BAHIA DE LOS ANGELES, MEXICO: School-sized dorado action heated up in the Cortez Midriff area last week. At Bahia de los Angeles' Camp Gecko, Abraham Vazquez said the dorado bite improved as it entered its third week, in water temperatures of 81 to 83 degrees. Dorado were caught on live and cut bait, mostly on sargasso paddies.
The fish were running 10 to 20 pounds, with some 30-pound bulls mixed in. "We have not yet seen the very big ones," Vazquez said, "but there are so many of school-size you can catch and release all day."
Dorado were located "pretty much out in the channel," Vazquez said on Sunday evening. Recent hotspots included Isla Smith, outside Isla Piojo, and at Punta Pescador. But with water temperatures seen as warm as 86-degrees, boats were also running to Punta Animas, and the action was changing on a daily basis.
Yellowtail were also active on the long reefs outside Isla Horsehead, but few were fishing for them. L.A. Bay weather was cooler, in the 90s, with very high humidity, and many clients were fishing.
BAHIA DE LOS ANGELES, MEXICO: Mike Steele of San Diego made a quick "banzai" dorado run to L.A. Bay at the end of the week: "The highway is in the best condition I have seen for years. Had reservations with one of the best captains, Ruben Daggett.
"We arrived late, unloaded, and got a deep 4 hours of rest before gray light. Cabin 50 feet from the ramp...nice. Made some good bait using Lucky Joes in front of Diaz. Small caballitos, sardines, and mackerels.
"Ruben worked hard, with a plan to stalk yellowtail in the a.m., and dorado after it got hot. Stopped in the channel before Horsehead for nuisance barracudas, some skipjack, and only 1 yellowtail in the 12-pound range, very deep on iron.
"Headed out to the channel, towards the island. About 12 miles out, hit some nice slicks and sargasso. Wham, dorado! Nice bulls, some smaller schoolies mixed in. On and off in that area all morning for limits.
"Lost quite a few. Fish were very scattered and would not come to the boat. You could keep them for a bit when you found them, but they did not hang around. Ruben worked very hard with us, moved often, and worked the radio.
"Better get down there while you can. I cannot think of anywhere where you can get dorado action like that in one-day range from San Diego. What a trip! Only in Baja."
ENSENADA, MEXICO: Sergio Susarrey of Sergio's Sportfishing Center reported on 287 anglers with a catch of: 10 yellowtail, 1,422 sandbass, 291 albacore, 1,149 lingcod, and 760 rockcod.
ENSENADA, MEXICO: Steve Ross of Pescadores de Ensenada at Marina Coral said at midweek, "a Pescadores De Ensenada Club boat went to the lower 500 and got skunked."
Earlier, club boats scored limits as boats used "the technique of sliding into the foaming albies and throwing iron and plastics into the center for excellent results," Ross said. Offshore water temperatures averaged 67 degrees in 6-foot swells. "Mardiosa and Blackjack managed to find unmolested paddies for yellowtails. The main herd was found in the area of 31.15 117.20, with 70 boats in attendance."
Ross said 6 club boats had special Mexican permits for the island party on Isla Todos Santos, Aug. 24: Melody with 8 people; Wide Open with 4 people; Blackjack with 2 people; Bad Dog with 3 people; Um Bwana with 4 people; and Los Pangueros with 5 people.
At Marina Coral, Ross said Mexican officials were looking into an incident involving a report of about 100 albacore dumped by an American angler at the fillet station.
ENSENADA, MEXICO: Wayne Pinkerton of B&B Bait & Tackle in Blythe, CA fished with friends on the Charro six-pack boat out of the downtown marina. "Feeling kinda of puny from too much nightlife," Pinkerton said, "so we just fished the bay and north coastline. In 5 hours we picked up 52 small fish, sculpin, sandbass, and a few white fish. Largest was a 5-pound sheepshead. Not to exciting. We just went local 'cause I knew I would be seasick all day anyway."
ENSENADA, MEXICO: At Lily Fleet, Sammy Susarrey said boats limited all week and around GPS numbers 31.14 117.17.
SAN QUINTIN, MEXICO: Pete Hillis of Pedro's Pangas said, "The albacore seemed to have disappeared on us, but there is great yellowtail, yellowfin, and dorado fishing in its place." Hillis said the dorado and yellowtail were running to about 25 pounds, and the yellowfin ran up to about 20 pounds. "Some boats have been reporting bigger fish, but we haven't seen them," he said. San Quintin water temperatures over the weekend averaged 72 degrees, and weather was in the low-80s.
SAN QUINTIN, MEXICO: Earlier, Steve Caswell of Huntington Beach and his family fished out of the Old Mill on the Nolo with Capt. Jaime: "My son Andy and I left the bay with a variable wind and slight chop, and headed up the hill and out about 35 miles. A quick switch from feathers to live bait, and no more than a minute later had a hookup. Twenty-five minutes later we had a 38-pound yellowtail. Not another hookup for 4 hours until we spotted dolphins working a kelp paddy further out, about 10 miles. Now we threw lead into the kelp and pulled another yellow out, 25-pounds. The afternoon wind came in fast. A great trip."
SAN QUINTIN, MEXICO: John Migeot of Mission Viejo, CA and his son Jason fished with Chino's Sportfishing out of Cielito Lindo: "Went out on a 240 heading for 18 miles, then turned north when the water hit 70 degrees.
"The boats to the north of us were hitting yellowfin. We trolled past a kelp paddy and nailed a nice 20-pound dorado. Then we threw live macs at the paddy for more dorado.
"Then the yellowtail started to hit. Beautiful fish. Strong too. We limited out on that one kelp paddy. All our fish were between 20 and 30 pounds. Chino has a new cruiser, a Sea Ray converted for fishing. Very nice. We chose not to fish on Wednesday. Our ice chests were full, and we were beat."
SAN QUINTIN, MEXICO: Stan Woodward of Manhattan Beach, CA fished out of the Old Mill in sloppy weather: "We spent 2 days offshore, getting the snot kicked out of us for one yellowtail under a kelp. The logjam at the launch ramp was amazing. Took an hour to get the boat in the water.
"We spent one day slow-trolling bait at the island and got 1 yellowtail and a nice white seabass, but it was slow. We took several lings to 20 pounds at the 6 Fathom Spot, then ran outside looking for kelp with fish and got lucky. So, we had 1 good day out of 3."
Woodward also reported San Quintin police monitoring traffic with radar guns.
SAN QUINTIN, MEXICO: At Don Eddie's Landing, Tony Marquez said the hotels were jammed to capacity over the weekend. Weather on Sunday was overcast and windy, but all boats were continuing to fish, with most limiting on yellowfin, dorado, a few marlin hookups, and steady limits of bottom fish. No albacore were reported.
Marquez also said the 3rd Annual Labor Day tournament will be held Aug. 29-31. The hotel is already sold out, he said, but there are still rooms available at other locations in town. The tournament entry fee is $50, and qualifying fish include tunas and surface game fish only, and no sharks or rays.
SAN QUINTIN, MEXICO: Capt. Kelly Catian of San Quintin Sportfishing said he's found yellowtail and a larger 70-pound yellowfin tuna that hit near the 240 Spot: "I had Vance Willer of San Diego. We got out early and made good time on the bait. As we got to 8 miles, we put the trollers out and within 5 minutes one of the reels started screaming and didn't stop for a long time...a 70-pound yellowfin tuna! We then caught some yellows on paddies and I forgot what else, but who cares?"
Catian said water temperatures were 70 to 74 degrees, and clear blue.
BAJA CALIFORNIA, MEXICO: Stan Woodward reported on a trip by Steve Bergdahl of Ventura, CA and his friends to San Juanico: "They caught yellowtail about 3 miles offshore, trolling feathers. The water and weather were warm but they didn't see any dorado. He said he saw the most amazing pileup of sandbass. He said thousands were all jammed together, eating some tiny bait fish, while schools of skipjack and yellowtail swam underneath. He said sometimes a school of 100 yellowtail would swim by."
MAGDALENA BAY, MEXICO: Gary Graham of Baja On The Fly said San Carlos weather was in the mid-80s, with water temperatures of 67 to 73 degrees. Action was improving for bass and other species in the mangroves. At Devil's Curve, snook, palometa amarilla, and leopard grouper were caught. Firecracker yellowtail were still active under birds at the entrada.
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Tommy Garcia of Cabo Magic reported on 67 boats with a catch including released fish of: 8 blue marlin, 24 striped marlin, 3 sailfish, 171 yellowfin tuna, 28 dorado, 4 wahoo, 1 hammerhead shark, and 6 squid. The week's top fish was a 730-pound blue marlin caught on the Olita II with Capt. Javier Ceseña by Frank Shuman of San Jose, CA.
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: At Reel Easy Sportfishing, Mike Hebert reported on 5 boats with a catch including released fish of: 34 yellowfin tuna to 60 pounds; 3 dorado to 50 pounds; and 3 striped marlin to 120 pounds.
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Picante Fleet reported on 6 boats with a catch including released fish of: 2 blue marlin, 6 striped marlin, 2 sailfish, 1 dorado, 1 wahoo, and 7 tuna.
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Solmar Fleet reported on 85 boats chartered with a catch including released fish of: 23 striped marlin, 17 blue marlin, 12 sailfish, 19 dorado, 98 yellowfin tuna, 21 skipjack, and 1 spotted grouper.
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Larry Edwards of Cortez Yacht Charters said Gaviota Fleet had a catch including released fish of: 8 blue marlin, 3 striped marlin, 2 wahoo, 5 dorado, and 147 yellowfin tuna. Boats averaged about 6 tuna per day, Edwards said, and although most were in the 20 to 30-pound range, a 200 pounder was caught by Junior O'Dell of Modesto, CA on the Gaviota III with Capt. Octavio. The best action was found at the Jaime Bank on the Pacific side.
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: At Pisces Fleet, Tracy Ehrenberg said 35 percent of boats chartered caught billfish, and 93 percent landed all species combined. "There was a lot of action, mostly on tuna and just a few boats were skunked," Ehrenberg said. "We were again pleased by the blue marlin catches, though they are still on the small side. Striped marlin remain the dominant billfish.
"Checking back to years past, it seems that fishing is returning to it's old cycle. The type of fishing we are having right now is typical for August, a mix of blue marlin, striped marlin, and sailfish, and lots of small game. The fish were spread out this week, but strangely enough, practically everything was on the Pacific."
Ehrenberg said the yellowfin tuna averaged about 30 pounds, but included some in the 80 to 100-pound class.
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Fred Fagan of Rancho Palos Verdes, CA fished on the ABY: "Caught 5 yellowfin tuna quickly in an area that was getting congested with 20 or so boats. The seas were very rough and we experienced whitecaps most of the time we were out."
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Capt. George Landrum of Fly Hooker Sportfishing said Cabo weather was about 100 degrees, with no hurricanes in sight, and seas were flat. Water temperatures on the Cortez side ranged to 90 degrees, and about 81 degrees on the Pacific banks. Several blue marlin, and some possible black marlin, to about 700 pounds were reported on the Pacific side. Landrum said, "Don't expect a chance to tangle with one of the brutes on your first day out. I always recommend that people book at least 5 days. Make sure the boat you book has gear that will handle a big fish like that."
SAN JOSE DEL CABO, MEXICO: Eric Brictson of Gordo Banks Pangas said swells and surf picked up a few days last week and fishing was still generally slow on striped marlin, dorado, yellowfin tuna, skipjack, pargo, and roosterfish. A few wahoo to 50 pounds, a few inshore roosterfish to 40 pounds, and a few snook on the beaches were caught. Water temperatures averaged about 80 degrees.
SAN JOSE DEL CABO, MEXICO: At Palmilla Bay Sportfishing, Luis Duhart said sardina bait was abundant, and a few mullet (lisa) were available, but there wasn't much action on either. "Most anglers are fishing for barriletes (black skipjack) and using them for marlin, dorado, and tuna," Duhart said. At the Outer Gordo Bank, some yellowfin tuna were caught, mostly football, but including one 125 pounder.
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: Tami Moyeous of Rancho Buena Vista reported on 42 boats chartered with a catch including released fish of: 8 striped marlin, 10 blue marlin, 5 dorado, and 48 yellowfin tuna.
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: Buena Vista Beach Resort reported on 54 boats with a catch including released fish of: 7 blue marlin, 10 striped marlin, 21 sailfish, 26 dorado, 29 tuna, 1 wahoo, 6 roosterfish, 13 snapper, 1 jack crevalle, 1 bonita, and 1 triggerfish.
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: Chris Moyers of East Cape Smoke House reported on 121 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: 17 blue marlin, 14 striped marlin, 37 sailfish, 20 dorado, 233 yellowfin tuna, and 1 wahoo.
East Cape weather was about 100 degrees, with light afternoon breezes and water temperatures of 82 to 88 degrees. Said Moyers, "I wish I had good news, but the fishing is still slow. The dorado have virtually disappeared. Where have they gone?" Baits available included sardines and halfbeaks.
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: At Rancho Leonero, John Ireland reported improved action, with 4 blue marlin releases in 7 boat departures on Saturday, yellowfin tuna to 60 pounds, and better action on sailfish, 3 to 7 miles offshore. "Fishing is turning around after almost a month of scratch fishing," Ireland said. "The bite has definitely picked up."
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: East Cape resident Chuck Meredith said, "All is quiet here. Temps and humidity extremely high. We are in the doldrums. Not many boats going out. I am out of the water, installing a new wash-down pump and gps/sonar."
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: George Bergin of La Ribera said the town tournament was won by Jesus Valdez on the Mosca, out of Buena Vista Beach Resort. Valdez took home a $400 prize for a 48-kilo blue marlin. A total of 20 boats caught 4 marlin, Bergin said. Two of the billfish were small striped marlin, with normal pointed fins, rather than the squared-off fins that Bergin says are sometimes seen on fish that may be white marlin: "I checked two small marlin I was hoping would be whites, but they were small stripers. Helps my case, small stripers with perfect stripper fins."
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: At Baja On The Fly, Gary Graham said blue marlin were caught only a mile off the beach. Right on the beach, there were smaller jacks and roosterfish to about 15 pounds.
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: Mark Rayor of the Vista Sea Sport dive service said conditions at Cabo Pulmo were "as good as it gets," with water temperatures of 85 degrees on the surface and 80 degrees at depth, and visibility up to 100 feet. Sightings included large grouper, manta rays, and schools of bigeye jacks. Rayor recently fished with his grandkids, Nicholas Litwin, 4, and Jacob Litwin, 7, of La Verne, CA, and Nicolas caught his first fish ever, a needlefish at Punta Pescadero. "My daughter and her husband are in big trouble, as both boys are now hooked on fishing," Rayor said. "Live sardines on bait casting reels with 10-pound test did the trick."
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: At Pepe's Dive Service, Pepe Murrieta said, "We are getting a current from the north lately, bringing us a lot of plankton and other nutrients, so the mantas are in heaven." Other sightings included hammerhead shark and green sea turtles.
LA PAZ, MEXICO: Jonathan Roldan of Tail Hunter International said the better action, on dorado and billfish, continued to be on the La Paz side, between Islas Cerralvo and Espiritu Santo, on weed paddies, and at some spots near Las Cruces. One of the week's top catches was a 450-pound blue marlin. On the Las Arenas side, bait continued in short supply, and fishing continued slow, although Roldan said there was some improvement. "Most of our clients fishing the Las Arenas side are getting fish," Roldan said. Boats were using dead halfbeaks (ballyhoo) and strip bait for sporadic action.
LA PAZ, MEXICO: At Tortuga Sportfishing, Gerardo Hernandez said the boats have been busy, even though the action was only so-so: "Our people understand we cannot control the fishing. We are still having some slow days, and there is not one place to find sardinas." Hernandez said water temperatures on the Las Arenas side were 87 to 88 degrees, and the weather was hot, about 100 degrees.
LA PAZ, MEXICO: At Fisherman's Fleet, David Jones said on the Las Arenas side, "Fishing has improved slightly." Anglers were finding some honest good action, he said, including one boat with "a fair pile of dorado" and a wahoo at the south point of Isla Cerralvo.
LORETO, MEXICO: Guille Mendoza of the Sportfishing Cooperativa at the downtown ramp said 13 pangas had a catch of: 65 dorado, 1 marlin, and 1 sailfish. "The weather has been really nice," Mendoza said. "The boats are still going to San Bruno."
LORETO, MEXICO: Pam Bolles of Baja Big Fish Company said, "Fishing is slow for the most part." Larger single dorado were caught, along with sailfish, but marlin were fewer, and the fish were a long run out: "We damn-near crossed the Sea of Cortez and only picked up 1 dorado when we hit the buoys and found they were holding fish." The best dorado action was on the buoys to the north at San Bruno, "best fished in the evenings when the other boats have already hung up their rods for the day."
About the buoys, Bolles said: "The bait union, a few independent pangueros, and our donations made possible 2 sets of man-made structure that has been holding the dorado for the past 3 to 4 weeks. With the pressure of the entire town's sportfishing fleet on these buoys in the morning, it turns out that evenings are an ideal time to fish them. Typically you'll be the only boat fishing and will have the dorado all to yourself!"
Loreto weather was hot and humid. Sea conditions were swelly, due to storms over the mainland and the Baja mountains to the west.
LORETO, MEXICO: Local resident Jeff Petersen said Americans tourists are thinning out, but there were many Italians and Mexican visitors in town. Petersen reported that the Carnaderos baitsellers cooperativa is testing new lights in an effort to catch more bait. When warm water mackerel baits die, he recommended trolling dead baits with the spines removed. "Wise fisherman filet out the tail and central bones midway up the body, and troll this delicacy with awesome results. Good action. Just outstanding bait!"
LORETO, MEXICO: Fred Fagan and John Simmons of Rancho Palos Verdes, CA fished with Capt. Rigoberto Davis Romero and landed 5 dorado in 2 days, plus losing a couple more dorado and a sailfish. "Bait was available one day and not the next so we jigged for our own mackerel and pulled up a squid for bait," Fagan said. "Both days were hot and steamy. Swells on the sea were high on the first day but smoothed out nicely on the second."
LORETO, MEXICO: Alejandro Rosas of Tijuana's Club de Pesca Deportiva said charter club member Joe de Anda fished on his boat Pepe Lupe and landed a 90-pound sailfish.
SAN FELIPE, MEXICO: Fili 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 Aug. 15 with a catch of: 109 yellowtail, 20 to 31 pounds; 2 grouper, 55 to 60 pounds; 53 dorado, 14 to 18 pounds; 39 cabrilla, 10 to 14 pounds; 1 red snapper, 12 pounds; 3 broomtail grouper, 18 to 20 pounds; 6 sheephead, 6 to 8 pounds; and 52 spotted bay bass. One sailfish of 60 pounds, and 2 grouper of 15 and 18 pounds were also released. Midriff water temperatures were 75 to 80 degrees.
SAN CARLOS, MEXICO: Vince Radice of the Sonora Sport Center said fishing has been steady for tuna and billfish. Radice said the female sperm whale caught in a net, sought by rescuers last week, has probably died. "Moby did not make it," Radice said. "There was such an intensive search and she was not found." The whale made international media coverage when it was spotted wrapped in a net, together with its dead male young. It escaped rescuers before the net could be cut completely free.
MAZATLAN, MEXICO: Tadeo Hernandez of Flota Bibi Fleet reported on 8 offshore boats with a catch including released fish of: 2 blue marlin to 255 pounds, 8 sailfish, and 14 skipjack and bonita.
Earlier, 4 offshore boats had a catch including released fish of: 8 sailfish, and 1 dorado of 40 pounds.
Bottom fishing boats caught limits of red snapper, triggerfish, corvina, mojarra, and chihuil catfish.
MAZATLAN, MEXICO: Larry Edwards of Cortez Yacht Charters said Aries Fleet at Marina el Cid had a catch including released fish of: 66 sailfish, 2 blue marlin to about 250 pounds, and 9 dorado to 53 pounds. Offshore boats averaged 3 to 4 sailfish per day. One inshore panga also released 9 roosterfish in the 30 to 40-pound range. Mazatlan weather was generally calm in the mid-80s, and the best fishing was 20 to 25 miles from Marina el Cid on headings of 220 to 240 degrees.
IXTAPA ZIHUATANEJO, MEXICO: Stan Lushinsky of Ixtapa Sportfishing Charters said fishing was "red hot." The Dos Hermanos with Capt. Adolfo landed 7 roosterfish in a morning, and another angler fished 4 days, landing 10 sailfish, 6 roosterfish, and 46 yellowtail jacks. Blue water was within a mile of the beach, and large schools of bait fish were present all along the coast.
IXTAPA ZIHUATANEJO, MEXICO: Gary Graham of Baja On The Fly said Zihuatanejo weather was in the 90s with high humidity and calm winds. Water temperatures were 75 to 90 degrees.