ENSENADA, MEXICO: Ivan Villarino of Vonny’s Fleet said pangas fishing the tip of Punta Banda scored on yellowtail all week long. On Sunday morning, Humberto Garcia and Humberto Garcia Jr. caught two medium yellowtail plus lingcod with Capt. Beto Zamora on the Vonny I.
On Saturday, Dave Hensen of San Clemente caught a full limit of yellowtail on the Vonny III with Capt. Cruz Zamora.
Earlier, Gary Griffin and his San Diego group limited on lingcod and one yellowtail. Steve Borges of Payzon, Ariz., and Bryan Humphries of Redding also fished with Capt. Beto Zamora on the Vonny I for limits of rockfish and lingcod, plus six yellowtail of 18 to 27 pounds.
Villarino also announced the addition of Juan Martinez of Veracruz to the Vonny’s Fleet staff: “He wants to learn to be a fisherman. He is pretty good help. I asked him and Beto to go find some fish for a function at Yvonne's school. They caught eight yellowtails. Pretty good for his first day.”
Ensenada weather over the weekend was mostly sunny in the low-70s, with light breezes, 2 to 3-foot swells, and water temperatures averaging 59 degrees.
ENSENADA, MEXICO: Don Fagan of the Luhr Jensen factory in Ensenada was headed south to fish out of San Quintin’s Old Mill Motel with a group including a fish buyer, Rodolfo, who only uses handlines. Fagan also reported that he’s bought the materials for an 18.5-foot boat that he’s hoping to have completed by August: “It's a displacement, not a planing, hull, so it won't go fast. It will, however, go comfortably and economically. Has a berth and a little pilothouse to get out of the sun or rain, basic accommodation for two for a comfortable weekend.”
ENSENADA, MEXICO: Sammy Susarrey of Lily Fleet said the Tamara fished with five anglers at Maximimo Reef, north of Punta Santo Tomás, for good-sized calico bass and medium lingcod, in 58-degree water. The best fishing was about 120 feet deep, with hot pink and root beer plastics, Susarrey said.
ENSENADA, MEXICO: Earlier, Denis Quesnel of Action Lures fished on the Quest out of Sergio’s Sportfishing Center: “We really killed the reds up to 5 pounds, all on Action Lures, chrome and orange. It was really weird. Ninety percent of the fish were reds. Usually, we do well on lings and salmon grouper.” Quesnel said the Quest fished two hours south of Ensenada in about 175 feet of water.
ERENDIRA, MEXICO: Fernando Castro of Castro’s Camp said 12 pangas fished during the week for lots of lingcod and a few red rockfish in variable conditions, with wind on some days, and green water out to about a mile from the coast. “Lots of bottom fish,” Castro said, “nothing unusual to report.”
Chris Kugel of Castro’s Camp fished earlier for rockfish and just a few lingcod. Kugel said the road was in good shape with “ a few potholes, but very drivable.”
SAN QUINTIN, MEXICO: Pete Hillis of Pedro’s Pangas said eight boats fished during the week, in chilly morning fog at times, but no wind to speak of. Water temperatures averaged 58 to 59 degrees. Dave Woods’ group from Los Angeles limited on large red rockfish and lingcod, and the Old Mill road was slowly drying out after recent rains. “The grader should be there to level the road before the weekend,” Hillis said.
SAN QUINTIN, MEXICO: Doug Pierson of O’Brien, Ore., found good action on surf perch south of town: “Using small pieces of Pismo clam for bait, I enjoyed good fishing about 15 miles south of San Quintin. Just pulled into a dirt road and asked the land owner for permission to fish. They seemed glad to have me and the fishing was good for perch even at low tide.”
BAJA CALIFORNIA, MEXICO: Doug Pierson of O’Brien, Ore., found the first 40 miles of the Punta Abreojos road paved on his trip in to fish at Estero de Coyote: “Three days, there were no high tides at Estero de Coyote. Tides were only ‘very low’ and ‘lower yet,’ with constant strong wind to boot.
“I got a mackerel at the Punta Abreojos fish co-op and hit the beach, choosing the places described in The Baja Catch. It was obvious that this was an outstanding shore to fish, but not on the days I was there.
“Ocean storms filled the sea with so much red sea weed that it was impossible to fish. Also high winds sandblasted the area.
“Reading The Baja Catch about Campo Rene, I headed there, but the road in was under water and impassable. Luckily there was an alternate route in to the camp. Nice cabins were only $10 a day and the restaurant served great food.
“Met up with John and Nancy Ash from Oregon who had a 10-foot Apex inflatable, so with their boat and my bait and tackle we ventured through miles of extremely shallow water and found a deeper hole and caught lots of barred sandbass and spotted bay bass on very small hooks fished on the bottom.
“We caught all the fish exactly where The Baja Catch maps said they would be found! The casting and trolling of lures came up empty. The estero was great and I am anxious to return there in July when hopefully there will be more water.”
MAGDALENA BAY, MEXICO: Gary Graham of Baja On The Fly said Puerto San Carlos weather was cool and rainy for his group from Oregon. “A few leopard grouper, fair-sized corvina, and pompano on surface poppers gave everyone a few giggles,” Graham said. “The snook continued their elusive ways, with only a few bites and no successes.” San Carlos weather was in the high-60s, with water temperatures of 66 to 74 degrees.
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Benjamin Ortega Rodriguez of Solmar Fleet said 73 boats had a catch including released fish of: six striped marlin, 159 yellowfin tuna, 33 dorado, 16 squid, eight bonito, and four sierra.
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Larry Edwards of Cortez Yacht Charters said 29 Gaviota Fleet outings produced a catch including released fish of: two striped marlin, 16 dorado, and 121 yellowfin tuna. The Fish Cabo had a five-trip catch including released fish of: one striped marlin, two dorado, and 52 tuna. Edwards said most of the tuna were 15 to 25 pounds, but there were some 50 to 60 pounders also mixed in. Gaviota Fleet fished seven to 20 miles offshore on the Pacific side.
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Tommy Garcia of Cabo Magic reported on 49 boats with a catch including released fish of: three striped marlin, 307 yellowfin tuna, 19 dorado, two mako shark, decent quantities of inshore sierra, skipjack, and yellowtail, and two boats skunked.
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Capt. George Landrum of Fly Hooker Sportfishing reported on five trips with a catch of 18 yellowfin tuna to about 35 pounds. Cabo weather was cool and often windy, with water temperatures of about 68 degrees on the Pacific side, and about 70 degrees, 20 to 25 miles south.
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: At Pisces Fleet, Nancy Chaloner said a broadbill swordfish of about 225 pounds was reported caught by another fleet, and a good-sized blue marlin was lost by Pisces, plus 13 striped marlin released. Pisces boats fished mostly up the Pacific side, in water temperatures of 69 to 74 degrees.
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: At Baja On The Fly, Gary Graham reported fair to good fishing for the few anglers going out, with a few billfish and dorado caught offshore, and sierra, jacks, and a few skipjack closer in. “More billfish than one would expect for this time year,” Graham said. “Are they early-coming or late-leaving? Quién sabe?”
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: John Ireland of Rancho Leonero said East Cape weather was in the low-80s, with some wind, and few boat departures. Water temperatures averaged about 66 degrees. Ireland said: “Lots of striped marlin north from Punta Pescadero to Cerralvo, taking bait as well as dark-colored trolled lures. The early roosterfish bite continues, with fish biting from the lighthouse to Los Frailes, along with a continued strong sierra bite with some pargo mixed in, off most area beaches.”
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: Baja Beach Captain Mike Reichner said the sierra in front of Hotel Punta Colorada disappeared, but were replaced by pompano and dog snapper to about 5 pounds. Roosterfish also showed up, from Las Barracas to La Ribera, Reichner said: “One gent caught two from the playa, in the 30 and 40-pound range. He was using--and I can’t believe it--a Deep Stinger cast into the feeding boils.”
Reichner also reported good action on ladyfish until about 8 a.m. Beach water temperatures were 68 to 70 degrees.
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: Mark Rayor of the Vista Sea Sport dive service said the water at Cabo Pulmo was clear but only 69 degrees. Good numbers of whales, porpoise, and manta rays were present in Bahía de Palmas.
LA PAZ, MEXICO: Gerardo Hernandez of Tortuga Sportfishing was at the Fred Hall Long Beach Show, but relayed a report from his son, Dos, on the beach at Las Arenas. Hernandez said fishing action was improving on pargos, yellowtail, and even a few dorado to 30 pounds on sardinas. Water temperatures at Isla Cerralvo averaged 70 degrees, and at Punta Perico it was 66 to 74 degrees. Very few commercial or sport pangas were fishing.
LA PAZ, MEXICO: Jonathan Roldan of Tail Hunter International said the weather was in the high-80s, with some showers, but less wind. Despite green, cool water, the bite improved on large mullet snapper (pargo lisa) and dog snapper around Punta Perico and Isla Cerralvo. Yellowtail, some at 20 to 40 pounds, were also caught at El Bajito on the La Paz side, and divers reported hammerhead shark 60 to 100 feet deep at El Bajo.
LORETO, MEXICO: At Baja Big Fish Company, Pam Bolles said the water temperature at the Loreto marina on Sunday was 66 degrees. Fishing was slow at the marina, and the few pangas that went out Sunday were returning with no yellowtail. Bolles projected this year’s surface spawning period for yellowtail to begin in a few weeks.
Earlier, yellowtail averaging 20 pounds were caught between winds at San Bruno and Puerto Almejas. “However, we are seeing a lot of boats coming back empty. It looks as though being in the right place at the right time is key,” Bolles said. Most of the fish were caught 125 to 200 feet deep.
As a sign of the coming dorado season, Bolles said sargassum weed has begun to grow on the rocks south of town, and some has also been seen at San Bruno: “Currently, there is ‘lama’ bloom, algae, piling up along the beaches to the south of Puerto Escondido. Lama is not the same species as the thicker and hardier sargasso. The lama usually piles up on the beaches but doesn't often survive the sun long enough to be sent out to sea. It most often dries out before this can occur. However lama is an indicator that the sea is ‘turning over’ and is a precursor to the ever important sargasso growth, a good sign of things to come.”
LORETO, MEXICO: Ty Miller of El Fuerte Sportfishing at Puerto Escondido, said he just finished up a successful bighorn sheep season, and was on the water Friday in good conditions at Smorgasbord Reef, which produced some nice broomtail grouper and yellowtail, on bait and iron, about 200 feet deep.
“From what I experienced last Friday on the water, things are starting to shape up little by little,” Miller said. “Bait is finally starting to show on the outside, with acres of sardines off both Isla Monserrate and Isla Catalana.” Loreto weather was in the high-70s, with some wind, and water temperatures averaging 65 degrees.
LORETO, MEXICO: Arturo Susarrey of Arturo’s Sportfishing said the Acco Engineering group at Punta Pulpito reported 120 yellowtail averaging 22 pounds, and one of 34 pounds, after fishing three days with eight anglers at the San Nicolas camp.
LORETO, MEXICO: Jeff Petersen of Loreto fish-camped with members of the Carnaderos baitsellers’ cooperativa, staying overnight at the south end of Isla Catalan, then visiting Punta Perico on Isla Carmen before returning to town. Petersen reported a mixed catch of yellowtail and other species, in water temperatures of 61.2 degrees leaving town, 65.3 degrees at Isla Catalan, and 68.1 degrees at Punta Perico.
LORETO, MEXICO: Earlier, Don Bear of Loreto said Joselino Murillo fished at La Cholla for five good-sized yellowtail, but was skunked the next day.
MULEGE, MEXICO: John Haberman of Mulegé and his friend Hyland McInerny of Portland, Ore., also caught eight yellowtail of 20 to 26 pounds, and several other groups had similar catches. All fish were caught off the north end of the island, Kanzler said.
MULEGE, MEXICO: John Dinning of Mulege caught a couple of yellowtail locally, and reported a 44 pounder caught by Nels Dawson on a MirrOlure off Punta Chivato.
Dinning also launched out of San Lucas Cove with Tom and Patti Higgenbotham, and Becky Aparacio, and ran into Mike Kanzler off the north side of Isla San Marcos:
“Mike was already out there fishing alone. We set up several hundred yards away and began our drift. The action was as good as we had hoped for. We were back at camp by 11 a.m. with five yellows in the mid-20 pound class, and had lost as many.
“All of the boats returned with good numbers, but by far the master is Kid Jurel. I've never seen such a hardworking fisherman who appears to have that uncanny ability to hook up at every spot he stops over. I had the opportunity to personally thank Mike for his reports.”
Dinning reported a water temperature of 61 degrees throughout the area.
MULEGE, MEXICO: Doug Pierson of O’Brien, Ore., had a good trip to the Punta Chivato area: “Shore fishing was productive for a variety of species. Ensenada de Muerto, just north of Punta Chivato, was the place to be. Lots of good-sized fish around the rocks at the north end of the isolated two-mile long beach. Cut bait on light tackle was the way to go.”
Pierson said he also caught up to seven yellowtail per day, to 37 pounds, 15 miles south of Mulege at Punta Rosa, with panguero Antonio Romero, 011-52-615-153-0029: “Between yellowtail bites, I enjoyed red-hot leopard grouper fishing with a fish on every drop. Antonio has 40 years’ experience fishing Mulege and speaks English fluently.”
MULEGE, MEXICO: Nate Baker of Irvine spearfished out of his 17-foot Boston Whaler at Isla Tortuga, in 62 to 64-degree water, for many yellowtail of 25 to 30 pounds. “Typical winter conditions with some wind but nothing unmanageable,” Baker said. He reported launching at the commercial ramp in the middle of Santa Rosalia, but finding tough conditions at very low tide: “We had to disconnect the trailer and manually wheel it out into the mud to find water deep enough to put the boat on it.” Baker reported only two boats fishing commercially at the island: “There were anchovies at Tortuga as well, and the only thing feeding on them was creolefish. Pretty comical to see a school of creolefish boil on anchovies.”
SANTA ROSALIA, MEXICO: Mike Kanzler of Isla San Marcos said it rained hard on Wednesday, but the weather was perfect for most of the week, with 15-foot water visibility and water temperatures holding at 62 to 63 degrees. The excellent yellowtail bite continued, as almost all anglers took limits. “I fished by myself Tuesday and Thursday taking 18 yellowtail from 20 to 27 pounds using bigeyes for bait,” Kanzler said. He fished 60 to 70 feet down in about 180 to 200 feet of water.
SAN FELIPE, MEXICO: Catalina Meders of the Title Company Bookstore overlooking the bay said San Felipe weather was clear and about perfect at 72 degrees, with water temperatures at 63 degrees. A Hobie Cat regatta was scheduled for the weekend, and on Saturday, Baja author Graham Mackintosh spoke to a group of fans. The whole town was bracing for the annual rush of college students arriving for spring break.
SAN CARLOS, MEXICO: Bill Molden of San Carlos said fishing was slow and the yellowtail being seen on fish finders were not biting. “The weather has finally improved, but the fishing hasn't,” Molden said. “The full moon must be playing havoc with the fishing. This week, trollers, jiggers, and live baiters all had a tough time. Near shore bottom fishing has been fair to good.” Molden said San Carlos water temperatures averaged 58 degrees.
SAN CARLOS, MEXICO: Earlier, Bob Blair of San Carlos said he fished on the Andale for seven yellowtail of 18 to 32 pounds at Isla San Pedro Nolasco. “Radio traffic at island where we were proved it to be a good day, and everybody catching larger fish as well,” Blair said.
MAZATLAN, MEXICO: Larry Edwards of Cortez Yacht Charters said Aries Fleet out of Marina el Cid averaged about one billfish per outing. Twenty boats had a catch including released fish of: three sailfish, 26 striped marlin, one dorado, and 22 yellowfin tuna. Inshore pangas did well on covina, snappers, grouper, yellowtail, and baqueta. Mazatlan weather was partly cloudy in the mid-80s, with water temperatures in the high-60s and low-70s. The best fishing was 20 to 30 miles southwest of Marina el Cid.
IXTAPA ZIHUATANEJO, MEXICO: Local guide Ed Kunze said clear, 80-degree water moved closer to shore last week, and sailfish action picked up a bit about 18 miles out. A 55-pound dorado was caught by Capt. Arturo on the Whisky III, and the fleet was also hooking one or two blue marlin per day. An annual visitor from Finland, who fishes only for tuna, landed one of almost 300 pounds, only 10 miles out of Zihuatanejo Bay. Capt. Luis Maciel also landed a 120-pound tuna. Jack crevalle were active along the coast, but roosterfish were not reported.
IXTAPA ZIHUATANEJO, MEXICO: Larry Edwards of Cortez Yacht Charters said French angler, Mr. Dedeurwader, fishing with Capt. Candelerio, landed three dorado, one sailfish and a handful of bonito during four fishing days.
IXTAPA ZIHUATANEJO, MEXICO: Gary Graham of Baja On The Fly said Zihuatanejo weather was clear in the high-80s, with water temperatures of 72 to 78 degrees.