SANTA ROSALIA, MEXICO: Early winter yellowtail action heated up last week on the Sea of Cortez from Santa Rosalia north into the Midriff Area. Jim Anderson of San Lucas Cove reported very good yellowtail fishing at the Isla San Marcos bajos as tidal currents increased
"Mike [Kanzler] told me that when the tide started to really move...that the fishing would really improve...At midweek the fish started to bite better than they have all year. They were hitting everything from iron, live bait with a small slider sinker, to flylined live bait...If this keeps up it may well be the best yellowtail season anyone can remember." Santa Rosalia weather was "unbelievably warm" with generally flat seas, and inshore fishing for tin boats out of San Lucas Cove continued very good for leopard grouper, spotted bay bass, firecracker yellowtail, barracuda, and bonita. SAN LUCAS COVE, SANTA ROSALIA FISHING REPORT.
ENSENADA, MEXICO: Ivan Villarino of Vonny's Fleet at Ensenada said he had no pangas fishing at the tip of Punta Banda during the week due to hazardous sea conditions: "No fishing this week."
ENSENADA, MEXICO: Emerald Argonza of Matador Sportfishing reported on one midweek bottom fishing run to Islas Todos Santos, for a thin catch of 12 red rockcod to 3 pounds in 57-degree water and rough sea conditions. "This was due to a very rough ocean and really strong current....We were fishing the north side of the island early in the morning and only hooked up a couple of reds... 15-foot swells were the norm this day, but with 30 to 40-foot swells on the north side...There were a lot of markers but fish were just not biting." All fish were caught with squid strips on three-hook ganions. ENSENADA ROUGH SEAS FISHING REPORT.
SAN QUINTIN, MEXICO: Eric Landesfeind and Rachel Baker fished two days at San Quintin on the charter boat Romy and reported lots of sea lions stealing lingcod at the 6 spot, but wide-open action on quality red rockcod with no sea lion problems at a 500-foot deep spot found by Capt. Hector of Pedro's Pangas. Landesfeind said they also caught lots of whitefish at another spot: "...Whitefish that were as wide-open as I have ever seen. We easily caught 40-plus 3 to 8-pound whitefish in about a half-hour." Of the red rockcod Landesfeind said, "What ensued, was some of the best red fishing I have ever experienced!...In just over an hour we caught probably 150 pounds of reds..." SAN QUINTIN BOTTOM FISHING REPORT.
SAN QUINTIN, MEXICO: Kelly Catian of K&M Offshore Sportfishing reported on several surfing trips in big swell conditions out of San Quintin but no fishing, although yellowtail were seen on the surface and a local commercial fisherman had netted white seabass to the south. "Rockfish continues to be good at San Quintin," Catian said, "but even better if you put the time in and find a new spot instead of always fishing the same reefs." SAN QUINTIN SURFING AND FISHING REPORT.
MAGDALENA BAY, MEXICO: Gary Graham of Baja On The Fly reported slower offshore fishing at Magdalena Bay, but with some dorado and tuna closer to the beach. The mangrove channels produced good counts on sierra and pompano, some grouper, and a few snook. Magdalena Bay weather was clear in the mid-60s, with water temperatures at 68 to 73 degrees. MAGDALENA BAY FLY FISHING REPORT.
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Larry Edwards of Cortez Yacht Charters reported on 60 outings by Gaviota Fleet, the Fish Cabo, and Fish Cabo I, with a catch including released fish of: 91 striped marlin, one sailfish, 47 yellowfin tuna, nine dorado, and four sierra. "The striper action continues to be very good and is getting closer to Cabo San Lucas with each passing day," Edwards said. "The fishing week started at the Golden Gate and moved to Cabo Falso in late week, with some Cabo San Lucas sportfishing boats reflecting up to five fish for a single day." Cabo San Lucas weather was in the mid-80s, with all areas fishable, and water temperatures were at 71 to 74 degrees. CABO SAN LUCAS SPORTFISHING REPORT.
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Tracy Ehrenberg of Pisces Fleet reported on a brief, very hot striped marlin bite tight to Cabo at the beginning of the week: "I counted close to 100 Cabo San Lucas boats in a two-square mile area off of the Old Lighthouse, no more than a mile-and-half from the beach...The fish dropped off after Tuesday, perhaps due to the pressure of so many..boats in one area." Overall, 64 percent of Pisces boats caught striped marlin, 29 percent caught yellowfin tuna tuna, and 89 percent scored on all species combined. Angler Vicente Torta released three striped marlin on 6-pound line, and then broke a rod on 4-pound, while fishing aboard the Tracy Ann. CABO SAN LUCAS FISHING REPORT.
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Rod Albright of East Cape reported on two days of fishing on the Pacific side of Cabo San Lucas aboard Don Giottonini's boat Senor Don, scoring on 19 striped marlin released at the Finger Bank the first day, and 11 yellowfin tuna of 35 to 80 pounds the second day: "The sea was calm and little or no wind...The air temperature was in the 80s, just beautiful...Two great days of fishing!" Pacific side water temperatures were at 73 degrees, with just a little chop. CABO SAN LUCAS SPORTFISHING REPORT.
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Tommy Garcia of Cabo Magic reported on 127 boats, with a catch including released fish of: 85 striped marlin, one sailfish, 141 yellowfin tuna, 46 dorado, 12 pargo, six cabrilla, good numbers of sierra and Humboldt squid, and four boats skunked. CABO SAN LUCAS SPORTFISHING REPORT.
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: George Landrum of Fly Hooker Sportfishing reported Cabo San Lucas weather with some wind and swells early in the week, but settling down in the low-80s, with water temperatures at 70 to 71 degrees on the Pacific side and 68 to 69 degrees on the Cortez side. Water color close to Cabo San Lucas was green, but turning blue a mile offshore. Inshore fishing, nearby marlin action, yellowfin tuna, and dorado were all slower in green water conditions. "Sportfishing boats working the shoreline on the Cortez side were reporting some sierra to 8 pounds and a few decent amberjack as well as a scattering of pargo," Landrum said. CABO SAN LUCAS SPORTFISHING REPORT.
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Jim Dillon of Salvador's Sportfishing reported on 13 outings by El Budster, El Budster I, and El Budster II, with a catch including released fish of: 20 striped marlin, more than nine yellowfin tuna of 15 to 40 pounds, and nine dorado of 15 to 40 pounds.
SAN JOSE DEL CABO (LOS CABOS), MEXICO: Eric Brictson of Gordo Banks Pangas reported on 86 combined La Playita fleet pangas, with a catch of: 225 yellowfin tuna, 110 sierra, one wahoo, nine striped marlin, two sailfish, two mako shark, 16 roosterfish, 215 dorado, 95 skipjack, 16 cabrilla, 12 amberjack, 22 pargo, and 45 bonito. San Jose del Cabo weather was mostly calm in the low-80s, with water temperatures at 69 to 74 degrees. Sardina bait was not as plentiful, but mackerel was becoming more available. "The two main fish species being caught were yellowfin tuna and dorado," Brictson said. "...There was a major problem with aggressive behavior by sea lions...The dorado were averaging 5 to 15 pounds, but there were some larger fish mixed in...The yellowfin tuna...were being found traveling with porpoise anywhere from 2 to 8 miles from shore. Sizes ranged to over 60 pounds, though the average tuna landed was in the 10 to 20 pound class." LA PLAYITA PANGA FLEET FISHING REPORT.
SAN JOSE DEL CABO (LOS CABOS), MEXICO: Paul Roos of San Jose del Cabo reported on an outing from Punta Palmilla to Cabo San Lucas by his super panga with Rick Bennet of Calgary, his five-year old son Alexander, and Roos' Capt. Miguel Banaga, for some black skipjack, a 10-pound dorado, a 10-pound yellowfin tuna, and a big striped marlin that was kept for eating: "Miguel wanted the meat and we were tired of tuna and the idea of smoked marlin was appealing to us, too...I seriously trimmed a couple of chunks, put butter and hot chili garlic sauce in a hot pan, and didn't overcook it. It was delicious! The rest is getting smoked and Miguel's family makes machaca and barbecue..." SAN JOSE DEL CABO SPORTFISHING REPORT.
SAN JOSE DEL CABO (LOS CABOS), MEXICO: Bob Grimes of San Jose del Cabo reported the arrival of big schools of sierra along the beaches from La Playita to Cabo San Lucas. "Most of the sierra that we caught weighed about 2 or 3 pounds," Grimes said, "and we kept two or three per day for eating." Commercial fishermen were taking sierra: "...They are fishing with nets during the night. If you want to fish near shore, you need to do it soon...The commercial fishermen put out their nets and take the sierra and other fish, and they leave the ocean like a desert." SAN JOSE DEL CABO SIERRA FISHING REPORT.
SAN JOSE DEL CABO (LOS CABOS), MEXICO: Species fishing specialist John Snow of San Jose del Cabo reported on five surf fishing sessions and four panga outings on the Salome with Capt. Pata, with a total of 33 fish species caught or collected, including three new species. Surf fishing continued very slow, but of the panga fishing Snow said, "One exceptional day, one strong day and two very slow days of panga fishing...The water temperature varied from 72 to 76 degrees as the ocean is quickly cooling from north to south...Water conditions and weather conditions at San Jose del Cabo were excellent except for a horrible El Norte on one day...I would rate this week as a mixed bag and if you could locate the tuna very good action. If not you more or less got skunked." SAN JOSE DEL CABO SPECIES FISHING REPORT.
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: Russ Fritz of La Ribera reported on an outing in perfect East Cape conditions over the weekend that produced seven skipjack tuna, or "white bonito," and a sierra, but no marlin. "The marlin bite off La Ribera has slowed to a near stop," Fritz said. "A group of East Cape sportfishing boats drifted bait and trolled lures most of the morning without much success." Earlier in the week, Fritz' boat Soplado fished in 74-degree water located 12 miles off La Ribera and scored on yellowfin tuna of 64, 88, and 121 pounds, plus six footballs of 10 to 18 pounds. "The big guys took live mackerel on 30-pound line and 40-pound leader," Fritz said. LA RIBERA FISHING REPORT.
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: Gary Graham of Baja On The Fly reported East Cape north winds up and down, and yellowfin tuna, dorado, and billfish being caught outside. Beach fly fishing produced a few sierra, ladyfish, and smaller roosterfish. East Cape weather was clear in the mid-70s, with water temperatures at 69 to 73 degrees. EAST CAPE FLY FISHING REPORT.
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: Roy Baldwin of Rancho Leonero reported mixed striped marlin and sailfish about 5 to 10 miles out, from the Punta Arena lighthouse to Punta Pescadero, yellowfin tuna to 80 pounds located 8 to 10 miles of La Ribera, and a continued dorado bite on fish of 5 to 25 pounds from the lighthouse north to Punta Pescadero. Sierra were off most beaches, but most boats were chasing tuna. East Cape water temperatures were at 67 to 69 degrees. EAST CAPE SPORTFISHING REPORT.
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: Jorge Bergin of La Ribera said, "There are marlin everywhere...tuna pods...up to 80 pounds...A few dorado...big sierra along the shore if you know where they are that particular day...Dr. Edward Kondrot from Phoenix, who brought some movement yesterday into the legs of a young man paralyzed a year ago here in an auto accident...was repaid. They caught and released two stripers and kept one that was badly hooked." EAST CAPE FISHING REPORT.
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: Gary Leeper, staying at Martin Verdugo's Beach Resort, said, "The tuna fishing at East Cape couldn't be better, with limits easily had from schools out about 20 miles...with averages in the high 40s, and many tuna in the 60 to 100-pound class...Dorado fishing has been good...with limits common and average size around 20 pounds." East Cape weather had some wind, with about 40 percent of days fishable for small boaters, and water temperatures at 70 degrees. EAST CAPE FISHING REPORT.
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: Mark Rayor of the Vista Sea Sport dive service at Buena Vista reported good visibility and 68-degree water temperatures north at Punta Pescadero: "Punta Pescadero...has been the best place to dive and snorkel, with good visibility and loads of sea life...This week's highlight for me was sighting an angel shark. It is only the second in my years of diving here." EAST CAPE DIVING REPORT.
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: Earlier, Brad Meister of San Clemente fished on a panga with Alonso Castro and got two striped marlin to the boat, plus a 20-pound dorado for table fare. "It was another wonderful day on the water in the East Cape," Meister said. "I'm really enjoying the laid back pace of my pangalero buddies...Winds are blowing again today...wait, wait, wait, then go hook those hungry fish." EAST CAPE SPORTFISHING REPORT.
LA PAZ, MEXICO: Dos Hernandez of Tortuga Sportfishing reported improving conditions on the Las Arenas side, with few tourists in the area but less north wind and good fishing action off the south end of Isla Cerralvo. Anglers Enrique Sanchez and his son Enrique Sanchez Jr. fished with Capt. Rigo L. and landed two yellowfin tuna of 42 and 60 pounds, plus a 15-pound dorado and others lost, and six sierra. "They had a great day of fishing," Hernandez said. LAS ARENAS, LAS PAZ FISHING REPORT.
LA PAZ, MEXICO: Jonathan Roldan of Tailhunter International reported a surprise run of yellowfin tuna under porpoise off the Las Arenas side last week: "It blew everyone away...There were tuna that ran 30 to 65 pounds! It's been a long time since I've seen tuna in December." Dorado and two marlin were also caught, plus snappers, and sierra to 10 pounds. LA PAZ FISHING REPORT.
LA PAZ, MEXICO: Andrea Tomba of Desea Adventures reported water temperatures on the La Paz side at 65 to 70 degrees, with limited visibility of 10 to 15 feet. Fishing was slower than normal for pargo and cabrilla, but diving at the south end of Isla Cerralvo produced a 23-kilo wahoo, plus other wahoo, dorado, and yellowfin tuna seen: "...So it seems like the Sea of Cortez still carries its surprises for us." LA PAZ FISHING AND DIVING REPORT.
LORETO, MEXICO: Pam Bolles of Baja Big Fish Company reported good intermittent weather, inshore fishing good for pargo, cabrilla, and sierra, and yellowtail to over 30 pounds producing limits on some days. "The yellowtail are the main attraction for anglers fishing conventional methods," Bolles said. "Their bite has varied from day to day with respect to size, quantity and location." Good yellowtail action was reported on some days at La Cholla on the northwest side of Isla Carmen, and at Punta Pulpito and Isla Ildefonso to the north. Bait supplies were up-and-down, and Bolles said, "...The quality of the yellowtail bite has been favoring the less picturesque days...On nice calm days, the bait took well over an hour to catch...Along with these slow bait getting days the quantity and size of the yellowtail being caught has been less than we'd like to see." Loreto water temperatures were at 63 to 72 degrees. LORETO SPORTFISHING REPORT.
MULEGE, MEXICO: Rick Barber of Mulege reported anglers scoring when winds permitted on yellowtail to nearly 40 pounds, cabrilla, sierra, triggerfish, and grouper: "It's a great time of year...Mulege fishing water is in the mid to low-60s and is very clear...When anglers went out, they caught fish. When the winds kept them in, they swapped lies and sharpened hooks!" Marty Robison's boat fished off Punta Chivato for a 39-pound yellowtail and a 12-pound cabrilla. Barber said, "All of the local Mulege sportfishing guides have been scoring on yellowtail primarily...The yellowtail are in the 30s..Grouper are up to the mid-20s with the average being 10 to 12 pounds." MULEGE SPORTFISHING REPORT.
BAHIA DE LOS ANGELES, MEXICO: Sam Koh, his wife Shanie and friend John fished at Bahia de los Angeles, from shore and two days offshore, and they scored on "endless" spotted bay bass and some red snapper from shore, and six yellowtail of 25 to 35 pounds plus a 15-pound grouper at Isla Angel de la Guarda. Koh said of the fishing at the island: "It was wide-open yellowtail off the bottom about 100 feet using live caballitos. Every drift into the area where the yellowtail were hanging out, you drop your bait and bendo. I mean literally, every drift...I was using 40-pound gear at first, then changed to 50, then to 60, and still two fish were able to break me off using 60!" Another session closer to shore during a period of wind produced wide-open action on "L.A. Bay lingcod," or giant jawfish: "The lings here have a round bulbous head and were quite ugly...I wish I would have taken a picture but just thought, nah...too ugly." Bahia de los Angeles weather was in the high-70s and low-80s, and the road was in good condition. BAHIA DE LOS ANGELES FISHING REPORT.
BAHIA DE LOS ANGELES, MEXICO: Abraham Vazquez of Camp Gecko at Bahia de los Angeles reported lots of winter yellowtail at Los Machos reef on the west side of Isla Angel de la Guarda and bottom fish inside the bay. Bahia de los Angeles weather was in the mid-70s, with many New Year's holiday visitors in town, and water temperatures in the low-60s. BAHIA DE LOS ANGELES FISHING REPORT.
SAN FELIPE, MEXICO: Ken Jones of Long Beach reported on a shore fishing trip near Isla El Huerfanito south of San Felipe, with the catch including bass, triggerfish, corvina, ribera cabrilla or Panamic graysby, and a first-time catch for Jones in the area of four spinster wrasse. One session with Krocodiles on Christmas night produced 11 fish on 11 casts. "The Sea of Cortez was a lake the entire time, which of course makes sense since I did not have a boat or kayak," Jones said. "...It was fantastic for a traditionally slow time of year." Jones also reported some coyotes stealing cabrilla from a rock while he cleaned fish 10 feet away: "Never a dull moment." ISLA EL HUERFANITO AREA SHORE FISHING REPORT.
SAN FELIPE, MEXICO: At San Felipe, Catalina Meders of the Title Company Bookstore overlooking the bay reported overcast weather in the mid-60s, with calm water on the bay. San Felipe was crowded with New Year's holiday visitors: "...At the stroke of midnight and for about 15 minutes afterwards the whole town of San Felipe sounds and looks like a battle zone. San Felipe has been flooded with visitors all week...a lot of business being done." SAN FELIPE TOWN REPORT.
SAN CARLOS, MEXICO: Steve Calvert of Tucson reported a very heavy surface bite of yellowtail early in the week at Punta San Antonio, with five yellowtail kept and his boat Catch-22 back at the marina by 9:30 a.m. "I have never seen so many yellowtail boiling in my life," Calvert said. "There were lots of fishing boats out. I would guess 30 or so...all San Carlos boats were doing very well." Another boat fished the area the previous day but found no yellowtail, Calvert said: "Unlike the island, San Antonio Point seems to turn on and off like a light switch...My game plan is San Antonio Point first, and if it's dead I go to the island." PUNTA SAN ANTONIO YELLOWTAIL SURFACE BITE REPORT.
MAZATLAN, MEXICO: Larry Edwards of Cortez Yacht Charters reported mostly striped marlin, plus a stray mako shark, for offshore boats fishing out of Marina el Cid: "...Mako shark...indicating that Mazatlan fishing water temperatures may be coming down, which would be normal for this time of year." Bottom fishing for mixed species and inshore surface fishing for easy sierra limits remained very good. Mazatlan weather was mostly calm in the high-70s, with water temperatures at 71.5 degrees. The best offshore fishing areas was 23 to 26 miles southwest of Marina el Cid and "almost anywhere" along the beaches for sierra. MAZATLAN SPORTFISHING REPORT.
PUERTO VALLARTA, MEXICO: Danny Osuna of Marla's Sportfishing reported on an outing at El Morro rock off Isla Marieta by the Puerto Vallarta charter boat Marla II, for a catch of African pompano to 30 pounds and roosterfish to 50 pounds, all hooked on live caballitos. At Roca Corbeteña, the Marla II fished four days for yellowfin tuna, pargo, grouper, and pompano, plus tuna seen into the 150-pound class. The charter boat Arca de Noe fished 3 miles north of Punta de Mita for pompano and roosterfish. "We have been fishing inshore mostly and we have been doing really good," Osuna said. "It has been an excellent week for inshore fishing. All these fish are taking live caballitos and Diamond Jigs." Puerto Vallarta weather had swells some days, with water temperatures at about 74 degrees. PUERTO VALLARTA SPORTFISHING REPORT.
IXTAPA ZIHUATANEJO, MEXICO: Ed Kunze of Zihuatanejo reported blue 82-degree water right at the entrance to the bay: "I actually observed two free swimming sailfish and a hooked and leaping dorado of about 40 pounds less than 200 yards from the mouth of the bay." Local boats averaged about two to three sailfish per day, plus about two dorado per day, and the combined fleet landed about two to three blue marlin per day. Capt. Martin of the panga Isamar fished two days for a catch of six sailfish, one large dorado, and one small blue marlin. Kunze guided fly tackle angler Fred Miller of Denver to three sailfish with Capt. Felipe on the panga Yellowfin. IXTAPA ZIHUATANEJO SPORTFISHING REPORT.
IXTAPA ZIHUATANEJO, MEXICO: Larry Edwards of Cortez Yacht Charters reported offshore anglers scoring on about two to three sailfish per day, plus some dorado and marlin, and inshore fishing productive for roosterfish and jack crevalle. Capt. Adolopho fished two days for a combined catch of 13 roosterfish to 70 pounds and 11 dorado to 55 pounds. Capt. Candelerio landed seven sailfish, one marlin, and three dorado during three offshore days. IXTAPA ZIHUATANEJO SPORTFISHING REPORT.
IXTAPA ZIHUATANEJO, MEXICO: Earlier, Paul Phillips of the Fintastic Total Tag & Release Tournament reported fishing on the upswing and four more commercial fishing longlines destroyed by local captains: "Fishing is picking up right in time for the heavy part of the season. Santiago of the panga Gitana and his brother Adan of the Gitana II are averaging three tagged fish per day...There were four more cimbras destroyed last week and the Armada even attended the confiscation.
IXTAPA ZIHUATANEJO, MEXICO: Gary Graham of Baja On The Fly reported Ixtapa Zihuatanejo weather as clear in the mid-80s, with water temperatures at 80 to 84 degrees.