SAN FELIPE, MEXICO: The north edge of the main Sea of Cortez dorado migration reached the Midriff Area last week, as water temperatures near L.A. Bay climbed into the mid-80s.
SAN FELIPE, MEXICO: Filiberto "Ice Man" 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 July 25 with a catch of: 119 yellowtail, 20 to 32 pounds; 1 grouper, 45 pounds; 52 dorado, 16 to 20 pounds; 112 cabrilla, 8 to 16 pounds; 6 red snapper, 9 to 12 pounds; 22 broomtail grouper, 12 to 15.5 pounds; 1 sheephead, 9 pounds; and 174 spotted bay bass. Midriff water temperatures ranged from 75 to 86 degrees.
SAN FELIPE, MEXICO: A few dorado were first reported by the Jose Andres on July 22, from 2 to 5 miles off El Barril, but most were caught on Friday, July 25, on sargassum about 2 miles northeast of Isla Smith, in 81-degree water. Yellowtail were scattered during this trip, and bait was hard to find, except at Isla San Luis. The best yellowtail bite was located at the 3 bajos 2 to 4 miles south of Isla Estanque (Snake Island) in 81-degree water. Midriff weather was humid and occasionally windy in the mid-90s. Water temperatures to 84 degrees were seen.
SAN FELIPE, MEXICO: Dana Kerby reported on a 6-day Midriff Islands trip by the Baja Sportfishing, Inc. panga mothership Erik, returning to San Felipe on July 24 with a catch of: 81 yellowtail, 52 cabrilla, 7 pargo, 1 grouper, 5 white seabass, 80 dorado, 82 giant squid, and 323 miscellaneous fish. A full load of anglers fished at Refugio, Cardonosa, Salsipuedes, Partida, and Ensenada Grande, Kerby said, but the Golden Reef was missed due to winds.
SAN FELIPE, MEXICO: Bob Castellon of Sea of Cortez Sportfishing reported on a 6-day Midriff Islands trip by the panga mothership Celia Angelina, returning to San Felipe on July 19 with a catch of: 199 yellowtail, 62 cabrilla, 1 black sea bass, 2 grouper, 27 pargo, 80 giant squid, and 112 miscellaneous fish.
ENSENADA, MEXICO: Local pangas continued to limit on lingcod and bottom fish, plus a very nice 46-pound white seabass caught at the tip of Punta Banda, reported Ivan Villarino of Vonny's Fleet. Villarino said the big croaker was caught by Juan Leal's group from San Diego, with Capt. Beto Zamora on the panga Vonny I. Ensenada weather was in the low-60s, with 2 to 3-foot ocean swells, and water temperatures of 64 to 65 degrees. Earlier, Shep Bielee's group from Lake Elsinore, CA also scored limits on the Vonny I and Vonny III.
ENSENADA, MEXICO: At Ensenada Sportfishing Center, Sergio Susarrey reported a continued strong offshore albacore bite. A total of 95 anglers had a catch of 340 albacore during the week, Susarrey said, fishing 20 to 35 miles outside Isla Todos Santos.
ENSENADA, MEXICO: Sammy Susarrey of Lily Fleet also reported excellent results over the weekend, with albacore limits by 10:30 a.m. Fleet boats were very busy, fishing mostly 40 miles outside Punta Banda for 3 to 5 albacore per angler, hitting best on black-green feathers.
ENSENADA, MEXICO: Steve Ross of Pescadores de Ensenada at Marina Coral said the club now has 56 members and 21 boats. Ross announced the next club tournament, scheduled for Sept. 27, and said he's looking for sponsors and raffle donors.
Ross also issued a final call for the club's special, permit and invitation-only lunch party to be held on Isla Todos Santos, on August 10.
Over the weekend, Ross said the club boat Wide Open reported albacore limits by 8 a.m., 15 miles southwest of the Lower 500 bank.
SAN QUINTIN, MEXICO: Jim Harer of the Old Mill Hotel said the hot albacore bite continued over the weekend, and on Sunday afternoon was "still wide-open like crazy." Harer said boat reservations were very tight in town, and many private boats were arriving. "Tomorrow, I'm even going out there myself!" he said.
SAN QUINTIN, MEXICO: At Don Eddie's Landing, Eddie Marquez reported 19 boats chartered during the week, with an average catch of about 18 mixed albacore and yellowtail. "We had very good fishing," Marquez said. "All anglers came home early with limits." Marquez reported San Quintin weather as calm, with small swells, and water temperatures of 68 to 70 degrees. He reminded all visitors to be sure to have reservations.
SAN QUINTIN, MEXICO: At Pedro's Pangas, Pete Hillis said, "The fishing is absolutely phenomenal. The albies are running a minimum of 25 to 30 pounds. Yellowtail at 30 pounds. The boats are running out only 10 to 15 miles on headings of 240 to 270 degrees." Hillis said fish are hitting anything put in the water: "Don't waste time on live bait. You won't need it!"
SAN QUINTIN, MEXICO: Expert local angler Julio Meza said earlier, "There are no words to describe the albacore bite. Fish are taking everything you offer them." Meza also reported yellowtail to 35 pounds at the 240 Spot, taken on kelp paddies with live bait, plus a few dorado in the area. "The albacore are even boring now," he said. "It is a better challenge now to catch surf perch or halibut from the beach."
SAN QUINTIN, MEXICO: Max Stevens of El Cajon, CA had his 21-foot Seaswirl launched at the south point by Gene Allshouse of San Quintin Sportfishing: "We headed out on a 265 heading for 13 miles. The other boats were about 3 to 5 miles south of us. We had limits of albies, 25 to 38 pounds, and 2 yellowtail, 22 and 25 pounds, on board by 11:30 a.m. Over the radio we heard the other skippers talking about limits too, but most of them in the 15 to 25-pound class.
"Gene fished the green side of warm 67-degree water and found us bigger fish, all on feathers. The best hits came on his own Zukers colored red, pink, and white."
SAN QUINTIN, MEXICO: Kelly Catian of El Capitan Sportfishing reported slow fishing for some local boats on July 23 and July 24, despite the generally good conditions: "On the 24th most of the fleet decided to SKIP making bait! Just because it's tuna season doesn't mean it's gonna be wide open every day." Catian said he's sometimes hard to reach, but can be called on the boat cell phone: 011-52-616-162-1716.
MAGDALENA BAY, MEXICO: Gary Graham of Baja On The Fly said firecracker yellowtail were caught in double-digit numbers at the entrada last week. In the esteros, the action suddenly picked up on corvina, grouper, and pompano. San Carlos weather was calm and clear in the low-80s, with water temperatures of 67 to 73 degrees.
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Warming summer conditions brought reports of a few blue marlin caught, and some large ones fought and lost, but fishing remained generally modest at the tip of Baja California last week.
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Solmar Fleet reported on 90 boats chartered, with a catch including released fish of: 26 striped marlin, 1 blue marlin, 2 sailfish, 28 dorado, 36 yellowfin tuna, 2 roosterfish, and 1 hammerhead shark. The blue marlin was a 200 pounder landed on the Solmar III with Capt. Pepe, 10 miles off Punta Palmilla by Josiann and Timothy Elder of Maryland, Solmar reported.
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Tommy Garcia of Cabo Magic reported on 56 boats with a catch including released fish of: 32 striped marlin, 3 sailfish, 1 mako shark, 62 yellowfin tuna, 24 dorado, 7 wahoo, and 10 roosterfish.
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Mike Hebert of Reel Easy Sportfishing reported on 6 boats chartered with a catch including released fish of: 35 yellowfin tuna and 1 dorado. Six of the tuna were in the 80 to 90-pound range, and the dorado weighed 45 pounds, Hebert said.
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Larry Edwards of Cortez Yacht Charters said Gaviota Fleet had a catch including released fish of: 1 small blue marlin, 25 striped marlin, 14 dorado, 3 wahoo, and 85 yellowfin tuna. The tuna counts included some larger fish, including one of 120 pounds, Edwards said. He also reported a very large black marlin fought from 11 a.m. until midnight by the Mucho Loco on July 18, that was estimated by the crew to weigh "between 1,800 and 2,000" pounds. Several other reports of large fish lost also circulated around the Cabo docks.
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: At Pisces Fleet, Tracy Ehrenberg said 40 percent of boats chartered caught billfish last week, and 78 percent landed all species combined. The catch included 30 striped marlin, 1 blue marlin, and 8 sailfish, most released.
"We heard of several blues from 160 to 300 pounds caught by the Cabo fleet," Ehrenberg said, "and our own Ruthless had one close to 300 pounds on July 23." Several Pisces boats scored double releases or better on striped marlin, but many more fish were seen than caught. "Boats reported seeing up to 10 in a day, but the fish are picky, and again this week it was a case of finding a hungry fish. With an increase in the water temperature, boats have experienced more strikes by blue marlin, and soon now, we should start having more catches," Ehrenberg said.
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Capt. George Landrum of Fly Hooker Sportfishing said Cabo weather was in the mid-90s with some wind chop and green water, and most areas on both sides of the arch showing water temperatures of 82 to 85 degrees. Landrum said inshore fishing was generally slow. Offshore, he said, "There were several long fights with billfish this week. There were a lot of 3 to 4-hour fights. More of the big girls will be hooked and hopefully tagged as the summer wears on."
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: David Cricks, his son Christopher, and friend Stephanie Wilcox fished with Capt. Hector on the San Lucas VIII and released a 150-pound striped marlin. "They fought the marlin for 45 minutes, and then handed it to me," Cricks said. "They wanted to swim while I fought the marlin from a dead boat!" Cricks said they then trolled for football tuna on the way in.
SAN JOSE DEL CABO, MEXICO: Eric Brictson of Gordo Banks Pangas reported relatively few anglers in town. San Jose weather was generally good, with water temperatures of 76 to 80 degrees, and some south wind that caused cloudy, greenish conditions near shore. Although a good variety of species were caught, fishing was slow overall. Local pangas at La Playita were fishing mostly near shore for bottom fish and jacks along the beaches, and were trolling mullet for roosterfish to about 40 pounds, plus some jack crevalle, pompano, pargo, and continued larger sierra to about 5 pounds. Before the water turned green, Brictson said, several offshore pangas scored on wahoo to 40 pounds. Dorado were scarce offshore, and the snook bite around the San Jose del Cabo estuary was off.
SAN JOSE DEL CABO, MEXICO: David Cricks reported on a good day, fishing with local guide Antonio Guluarte and mate Marcelo of Punta Gorda Sportfishing: "We started jigging with bait and jigs. One small grouper and 1 nice bonito. Saw dorado and wahoo breezing our chum line. We trolled for 1 wahoo, 25 pounds, on a cedar plug. My first wahoo! Then we missed a dorado on a guacamaya feather. Slow trolled Punta Gorda beach and missed 1 rooster. Only had big baits. A 70-pound rooster left a hole in the water as it engulfed the big bait! Fought it for 45 minutes. My lifetime best rooster."
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: Good numbers of football yellowfin tuna paced the action again at East Cape. Chris Moyers of East Cape Smoke House reported on 116 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: 4 blue marlin, 36 striped marlin, 32 sailfish, 47 dorado, 672 yellowfin tuna, and 2 roosterfish. East Cape weather was in the high-90s, with water temperatures of 82 to 88 degrees, and some moderate afternoon winds and rain on Friday. Moyers reported a few larger yellowfin to 78 pounds, but not many, and billfish and dorado slow. Baits available included small sardines, mullet, and caballitos. Fishing was scattered in all directions, from Punta Pescadero in the north, to Cabo Pulmo in the south. Most of the tuna action was straight out, about 32 to 47 miles off Los Barriles.
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: Early in the week, WON editor Bill Karr reported on a very slow day out of Hotel Punta Colorada. "On Monday, only one boat in the whole fleet caught fish, and that was 3 tuna and a skippie that weighed about 5 pounds each," Karr said. "We only saw one fish--a striper--the whole day."
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: At Rancho Buena Vista, Tami Moyeous reported on 47 boats with a catch including released fish of: 5 striped marlin, 3 sailfish, 6 roosterfish, 19 dorado, and 106 yellowfin tuna. Dorado were caught to the 60-pound class, Moyers said. The recent Tag & Brag release tournament was won by the team of Capt. Nestor Pescadero, Pete Ferrera, John Veeveart and Bill Roberts, who caught and mostly released over 100 tuna, averaging about 20 pounds each, in the 3-day event and collected a prize of $2,500. Moyers said, "Bill attributes their success to having a great captain and lucky yellow shorts!"
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: Buena Vista Beach Resort reported on 56 boats chartered with a catch including released fish of: 3 blue marlin, 5 striped marlin, 9 sailfish, 16 dorado, 250 yellowfin tuna, 11 roosterfish, 3 snapper, 33 jack crevalle, 1 amberjack, 3 bonita, 35 triggerfish, 2 cabrilla, and 1 skipjack.
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: At Rancho Leonero, John Ireland said an early week slump was recovering by the weekend. Some larger dorado to 45 pounds were caught off Punta Pescadero toward the end of the week, and wahoo of 60 to 72 pounds also showed up late. On the beaches, roosterfish to 60 pounds were still found from Rancho Leonero to La Ribera.
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: Gary Graham of Baja On The Fly said the water on the beaches was still stained from recent rains and runoff, making shore casting difficult: "Runoff has turned the water an ugly coffee color that has pushed everything away from the beach. A couple of small pargo were all that could be found." Graham said the best beach action was on roosters to the south of Ensenada de los Muertos. He added that well-known East Cape captain, Jesus Araiza reported a large concentration of sailfish "as far as he could see" off the Punta Arena light.
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: Mark Rayor of Vista Sea Sport said the water at Cabo Pulmo was cool and green, but loaded with sea life, including sightings of large amberjack, grouper, snapper, and clouds of bigeye jacks and reef fish.
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: Chugey Sepulveda of San Diego fished 4 days on a friend's panga: "Fishing is on the whole okay, but by no means wide open. For the most part, all week the boats were running a pretty good distance, 30 to 50 miles. Tunas are smallish but plentiful. Marlin spread out. We were averaging about 2 to 3 jig strikes a day, and seeing very few tailers. Dorado are coming from the North Point of Cerralvo, almost 50 miles. Lots of cochitos 'triggers' inshore."
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: On Saturday, East Cape resident Chip Shapley reported on the first trip of the year in his boat Buena Fortuna: "Picked up a 60-pound wahoo, 6 miles off Punta Colorado. The fish was caught by Alex Keene on 30-pound line. It hit a large blue-white tuna feather in 82.9-degree water. Water temps were as low as 77 degrees, and often greenish. We finished off the day with a 20-pound dorado."
LA PAZ, MEXICO: Jonathan Roldan of Tail Hunter International called the La Paz-side dorado bite one of the most prolific of the season: "There has been an incredible line of sargasso weeds between north Cerralvo Island and the tip of the La Paz peninsula. Boats from both La Paz and Las Arenas packed like sardines, as well as dozens of cruisers from East Cape.
"At one time, I counted more than 50 boats packed so close that hooked dorado were almost jumping into other boats! There were some bulls in there, but mostly, the biters consisted of fun schoolie fish in the 10 to 15-pound range.
LA PAZ, MEXICO: Mino Shiba of Mosquito Fleet said, "We got dorados. You can get all sizes. There are some marlin, and you can get one fishing with lures." Shiba said the action around his planned winter fish camp at San Evaristo north of the city was also good on dorado, plus tuna around Isla Santa Cruz, on live sardina and mackerel.
LA PAZ, MEXICO: East Cape resident George Bergin had an epic slow day, fishing closer to the city: "I trolled for 5 hours, all around Espiritu Santo Island on July 23. No other boats. Water 84.6 degrees, no birds, no bait, no fish."
LA PAZ, MEXICO: On the Las Arenas side of the hill, Gerardo Hernandez of Tortuga Fleet said La Paz weather was in the mid-90s, with water temperatures averaging 84 degrees at the north end of Isla Cerralvo, where all of the action was located on dorado. Fishing was slow at the buoys south of the island, and bait was still hard to find.
LA PAZ, MEXICO: WON editor Bill Karr fished with Tortuga Fleet last week, and found wide-open dorado northwest of the island. Karr had a 1.5-hour ride to the fish, but his panga still caught 8 dorado of 10 to 20 pounds by 10:30 a.m. At Primera Piedras, south of Ensenada de los Muertos, Karr's panga hooked 3 roosterfish, and landed a 25 pounder.
LORETO, MEXICO: Pam Bolles of Baja Big Fish Company reported heavy concentrations of marlin in the area, plus steady action on isolated dorado running to 50 pounds. "Lots of billfish, lots and lots," she said. Species available included black, blue, and striped marlin, sailfish, dorado, and continued yellowtail to over 20 pounds. The best dorado action was far from town, with some good counts coming from about 9 to 14 miles outside Punta Lobos. Loreto weather was very hot and still, in the low-100s, with humidity over 50 percent, and some summer showers.
LORETO, MEXICO: Local resident Kristian Pallesen said 9 boats made the Vagabundos del Mar cruise to La Paz. Pallesen said 35 boats fished in the 10th annual Fishin' for the Mission Tournament, which donated $5,200 to the Loreto Mission. The tournament was won by Joe Nale, fishing on the Papa Loco, whose 2 largest dorado totaled 70 pounds. Pallesen said, "Everyone caught their limits this week, but conditions were rough outside of the islands. Most boats were running 15 to 20 miles northeast of Coronado Island to get into larger fish."
LORETO, MEXICO: Earlier, Max Stevens of El Cajon, CA found slow fishing and had problems buying bait in the marina for his own boat: "Everyday, I would see 1 or 2 dorado per boat. Getting bait in the morning was tough. I was launching my boat at 4:40 a.m., heading right to the bait boats, and had to fight my way to stay in line. Three skippers cut me off and almost rammed my boat racing to get bait." Stevens added that he saw more marlin this year than in his past 18 years at Loreto.
LORETO, MEXICO: Ty Miller of El Fuerte Sportfishing said his boat out of Puerto Escondido has been averaging 3 to 5 striped marlin per day, plus a few sailfish mixed in. "Bait has still been tough at our end, but we have been fortunate to be able to purchase fresh macks from our local bait guys in Juncalito," Miller said.
BAHIA DE LOS ANGELES, MEXICO: At Bahía de los Angeles, Capt. Igor Galvan reported the first local dorado caught south of Isla Angel de la Guarda on July 20, and he predicted, "It is going to get better for dorado soon."
BAHIA DE LOS ANGELES, MEXICO: At L.A. Bay's Camp Gecko, Abraham Vazquez said over the weekend, "We've forgotten about yellowtails! Wide-open dorados, 10 to 28 pounds, lots of them. The dorado are everywhere, north of Isla Smith, outside Isla Piojo, and south to Punta Pescador and Punta de las Animas." Vazquez said schools of several hundred dorado were seen on sargassum, and were being caught mostly on slow-trolled or flylined live bait. "I have not seen this in years," he said. Water temperatures were 79 to 82 degrees.
Vazquez also confirmed the excellent yellowtail bite south of Isla Angel de la Guarda, but said hardly anybody was paying attention to it: "There was 1 boat out of Guillermo's that went out there yesterday, to the south of the big island, and brought back 24 yellowtail. But the rest of the fleet has just forgotten they exist. Every has Gold Fever!"
BAHIA DE LOS ANGELES, MEXICO: Anglers at L.A. Bay also reported some pangas bringing in heavy over-limits of dorado, up to 25 or 35 fish per boat, greatly exceeding the legal maximum of 2 fish per day per angler for this species. "Cannot fight the issue with them," one said.
SAN CARLOS, MEXICO: Local angler Bill Molden said the fishing improved at the prime location, about 20 to 30 miles from town, and water temperatures have stabilized at about 86 to 88 degrees. Good numbers of 20 to 35-pound yellowfin tuna were caught, plus a few dorado and billfish. "But the story is the good number of yellowfin," Molden said. "It's been a while."
SAN CARLOS, MEXICO: Vince Radice of Sonora Sport Center said local Conapesca officials confiscated 4.5 tons of dorado caught illegally by commercial fishermen. "Unfortunately, it is just a drop in the bucket," Radice said. "The boat that was caught today had been out for 6 days and was working with 8 different pangas. The quantity of long lines is increasing at a dramatic rate in the area."
MAZATLAN, MEXICO: Tadeo Hernandez of Flota Bibi Fleet said the fleet's first blue marlin of the season last week was actually the third of the year, since the first 2 were caught "out of season" in April. Hernandez said fishing was slightly slower last week, but still averaging a sailfish per day offshore. For the week, 9 inshore and offshore Flota Bibi Fleet boats had a catch including released fish of: 7 sailfish, 6 yellowfin tuna to 128 pounds, 13 bonita and skipjack, 8 triggerfish, and 1 pufferfish.
Hernandez also said the species referred to locally as "garlopa" is the gulf grouper, Mycteroperca jordani.
MAZATLAN, MEXICO: Larry Edwards of Cortez Yacht Charters said Aries Fleet boats out of Marina el Cid averaged about 2 to 3 sailfish per day. The fleet had a catch including released fish of: 58 sailfish, 3 blue marlin, 1 dorado, and 22 yellowfin tuna, plus many permit and limits of red snapper inshore. Mazatlan weather was calm in the mid-90s, with water temperatures in the mid-80s, and the best fishing was 20 to 28 miles from Marina el Cid at 180 to 220 degrees.
IXTAPA ZIHUATANEJO, MEXICO: Local guide Ed Kunze reported few anglers in town, but 80-degree blue water just off the beach and boats averaging 2 to 3 sailfish per day. Local weather was in the low-90s, with water temperatures of 75 to 90 degrees.
IXTAPA ZIHUATANEJO, MEXICO: Paul Phillips of the Fintastic Total Tag & Release Tournament said inshore boats are averaging 4 to 6 roosterfish per day, although hardly anybody was fishing. "Zihuat's idea of the dog days of summer!" Phillips said.
IXTAPA ZIHUATANEJO, MEXICO: At Ixtapa Sportfishing Charters, Stan Lushinsky said inshore action was excellent for yellowtail jack, bonito, roosterfish, large needlefish, bigeye jacks, and Spanish mackerel. "The captains report nonstop inshore action. Combination days of inshore and offshore are possible, because the blue water is within a mile of the bay," Lushinsky said.