SANTA ROSALIA, MEXICO: Mike Kanzler of Isla San Marcos said yellowtail action off the north end of the island just wouldn’t quit last week, despite several days of lousy weather. The week started off with a downpour on Sunday night, and it was back and forth with more wind, rain, and even hail reported at San Lucas Cove. “Been here 12 years, and never heard of hail around this area!” Kanzler said.
Between storms, Kanzler snuck out three times with good results. Joe Miller, Mike Blackmon, and Jim Gaul of Napa scored four yellowtail, but lost another nine. “Keeps you humble,” Kanzler said.
Lou and Marilyn Arnoldi of Bellevue, Wash., caught four yellowtail to 30 pounds on caballito baits, including one that decided to fight on the surface: “This fish took off across the surface so fast, I thought it was something else, lost dorado, marlin, don't know. The fish took nearly all the line off the reel, to where I started up the boat, running after it!”
Kanzler also won two fights with seals: “I was able to win both times by doing a little trick I was shown by Barry Brightenburg of Fish Trap! When the seal grabs the fish, start the boat and run on top of him, circling the whole time, not letting the seal come up for air. He's got to let the fish go. It’s worked for me many times.”
Inshore fishing was spotty on mostly bass and barracuda, and water temperatures were 61 to 63 degrees. Kanzler added that the consensus among locals was that this is the best yellowtail season in at least four or five years.
ENSENADA, MEXICO: Ivan Villarino of Vonny’s Fleet said pangas fishing the tip of Punta Banda found slow bottom fishing early in the week, but the action picked up again on Thursday, just before the big storm arrived. “The rockcod just started biting,” Villarino said. Lester Elet and Joe Ramirez of Los Angeles fished with Capt. Beto Zamora for limits of rockcod and whitefish. “Then the storm hit in the afternoon,” Villarino said. “The next day was history. Big tormenta!”
ENSENADA, MEXICO: John Matz and his group fished with Vonny Fleet’s Capt. Beto, and Matz bought some of the custom aluminum surface jigs sold in the tackle shop: “No luck on yellowtail, but the rockcod and lingcod proved enough action. The total was 26 rockcod and four lingcod. I also picked up a couple of those jigs.”
ENSENADA, MEXICO: Earlier, Sammy Navarro also fished with Vonny’s Fleet and was impressed with Capt. Beto: “We had both yellowtail and bottom fish action. Beto’s uncanny ability to read conditions is impressive. Not only did we catch my limit of yellowtail, we caught an abundance of bottom fish.”
ENSENADA, MEXICO: At Lily Fleet, Sammy Susarrey said the Amigo’s refitting work was scheduled for completion in late April: “The boat will be ready to take six anglers easily, and will have a lot of deck space.” Improvements include new forward and stern decks, and a new bottom.
ENSENADA, MEXICO: Dennis Spike of Coastal Kayak Fishing announced his next guided trip to La Bufadora will be on April 16-18, followed by an offshore species trip to East Cape’s Rancho Leonero on April 20-23.
ENSENADA, MEXICO: Celia Diaz of the nonprofit Binational Emergency Medical Care Committee (BEMCC) in Chula Vista said four Americans were evacuated to the U.S. from Rosarito Beach within a few hours after they lost control of their car and two were seriously injured. Diaz said BEMCC now has a billboard at Km. 13 of the Ensenada toll road, giving their 24-hour emergency number, 619-425-5080.
ERENDIRA, MEXICO: Chris Kugel of San Diego relayed a report from Adela at Castro’s Camp, saying only three boats fished early in the week due to the rough weather, but catches were steady on mixed rockfish and lingcod. One boat was forced to return early on Wednesday, due to high seas, but still caught fish, including two large white seabass. Up to four boats per day were fishing again by the weekend, for good catches including large barracuda.
SAN QUINTIN, MEXICO: Capt. Kelly Catian of El Capitan Sportfishing said the seas were rough on Saturday, but he managed a nice catch of red rockfish and lingcod at the 240 spot: “At exactly 1 p.m., the wind picked up and shut it down. We had a very rough ride back to the bay, taking a few over the top after sliding down huge swells and dropping into huge potholes.” Catian reported San Quintin afternoon winds at over 20 knots, and water temperatures at 58 to 60 degrees.
SAN QUINTIN, MEXICO: Pete Hillis of Pedro’s Pangas said rain made the road to the bay from Mex 1 “real muddy, but still passable.” Mike Owens, Bob Campbell, Jay Maharaz, and Jack Reynolds of Ventura fished on the Romy for good catches of large lingcod and red rockfish, in water temperatures averaging 58 degrees.
BAJA CALIFORNIA, MEXICO: Enrique Achoy of Malarrimo Ecotours (011-52-615-157-0100, email@example.com) said whale watching was excellent last week, as a new record was set with a count of 2,011 gray whales in Scammon’s Lagoon. The all-time high count included 1,122 adults and 889 newborn calves. Water temperatures in the lagoon averaged 62 degrees.
MAGDALENA BAY, MEXICO: Gary Graham of Baja On The Fly said the esteros south of San Carlos produced good action on leopard grouper and several larger snook lost, after a period of rain early in the week. At the entrada, yellowtail, a few smaller grouper, and one 40-pound white seabass were landed, and many gray whales were present. San Carlos weather was clear in the high-60s, with water temperatures of 66 to 74 degrees.
MAGDALENA BAY, MEXICO: At Puerto Lopez Mateos, Diana Hoyt reported for Baja On The Fly that the corvina bite continued wide-open in the esteros. Rough seas prevented any trips outside the boca, and many gray whales were in the channel. “You can even watch the babies from shore,” Hoyt said.
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Tommy Garcia of Cabo Magic reported on 67 boats with a catch including released fish of: seven striped marlin, 142 yellowfin tuna, 12 dorado, seven skipjack, one amberjack, many sierra and squid, and 3 skunk trips. Garcia said, “Pounds and pounds of squid, which explains why the marlin were not interested in anything else.”
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: At Fly Hooker Sportfishing, Capt. George Landrum reported on three boats with a catch including released fish of: two striped marlin and four yellowfin tuna to 50 pounds. Cabo San Lucas weather was clear but occasionally windy in the mid-80s, with water temperatures ranging from the high-60s on the Pacific side to about 73 degrees at the Gordo Banks on the Cortez side. Marlin action was generally slow, with the better catches made on the Pacific side. Good action on yellowfin tuna, with many in the 40 to 60-pound range, led the counts for most fleets.
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Tracy Ehrenberg of Pisces Fleet said 16 percent of fleet boats landed marlin, and 82 percent caught all species combined, mostly yellowfin tuna. All marlin were caught on the Pacific side from the arch to the Jaime Bank. The yellowfin tuna included many fish in the 30 to 60-pound range, including several over 100 pounds. Pisces boats fished in water temperatures of 69 to 73 degrees.
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Larry Edwards of Cortez Yacht Charters said Gaviota Fleet had a count including released fish of: 14 striped marlin, 20 dorado, 1 Humboldt squid, 2 wahoo, and 125 yellowfin tuna, with many in the 50 to 70-pound range. Rick Gonzales on the Gaviota VI had a one-day catch of eight tuna, one dorado, and one marlin released. Overall, a little more than 25 percent of fleet outings resulted in billfish hookups.
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: At Solmar Fleet, Benjamin Ortega Rodriguez reported a catch including released fish of: five striped marlin, 127 yellowfin tuna, 34 dorado, eight sierra, and four wahoo. The top boat for the week was the Solmar IX, with Capt. Antonio Romero and a five-outing catch of 23 yellowfin tuna and 12 dorado.
SAN JOSE DEL CABO, MEXICO: Eric Brictson of Gordo Banks Pangas said boats out of La Playita caught abundant sierra of 2 to 10 pounds along the coast on plentiful live sardina baits, plus Rapalas, hoochies, and spoons. Inshore water temperatures were 67 to 68 degrees. Pangas were also working the rock piles for bottom catches of amberjack to 30 pounds, cabrilla to 18 pounds, various pargo to 20 pounds, and grouper to 25 pounds, plus some deep football tuna caught on jigs. Local pangueros reported large grouper rocking them on 5-pound skipjack baits.
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: Gary Graham of Baja On The Fly said last week saw a brief hint of spring as some dorado and a few marlin were caught, and there were “enough early morning sierra to make the rods go bendo.” Graham said even a few roosterfish were beginning to make an appearance on the beaches. East Cape weather was still occasionally windy and partly cloudy, in the low-70s, with water temperatures of 66 to 70 degrees.
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: At Rancho Leonero, John Ireland said: “Lots of striped marlin north from Punta Pescadero to Cerralvo, taking bait as well as dark-colored, trolled lures. Some dorado in the same area.”
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: Mark Rayor of the Vista Sea Sport dive service said the weather was beautiful: “Water looks clear in front of our place. We have been able to watch whales and porpoise from our deck.” Rayor also reported a spectacular back country quad trip up into the Sierra de la Laguna: “We approached the rim where we could look down and see running water. After a few miles we passed a little RV park in the middle of nowhere. Breathtaking view. Most beautiful I have ever seen here. I was also blown away at the ranches we passed.
“The purpose of this trip was to pick up a snakeskin belt a friend was having made by Claudio. He is a 72-year-old man who does great leather work. He has many citrus trees that were all loaded with fruit. We asked Claudio about the old abandoned hospital up in the hills. That place has always been a mystery. Past his ranch there is only one more and the road ends. There is a huge abandoned home up there on the top of a mountain that overlooks the Sea of Cortez.”
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: Earlier, Russ Fritz of La Ribera reported, “The wind has finally quit on the East Cape, at least for now. We fished Friday with little success. Water is cold, and the only bite we found was red snapper, which was spotty.”
LA PAZ, MEXICO: At the Cortez Club, James Curtiss reported winds from the south and about three or four Mosquito Fleet pangas fishing per day for yellowtail of 25 to 35 pounds, plus sierra, cabrilla, and pargo, mostly around Isla Espirtu Santo and El Bajo.
LA PAZ, MEXICO: Peter Volt of Los Angeles fished on the Picudo IV with Capt. Tano and caught a 32-pound yellowtail at whale rock near the island. Water temperatures ranged from 62 to 65 degrees.
LA PAZ, MEXICO: At Tail Hunter International, Jonathan Roldan said boats running straight north continued to find yellowtail at El Bajito, on the northwest side of Isla Espiritu Santo. “The boats took three to four fish on the average,” Roldan said, “mostly 20 to 30 pound yellows, with even more lost in the rocks.” Two fish were estimated closer to 40 pounds, Roldan said.
LA PAZ, MEXICO: Gerardo Hernandez of Tortuga Sportfishing said the wind was much lighter toward the end of the week on the Las Arenas side, and commercial pangas caught mostly smaller sierra and cabrilla, plus some pargo and yellowtail of 20 to 30 pounds. Las Arenas weather was in the low-70s, with water temperatures of 70 degrees south of Isla Cerralvo, and about 68 degrees at Punta Perico. Very few commercial and sport pangas were fishing.
LORETO, MEXICO: Arturo Susarrey of Arturo’s Sportfishing said the north wind backed off last week and good schools of yellowtail averaging 22 pounds were found in the Punta Pulpito area and around Isla Ildefonso. The Mark Higashi party of nine anglers fished out of Campo San Nicolas for three days, reporting 175 yellowtail and 100 cabrilla, all on jigs.
LORETO, MEXICO: Gregorio Segoviano of the Carnaderos baitsellers’ cooperativa said they caught the first new macarela of the year last week, “small ones, of course,” and there was lots of mackerel fry in the water. The carnaderos were fishing for bait on the better days, and the small “platinos” were expected to be replaced by larger mackerel in the coming weeks.
LORETO, MEXICO: Jeff Petersen of Loreto fished with the Carnaderos for yellowtail, but found slow action: “Cold air. Poor bait turnout. Dead calm. Heard enormous ruckus of birds in the distance toward Carmen and expected to find jurel involved. Turned out only sardina and cochinitos, with whales mixed in. But birds. Many birds.” The water temperature off Isla Coronado was 63.3 degrees.
LORETO, MEXICO: At Villas de Loreto, Wendy Wilchynski said hotel guests fished with Capt. Gregorio on the Goyo for limits of yellowtail, all about 30 pounds.
MULEGE, MEXICO: In Mulege, Diana Johnson of the Hotel Serenidad said many guests were at the hotel, but mostly for whale watching. Some yellowtail were caught about 20 kilometers out. Aviation gas was in short supply at Mulege, but available at Loreto.
BAHIA DE LOS ANGELES, MEXICO: Capt. Igor Galvan of Bahía de los Angeles said water temperatures averaged 57 degrees, and he was catching about seven to 14 yellowtail per outing, on fish of 12 to 18 pounds. Most fish were caught at Los Machos at the big island, on jigs and bait, including some mackerel, which have started to show up.
BAHIA DE LOS ANGELES, MEXICO: Sonny de la Torre and Ed and Brett Rice fished two days with Capt. Igor, and Capt. Guillermo Galvan in their large pangas: “Mild winds until the last day. Some rain.
“Really like the ‘panga grandes,’ even though they are expensive. It's worth every peso. We caught lots of cabrilla and goldspotted bass, the biggest about 8 pounds. We managed a few yellowtail, lost more then we landed, everyday, the largest between 20 and 25 pounds. As always, we farmed the biggest. The fishing was mostly run and gun, following birds and launching iron. Going to change my name to ‘Captain Bird’s Nest.’
De la Torre said they also caught bottom fish 150 to 320 feet down, in water temperatures of 55 degrees at the big island, and about 58 degrees in other areas.
SAN FELIPE, MEXICO: Catalina Meders of the Title Company Bookstore overlooking the bay said San Felipe weather was about 60 degrees and hazy, possibly from the aftermath of the Baja 250 race. “The town has been jam packed with people all week, with much noise and excitement,” Meders said. “Today the great exodus begins, with Route 5 looking like the San Diego to Las Angeles freeway.” Meders said the malecon had “resembled a medieval fair, with the entire array of vendors, hawkers, bottle and can collectors, exhibitionists, racing wannabe's, fashion plates, hard-bodies, and people-watchers out in full force, a fantastic show!”
MAZATLAN, MEXICO: Larry Edwards of Cortez Yacht Charters said 37 outings by Aries Fleet resulted in a catch including released fish of: 25 striped marlin, 67 yellowfin tuna, 22 dorado, and many red snapper and grouper.
A 280-pound striped marlin was landed by Kevin Lane of Roseburg, Ore., fishing aboard the Aries V. Mazatlan weather was sunny in the low-80s, with water temperatures averaging about 70 degrees.
MAZATLAN, MEXICO: Tadeo Hernandez of Flota Bibi Fleet said nine boats had a catch including released fish of: one striped marlin, one hammerhead shark, six yellowfin tuna, and two skipjack tuna.
PUERTO VALLARTA, MEXICO: Kim Moore of Charter Dreams said fishing slowed down last week in water temperatures in the low-70s. “We are seeing many tuna, sailfish and dorado, but they are slow to bite this week,” Moore said. A few sailfish and dorado caught at Corbetena and north off Sayulita and San Francisco. Jeff Stone and his group from St. Louis fished two days on the Anticipation and released a 5-foot broadbill swordfish, and also caught a 50-pound dorado and 15 yellowfin tuna of 25 to 30 pounds. Puerto Vallarta weather was sunny in the mid-80s.
IXTAPA ZIHUATANEJO, MEXICO: Ed Kunze of Zihuatanejo said cool water knocked the sailfish bite down to about one per outing, but blue marlin action improved. “At least three boats a day are getting a blue between 250 and 400 pounds,” Kunze said.
Kunze said he’s been taking clients beach fishing at Saladitas, about 45 minutes north of Ixtapa, for surf action including jack crevalle to 25 pounds.
“This was productive, until the larger surf kicked in,” Kunze said. “They were having to duck under the waves as they slammed into them, but they caught a lot of fish.”
IXTAPA ZIHUATANEJO, MEXICO: Paul Phillips of the Fintastic Total Tag & Release Tournament said several yellowfin tuna over 200 pounds were also landed. About nine sailfish received satellite tags in the recent program, Phillips said, and the data-recording tags are expected to begin popping to the surface in a few weeks, 15 to 90 days after placement.
IXTAPA ZIHUATANEJO, MEXICO: Larry Edwards of Cortez Yacht Charters reported: “According to Stan Lushinsky, entertaining the first group from Cabelas at their new location, Puerto Vicente Guerrero, some 30 miles south of Zihuatanejo, was uniquely successful. The Vicente Guerrero area is devoid of any sportfishing fleet, so we bring our boats from Zihuatanejo. The lack of fishing pressure as well as some very interesting hydrographic features, including underwater seamounts and the 1,000-fathom curve lying less than 9 miles offshore, makes this area ripe for exploration.”
IXTAPA ZIHUATANEJO, MEXICO: Gary Graham of Baja On The Fly reported Zihuatanejo weather as partly cloudy in the mid-80s, with water temperatures of 72 to 78 degrees.