LA PAZ, MEXICO: A good winter dorado bite continued on the Las Arenas side of the hill last week with fish weighing 15 to 20 pounds caught in semi-sheltered near shore water just a few minutes out of Ensenada de los Muertos.
Mino Shiba of Mosquito Fleet said the dorado were mixed with excellent numbers of sierra, some big pargo, and wahoo to about 35 pounds that were caught at the south end of Isla Cerralvo.
"Some days are windy," Shiba said. "You have a good chance to fish at Las Arenas. But if you want to fish wahoo, you'd better have a nice day to reach the island."
On the La Paz side, Shiba said some dorado were also caught around Isla Espiritu Santo, plus the usual winter sierra for plenty of ceviche. Shiba said some small yellowtail and cabrilla were caught on Rapalas. Caballito and mackerel live bait were somewhat scarce on the full moon.
LA PAZ, MEXICO: Jonathan Roldan of Tail Hunter International said, "The dorado bite off the Las Arenas area continues to blaze. Anglers expecting to dink around with cabrilla and sierra are getting double-bendo on mahi instead!"
"Some days are better than others," Roldan said, "with limits one day and fair dorado fishing the next day. But you have to remember that this is dead winter!"
Roldan said one angler trying to catch cabrilla was slow trolling in about 10 feet of water and was amazed to hook up a 10-pound dorado instead.
"Most of the fish seemed a bit smaller this week, but there were still some 20 pounders being caught. Whether this will last for another week or be done tomorrow is anyone's guess."
ENSENADA, MEXICO: Punta Banda was back in the big yellowtail business Sunday morning, reported Ivan Villarino of Vonny's Fleet. Joe Ramirez of Downey nailed a 29-pounder with guide Cruz Zamora on the panga Vonny III, using an aluminum surface jig at the kelp bed between the point and Isla Todos Santos. Ramirez also limited out on rockcod, lingcod, and calico bass, Villarino said, in mostly sunny weather and water temperatures averaging about 59 degrees. Sea conditions were calm with slow swells to 2 feet. Earlier, Vonny's Fleet anglers Brad Baron, Reid Matthews, and Mark Lurie of Del Mar also limited on assorted bottom fish using frozen anchovy bait.
ENSENADA, MEXICO: Sammy Susarrey of Lily Fleet said the Amigo fished at San Miguel reef over the weekend for 3 yellowtail to 12 pounds on trolled live mackerel, plus good numbers of lingcod.
The Lily caught sandbass at University Point, and the Tamara limited on lingcod by 10:30 a.m. at Punta Santo Tomas. Susarrey said many whitefish and sheephead to 14 pounds were also caught, and the best fishing was about 100 feet deep.
SAN QUINTIN, MEXICO: Good weather, excellent bottom fishing, and good brant hunting continued at Bahia San Quintin last week. Jim Harer of the Old Mill Hotel said the fog has been burning off by 9 a.m. and the fishing was "second to none on all the usuals," including red rockfish, whitefish, lingcod, and good numbers of yellowtail. About 25 hunters limited on brant during the week, Harer said, although they had to work a little harder due to the early morning fog.
A total of about 20 chartered and private boats fished last week, Harer said, and some white seabass to 25 pounds showed up, in addition to yellowtail caught with live bait on the surface. San Quintin water temperatures were down to about 60 degrees.
SAN QUINTIN, MEXICO: Pete Hillis of Pedro's Pangas said he had 12 boats chartered during the week, scoring on nice yellowtail and large lingcod about a mile off the 15 Spot. Pedro's top catch for the week was a 30-pound yellowtail caught by Ruben Carreon of Long Beach on a scrambled egg Salas 6X. Hillis reported San Quintin weather at 70 degrees, and lingcod averaging 8 to 12 pounds.
SAN QUINTIN, MEXICO: Local resident Stan Vath fished with Larry Biedebach for limits of calico bass, sandbass, lingcod, red rockfish, and sculpin, all caught with artificials in near perfect conditions. "Hope it holds, as we are going to chase yellowtail tomorrow," Vath said.
MAGDALENA BAY, MEXICO: Fishing action was slower last week as the full moon brought strong tidal currents to the mangrove channels, reported Gary Graham of Baja On The Fly, but there were still plenty of corvina, and some pompano, halibut, and cabrilla. Snook were hard to find in the currents, Graham said, but corvina were "almost a sure thing." San Carlos weather was in the low80s, with water temperatures ranging from 68 to 73 degrees.
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Offshore action was generally slower last week, but Tommy and Lori Garcia's 35-foot Bertram Cabo Magic scored on a 620-pound blue marlin for angler Wade Gaeddert of McPherson, KA. Gaeddert fought the big fish for an hour and a half, in 72-degree water 18 miles south of the Old Lighthouse, reported Garcia. The marlin hit a well used green-black lure picked out by Capt. Lucas Peralta. A total of 55 boats chartered during the week at Cabo Magic Sportfishing had a catch including released fish of: 1 blue marlin, 31 striped marlin, 74 yellowfin tuna, 65 dorado, and 3 wahoo.
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Larry Edwards of Cortez Yacht Charters said 65 percent of Gaviota Fleet boats caught marlin last week, and the overall catch including released fish was: 15 striped marlin, 2 wahoo, 35 dorado, and 37 yellowfin tuna.
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Picante Fleet reported on 6 boats chartered at midweek with a catch including released fish of: 7 striped marlin, 12 dorado, and 29 yellowfin tuna. Solmar Fleet reported a catch including released fish of: 26 striped marlin, 36 dorado, 26 yellowfin tuna, 18 sierra, and 1 mako shark.
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: At Pisces Fleet, Tracy Ehrenberg called the fishing "rather up-and-down" with a billfish catch rate of 40 percent, and a catch rate for all species combined of 76 percent.
"Water temperatures are quite high, but we haven't seen really good blue water," Ehrenberg said. "As we have been repeating for about the last six months, the season appears to be ahead of itself. The kind of fishing we are experiencing now is more typical of late February or early March." Most Pisces Fleet boats were working the area from the Old Lighthouse up to the Golden Gate Bank, in water temperatures of 73 to 76 degrees, clear skies, and moderate to calm seas. Ehrenberg said three broadbill swordfish were also seen during the week, but would not bite. Pisces Fleet boats caught a total of 20 striped marlin during the week, she said.
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Capt. George Landrum of Pisces Fleet said Cabo weather was in the mid-80s, dropping to the high-50s at night, with mostly light winds, and water temperatures holding at about 74 degrees.
"It has been a pretty slow week for marlin for most of the boats in Cabo, probably due to the full moon," Landrum said. "They are out there, but not in any big concentrations and not on the bite. Some boats have been fairly consistent and have been catching one or two a day, but they have been putting in a lot of time deep dropping live bait at the Pacific Banks."
Scattered school-sized yellowfin tuna and dorado were caught in all directions, Landrum said, and a few tuna to 150 pounds were reported with porpoise. The dorado were averaging about 20 pounds. The main inshore catch was sierra running between 25 and 35 inches, caught mostly on trolled Rapalas and hoochies. Migrating gray whales were being seen consistently "almost every trip."
SAN JOSE DEL CABO, MEXICO: Eric Brictson of Gordo Banks Pangas reported good weather and water temperatures of 72 to 75 degrees last week, with improving action on the Cortez side of the arch. Increasing numbers of striped marlin were caught from Chileno to Red Hill, Brictson said, plus dorado, and for the second week in a row, schools of yellowfin tuna were holding on the Gordo Banks themselves.
"Not any big numbers of fish, but definitely quality," Brictson said. "The average yellowfin was over 50 pounds and the largest was a 142 pounder landed by Gordo Banks skipper Niko. There were reports of even larger tuna being seen. Of course everyone has their fingers crossed that the commercial purse seiners do not decide to wrap up these fish."
Local resident Bob Grimes reported that local gill net boats continue to hit the near shore sierra, but Brictson said, "Local protests and meetings are now taking place and action could be taken in the near future as to revoking all permits for this destructive form of fishing."
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: Gary Graham of Baja On The Fly reported East Cape weather in the mid-70s with water temperatures of 69 to 75 degrees. The best fishing action was on a continued good inshore sierra bite and continued dorado caught north at Punta Pescadero. Graham said the beach fishing was "tough, but doable early morning to midmorning," and some yellowfin tuna and dorado were also reported to the south for those willing to run downwind for them and risk a rough ride home. "The Punta Pescadero shark buoys are the best bet and it is a better ride home if the wind comes up," he said.
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: Local angler Chuck Meredith had a good outing with his brand-new Nissan 6-horsepower outboard: "Started on the second pull. I trolled about 200 yards out pulling a homemade hoochie and WHAM! a male dorado ripped up the water, jumped, dove, and rocketed away. I put the motor in neutral. I traded line with the fish several times and took 45 minutes to get it to gaff. I must have gone around in a tight circle 50 or more times. This happens when you sit in the middle of a small boat and the fish swims in his circle spiral upwards."
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: Mark Rayor of Vista Sea Sport said water temperatures at Cabo Pulmo averaged 73 degrees and visibility was about 90 feet with no thermocline. Sea life was abundant in the Marine Park and very rewarding for those willing to put up with the rough boat ride.
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: Pepe Murrieta of Pepe's Dive Service said the Marine Park was windy, but conditions were much better in the bay south of Punta los Frailes, and in places the fish were so thick visibility was "zero." Featured species last week were big amberjack and groupers, blue shark, and manta rays.
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: Local fishermen were protesting illegal gill netting that was spotted in a few locations from La Ribera south to the Marine Park last week, residents said, and Pepe Murrieta asked that anyone who sees violations contact him immediately so he can call inspectors while the illegal netting is still in progress. Most of the illegal nets are set at night and pulled very early in the mornings. Murrieta's email address: firstname.lastname@example.org.
LORETO, MEXICO: Arturo Susarrey of Arturo's Sportfishing said Loreto weather was in the mid-70s with water temperatures of 68 to 70 degrees at Punta Pulpito to the north, and 71 to 73 degrees at Isla Carmen. Paul Pulliam of Arcadia, CA fished at nearby Isla Coronado and caught small yellowtail, a 3-pound white seabass, and grouper, Susarrey said, and mackerel and sardina live baits continue to be available from the bait boats at the marina or in front of the lighthouse on the east side of Isla Coronado.
LORETO, MEXICO: Linda Ramirez of Alfredo's Sportfishing said clients enjoyed the local yellowtail bite, landing 7 smaller fish one morning last week.
LORETO, MEXICO: Pam Bolles of Baja Big Fish Company said Loreto's weather was in a nice "January thaw" last week, with winds abating to more like breezes, and the yellowtail cooperative in smaller sizes around Isla Coronado, up to about 40 pounds at San Bruno, and up to a reported 60 pounds-plus to the south of town.
Bolles also said she and Francisco Muñoz are scheduled to be working together with the local pangueros' cooperativa and its office at the marina. She said to look for a new Loreto panguero website in the near future, and greatly enhanced information and reservations services at the office. The new website will be at www.loretopangeros.com. Baja Big Fish Company will continue operations as before, Bolles said, with the downtown fly shop scheduled to open for the season in June. Bolles added that the local pangueros are pleased with the planned improvements: "Francisco and I've been getting lots of thumbs up around town and at the marina lately."
LORETO, MEXICO: Ty Miller of El Fuerte Sportfishing reported excellent conditions off Puerto Escondido and big yellowtail still working from Punta Perico to Punta Baja.
"Every day the yellows seem to be working more towards the shallower waters nearer to the top, so get the flylined baits ready!" Miller said. "Fish are still showing in the solid 35 to 40-pound range and busting knuckles on the gunwales of the boat." Miller cautioned anglers to remember it is still the windy season and be sure to allow a couple of extra days "just in case."
MULEGE, MEXICO: Jim Mori reported early last week that conditions at San Lucas Cove had been windy and cold. Anglers toughing out the winter conditions were not catching much, he said. "See, even in Baja, sometimes the fishing is terrible!"
BAHIA DE LOS ANGELES, MEXICO: Hugh Cobb of Oceanside's Pacific Coast Bait & Tackle hustled down to Bahia de los Angeles to check out the reports of hot yellowtail action, and he wasn't disappointed. Fishing with friends Ron Casapulla of San Marcos and Mike Mercado of Fallbrook, Cobb went out with Guillermo and Igor Galvan in their near new 30-foot panga and "had limits of yellows by 9 a.m. on both Tuesday and Wednesday. After that, we went into catch-and-release."
"There is a huge concentration of fish in the 10 to 14-pound class at Guadalupe Reef," Cobb said. "All fish were taken on iron jigs of one sort or another. Anything worked just fine. On the way out on Wednesday, we saw birds and fish at the north end of Smith Island and stopped for a few casts. I hooked a quality fish there, but got rocked. I couldn't stop the fish on 30-pound line. So, there are some big guys around if one cares to go looking for them.
"Igor has a brand new 28-foot panga he is fitting out at the moment. It should be ready in a couple of months, and like Guillermo's, it will have all of the electronics so lacking on most boats in Baja."
SAN FELIPE, MEXICO: At San Felipe, Catalina Meders of the Title Company Bookstore overlooking the bay said the weather was warm and brilliant last week and there were lots of tourists in town. "The light here has been bright almost to the point of being blinding for the past three days," she said, "and the mountains have looked crystal clear, and near enough to reach over and touch." Meders added there was another big parade in town on Sunday, but she couldn't determine its purpose. "Lots of kids in pickup trucks chanting something that sounded like 'Get some eggs! Get some eggs!' but I'm fairly sure it wasn't actually that. It remains a mystery, since nobody else could figure it out either."
ROCKY POINT (PUERTO PENASCO), MEXICO: Ester Donaldson of Santiago's Ocean Services in Puerto Peñasco (Rocky Point) reported "big, big red snappers all day long" caught about 200 feet deep at a spot 25 miles southwest of town. Donaldson promised photos to come, and said, "I'm not sure how long they're going to run, but they're big and beautiful."
ROCKY POINT (PUERTO PENASCO), MEXICO: Meanwhile, official word was received from Profepa in Mexico City saying that sport fishing is presently allowed inside the Buffer Zone only of the Alto Golfo Biosphere Reserve. No fishing is allowed in the smaller Nucleus Zone, near El Golfo de Santa Clara, Profepa said.
MAZATLAN, MEXICO: Julio Berdegué, owner of the El Cid Resort, said that during December, 4 whales were killed by tangled longlines at Mazatlan, as part of the continued bycatch permitted by the Mexican Department of Fisheries.
MAZATLAN, MEXICO: Larry Edwards of Cortez Yacht Charters said local fishing was excellent last week with a catch including released fish by Aries Fleet at Marina el Cid of: 19 striped marlin, 3 sailfish, and 19 dorado, for offshore boats; and 138 red snapper, 15 corvina, and 124 triggerfish for 5 inshore pangas. Mazatlan weather was sunny in the mid-80s, with mild breezes and water temperatures holding at 76 to 77 degrees.
IXTAPA ZIHUATANEJO, MEXICO: Paul Phillips of the Fintastic Total Tag & Release Tournament said the fishing really turned on at the end of the week. "Many boats were flying every flag they had on board," Phillips said.
Local guide Ed Kunze said 80-degree blue water is "on the beach," and the fishing is outstanding, with the best action only 2 to 7 miles outside the bay. Boats were averaging 3 to 5 sailfish per day, plus 3 to 5 dorado to about 25 pounds. Good yellowfin tuna action was 17 to 20 miles out. Kunze said the the panga Porpy had a four-day run at them, scoring on a 100-pound or larger tuna each day. Inshore boats were averaging 2 to 4 roosterfish per day, on fish of 30 to 40 pounds.
Stan Lushinsky of Ixtapa Sportfishing Charters said Tom Culliton fished four days with Capt. Jose Vargas on La Bamba and landed 63 dorado, 2 sailfish, and 1 wahoo.