BAJA CALIFORNIA, MEXICO: Art Whitting of San Diego made the long run out to Punta Abreojos and Laguna La Bocana and did well on yellowtail, grouper and halibut: "Fished La Bocana with Juancho. Fished hard for 8 hours, live bait, Rapalas, and iron. Caught 6 yellowtail to 15 pounds, a grouper, and a halibut in the La Bocana estuary.
The yellowtail and grouper were south, but inside of Roca Ballenas. Went outside, but nothing going on.
"Fished Abreojos with Paco. Fishing Rapalas and iron, between Paco and me, got 18 yellowtail to 25 pounds, and 6 grouper to 50 pounds. The water was beautiful, 68 degrees off Abreojos. The weather can be very unpredictable. The wind came up very quickly and hard everyday."
Whitting said the Abreojos road is paved halfway in, but rough after that with four-wheel-drive a must for soft spots on the detours. Very few boats were available due to the lobster season. "Chelo's Hotel is where I stay. She has a pizzeria, sells beer, tiled room with hot water for $25 a night."
SAN QUINTIN, MEXICO: Baja's north Pacific coast offered steady action last week as winds and cooling water temperatures affected all locations on the peninsula. Pete Hillis of Pedro's Pangas reported cold mornings but beautiful days in the mid-70s over the weekend as boats continued to find good catches of bottom fish. Dale Blome, Darren Celendano and Michael Jackson of Long Beach, CA caught limits, including a 24-pound sheephead, and father-and-son team Lee and Jeremy Jones, also of Long Beach, almost got limits including an 18-pound yellowtail.
SAN QUINTIN, MEXICO: Lorenzo Biedebach of Campo Lorenzo reported that Big John Bakerink's new motor seems to be as good for attracting white seabass as his old one. Bakerink landed 5 white seabass to 40 pounds, fishing with Jerry, Fred, and Walt, bringing his season total to 54.
Camp residents Dick Floyd and Rodney Weigand fished with Chuck Shaw and his son Mike from Sacramento for limits of sandbass, a big catch of bottom fish, a 23-pound white seabass, and a nice yellowtail, Biedebach said. Eighty-year-old Robert Zimmer fished with his "older brother" Sherman in rough seas for good results on sandbass and bottom fish. Biedebach said overall bottom fishing remained good, and plentiful barracuda were keeping the tackle business going: "The 'San Quintin Wahoo' or 'slime missiles' even bite off wire leaders." San Quintin weather at the end of the week was clearing after light showers.
SAN QUINTIN, MEXICO: Kelly Catian of El Capitan Sportfishing said Ed Winebarger and his son Charlie limited on lingcod and rockcod using live sardines and mackerel on dropper loops. Water temperatures at the 240 spot averaged 65 degrees, with 4-foot swells.
SAN QUINTIN, MEXICO: Julio Meza of San Quintin fished with swim baits at Arroyo Hondo and found a hot bite of calico bass hitting mostly yellow-orange. Trolled Rapalas caught bonito to 10 pounds in nonstop action on a huge school, followed by an invasion of barracuda. Finally, fishing about 120 feet deep, Meza caught sheephead, bass, and red rockfish. On his way in, Meza said he dropped a sardine on a sliding egg sinker at the mouth of the bay and lost something heavy after a 20-minute fight. "A few days ago, Capt. Jaime landed 2 black sea bass and a 39-pound halibut," Meza said.
ENSENADA, MEXICO: Steve Ross of Pescadores de Ensenada said the club's Valentine's Day Rock Cod Tournament will be held out of Marina Coral on Feb. 14. Earlier, Ross' boat Bad Dog reported hard work for limits of lingcod, vermilion rockfish, and bocaccios in 63-degree water at the Punta Banda bank. "The current was ripping and I had to use heavy weights to get to the 375-foot bottom. On the first drop the 5-pound sinker got caught on the bottom. After breaking the 80-pound dacron and losing it all I figured that drop cost me $15 and I still had to reel up 400 feet of empty line. This happened to me again later in the morning."
PUERTO SANTO TOMAS, MEXICO: Very few boats fished out of Puerto Santo Tomas at the end of the week after wind, rough seas, and occasional rain arrived on Thursday.
MAGDALENA BAY, MEXICO: Gary Graham of Baja On The Fly said marlin were still scarce, and tuna, dorado, and skipjack dominated the offshore catch. In the mangroves, fishing was very good, as snook into the teens were released, plus corvina, pompano, some leopard grouper and pargo, and the usual spotted bay bass. San Carlos weather was mostly cloudy in the low-70s, with water temperatures of 67 to 73 degrees. Yellowtail were caught on some days under birds at the entrada.
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Tommy Garcia of Cabo Magic reported on 50 boats with a catch including released fish of: 1 black marlin, 3 blue marlin, 15 striped marlin, 31 yellowfin tuna, 50 dorado, 1 wahoo, 1 roosterfish, "bunches-o-sierra," and 7 skunks. Garcia said the black marlin released was an estimated 500 pounder caught by Dan DiSalvo on the Cabo Magic, and on the same day Mike Green released a blue marlin estimated at 600 pounds on the Rondinella. "The early part of this week was disappointing. The week ended well," Garcia said.
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Benjamin Ortega Rodriguez of Solmar Fleet reported on 49 boats with a catch including released fish of: 18 striped marlin, 15 dorado, 13 yellowfin tuna, 1 blue marlin, and 1 wahoo. The top boat for the week was the Solmar IV with Capt. Armando Luna and a catch including released fish of: 5 striped marlin, 1 yellowfin tuna, and 4 dorado, in 7 outings.
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Capt. George Landrum of Fly Hooker Sportfishing said Cabo weather was in mid-80s with, occasionally bumpy seas and water temperatures dropping to 74 to 75 degrees on both sides of the arch. The scattered dorado and marlin bite was up the Pacific side, and included a few blues and blacks.
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Nancy Woods Chaloner of Pisces Fleet said most of the marlin caught during the week were stripers, but 3 blues were also in the mix. Brian Levy of Los Angeles released an estimated 600-pound blue marlin on the Mousetrap, and the Andrea released another large blue just a few hours later, Chaloner said. A total of 38 yellowfin tuna were caught, mostly at the Jaime and Golden Gate Banks, including a 200 pounder caught by Valerie. Water temperatures on the Pacific side averaged 72 to 76 degrees.
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Larry Edwards of Cortez Yacht Charters reported live bait scarce during the full moon period. "This is the first time in several years the live bait has been in such short supply," Edwards said, as Gaviota Fleet's catch was about 25 percent for billfish and 33 percent for dorado. Thirty-seven of the fleet's 41 yellowfin tuna were caught by a single boat, the Gaviota VI, during 2 days, Edwards said. One wahoo and 8 skipjack tuna were also reported.
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Earlier, David Marvin caught a wahoo weighed at 94.2 pounds while fishing with his father Ira Marvin on their boat Joan Boat III, just days before the younger Marvin and his bride Laura Ballard of Culver City, CA were married in Cabo.
SAN JOSE DEL CABO, MEXICO: Eric Brictson of Gordo Banks Panga said a decent yellowfin tuna bite broke loose at Iman Bank on 12 to 20-pound fish caught mostly on flylined sardina. La Playita pangas returned with 4 to 12 fish each, plus some large skipjack. At the Gordo Banks, some yellowfin of 40 to 90 pounds were taken in cooling water temperatures, on chuck baits and live or dead sardina. Dorado were generally small and scattered, although a few bulls were caught.
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: Chris Moyers of East Cape Smoke House reported on 24 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: 8 striped marlin, 4 sailfish, 63 dorado, 4 tuna, and 20 sierra. East Cape water temperatures ranged from 71 to 78 degrees. Boats were still fishing upwind around Punta Pescadero.
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: At Rancho Leonero, John Ireland said East Cape weather was in the low-80s, with wind on three days last week. Only 3 boats fished, going north to Punta Pescadero for limits on dorado to 40 pounds with live sardina, mackerel, and trolled hoochies. Two striped marlin were released in the same area.
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: Jorge Bergin of La Ribera got a "no morning wind" weather forecast for Friday and snuck out in his tin boat for a catch of 5 sierra, 1 pargo, and several roosterfish in calm conditions. "Back on the beach at 8:30. Wind was howling by 8:45," Bergin said.
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: At Rancho Buena Vista Tami Mouyeos reported, "No fishing to speak of. Not many fish, but most are not fishing much either."
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: Baja Beach Capt. Mike Reichner said beach fishing was red hot for sierra and ladyfish, right in front of Hotel Punta Colorada. "Just swarming!" Reichner said. "Tons of bait fish and birds." Reichner fished mainly with a flyrod and Clousers, using Spiderwire for leader instead of steel wire. "Work's great," he said. "Takes the sierra about 5 or 6 times before they can gnaw through." A client scored on 20 to 25-pound pargo just down the beach on live bait, and locals were hauling in big numbers of sierra with handlines and iron, Reichner said. Beach water temperatures averaged 78 degrees, in strong winds.
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: Chuck Meredith of Los Barriles said water temperatures averaged 75 degrees at Punta Pescadero, and most of the flags were for small dorado of 5 to 7 pounds. Eating fish were generally hard to come by. "The price of sport caught fish fillets now approaches Russian caviar," he said.
Local residents reported fishing license and dorado bag limit violations by hotel boats: "One cruiser with 2 anglers returned with 9 dorado to 25 pounds...That's 9 dorado for 2 fishermen...The fishermen didn't know of any limit, and had no fishing licenses." The dorado bag limit is 2 per angler.
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: Gary Graham of Baja On The Fly said only a few anglers were in town to take advantage of the calmer conditions: "Now that the wind settled down, wouldn't you know that there are only a few clients to enjoy it? It's still a long ride for the few tuna to be found under the porpoise. Back inshore, a few dorado under the moorings and sierra along the beach."
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: Mark Rayor of the Vista Sea Sport Dive Service was back from visiting his grand kids in Los Angeles. "Returned to strong wind and cold temperatures. Have our fireplace burning overtime," Rayor said. One dive boat went to Cabo Pulmo during the week and found heavy sea life concentrations including manta rays, bigeyed jacks, jewfish, and grouper.
Rayor also reported a touch-and-go fight with an Ultimate fishing kite when he tried it out with a 4/0 reel and almost got spooled at his house: "Pinned on my front deck in howling wind and can't turn the crank on the reel because there is so much pressure. This friggin' thing is about to yank my arms out of their sockets. Finally I have this brainstorm to walk around back of the house where there is less wind. If the kite had not finally crashed into a palm tree, I would still be out there." Rayor said he's moving up to a stretched 6/0 reel to handle his new toy.
LA PAZ, MEXICO: Gerardo Hernandez of Tortuga Sportfishing said very few anglers fished on the Las Arenas side of the hill, but one panga caught wahoo and sierra early in the week. No tuna were reported.
At Tailhunter International, Jonathan Roldan reported winds somewhat calmer last week. Commercial pangas on the Las Arenas side caught snapper and cabrilla around Ensenada de los Muertos and out at Isla Cerravlo, plus some yellowtail at Punta Perrico, Roldan said. On the La Paz side, sport anglers caught snapper to 15 pounds and good numbers of sierra south of Isla Espiritu Santo. "One small group I had did it right by going strictly with light tackle and they had a kick. Easy limits of sierra to 5 pounds."
LORETO, MEXICO: Pam Bolles of Baja Big Fish Company reported Loreto weather as cooler, down to as low as 53 degrees at night, and into the mid-80s on sunny days, with winds beginning by about 9 a.m. "Looks like we're in for a windy period," Bolles said. "North prevailing winds are becoming more frequent and increasing in intensity, bringing cold air with them."
On Wednesday, a panga with passengers from a cruise ship hid from the wind around Isla Coronado and got limits of 10-pound yellowtail on the surface with live sardinas. On Thursday, Capt. Francisco Muñoz took some fly anglers out and hooked up a dorado but lost it on a failed knot. Lots of sierra and some barracuda were caught at the marina on 1-ounce Krocodiles.
At Villas de Loreto, Wendy Wilchynski said no anglers were present at the hotel, which was busy with racers arriving for the Loreto 400 off-road race.
Gregorio Segoviano of the Carnaderos baitsellers cooperativa said there was a very good run of sierra at Isla Coronado, and the pangueros were catching them for the table. Otherwise, few anglers were among the many tourists in town for the race. Segoviano and Jeff Petersen also sent clear photos taken from shore of the rock at Punta Tintorera (female shark) at the north end of Isla Carmen. The rock, they said, is used by locals to indicate how rough the sea is outside. In flat conditions, the rock is clearly visible, but when it's rough out near the island, the rock disappears from view.
BAHIA DE LOS ANGELES, MEXICO: Capt. Igor Galvan said over the weekend that winds kept him bottom fishing for part of the week, but on Saturday he got outside for a very good catch of 15 yellowtail of 15 to 33 pounds, plus 3 grouper of 10 pounds. Weekend weather was slightly windy from the north, with water temperatures at 64.5 degrees, Galvan said.
SAN FELIPE, MEXICO: At San Felipe, Catalina Meders of the Title Company Bookstore overlooking the bay said a group from New York calling themselves "paleo-biologists" were camping on the islands, looking for skulls of the endangered vaquita dolphins and other fossils. San Felipe's Christmas season celebrations began with several parades, and on Sunday, the sea was as flat as a mill pond, Meders said.
IXTAPA ZIHUATANEJO, MEXICO: Paul Phillips of the Fintastic Total Tag & Release Tournament said sailfish counts picked right back up after the full moon. On Friday, Capt. Santiago of the Gitana turned in 6 tag cards, and other boats did as well. Several tuna of 150 to 180 pounds were taken during the week, plus a few dorado to 35 pounds, and a scattered pick on roosterfish.
IXTAPA ZIHUATANEJO, MEXICO: Local guide Ed Kunze said 80-degree water was about 4 miles off the beach, and most of the sailfish were caught between 12 and 14 miles. Kunze and Gary Graham of Baja On The Fly fished with sailfish fly rookies Johnny Duncan and Kent Black on the cruiser Don Gordo with Capt. Poli. "I teased the fish to the boat, and Gary instructed the anglers," Kunze said. "We got the job done."
"Butch Cooley of Seattle WA fly-fished 4 days with Capt. Margarito and me on the Gaby," Kunze added. "We raised 31 sailfish, brought 22 to the boat, and hooked at least 3 each day."
IXTAPA ZIHUATANEJO, MEXICO: Larry Edwards of Cortez Yacht Charters said Pat and Beth Flood fished on the Dos Hermanos with Capt. Chiva for a catch including released fish of: 6 sailfish, 17 rainbow runner, 5 bonito, 3 needlefish, and 1 yellowtail jack, in 3 days. Also on the Dos Hermanos, Frank Chan of Davis, CA landed 5 sailfish and 2 sharks in 1 day.