EAST CAPE, MEXICO: Unusual, heavy winter rains, lightning, and even a freak hail storm caused two days of rough seas, cool temperatures, and some flooding in southern Baja last week. At their home just south of Buena Vista, Rod and Barb Albright said the amazing hail storm started about 3:30 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 16, following a sunny morning: "We have never seen this before. We were both amazed and happy to have experienced this unique event."
Just before the storm arrived, Albright said he saw birds working off the beach, and roosterfish cutting up bait beneath them. "I took out one of my rods with a Krocodile and made one cast," he said. "I was hooked up to this 35-pound rooster. It took me over 20 minutes to land the fish, with the help of my wife who went into the surf and grabbed it by the tail and dragged it up the beach. After the photos, the fish was released. Who knows what the day might bring when you live in Baja?"
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: Baja Beach Capt. Mike Riechner said, "Fishing has been next to impossible these last few days. There's no shortage of bait, according to the numerous pelicans kamikaziing into the water, but conditions don't warrant any attempt at a cast."
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: Don Ballentine of San Isidro, 10 miles north of Punta Pescadero said fishing up there was slow at the end of the week: "Just got in. Trolled for about 50 miles. Saw nothing, not even another boat. The shark fishermen told me they saw 4 tails yesterday. I may pick another direction tomorrow, go out to the outside shark buoys."
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: At Baja On The Fly, Gary Graham said a few dorado and marlin were caught by boats able to get out through the rough conditions. "Sporadic wind conditions continue, with a few good days, and then you need rocks in your pockets just to walk the beach," Graham said. East Cape water temperatures averaged 67 to 72 degrees. On the beaches, sierra and a few jacks were caught at gray light, at Punta Arena and La Ribera. No yellowfin tuna were reported.
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: Mark Rayor of the Vista Sea Sport dive service said water conditions after the big rain were already improving over the weekend, with about 30-foot visibility, "good enough to see a huge blanket of about 300 golden cownose rays go by."
During the storm, water temperatures dropped to as low as 69 degrees. Rayor was off to Magdalena Bay for his annual clamming expedition.
Rayor and his staff were also credited with confirming the names of 3 local fishermen shown in a photo of possible East Cape totoaba caught of Punta Pescadero last spring. The photo, discovered and preliminarily identified by Cutter Clotfelter of Rancho Santa Fe, showed Francisco "Pancho: Zasueta, his son, Francisco Zasueta Jr., and Jesus "Chuy" Sandez.
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: Steve Crouch announced the dates for the 16th Annual Crouch/Roberts No Kill Tournament at Rancho Buena Vista, July 16-20. Crouch said the entry fee is $250, and registration is through Tami Muoyeos at 800-258-8200.
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: Earlier, George Bergin of La Ribera said Dan Henning got a 115-pound sailfish in 70-degree water, 5 miles northeast of Punta Colorada. They also limited on sierra at the lighthouse. "I was encouraged about sierra and flat seas so I went out with a pal the next day, and we each got a limit of 5 big sierras at Punta Colorada. Back on the beach by 10:30."
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: Chugey Sepulveda of San Diego fished with friends Scott Albers and Corey Chan on a panga out of Buena Vista Beach Resort: "The water was cold on the beach, but about 72 offshore 6 to 10 miles. Wind was tough, but fishable. Quite a few marlin around, especially outside the Pescadero buoys 25 to 30 miles. Most reliable was sierra, to 7 pounds!"
ENSENADA, MEXICO: Sergio Susarrey of Sergio's Sportfishing Center reported on 19 anglers with a catch of: 15 bonito, 1 halibut, 61 lingcod, 78 rockcod, 55 whitefish, 3 salmon grouper, and 14 red snapper.
ENSENADA, MEXICO: Ed Raphael reported on a 2-day rock fishing trip, for 20 employees and friends of Billy's Bait & Tackle in Dana Point, out of Point Loma Sportfishing on the Grande: "We were about 50 miles below Ensenada. The seas were calm and the weather was great. By noon everyone loaded with big cowcod and lingcod. Billy's Bill Hogan asked us to try his new "Soft Iron" jig, which is a weighted rubber squid. The jackpots both days were caught using these jigs. The captains put the boat on fish on almost every stop. The food was great."
ENSENADA, MEXICO: Earlier, Steve Ross reported on a trip to Punta Banda Bank out of Marina Coral on the Bad Dog: "My numbers gave me rocks and reading of fish. Juan Lu immediately reeled up an 8-pound cow cod. Immediately after, I got bit and reeled up a fat 6-pound red vermillion.
"The water was a chilly 56 degrees and climbed to 58 as the day went on. It was green and moving fast, so we had to use 3 and 5-pound weights. Anything less and your line was at a radical angle. I have no clue what was chewing off the little mackerel, but they were gone after every drop, no matter how or where I hooked them. Whales everywhere. With 7 rock cod and 2 whitefish, we called it a day at 1 p.m."
SAN QUINTIN, MEXICO: Pete Hillis of Pedro's Pangas said 12 boats fished, in rougher weather at the beginning of the week that flattened out by the weekend, with air temperatures in the low-70s, and water temperatures averaging about 59 degrees. Hillis said the yellowtail bite slowed a bit: "You just had to work a little harder to bring 'em in." Sandy Barnes and Chris Sands of Mammoth, CA and Armando Aguilar of Tijuana fished at the 240 and 15 spots for 2 yellowtail, a 3-foot mako shark, and limits of whitefish and rockcod. The best action was on blue-white and blue-chrome jigs, and live bait.
SAN QUINTIN, MEXICO: Lorenzo Biedebach of Campo Lorenzo said Pete O'Hara of San Bernardino, CA and Rev. Bob McBay of Watts, CA scored heavy on reds, big whitefish, and several nice lingcod to 17 pounds, fishing just off the 240 spot with dark-colored jigs and cut squid. Also fishing out of Campo Lorenzo were Raul Marmol and Norm Gehrke, who used squid to pluck a lot of reds, a few lingcod, and some large whitefish, south of the point in 200 feet of water. Biedebach said water temperatures were about 62 degrees, and, "it was a little 'scary' at times getting over the bar at the bay entrance during the high surf periods."
SAN QUINTIN, MEXICO: At Don Eddie's Landing, Tony Marquez said yellowtail action was slower, but boats still averaged about 2 per day, of 12 to 18 pounds, mostly on blue-white jigs. Bottom fishing was for limits all around, with good results on squid, live bait, and Action Lures jointed jigs. Inside the bay, Ted and Suzie Shellen of Riverside, CA landed 2 halibut of 17 and 20 pounds, plus a 30-pound black sea bass. On Sunday, they fished with Capt. Jaime Garcia for limits on bottom fish. Curtis Parker and Aaron Shmuckler of Mission Viejo, CA fished 3 days on the Ana for 6 yellowtail to 16 pounds plus daily limits on bottom fish.
SAN QUINTIN, MEXICO: Julio Meza of San Quintin said his cousin Paco caught bonita at the 6 spot, lingcod at the 240 spot, and bottom fish at Socorro, in beautiful water, but with fog in the morning. "Hard to get out of the bay without GPS," Meza said.
MAGDALENA BAY, MEXICO: Gary Graham of Baja On The Fly said pangas fishing 6 to 8 miles outside the entrada reported a wide-open bite on yellowfin tuna. In the mangroves, good catches were made on corvina, grouper, pompano, and "all the cabrilla you can handle." San Carlos weather was calm and hazy in the low-70s, with water temperatures of 66 to 74 degrees. Graham said that in addition to San Carlos, he'll begin offering trips out of Puerto Lopez Mateos in a few weeks.
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Capt. George Landrum of Fly Hooker Sportfishing reported on 3 boats with a catch including released fish of: 5 striped marlin and 6 dorado. Landrum said Cabo had an unusual winter rain on Tuesday and Wednesday, with some street flooding, thunder, and lightning. Weekend weather was still cool in the high-70s, with water temperatures of 69 to 75 degrees. The warmest water was about 15 miles south of the arch.
Marlin fishing was better during the week, with most boats flying flags and fish "almost everywhere," but it slowed down again by the weekend. San Diego long range boats at the Jaime Bank loaded up on large yellowfin tuna, Landrum said, but local cruisers did not get into the action, due to the weather. Inshore fishing produced plentiful sierra and a few roosterfish, including a 58 pounder.
Landrum also reported on another whale release: "A whale was caught in a gill net set for sierra outside of the Santa Maria-Chileno area. It was a female humpback caught around her pectorals and tail. The guys from Cabo Expeditions and one of the dive shops went out and finally managed to cut her free, doing so at risk to their own lives."
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Picante Fleet reported on 5 weekend boats with a catch including released fish of: 3 striped marlin, 18 dorado, and 22 yellowfin tuna.
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: At Cabo Magic, Tommy Garcia reported on 60 boats with a catch including released fish of: 26 striped marlin, 1 shortbilled spearfish, 74 yellowfin tuna, 92 dorado, and 4 skunks.
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Benjamin Ortega Rodriguez of Solmar Fleet reported on 69 boats with a catch including released fish of: 15 striped marlin, 38 dorado, and 4 bonito. The hot boat for the week was the Solmar II with Capt. Javier Abaroa and 4 striped marlin, 4 yellowfin tuna, and 1 dorado.
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: At Pisces Fleet, Nancy Chaloner said 85 percent of boats landed all species combined, including 43 striped marlin, 41 of which were released. Canadians Milton Leff and John Pegg released 6 marlin in 2 days of fishing aboard the Andrea. Dorado action was also improved, due to floating debris from the rains. Fishing was generally close to shore, with most boats staying within a 10-mile radius of the arch.
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Larry Edwards of Cortez Yacht Charters said a 500-pound blue marlin was caught by Jayson Carson of San Diego, about 12 miles off the arch, aboard the Anamar I. Striped marlin action was much improved, with boats averaging about 1 per day. The Juanita VIII with Capt. Mario Castro had a triple. Gaviota Fleet had an overall catch including released fish of: 19 striped marlin, 1 blue marlin, 12 yellowfin tuna, and 25 dorado.
SAN JOSE DEL CABO, MEXICO: Eric Brictson of Gordo Banks Pangas said the midweek downpours brought 4 to 6 inches of rainfall to the La Playita area, and the road was washed out for 2 days by the raging San Jose del Cabo estero.
"Local pangas were shut down for 3 days and once again have to work through a jungle of driftwood," Brictson said. Water conditions were green and cooler, to a high of 74 degrees about 15 miles off shore, and the weather was still cool, about 75 degrees. Overall, fishing was slower and scattered on all offshore species, but inshore dorado were being caught in the 8 to 15-pound range, in addition to abundant sierra. Bottom fishing produced yellowtail snapper, huachinango, pompano, and cabrilla.
Before the rains arrived, a few 60 to 100-pound yellowfin tuna were landed at the Inner Gordo Bank.
SAN JOSE DEL CABO, MEXICO: Luis Duhart of Palmilla Bay Sportfishing said inshore fishing picked right up after the rains. Anglers caught 16 dorado directly in front of the Hotel Presidente: "The estero water is pouring in there, and it seems the fish like it." James Roach landed several sierra to 18 pounds with Capt. Gustavo on the Cristine, and also lost a marlin on a trolled mackerel. Both marlin and dorado were concentrated about 3 miles off the coast.
SAN JOSE DEL CABO, MEXICO: Paul Roos of San Jose del Cabo reported a 150-pound class yellowfin tuna caught by David Sidle on the Tomas Cantor booked Mijares Fleet panga Mary Carmen, with Capt. Jose. "That Tuesday there were only 2 pangas on the water," Roos said. "Sidle and his 2 companions accounted for 3 more tuna between 50 and 70 pounds. The next day, 20 pangas were out there, including yours truly with Miguel on Suzy, and only 2 tuna were landed. We broke off a big one that snapped the rod in two and severed the line."
SAN JOSE DEL CABO, MEXICO: Species specialist John Snow returned from fishing in rough conditions, in the surf and with Capt. Pata on the panga Salome, with a record of 38 species caught, including 6 new species: Cortez damselfish, hardtail conger eel, manta ray, and 3 species yet to be identified from his photos.
Other species caught included: bobo, Mexican bonita, flag cabrilla, creole fish, yellowfin croaker, dorado, giant hawkfish, graybar grunt, yellowstripe grunt, longfinned halfbeak, mutton hamlet, flatiron herring, yellowfin herring, jack crevalle, California needlefish, Mexican needlefish, porgy, salema, stone scorpionfish, dusky sergeant major, mullet snapper, red snapper, yellow snapper, finescale triggerfish, orangeside triggerfish, yellowfin tuna, whitefish, banded wrasse, emerald wrasse, and sunset wrasse. Snow's present species count for the San Jose del Cabo area is more than 115.
LA PAZ, MEXICO: Gerardo Hernandez of Tortuga Sportfishing said the weather by the end of the week was very good on the Las Arenas side, in the mid-70s, with water temperatures of 70 to 72 degrees. No anglers fished at midweek, due to "mucha lluvia, just a lot of rain." With the improved conditions, Hernandez was planning to send pangas to Isla Cerralvo to look for tuna and yellowtail.
LA PAZ, MEXICO: At Tail Hunter International, Jonathan Roldan said few anglers were on the La Paz side. "I think the hottest news was that a few roosterfish started showing up around Las Arenas," Roldan said. "Other than that, we got a few dorado off Punta Coyote that wandered into the area. Bait is abundant on both sides of the peninsula."
LORETO, MEXICO: Pam Bolles of Baja Big Fish Company said skies were clear and the seas flat by the end of the week, following wind and a day of solid rain. Large yellowtail, into the 50-pound range, were reported at the Cinquenta bajo north of Isla Carmen, Bolles said. Baja Big Fish Company has begun selling Mexican fishing licenses and marine park permits by email. "All you will need to do is come by our shop and pick them up. In case you'll be going out fishing early the following day, we can arrange delivery to your hotel or private residence," Bolles said.
Gregorio Segoviano of the Carnaderos baitsellers cooperativa said larger baits were elusive last week, but sardina were available. The carnaderos, together with Jeff Petersen of Loreto, made a trip north to their Ramadita base camp at the north end of Bahia San Nicolas, for excellent fishing on huachinango, pinto bass, pierna, tigereta, and other species, using calamari and shrimp heads from commercial boats working nearby. Segoviano said whales were in the area, and conditions were highly variable, with wind, sun, and currents running strong to light.
MULEGE, MEXICO: At the Hotel Serenidad in Mulege, Diana Johnson said local fishing was improved on yellowtail, but the best fishing reports were a long run, off Isla San Marcos. "Hoping they come closer soon," Johnson said.
SANTA ROSALIA, MEXICO: "San Marcos Mike" Kanzler of Isla San Marcos said the yellowtail bite at the north end of the island went from good to "super" last week: "Fishable all week with no wind, but not many people down here. Unbelievable surface bite. Got 12 yellows today and back at the dock by 10:30 a.m."
Kanzler caught full limits with Alan Lewis of the San Lucas Cove trailer park, and Kevin Ward of the Searcher.
Joe Miller and Mike Blackman of Napa, CA caught 4 yellowtail of 22 to 27 pounds on Thursday, in clear water of about 40 feet visibility, and 60 to 61 degrees. "They had to work real hard that day, because the fish were a little skittish," Kanzler said.
Kanzler relayed an inshore fishing report from John Boger of Idaho, who's been fishing locally from a 14-foot tin boat since mid-November. Boger said fishing was good to fair in front of San Bruno and along the cliffs north of Haystack, on leopard grouper and some small yellowtail caught with trolled Rapalas, plus lots of nice bass and triggerfish on jigged plastic and chrome. Kanzler fishes both commercial and sport: 011-52-615-155-0513, firstname.lastname@example.org.
No new findings were reported following the diving accident north of Santa Rosalia on New Year's Day. Celia Diaz of the Binational Emergency Medical Care Committee in Chula Vista, CA said no new reports were received following a call for assistance to locate diver Steven Seo. "We called the Santa Rosalia port captain and Mexican Coast Guard," Diaz said. "The case is still open until we hear from the family or authorities."
BAHIA DE LOS ANGELES, MEXICO: At Bahia de los Angeles, Capt. Igor Galvan said yellowtail were biting well on the Guadalupe bajo, 7 miles north of town. The fish were in the 15 to 25-pound class, Galvan said. L.A. Bay weather was good with very little wind.
BAHIA DE LOS ANGELES, MEXICO: Neff Nash of Tucson said yellowtail were reported on the surface at Isla Turner off Kino Bay.
BAHIA DE LOS ANGELES, MEXICO: Beto Lucero of remote Caleta San Francisquito said he's in full operation with sport fishing, gasoline, welding, water and camping, and support for anglers and kayakers: email@example.com.
SAN FELIPE, MEXICO: At San Felipe, Tony Reyes Fishing Tours announced that final legal filings were being made this week on their purchase of the Capt. Villegas panga mothership. The Capt. Villegas will be renamed the Tony Reyes, and will operate alongside the company's present boat, the Jose Andres.
SAN FELIPE, MEXICO: Catalina Meders of the Title Company Bookstore overlooking Bahia San Felipe, said last week's weather was sunny and perfect in the low-70s. The big news in town was that the Animal Shelter was getting lots of support, and a new take-out restaurant opened, with "Gringo food" such as meat loaf, mashed potatoes, and Tuna Mac. "This may sound pretty pedestrian to you who eat these things on a regular basis, but in a small town in Mexico it's really a CHANGE," Meders said. Many visitors were in town, and preparations were underway for the Baja 250 and Carnaval.
ROCKY POINT (PUERTO PENASCO), MEXICO: Jim Davis of Yuma confirmed the fish called "calico" locally is the spotted bay bass, Paralabrax maculatofasciatus, and it is also called "cabrilla." "I must admit that I use cabrilla as a name for this fish. Otherwise no one would know what I am talking about," Davis said.
SAN CARLOS, MEXICO: Bob Blair of Fishing San Carlos said yellowtail action really picked up last week. Four anglers fished 4 days for a total of 40 yellowtail, and none weighed less than 20 pounds, Blair said. Catches were reported from Punta San Antonio and Isla San Pedro Nolasco, and some grouper and snapper were also caught. Water temperatures were in the low-60s.
MAZATLAN, MEXICO: Tadeo Hernandez called it "a strange week," with the port closed by weather for 2 days, and then sunny and hot: "We are 72 degrees right now and it's snowing only 100 miles from here!" Hernandez said. Few anglers went out. Four boats struggled in 6 to 9-foot seas for 1 sailfish and 1 jack crevalle. Many small sharks were sighted. "Difficult to work the hooked fish," Hernandez said. "Some people came back early, due to seasickness. We're looking forward to next week."
PUERTO VALLARTA, MEXICO: Kim Moore of Charter Dreams said good weather and calm seas returned at the end of the week after a period of rain and cool temperatures in the 70s. Sailfish action was consistent on 80 to 100-pound fish at Cabo Corrientes. Inshore, sierra and jack crevalle were holding at both the north and south ends of the bay. Dorado were scarce, but some were caught at the artificial palm leaf "reefs" set out by local commercial fishermen.
IXTAPA ZIHUATANEJO, MEXICO: Paul Phillips of the Fintastic Total Tag & Release Tournament said the sailfish action "exploded this week," with some boats reporting as many as 8 fish in a day.
IXTAPA ZIHUATANEJO, MEXICO: Local guide Ed Kunze said clear 80-degree water was 6 miles out and the sailfish action continued excellent, with boats averaging 4 to 5 fish per day. "We are very busy, in the peak of the high season," Kunze said.
Bob Nelson of Seattle, WA fished with Capt. Martin on the panga Isamar, and tagged 21 sailfish in 4 days. Fly angler Jason Tingy of Great Falls, MT also fished with Capt. Martin and landed 3 sailfish of 7 shots in one day.
Dave Holts of NOAA in La Jolla, CA was in town tagging sailfish with satellite tags. Roosterfish action was slow, and only a few dorado were caught, in the 20-pound class.
IXTAPA ZIHUATANEJO, MEXICO: Larry Edwards of Cortez Yacht Charters said 58 offshore boats had 203 sailfish landed, out of over 500 shots. The Dos Hermanos II fished 5 days and landed 35 sailfish plus 3 dorado. It also had some wild moments with a 700-pound class black marlin that took a bait and snapped off on 30-pound line. The best action was 10 miles out of Zihuatanejo Bay, Edwards said.
IXTAPA ZIHUATANEJO, MEXICO: Gary Graham of Baja On The Fly reported Zihuatanejo weather as partly cloudy in the low-80s, with water temperatures of 79 to 86 degrees.