SANTA ROSALIA, MEXICO: "San Marcos Mike" Kanzler, who's lived on Isla San Marcos near Santa Rosalia for the past 12 years, said yellowtail fishing has been good off the north end of the island this winter. Kanzler, averaging 4 to 6 days of commercial and sport fishing per week, said he caught 15 yellowtail of 22 to 31 pounds during his first 5 days on the water in 2004.
Kanzler said plentiful yellowtail were on the surface, about 3 to 5 fish per rod, mostly 22 to 25 pounds, and some large goldspotted bass were also caught last week.
"Surface iron and heavy iron outfished live bait," Kanzler said. "It's run and gun, run up on the fish and shoot the iron at them. You can't get close, or the fish will go down. You can cast iron longer than bait." Kanzler recommended blue-white Salas 6X Jr. and Sumo jigs, "all you need."
Water temperatures are cooler than last year, Kanzler said, about 60 to 62 degrees over the weekend. The winter has been fairly windy, with 3 to 4 days of calm conditions alternating with 3 to 5 days of unfishable water and winds to 30 or 40 knots.
Kanzler fishes mostly commercial in his 19-foot Boston Whaler, but also takes sportfishing clients out. He has satellite email at the island: firstname.lastname@example.org. He can also be contacted on his cell phone: 011-52-615-155-0513.
Kanzler also relayed an inshore report from Alan Lewis at San Lucas Cove: "Pretty good action on leopard grouper and small yellowtail, 4 to 6 pounders, trolling Rapalas, but this week it slowed up a bit." The main action was for spotted bay bass on jigged plastic and chrome spoons.
ENSENADA, MEXICO: At Punta Banda, Ivan Villarino of Vonny's Fleet said he didn't catch any yellowtail last week, "Only bottom fish, ni modo." Bottom fishing was steady on limits of rockcod and lingcod.
ENSENADA, MEXICO: Earlier, Sergio Susarrey of Sergio's Sportfishing Center reported on 24 anglers with a catch of: 50 lingcod, 220 rockcod, 10 whitefish, 15 sheephead, 20 grouper, and 95 red rockfish.
ENSENADA, MEXICO: Sammy Susarrey of Lily Fleet said his boats were fishing the bottom south at Punta China for good counts of sheephead and lingcod. A few yellowtail and bonita were reported by other boats at Punta Banda, Susarrey said.
ENSENADA, MEXICO: Steve Ross, founding organizer of Pescadores de Ensenada at Marina Coral announced that the club would be disbanding. "We would like to take this opportunity to thank our sponsors who generously donated to our club," Ross said.
PUERTO SANTO TOMAS, MEXICO: Joe and Beverly Martin of Santee, CA, and Bev's son Kevin, returned Sunday from Puerto Santo Tomas Resort. Joe reported Sam and Juanita Saenz in the States for the arrival of their new baby, but great cooking provided by Juanita's parents Ramona and Don Santos: "Great cook. Don was just too good for words, taking care of all our needs." The Martins stayed 2 nights at the resorts Casa Grande and enjoyed the remote feel: "This place makes San Quintin look like Times Square. Very rural and back to Baja." Fishing was slow, Martin said, for some red rockfish, lingcod, short halibut, and miscellaneous fish, but, "there was a kayak club fishing, and I saw 2 halibut in the 15-pound range, and a giant 30 pounder. Real nice place. We plan to return and give it another try."
SAN QUINTIN, MEXICO: Pete Hillis of Pedro's Pangas said 4 boats fished last week for continued yellowtail limits in excellent conditions. "No winds," Hillis said. "Saturday and Sunday, the water was like a lake." The best fishing was at the 240 and 6 spots, in water temperatures averaging 59 degrees, and most of the yellowtail hit blue-white or blue-chrome jigs. Oscar Guzman and his group from Ensenada also fished the bottom for limits on red rockfish and lingcod. San Quintin weather was in the low-70s.
SAN QUINTIN, MEXICO: At Campo Lorenzo, Lorenzo Biedeback said nobody was fishing during the last few days of quail season: "All here were killing birds. The weather is good. I expect to fish this week."
MAGDALENA BAY, MEXICO: At Puerto Lopez Mateos, Diana Hoyt of Mag Bay Outfitters said Capt. Ruben Duran fished 2 days with Eric Rasor of San Clemente, CA and Chris Johnson of San Diego for a catch of: 6 yellowtail, 1 snapper, 1 broomtail grouper, 1 leopard grouper, 2 bonita, and a huge black seabass weighed at 346 pounds. Hoyt reported that the fishing was on the Pacific, outside the boca.
MAGDALENA BAY, MEXICO: At San Carlos, Gary Graham of Baja On The Fly said fly anglers Peter Chan and Susan Rosen of New York fished in the esteros for a catch including cabrilla, leopard grouper, corvina, pompano, and barracuda.
Outside the entrada, Graham said, "The yellowfin tuna were ready to rumble. There were several over 100 pounds reported by local pangueros." The tuna were located about 17 to 20 miles out. San Carlos weather was partly cloudy in the low-70s, with water temperatures of 66 to 74 degrees.
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Benjamin Ortega Rodriguez of Solmar Fleet reported on 71 boats, with a catch including released fish of: 19 striped marlin, 28 dorado, 40 yellowfin tuna, 3 blue marlin, 1 wahoo, and 7 bonito. One of the blue marlin was a 450 pounder caught by John Blamert on the Solmar IX off Faro Viejo. Top boat for the week was the Solmar I with Capt. Francisco Castillo and 7 striped marlin releases, 3 yellowfin tuna, and 1 dorado.
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Capt. George Landrum of Fly Hooker Sportfishing reported on 6 boats, with a catch including released fish of: 3 striped marlin, 5 yellowfin tuna, 3 dorado, 8 sierra, 1 needlefish, and 1 bonito. Landrum said Cabo weather was in the low-90s and mostly sunny by the end of the week, with near shore water temperatures of 71 to 72 degrees, and water as warm as 78 degrees farther out. Sea conditions were mostly flat.
Striped marlin fishing improved considerably toward the end of the week, with some boats releasing 3 or 4 fish, and a few blue marlin were also reported, Landrum said: "Thank goodness the fishing is improving. We were starting to get depressed." Dorado were scattered and mostly small, but yellowfin tuna were more consistent. Inshore, sierra were caught to 5 pounds at Palmilla. Landrum added that heavy concentrations of gray whales have arrived in the area, supplanting the humpback whales that were prevalent in December.
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Picante Fleet reported on 7 boats Saturday, with a catch including released fish of: 7 striped marlin, 34 yellowfin tuna, and 4 dorado. Picante boats fished mostly on the Pacific side, and the high boat for the day was the Picante with Capt. Hiram Montano and 4 striped marlin releases.
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Larry Edwards of Cortez Yacht Charters said Gaviota Fleet had a catch including released fish of: 21 striped marlin, 40 yellowfin tuna, 25 dorado, and 3 wahoo. Gaviota Fleet fished mostly from Cabo Falso to the Golden Gate Bank, in water temperatures of 72 to 76 degrees.
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: At Pisces Fleet, Nancy Chaloner said the beginning of the week was very slow in windy conditions, but picked up strongly, as the Valerie, Ruthless, Karina, and Adriana all scored triple releases. Two yellowfin tuna estimated at 120 and 150 pounds were caught, mixed with scattered dorado to 25 pounds. Pisces boats did best on the Cortez side at Cabeza de Ballena, Chaloner said. Inshore boats did well on red snapper to 30 pounds. Overall, 75 percent of Pisces boats landed all species combined.
SAN JOSE DEL CABO, MEXICO: Eric Brictson of Gordo Banks Pangas said north winds blew for part of the week, with night temperatures dropping into the 50s, near shore water temperatures averaging 72 degrees, and warmer offshore water at 74 to 76 degrees. Larger yellowfin tuna were holding on the Gordo Banks, Brictson said, but hookups were still rare, on fish to about 150 pounds. "Anglers reported hookups on sardinas, mackerel, chunk bait, and chihuil," Brictson said. "Most of the fish landed were over 60 pounds, with many big hookups lost by anglers using too light of tackle." Massive schools of very large skipjack were also making it difficult to reach the tuna. Inshore action was good on sierra off all rocky points and beaches, plus needlefish, pompano, and mixed species. On the bottom, action was improving on grouper, cabrilla, huachinango, and pargo.
SAN JOSE DEL CABO, MEXICO: Lynn Stermole reported on a good trip with Gordo Banks Pangas: "The weather was fine and the sea conditions were calm. There are no IGFA records in jeopardy resulting from any fish I caught, but NOBODY has enjoyed a fishing trip vacation like my wife Mercedes and I enjoyed this one.
"Eric Bricston was friendly, helpful, present and on time to launch and recover the pangas, provided any tackle I didn't have, and his panga Capt. Jesus, worked hard and was professional.
"I caught fish all day long both days. Our catch included dorado, pargo, grouper, sierra, and pompano to keep, and of course those pesky but fun to catch needlefish. No tuna were caught that I'm aware of on the 2 days I fished there, but a 150 pounder was caught the day before. I saw it weighed."
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: Buena Vista Beach Resort reported on 5 boats, with a catch including released fish of: 3 striped marlin, 1 sailfish, 13 dorado, 6 grouper, and 18 sierra. East Cape weather was in the high-70s, with water temperatures of 69 to 71 degrees. Most boats fished north off Punta Pescadero, but the best inshore area for sierra was south, in front of La Ribera.
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: Chip Shapley of Rancho Leonero said the weather was excellent toward the end of the week, and he went out for action on sierra: "Went Thursday with a friend and we got 4 off his tin boat before the wind picked up.
"I launched my 8-foot inflatable, and fishing was great right off the hotel. They were still biting when I came in, so my son Andrew and I went back out. He caught his first 2 sierra. All fish were caught on Jointed Rebels, with red-white producing best. I also saw 2 toros caught, 10 to 15 pounds, by other boats fishing the area."
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: Chugey Sepulveda of San Diego fished 4 days from a panga between Punta Pescadero and La Ribera: "Lots of sierra. The best bite was south of Leonero. The dorado are thick on the offshore buoys, but getting there has been a bear. The fish are small, but plentiful. We also saw 3 tailers up that way. All in all, the wind has been nasty, but there seems to be plenty of fish around if you don't mind getting wet. Foulies are a must."
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: Gary Graham of Baja On The Fly said sierra, plus a few jacks and pompano, were definitely the best action on the beaches: "All the hotels had some action in front for sierra. It is mostly an early morning deal and over by 9 a.m. at the latest."
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: At Rancho Leonero, John Ireland reported improving weather during the week, and steady catches of quality dorado mixed with some striped marlin at the Punta Pescadero buoys, caught exclusively on live mackerel. Sierra were plentiful off most beaches.
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: Baja Beach Capt. Mike Reichner said, "The bait is sooooo thick and the birds the same. It's hard to get through them." Reichner said he got into a sierra and jack feeding frenzy, but ended up only releasing 3 pelicans before it was over: "By the time I got the last one off, they were gone. Oh well, mañana." Sardina bait was large and numerous, and Reichner said he was fishing in low-wind conditions.
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: Mark Rayor of the Vista Sea Sport dive service said no runs were made to Cabo Pulmo last week, but the whale migration had arrived in front of his house: "We have had our first few whale sightings from shore. Looks like the humpies might be early this year."
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: Chris Moyers of East Cape Smoke House had a 2003 yearly summary for mixed fleets including the Van Wormer resorts of Palmas de Cortez, Playa del Sol, and Punta Colorada, with 6,025 boats carrying 15,904 anglers, for a combined catch including released fish of: 201 blue marlin, 1,554 striped marlin, 5 black marlin, 999 sailfish, 4,535 dorado, 17,294 yellowfin tuna, 160 pargo, 141 wahoo, 17 amberjack, 2 yellowtail, 7 pompano, 33 cabrilla, 172 roosterfish, and 87 sierra.
LA PAZ, MEXICO: Gerardo Hernandez of Tortuga Sportfishing said only a few anglers fished last week, but bait was plentiful, and they caught a lot of sierra, plus pargo, cabrilla, and roosterfish, on the Las Arenas side: "We had some days windy, but not like a few weeks ago." Las Arenas weather was nice, in the mid-70s, with water temperatures near Punta Perico averaging 72 degrees.
LA PAZ, MEXICO: Jonathan Roldan of Tail Hunter International said a few winter dorado were caught again last week on the La Paz side: "Just the fact that we're catching dorado in January is a bonus. The best bite has really been straight north out of La Paz." Boats also caught plentiful sierra, plus snapper to about 10 pounds, and cabrilla, Roldan said.
LA PAZ, MEXICO: Eugene Bernosky of El Sargento said kayak fishing was slow in windy conditions last week along the entire shore of Bahia de la Ventana, from Punta Gorda south to Punta de la Ventana. "Sierra seemed to have moved out," Bernosky said. "The pargo catch was nonexistent after being strong the previous week."
Bernosky said the best action was with Krocodiles and Jointed Rebels for ladyfish and occasional bonita. Commercial pangas had a couple of days of snapper fishing near the south side of Isla Cerralvo. Earlier, some schools of 5 to 7-pound bonita were also seen in that area, and kayak fishing was good along the shore of the bay for ladyfish, grunt, snapper and several small roosterfish, with the best action before dawn
LORETO, MEXICO: Jeff Petersen of Loreto made a midweek run north to the Saquisismunde-Punta Pulpito area: "At Pulpito, the commercial guys were hugely successful with macarela in 62.5-degree water. We worked for one jurel before leaving to explore the hot water pools of Saquisismunde.
"South of El Pulpito, about halfway to Bahia San Juanico, amid the rocky cliffs is a most fascinating area of numerous steaming hot water pools, hot enough to burn your hands or cook an egg.
"The whole is teeming with life along this volcanic cascade. We beached the boat and walked south as the tide was falling. Numerous additional steaming pools were exposed.
"On Saturday, with sufficient sardina, we fished 6 rocky points around Isla Coronado. No jurel. We did catch an assortment for the table, including 1 vieja (hogfish)."
LORETO, MEXICO: Gregorio Segoviano of the Carnaderos baitsellers cooperativa said sardina have returned to the marina area, but mackerel were still hard to find. More boats fished last week, finding good yellowtail catches as winds abated somewhat, with water temperatures averaging 63.8 degrees. The small catch of bait was selling out early at the marina.
LORETO, MEXICO: At Baja Big Fish Company, Pam Bolles said yellowtail of 25 to 30 pounds, plus pinto bass (spotted cabrilla) and leopard grouper were holding 200 feet deep at Punta Pulpito. Fishing off the marina breakwater was slow, giving up just a few barracuda, and some sierra in the afternoons. Some roosterfish to 5 pounds were reported at San Bruno.
The Loreto Marine Park began collecting the 20 peso per day user fee last week, and the fee now applies to sportfishing as well as other activities, Bolles said. The boundaries of the park include Islas Coronado, Carmen, Danzante, Monserrat, and Catalan, but not the Bahia Agua Verde Area.
MULEGE, MEXICO: At Mulege's Hotel Serenidad, Diana Johnson said local fishing was fair on yellowtail, in cool but not too windy weather. Many whales were in the area, and boats were going out whale watching.
Paul Rista of Long Beach, CA returned from 3 weeks of fishing out of his place at the Hotel Serenidad: "An accident on the road just 3 miles before Mulege between 2 large trucks. One driver was killed and was related to one of the employees of the hotel. The morning bartender Benito, age 23, also died a few days earlier in a motorcycle race. Benito was a friend of mine.
"The nortenos were blowing at 35 to 45 m.p.h. for several days and the temperature at night fell into the low 40s. Locals claimed that it has not been that cold for decades. We were able to take our boat Alacran out one day, and made a run from Punta Aguja, 12 miles out, and then to Punta Chivato and back. No luck." Rista reported water temperatures of 64 to 66 degrees, and the hotel filled to capacity over the Christmas and New Year's holidays. Rista also said he'd like to find a smaller motor for his 20.5-foot Alacran. He'd like to trade his 175 Mercury outboard for something about 120 h.p., Pbrista@aol.com.
BAHIA DE LOS ANGELES, MEXICO: At Bahia de los Angeles, Capt. Igor Galvan said live bait was hard to find on some mornings, but a plenty of big, mean home guard yellowtail, plus schoolies, were hitting iron at Isla Angel de la Guarda on Sunday. L.A. Bay water temperatures averaged 59 degrees.
SAN FELIPE, MEXICO: At San Felipe, Catalina Meders of the Title Company Bookstore overlooking the Bay reported air temperatures in the low-70s and the friendly town with "smiling faces everywhere." Actor Harrison Ford, rumored to be making a film somewhere in Baja, flew to San Felipe last week and "amused and amazed the townspeople one evening by being very sociable and non-uptight in one of the local bistros," Meders said. "The main thing is it is now WARM here, and let's face it, nothing is much more important than that."
ROCKY POINT (PUERTO PENASCO), MEXICO: Esther Donaldson of Santiago's Ocean Services said water conditions were improved in warming weather. Abundant triggerfish and occasional spotted cabrilla were at 15 mile reef and 28 mile reef. Red snappers were in 200 feet of water with an average temperature of 65 degrees.
ROCKY POINT (PUERTO PENASCO), MEXICO: Jim Davis of Yuma, AZ noted that he's got a reliable fishing hole where he catches the elusive Monterey Sierra, Scomberomorus concolor. "I have a hideaway reef near Isla San Jorge, southeast of Puerto Penasco where big mossbacks of this species can be taken on any day in midwinter. They are always full-grown big females in the 8 to 10-pound plus range. The water is so cold that they are lethargic fighters, but add up to a hefty boat load for someone seeking a meat run at this time of the year.
"I believe the spot is some sort of over-wintering area for them. Sometimes I'll even get a black skipjack mixed with the sierra schools. The water around the island is rarely deeper than 60 feet, but there is a current-formed trough on the northwest end where it is more than 120 feet deep."
SAN CARLOS, MEXICO: Bill Molden of San Carlos said plenty of good-sized yellowtail were caught at Isla San Pedro Nolasco. "Trollers and jiggers alike have done well," Molden said. "Water temperatures have stabilized in the 58 to 60-degree range, and daytime temperatures are warming a bit." Near shore fishing was slower, with the squid fleet working all night, Molden said.
MAZATLAN, MEXICO: Tadeo Hernandez of Flota Bibi Fleet said he had 5 offshore boats out during the week, with a catch including released fish of: 2 striped marlin, and 5 sailfish. Offshore boats had their best action 20 to 28 miles out. Light tackle trips also had good catches of sierra, jack crevalle, skipjack tuna, and a very wide variety of bottom fish species.
MAZATLAN, MEXICO: Larry Edwards of Cortez Yacht Charters said Aries Fleet boats out of Marina el Cid averaged 1 striped marlin per departure. Inshore fishing was good for sierra, and easy limits of snapper and triggerfish were caught on the bottom. Unusual catches for the week included some 30-pound jack crevalle that were caught far offshore in blue water. Mazatlan weather was partly cloudy in the mid-80s, with water temperatures of 71 to 72 degrees, and the best fishing was 25 to 35 miles out on headings of 210 to 264 degrees.
PUERTO VALLARTA, MEXICO: Kim Moore of Charter Dreams said Puerto Vallarta weather was party sunny in the low-80s, with water temperatures averaging 76 degrees. Good action on sailfish and dorado was found in the south part of the bay near Cabo Corrientes, and sailfish, dorado, and jack crevalle were caught north. A few late yellowfin tuna to 50 pounds, plus 1 tuna of 200 pounds, were caught at Corbetena, and schools of sierra were at Punta Mita.
IXTAPA ZIHUATANEJO, MEXICO: Local guide Ed Kunze said a sudden rain squall on Sunday morning knocked out the fishing for a brief period. Eighty-degree blue water was 6 miles out last week, and boats averaged 7 or 8 sailfish hookups per day. Joe Ruffner of Ventura, CA landed a sailfish and a 200-pound blue marlin with Capt. Ruben on the Yellowfin II, using 40-pound line. On Saturday, Jamie Morales reported a 400-pound blue marlin caught on the Vamonos II with 50-pound line.
IXTAPA ZIHUATANEJO, MEXICO: Paul Phillips of the Fintastic Total Tag & Release Tournament said dorado, roosterfish, and tuna were all slow, but jack crevalle to about 20 pounds were hot, 1/4 mile off the beach.
IXTAPA ZIHUATANEJO, MEXICO: Larry Edwards of Cortez Yacht Charters said Colorado angler Katrina Diener fished aboard the Vamonos III with Capt. Chiro and landed 9 sailfish in a day. Capt. Jose Diaz on the super panga Cocoy fished 6 days for 16 sailfish, 2 dorado, a handful of bonito, and 16 rainbow runners.
IXTAPA ZIHUATANEJO, MEXICO: Gary Graham of Baja On The Fly reported Zihuatanejo weather as partly cloudy in the high-90s, with calm winds and water temperatures of 79 to 86 degrees.