Bahia de los Angeles winter yellowtail fishing on the bite

Mexico Fishing News, December 1, 2003



BAHIA DE LOS ANGELES, MEXICO: At Bahia de los Angeles, Capt. Igor Galvan said fishing was very good for yellowtail on live bait at Isla Horsehead, Bernabe Rock, and Los Machos. At the big island, Galvan said he got 2 leopard grouper, and 11 yellowtail of 16 to 28 pounds.

On a windy day at midweek, he stayed inside and caught 1 broomtail grouper and 8 yellowtail of 18 to 28 pounds at Punta Quemado. Water temperatures averaged 68 to 69 degrees.

BAHIA DE LOS ANGELES, MEXICO: Abraham Vazquez of L.A. Bay's Camp Gecko said yellowtail were caught both north and south in water temperatures holding at 69 to 70 degrees. When winds allowed it, some boats ran out to Punta las Animas and Bernabe Rock for yellowtail averaging 15 to 20 pounds, with some as large as 30 pounds. Most of the larger fish hit on dropper loops about 150 feet deep. Lots of barracuda and skipjack, and some white seabass were also caught at Los Machos, Vazquez said.

In other mainland Mexico and Baja fishing action this week:



ENSENADA, MEXICO: Ivan Villarino of Vonny's Fleet said pangas at the tip of Punta Banda fished in windy conditions, but were still finding yellowtail of 20 to 30 pounds. On Sunday, John Piekarski of La Jolla, CA caught 3 yellowtail plus limits of lingcod, rockcod, and whitefish, with Capt. Beto Zamora on the Vonny I.

ENSENADA, MEXICO: Richard and Marie Helms, and John Carpenter of El Segundo, CA caught 4 yellowtail on the Vonny III with Capt. Cruz Zamora. Earlier, Josh Chambers of Lake Elsinore, CA scored limits of bottom fish on the Vonny I. Punta Banda weather was clear in the high-60s, with water temperatures averaging 60 degrees.

ENSENADA, MEXICO: Earlier, Sammy Susarrey of Lily Fleet said boats fished inside Punta Banda Bank for larger salmon grouper and red snapper. At San Miguel Reef, barracuda and bonito were caught. Ensenada water was clean and clear, with flat seas and water temperatures averaging 62 degrees.

ENSENADA, MEXICO: Steve Ross of Pescadores de Ensenada said friends and guests are invited to the club's first New Year's party, Jan. 3 at Las Casuelas. Ross said dress is casual, but "do not come naked." Earlier, the club boat Melody reported a skunk trip at the 238 and 295, in rough, windy conditions.

ENSENADA, MEXICO: Steve Drogin had some new details about the tuna commission tag he recovered from a 35-pound yellowfin tuna at Isla Guadalupe a few weeks ago. Drogin said the tags cost about $1,500 each and record downloadable information. The tag had been in the fish about 6 weeks, and had been placed about 10 miles from where it was recovered. It was placed by Kurt Shaefer of the Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission in La Jolla, CA., Drogin said.

ENSENADA, MEXICO: Baja veteran Rod Lewis commented on having Mexican fishing licenses for surf fishing, saying that although they are not legally required, he's been asked to show a license at Abreojos, Asuncion, and Punta Eugenia: "While fishing from a rocky beach cove in the area of Punta Eugenia I was asked for my license by two officers showing fish and game badges. These guys don't play games and whilst I was showing my license the other officer stole my lunch from the back of my pickup. I am absolutely positive that my gear would have been confiscated had I not had my license."



SAN QUINTIN, MEXICO: Pete Hillis of Pedro's Pangas said phone service was spotty at San Quintin last week. Eight boats fished through Thursday, for limits of bottom fish and a few yellowtail at Isla San Martin and the 6 Spot. Hillis said the weather was cold in the mornings, but sunny in the afternoons, and he advised anglers to bring warm clothing for the first few hours. With the arrival of winter, Hillis said Pedro's Pangas is again offering its special package rate prices of $200 per person for 2 days of fishing, 2 nights' lodging, dinners, and lunches, based on 3 anglers.

SAN QUINTIN, MEXICO: Amy Ferreira of Don Eddie's Landing said weekend boats did well on yellowtail of 14 to 20 pounds at Ben's Rock and Isla San Martin, and bottom fishing continued excellent on lingcod, red rockfish, and whitefish. White seabass, calico bass, and sandbass were caught on jigs at El Socorro. Dan Doyel, Tom Doyel, and Maria Staton caught 4 yellowtail, 2 lingcod of 20 pounds, and limits of bottom fish.

SAN QUINTIN, MEXICO: Jim Derr and Jim and Eric Dondlinger fished with Pedro's Pangas for 2 yellowtail to 15 pounds and limits of lingcod and rockcod at Ben's Rock. The next day, they landed limits of whitefish at the 6 Spot, plus an 18-pound bonita on the troll. Derr said the winter black brant migration was starting to arrive at the bay: "They are not in great numbers yet, but there were plenty to be seen."

SAN QUINTIN, MEXICO: Lorenzo Biedebach of Campo Lorenzo was recovering from a heavy Thanksgiving Day celebration, but said campo resident Paul Dilger fished with his father-in-law John Wright from Yucaipa, CA and did well on sandbass, reds and calicos, plus a small 21-pound white seabass which was released.

SAN QUINTIN, MEXICO: Anthony Craft, Jeremiah Heywood, and Ryan "Chubs" Vorisek--all 14-year-old buddies from Alta Loma High School--had a holiday blast, Biedebach said, limiting on barracuda, sandbass and reds.

"Big John" Bakerink, the local white seabass king, did well for his Campo resident crew, Lanny Body, "Fast Fred" Suhr and Walt Jeffries, treating them to a wide-open barracuda bite. However, Biedebach wondered if Big John's new motor might not attract the big croakers as well as his old one. "It now appears that this newer model's vibration only calls out "CUDA -CUDA-CUDA!,'" Biedebach said.

Biedebach also compared the recent 71-pound white seabass caught by Ray Williams to the IGFA all tackle record of 83 pounds 12 ounces, caught at San Felipe in 1953. Biedebach said Campo Lorenzo angler Walt Jeffries also caught a 62.5-pound white seabass on 12-pound line at San Quintin in 2002.

SAN QUINTIN, MEXICO: Don Dickson was with Williams when he caught the 71-pounder: "Just happened to get lucky. Down off Socorro. Near the beach. We got him out of a huge kelp bed. Took about an hour and a lot of pulling kelp off the line. Finally, the fish just floated to the surface, dead as dead can be."



MAGDALENA BAY, MEXICO: Gary Graham of Baja On The Fly said offshore action lagged behind the norm: "A few marlin were reported outside the Petrel Bank, with no birds, which is mystifying everyone. The sea life is just not here as it would be normally at this time of year." Graham said action in the mangroves was "business as usual" on corvina, pompano, and a few jacks. Some yellowtail were caught under birds at the entrada and outside Bahía Santa María. San Carlos weather was calm and hazy in the low-80s, with water temperatures of 67 to 78 degrees.



CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Tommy Garcia of Cabo Magic reported on 50 boats with a catch including released fish of: 3 blue marlin; 28 striped marlin; 97 yellowfin tuna, including a 150 pounder; 36 dorado; and 2 wahoo.

CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: George Landrum of Fly Hooker Sportfishing reported on 7 boats with a catch including released fish of: 2 striped marlin, 23 yellowfin tuna of 15 to 60 pounds, and 2 wahoo to 76 pounds.

Landrum reported Cabo weather as mostly clear and calm in the mid-90s, with water temperatures of 77 to 78 degrees on both the Pacific and Cortez sides. The marlin bite at the lighthouse was tide-related, Landrum said, with lures working on the slack tides, and deep bait better on the change.

Yellowfin tuna were 8 to 30 miles out on porpoise, running mostly 15 to 25 pounds, but with some well over 100 pounds in the mix. Dorado and blue marlin were slower, and the wahoo bite had scattered.

CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: At Pisces Fleet, Tracy Ehrenberg said 54 percent of boats caught billfish and 86 percent landed all species combined. The billfish count included a 530-pound black marlin caught off Punta Gorda by Felina with angler Jeff Leitzinger of Los Angeles.

A near-60-pound shortbilled spearfish was also released by Douglas Long of Yuba City, CA aboard La Brisa. Yellowfin tuna were caught by 34 percent of Pisces boats, Ehrenberg said, and dorado were slower at 28 percent. A few wahoo were also caught, and inshore boats found abundant triggerfish and some sierra.

CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Larry Edwards of Cortez Yacht Charters said, "The stripers are slowly filtering into the area, but surely no surge. It's about 1 out of every 3 boats catching a billfish. We should start seeing some mackerel showing up on the local banks, anytime, and with that comes the billfish and more."

Edwards said Gaviota Fleet fished mostly on the Pacific side for a catch including released fish of: 1 blue marlin, 3 sailfish, 11 striped marlin, 44 yellowfin tuna, and 46 dorado.

CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Jose Luis Sanchez of Solmar Fleet reported boats fishing for marlin mostly off the old lighthouse and at the Jaime Bank. The top catch of the week was by Tony Scites on the Solmar II with Capt. Jaime, for 2 striped marlin, 2 dorado, and a yellowfin tuna, all caught on live mullet. Mike Blaser of Sacramento, CA also fished on the Solmar I with Capt. Pepe and landed a 77-pound wahoo.

CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Patrick Owens said he fished on the Gaviota IV and his son caught a wahoo weighed at 77 pounds: "The deckhand handed the pole to my son, who pulled and reeled hard for only 20 minutes. Once we saw the deep blue color next to the boat, we discovered he had landed a wahoo, a very big wahoo."



SAN JOSE DEL CABO, MEXICO: Eric Brictson of Gordo Banks Pangas said north winds were becoming more of a factor for offshore boats, in cooling, clear blue water of 77 to 79 degrees. Overall action was improved for daily catches of dorado, wahoo, yellowfin tuna, striped marlin, skipjack, rainbow runner, bonita, sierra, pargo, cabrilla and other species, on a combination of mackerel, caballito, sardina, and chihuil bait. Wahoo continued to be the most sought species for La Playita pangas, Brictson said, although they were spotty: "Slow trolling with live chihuil was the best bet. Most of them weighed in the 30 to 50-pound class. The areas around the Gordo Banks, Cardon, La Fortuna, and Iman all produced hookups." Inshore and beach action was also improved on sierra, jacks, and croaker.

SAN JOSE DEL CABO, MEXICO: Larry Parker's group fished 2 days on a Gordo Banks Pangas 30-foot cruiser for good action on tuna and dorado: "After purchasing sardinas, we ran up to Iman, bypassing the inner Gordos due to some roughness of the water, and found yellowfin crashing the surface under a mile from the beach. We caught a number of these perfect-sized fish, 18 to 22 pounds, on light tackle, but lost the larger ones. They were inhaling our baits deep and sawing us off after 3 to 8 minutes.

"Day 2 found us running towards Cabo, only to locate 2 groups of dorado for a wonderful wide-open bite. We lost the larger dorado to the same problem. We still managed limits, losing the big bulls to sawed-off lines."

Parker's group also caught good numbers of triggerfish, bonito, skipjack, and sierra, as well as needlefish "so numerous they became pests."

SAN JOSE DEL CABO, MEXICO: Ed Kammer of Gold Beach, OR and a friend reported 3 wahoo of 30 to 40 pounds and 2 dorado of 20 and 30 pounds, fishing out of La Playita. Kammer also reported construction begun on the long-anticipated marina project: "This will change La Playita forever. It has been in the talking stage for years but now appears to be underway."



EAST CAPE, MEXICO: Alejandro Rosas of Tijuana fished 2 days on the Elena, with Capt. Castro, out of Rancho Buena Vista, with his son Alex Jr., Miguel Garambullo, and Jose Manuel Jasso and his grandsons Jose Manuel and Alejandro, and they found lucky fishing despite the prevailing winds: "At our arrival we were informed that it had been windy the past 10 days and the fishing had been from poor to awful.

"We had better luck. The wind died down. We caught 6 tunas the first day and 5 the next. My son Alex, as usual, caught the biggest one that weighed close to 50 pounds. Didn't see any dorado, billfish, or any other surface species."

EAST CAPE, MEXICO: At Rancho Leonero, John Ireland reported East Cape weather as clear and in the low-80s, but with windy afternoons most of the week and cooling water temperatures of 77 to 78 degrees. With the wind, Ireland said only 15 boats fished during the week, but those anglers willing to fish in rougher water found a consistent mixed bite of dorado and tuna, and even a couple of blue marlin and wahoo.

EAST CAPE, MEXICO: Jim Sammons of La Jolla Kayak Fishing made a 6-day trip to Hotel Punta Colorada with his wife and kids, and was able to fish 2 days when the weather was calm: "Within a couple of minutes I had put several sierra on the kayak. As I got farther offshore I metered some fish down deep and dropped the Mega Bait for some nice snapper. After losing that school, I trolled the dorado pattern Rapala for a small dorado. All fish released.

"The next morning I grabbed a frozen skipjack from the hotel freezer to use as strip bait for the dorado.

"As I headed out the wind started to blow. I decided to stay close to the beach for a while. I paddled around the small point north of the hotel, and fished light tackle in front of the beach. Tossing a small croc on my bass rod the water exploded with ladyfish. I must have hooked 150 of these hard fighters. For every 20 I would hook I would land one.

"I was having a blast and laughing my butt off. The wind soon died and I wanted to get offshore, so I paddled away from biting fish.

"On the paddle out, I pulled a Rapala for a few more sierras. When I hit the blue water I stripped out the skipjack and hung the carcass from the kayak as chum. I hooked into another small dorado on the strip bait. The current was really ripping to the north. I trolled my way back in. I got one more small dorado on the edge of the blue water and a couple of triggers near the beach."

EAST CAPE, MEXICO: Gary Graham of Baja On The Fly said persistent winds hampered the action. Inshore action was limited to a few skipjack and bonito, plus possible dorado around the mooring buoys. Very early beach runs produced some sierra and ladyfish before the winds came up.

EAST CAPE, MEXICO: Baja Beach Captain Mike Reichner had a good day over the weekend out of Hotel Punta Colorada: "Just a frenzy on the playa this morning! The water is somewhat stained from wind but it made no difference to the sierra and jacks." Reichner reported "tons" of hookups on chartreuse Clousers, and after the wind came up, on Rapalas and Krocodiles. "Spent the better part of the morning at the Punta Arena lighthouse, to get somewhat out of the wind and horizontal sand, and it really paid off," Reichner said. Also in the mix were some flatfish, ladyfish, and a Mexican lookdown, in water temperatures in the low-80s.

EAST CAPE, MEXICO: Chuck Meredith of East Cape said he's keeping a low profile: "Winter wind is here early, so I am fixing reels, wrapping rods, and making my list of what I need from the Fred Hall Show in March." Meredith said local road improvements are now needed at East Cape due to increased runoff caused by development. "This causes a large flood area around many residential areas that just won't go away. The population has grown so much, the property tax base is so large and valuable, that the politicos will now have to finally address the problem, and solve it."

EAST CAPE, MEXICO: George Bergin of East Cape said winds were howling at 25 to 45 m.p.h. and he wasn't fishing. Bergin said he plans to begin sending out chapters of his new book, Baja Blues and Blessings, in January.

EAST CAPE, MEXICO: Mark Rayor of the Vista Sea Sport dive service said winds pinned his boats to shore most of the week, but he did make 1 run to Cabo Pulmo where conditions were found to be excellent, with bottom water temperatures averaging 77 degrees. Sea life sightings included bigeye jacks, sting rays, and a friendly jewfish that "looked the size of a VW."



LA PAZ, MEXICO: Gerardo Hernandez of Tortuga Sportfishing said there was lots of wind and very few anglers last week on the Las Arenas side. The few pangas fishing caught pargo, sierra, dorado, and cabrilla, all small. Hernandez said, "One of these days, fishing will be better." Weather on the Las Arenas side was in the low-80s, with water temperatures averaging 78 degrees.

LA PAZ, MEXICO: Jonathan Roldan of Tail Hunter International said most fishing on the La Paz side was focused on snapper, sierra, jacks, and cabrilla, but some dorado, sailfish, and marlin were still being found, despite the winter conditions, with wind 3 days out of 5. At the Bajo, good numbers of hammerhead shark were seen by divers about 100 feet down, although Roldan cautioned that strong currents prevail.

LA PAZ, MEXICO: Mino Shiba said the tuna previously reported at Isla Santa Cruz were 30 to 60 pounds.



LORETO, MEXICO: Pam Bolles of Baja Big Fish Company said on Sunday, "Nortes, true nortes are just starting, but it has calmed down for today. The fish are out there, but for the wind. Tourism is very low, normal for the weeks leading into the Christmas holiday." Bolles said there were only 2 calm days last week, and the fishing, when possible, was on yellowtail, roosterfish, and cabrilla. Her new e-newsletter, The Loreto Report, was launched last week, Bolles said, with 279 emailed reports per year, discounts on local services, feature articles, and air connection information. The frequency of the reports will be as high as every day during the March through September season, and weekly during the off season, Bolles said. Information:

LORETO, MEXICO: At Villas de Loreto, Wendy Wilchynski said the few anglers fishing between the winds were coming back with full ice chests: "It has been a bit windy but on those days you just curl up in the hammock and read a book. The fishing is good otherwise."



MULEGE, MEXICO: Diana Johnson of the historic Hotel Serenidad said, "Surprise!" Fishing was much improved for yellowtail to about 25 pounds, plus lots of cabrilla and sierra. "Looks like it's going to be a good season," Johnson said. Mulege weather was getting cooler, with some winds to 30 knots, but about 90 people were at the hotel's Thanksgiving Day dinner.

MULEGE, MEXICO: Paul Rista of Long Beach, CA relayed a Mulege fishing report saying that 10 to 15-pound yellowtail were caught consistently.



SAN FELIPE, MEXICO: At San Felipe, Catalina Meders of the Title Company Bookstore overlooking the bay said the weather was windy and very cold. The town was crowded all week and the streets were torn up and service interrupted due to work on the water system: "This is, in the long run, great news for all of us, but for the holiday crowd it meant some very uncomfortable bladders. We had people coming up to the store offering to BUY books if only they could use our baño, but we didn't have water either. After a while the whole town was literally ready to 'bust a gut.'" The winter water color in the bay was almost violet, "as happens when we draw towards the shortest day of the year," Meders said.



SAN CARLOS, MEXICO: Bill Molden of San Carlos said, "Yellowtail and bottom fish is the order of the season. Larger, 20 to 30-pound yellowtail have moved into San Pedro Nolasco and are best fished with jigged iron or trolled barracuda. The last of the bonita are still being picked up, but they are short in supply. I give them another week and they'll be gone." San Carlos water temperature were much cooler at 63 degrees.



PUERTO VALLARTA, MEXICO: Jonathan Roldan of Tail Hunter International in La Paz took an 11-day vacation on the Red Rooster and found super-hot yellowfin tuna action off Puerto Vallarta. "Can't remember when I've seen such wide open action on 40 to 80-pound tuna, Roldan said. "Rarely have I had days when I could pull no more on tuna. Just nonstop until pain. I had one day in particular when I hooked up my first fish at about 5 a.m. We did not stop fishing until about 8 p.m. Makes up for all the hand-offs I do all season!"



IXTAPA ZIHUATANEJO, MEXICO: Local guide Ed Kunze said 80-degree blue water was on the beach and boats continued to find hot sailfish action. Capt. Cali on the Vamanos II had successive days with 5, 8, 6, 5, 5, 6, and 8 releases, on conventional tackle.

IXTAPA ZIHUATANEJO, MEXICO: John Wilkinson tagged and released 3 sailfish on the fly while fishing with Kunze and Capt. Santiago on the panga Gitana. Most boats were also getting a 20 to 30-pound dorado for dinner, and inshore action was steady on roosterfish and jack crevalle to 18 pounds.

IXTAPA ZIHUATANEJO, MEXICO: Paul Phillips of the Fintastic Total Tag & Release Tournament said a few small tuna were also caught. Phillips also said he was looking for a photo of the 12-kilo blue marlin that was caught in the recent tournament by Capt. Pepino. "That is one of the smallest I have ever heard of," Phillips said.

IXTAPA ZIHUATANEJO, MEXICO: Gary Graham of Baja On The Fly reported Zihuatanejo water as clear in the low-90s, with water temperatures of 75 to 86 degrees.

IXTAPA ZIHUATANEJO, MEXICO: Larry Edwards of Cortez Yacht Charters said Portland, OR fly angler Buddy Wright fished 2 days on the Dos Hermanos I, and landed 2 sailfish out of 19 hooked, plus a dorado. Edwards said many of the sailfish were caught less than 5 miles from the bay.

Fish Photo 1

ENSENADA YELLOWTAIL--John Piekarski of La Jolla, CA caught these nice yellowtail plus limits of lingcod and bottom fish, at the tip of Punta Banda on Sunday with Vonny's Fleet. Photo courtesy Ivan Villarino.

Fish Photo 1

HUGE QUINTIN CROAKER--Ray Williams' big white seabass, caught in the kelp at El Socorro, weighed in at 71 pounds. Photo courtesy Lorenzo Biedebach.

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CABO WAHOO BITE--Mike Blaser of Sacramento, CA caught this nice wahoo, weighed at 71-pounds, on the Solmar I with Capt. Pepe. Photo courtesy Mike Blaser.

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AT PUNTA GORDA--This 50-pound wahoo was caught by Gordo Banks Pangas angler Dr. Galloway off Casa de Carlin, Punta Gorda, San Jose del Cabo. Galloway fished with Gordo Banks Pangas' Capt. Tony. Photo courtesy Eric Brictson.

Fish Photo 1

BETWEEN THE WINDS--Alejandro Rosas' group fished 2 days on the Elena with Capt. Castro, out of East Cape's Rancho Buena Vista, and did well on yellowfin tuna. Included were Rosas' son Alex Jr., Miguel Garambullo, and Jose Manuel Jasso and his grandsons Jose Manuel and Alejandro. Photo courtesy Alejandro Rosas.

Fish Photo 1

ROLDAN ON ROOSTER--Jonathan Roldan of Tail Hunter International can usually be found on pangas around La Paz, but he recently took a vacation on the Red Rooster and pulled on endless yellowfin tuna at Puerto Vallarta. Here's Jonathan (right), with boatmate Andy Vare of Richmond, CA. Photo courtesy Jonathan Roldan.

Fish Photo 1

HOT ZIHUAT SAILS--John Wilkinson (right) fished with Capt. Santiago on the panga Gitana for this sailfish on the fly, as boats averaged about 5 hookups per day. Photo courtesy Ed Kunze.

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ROCKFISH BONANZA--Josh Chambers from Lake Elsinore, CA caught limits of rockcod at the tip of Punta Banda with Ensenada's Vonny's Fleet. Photo courtesy Ivan Villarino.

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