CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Active pods of striped marlin arrived at the tip of Baja last week, with the action still scattered, but some lucky boats scoring triple and even quadruple billfish releases in water temperatures averaging 73-degrees.
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Tommy Garcia of Cabo Magic reported on 70 boats chartered during the week with a catch including released fish of: 1 blue marlin caught 5 miles from the arch, 50 striped marlin, 100 dorado, 81 yellowfin tuna, and 6 wahoo.
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Early in the week, Picante Fleet reported on 6 boats chartered with a catch including released fish of: 14 striped marlin, 8 dorado, and 13 yellowfin tuna.
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Tracy Ehrenberg of Pisces Fleet called it "an excellent week here in Cabo, especially for marlin," although she said the hot midweek bite had cooled off by the weekend as the main action shifted from the Golden Gate Bank to the 95 Spot and the Cortez side.
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Pisces Fleet's top boat for the week was the Adriana, which released 5 striped marlin with Jim Rogers of Landenberg, PA. Other Pisces boats, including the Rebecca, Ruthless, and Andrea reported quadruple release days. Overall, Pisces Fleet boats caught 83 striped marlin during the week, releasing 81 of them, and also landed a sailfish, Ehrenberg said. About half the billfish were caught on the surface, and the balance on deep bait.
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Capt. George Landrum of Fly Hooker Sportfishing said Cabo weather was generally cloudy in the high 80s with high humidity, including some light rain on Tuesday.
"The Sea of Cortez around the high spots seemed to be the main focus of the action," Landrum said.
"We are still keeping our fingers crossed that the striped marlin that were packed on the Golden gate will move closer to us. Lots of football and school yellowfin tuna this week, and there were a few of the larger fish found as well. Dorado action dropped off a bit, but almost every boat was able to put a few in the box." Landrum said about half the week's marlin were caught on lures and about half on bait.
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Dannilo Mathews of Solmar Fleet reported a catch including released fish of 38 striped marlin, 43 dorado, 38 yellowfin tuna, 35 sierra, and 1 hammerhead shark.
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Larry Edwards of Cortez Yacht Charters reported a catch including released fish for Gaviota Fleet of: 30 striped marlin, 1 wahoo, and 55 dorado. "Average catches continue to be above a billfish per boat-day," Edwards said. "Sea conditions were generally very fishable, with the regular northwest breezes and wind chop." Gaviota Fleet fished mostly on the Pacific banks.
ENSENADA, MEXICO: Anglers fishing out of Bahia Todos Santos enjoyed continued good winter action on yellowtail and abundant bottom fish.
ENSENADA, MEXICO: Sammy Susarrey of Lily Fleet said the Tamara had a very good catch at Bahia Salsipuedes over the weekend, including lingcod, sheephead, and some sandbass. The Amigo fished at Las Salinas for excellent results on bottom fish, including 3 yellowtail of 15 pounds on yo-yo jigs. The best fishing was found 140 to 190 feet deep in 59-degree water, Susarrey said.
Earlier in the week, excellent fishing was found at Santo Tomas in flat, calm seas. "Very good on lingcod," Susarrey said. "Spectacular today. Big lingcod, 180 feet deep. It's amazing to see three nice ones at the same time." Local boats were also reporting yellowtail to 15 pounds at Isla Todos Santos on mackerel-colored jigs. Sardines were available at the bait barge, Susarrey said.
ENSENADA, MEXICO: At Vonny's Fleet, Ivan Villarino said his pangas fishing around the tip of Punta Banda were scoring on limits of lingcod, rockcod, and calico bass, plus continued yellowtail. Michael Calamaro and Carol Olmstead of West Los Angeles caught bottom fish limits, plus 4 yellowtail to 20 pounds on the surface with aluminum jigs, Susarrey said. Ensenada weather was mostly sunny, in the low-70s, with light winds and water temperatures of about 59 degrees.
SAN QUINTIN, MEXICO: "Another great week," reported Jim Harer of the Old Mill Hotel. "We had some wind on Monday that caused some swells to about 6 feet, but by Tuesday it had layed down." Harer said El Capitan Sport Fishing and Pedro's Pangas send out about 10 boats during the week for yellowtail and excellent bottom fishing, especially on lingcod to over 20 pounds. "The water temp is down to 62 degrees," he said, "but we still have lots of yellowtail on live bait on the surface and jigging down deep."
Harer said bird hunting was also good for 12 hunters last week, with morning limits of brant and ducks on the bay, and limits of quail in the hills during the afternoons.
SAN QUINTIN, MEXICO:At Pedro's Pangas, Pete Hillis said few boats went out last week, despite the good fishing: "Not too much going on this weekend. Plenty of travelers going back and forth to other destinations, but not too many stopping long enough to put lines out.
"In any event, the boats that we did have go out brought back limits of rockcod and lingcod. There were some yellowtail too, but they were scattered. The rock and lingcod were taken on the 240 Spot and at Ben's Rock, while the yellowtail were brought in at the 15 Spot. The yellowtail were running between 12 and 18 pounds."
SAN QUINTIN, MEXICO:Tony Marquez of Don Eddie's Landing said, "San Quintin continues to have great bottom fishing this winter, almost as good as last year. Anglers had a surprise this weekend, yellowtail! All boats were catching them at the bottom on live bait and yo-yo irons. The rockcod slowed down some but the lingcods were plentiful. The Santa Ana winds did not make it to San Quintin this time. Calm seas, plenty of bait in the bay, a little fog in the early morning, with a light wind in the evening."
BAJA CALIFORNIA, MEXICO: Enrique Achoy of Malarrimo Ecotours said the Scammon's Lagoon whale count was up to about 100 last week, with many friendlies in the bay. Visitors were fewer after a good week between Christmas and New Year's.
MAGDALENA BAY, MEXICO: Gary Graham of Baja On The Fly said his first mangrove trip of the season last week was a success, with good action on half-a-dozen species, from cabrilla to corvina, but every one of the snook they hooked up was lost.
"Everyone had a ball!" Graham said. "Don Sloan of Borrego was the corvina champ and farmed some quality snook. Paul Weaver of Carlsbad joined us for his first trip to Magdalena Bay and found out that his 7-weight was just a tad too light for the critters he encountered. Ben Mintz of Chatsworth, California caught everything from cabrilla to croakers, ultimately racking up about half-a-dozen species."
Graham said the weather was perfect, except for fog some mornings that required the use of GPS in the northern mangrove channels. San Carlos air temperatures were in the low-70s, and water temperatures were 67 to 69 degrees.
SAN JOSE DEL CABO, MEXICO: Yellowfin tuna made their best showing on the Gordo Banks in many months last week, according to Eric Brictson of Gordon Banks Pangas.
"The Gordo Banks produced action on nice-sized yellowfin tuna," he said. "Although it wasn't a wide-open bite, there were a handful of yellowfin being landed each day. Anglers were hooking into these tuna with chunk bait. Most weighed in the 50 to 120-pound range."
Brictson said several pangas caught as many as 3 or 4 tuna, mainly by chumming with cut skipjack. "There were reports of people seeing as many as a dozen quality tuna at the same time feeding in the chum line," he said, "but they still proved picky at times. Anglers reported better success using fluorocarbon leaders. Fishing pressure has been light. These tuna might just take up residence once again on the Gordo Banks." Large "hog-sized" black skipjack were caught in numbers at the Gordo Banks on sardina, Brictson said, and were making it easily to chum with chunk bait.
Brictson also said the commercial gill netters have returned in force after taking the holidays off and were netting near shore sierra by the ton. Sierra were still being caught by sport anglers, but with the best action close to rocks where the netters cannot work. Surf anglers fishing the rocks north of Punta Gorda were landing sierra, cabrilla, and pargo, but the hard hit open beaches at San Jose del Cabo were producing little.
School-sized dorado were also caught near shore, but were spooky and best fished with live sardina or mackerel.
Water temperatures were 72 to 75 degrees with warm patches around San Jose del Cabo. "It appears that Southern Baja is starting to feel the effects of a mild El Nino current." Brictson said. "With prospects of slightly warmer water temperatures this winter, this could be an exotic fishing season."
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: Windy conditions prevailed around Bahia de Palmas last week, with very few boats venturing out, mainly on the calmer days.
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: John Ireland of Rancho Leonero said, "A few boats went out during the calm days, with limits of sierra, some school-sized dorado, and pargo bending rods. Most fish were taken on blue-and-white hoochies and chrome lures." Roy Baldwin of Rancho Leonero added, "We've been getting a lot of 3 to 4-pound sierra. Good sized, but not remarkably so. However, the bite is wide-open, with all anglers limiting out early." Rich Parks and his family of Watsonville fished 3 days on a super panga and released "huge numbers" of sierra to over 5 pounds, plus dorado and jack crevalle, Ireland said.
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: Gary Graham of Baja On The Fly said East Cape weather was "wind, wind, wind!" with temperatures of 68 to 73 degrees, and water temperatures of 69 to 73 degrees. But, "the dorado are still around," he said, "along with a few stripers as well. Inshore, the roosters remain in the area along with some nice-sized jacks." The best beach action was early in the morning at La Ribera, Graham said. Dorado were at the Punta Pescadero shark buoys, and yellowfin tuna were still being reported to the south, although there were no reports of boats willing to go down there for them.
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: At Vista Sea Sport, Mark Rayor said there were so many manta rays jumping into the air they were "waking me up at night, slapping the water." Humpback whales were arriving in number. At Cabo Pulmo, the water temperature was 72 degrees, with good visibility in strong currents.
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: Pepe Murrieta of Pepe's Dive Service said conditions at Cabo Pulmo over the weekend were calm and local boats were reporting yellowfin tuna, plus dorado and sierra. Murrieta said he observed an unusual beaching of about 20 porpoise at Pichilingue last week while visiting La Paz.
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: At East Cape, George Bergin said one local resident went out with a commercial panga and caught 70 sierra, including some very large ones. "Maybe not as bad as netters, but a dozen guys with boats, line, and hoochies can make their mark," Bergin said. "I only take 5, just so I can complain about the other guy."
LA PAZ, MEXICO: The Las Arenas side continued to produce a nice winter spread of fish, including sierra, pargos, leopard grouper, yellowtail, and even dorado, reported David Jones of Fisherman's Fleet. Jones said pangas were still scoring of 4 to 6 dorado per day, mostly of 10 to 14 pounds, and sierra were present in large schools. The best yellowtail action was found at the Las Arenas light, the south end of Bahia de los Muertos, and the south end of Isla Cerralvo, Jones said.
LA PAZ, MEXICO: Jonathan Roldan of Tail Hunter International said, "We've still got some darned outstanding fishing out of the Muertos Bay-Las Arenas area. These nutty dorado continue to hang out. Something in their internal gyroscopes have them all tweaked and thinking it's July. They are being caught in the same areas as our punk yellowtail. These areas are literally just off the beach where our boats are departing. No long boat rides.
"Overall, the boats are getting a nice mixed bag of the dorado up to 40 pounds, yellowtail in the 10 to 15-pound class, cabrilla along the rocks, and sierra up to about 5 pounds. Even on the blustery days, we're pretty sheltered."
Roldan also reported a strange internet experience when he accidentally let his website domain name registration lapse, and it was snapped up by someone in Russia who refused to sell it back.
"I did an internet search on it and found out that some guy in phreaking Molotovania (or something like that) in the Republic of Russia bought it!" Roldan said. The problem was resolved by registering a new domain name with a hyphen inserted: www.tailhunterinternational.com.
LORETO, MEXICO: At Arturo's Sportfishing, Arturo Susarrey said Loreto water temperatures were 69 to 70 degrees at Punta Pulpito to the north, and 71 to 73 degrees at Isla Carmen.
Yellowtail to about 14 pounds were being caught at Isla Coronado and Punta Perico, plus some pargo and cabrilla to about 6 pounds. Mackerel live bait was available for purchase at the marina, or could be caught in front of the lighthouse on the east side of Isla Coronado.
LORETO, MEXICO: Ty Miller of El Fuerte Sportfishing reported Puerto Escondido water temperatures at 69 degrees, light winds over the weekend, and large yellowtail to about 40 pounds being caught. "I haven't seen fish this large come so early in the year in a long time," Miller said. "We are fishing 50 to 60-pound mainline with 80 to 120-pound leader to try and get a jump on these toads before they run for home in the rocks. They are taking both live bait and the iron. Blue-and-white 6X Salas is working best at the moment. Fish are moving up and down the column, but we have already started hitting some fish on flylined baits, even though we are normally using about 4 to 6 ounces of lead. It looks so far to be a banner season on yellows. I'm curious to see if these fish are going to get any bigger."
LORETO, MEXICO: At Villas de Loreto, Wendy Wilchyski said, "We just had some fishermen come back with a load of pargo, and I've also heard others telling stories about BIG yellowtail. They said it was a fight they'll never forget!"
MULEGE, MEXICO: Diana Johnson of the Hotel Serenidad said the weather was perfect by the weekend, and anglers were catching cabrilla, bonito, and some yellowtail. Mulege weather was in the low-80s, and the whale watching season has begun, with lots of reservations at the hotel for February and March coming in from such organizations as Baja Bush Pilots and the Mooney Pilots Association, Johnson said.
BAHIA DE LOS ANGELES, MEXICO: Abraham Vazquez of Bahia de los Angeles' Camp Gecko said the yellowtail bite was "still just going off like crazy" at the end of last week. There had been a brief lull during the quarter moon, Vazquez said, but the action was picking up again. "There is a huge school that has set up shop at Guadalupe Reef, and it is actually hard not to get hit," he said. "Hopefully the weather will stay nice. Most of them are medium-sized, 15 to 25 pounds, but lots of them. Weatherwise, you could not ask for more. Seventy degrees, and no wind at all today."
BAHIA DE LOS ANGELES, MEXICO: Earlier, Roberto Edwards returned from Bahia de los Angeles saying, "I didn't go out fishing, but I hear that the yellowtail are thick at Punta Los Machos, 15 to 25 pounds. These are the fish that people claim live in Gonzaga in the summer and come down to the Bay for the winter. Who knows? Anyway, wide-open fishing. Limit fishing in two hours, on the iron."
"The Bay home guards have also started to show. These are the huge fish that have won Igor the tournament for the last three years. He catches them at Racito, but they show in different areas as well. Thirty to 50-plus pounds. Hook into a 45-pound Bay yellowtail, on the iron, and find out how they can pull!
"Weather was spectacular the two days I was there. The road is really excellent. They have extended the first-class pavement to K42."
MAZATLAN, MEXICO: Larry Edwards of Cortez Yacht Charters said conditions were improving for Aries Fleet boats last week, with blue water about 25 miles from Marina el Cid on headings of 180 to 240 degrees. Aries Fleet boats had a combined offshore and inshore catch including released fish of: 9 sailfish, 10 striped marlin, 2 mako shark, 9 yellowfin tuna, 42 dorado, 1 totoaba, 3 african pompano, 27 corvina, 42 red snapper, and 114 triggerfish. Mazatlan weather was partly cloudy in the low-80s, with light winds, and water temperatures in the upper 70s.
IXTAPA ZIHUATANEJO, MEXICO: Local guide Ed Kunze reported 78-degree blue water still "on the beach," calm seas, and boats averaging 2 to 5 sailfish per day, plus good numbers of 20 to 35-pound dorado. "Steve Talbot from Minnesota had a typical couple of days on the water," Kunze said. "The first day with Capt. Arturo on the panga Janeth, they got 3 roosterfish of 35 to 50 pounds and an estimated 25-pound jack crevalle. On the way back, Arturo worked a current line and they got five 20 to 35-pound dorado. They next day they fished on the Gaby with Capt. Margarito and got 2 sails and 7 dorado."
Kunze said that outside there are 60 to 80-pound yellowfin tuna, as well as some running to 200 pounds, but few boats were running out for them.
IXTAPA ZIHUATANEJO, MEXICO: Paul Phillips of the Finatastic Total Tag & Release Tournament said the panga Wahoo hit pay dirt on the tuna, finding a school 60 miles out that had fish of 80 pounds, and a couple over 100 pounds.
IXTAPA ZIHUATANEJO, MEXICO: Stan Lushinsky of Ixtapa Sportfishing Charters said sea conditions were generally calm. Angler David Parlato landed 5 sailfish on light tackle with Capt. Temo on the super panga Sequestro de Amor, and Capt. Miguel Alvarez of the El Soltar boated a near 80-pound dorado plus 8 others in one day of fishing.