MAGDALENA BAY, MEXICO: More anglers visited Magdalena Bay last week as the peak November season arrived. Sonny de la Torre of Riverside, CA ran down to San Carlos with fishing buddies Mike Barbera and Ed Rice to fish both offshore and in the mangroves with local guide Enrique Soto:
"We did well in the mangroves. Caught a bunch. No wall hangers, but a lot of species. Got 2 new ones. A brown triggerfish. Enrique called it a lingua. The icing on the cake was a 30-inch, 13-kilo palometa amarilla on 12-pound test. We caught leopard grouper, spotted bay bass, halibut, corvina, croaker, pompano, palometa, lingua, sierra, and barracuda. Probably forgot a few.
"Mosquitos were abundant, but not enough to stop fishing. The weather was good, 70s to 80s. At the shark buoys it got pretty breezy. We did manage 3 dorado and a healthy skipjack. Should have gotten more off a sunken tree. Got too busy. The tree drifted away. Had to cut it short because of the chop.
"I like to chase the halibut on swimbaits, but Enrique likes to slow troll 8-inch worms at Belcher's," he said, adding that his group had a good stay at the Hotel Brennan in San Carlos.
MAGDALENA BAY, MEXICO: Loreto resident Jeff Petersen made his regular trip, crossing over the peninsula with friends to fish out of Puerto Lopez Mateos, using carefully tended live shrimp baits for snook, pargo, corvina, halibut, and broomtail grouper. "Great effort is spent in the acquisition of bait," Petersen said. "Generally one day is for collection of shrimp. Shrimp spend the night in buckets, and the second day is devoted to fishing. Even sitting atop the heaving breast of the sea outside the boca, we stopped to change water for the bait."
MAGDALENA BAY, MEXICO: At Baja On The Fly, Gary Graham said, "Esteros are still on fire for corvina and pompano." Snook were elusive, however, Graham said, and some leopard grouper were caught. Yellowtail were caught at the main entrada and also at the entrance to Bahía Santa María.
Offshore action was slower: "Outside action slowed way down this week. Yachts began arriving for a tournament and I suspect someone will find the herd." San Carlos weather was hazy in the high-70s, with water temperatures of 67 to 78 degrees.
MAGDALENA BAY, MEXICO: Walt Moss fished offshore on Jim Wachtler's boat Wild Thing after cruising down from San Diego on a 14-day trip: "I was the lucky guy that got to fight a 454-pound blue marlin. We hooked up on the Double 23 in 83-degree water. The fight went on for two-and-a-half hours, about seven-and-a-half miles. It came back to hit a pink 3.5 Zuker after slicing through a 250-pound leader that had a green-and-black jig." Bob Johnson was first gaff, Daren Becker was second Gaff, Ron Bowers filmed the fight from the tower, and Jim Wachtler was superb at the helm. What a stand up fight!"
MAGDALENA BAY, MEXICO: Diana Hoyt of Mag Bay Outfitters said her husband Jim as been readying the new 26-foot boat for sportfishing charters out of Puerto Lopez Mateos. "We should be talking it down at the end of the month or December for sure," she said. Hoyt reported offshore fishing wide-open for yellowfin tuna, some dorado, and a few yellowtail mixed in. Jim Oldham fished with Capt. Ruben Duran for limits of tuna to 40 pounds, and a 120-pound grouper. In the esteros, Eddie McCormic and Saul Rodriguez fished with live shrimp for pargo, halibut, and corvina.
MAGDALENA BAY, MEXICO: Earlier, Ed Kammer of Gold Beach, Ore., found slower action in the mangroves: "A great time exploring but fishing was slow. Twenty-fish days, but mostly spotted bay bass. One should not complain!"
ENSENADA, MEXICO: Ivan Villarino of Vonny's Fleet said large yellowtail were still in residence at the tip of Punta Banda. Michael Thomas of San Diego, and Willie Wright and Marcus Turner of Los Angeles fished with Capt. Beto Zamora on the Vonny I and landed 3 yellowtail in the 30-pound class, plus bottom fish. Punta Banda weather was partly cloudy in the high-60s, with some wind in the afternoon and water temperatures of 60 to 62 degrees.
ENSENADA, MEXICO: At Lily Fleet, Sammy Susarrey said the Amigo fished at Maximino Reef for nice-sized calico bass and excellent lingcod action, 180 feet deep on Scampis, live bait, and Salas 6X Jr. jigs in sardine colors. Limits were caught before noon, in flat seas, and clear water with temperatures averaging 62 degrees.
ENSENADA, MEXICO: Earlier, the Tamara fished at San Miguel in 62-degree water for medium barracudas and 3 large bonito to 8 pounds.
ENSENADA, MEXICO: Underwater photographer, Richard Herrmann, returned from North Coronado island and said more gill nets were seen at the lobster shack, running from the beach out to about 90 feet deep. "It had 6 sea lions, a cormorant and a soupfin shark in it," Herrmann said. "I think they are targeting white seabass, big kelp bass, black sea bass, yellowtail, etc. I did not see who is tending the net."
SAN QUINTIN, MEXICO: Pete Hillis of Pedro's Pangas said he had about 10 boats fish during the week, most of them coming back with good counts on yellowtail. "We hit a large mixed school of yellowtail, barracuda and sandbass right at the point," Hillis said. "The island is still producing yellowtail. We also had limits of good-size, nice halibut in the bay, and a nice white seabass at Socorro." Hillis said San Quintin weather was much cooler, cold in the mornings, with water temperatures at 60 degrees.
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Tommy Garcia of Cabo Magic reported on 101 boats with a catch including released fish of: 6 blue marlin, including an estimated 600 pounder released by Marea, and an estimated 800 pounder lost by Gancho; 18 striped marlin; 5 sailfish; 183 yellowfin tuna of 20 to 150 pounds, 94 dorado to 45 pounds; 8 wahoo to 50 pounds; and some triggerfish and needlefish.
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: At Fly Hooker Sportfishing, Capt. George Landrum reported Cabo weather as overcast in the low-90s with rain over the mountains. Water temperatures on both sides of the arch averaged 81 degrees, with some warmer water about 30 miles south. The Pacific side was windy toward the end of the week, but conditions stayed mostly calm on the Cortez. Baits available included sardina and caballito. Most of the tuna caught were school-sized fish, on the temperature break about 20 miles south of the arch, Landrum said.
"The fishing is slowly improving," he said. "I have talked to a few people who've been fishing up in Mag Bay, and the story is wide open bite on everything except striped marlin. It appears they have just not come down yet. It should happen really strong when it takes off."
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: At Pisces Fleet, Tracy Ehrenberg said, "Marlin catches were slow this week." Only 14 percent of Pisces boats landed marlin, and 74 percent caught all species combined. Dorado action was improved, with 43 percent of boats scoring, and some bringing in as many as 7.
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Larry Edwards of Cortez Yacht Charters said Gaviota Fleet averaged about 1 billfish per 6 boats: "That's considered tough fishing for this area. Usually, about this time, the striper action leads the pace, as the fish flow in from the Mag Bay area. However, with the high water temps throughout the region, it appears the process has been delayed." Gaviota Fleet had a catch including released fish of: 1 blue marlin, 10 striped marlin, 12 skipjack, 55 yellowfin tuna, and 85 dorado.
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Jose Luis Sanchez of Solmar Fleet reported a catch including released fish of: 18 striped marlin, 33 dorado, 18 yellowfin tuna, and 5 blue marlin. The top boat for the week was the Solmar IV with Capt. Mario Arballo, with a 6-outing catch including released fish of: 3 striped marlin, 19 yellowfin tuna, and the week's only blue marlin, a 400 pounder.
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: John Lanz of northern California was having a very slow day with Angelina Fleet's Carmelita III and Capt. Hector Cota, not hooking dorado on the abundant debris in the water. About 10 miles south of the arch, Lanz decided to see what was wrong, so he jumped into the water, got some excellent photos, and confirmed there were lots of bait fish on the debris, but no dorado: "That 15 minutes of swimming with the floating tree, cactus, and fish made my day! It was one of those frustrating days. Mile after mile, we saw lots of floating debris in the water. Most were loaded with bait fish but no dorado or marlin. We come across the mother load, a WHOLE floating cactus loaded with fish. As I floated there enjoying the show, a small shark swam up close and spooked me. Oh, to be a hungry dorado!"
SAN JOSE DEL CABO, MEXICO: Eric Brictson of Gordo Banks Pangas said some north winds affected fishing last week, but water temperatures still averaged 80 to 82 degrees, with clear blue water around San Jose del Cabo, but less clarity farther north. Sardina bait was still available, and some mackerel and chihuil were caught.
Good numbers of wahoo in the 30 to 60-pound class highlighted the action for pangas out of La Playita, with fish caught on fast-trolled lures and chihuil baits slow trolled with double trap-hook rigs.
"Many pangas were returning early to the beach with limits of 5 wahoo, along with yellowfin tuna to 25 pounds and dorado to 27 pounds," Brictson said. "The most consistent area was at Cardon, La Fortuna and Punta Gorda. We expect wahoo to bite into December, as long as the water temperature stays over 75 degrees."
SAN JOSE DEL CABO, MEXICO: Ed Kammer fished with Gordo Banks Pangas: "Went out with Chame and raised 6 wahoo, but only caught 1, about 40 pounds. All boats produced 1 or 2 wahoo, plus a dorado if they were lucky." On another day, Kammer fished with chihuil live bait for 3 wahoo to 60 pounds, 2 yellowfin tuna, and 1 dorado.
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: Chris Moyers of East Cape Smoke House reported on 113 boats from combined fleets including the Van Wormer Resorts of Palmas de Cortez, Playa de Sol, and Punta Colorada, with a catch including released fish of: 3 blue marlin, 10 striped marlin, 22 sailfish, 26 dorado, 156 yellowfin tuna, and 1 wahoo. East Cape weather was in the high-80s and windy in the afternoons, with water temperatures of 81 to 84 degrees. The fishing was mostly straight out or north, as boats stayed upwind for a smoother ride home.
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: Local beach fishing guide Mike Reichner said, "Mucho, mucho viento here this week!" Reichner said off-color water and windy conditions made it hard to fish or even to cast from the beach. However, a few clients went to Punta Arena and scored on lots of ladyfish, sierra, and needlefish, in water temperatures as high as 84 degrees. One panga caught roosterfish of 45 and 60 pounds at Punta Colorada while trolling Rapalas for sierra.
Reichner said he's been having success with Countdown Rapalas in silver-black, and the Luhr Jensen Deep Stinger, also known as the Dungeness Stinger: "Just a small lead minnow imitation, employing an erratic pump, still jigging retrieve. Just knocks 'em dead when nothing else works. Bait has been hard to find because of the wind, so have stayed with lures. My best fly has been the ol' reliable Clouser, small, in olive-over-white."
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: Buena Vista Beach Resort reported on 13 boats with a catch including released fish of: 1 striped marlin, 3 sailfish, 13 dorado, 5 tuna, 17 snapper, 5 bonita, and 2 sierra. With the first heavy winter winds of the season, hotel boats reported water temperatures as low as the high-60s. Boats were staying fairly close to shore, running north in the morning, and working their way home during the day.
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: At Baja On The Fly, Gary Graham said fly rodders Skip Smith and Walter Johns caught dorado to 40 pounds on debris, plus some football tuna, as water temperatures were seen from 78 to 84 degrees. "The mooring buoys in front of all the hotels are a good place to look for small dorado, jacks, and, if you are lucky, a small rooster or two," Graham said. On the beaches, ladyfish were caught at Rancho Leonero, and jacks and pompano near Punta Colorada.
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: At Rancho Leonero, John Ireland said, "With north winds most of the week, combined with fewer anglers, there's not much to report."
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: Ed Kammer stayed a week at El Cardonal's Hideaway north of town: "Had a great time in a small Mexican village. Lots of shore action for sierra, jack crevalle, and ladyfish. The ocean was a little rough for our small boats so we only went out one day but caught giant squid, dorado and several reef species."
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: Alon Altman of the Vista Sea Sport dive service said, "Strong north winds left us stranded on the beach for most of the week. When we got a break, we were in for a treat." Altman reported visibility at Cabo Pulmo at 60 feet in 81-degree water. Sea life sightings include enormous schools of bigeye jacks being attacked by sea lions, 3 giant jewfish in the 300 to 600-pound class, and schooling rays.
LA PAZ, MEXICO: Gerardo Hernandez of Tortuga Sportfishing said a few pangas sneaked out through winds on the Las Arenas side for small marlin and sailfish, "nothing big, only about 80 pounds each." Other than that, some small pargo and cabrilla were found along shore, as the winds kept boats from venturing far out. Las Arenas weather was in the high-80s, with water temperatures inside Ensenada de los Muertos at 82 degrees.
LA PAZ, MEXICO: At Tail Hunter International, Jonathan Roldan said there were few anglers around, but some found dorado and a few sailfish around Isla Espiritu Santo, and some snapper, cabrilla, smaller pargo, and sierra were caught close to shore. The bait sellers were not working regularly, so anglers were advised to come prepared to make bait if necessary.
LA PAZ, MEXICO: Betty Hill-Crofoot of La Paz said she scored two firsts last week: "I caught my first sailfish from start to finish. We were trying to motor out to the Bajo. Decided since it was so rough we would put the rigs out and slow troll across.
"The water temperature was pretty good, 81 to 84 degrees, nice blue water. We had our first strike on one of the short lines, orange-gray-black marlin jig (petrolero). It was a beautiful sailfish, a nine to ten-foot fish. We released it. Beautiful!
"My second first of the day turned out to be the largest wahoo any of us could remember boating, over 50 pounds on an old rusty spring-scale.
"Several other fishermen have tried unsuccessfully for the past two days to get out fishing. They made it as far as the channel, turned around and came back to port."
LORETO, MEXICO: Pam Bolles of Baja Big Fish Company said winter winds dominated last week but Sunday was calmer. "Decent fish week when the winds cooperated," she said. Roosterfish led the action, with smaller fish of about 10 pounds caught around town, and fish to over 20 pounds north at San Bruno and at San Basilio. Yellowtail were also caught on the northern points, when winds allowed the boats out.
Capt. Francisco Muñoz also caught a roosterfish over 50 pounds just northwest of Puerto Ballandra on Isla Carmen, Bolles said. With cooling water, sierra were making an appearance, and some were caught around the marina, in addition to jack crevalle and barracuda.
Bolles also reported a brand new IGFA fly rod record for yellowtail on 10-kilo tippet. The fish, weighing 15 pounds 0 ounces, was caught on a Baja Big Fish Company yellowtail fly, on April 25, by Lyle Lewis of Albuquerque, NM, fishing with Capt. Muñoz on the panga Enzl Damiana.
LORETO, MEXICO: Ty Miller of El Fuerte Sportfishing said yellowtail of 30 to 40 pounds, plus cabrilla and huachinango were caught on the bottom around the north end of Isla Catalan, and yellowfin tuna to 90 pounds were caught west and south of the island. Roosterfish to 20 pounds were caught near the Puerto Escondido launch ramp. "The hatch on bait down here is incredible, so let's hope it keeps rolling!" Miller said. Puerto Escondido water temperatures averaged 81 degrees, and 80 degrees outside.
LORETO, MEXICO: Gregorio Segoviano of the Carnaderos baitsellers cooperativa said bait was hard to find last week, but there were few anglers in town anyway. "Some nights with wind," Segoviano said. "On those nights, the boats leave about 1 a.m. On nights without wind, we leave earlier. With wind, 1 boat fishes. Otherwise, 2 boats. Bait fishing was very slow. Maybe 70 to 80 baits all night long. One night jurelito, next night macarela. Sardinas are available every morning in the marina."
LORETO, MEXICO: Wendy Wilchynski of Villas de Loreto said no anglers were at the hotel.
MULEGE, MEXICO: Ed Kammer of Gold Beach, OR, had a report from the Punta Chivato campground: "The hurricane changed Punta Chivato and washed all the sand hills except the main hill away, with many of the toilets. Two showers and toilets remain. Fees were $7 and the sand is SOFT so 4wd necessary. Fishing was slow and it was very windy, so we moved on to Loreto.
BAHIA DE LOS ANGELES, MEXICO: At Bahía de los Angeles, Capt. Igor Galvan reported good late-week fishing at Isla Angel de la Guarda: "Fishing was good on Friday. We got 4 white seabass, 25 to 34 pounds, and 1 yellowtail. On Saturday, we got 15 yellows, 1 grouper of 35 pounds, and 8 leopard grouper of 8 to 15 pounds." Galvan said water temperatures at the island were 70 to 72 degrees.
BAHIA DE LOS ANGELES, MEXICO: Earlier, Ed Kammer stopped at Camp Gecko on his way to Baja Sur: "A great time! We were going to spend 2 nights but ended up spending a week. Great inshore fishing for yellowtail and a dozen other species around Horsehead Island. We did catch two dorado."
SAN FELIPE, MEXICO: Filiberto "Fily" Espinoza Montes of Tony Reyes Fishing Tours reported on a 6-day Midriff Islands trip, returning to San Felipe on Nov. 7 with a catch of: 223 yellowtail, 20 to 26 pounds; 132 spotted bay bass; 73 cabrilla, 9 to 16.5 pounds; 38 sierra, 4 to 6 pounds; 28 barred pargo, 8 to 17 pounds; 3 dorado, 10 to 15 pounds; 2 grouper, 55 to 105 pounds; 1 sheephead, 7 pounds; 1 white seabass, 26 pounds; 1 broomtail grouper, 20 pounds; and 3 shark, 20 to 30 pounds. Midriff water temperatures were 75 to 80 degrees.
SAN FELIPE, MEXICO: Roy Lay of Placentia, CA reported he caught the 105-pound grouper on this trip with Capt. Victor, near Bahía de los Angeles: "Although Tony Reyes' boat, the Jose Andres, had broken down the night before we got there, Tony made arrangements for us to take the Erik with Tony's crew and pangas. What a great guy to get this accomplished in 24 hours and little delay for our group. We are currently planning our group's 15th anniversary trip to San Felipe next June."
SAN FELIPE, MEXICO: Dana Kerby of Ensenada said the season-long mothership yellowtail-cabrilla tournament prizes were awarded during the San Felipe Shrimp Festival. Mark Crevier of Palmdale, CA fished on the Erik and won the yellowtail division with a 43.5-pound fish. He went down to collect his $2,000 prize money: "I got my money and a nice trophy. Most of the first, second, and third place winners showed up. They took a lot of pictures." The winning cabrilla was a 22.5 pounder caught by Randy McCarver on the Capt. Villegas.
SAN FELIPE, MEXICO: At San Felipe, Catalina Meders of the Title Company Bookstore overlooking the bay said the weather was overcast and gray over the weekend, and the news in town was the new statue of the endangered vaquita mini-dolphin that was raised during the Shrimp Festival. "This severely endangered species has become a sort of symbol for the resurrection of the marine life in the Sea of Cortez, something we are ALL rooting for," Meders said. U.S. Air Force flight nurse, Maj. Karen Bradley, co-owner of the Baja Java coffee shop, was returning to her husband Vince after an extended tour of duty, Meders said.
SAN CARLOS, MEXICO: Bill Molden of San Carlos said good catches of bonito and some yellowtail were reported at Isla San Pedro Nolasco. Near shore fishing produced occasional yellowtail, barracuda, and plenty of skipjack, on trolled Rapalas and 4 to 6-ounce iron jigs.
MAZATLAN, MEXICO: Larry Edwards of Cortez Yacht Charters said Aries Fleet boats out of Marina el Cid continued to release about 2 sailfish per day, plus a few blue, black, and striped marlin. The two largest fish of the week were a 324-pound black, and a 320-pound blue. Inshore action was good on roosterfish plus easy limits of red snapper just outside the harbor entrance. Mazatlan weather was sunny in the high-80s, with calm seas and water temperatures in the low-80s.
MAZATLAN, MEXICO: Earlier, Tadeo Hernandez of Flota Bibi Fleet reported on 10 boats with a catch including released fish of: 1 blue marlin, 5 sailfish, 3 skipjack tuna and bonita, and good catches of triggerfish, snapper, mojarra, and miscellaneous species.
PUERTO VALLARTA, MEXICO: Western Outdoor News staffer Rod Halperin fished 2 days: "Perfect weather and decent fishing. We got a 400-plus pound black marlin and a tuna over 150 pounds, fishing the Corbetena aboard the Janice O. Both fish were taken on trolled live bonita, and several strikes from marlin and tuna were missed."
IXTAPA ZIHUATANEJO, MEXICO: Local guide Ed Kunze said 82-degree blue water was 9 miles out, and the best fishing was at 11 miles. Boats were averaging about 3 to 4 sailfish per day. The Vamanos II with Capt. Cali and Vamanos III with Capt. Efra recorded 6-release days. Along shore, the hot roosterfish and jack crevalle bite slowed down, but sierra arrived in good numbers.
IXTAPA ZIHUATANEJO, MEXICO: Stan Lushinsky of Ixpata Sportfishing Charters said the Dos Hermanos with Capt. Cheva released 7 sailfish in a day.
IXTAPA ZIHUATANEJO, MEXICO: Zihuatanejo weather was partly cloudy in the low-90s, with water temperatures of 75 to 86 degrees.