LORETO, MEXICO: The first significant fish of what looks like an early dorado season were caught around Loreto’s Isla Carmen last week. Pam Bolles of Baja Big Fish Company said several dorado to 37 pounds and a sailfish were caught in blue water east of the island on trolled mackerel.
“But their numbers are not yet thick enough to consider them ‘in’ by any means,” Bolles said. “That will happen, have patience. As the water temperatures rise, they will move in closer and get thicker in number.”
Yellowtail into the low-20 pound range were also still being caught around Isla Coronado, mostly close to the surface on flylined sardina. Inshore fishing was good on pargo, cabrilla, and mixed species, and roosterfish were also present around Isla Coronado.
LORETO, MEXICO: Arturo Susarrey of Arturo’s Sportfishing said Loreto weather was sunny in the high-80s, and yellowtail action was variable on fish to 35 pounds around Punta Pulpito, and to about 12 pounds around Isla Coronado. Susarrey said his boats did not catch dorado, but reports were arriving on fish to about 30 pounds around Isla Carmen. Sailfish were also seen north of the island, and the season looked early for summer migrators.
LORETO, MEXICO: Nacho Davis of the Carnaderos baitsellers’ cooperativa said good mackerel bait was caught nightly and the Carnaderos are ready for the coming dorado season. Davis said anglers with inquiries about bait may contact the Carnaderos in English or Spanish at their website, bajabait.com, or look for them daily around the palapas at the marina, especially for Augustin “Guti” Davis, who is always in white boots, with a 10-foot casting net nearby.
LORETO, MEXICO: Don Bear of Loreto reported that during his recent trip south, he had four nice steaks confiscated at the Guerrero Negro inspection station due to “mad cow disease.” On his return trip north, the same official said beef was now allowed, due to a “recent change in regulations,” but chicken was illegal. “Go figure,” said Bear. “When I go back in June...maybe soft drinks will be illegal.”
ENSENADA, MEXICO: At Vonny’s Fleet, Ivan Villarino said Sam Simonian and his son Craig caught five yellowtail of 15 to 25 pounds and lost five more at the tip of Punta Banda on Sunday. They fished on the panga Vonny I with Capt. Beto Zamora in 60-degree water.
Earlier, pangas found limits of lingcod and rockcod. Catching limits with Capts. Cruz and Genaro Zamora on the Vonny III and Vonny II were the Alex Bravo group, including Marie Bravo, Alex Bravo Jr. of San Diego, and Ron Stanko of Reseda.
ENSENADA, MEXICO: Gerardo Sanchez of KCHTS Sportfishing said the Don Juan II scored on a few yellowtail and some big barracuda inside the bay as water temperatures warmed to about 65 degrees, plus continued limits on rockfish, and some albacore and bluefin tuna at the 295 spot. Sanchez fished in the Rosarito tournament and got one albacore of 15 pounds at the 295 spot on his boat the Xolotl. The Maya reported bluefin tuna at the 425 spot.
ENSENADA, MEXICO: Earlier, Sergio Susarrey of Sergio’s Sportfishing Center reported on 62 anglers with a catch of: 28 bonito, 32 barracuda, 186 lingcod, 234 rockfish, 28 whitefish, 119 sheephead, 13 salmon grouper, and 73 red rockfish.
ENSENADA, MEXICO: Sammy Susarrey of Lily Fleet said the Amigo’s renovation and upgrade work was nearly complete and the boat looks terrific. It will be returned to service sometime in June. More information on the Amigo’s progress and reservations, 011-52-646-169-8703.
Local fishing at midweek was generally windy and slow, Susarrey said, although the Phantom got yellowtail limits outside, plus some 20-pound albacore, fishing about halfway between the 238 and 295 spots, in flat conditions.
ENSENADA, MEXICO: Don Fagan of Ensenada said he’s organizing a petition drive of local residents who would like Western Outdoor News to begin distributing the paper in their area.
ENSENADA, MEXICO: Sam Navarro of Temecula, and the Saenz family from Perris, including Joe, mom Glenda, Ed, Jesse, and Joseph Saenz, spent a great Mother’s Day fishing at the Coronado Islands, catching yellowtail and albacore. “Glenda really enjoyed the fishing action and the Mother’s Day treat,” Navarro said. “A good time was had by all.”
ENSENADA, MEXICO: Joe Lopez of Chula Vista took his wife Patty out for her first fishing trip, fishing on San Diego Bay for a nice catch of sandbass, to 16.5 inches, all afternoon, together with Ricardo’s father, Jose, and brother, David. Lopez launched his 18-foot boat at Shelter Island, and they fished from the ramp to the other side of the bay.
PUERTO SANTO TOMAS, MEXICO: Sam Saenz of Puerto Santo Tomas Resort reported overcast weather with no wind most of the week, but winds finally arriving on Saturday. A kayak fishing group fished during the week in good conditions. Local pangas had excellent bottom action on lingcod, whitefish, and calico bass, and commercial netters caught some white seabass and black sea bass within 1 or 2 miles of the village.
Saenz said warming weather has bought bait to the surface, and birds can be seen from the village working on schools of bonita, as well as barracuda up to four feet long.
ERENDIRA, MEXICO: Fernando Castro of Castro’s Camp said 10 pangas fished during the week for lots of rockcod, lingcod, barracuda and some white seabass, in water temperatures of 60 to 65 degrees and generally good weather, but with some wind on Saturday. Barracuda continued to be found in schools. The fleet averaged a combined total of about three or four white seabass per day.
ERENDIRA, MEXICO: Earlier, Chris Kugel of Castro’s Camp said several buddies visited and fished during a bachelor party for Clint Dunn of Portand, Ore., in several days of foggy conditions, 59 to 60-degree water, and murky conditions. Despite strong currents, they still scored on salmon grouper, red rockfish, lingcod and other species. Kugel said he usually fishes with Capt. Ubaldo, and Castro’s Camp has a couple of new boats on order.
SAN QUINTIN, MEXICO: Julio Meza of San Quintin reported several boats catching yellowtail during the week, including four with Tito to the south, two with Gato at Isla San Martin, and another by Chava. Paco Pinones caught a 22 pounder on Sunday, plus many barracuda, calico bass, and sandbass, on the south side of the island, using green-gray, 6-inch Fish Traps, in windy conditions. Most boats did well on bottom fish.
Earlier, Meza and Pinones checked the Terrafin sea temperature maps and saw a nice break 30 miles off the point: “We got excited and said ‘sushi time!’ We found clear blue water and 63.7 degrees and scored three albacore to 18 pounds.” Meza said the fish hit purple and Mexican flag feathers and a big marlin lure.
SAN QUINTIN, MEXICO: Steve Barstow of the Sportsmen Pub in Paso Robles said he’s organizing a bus trip to San Quintin in June. The deluxe motor coach will drive down the coast picking up anglers on June 19, returning on June 22, for fishing out of the Old Mill Hotel. Information, 800-894-7239.
MAGDALENA BAY, MEXICO: Gary Graham of Baja On The Fly said San Carlos fishing was slow but steady in the mangroves and at the entrada. San Carlos weather was partly cloudy in the high-70s, with water temperatures of 64 to 70 degrees.
At Puerto Lopez Mateos, Graham said Bob Hoyt and Regio fished inshore on the Wendy with Capt. Ruben Duran and reported one grouper and limits of sandbass, plus many releases.
MAGDALENA BAY, MEXICO: Syd Lindsay of San Lucas Cove crossed the peninsula with his brother Bob and nephew John and found very poor fishing out of Puerto Lopez Mateos, “not worth the trip.” Lindsay said local pangas were gill netting heavily: “I wonder if that has something to do with the poor fishing, and it has only been a month and a half since the fishing has been opened after the whales left. There is a gill net in every yard.”
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Tommy Garcia of Cabo Magic reported on 46 boats, with a catch including released fish of: 40 striped marlin, three mako shark, 108 yellowfin tuna, three dorado, three wahoo, five jack crevalle, and one boat skunked.
Notable catches included Russ and Sandra Long of Rancho Palos Verdes with a 75-pound wahoo plus two marlin releases on the Cabo Magic, El Manadero with a 50-pound dorado, and Manana with an 80-pound tuna.
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Larry Edwards of Cortez Yacht Charters said 21 Gaviota Fleet outings had a catch including released fish of: 15 striped marlin, eight dorado, and 104 yellowfin tuna of 10 to 25 pounds. Edwards said fleet captains reported many more marlin seen, but not biting. Quien Sabe caught a 180-pound broadbill swordfish and the Juanita VIII fished six days for seven striper releases plus three dorado. Gaviota Fleet fished 20 miles south in water up to 75 degrees for tuna, and close on the Cortez side for marlin.
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Picante Fleet reported on three boats fishing Saturday with a catch including released fish of: four striped marlin, two dorado, and eight yellowfin tuna. Fleet boats fished the Outer Gordo Bank, the 95 spot, and the Cabrillo seamount.
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Tracy Ehrenberg of Pisces Fleet said 77 percent of boats caught marlin last week and 95 percent landed all species combined, in rapidly improving billfish conditions. Toward the end of the week, some boats reported baiting 10 to 12 fish per day. Valerie had a quadruple release day and triples were also recorded. Two sailfish were also released. Yellowfin tuna were slower, at 22 percent, and dorado at only 12 percent. Pisces boats fished in water temperatures of 72 to 73 degrees, mostly on the Cortez side.
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Benjamin Ortega of Solmar Fleet reported a catch including released fish of: 59 striped marlin, 143 yellowfin tuna, 11 dorado, six skipjack, 18 sierra, and two wahoo. The top boat for the week was El Torito with Capt. Martin Ibarra, with a four-outing catch including released fish of: four striped marlin, 15 yellowfin tuna, and six dorado.
SAN JOSE DEL CABO, MEXICO: Eric Brictson of Gordo Banks Pangas said water temperatures warmed to 73 to 76 degrees within several miles of shore last week, and striped marlin led the offshore counts, although there were plenty of yellowfin tuna to about 80 pounds seen 8 to 20 miles offshore. Bottom fishing yielded yellowtail to 35 pounds, plus a few amberjack, pargo, cabrilla, and grouper. Whale shark were seen daily on the Gordo Banks. Some boats caught up to half-a-dozen pargo colorado, slow trolling in 10 to 20 feet of water off the estuary, and larger roosterfish were seen daily in the area, working mullet schools at the surf line. A 20-pound snook was reported caught from the surf at La Playita.
SAN JOSE DEL CABO, MEXICO: John Snow of San Jose del Cabo said fishing overall was slow, but one brief panga outing produced a variety of species including scorpionfish, barred pargo, flag cabrilla, and barred serano.
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: Axel Valdez of Buena Vista Beach Resort reported on 48 boats with a catch including released fish of: 38 striped marlin, one sailfish, 10 dorado, one wahoo, 19 roosterfish, five shark, 34 snapper, eight jack crevalle, two amberjack, one bonita, one ladyfish, three pompano, 10 triggerfish, one cabrilla, 38 skipjack, and six sierra. Ken and Matt Taylor of San Jose caught a 150-pound hammerhead shark, as most boats fished south of Los Barriles.
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: Tami Mouyeos of Rancho Buena Vista reported on 36 boats with a catch including released fish of: 33 striped marlin, two sailfish, 28 roosterfish, and six dorado. Mouyeos said the Ranch’s fourth night free special runs through August.
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: Gary Graham of Baja On The Fly said bait concentrations on the beach were “tremendous,” and, “we’ve been getting a good number of shots at roosters in the high-teens and beyond.” Graham said the hotel cruiser fleet can be seen from the beach as it works the hot marlin bite off La Ribera. Inshore fishing produced some roosterfish, sierra, and a few skipjack. Dorado and tuna were scarce.
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: David Leer of Corvalis, Ore., returned from an East Cape trip, reporting some rough spots in the highway south of Santa Rosalia, and slow fishing while he was at La Capilla and Los Barriles.
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: At Martin Verdugo’s Beach Resort, Marisol Verdugo-George said cruisers released one or two marlin per day, but few dorado were caught, and very few tuna, since boats were fishing close in for marlin. Many boats also caught roosterfish.
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: Randy Dale, at Martin Verdugo’s Beach Resort, said, “Well, down here it’s marlin, marlin and marlin. Where’s the dorado?” Dale reported a “marlin fest” at Punta Colorada: “My brother Greg came down and we got him his first marlin. Everyone else that went out early this week got marlin. I mean you could see them jumping and swimming everywhere. Couldn't avoid them. Weather’s been great. Not much wind. Going to try again tomorrow. Lots of flying fish. I haven't seen a tuna since I can remember.”
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: Also at Verdugo’s, Sam Leeper called the action very slow on tuna and dorado: “There have been almost no tuna all week, and probably no better than 10 dorado per day for the whole fleet. I saw no dorado flags today.”
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: At Rancho Leonero, John Ireland reported good weather conditions in the high-80s, with water temperatures of 74 to 78 degrees, and lots of squid everywhere. Marlin action was spotty due to the amount of bait in the water, but the roosterfish bite was wide-open on 10 to 40-pound fish. “One angler released 30 in a day,” Ireland said. “We even had three snook taken this week.” The main marlin bite remained only 4 to 6 miles off La Ribera, and boats averaged about one per day.
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: Paul Oldaker of Steamboat Springs, Colo., and Terry Logan of Durango, Colo., fished several days out of Hotel Playa del Sol and caught marlin, sailfish, dorado, pompano, mako shark, and especially roosterfish. Fishing one day on the super panga Sibonney, with Capt. Juan Carlos, they used bonefish for bait and caught five roosterfish to 35 pounds, missed another six, and also had gafftopsail pompano and snapper.
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: Forrest Reynolds of Brownsville, Texas, his wife Francine, and daughter Patricia Green of Little Rock, Ark., fished four days on the Tequila, with Capt. Itito and mate Abel, out of Hotel Punta Colorada for good action on roosterfish on sardines near the Punta Arena lighthouse, plus marlin about 5 miles out, in heavy action with schooling billfish.
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: At Cabo Pulmo, Pepe Murrieta of Pepe’s Dive Service said sea life sightings included sperm whale, killer whale, manta rays, cownose rays, mobulo rays, schools of bigeye jacks, sea lions, sea turtles, and many other species of fish. Murrieta said he now has pangas available for sportfishing around the outside of the marine park. Information, cabopulmo.com.mx.
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: Mark Rayor of the Vista Sea Sport dive service said, “This place is going off!” Rayor said the schools of bigeye jacks on the reef where so big and thick that divers were “getting lost” in them. Water temperatures on the reef averaged 78 degrees on the surface and 74 degrees at depth, with 60 to 80-foot visibility. Whale sharks were sighted four days last week.
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: Eric Friedrichsen of Carlsbad said he’s planning to cruise his 24-foot center console boat from Bahia de los Angeles to East Cape in June, and back again a few weeks later, and he’s looking for a couple of crew members for the multi-day trips to help run the boat and share expenses. Information, 760-822-4640.
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: Earlier, at El Cardonal’s Hideaway, Bill Erhardt of Loreto said he caught another marlin south at Punta Arena: “There were at least 50 boats bunched off Pulmo Shoal. I saw a number of boats hooked up, but I struck out. My total fishing for seven days since last Tuesday is two marlin and one dorado.”
LA PAZ, MEXICO: At the Cortez Club, Luis Lopez reported that Mino Shiba, former owner of the club’s Mosquito Fleet, was recovering well from back surgery a month ago. Lopez said 12 super pangas and five cruisers from Mosquito Fleet had a catch of: 30 roosterfish of 20 to 60 pounds, mostly released; seven cabrilla to 30 pounds; eight medium pargo; some yellowtail; and lots of bonita and sierra. Some marlin were spotted on the surface.
La Paz-side water temperatures were warming quickly, reaching 74 degrees by the end of the week, with average visibility, and no winds. Air temperatures were as high as 110 degrees.
Lopez said most Mosquito Fleet boats fished northeast of Isla Espiritu Santo and off the north end of Isla Cerralvo.
LA PAZ, MEXICO: Jonathan Roldan of Tail Hunter International said good weather conditions prevailed last week and excellent catches of roosterfish in the 30 to 60-pound range were made around the southeast corner of Isla Espiritu Santo, on caballito and sardina baits. Yellowtail of 10 to 40 pounds were caught around El Bajito on the north side of the island, and many more fish were lost in the rocks.
On the Las Arenas side, Roldan said the roosterfish action was still hot on medium-sized fish: “Have not seen any of the toad pez gallos yet, but if you've always wanted to catch a rooster, this year seems to be as good a chance as you might see for fish in the 10 to 40-pound class.” Offshore catches included a few dorado, marlin, and some wahoo. The marlin were caught just off Punta Perico and near Roca Montana at the south end of Isla Cerralvo.
SANTA ROSALIA, MEXICO: Mike Kanzler of Isla San Marcos said the weather was beautiful last week, with only light breezes and the sea “flat as a mill pond,” but water temperatures around the islands have been extremely unstable, from 64 degrees to as high as 74. “I think the reason for this is the full moon we experienced this week and with it the largest tide change of the month,” Kanzler said.
Kanzler said he fished six days during the week at both San Marcos and Tortuga: “Monday, my VHF radio came to life at around 4 p.m. It was Bill Hamel: ‘There's hundreds of birds working on the north end of San Marcos with big yellowtail under them working the bait balls.’
“I grabbed two long rods and a bag of surface iron, and ooh yah, my three kids! Ran full speed to see what looked like a winter surface bite. It was big yellows herding anchovies into tight balls. You could almost touch ’em, they were so close to the boat!
“The next day with the big tides, full moon, and strong current, I was right back out there. I had 10 fish of 25 to 30 pounds for the two afternoons, all on surface iron.”
Kanzler said later in the week he fished at both islands with Matt Anderson and his father Larry of Paramount for 11 yellowtail, and 86 all-release cabrilla for two days at Tortuga, and six more yellowtail at San Marcos. Most cabrilla were caught on Big Hammer swim baits, and the yellowtail on live bait and iron.
Inshore, Kanzler said sierra were caught in good numbers from in front of San Bruno up to Haystack, and also off the north end of San Marcos.
Many finback whales were putting on a show in the channel, and Kanzler said they could be seen “coming up at full speed with their huge mouths gulping mass schools of pinhead anchovies. Man, all this action wore me out, I need some sleep.”
At San Lucas Cove, Syd Lindsey said commercial pangas were netting corvina inside the shallow cove, and “if the tides go out, the birds get most of them. You never know where you will find a net, but not across the entrance, sometimes two or three nets, in front of the army base, and north past camp, or between camp and the wreck.”
BAHIA DE LOS ANGELES, MEXICO: At Bahia de los Angeles, Abraham Vazquez of Camp Gecko said fishing was a bit on the slow side, but some yellowtail and grouper were still caught 30 miles north of the bay. Some yellowtail were also caught at Roca Bernabe to the south. Abundant bait was in the water and bottom fishing was very good inside the bay.
BAHIA DE LOS ANGELES, MEXICO: Barry Woodward of Yuma, Ariz., said he fished around Black Mountain south of Puertecitos “Baja Catch”-style and found “grouperville”: “Trolling a Bomber-A over those house-sized boulders just north of the mountain, I caught several 20 to 25 pounders. The key to landing them is to react quickly and keep the pole high so as to discourage them from getting into the rocks.
“There were also any number of small bass in the area. We saw no hint of corvina. However, there was a lot of bird activity and groups of sea lions diving for something. Also, a small pod of pilot whales.”
SAN FELIPE, MEXICO: Tony Reyes of Tony Reyes Fishing Tours said the fleet’s two boats, Jose Andres and Tony Reyes, will give a free trip next year to the angler who catches the largest yellowtail during the season. The re-christened Tony Reyes was to take a special two-day maiden voyage out of San Felipe on May 15.
SAN FELIPE, MEXICO: Dana Kerby of Ensenada reported on a six-day trip by the panga mothership, Erik, returning to San Felipe with 17 anglers on May 6 with a catch of: 185 yellowtail, 111 cabrilla, four grouper, eight white seabass, 10 pargo, and 305 squid, spotted bay bass and miscellaneous species. The largest fish of the trip was a 34-pound grouper caught by Velda Haines of Costa Mesa, and her husband Tony and their friend Al Kent also each caught a grouper over 24 pounds, Kerby said. The Erik fished at La Vibora, La Assemblea, Ensenada Grande, Golden Reef, and other locations.
SAN FELIPE, MEXICO: At San Felipe, Catalina Meders of the Title Company Bookstore overlooking the bay said the weather was very hot and humid last week, up to a recorded 105 degrees in the shade on the store balcony: “I have started using the air-conditioners in the store. Usually I don't break down this early.” Meders said over the weekend that the bay was “pale blue with opals on top.”
SAN CARLOS, MEXICO: Bill Molden of San Carlos said the offshore bite picked up as water temperatures rose to 74 to 76 degrees. Most boats were fishing 15 to 30 miles south of town for 30 to 45-pound dorado, sailfish, and marlin. Molden reported he caught a 175-pound blue marlin at midweek. Some football yellowfin tuna were also in the mix, Molden said, and yellowtail fishing was still fair around Isla San Pedro Nolasco.
SAN CARLOS, MEXICO: Bob Blair of Fishing San Carlos forwarded a report and photo from Rod Trumball of a commercial long line boat working 30 miles out of San Carlos.
SAN CARLOS, MEXICO: Dave Harcourt, noting a recent column in Western Outdoor News, said he asked a Sagarpa official in San Carlos what the legal limit is for dorado. “He told me five dorado,” Harcourt said. The actual limit is two fish.
MAZATLAN, MEXICO: Larry Edwards of Cortez Yacht Charters said Aries Fleet boats out of Marina el Cid averaged about one billfish per day, and last week saw the first serious counts of dorado for the season. Aries Fleet had a combined catch including released fish of: 12 striped marlin, eight sailfish, one yellowfin tuna, one wahoo, and 121 dorado, mostly 20 to 25 pounds, but up to about 50 pounds. The billfish and dorado were about 20 miles out. Mazatlan weather was clear and mostly calm in the high-80s, with water temperatures of 73 degrees inshore, and 76 to 77 degrees offshore.
Earlier, Yomahira Aguirre of Marina el Cid reported water temperatures near 80 degrees.
PUERTO VALLARTA, MEXICO: Celia Diaz of the nonprofit Binational Emergency Medical Care Committee (BEMCC) said two Americans were evacuated from Puerto Vallarta after suffering heart attacks, and another aboard a cruise ship was brought back after sustaining a hip fracture during a fall. The nonprofit BEMCC, 619-425-5080, costs $30 per year for membership, and members may call collect 24/7 with emergencies from anywhere in Mexico.
IXTAPA ZIHUATANEJO, MEXICO: Paul Phillips of the Fintastic Total Tag & Release Tournament said, “The week just went downhill. The tuna have been a no-show and that has affected the marlin bite. Inshore is also very slow.”
IXTAPA ZIHUATANEJO, MEXICO: Ed Kunze of Zihuatanejo said fishing slowed down last week, as the warm blue water moved farther off shore, and Gary and Yvonne Graham of Baja On The Fly arrived to make final arrangements for their “Jacks or Better” roosterfish tournament on Oct. 6-10, and the “Sails and Tales” sailfish tournament on Dec. 3-8.
Kunze said fishing was slower on all species, but boats still averaged about one to two sailfish per day.
IXTAPA ZIHUATANEJO, MEXICO: Stan Lushinsky of Ixtapa Sportfishing Charters said about 100 boats fishing three days in the Ixtapa Zihuatanejo Billfish Classic tournament reported just over 300 billfish caught, mostly sailfish, plus some marlin and dorado. Also caught was a 120-pound broadbill swordfish: “With the passing of the full moon and calmer seas, the historical turnover to warmer water temperatures this month should signal more consistent offshore and inshore activity. The next few months have been our very best for big roosterfish.”