CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Water temperatures averaged 75 degrees at the tip of Baja California last week, as fishing action featured striped marlin, a steady pick on dorado, and a good winter bite on sierra.
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Tommy Garcia of Cabo Magic reported on 42 boats chartered with a catch including released fish of: 14 striped marlin, 61 dorado, 1 yellowfin tuna, 3 skipjack, 2 wahoo, and a "plethora of sierra."
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Larry Edwards of Cortez Yacht Charters, reporting for Gaviota Fleet, said "only 45 percent of the boats returned with billfish, and even the dorado numbers have slowed. Water temps are falling, but still high enough that the billfish shouldn't be affected, but then, we also have a full moon." Gaviota Fleet boats had a catch including released fish of: 8 striped marlin, 1 mako shark, 2 wahoo, 2 yellowfin tuna, 5 sierra, and 20 dorado. Fishing was mostly around the Golden Gate Bank on the Pacific side in water temperatures as high as 76 to 79 degrees. Cabo conditions were mostly clear and sunny, in the high 80s, with moderate winds on the Pacific side, and most fish were taken on live mackerel.
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: At Pisces Fleet, Tracy Ehrenberg said, "Marlin catches have been quite a bit lower than previous years for this same time. Those boats that did go out did not see a huge amount of action on billfish, but did fairly well on small game." Overall, 48 percent of Pisces boats caught billfish, Ehrenberg said, with the top catch of the week being two marlin released by the Andrea for Rich Huizar of Somerset, CA.
Pisces Fleet boats caught 19 marlin for the week, all but one released, and had a number of releases on mako shark of 40 to 90 pounds, and an 80-pound wahoo caught at the end of the week. Most boats caught from 1 to 4 dorado per day of 20 to 40 pounds. No yellowfin tuna were reported, and the inshore sierra action was consistent.
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: At Fly Hooker Sportfishing, Capt. George Landry said a few sailfish were caught together with the striped marlin last week, mostly on slow trolled live mackerel. Some football yellowfin tuna were reported early in the week on the Pacific side, but then disappeared. Dorado were mostly 12 to 25 pounds, but with a few caught to about 50 pounds. Inshore, some roosterfish, a few scattered yellowtail, and steady small dorado were also caught at the beginning of the week.
ENSENADA, MEXICO: Rain and rough water knocked out most of the fishing around Bahia de Todos Santos last week. Ivan Villarino of Vonny's fleet reported very few anglers in town, air temperatures of 51 to 59 degrees, and mostly cloudy conditions with "heavy rain, light rain, and rain and mist."
ENSENADA, MEXICO: Earlier, Sammy Susarrey of Lily Fleet reported good fishing on lingcod and rockfish, 200 feet deep at Punta Santo Tomas, and very slow local fishing at Punta San Miguel. Live bait available was small sardines.
MAGDALENA BAY, MEXICO: Corvina were biting consistently in the mangroves last week, but offshore water temperatures dropped, and Gary Graham of Baja On The Fly said any offshore action available would probably be south toward Punta Tosca.
"Inside Magdalena Bay, the corvina bite broke wide open this week," Graham said, "but the snook and grouper seemed to have lockjaw. One of our guides is taking a client out this morning to check out a couple of areas further up in the mangroves." Graham said he has spaces available for the season's first mangrove trip of the year, Jan. 3-7.
SAN JOSE DEL CABO, MEXICO: Boats fishing near shore in the wind shadow of the Sierra de la Laguna had the best water conditions in Baja California last week, in water temperatures of about 74 to 76 degrees. Eric Brictson of Gordo Banks Pangas said, "Swells have been minimal. The wind has not been much of a factor recently.
Anglers enjoyed comfortable conditions on the water." San Jose del Cabo weather was about 80 degrees, and most pangas were working on an excellent sierra bite off Punta Palmilla with live sardinas. "Boats were catching up to a couple of dozen sierras, with the sizes ranging from 2 to 6 pounds," Brictson said. "Great light tackle action, especially for children."
A few football tuna and small dorado were also caught near shore, but sierra provided the main action, and Brictson expressed his reservations about the amount of gill netting that has now begun at San Jose del Cabo:
"With the sierra run now in full swing, the local pangueros have started to set their gill nets. There were reports of pangas taking over 1,000 pounds of fish in one set. Not only are they catching sierra, but also roosterfish, pompano, croaker, turtles...anything that happens to swim through this area. These people supposedly have legal permits. Who knows why they are permitted to rape the local waters with the nets, and none of the local authorities seem to even care what is going on. Something has to be done to stop this form of fishing, as they did last year at East Cape. Every day that passes, major damage is done to the local inshore fishery."
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: John Ireland of Rancho Leonero said fishing pressure continued extremely light last week, and reports were based on independent local boats. East Cape weather was about 80 degrees, with water temperatures in the mid-70s, and with persistent north winds all week. Ireland reported dorado of 15 to as large as 40 pounds coming off the shark buoys at Punta Pescadero to the north, and some striped marlin caught mostly on live mackerel from there northwards to El Cardonal. Limits of sierra were caught off most local beaches on trolled hoochies. South near Cabo Pulmo, a wide open pargo bite was being pounded by commercial pangas working with chunk bait on the bottom.
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: Gary Graham of Baja On The Fly said that New Yorker, Mike Reitbrock, managed a dorado at the Punta Pescadero shark buoys and some ladyfish inside the bay before he and guide Jeff DeBrown were blown off the water. Offshore, Graham said, "When the wind quits, dorado and a few billfish are the best bet. With the rough conditions, it's hard to know what's out there. Heard of a few yellowfin tuna down south, but trust me, you don't want to go in that direction this time of year."
Graham added that the local "trailer park guys" with their aluminum boats are really whacking the sierra, and the beaches have usually been fishable for a few morning hours.
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: Pepe Murrieta of Pepe's Dive Service reported Cabo Pulmo surface water temperatures at 75 degrees, and visibility at 60 feet.
LA PAZ, MEXICO: Jonathan Roldan of Tail Hunter International reported only one day unfishable due to winds, and a nice mixed bag of fish being caught. "A panga came back yesterday with 4 dorado running 10 to 20 pounds, 1 yellowtail, lots of sierra, and a few cabrilla," Roldan said. "I think that's going to be rather typical of our catches for awhile. Most of the fishing is not very far, just inside or outside of Muertos Bay and Punta Perrico." Roldan also reported roosterfish caught last week at 70 and 90 pounds."
LORETO, MEXICO: Pam Bolles of Baja Big Fish Company said Loreto weather has been very windy about four days per week, with air temperatures ranging from the high-70s to low-80s on calm days. Good counts of small yellowtail were coming from Isla Coronado when the pangas were able to get out. "Limits are pretty much guaranteed," Bolles said. "These fish are 10 to 15 pounds." Similar catches, on live sardina, were made at La Cholla on Isla Carmen, and larger fish were caught to the south off Puerto Escondido and the east side of Isla Danzante.
Bolles added that her downtown store will be closed for the winter, but bookings can still be made by calling her cell phone: 011-52-613-104-0781.
MULEGE, MEXICO: Fly-in angler Ron Grant reported good weather last week in the high-70s, with cooling water temperatures in the mid-70s. There were very few visitors in town, but small yellowtail were to be had. "Any direction works," Grant said, "but the larger fish are deep. San Marcos Island, north end, is your best bet for the biggies. Jigs work. However, live bait will get best results."
Grant said halibut were also being caught on small chrome jigs from shore, "something I have not seen in many years in area." The runway at the Hotel Serenidad was in good condition.
SAN FELIPE, MEXICO: Gordon Byrne and Ernie Penaloza, formerly doing business as Baja Sport Fishing Tours, announced last week that they have begun booking the San Felipe panga mothership, Captain Villegas, on an exclusive basis, with a new business name, Cortez/Pacific, and two phone numbers, 800-725-7710 and 800-526-3009. A new website is due to be launched this week, Byrne said: www.captainvillegas.com.
MAZATLAN, MEXICO: Larry Edwards of Cortez Yacht Charters said there were very few anglers in town, and the fishing also slowed down last week, but boats were still averaging about 1 billfish per day. Aries Fleet offshore boats had a catch including released fish of: 10 sailfish, 2 blue marlin, 1 shark, and 21 dorado. One inshore super panga had a catch of: 12 red snapper, and 14 triggerfish. Mazatlan weather was generally calm, but unseasonably cool, in the low 80s, with water temperatures in the high-70s. Fishing effort was scattered, as boats searched for the bite.
IXTAPA ZIHUATANEJO, MEXICO: Local guide Ed Kunze reported 82-degree blue water only a mile off the beach, and boats averaging 3 to 4 sailfish per day, plus good catches of roosterfish of 30 to 40 pounds near shore.
"Mike Gramzo of Eugene, Oregon fly fished with me and Capt. Martin on the panga Isamar," Kunze said. "We raised and brought several fish to the boat before Mike finally hooked, tagged, and released two of them. When a billfish is only 15 feet behind the boat and slashing at the fly, besides being very intimidating, it is a heck of an adrenaline rush for any angler. It often takes several attempts to hook that first one." Zihuatanejo weather was in the mid-80s, with generally calm conditions, and water temperatures averaging 82 degrees.
IXTAPA ZIHUATANEJO, MEXICO: Paul Phillips of the Fintastic Total Tag & Release Tournament said, "The best news is that the roosterfish are wreaking havoc in the surf. Several boats releasing 3 to 5 per day in the 20 to 30-pound range. Anticipation is high for the darkening of the moon, and conditions are looking excellent for the Premier Zihuatanejo Deep Sea Tournament, Jan. 24-26."
IXTAPA ZIHUATANEJO, MEXICO: Stan Lushinsky of Ixtapa Sportfishing Charters said two French anglers fishing with Capt. Chiro on the Yellowfin II landed 14 sailfish and 2 dorado in three days. Yellowfin tuna of about 20 to 30 pounds were also reported about 40 to 50 miles out.