LORETO, MEXICO: A good late-season yellowtail bite was mixed with more early sightings of sailfish and dorado last week, as spring water temperatures averaged 71 to 72 degrees in generally calm conditions. Arturo Susarrey of Arturo's Sportfishing reported at week's end, "We had a good day at Carmen and San Bruno.
Yellowtail averaged 25 pounds, 38 pounds the biggest. All skippers reported seeing sailfish and one or two dorado. We had two days of north wind."
LORETO, MEXICO: At Villas de Loreto, Wendy Wilchynski said Steve and Chris Augerot of Santa Barbara fished at Punta Lobos on Thursday for limits of yellowtail of 30 to 35 pounds, plus cabrilla, and a sailfish. Another angler caught an 80-pound class grouper, Wilchynski said, and by the weekend, the winds had died completely. Loreto weather was in the high-70s.
LORETO, MEXICO: Earlier, Todd Moutafian and fiancée Ruthie Petty of San Francisco fished out of Villas de Loreto with Capt. Gregorio on the Goyo for some hot yellowtail action. "It was an overcast day with no wind, so the seas were glassy," Moutafian said. "After catching bait just off the southeast point of Coronado Island, we headed due north to San Bruno Reef. It is about a one-hour panga ride from the marina. We dropped our mackerel down about 180 to 200 feet and had action for 3 hours straight.
"This was Ruthie's first experience fishing in Baja, and she was mightily impressed.
"I lost the first 3 yellowtail of the morning. Ruthie landed the first yellowtail. The first few were smaller, in the 18 to 20-pound range, but the action picked with the larger fish as the morning progressed. We had a double-hookup of yellowtail that were about 30 pounds each, and Ruthie caught one that was 35 pounds. We had finished our cervezas and were back by the pool with 9 really nice yellowtail by noon."
LORETO, MEXICO: At Baja Big Fish Company, Pam Bolles said on Sunday, "It's like glass out there today and lots of fish! What an excellent way to finish the season. The water is warming up fast. We're looking at high 70s and even some low 80s, depending on where you're taking the reading."
"Limits are happening frequently and early in the day. Fish are taking live mackerel on 4-ounce weight. Spool up with 50-pound mono and an 80-pound leader. The yellowtail are also readily taking cast surface jigs, especially in the northern locations where they are boiling at the surface, from Puerto Almejas to San Basilio to Punta Pulpito. At Isla Carmen, where the larger fish are, iron is also effective.
Baja Big Fish's Capt. Francisco Muñoz of the Enzl Damiana said dorado were spotted daily but proved elusive: "They can be seen at a distance, but it is difficult to get to them quickly enough."
Muñoz added that there seems to be very little sargassum weed growing on the near shore rocks so far this year. And Bill Sumner reported continued success on yellowtail with the Owner 5/0 Super Mutu circle hooks custom-rigged with swivels by Guy at Ringedhooks.com. "These things have truly revolutionized my fishing," Sumner said. "I now fish with no leaders at all, just the swivel-hooks, and I out-catch my friends by 2-to-1 or more on every trip. The swivel-hooks troll live bait smoothly, get bit more frequently, never miss a hookup, and make it much easier to release fish with no damage." Sumner was headed south to do his first East Cape test with the swivel-hooks at Hotel Punta Colorada next week.
ENSENADA, MEXICO: At Punta Banda, Ivan Villarino of Vonny's Fleet had a couple of pangas fishing near shore for sandbass early in the week, but nobody fishing after that, due to "mucho viento," lots of wind. "No fishing 'till the winds calm down," Villarino said. "Our last charter was on Wednesday."
ENSENADA, MEXICO: Earlier, Steve Ross reported witnessing a boat accident during a slow fishing day out of Marina Coral on his boat Bad Dog: "The birds disappeared and there were no jig strikes, so we headed out to the Banda Bank for some rockcod. By 8:30 we had our fill of boccacio and were disappointed in the absence of red vermillion. The water was 58 degrees and the wind came up early.
"We heard on the radio about a boat going down in the Todos Santos Island area, and that passengers were being transferred to another boat. Sure enough, as the wind blew us into a view of the gap between North Todos Santos Island and South Todos Santos Island, there she was. All I could see was her bow pointing out of the water. Her name was Cabrillo. She was a small 32-foot Mexican cruiser charter boat. We have often thought of running this gap, but never had the nerve. I don't think she hit a rock there. But she did take on water and sank, leaving her bow and front cabin exposed.
"By 11 it was blowing pretty strong so we headed for Marina Coral and called it a day. No yellowtail, cold water, lots of wind."
SAN QUINTIN, MEXICO: Jim Harer of the Old Mill Hotel described it: "Wind all week, starting early and quitting late."
Harer said about 25 anglers fished out of the hotel last week, some of them for 4 or 5 days, and "those were the tough ones."
Despite the wind, anglers made good catches of rockcod, whitefish, and bass, Harer said. The lingcod backed off and were running smaller, about 10 to 12 pounds, and no halibut or yellowtail were caught.
Otherwise, Harer had groups of motorcyclists and dune buggy drivers at the hotel, having fun, and giving "hot rod" rides to the younger guests.
SAN QUINTIN, MEXICO: Forest Hoffman stayed at the Old Mill and fished on the Ojo de Gato with Capt. Gato of Pedro's Pangas for a good day on limits of rockcod and sculpin at Ben's Rock, despite water temperatures of 56 degrees and a four-foot wind chop. The following day, he limited on lingcod, in 10-foot swells. With Hoffman were Joe Simm and K.J. Hartwick, all of Las Vegas. The "fish that got away" was a suspected black sea bass at the 15 Spot that bent an 80-pound class rod.
SAN QUINTIN, MEXICO: Pete Hillis of Pedro's Pangas reported 10 boats fishing over the weekend, with no luck on yellowtail, but steady limits on lingcod, rockcod, and whitefish, with most catches made at the 15 Spot and 240 Spot.
SAN QUINTIN, MEXICO: Local angler Julio Meza complained that 6 days of wind kept him from fishing in his boat the Santa Monica, and not only that, but it was damaging his cucumber crop at his nearby Rancho Santa Monica. "Wind is the number one enemy of this crop," Meza said. "I need to go fishing. It is like therapy. It clears my head."
MAGDALENA BAY, MEXICO: Gary Graham of Baja On The Fly reported San Carlos weather in the high-70s and water temperatures of 60 to 66 degrees. Local fishermen were finding yellowtail outside on the Thetis Bank, but few anglers were fishing the mangroves. Halibut to 10 pounds were caught along the beaches around Punta Belcher.
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Billfish action held steady at about a fish per day, and yellowfin tuna continued to lead the counts at the tip of Baja, as water temperatures averaged 70 degrees on the Pacific side and about 74 on the Cortez. Another unusual louvar was caught, this one by Solmar Fleet.
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Tommy Garcia of Cabo Magic reported on 54 boats chartered, with a catch including released fish of: 46 striped marlin, 1 sailfish, 57 dorado, 121 yellowfin tuna, 2 wahoo, 2 mako shark, and 1 cabrilla.
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Picante Fleet had 6 boats fishing Thursday with a catch including released fish of: 6 striped marlin, 9 dorado, 14 yellowfin tuna, and 1 wahoo.
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Solmar Fleet reported a catch including released fish of: 63 striped marlin, 2 sailfish, 1 mako shark, 81 dorado, 135 yellowfin tuna, 48 sierra, 18 yellowtail, 4 bass, and the single louvar.
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Larry Edwards of Cortez Yacht Charters said Gaviota Fleet had a catch including released fish of: 21 striped marlin, 1 sailfish, 2 wahoo, 36 dorado, and 40 yellowfin tuna. Gaviota Fleet fished just off the arch, up to the Jaime Bank, and out to the 95 Spot, Edwards said, adding that he had a report from Fresh Start captain, Kyle Williams, of success on tuna to over 100 pounds, with trolled soft-head teasers, and live baits dropped back.
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: At Pisces Fleet, Tracy Ehrenberg reported 59 percent of boats landing billfish, and 93 percent landing all species combined.
"Fishing is right on track for this time of year," Ehrenberg said. "In fact, it looks like it is better than average for April." Ehrenberg commented on the number of out-of-season sailfish being seen, saying that the Valerie had hooked two of them, plus a striped marlin and a couple of dorado, in one day. The Ruthless had an even better day, landing 2 sailfish, a striped marlin, and 6 dorado. Pisces Fleet fished on the Cortez side from Bahia Santa Maria to Punta Gorda, in water temperatures averaging 74 degrees.
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Capt. George Landrum of Fly Hooker Sportfishing said Cabo weather was in the high-80s, with some north winds on the Pacific side and flatter conditions on the Cortez. Offshore, Landrum reported scattered catches of wahoo of 40 to 60 pounds for some boats fishing off Gray Rock and around the 95 Spot. Several blue marlin, were also seen, but not landed, Landrum said. Inshore, sierra were caught in good numbers, and the appearance of mullet was a good sign for the anticipated arrival of more roosterfish.
SAN JOSE DEL CABO, MEXICO: Eric Brictson of Gordo Banks Pangas reported a good run of large snook caught around the San Jose estuary, including a 40 pounder landed Sunday by panguero Jesus of La Playita, with a sardina, from his panga near the beach at the boca. "I tried a bit myself today," Brictson said, "but I did not have the live bait. I ended up buying the snook for my personal freezer stash!"
Brictson said water temperatures at San Jose del Cabo jumped several degrees last week, averaging 74 to 77 degrees, and blue water was within a few miles of shore.
Fishing was generally improved, as La Playita pangueros reported schools of wahoo moving over the Gordo Banks. Pangas arriving early were scoring on up to 4 wahoo to 50 pounds, Brictson said. "This wahoo bite was just like clockwork," Brictson said. "The same dates last year also produced wide-open action. As long as the water continues to warm and stays a clean blue color, this bite should only improve."
With yellowfin tuna moving out of range, pangas were fishing near shore for good catches of huachinango on the surface with fly-lined bait and some on trolled Rapalas, in an area off the San Jose del Cabo estuary that is difficult to gill net due to submerged debris: "Gill netters have not been able to set their gear in this area, but are breaking out the hand lines to catch their share. The same spot held some monster sierra to 10 pounds, as well as triggerfish and jack crevalle."
Shore anglers did well on pargo, one halibut reported at 20 pounds, and several snook in the 30-pound range. Few roosterfish were reported.
SAN JOSE DEL CABO, MEXICO: At Victor's Fleet, Luis Duhart said pangas were fishing from Chileno to Punta Palmilla for dorado, some striped marlin, and some tuna. Sardina bait was scarce, but mackerel was available. Gordon and Sue Stolla fished with Capt. Juan on the Tomcat for a 30-pound dorado and a wahoo broken off, and Capt. Gustavo on the Kaleena fished two days with clients for a striped marlin the first day and a pair of 25-pound dorado the second day.
SAN JOSE DEL CABO, MEXICO: Local resident Bob Grimes reported continued gill net activity at La Playita, with commercial fishermen setting nets at night and picking them up early in the morning. A gill net was reported full of small roosterfish at San Jose del Cabo, Grimes said. Looking for better near shore conditions, Grimes said he and his son went to East Cape, where nets are banned, for good catches of triggerfish, sierra, and pargo from kayaks, and a dorado, a marlin released, and numbers of 5 to 15-pound tuna, 20 miles offshore.
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: Continued good counts of dorado and yellowfin tuna paced the action as winds backed off and water temperatures averaged 70 to 76 degrees last week.
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: At Rancho Buena Vista, Tami Moyeous said 56 boats chartered had a catch including released fish of 21 striped marlin, 11 sailfish, 126 dorado, and 227 yellowfin tuna. RBV boats saw water temperatures as high as 80 degrees, Moyeous said.
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: Chris Moyers of East Cape Smoke House reported on 143 boats 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: 26 striped marlin, 2 sailfish, 266 dorado, 317 yellowfin tuna, 3 pargo, 3 wahoo, 1 pompano, 2 cabrilla, 10 roosterfish, 1 mako shark, and 1 sierra. East Cape weather was mostly calm, in the low-80s, and the best fishing was generally to the south off Punta Arena, down to Los Frailes. Sardina bait was plentiful, but mackerel were absent.
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: Bill Reeves of Granada Hills and recently retired fishing pal Bob Neely of Newhall had an excellent week at Hotel Punta Colorada, fishing with Capt. Martin and first mate Tony on the Amanti. "The folks treated us like family," Reeves said. Reeves and Neely fished 3 days, and landed 12 dorado to 30 pounds and 33 yellowfin tuna to 18 pounds.
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: John Ireland of Rancho Leonero said, "The consistent striped marlin bite continues, and an increasing number of sailfish are providing a bit of variety." Billfish were spread throughout the bay, Ireland said, from 5 to 7 miles out, with most fish taken on blind strike on dark-colored lures. Roosterfish were hitting in an "extraordinary bite, with schools of big fish, 30 to 70 pounds, off Las Barracas" on slow-trolled live baits.
Leonero boats also landed a rarely-seen louvar, Ireland said, as water temperatures averaged 73 to 75 degrees, and daytime highs ranged to 85 degrees.
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: Stephen Theobald of El Cajon reported on a good 4-day trip to Rancho Leonero with Bruce Morgan of Agua Dulce, fishing on the super panga El Guapo with Capt. Santos. "We had a great time," Theobald said, "Fished two days, and caught and released numerous 10 to 25-pound yellowfin tuna, dorado, and roosterfish. The tuna and dorado were caught on hoochie feathers and the roosters on live sardinas. What a blast!"
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: Gary Graham of Baja On The Fly reported over the weekend: "No wind and a dead flat sea." Graham said reports of cool water to the north around Punta Pescadero were sending most boats in the opposite direction. Wahoo were reported caught on the near shore color line at the Punta Arena lighthouse, and Graham said he was expecting good roosterfish action during May as the sardina population builds.
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: At Vista Sea Sport, Mark Rayor reported a return to his patented "Tidy Bowl blue" water conditions, and incredible "traffic jams" of fish on the Cabo Pulmo Reef. "Yesterday, we finished our first dive, eye-to-eye with 4 giant grouper in the 200-pound range," Rayor said. "They were sitting under a school of several thousand bigeye jacks!"
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: Pepe Murrieta of Pepe's Dive Service also reported excellent conditions at Cabo Pulmo, and said that he's been helping federal agents confiscate illegal gill net boats at Punta Perico, El Cardonal, Los Barriles, Buena Vista, La Ribera, Punta Colorada, and Cabo Pulmo-Los Frailes. "The commercial fishermen with nets were killing all kinds of manta rays and baby hammerhead shark," Murrieta said. The program has the support of Roberto Van Wormer and Baja Sur Governor Leonel Cota Montaño, and Murrieta expected that federal credentials will be issued to local people soon, so they can act as inspectors.
LA PAZ, MEXICO: David Jones of Fishermen's Fleet reported fishing action on the rebound after a period of winds and green water. Jones said some bigger pargo to 20 pounds were caught on the back side of Isla Cerralvo, plus some cabrilla, some sierra, and a few dorado.
LA PAZ, MEXICO: Mino Shiba of Mosquito Fleet said water temperatures were about 70 degrees, and some yellowtail were also caught, plus pargos of 25 to 50 pounds. Mosquito also caught the area's first striped marlin of the season last week, Shiba said.
LA PAZ, MEXICO: At Tail Hunter International, Jonathan Roldan said there were few anglers around, but he was seeing more blue water to about 72 degrees, and some 40 to 50-pound yellowfin tuna were found at the island by commercial fishermen using locally caught squid. During a recent boat run, Roldan said he saw mostly blue water, of 75 degrees at Cabo, 72 to 74 degrees at East Cape, and 71 to 72 degrees at La Paz.
MULEGE, MEXICO: Fly-in resident Ron Grant said he found outstanding weather last week in the low-80s, and some surprising early dorado action off Punta Concepcion. The dorado were small and scattered, but they were keepers, and good fishing conditions were also reported at San Lucas Cove, Islas Santa Inez, and off the north end of Isla San Marcos. Grant also had a report of roosterfish inside Bahia Concepcion. The runway at the Hotel Serenidad was in good condition.
SAN FELIPE, MEXICO: Wayne Pinkerton of Blythe's B&B Bait & Tackle reported on a trip out of San Felipe to Consag Rock for big counts of 4 to 6-pound triggerfish with Capt. Ramon of Costa Azul, just south of Ruben's. "One day we went to our honey hole, about 10 miles south of Puertecitos where we shore fish off a point," Pinkerton said. Three hours fishing only netted us about 10 fish, mostly triggers, largest 5 pounds. We have gotten into corvina there, using Diamond Jigs, and really kicked butt. But they weren't in this time." Pinkerton was also chasing down a report of a record flathead catfish caught somewhere near Blythe.
SAN FELIPE, MEXICO: At San Felipe, Catalina Meders of the Title Company Bookstore overlooking the bay said weather was about perfect at 80 degrees with soft breezes, and the town was packed with visitors.
Meders also reported on a gigantic Tecate beer sign that has gone up across the street from the store, completely blocking her view of the mountains. "The really ironic thing is that this huge sign, which prevents us from looking at the mountains, turns out to be an enormous photograph of...you guessed it...THE MOUNTAINS! Seems like the lessons never stop in life."
The Title Company's Ed Meders also reported that construction has begun on the first of four golf courses slated for the huge El Dorado development about 10 miles north of town.
MAZATLAN, MEXICO: Larry Edwards of Cortez Yacht Charters said Aries Fleet out of Marina el Cid had a catch including released fish of: 4 sailfish, 1 striped marlin, 16 yellowfin tuna, and 101 dorado, plus good inshore action on sierra, jack crevalle, snappers, and barracuda. The dorado were large, 40 to 55 pounds, according to Nora Alonso Rice of Marina el Cid, and they were located only 12 miles to the south. Mazatlan weather was mostly cloudy in the mid-80s with water temperatures in the mid-70s.
IXTAPA ZIHUATANEJO, MEXICO: Local guide Ed Kunze reported 80-degree blue water a mile off the beach and very good fishing for a wide variety of species led by yellowfin tuna and sailfish. Capt. Luis Maciel fished with Jan Gladstone of New Jersey, who cast a 3-ounce S&G jig at tuna, catching 25 in two days. "All day, he only made 10 casts that did not draw a strike," Kunze said.
IXTAPA ZIHUATANEJO, MEXICO: Dave Owen from Ferndale, WA fished with Arturo on the Whiskey III and lost a tuna estimated over 300 pounds.
IXTAPA ZIHUATANEJO, MEXICO: Paul Phillips of the Fintastic Total Tag & Release Tournament said the tuna are located about 30 miles out, and sailfish were steady at about 2 to 5 per day.
IXTAPA ZIHUATANEJO, MEXICO: Stan Lushinsky of Ixtapa Sportfishing Charters said there was also an area of good fishing only 10 miles out. New Jersey angler Herb Houghton had a 3-day catch including released fish of 3 sailfish, 63 yellowfin tuna, 24 yellowtail jacks, and 3 roosterfish.