Tuna fishing heats up at San Jose del Cabo

Mexico Fishing News, August 16, 2004



LA PLAYITA, SAN JOSE DEL CABO, MEXICO: Eric Brictson of Gordo Banks Pangas said water temperatures rose to a very warm 85 to 88 degrees last week, with minimal southern swells that made launching easy for the La Playita panga fleet, and "Fishing action around the Gordo Banks has broken wide open."

Pangas scored on schools of yellowfin tuna to over 80 pounds, Brictson said: "Large schools of various species of skipjack, bolito, and small tuna are moving onto the offshore fishing grounds and in turn are attracting more game fish. If this mild weather pattern continues, we could end up having incredible action for weeks to come."

Large blue and black marlin were also seen on the Gordo Banks, and some tuna over 100 pounds were reported. Dorado were not as numerous as tuna, and other catches included huachinango, dog snapper, some wahoo, and another flurry of snook to 40 pounds caught off the beach at the San Jose del Cabo estuary.

In other mainland Mexico and Baja fishing action this week:



MARINA CORAL, ENSENADA, MEXICO: Steve Ross said he and his wife Gail caught four jig-strike dorado, in 68-degree blue water between the 238 and 450 spots, fishing on their boat Bad Dog out of Marina Coral. "It has been two years since I have caught a local dorado and three years for Gail," Ross said. "These fish were not attached to any paddy." Ross said the only paddy of the day had no fish on it.

ENSENADA, MEXICO: Sergio Susarrey of Sergio's Sportfishing Center reported on 185 anglers with a catch of: 343 yellowtail, 118 yellowfin tuna, 120 albacore, and two dorado.

PUNTA BANDA, ENSENADA, MEXICO: At Vonny's Fleet, Ivan Villarino said his pangas at the tip of Punta Banda scored on steady limits of bottom fish all week long, with Capts. Beto, Genaro, and Cruz.

ENSENADA, MEXICO: At Lily Fleet, Sammy Susarrey said the Amigo and Tamara fished up to 50 miles out of Marina Coral for bluefin tuna, yellowfin tuna, and a few dorado on kelp paddies. Some large yellowtail were also caught. At Todos Santos Island, boats reported calico bass, yellowtail to 10 pounds, and medium barracuda, and Punta Santo Tomas produced yellowtail to 25 pounds, calicos, barracuda, and white seabass to 30 pounds caught inside the kelp.

ENSENADA, MEXICO: Gaspar Lares of Paramount said he and Sergio Ramirez of Tijuana fished between the Islas Todos Santos with Capt. Memo on El Dorado for wide-open barracuda of all sizes, up to logs, plus some yellowtail. They also fished El Bajo for two yellowtail of 17 and 22 pounds, lingcod, sculpin, rockcod, six more log barracuda, and one bonita. "Capt. Memo knows his job," Lares said. "The next day, he caught eight yellowfin tuna about 15 miles from Punta Banda, all on the troll."



CASTRO'S CAMP, ERENDIRA, MEXICO: Fernando Castro of Castro's Camp said 22 boats fished last week, in purple-blue, clear, 68-degree water, for 62 white seabass, 72 yellowtail, and "mucho" red rockcod, lingcod, whitefish, and bass, on plastics and other lures, and live bait for the white seabass, plus some frozen squid on the bottom. The best fishing zone was about a mile south, in 40 to 80 feet of water. Erendira weather was generally good, with some light breezes.



SAN QUINTIN, MEXICO: Julio Meza of San Quintin said he fished with Gene Harer's son out of the Old Mill Hotel for limits of calico bass, cabrilla, red rockfish, barracuda, bonita, and "huge" white seabass. "The bite is hot," Meza said, "with fish of over 60 pounds."

SAN QUINTIN, MEXICO: Kelly Catian of El Capitan Sportfishing said, "White seabass all along the coast from here to El Rosario, and north to Ensenada." Catian said the fish included many over 50 pounds, some over 60 pounds, and one 72 pounder.

SAN QUINTIN, MEXICO: Paul Lopez of El Centro said his father Rudy Lopez and friends, Don, John, Terry, Frank, Mitchell, and Geronimo fished on two boats for wide-open white seabass. "They caught 27 white seabass," Lopez said. "The smallest one was 18 pounds, and the biggest was around 35 pounds." Lopez said they used live bait, Krocodiles, and swim baits, and "they left the fish biting hard." The group stayed at the Old Mill Hotel, and fished with Pedro's Pangas in an area south of Cielito Lindo.



MAGDALENA BAY, MEXICO: Gary Graham of Baja On The Fly said a few yellowtail and grouper were caught at the San Carlos entrada, and corvina and pompano provided the best action in the mangroves. Offshore, locals reported some marlin and dorado outside of Punta Tosca. San Carlos weather was partly cloudy in the mid-80s, with water temperatures of 67 to 78 degrees.



CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Tommy Garcia of Cabo Magic reported on 82 boats, with a catch including released fish of: seven blue marlin, 30 striped marlin, 11 sailfish, 51 yellowfin tuna, 96 dorado, eight wahoo, and five boats skunked. "Summer conditions continue on land and sea," Garcia said. "Hot, hot, hot!"

CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Fred Fagan of Rancho Palos Verdes said he fished with guests from Germany on a Reel Danger Sportfishing boat crewed by Ernie and Victor, and Gunther Dahms of Schaitz, Germany, caught his first ever dorado. "Dorado were scattered but were hitting trolled lures," Fagan said. "In the afternoon, striped marlin appeared and one took the bait, requiring one hour to boat with 30-pound test. Several more dorado were caught during the day."

CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Larry Edwards of Cortez Yacht Charters reported on 39 Gaviota Fleet outings, with a catch including released fish of: one small blue marlin, 23 striped marlin, four sailfish, 51 yellowfin tuna, and 47 dorado. The Fish Cabo reported on six days, with a catch including released fish of: one striped marlin, one sailfish, 13 dorado, and four yellowfin tuna. The Juanita VIII had a three-outing catch of: one striped marlin, four dorado to 49 pounds, and three yellowfin tuna. Cabo weather was sunny and hot to about 100 degrees, with water temperatures of 84 to 85 degrees, fair seas, and south winds to 12 knots, as boats fished on both sides of the arch.

CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Benjamin Ortega of Solmar Fleet reported on 54 boats, with a catch including released fish of: 14 striped marlin, three blue marlin, 37 yellowfin tuna, 65 dorado, and one skipjack. The top boat for the week was the Solmar IV with Capt. Antonio Romero and a four-outing catch including released fish of: six striped marlin, one dorado, and seven yellowfin tuna.



LOS BARRILES, EAST CAPE, MEXICO: Chris Moyers of East Cape Smoke House reported on 197 boats from combined fleets including the Van Wormer resorts of Palmas de Cortez, Playa del Sol, and Punta Colorada, with a catch including released fish of: 20 blue marlin, 25 striped marlin, four black marlin, 71 sailfish, 381 dorado, 544 yellowfin tuna, 11 wahoo, and one amberjack. East Cape weather was mostly calm, with some afternoon chop, in the low-100s, with water temperatures of 84 to 88 degrees. Most dorado were in the 10 to 12-pound class, with a few to 35 pounds, and most tuna were football-sized. Fleet boats fished in all directions.

BUENA VISTA, EAST CAPE, MEXICO: Axel Valdez of Buena Vista Beach Resort reported on 35 boats, with a catch including released fish of: three blue marlin, six striped marlin, seven sailfish, 80 dorado, 76 tuna, two wahoo, three roosterfish, six snapper, three jack crevalle, four amberjack, two bonita, one ladyfish, four triggerfish, one cabrilla, 10 skipjack, and four needlefish. Most tuna and dorado were smaller fish as most fleet boats fished northwards about 25 to 35 miles, in water temperatures of 83 to 86 degrees.

BUENA VISTA, EAST CAPE, MEXICO: Tami Mouyeos of Rancho Buena Vista reported on 18 boats during a four-day period, with a catch including released fish of: four striped marlin, seven blue marlin, 11 sailfish, 45 dorado, 68 tuna, and three wahoo. Fleet boats fished in good conditions, in water temperatures averaging 86 degrees.

EAST CAPE, MEXICO: Gary Graham of Baja On The Fly said, "There are fish everywhere! Lots of football-sized tuna and dorado a few miles in front of the hotels." On the beaches, Graham reported a solid bite on various jacks, lookdowns, and pompano.

RANCHO LEONERO, EAST CAPE, MEXICO: At Rancho Leonero, Roy Baldwin said lots of sailfish were caught toward the end of the week, 5 miles off Punta Pescadero, with many boats releasing five to seven per day. School-sized dorado and tuna were only 2 to 4 miles out.Robin Price, 11, of Jupiter, Fla., caught a 25-pound tripletail from the beach in front of the hotel, on a live mullet.

LOS BARRILES, EAST CAPE, MEXICO: Bill Burkett of Los Barriles said the fishing on his boat Fat Cat was not that hot last week, but the general bite did seem to be picking up. "There are blue and striped marlin, as well as sailfish being caught all over the area, with the blues showing best between Punta Colorada and on down past Los Frailes," Burkett said. Local angler Woody Sale fished solo on Thursday and released a sailfish and striped marlin, and landed a blue marlin after it broke off 6 inches of its bill after sticking it into the bait tank. The Fat Cat fished in 85-degree water for a lost blue marlin of 230 to 250 pounds, and a missed strike. Other outings in the Punta Pescadero area produced only scattered action.

BUENA VISTA, EAST CAPE, MEXICO: Mark Rayor of the Vista Sea Sport Dive Service said conditions were spectacular at Cabo Pulmo but few divers were there to enjoy it: "We have it all to ourselves. It is seldom we see another dive boat." Rayor said the water was 82 degrees at depth, with 80 to 100-foot visibility. Sea life sightings included huge grouper, snapper, manta rays, and bigeye jacks.

PUNTA COLORADA, EAST CAPE, MEXICO: Lyle LaRosh of Loreto Shores Villas & RV Park in Loreto said Paul Sanford of San Diego caught a 70-pound bull dorado out of Punta Colorada: "They had caught a female of about 35 pounds when they saw the big bull. They baited it with a dead mackerel and took about 45 minutes to boat it."



LAS ARENAS, LA PAZ, MEXICO: Gerardo Hernandez of Tortuga Sportfishing said fishing on the Las Arenas side was very good last week, south of Ensenada de los Muertos and Isla Cerralvo. Pangas caught lots of smaller tuna and dorado that kept anglers busy and tired by the end of the day, plus some wahoo to about 40 pounds caught on purple Rapalas. Good supplies of live sardina bait was available, in calm weather in the high-90s, with water temperatures of 78 to 84 degrees.

LA PAZ, MEXICO: At Tail Hunter International, Jonathan Roldan said, "For the past five days, we've had the best run of tuna all year and maybe in the last two years!" Roldan said the tuna were running 10 to 30 pounds, and were only about 100 yards off the beach, right at Punta Perico on the Las Arenas side. On the La Paz side, Roldan reported hit-or-miss action on dorado.

LA PAZ, MEXICO: John Matz of Agoura Hills said he fished with Tail Hunter International's Capt. Calamar for "a real mixed bag that included football tuna, tons of bonita, and small and large dorado. Matz fished with his father and said they also saw marlin and wahoo that "shredded the Rapalas."



LORETO, MEXICO: Don Bear of Loreto said he and several neighbors fished with Capt. Paulino Martinez in good conditions, for two dorado to 32 pounds and a sailfish, in 86 to 87-degree water, a few miles south of Mercenarios. Capt. Francisco Martinez fished the same area for two sailfish and a striped marlin.

"That same day, the majority of the panga fleet went south on the outside of Isla Carmen and found a concentration of dorado to 35 pounds. Panguero "Coballo" came in with eight d," Bear said.

LORETO, MEXICO: Mike Hartmann and Jeff Johnson of Loreto fished with Capt. Alvaro Murillo for one yellowtail and three cabrilla off the bottom, plus "some break-offs that they felt were some really large fish," Bear said. Other boats continued to land dorado, in occasionally rough conditions with wind and rain.

LORETO, MEXICO: Pam Bolles of Baja Big Fish Company said some early week boats came back with decent dorado catches from Isla Coronado and north of Isla Carmen. Pangas did not look farther, due to a spell of rough weather to the north. More catches of dorado, sailfish, and marlin were made farther north after the weather cleared at midweek, but the fish were picky: "Folks that fished described the scene as lots of fish being fed by lots of fishermen."

LORETO, MEXICO: Eric Langkusch of Moorpark said he didn't understand what the "slow fishing" reports for dorado were all about, as he and his group of eight anglers fished during 12 panga outings for a catch including 43 dorado, with four over 40 pounds, four in the 30-pound class, three in the 20s, and the rest of 12 to 18 pounds. Five sailfish, one striped marlin; and "more cabrilla and bass than I can count" were also caught.

Langkusch said he and his group fished with Arturo's Sportfishing off Punta Lobos, and about three miles north of Isla Coronado. Included in Langkusch's group were: Charles Fyke, Sergio Quinones, Eric Brams, Gary Kraner, Steve Ahl, Jerry Hedinger, and Ralph Hyde, all of Ventura County and the Los Angeles area.

LORETO, MEXICO: Earlier, Russ Gale reported on a two-week run to Loreto for his group of anglers: "Nine of us drove from the San Francisco Bay area to Loreto. Every day was fishable.

"Three of us fished from my Bayrunner and the others went out in pangas. The pangas usually went north 35 miles to the yellowtail hole and usually got limits of 25 to 30-pound jurel. Thank you, Capt. Rigo Davies.

LORETO, MEXICO: Dan Johns of Concord caught his first ever billfish, a sailfish, just east of Punta Lobos. He also hooked an estimated 300-pound blue marlin which did a spectacular job of leaping and throwing the hook near the boat.

"We only caught a few smaller dorado. However the other panga captain landed a 50-plus. The last few days of the trip had us at the south end of Carmen, trying to interest numerous marlin. They were feeding on small dorado, which were in the area and weren't buying our bait. It was not unusual to see thirty or forty marlin a day."



MULEGE, MEXICO: Fly-in angler Ron Grant of Crestline said Chris Jensen of Mulege reported hot weather and more dorado in the area. "He picked up three nice-sized dorado 5 miles off the mine area, just south of Conception Point," Grant said.

MULEGE, MEXICO: Rick Barber of Mulege said local fishing has been slower than normal this summer: "After a fairly good showing at the start of the season, the dorado disappeared only to be found farther north, in the Santa Rosalia area. The only plausible reason for the poor showing this year is that the water has been about 86 to 89 degrees which is a bit warmer than normal. Bait is plentiful and other species have been abundant.

"Aside from the occasional dorado, sierra are showing in good numbers in front of the Hornitos light across the entrance of Bahia Concepcion from Mulege in an area known locally as 'Jingle Beach.' Troll hoochies rapidly, 10 to 12 m.p.h., for these fish. I like to use a combination of two hoochies, either blue-and-white over a bright pink, or a black over a pink or fluorescent green. Any combination, dark-over-flash, will work.

"Triggerfish, as usual, are abundant. Cabrilla and Pargo are plentiful if you troll close to shore in 15 to 50 feet of water. MirroLures and broken-back Rebels work well.

"For Cabrilla and Pargo, try the mine area in the Sea of Cortez just south of Punta Concepcion or in front of the microwave tower just south of Mulege. Islas Santa Inez and San Marcos have both been dependable for filling an ice chest. Sailfish have also been showing, particularly inside of Isla Santa Inez and in the open water just north of Punta Concepcion."



SANTA ROSALIA, MEXICO: Mike Kanzler of Isla San Marcos reported hot, sticky weather in the mid-90s, with high humidity, and water temperatures of 82 to 85 degrees: "Good luck trying to cool off by jumping in." Kanzler said he found good dorado fishing north of Santa Rosalia at Caleta Santa Maria, and also had a great session of bottom fishing that netted a 56-pound amberjack and a 45-pound gulf grouper: "The day started off slow. I decided I better put a mackerel down and see for myself what's up. As the bait got near the bottom, I got picked up, gave it a quick little run and set the hook. That's when all hell broke lose, big hard long run on a locked down 50-pound outfit, wishing I had used my 60 or 80-pound rig instead. At about 15 minutes of real hard pulling got deep color! Big amberjack. Weighed 56 pounds on the scale. On the very next drift my buddy Daniel followed up with a 45-pound gulf grouper!"



SAN FELIPE, MEXICO: Dana Kerby of Baja Sportfishing, Inc., reported on a six-day Midriff Islands trip by the panga mothership Erik, returning to San Felipe with 23 anglers on Aug. 12, 2004, with a catch of: 282 yellowtail, 131 pargo, 92 cabrilla, five grouper of 28 to 40 pounds, 20 white seabass, 15 dorado, and 526 miscellaneous fish, including smaller fish released.

SAN FELIPE, MEXICO: Capt. Tony Reyes Jr. of Tony Reyes Sportfishing Tours reported on a six-day Midriff Islands trip by the panga mothership Tony Reyes, returning to San Felipe with 27 anglers on Aug. 13, 2004, with a catch of: 180 yellowtail, 15 to 23 pounds; 215 cabrilla, 3 to 12 pounds; 167 giant squid, 15 pounds; three grouper, 45 pounds; 46 red snapper, 4 to 6 pounds; three broomtail grouper, 35 pounds; three pinto bass, 15 pounds; 176 spotted bay bass; five sheephead, 10 to 15 pounds; 80 miscellaneous fish; and three golden grouper released.



SAN CARLOS, MEXICO: Bill Molden of San Carlos said the few boats that went out saw "an abundance of billfish, everywhere." Dorado were caught 28 to 40 miles out on headings of 240 to 260 degrees, and offshore water temperatures were holding at 86 to 90 degrees. No tuna were reported.



MAZATLAN, MEXICO: Bill Heimpel of Star Fleet reported mostly sailfish and dorado, plus some yellowfin tuna to about 20 pounds and a few blue marlin sighted but "not too much action yet." Mazatlan water temperatures were 82 to 86 degrees, with lots of debris in the water from recent rains.



IXTAPA—ZIHUATANEJO, MEXICO: Ed Kunze, reporting for Baja On The Fly, said rainfall was not sufficient to push debris out far enough to attract dorado. Most boats averaged two to three sailfish per day, plus 15 to 30-pound tuna about 10 miles out.

IXTAPA—ZIHUATANEJO, MEXICO: Larry Edwards of Cortez Yacht Charters said very few boats fished last week, as steady rains muddied near shore waters. Capt. Adolfo Espinoza on the Dos Hermanos I reported good inshore action for two days, with a catch of: two roosterfish, two yellowtail jack, 10 needlefish, and two bonito. Zihuatanejo weather was partly cloudy with afternoon showers, in the mid-90s, with water temperatures of 83 to 84.5 degrees.

IXTAPA—ZIHUATANEJO, MEXICO: Scott Gross of Boston fished three days last month with Capt. Luis Maciel of Zihuatanejo for three blue marlin of 200, 300, and 365 pounds, in 78 to 80-degree water, all caught on 6 to 8-pound black skipjack baits. Fishing with Gross were Carl Swanson and Carlos Kinosian, also of Boston.

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ENSENADA DORADO--Steve and Gail Ross fished on their boat Bad Dog out of Ensenada's Marina Coral and caught four jig-strike dorado between the 238 and 450 spots. Photo courtesy Steve Ross.

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CASTRO'S WHITE SEABASS--George Jimenez, Raymond Jimenez, Ben Ponce, Salvador Ponce, and George Jimenez Jr., of Sylmar, had a great catch of white seabass out of Castro's Camp at Erendira, south of Ensenada. Photo courtesy Fernando Castro.

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BIG QUINTIN CROAKERS--Gary Wright, of Mission Viejo, Perry Versea, of Williams, Virg., and Bill Harmon, of Mission Viejo fished with San Quintin's El Capitan Sportfishing for these quality white seabass. Photo courtesy Kelly Catian.

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OFF TO BAVARIA!--Gunther Dahms of the Bavarian village of Schaitz, Germany, fished at Cabo San Lucas with Fred Fagan of Rancho Palos Verdes and caught his first ever dorado. They fished with Reel Danger Sportfishing. Photo courtesy Fred Fagan.

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GOOD EAST CAPE DAY--Woody Sale fished solo out of East Cape and released a sailfish and striped marlin, plus landing this blue marlin that stuck its bill into the bait tank and broke off the end. Photo courtesy Bill Burkett..

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ESPIRITU SANTO BULL--Jarrett Pfost of Alpine (left) fished east of La Paz' Isla Espiritu Santo with Tail Hunter International's Capt. Raul "Chito" Martinez for this beautiful 60-pound bull dorado. Photo courtesy Jonathan Roldan..

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LORETO SAILS--Dan Johns of Concord fished out of Loreto with Russ Gale's group and caught his first ever sailfish just east of Punta Lobos. Photo courtesy Russ Gale.

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WHAT SLOW REPORTS?--Eric Langkusch's group fished with Arturo's Sportfishing at Loreto and did real well on dorado, despite the "slow fishing" reports. Langkusch said his group of eight anglers caught 43 dorado in three days. Photo courtesy Eric Langkusch.

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SAN MARCOS FUERTE--Mike Kanzler of Isla San Marcos, near Santa Rosalia, with a beautiful 56-pound amberjack caught with a live mackerel on the bottom. Photo courtesy Mike Kanzler.

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GOT THREE BLUES--Scott Gross of Boston fished with Zihuatanejo's Capt. Luis Maciel for three days and landed three blue marlin of 200, 300, and 365 pounds. Photo courtesy Scott Gross.

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