CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: At Pisces Fleet, Tracy Ehrenberg said top catches for the week included a triple striped marlin release by Tracy Ann for Howard Burrow and Mike Vetovich from Tacoma, WA, a 120-pound tuna caught by Ni Modo, and a 330-pound tuna caught by Anamar.
"This is a good sign, with the WON Tuna Tournament just days away, which looks set to be the biggest tournament in Cabo history," Ehrenberg said, adding that fishing improved after slow action during the Bisbee's Tournament. Most fleet boats fished the Pacific side, in good weather and calm seas. Forty-five percent of Pisces boats caught billfish, and 84 percent caught all species combined. The billfish included 28 striped marlin, 4 blue marlin, and 2 sailfish. Forty-two percent caught yellowfin tuna averaging about 30 pounds, and 28 percent caught dorado.
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Grant Hartman of Baja Anglers said yellowfin tuna in all sizes were caught in a wide area from the Gordo Banks on the Cortez, around to the Jaime Bank on the Pacific. "The tuna are footballs mixed with monsters," Hartman said. Richard Blunt lost a 200-pound-plus tuna at leader off the Jaime banks on 20-pound test line, after fighting it for over 6 hours. "The tuna were shying off the heavy leaders, so Richard had to go down to 50-pound fluorocarbon to get bit," Hartman said. At the Gordo Banks, the yellowfin were mixed with black skipjack and kawakawa.
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Capt. George Landrum of Fly Hooker Sportfishing reported on 6 boats with a catch including released fish of: 1 striped marlin tagged, 9 yellowfin tuna of 25 to 65 pounds, and 1 small dorado. Water temperatures in mostly calm seas were slightly cooler overall, but still about 82 degrees on the Pacific, and 85 degrees on the Cortez, in beautiful blue conditions. Bait available was mostly caballito.
Landrum reported scattered yellowfin tuna on porpoise, but fish mostly small, and the larger ones not biting. The 1150 Spot and Jaime Bank held some larger fish to about 100 pounds, caught mostly on slow-trolled live baits.
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Jose Luis Sanchez of Solmar Fleet said most boats fished at the Jaime Bank on the Pacific side. Solmar Fleet had a catch including released fish of: 25 striped marlin, 26 dorado, 62 tuna, 7 sailfish, and 1 blue marlin.
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Larry Edwards of Cortez Yacht Charters said Gaviota Fleet had a catch including released fish of: 1 blue marlin, 31 striped marlin, and 101 yellowfin tuna. Top catches included a 375-pound blue marlin caught on 50-pound test aboard the Gaviota V by Larry Clarine of Hercules, CA. Gaviota boats fished up to the Golden Gate Bank on the Pacific side, in good conditions.
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Dave Palmer of Fiesta Sportfishing and his group of 15 anglers fished 10 boat-days with Los Dorados Fleet for a catch including released fish of: 6 marlin to 180 pounds, 1 blue marlin of 150 pounds, 1 wahoo of 60 pounds, 2 dorado to 35 pounds, 39 yellowfin tuna to 40 pounds, and 2 bonita. "All the tuna were found in schools of porpoise from 15 to 35 miles out on the Pacific side, as far as Golden Gate banks," Palmer said. "Lighter lines seemed to get bit more often. Although there is tons of debris floating in the water, dorado proved to be almost nonexistent."
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: John Lanz of northern California fished 12 days with Angelina Fleet's Carmelita III for a catch including released fish of: 7 dorado to 40 pounds, 1 sailfish, 1 wahoo of 70 pounds, 1 blue marlin of 220 pounds, several striped marlin, and football yellowfin tuna. "They were not jumping in the boat, but with persistence we did fairly well," Lanz said. "We had shots at one or two marlin per day. One striper coughed up a bunch of 6 to 8-inch squid in perfect shape at boatside."
ENSENADA, MEXICO: Sammy Susarrey of Lily Fleet said weekend fishing at Maximino Reef and Santo Tomas was good for lots of big calico bass, salmon grouper, and lingcod to 15 pounds, about 200 feet deep. Bottom fishing for red snapper was very good at Punta Banda Bank. Some large barracuda were also found, in water temperatures averaging 62 degrees. Ensenada waters were calm, and bait available was medium sardines.
ENSENADA, MEXICO: Ivan Villarino of Vonny's Fleet said pangas at the tip of Punta Banda were catching yellowtail to 25 pounds, including limits for anglers Humberto, Gilberto, and Sunny, who fished with iron on the Vonny I. Punta Banda weather was partly cloudy in the high-60s, with 3 to 5-foot ocean swells, and water temperatures of 64 to 66 degrees.
ENSENADA, MEXICO: Lee Wood reported on 11 members of Oceanside Senior Anglers who fished 2 days out of Castro's Camp, about 35 miles south of Ensenada. "The fishing was great as usual, and we caught many fish," Wood said. Fishing north of Castro's the group found many lingcod, vermillion rockfish, large sheephead, and other assorted bottom fish, plus bonito and barracuda on light tackle. Going south, they caught large calico bass, barracuda, and bonito. Hugh Cobb of Oceanside's Pacific Coast Bait & Tackle was on the trip and caught a calico bass estimated at 8 pounds. The group included Cobb, Wood, Mike Mercado, Dennis Dannat, George Afansev, Bud Dodge, Jim Hergert, Roger Davis, Rod Morris, Joe Rempe, and Ed Dennis.
ENSENADA, MEXICO: Craige Harvey of El Centro trailered to Ensenada with Wes Townsel and Mark Valenzuela for some good inshore fishing on Harvey's 17-foot Gregor, Baja Critic II. Offshore waters only produced skipjack, so they fished the kelp north of Hotel Coral for calico bass on swim baits, and rockfish and lingcod about 90 feet deep. "The highlight of the trip was the excellent halibut fishing outside the hotel," Harvey said. "We ended up with about 8 or 9 fish, 5 of which were around 28 to 30 inches." Water temperatures were 59 to 64.5 degrees.
ENSENADA, MEXICO: Steve Ross of Pescadores de Ensenada said most club boats would probably not fish, due to wind predicted over the weekend. Earlier, Ross reported slow action in 68-degree water at the 295 spot: "There was nothing in that water but water. So it went for the rest of the day, water, water everywhere, but not a fish to catch. Good, now we can save all the money we would have spent on fuel and get back early from rockcodding. Back to the winter mode."
SAN QUINTIN, MEXICO: Pete Hillis of Pedro's Pangas said 25 boats fished last week, mostly for limits of bottom fish including red rockfish, rockcod, whitefish, and lingcod. Some boats caught yellowtail at the 6 Spot. San Quintin weather was cooler, with mostly calm seas.
SAN QUINTIN, MEXICO: Kelly Catian of El Capitan Sportfishing said early week boats did well on yellowtail at Isla San Martin and Ben's Rock, but they lost many fish to seals. An early week boat gave up on the seals and headed 16 miles south to El Socorro for very hot action on white seabass hitting jigs and live bait. Tim Solari landed 6 of 9 hookups, Catian said, and they also caught lots of sandbass and calico bass. "Two hours on one drift," Catain said, "and I only started the boat up twice, to chase whites that were busting us off on the kelp stringers rising off the bottom." The group ended up with 2 yellowtail, 9 white seabass, and many sandbass and calicos.
SAN QUINTIN, MEXICO: Lorenzo Biedebach of San Quintin said many locals were hunting quail rather than fishing. Ray Williams caught 3 white seabass to 43 pounds, plus a 51-pound thresher shark. Gerald Goree and Fred Suhr limited on sandbass and calico bass to 6 pounds on plastics. Robert Zimmer reported unlimited barracuda and possibly even more seals, as he lost 4 yellowtail to them.
MAGDALENA BAY, MEXICO: Gary Graham of Baja On The Fly reported "red hot" offshore marlin action, plus wahoo in the teasers, from the Thetis Bank in toward Bahía Santa María. "Lots of fish in the teasers and plenty of double-digit counts," Graham said. Corvina were actively hitting surface lures in the mangroves. Also hooked were pompano, jacks, lots of cabrilla, and a some snook broken off in the roots. San Carlos weather was hazy in the low-80s, with water temperatures of 67 to 79 degrees.
SAN JOSE DEL CABO, MEXICO: Eric Brictson of Gordo Banks Pangas said pangas were busy at La Playita, and some had to wait for sardina baits in the mornings. Water temperatures averaged 80 degrees, and most fishing was centered around the Gordo Banks for yellowfin tuna, dorado, wahoo, sailfish, skipjack, and bottom species. Water clarity was improving, and deep blue water was within a few miles of shore.
Most of the tuna action was on 10 to 25-pound fish, caught with live sardina, and boats averaged 5 to 10 each. Wahoo were numerous enough to be seen jumping in the morning, and many strikes were reported early in the day on skirted heads, Marauders, or wire-trapped live chihuil when available. Only a few billfish were caught.
SAN JOSE DEL CABO, MEXICO: Barry Hyatt of Long Beach fished 3 days with Guluarte Fleet for good catches of yellowfin tuna of 15 to 50 pounds, on sardinas at San Luis and Vinorama. Included in the catch were 2 rainbow runners of 13 and 15 pounds, Hayatt said. Limits of pargo and triggerfish were caught on the bottom with sardina and squid. The water temperature was 85 degrees, in clear, blue conditions.
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: Tami Mouyeos of Rancho Buena Vista reported on 37 boats with a catch including released fish of: 2 blue marlin, 12 sailfish, 8 dorado, 78 tuna, 1 wahoo, 2 pargo, and 38 skipjack.
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: Buena Vista Beach Resort reported on 50 boats with a catch including released fish of: 1 striped marlin, 14 sailfish, 13 dorado, 115 tuna, 120 snapper, 3 jack crevalle, 10 amberjack, 25 bonita, 1 yellowtail, 13 squid, 1 cabrilla, 30 skipjack, and 4 sierra. Boats fished north to Punta Pescadero, and south to Los Frailes, and the tuna were caught with porpoise in both directions. Inshore boats were catching squid to well over 30 pounds in about 200 feet of water and using them for bait.
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: Chris Moyers of East Cape Smoke House reported on 426 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: 2 blue marlin, 10 striped marlin, 118 sailfish, 55 dorado, 1,174 yellowfin tuna, 10 pargo, 2 wahoo, and 1 roosterfish. East Cape weather was in the high-80s, with calm mornings and some afternoon chop. Water temperatures were 81 to 85 degrees.
Yellowfin tuna were caught 30 to 52 miles out, and south to Los Frailes. The tuna were mostly football to 40 pounds, with some larger fish mixed in. The winning yellowfin tuna in the recent Lynn Rose East Cape Classic Tournament weighed 132 pounds, Moyers said, and the event set a record for the most number of billfish caught during an East Cape Tournament, in addition to raising over $19,000 for the learning center in Los Barriles.
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: At Rancho Leonero, John Ireland, said, "Dorado, yellowfin tuna, sailfish, striped marlin and blue marlin all active. Some big amberjack and pargo also taken. The overall bite was a bit spotty, but some real trophy fish hit the dock this week." Angler of the week was Steve Brown of Portland, OR, who fished 4 days for a catch including released fish of: 2 sailfish, 4 dorado to 40 pounds, and 15 tuna to 157 pounds.
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: Dennis Spike of Coastal Kayak Fishing ran 2 guided sessions at Rancho Leonero and reported fewer than expected fish, but excellent quality in the catches, including a 36-pound dorado by John Logioco of Santa Monica, CA. Several jack crevalle to 20 pounds, black skipjack to 18 pounds, and giant squid to 50 pounds were caught, plus some pargo and pompano. Spike said he has trips scheduled to Rancho Leonero in April, June, August, and October of 2004.
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: At Baja On The Fly, Gary Graham said jacks and smaller roosterfish returned to the beaches as inshore clarity continued to improve. The action was centered at La Ribera and Punta Colorada.
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: Mark Rayor of the Vista Sea Sport dive service reported continued excellent conditions at Cabo Pulmo, with bottom temperatures of 79 to 80 degrees, in "gin clear, Tidy Bowl blue water." Rayor said, "Bigeyed jacks are so thick, dive buddies are getting separated in the schools." Sea life sightings included monster-sized jewfish, large groupers and snappers, and some whitetip sharks and nurse sharks.
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: Earlier, Jay Brit of West Covina, CA, Jim Hensley, and Jim Hensley Jr., fished out of Palmas de Cortez for 3 days, and found slow action, with 2 skunk days and a total catch including released fish of: 3 sailfish and a few dorado.
LA PAZ, MEXICO: Gerardo Hernandez of Tortuga Fleet said dorado were caught early in the week on the Las Arenas side, but none after that. "Sometimes, it just isn't easy!" he said. "We have squid and sardina, but we're looking to find fish." La Paz weather was very nice, in the high-80s, with water temperatures of 82 to 84 degrees at Isla Cerralvo and south of Ensenada de los Muertos.
LA PAZ, MEXICO: Jonathan Roldan of Tail Hunter International said tourism slowed down due to the Southern California fires last week, and, "it might be just as well. It seems like we went almost straight from summer to winter, with barely a passing nod to any semblance of fall conditions." Fishing on the Las Arenas side was really poor, Roldan said, although some cabrilla, small pargo, and snapper were caught. On the La Paz side, there was still a shot at dorado.
LORETO, MEXICO: Gregorio Segoviano of the Carnaderos baitsellers cooperativa said tourism was brought to a near standstill by the Southern California fires. "The carnaderos wish to express hope and peace for the families affected by this occurrence," he said.
LORETO, MEXICO: At Baja Big Fish Company, Pam Bolles said Loreto weather was definitely shifting into winter mode with lower temperatures and humidity and variable winds. Yellowtail and cabrilla of 10 to 20 pounds continued to be caught about 150 to 300 feet deep at San Bruno up to Punta Pulpito. The fish were hitting mackerel, caballito, and trolled Rapalas, or cast spoons. Included in the mix were sierra, jack crevalle, pargo, triggerfish, pinto bass, and needlefish. Very few dorado were reported. Sierra have appeared off the marina.
LORETO, MEXICO: Ty Miller of El Fuerte Sportfishing said yellowtail of 35 to 40 pounds and some grouper to 80 pounds were caught on the bottom at Smorgasbord Reef, out of Puerto Escondido. Larger yellowfin tuna to 100 pounds, and a lost blue marlin in the 500-pound class were reported offshore, and at the puerto, locals caught roosterfish to 20 pounds from the pier. Miller said another spot, newly named Punta Gallo, 15 miles south, produced roosterfish limits to 30 pounds. Caballito bait was available just outside the puerto. Local weather was fair in the high-80s, with water temperatures averaging 83 degrees.
LORETO, MEXICO: Earlier, Arturo Susarrey of Arturo's Sportfishing reported yellowtail to 25 pounds and cabrilla to 12 pounds at La Vaca, on the north end of Isla Carmen, and in the Punta Pulpito area to the north. Forty-pound line and 60-pound leader were recommended.
MULEGE, MEXICO: Paul Rista of Long Beach, CA just fished out of his new home on the Hotel Serenidad grounds, and reported a couple of partial washouts of the highway, but basically good conditions all the way to Mulege. South to Loreto, however, there were many bad spots.
"The fishing is still very poor," Rista said. "Few pangas went out. Little or no success. Few tourists. Good crowd at the Serenidad for the Saturday pig roast. Took my own boat out one day, total of 35 miles, no takers."
BAHIA DE LOS ANGELES, MEXICO: At Bahía de los Angeles, Abraham Vazquez of Camp Gecko reported fair fishing for yellowtail on the back side of Isla Horsehead and on the inner reefs. Most fish were in the 5 to 10-pound range, with a few at 15 pounds. All fish were caught on blue-white iron. In the bay, bonita were available, plus lots of triggerfish and bass from shore.
Outside the bay at Bernabe Rock and the south end of Isla Angel de la Guarda, a few boats were fishing for a larger grade of yellowtail, grouper, and a few straggler dorado, but most boats were staying inside. L.A. Bay weather was in the mid-80s, with a few days of wind. Water temperatures were 75 to 78 degrees in the outer channel, and 76 to 78 degrees in the bay. Water condition in the bay was green, with diving visibility about 15 to 25 feet.
Vazquez said there are lots of whale sharks in residence all around the bay, but nearly 40 percent of them are showing recent propeller cuts. The road was in good conditions, the desert is very green, and finally, the post-hurricane mosquitos have departed.
The air was hazy over L.A. Bay due to the Southern California fires, and the sunrises were very red. There was a light coating of ash falling on vehicles.
BAHIA DE LOS ANGELES, MEXICO: Earlier, Capt. Igor Galvan reported water temperatures of 78 to 80.3 degrees at El Soldato.
SAN FELIPE, MEXICO: Mark Crevier reported that he caught a 43.5-pound yellowtail this summer aboard the San Felipe panga mothership, Erik, a possible winner in the mothership season-long tournament.
SAN FELIPE, MEXICO: At San Felipe, Catalina Meders of the Title Company Bookstore overlooking the bay said the weather was chilly with light sprinkles last week, and people were walking around in long pants and jackets. The town was preparing for next week's annual Shrimp Festival, which this year will honor town patriarch Tony Reyes Sr.:
"Tony has been living in San Felipe since the early 1950s and has seen the town go through myriad changes. He is sort of a walking history book. I don't think many people have such sweeping knowledge of the entire area, including the Sea of Cortez itself. He has been instrumental in preserving the endangered marine life, and has worked hard to restore diminishing populations such as the totoaba.
"Tony's life story is fascinating, a young man working his way up from absolute poverty, learning fluent English, traveling to the U.S. to pick vegetables, and eventually becoming the owner of a successful sportfishing company, which he started with a rowboat powered by his own strong back."
ROCKY POINT (PUERTO PENASCO), MEXICO: Stuart Burnett of Tempe, AZ relayed reports of five Tuscon-area anglers still missing in rough seas over the weekend after their 24-foot catamaran-hulled fishing boat was found capsized about 24 miles off Puertecitos. Divers had determined there were no life jackets inside the boat, which was still adrift after high winds aborted an attempt to tow it back to Puerto Peñasco on Friday. The boat had left Puertecitos the previous Saturday, and was first sighted on Wednesday. The navy was searching the area, local islands, and Baja coast for survivors.
ROCKY POINT (PUERTO PENASCO), MEXICO: Puerto Peñasco regular Jim Davis of Yuma, AZ reported a hot bite on 33 yellowfin tuna, but at Port Maria, Jamaica, not the Sea of Cortez. "Fished on a Jamaican panga!" Davis said.
SAN CARLOS, MEXICO: Bill Molden of San Carlos said offshore action was winding down for the season, with water temperatures still at 80 to 82 degrees, but cooling about a degree per day. A few scattered billfish, tuna, dorado were caught, and inshore, some bonito and yellowtail were still available. "All in all it has been a really good summer," Molden said. "A few more weeks and the yellowtail action at San Pedro Island, 15 miles out, will be picking up."
MAZATLAN, MEXICO: Tadeo Hernandez of Flota Bibi Fleet reported on 7 boats with a catch including released fish of: 8 sailfish and 14 skipjack tuna. There were some strong winds and high tides early in the week, but good weather after that. Mazatlan weather was 86 degrees and very clear.
MAZATLAN, MEXICO: Larry Edwards of Cortez Yacht Charters said roosterfish were right at the entrance of Marina el Cid, and bottom fishing was very good. Offshore, sailfish action was slower, but still averaging about 2 per boat. A total of 17 Aries Fleet boats out of Marina el Cid had a catch including released fish of: 1 blue marlin, 43 sailfish, and 12 dorado. Mazatlan sea conditions were mostly calm, with water temperatures in the mid-80s.
PUERTO VALLARTA, MEXICO: Kim Moore of Charter Dreams reported on-and-off fishing, with the best action at Corbetana for blue and black marlin on live bonito, plus some scattered sailfish at Corbetana, El Banco, and El Moro. At midweek, 5 black marlin of 400 to 450 pounds were caught at El Banco. PV weather was perfect in the mid-80s, with the water temperature at 80 degrees.
IXTAPA ZIHUATANEJO, MEXICO: Local guide Ed Kunze said 84-degree, cobalt blue water is holding at 19 miles out, and there is another band of clear water from the beach out to about 3 miles. In between, conditions range from green to clear.
Capt. Santiago on the Gitana released 3 sailfish, 12 miles out, including one that weighed 120 pounds. No tuna or dorado were reported. Inshore, boats released about 3 roosterfish per day. Zihuatanejo weather was partly cloudy in the low-90s, with water temperatures of 75 to 86 degrees.
IXTAPA ZIHUATANEJO, MEXICO: Stan Lushinsky of Ixtapa Sportfishing Charters said boats were finding much slower sailfish action, even after making long runs out to the 25-mile mark. The Dos Hermanos I found 3 sailfish and 12 skipjack tuna in 2 days of offshore fishing. During 2 inshore fishing days, it caught 35 yellowtail jacks, 22 bonito, and a 50-pound roosterfish.