EAST CAPE, MEXICO: Boats out of Bahia de Palmas enjoyed excellent late winter dorado action as unusually warm water temperatures were observed as high as 78 degrees last week.
Chris Moyers of East Cape Smoke House reported on 50 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: 24 striped marlin, 2 sailfish, 301 dorado, 103 yellowfin tuna, 1 wahoo, 16 roosterfish, and 11 sierra. East Cape weather was in the high-80s, with some slight breezes.
"The dorado are like ants out there!" Moyers said. "It's a great time to be in southern Baja."
Moyers said dorado were found all over, but were most concentrated to the north, off the Punta Pescadero shark buoys and out 15 to 22 miles, with sizes into the 20 to 45-pound range.
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: John Ireland of Rancho Leonero said, "Fishing has been explosive all week. Unbelievable conditions producing fish throughout the bay." Striped marlin were aggressively attacking mackerel baits, Ireland said, and all boats were limiting on dorado, with 10 fish per day not uncommon, to over 50 pounds. Leonero boats caught fewer yellowfin tuna last week, Ireland said, but still scored on fish to about 40 pounds, 15 miles straight out. Roosterfish to 40 pounds were released from the hotel south to the Punta Arena lighthouse. Other inshore action included large pargo around Los Frailes, numerous jacks at Punta Colorada, and abundant sierra off most area beaches.
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: At Rancho Buena Vista, Tami Moyeous said water temperatures were seen as high as 78 degrees, and 18 boats chartered had a catch including released fish of: 11 striped marlin, 2 sailfish, 42 dorado, and 6 yellowfin tuna. "Fish counts are very high," Moyeous said. "You'd never know it was March."
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: Gary Graham of Baja On The Fly said clients scored on football tuna, larger dorado, and good numbers of roosterfish on the beaches south toward Punta Colorada. "There were some serious pargo mixed in just a few hundred yards from shore," Graham said. "Lots to look at, all the way from Rancho Leonero to Punta Arena."
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: Pepe Murrieta of Pepe's Dive Service said water temperatures at Cabo Pulmo were 74 degrees on the surface and 72 on the bottom, with 35-foot visibility, and the thermocline at 30 feet. Seas were generally calm, with a north current.
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: Mark Rayor of Vista Sea Sport said: "We saw Mr. Big, the biggest whale shark we have ever seen. This guy was substantially larger than our 31-foot boat. Without exaggeration, it was more than 10 feet between the eyes. Sea life is spectacular. Spring is here and the sea couldn't be more alive. Turtles, huge grouper, cownose rays, big snapper, and schooling jacks were all seen on today's tour."
ENSENADA, MEXICO: Ivan Villarino of Vonny's Fleet said pangas fishing the tip of Punta Banda continued to find easy limits on lingcod, whitefish, some halibut, and lots of rockfish. On Saturday, the Vonny I with Beto Zamora and the Vonny III with Cruz Zamora had good action in cloudy weather threatening rain, with water temperatures of 59 to 60 degrees.
ENSENADA, MEXICO: At Lily Fleet, Sammy Susarrey said the Tamara and Amigo fished in clear 60-degree water at Punta Santo Tomas for log barracuda to 8 pounds, bass, and lingcod. At midweek, 3 yellowtail were also caught 200 feet deep near Maximino Reef on live sardines.
ENSENADA, MEXICO: Earlier, Steve and Gail Ross fished on their boat Bad Dog out of Marina Coral, with Juan Lu of Juanito's: "He gave Gail some numbers for fishing rock cod, so we set sail for the Banda Bank. We hooked fish one after the other. We caught lingcod to 9 pounds, a white fish, fat reds to 4 pounds and plenty of boccacio. We caught a lot of fish and quit at 10 a.m."
ENSENADA, MEXICO: Louie Prieto, fiancée Angelica Garcia, and Jon Strickland fished on Gary Brown's 23-foot Seaswirl at Soledad Reef and Punta Banda Bank for an excellent catch of lingcod, salmon grouper, and other bottom fish. "Mike Richardson who owns the Ensenada bait barge took care of us with some real nice sardines." Prieto said. "All in all, we had a great day fishing. Ensenada was pretty dead and we did not see any cruise ships docked."
PUERTO SANTO TOMAS, MEXICO: San Saenz of Puerto Santo Tomas resort said he's back online after getting his satellite email modem fixed, at his regular email address: email@example.com.
"Everything is fine," Saenz said. "The weather was good and the fishing was great on Saturday." Saenz reported Gary Robinsons of Trabuco Canyon fished on a panga Saturday for full Mexican limits of lingcod, whitefish, rockcod, and calico bass, in about three hours at Bahia Soledad. On Sunday, the weather was sunny, but the ocean was turbulent after the passing storms.
SAN QUINTIN, MEXICO: Top local angler Julio Meza of Rancho Santa Monica did not make his usual run over the weekend, but said other boats got good results on bottom fish, and 1 yellowtail, a 24 pounder caught Friday by Capt. Hector Villavicencio of Pedro's Pangas at the 210 Spot on a dead mackerel. Earlier last week, Meza fished in rough conditions and missed the yellowtail, but found some keepers in a catch including released fish of: 8 lingcod, 1 blacksmith, 14 sandbass, 7 calico bass, 8 red rockfish, 6 large whitefish to 9 pounds, and "I don't remember how many barracudas, but at least 30."
SAN QUINTIN, MEXICO: Stan Vath of Campo Lorenzo fished early in the week in good weather with Larry Thompson of Channel Islands Harbor, Jason Thompson of Leona Valley, and Scott Seder of Santa Clarita. Vath said his group went to catch-and-release on limits of lingcod to 15 pounds, red rockfish, calico bass, sandbass, and a couple of nice sculpin, on iron and rubber. Vath recommended the Jardines restaurant located about halfway between the bay and the highway: "We had some (fish) prepared at Jardines Restaurant. It was awesome and very reasonable. This place is really catching on."
SAN QUINTIN, MEXICO: King Harbor Yacht Club Fishing Fleet members Keith Williams and Darrell Smith had some complimentary remarks on their excellent trip. "Fished with Hector on the Roamy from Pedro's Pangas," Williams said. "Additional members from our group hauled down several private boats for two days of fishing. The best lingcod fishing we ever had. We stayed at the Old Mill with our great friends Jim and Nancy."
Smith said: "The best lingcod fishing I have ever had. The biggest was Gil Irwin's at just over 24 pounds. We went to a secret spot about 2.5 miles south of Breakers. Overall, a great fishing trip. Like usual, The Old Mill was great." San Quintin water temperature was 55 to 57 degrees.
MAGDALENA BAY, MEXICO: Gary Graham of Baja On The Fly said plenty of spotted bay bass, grouper, and halibut were caught down near the entrada. In the mangroves, the action featured improved snook catches, pargo, grouper, and corvina. San Carlos weather was in the low-70s with local water temperatures of 65 to 70 degrees. About the larger halibut being caught along the beaches of the barrier island, Graham said, "Not Alaska-sized, but big enough to have the locals buzzing."
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Fishing was generally slower last week, as striped marlin counts dipped, dorado went on vacation, and school-sized yellowfin tuna and inshore species were called upon to fill the gap.
Tommy Garcia of Cabo Magic reported on 75 boats chartered with a catch including released fish of: "33 striped marlin, 92 yellowfin tuna, 53 skipjack, 1 wahoo, 28 dorado, 15 roosterfish, and over 100 sierra. "Striped Marlin were 40-plus miles out," Garcia said. "Many clients requested inshore fishing. This provided fun, action, and adventure, as well as fairly admirable numbers of eating fish."
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Picante Fleet reported on 8 midweek boats with a catch including released fish of: 22 striped marlin, 12 dorado, and 16 yellowfin tuna. The top Picante Fleet boat for the day was Capt. Gallo Zumaya's Picante Dream with 5 striped marlin releases.
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Larry Edwards of Cortez Yacht Charters said Gaviota Fleet had a catch including released fish of: 32 striped marlin, 3 sailfish, 30 dorado, 20 yellowfin tuna, and 8 dog-toothed snapper. Top boats for the week were the Gaviota IX with a quadruple release day, and the Gaviota IV with 9 marlin overall.
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: At Pisces Fleet, Tracy Ehrenberg said a 710-pound marlin was reported caught by Jeff Patton of Chicago on the Bad Market. Ehrenberg said the fish was landed in a surprising 45 minutes on 50-pound line. Earlier, Ehrenberg said Capt. Tony Nungaray of the Felina lost a fish 35 miles out from the lighthouse that he estimated at possibly over 1,000 pounds.
On the Pacific side late in the week, a spectacular day was enjoyed by Joseph Harold of Massachusetts, who released 9 marlin aboard the Sr. Moment. Another marlin was released after a longline hook and leader were removed from its mouth.
"This all sounds wonderful," Ehrenberg said, "but most of the week it was tough going. Boats were still heading up to the Punta Gorda and Destiladeras area, but many times it was a long journey for nothing." Forty-five percent of Pisces Fleet boats caught marlin, and 75 percent scored on all species combined. Inshore fishing was good on sierra, some roosterfish, and snappers, and offshore fishing was scattered on both sides of the arch.
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Rene Santa Cruz of Solmar Fleet reported a catch including released fish of: 43 striped marlin, 1 sailfish, 51 yellowfin tuna, 9 dorado, 2 wahoo, and 6 roosterfish. The top boat for the week was the Solmar IX with Capt. Tony, who released 4 striped marlin and a sailfish for Gloria and Bryan Alexander of Provincetown, MA. Five other Solmar boats scored double releases, Santa Cruz said.
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Capt. George Landrum of Fly Hooker Sportfishing said Cabo weather was partly cloudy to the high-80s with mostly good sea conditions and water temperatures of 69 to 73 degrees on the Pacific side. A strong temperature break running southeast from the arch divided Pacific waters from the warmer Sea of Cortez side, Landrum said, where water temperatures were about 72 degrees.
"The marlin bite dropped off this week as we approached the full moon and they moved further away from our area," Landrum said. "Boats were having to travel as far as 40 miles. The few boats that made that run were still getting shots, but for most of the boats, that was just too far to go.
"Yellowfin tuna were the fish of the week for most boats. They were found along the temperature break. Perhaps 50 percent of the returning boats were flying at least one tuna flag this week.
"This was a nice week for boats working from the surf line to a mile offshore as there was quite a mix available. The biggest surprise was the appearance of large squid from Grey Rock to the Pacific lighthouse. Most were in the 2 to 3-foot range, a blast to catch on light tackle.
"On the Pacific side, sierra continue to slowly work their way north. Off the arches, there were days when amberjack, pargo, yellowtail and small hammerhead shark supplied lots of action. There were quite a few small roosterfish being caught. All in all, it was not a bad week."
SAN JOSE DEL CABO, MEXICO: Luis Duhart of Victor's Fleet said several pangas fished in good conditions and water temperatures of about 73 degrees for lots of sierra and several pargo. Duhart said the local taxi drivers have been requiring hotel shuttle vans to take passengers only to hotels, and some passengers have been required to get off the vans and use taxis for other destinations. "Hopefully by next week this will be over, but please warn your readers about this and prepare them to expect it," Duhart said.
SAN JOSE DEL CABO, MEXICO: At Gordo Banks Pangas, Eric Brictson said pangas fishing close to shore caught dorado, sierra, pargo, cabrilla, skipjack, and triggerfish. "There have been more dorado caught close to shore than on the offshore marlin grounds," Brictson said. "The panga fleets have been averaging 2 to 5 dorado per boat, up to 25 pounds."
"Yellowfin tuna action on the Gordo Banks is dead at this time," Brictson said. "They just are off the bite now. Still lots of red crabs in the area."
SAN JOSE DEL CABO, MEXICO: Local resident Paul Roos said there were rumors last week that vehicular beach access to the panga launching area at Punta Palmilla may soon be restricted. Roos said developers may be planning to block vehicular traffic to the popular launch area, and make it accessible only to pedestrians who park on the distant highway. "Worst part of the above scenario is that two primo beaches, one a major panga fleet launching site, would be basically lost to locals and tourists, as none would want to park way up the hill to get to the beach or to a boat," Roos said.
LA PAZ, MEXICO: Mino Shiba of Mosquito Fleet said La Paz-side dorado were still hitting in water temperatures as high as 74 degrees, and Capt. Cesar also found a large roosterfish for Jorge Gamiz of La Paz. Some yellowtail were also caught on jigs and sardines at El Bajo, and some larger yellowfin tuna were caught at Isla Cerralvo. At the island, some wahoo hit trolled Rapalas at Roca Montana.
LA PAZ, MEXICO: Jonathan Roldan of Tail Hunter International said the unseasonable action continued on the Las Arenas side: "The variety of fish continues to keep everyone's head shaking as well. Yellowtail, cabrilla, pargo and snapper have also been mixing into the fish counts, in addition to the dorado. Weather has been exceptionally mild and I can only hope this keeps up and into the season!"
LORETO, MEXICO: Hugh Cobb of Oceanside's Pacific Coast Bait & Tackle said Linda Ramirez of Alfredo's Sportfishing reported good yellowtail action at Islas Carmen and Coronado. "Most fish are small, 10 pounds or so," Cobb said, "but bigger fish are being taken. One of her boats got a 36 pounder the other day."
LORETO, MEXICO: At Baja Big Fish Company, Pam Bolles said on Sunday, "We had a drop-dead gorgeous week, but today the northies have started pretty good."
Bolles confirmed recent reports of 100-pound-plus yellowfin tuna being caught south of town: "There has been a discovery of an unknown seamount south of Isla Monserrat. This lovely mount is producing tuna of no less than 100 pounds, and some 300-plus pounders."
LORETO, MEXICO: Arturo Susarrey of Arturo's Sportfishing said Loreto weather was in the low-70s and two groups going north to the remote San Nicolas Camp had mixed fishing with 10 fish per boat on some days, and fewer on other days. Yellowtail to about 33 pounds were landed, plus cabrilla to 12 pounds, and some broomtail grouper. Mackerel and squid baits were available for purchase at the marina, or were being caught in front of town and at Isla Coronado.
LORETO, MEXICO: Alejandro Rosas of Tijuana's Club de Pesca Deportiva de Baja California said members Joe de Anda, Pedro García de Leon, and Wilfrido Palazuelos, fished in 62-degree Loreto waters, aboard De Anda's boat the Pepe Lupe, and averaged 4 yellowtail per day to 28 pounds. The group fished in all directions, north as far as San Bruno, and 15 miles south of Isla Carmen.
LORETO, MEXICO: At Villas de Loreto, Wendy Wilchynski said few anglers were around, but those present were doing well on the fly and on large yellowtail.
LORETO, MEXICO: Fifty-year Baja pilot Larry Hahn said the Hotel Oasis remains closed due to a labor dispute. A message Hahn relayed from the hotel said some personnel objected to being layed off during the slow season and the workers decided to strike.
MULEGE, MEXICO: Jim Mori relayed a report from San Lucas Cove saying the weather was warm but windy, with some days in the low-90s and water temperatures to 90 degrees. "Lots of firecracker yellowtail with a few big ones mixed-in, off of San Marcos Island," Mori said. "Fishing has been better off Punta Chivato."
MULEGE, MEXICO: Resident Becky Aparicio said both the fishing and weather improved last week. A local pinto bass tournament was won by a 21-inch specimen, and a 42-inch yellowtail beat her 36 incher to take the prize for largest fish overall. Yellowtail were plentiful at the north end of Isla Santa Ynez and the north side of Punta Chivato. The best action was on weighted caballitos, fished on the bottom.
BAHIA DE LOS ANGELES, MEXICO: Abraham Vazquez of Camp Gecko at Bahia de los Angeles said the winter-long yellowtail bite continued at 210-foot deep Guadalupe Reef, 7 miles north of Isla Coronado. "The fishing is great," Vazquez said. "Most of them are in the 15 to 20-pound range. Most on the iron, surface or midwater, but some caught by trolling the MirrOlures, especially the hot pink ones.
"The hot spot is Guadalupe Reef, but there are some showing up at the local islands, and also Punta Pescador. I know this sounds like a sales pitch, but I have never seen a winter before with so much yellowtail activity."
Vazquez said L.A. Bay weather was calm and clear in the 80s.
SAN FELIPE, MEXICO: At San Felipe, Catalina Meders of the Title Company Bookstore overlooking the bay said the Baja 250 weekend was a spectacle of crowds, noise, and partying: "I hear there were more entries this year than EVER before. The town was a sea of racing colors.
"Starting at about 10 a.m. just about everybody on the Malecon over the age of 5 seemed to have a can of beer in his/her hand, and by 3 p.m. things were getting extremely rowdy.
"The music pounded far into the night, and then at 6 a.m. the next morning, THE RACE itself. There was so much dust that the mountains were all but obscured, and the vehicles sounded like hundreds of flocks of gigantic bees swooping through the desert. By 4 p.m. most people in the downtown area had enough serious eardrum damage to qualify for disability payments.
"The police were very gamely trying to smooth things out, but it was a losing battle. Today there is a steady stream of traffic headed north, and by this evening all that will be left behind will be a few stragglers, thousands of empty beer-cans, and the limp rubber bags that used to be huge beer bottles. That's it from shellshocked San Felipe."
ROCKY POINT (PUERTO PENASCO), MEXICO: Ric Felder had a good catch of 2 white seabass, 1 "sardinero" (leopard grouper), numerous goldspotted bass, and a 200-pound black seabass, fishing about 50 miles south of Puerto Peñasco. Felder said there was also a good sierra bite on Saturday morning, off Pelican Point north of town.
MAZATLAN, MEXICO: Larry Edwards of Cortez Yacht Charters said Aries Fleet at Marina el Cid had a catch including released fish of: 6 striped marlin, 1 sailfish, 6 dorado, and 309 yellowfin tuna. The tuna were mostly 10 to 35 pounds, but with some to about 80 pounds. Inshore fishing was good for red snapper and corvina. Mazatlan weather was clearing in the low-80s, with water temperatures in the low-70s.
IXTAPA ZIHUATANEJO, MEXICO: Local guide Ed Kunze and Paul Phillips of the Fintastic Total Tag & Release Tournament said fishing was still slower than normal, with lots of mackerel and black skipjack being used as bait for a few scattered sailfish, large yellowfin tuna, dorado, and blue marlin. "Several boats, each day, are getting hookups on a blue marlin, 25 to 35 pound dorado, or 100 to 250 pound tuna," Kunze said. "The interesting thing is that boats trolling 7 to 10 miles offshore have run past the fish. Most of the fish are only 1 to 3 miles out." Kunze reported Zihuatanejo weather in the low-80s, with average water temperatures of about 78 degrees.
IXTAPA ZIHUATANEJO, MEXICO: Stan Lushinsky of Ixtapa Sportfishing Charters said water temperatures near shore were as low as 72 degrees, but that water in the low-80s was found 37 miles from shore. "Although the sailfish bite remains slow, there were increasing numbers brought to the boats each day," Lushinsky said.