LORETO, MEXICO: The summer dorado migration up the Sea of Cortez was centered on the Loreto area last week, as local water temperatures around the north end of Isla Carmen averaged about 80 degrees.
LORETO, MEXICO: Linda Ramirez of Alfredo's Sportfishing said clients fishing Saturday and Sunday scored limits on dorado to 34 pounds, with most fish about that size.
LORETO, MEXICO: At Puerto Escondido's El Fuerte Sportfishing, Ty Miller reported Loreto weather as mostly calm in the low-90s, and good counts of dorado in the 20 to 45-pound range off the north end of Isla Carmen. Miller said some striped, blue, and black marlin were also sighted.
LORETO, MEXICO: Pam Bolles of Baja Big Fish Company said, "We're hot into the dorado now." Bolles reported only a few weed paddies, but dorado hitting actively on trolled live mackerel. One fly fishing client lost an estimated 80-pound blue marlin last week, Bolles said, after the fish broke the shock tippet following a fight that lasted 3 hours and 10 minutes. "It swam slowly away after breaking through the shock tippet and appeared to be in good condition when it freed itself," she said.
LORETO, MEXICO: At Villas de Loreto, Wendy Wilchynski said clients were scoring on dorado straight out from the beach. Hotel guest, Wally Coleman of Bishop, CA said 3 pairs of anglers got good use of the new fillet table and freezer service when they caught Mexican limits of 12 dorado and released 5 sailfish and a marlin on their first day. On another day, 13 anglers returned with full limits of dorado of 15 to 35 pounds.
LORETO, MEXICO: Jeff Petersen, reporting for the Carnaderos y Pescadores de Loreto bait panga cooperativa, said there was plentiful mackerel, but the boats were selling out early due to the demand. Sardina were available in the marina, plus anchovies, and squid at about 1.5 kilos and "getting larger every day." Petersen recommended, "Best to secure your bait early! If you sleep late, bring some almejas from the dinner table for mackerel bait."
LORETO, MEXICO: Earlier, Larry Parker of Upland, CA returned from 3 days of fishing for limits on dorado of 25 to 38 pounds, sailfish, and a large yellowfin tuna that could not be stopped on 30-pound tackle. Water temperatures averaged 78 degrees.
ENSENADA, MEXICO: Good catches of white seabass showed up for pangas at the tip of Punta Banda last week, as water temperatures averaged 62 degrees. Ivan Villarino of Vonny's Fleet said the Vonny I with Capt. Beto Zamora fished in patchy drizzle around the rocks at the point and landed limits of barracuda, plus 4 white seabass of 10 to 22 pounds, for Bud Moritz of San Jose, CA and his granddaughter Daniello Povio of Milpitas, CA. The Vonny I also caught a 38-pound white seabass on squid for Hutch Djozakian of Sherman Oaks, CA, and the Vonny III with Capt. Cruz Zamora scored limits of barracuda, lingcod, rockcod, and four more white seabass for Paul Antounian's group from Van Nuys, CA. Ensenada weather was cloudy and foggy in the mid-60s, with mostly calm winds and small swells of about 3 feet.
ENSENADA, MEXICO: At Sergio's Sportfishing Center, Sergio Susarrey reported on 111 anglers fishing, with a catch of: 2 yellowtail, 622 barracuda, 366 lingcod, and 222 rockcod.
ENSENADA, MEXICO: Werner Hradecky fished in about 70 to 100 feet of water off the Rosarito Beach smoke stack for a 17.5-pound yellowtail on a flylined sardine and "all the sandbass you would want to catch," aboard Mike Bratton's boat, Scott's Johnny, in water temperatures averaging 63.6 degrees. Hradecky said sea conditions were good, and some other boats in the area caught white seabass.
ENSENADA, MEXICO: Steve Ross of the Pescadores de Ensenada fishing club at Marina Coral said the club's first annual Fourth of July Big Fish Tournament now has sponsors including Fisherman's Landing Tackle, Outrageous Custom Rods, San Diego Marine Exchange, Terrafin SST, Team Striper, BigFishTackle.com, and Bad Dog Insurance Corp. "This promises to be a wild tournament amongst the hard core Marina Coral sportfishing community, as everything but blue sharks and mola molas are eligible," Ross said. "Tackle can be anything but harpoons and nets, so the captains are gearing up for offshore war. The weigh-in and awards banquet is a block party next door at King's Coronitas RV Park. There is going to be a mega fireworks show put on by members 'MAD' Mike Smith and Mike 'BlackJack' Kraus." Information: email@example.com.
PUERTO SANTO TOMAS, MEXICO: Sam Saenz of Puerto Santo Tomas Resort said the weather was drizzly and overcast over the weekend, but the ocean was calm with very little wind. Several sport pangas fished during the week for scattered yellowtail and limits on bottom fish, including a 14-pound lingcod. On Friday, Louie Nejera and Louie Najera Jr. of Norwalk, CA returned with limits by 11 a.m., including a 25-pound yellowtail, Saenz said. The big yellowtail hit a Rapala about 1 mile out from Punta China. Local commercial pangas have been netting for up to 150 kilos of yellowtail and white seabass, and trawlers are still showing up a couple of times per week, working about 2.5 to 4 miles off shore from Punta Banda south to Punta San Jose.
SAN QUINTIN, MEXICO: Pete Hillis of Pedro's Pangas said he had 12 pangas fishing during the week for limits on lingcod, rockcod, whitefish, and sandbass, but no yellowtail. Most fishing was at the 15 Spot, 240 Spot, 6 Spot, Ben's Rock, and Isla San Martin, Hillis said. San Quintin weather was overcast in the mornings and clearing after noon, with light winds.
SAN QUINTIN, MEXICO: At the Old Mill Hotel, Jim Harer said a few yellowtail were caught early in the week, but the top fish was a 40-pound halibut. Water temperatures averaged 60 degrees, and tuna were reported out of range, about 50 to 70 miles out. "It's only a matter of time before they will be close enough for us," Harer said. "I suggest people start making reservations for the weekends, especially for boats."
MAGDALENA BAY, MEXICO: Gary Graham of Baja On The Fly said offshore weather was still "wind and whitecaps," but some marlin were sighted between the Thetis Bank and Cabo San Lazaro. Some yellowtail were caught tight to rocks at Isla Santa Margarita, and most fishing was in the mangroves for corvina and a few snook. San Carlos weather was in the mid-70s, with water temperatures of 61 to 66 degrees.
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Fishing was still scattered in improving conditions at the tip of Baja last week, as water temperatures remained cool on the Pacific side and most boats continued to fish on the Cortez.
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Solmar Fleet reported on 81 boats chartered, with a catch including released fish of: 58 striped marlin, 52 dorado, 1 hammerhead shark, 15 bonito, 25 skipjack, 12 jack crevalle, and 15 roosterfish. Top outings for the week included a striped marlin and 2 yellowfin tuna of 50 and 70 pounds for Scott Cochrane, Dan Brekke, and Neil McArthur from Santa Barbara, CA with Capt. Gerry on the Solmar VII.
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Tommy Garcia of Cabo Magic reported on 41 boats, with a catch including released fish of: 37 striped marlin, 1 sailfish, 2 hammerhead shark, 1 mako shark, 26 yellowfin tuna, 45 dorado, 2 wahoo, 10 roosterfish, and "bunches" of sierra.
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Larry Edwards of Cortez Yacht Charters said Gaviota Fleet had a catch including released fish of: 8 striped marlin, 12 dorado, 4 yellowfin tuna, and 1 wahoo. Fewer anglers fished last week, Edwards said, and about 50 percent of the boats released marlin: "The skippers are still reporting seeing numerous billfish, but even trying with light line leaders, they are having difficulty enticing the fish to bite."
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: At Pisces Fleet, Tracy Ehrenberg reported most billfish caught close to the arch, mainly between Redhill and Chileno, and as close as 2 miles from shore. Boats were baiting up to 5 marlin a day, but the fish were sluggish in hitting. Top fish for the week included yellowfin tuna of 110 and 180 pounds, and inshore catches included roosterfish, yellowtail, jack crevalle, amberjack, skipjack, snappers, and sharks.
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Capt. George Landrum of Fly Hooker Sportfishing said Cabo weather was in the high-90s, with water temperatures warming slightly, in the lower-60s on the Pacific side, and as high as 84 degrees on the Cortez. Winds were still a factor on the Pacific side. Two charters at the end of the week had a catch including released fish of: 1 striped marlin, and 2 grouper of 15 and 35 pounds. The best inshore action was on trolled mullet between the arch and Cabo Falso, Landrum said. Some roosterfish to 50 pounds and jack crevalle to 45 pounds were caught, plus larger sierra to 10 pounds.
SAN JOSE DEL CABO, MEXICO: Eric Brictson of Gordo Banks Pangas said overall fish counts were lower than normal. The best inshore action, with trolled mullet, included dogtooth snapper to over 30 pounds, amberjack to 40 pounds, roosterfish to 50 pounds, and continued larger sierra. On the bottom, yo-yo jigs produced some success on grouper, pargo, cabrilla, and amberjack. Shore casters using mullet baits scored on roosterfish, and jacks. "Mullet proved to be the best bait," Brictson said. "They were found in large concentrations off most beaches and could be snagged or netted."
SAN JOSE DEL CABO, MEXICO: Multiple reports from local residents and visiting anglers were received about the heavy commercial panga fishing and over-limits by sportfishing pangas at La Playita and Punta Palmilla. Commercial pangas were reported netting roosterfish, and sportfishing pangas were catching over-limits of roosterfish, and as many as 20 or 30 small dorado per day.
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: Fishing action featured very good counts of school-sized yellowfin tuna last week. Chris Moyers of East Cape Smoke House reported on 168 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: 58 striped marlin, 2 sailfish, 102 dorado, 808 yellowfin tuna, 15 wahoo, 16 cabrilla, and 1 roosterfish. East Cape weather was mostly calm in the high-90s, with water temperatures of 77 to 83 degrees. Moyers said most of the tuna were in the 10 to 20-pound range, and the fishing was basically south of town.
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: Buena Vista Beach Resort reported on 79 boats, with a catch including released fish of: 1 blue marlin, 23 striped marlin, 2 sailfish, 94 dorado, 523 tuna, 5 wahoo, 8 roosterfish, 10 snapper, 1 jack crevalle, 11 bonita, 1 pompano, 2 triggerfish, 1 cabrilla, and 6 skipjack. The hotel reported most tuna found about 10 to 15 miles off shore, mostly south and southeast. Tuna ranged from 5 to about 35 pounds. Mullet was the most available bait.
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: At Baja On The Fly, Gary Graham said the football tuna were "practically chewing the paint off the bottoms of the boats," and the wahoo action was on fish to 125 pounds: "If one of these is ever going to be caught on the fly, now is the time!" On the beaches, roosterfish of all sizes were caught, plus pompano, "ladyfish by the yard," and jacks, from Rancho Buena Vista south to Punta Arena.
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: David Lester of Temecula, CA chased roosterfish out of Hotel Punta Colorada and at La Playita with Don Willson, Ron Burgess, Stephen Schoppe, and Joe Bishop. "We started fishing 'pez gallos' several years ago and have become 'obsessed' with catching them, both from the shore and from boats," Lester said. "We are officially known as the 'Pez Gringos.'" Lester's group also scored on leopard grouper, pargo, and jack crevalle during their visit.
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: At Rancho Leonero, John Ireland reported slightly slower fishing, but still consistent on marlin, and excellent counts of roosterfish and yellowfin tuna. The wahoo bite shut down at the end of the week, Ireland said, although some fish to 85 pounds were caught earlier. The dorado bite slowed further on isolated fish. The roosterfish action turned wide-open as fish crashed bait right in front of the hotel, Ireland said, and fish to 75 pounds were very active, hitting live mullet all over the bay.
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: Mark Rayor of Vista Sea Sport said excellent diving conditions prevailed at Cabo Pulmo, with "Tidy Bowl blue" water of 81 degrees on the surface and 77 to 78 degrees at depth. Sea life sightings featured large schools of hammerhead shark. Rayor said he's been talking to locals and conservation groups who are working to get a management plan drafted for the Cabo Pulmo Marine Park, to eliminate misappropriation of funds intended for conservation, and to bring effective and consistent enforcement in the area for the first time.
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: Pepe Murrieta of Pepe's Dive Service said visibility on the reef was about 80 feet and sea life sightings included hammerhead shark, mako shark, jack crevalle, guitarfish, dog snapper, large grouper, and many manta rays. Also discovered was a crevice in one of the coral reefs where nurse sharks were sleeping. The natural coral die-off following recent El Niño episodes continues at about 7 percent, Murrieta said.
LA PAZ, MEXICO: Gerardo Hernandez of Tortuga Sportfishing said business has been picking up the last couple of weeks, although the fishing is still about the same on the Las Arenas side, with a steady pick on dorado of 30 to 40 pounds, wahoo to 40 or 50 pounds, and a consistent bite on marlin. Most boats averaged about 2 or 3 dorado per day, Hernandez said.
LA PAZ, MEXICO: Jonathan Roldan of Tail Hunter International said there's been plenty of bait on the La Paz side, and he even has a "secret" stash of frozen ballyhoo (halfbeak) that are working well on the dorado, especially the larger fish coming from the gap between Islas Espiritu Santo and Cerralvo. "I have a supply of frozen ballyhoo available through a contact who's catching them at night and willing to sell only to our guys!" Roldan said. "The slow-trolled ballyhoo have been deadly on the larger bull dorado."
On the Las Arenas side, Roldan said bait is still scarce: "Commercial pangueros selling bait are making a killing some days as anglers scramble for whatever they can find." Roldan said the unusual wahoo bite was on 40 to 60-pound fish, with some others large enough to cut a Rapala in half.
LA PAZ, MEXICO: Mino Shiba of Mosquito Fleet said the fishing was generally improved on the La Paz side because of rising water temperatures, now averaging about 72 to 76 degrees, with a lot of flying fish and halfbeak around. Shiba reported on another trip to his new remote site at San Evaristo, where he'll be taking fish camping clients this winter. "The fishing was really good," Shiba said. "Some tunas on live sardina and mackerel, a lot of cabrilla, and big yellow snappers. We also got some marlin and dorado outside at Isla San Jose. We also fished at Isla Santa Cruz, 22 miles from the new camp." Mosquito Fleet's San Evaristo camp will feature safari-style comforts and panga fishing from the small, very sheltered bay, about 65 miles north of La Paz.
LA PAZ, MEXICO: Lori Ishikawa reported that Stefanie Hada, whose photo with a large yellowfin tuna graced the cover of WON last week, had to visit an emergency room to have some strained rib muscles treated. "Too many big tuna in La Paz!" Ishikawa said.
MULEGE, MEXICO: Summer conditions prevailed last week, with steady dorado fishing and water temperatures of 82 to 84 degrees reported by local resident John Dinning. "Most boats are averaging 3 to 5 fish per outing," Dinning said. "The fish are good size, 20 to 30 pounds." Dinning reported lots of striped and blue marlin in the area, plus concentrations of sailfish, and some reports of small yellowfin tuna. The best fishing area was 15 to 25 miles straight east.
MULEGE, MEXICO: Hugh Cobb of Oceanside's Pacific Coast Bait & Tackle said he had 3 good days of fishing at Isla San Marcos with his son, David, Mike Mercado of Fallbrook, CA, and local resident Mike Kanzler.
"The yellowtail were big," Cobb said. "David got a 43 pounder and Mike got one weighing 36 pounds. We started releasing 20 and 25-pound fish. We went outside looking for dorado, and always found them, all of fair size. I got a 38-pound bull. We saw a surprising number of billfish and heard of a number of sails taken along with a few marlin, including blues. I would rate fishing in the entire Santa Rosalia-to-Mulege stretch as darn good."
BAHIA DE LOS ANGELES, MEXICO: At Bahia de los Angeles, Capt. Igor Gavlan reported yellowtail action rebounding strongly after a brief slow period. Locations at Punta Pescador and Las Animas were producing quick limits on 10 to 22-pound fish, and larger fish were available farther out. "There are rumors of dorado to the south," Galvan said, "but I have not personally encountered any." About his new 29-foot panga with a 225-horsepower Honda, Galvan said, "My new SUPER-panga is running great!"
BAHIA DE LOS ANGELES, MEXICO: Abraham Vazquez of Camp Gecko at L.A. Bay said 25 to 30-pound yellowtail were caught at Islas Coronadito and Mitlan, and lots of smaller fish at other locations in the bay. Local weather was in the 90s, with water temperatures of 66 to 72 degrees. Evening temperatures were cool and comfortable.
SAN FELIPE, MEXICO: Fily Espinoza of Tony Reyes Fishing Tours reported on a 6-day Midriff Islands trip by the panga mothership Jose Andres, returning to San Felipe on June 20 with a catch of: 270 yellowtail, 25 to 33 pounds; 8 grouper; 10 white seabass, 30 to 52 pounds; 31 cabrilla, 8 to 20 pounds; 5 red snapper, 8 to 10 pounds; 2 sheephead, 6 to 8 pounds; 244 spotted bay bass; 1 shark, 12 pounds. Midriff water temperatures averaged 75 degrees.
SAN FELIPE, MEXICO: Dana Kerby reported on a 6-day Midriff Islands trip by the panga mothership Erik, returning to San Felipe on June 19 with a catch of: 197 yellowtail to a season high of 46 pounds; 123 cabrilla; 27 pargo; 4 white seabass to 35 pounds; 2 grouper to 72 pounds; some squid, triggerfish, and whitefish.
SAN FELIPE, MEXICO: Eric Friedrichsen of Carlsbad, CA visited Gonzaga Bay with his father and encountered some unusual, totoaba-like fish while trolling about 8 miles off Punta Final that could not be positively identified: "The fish were all contained within a current upwelling that was perfectly circular, about 50 feet across, and amazing in itself.
"I would estimate that all the fish were about 200 pounds. There were probably over 1,000 of them as they were nearly shoulder-to-shoulder and stacked in the crystal clear water of the upwelling as deep as I could see.
"They were a greenish, goldfish, grayish color with no distinctive markings except a general shape of a white seabass, except much larger and fatter. They had a lobe-shaped tail, and a gold-colored dorsal fin which had a tall spike near the front and tapered down quickly.
"Most distinctive were 2 white spots about the size of a dime, one in front of the other, about 6 inches apart on the back, in front of the tail.
"I let the jig flutter down and on the third tap I hooked up, and the battle was on! The behemoth surged and peeled off line for about a minute and a half. Then it slowed and started to tow the boat, and I thought I might actually have a chance to land it, until another fish in the school cut me off.
"It was the most amazing thing I have ever seen on the water. When I hooked up, all of the other fish in the school went into a shallow dive and sunk out, so there was no opportunity for a second try."
SAN CARLOS, MEXICO: Local angler Bill Molden reported dorado scattered at about 25 to 30 miles out, and some boats doing fairly well on tuna. San Carlos water temperatures were steady at 83 degrees, and the weather was windy with rough seas.
Vince Radice of the Sonora Sports Center said Conaspeca officials from Mazatlan had spoken to him about increasing vigilance and enforcement around San Carlos. "I told them of the corruption here and they are excited to let me take them out my boat and bust long liners and anybody else breaking the law," Radice said.
MAZATLAN, MEXICO: Larry Edwards of Cortez Yacht Charters reported very good sailfish action for Aries Fleet boats out of Marina el Cid. Boats averaged more than 3 sailfish per day, and the Aries II released 7 on June 19. Overall, Aries Fleet had an offshore count including released fish of: 95 sailfish, 10 striped marlin, 6 dorado, 8 yellowfin tuna, and 1 wahoo. Inshore catches included lots of snappers, big permits, numerous trigger fish and "roosterfish everywhere." Mazatlan weather was calm in the 90s, with water temperatures in the low-80s.
IXTAPA ZIHUATANEJO, MEXICO: Paul Phillips of the Fintastic Total Tag & Release Tournament said a tropical storm passing to the west disrupted the fishing last week, but boats still averaged 1 to 3 sailfish per day, plus some football tuna, and roosterfish and jack crevalle in the surf.
IXTAPA ZIHUATANEJO, MEXICO: Local guide Ed Kunze said the port wasn't closed, but some days were rainy and boats stayed in port. Darrel Mangineli of Ventura fished with Capt. Armando on the panga Janeth and released 7 very nice roosters and 15 jack crevalle in one day, Kunze said.
IXTAPA ZIHUATANEJO, MEXICO: Stan Lushinsky of Ixtapa Sportfishing Charters said despite the weather, some outstanding catches were reported, including Fabian Sanchez' one-day score on the Dos Hermanos II: a large pargo lost after 30 minutes, a 40-pound roosterfish, 2 sailfish, and 1 tuna. "The amount of sardines and bonito in the area is nothing short of amazing," Lushinsky said.