also reported by Wendy Wilchynski of Villas del Loreto, in addition to scattered yellowtail and dorado.



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 Oct. 2 with a catch of: 97 yellowtail, 18 to 29.5 pounds; 11 dorado, 25 to 36 pounds; 65 cabrilla, 8 to 14.5 pounds; 14 red snapper, 8 to 10 pounds; 3 broomtail grouper, 12 to 14 pounds; 6 sheephead, 6 to 8 pounds; and 333 spotted bay bass.

SAN FELIPE, MEXICO: Catalina Meders of the Title Company Bookstore overlooking San Felipe Bay returned from a buying trip to the U.S. to stock the store's new expansion, and reported San Felipe weather as "absolutely perfect for the last five days" in the low-80s with very low humidity, and gentle breezes.

With the opening of the commercial shrimp season, Meders said huge ones are for sale in town, and they are "muy sabroso." The winter snowbird season is also arriving and the camps and RV parks were beginning to fill up: "More and more snowbirds are arriving everyday. Pete's Poker Run (the first one of the season) is next Saturday, and that usually marks the first really big influx of U.S. and Canadian visitors."

The Mexicali highway was in excellent condition, Meders said, and "that's it for this week. I have an overwhelming urge to dash out onto the balcony and admire the view of the bay. The water is opalescent blue today."



ROCKY POINT (PUERTO PENASCO), MEXICO: At Puerto Peñasco (Rocky Point), Dale Donaldson of Santiago's Ocean Services said the past summer season was one of the best. "June offered some of the best ocean conditions for superb fishing 12 miles southwest of Rocky Point," Donaldson said. Sixty-pound groupers and pinto bass as big as 50 pounds were caught in depths of only 115 feet, with water temperatures of 82 degrees. Capt. Cristobal of the Home Run was quite surprised, since fish of this caliber are typically caught much deeper and farther south, as far as 25 miles. Capt. Cristobal and other local fishermen attribute this phenomenon to an El Niño effect."

Information about Rocky Point fishing is at Santiago's Ocean Services, www.santiagosoceanservices.com, or call 011-52-638-383-5534.



MAZATLAN, MEXICO: Larry Edwards of Cortez Yacht Charters said excellent fishing conditions prevailed last week, even though only 14 boats were chartered. Aries Fleet averaged more than 2 billfish per day, Edwards said, with a combined count including released fish of: 1 blue marlin, 31 sailfish, 48 dorado, 8 roosterfish, and 6 yellowfin tuna in the 90-pound class. Mazatlan weather was excellent, calm, sunny, and gentle, with the best fishing 20 miles out of Marina el Cid on a heading of 200 degrees.



IXTAPA ZIHUATANEJO, MEXICO: Ed Kunze of Mar y Tierra Sport Fishing was home after a summer of guiding at East Cape. "The big storm that hit us last week left a lot of downed tress and debris in the streets," he said, "but the ocean is as calm as a pond. With the blue water at 10 miles and an abundant amount of weed lines, the dorado action has been outstanding." Kunze said honeymooners Shawn and Heather Watland of the Los Angeles area fished with Capt. Santiago on the Gitana (gypsy woman) and tagged and released 2 sailfish, plus landing 3 dorado of 20 to 25 pounds.

IXTAPA ZIHUATANEJO, MEXICO: Paul Phillips of the Fintastic Total Tag & Release Tournament said boats were averaging 2 sailfish per day on the debris lines: "I suspect if the weather remains calm, the tuna search will begin in earnest this coming week."

IXTAPA ZIHUATANEJO, MEXICO: Marcos Vargas of Vargas Fleet said the Marlin Azul and Nautilus had 2-sailfish days, but the top boat of the week was the Esturion II with Capt. Alfredo that had a 6-fish day. Inshore, surf conditions allowing, 2 to 3 roosterfish per day to 64 pounds were caught. Zihuatanejo weather was in the mid-90s, with water temperatures averaging 78 degrees.

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Richard Yamada and Pat Gibo and their group from California and Alaska caught limits of dorado and pargo last week with La Paz' Mosquito Fleet. Photo courtesy Mino Shiba.

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Bob Keleman's 17.5-pound sheephead was a jackpot winner recently at San Quintin's Don Eddie's Landing. Keleman, of San Diego, caught the fish on the Valeria with Capt. Chava, about 180 feet deep at the 240 Spot.

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Mark Rayor of East Cape's Vista Sea Sport caught this nice 60-pound dorado on a live caballito about 10 miles southeast of Punta Arena last week. "There was a wooden pallet floating that was loaded with huge dorado and small tuna," Rayor said.

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A 270-pound black marlin caught Saturday by Paul Hearn's group from Dana Point, CA, on a trolled bonito with Capt. Aaron on the Alejandra II. Photo courtesy Luis Duhart of Victor's Fleet.

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Curt Collier and Anita on a recent trip to Martin Verdugo's Beach Resort at East Cape, where they landed a huge haul of yellowfin tuna, dorado, marlin, and even wahoo: "What a great place! What a great guy! We bought an extra cooler and headed home with a ton of great fish and memories for a lifetime!"

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A.T. Cohen, 11 years old, caught a heck of a yellowfin tuna with Tail Hunter International's Capt. Jorge on his recent trip to the southwest side of Isla Cerralvo. Photo courtesy Jonathan Roldan.

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Ed Monaghan of Livermore, CA sent these photos of his great trip recently to Loreto's Hotel Oasis. "I was fortunate to be asked to join 3 veteran Baja fisherman who have been fishing buddies for 30 years: Joseph Quinones of San Jose, Ed Walker of San Jose, and Bud Fisher of Santa Cruz. I had the time of my life. Ana Gloria, owner, and her family were wonderful hosts and really made us feel like guests in their home. The food was awesome and the service was incredible. Necky hosted the bar and mixes an awesome Margarita!

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A Pacific fanfish, Pteraclis aesticola, caught in northern Baja waters, September 2002, by the San Diego long range boat, Shogun. Photo courtesy Shogun. Fish I.D. courtesy Peter Langstraat.

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