MULEGE, MEXICO: Rick Barber of Mulege reported excellent yellowtail action for boats fishing around the Punta Concepción area. "Anyone who didn't catch a yellowtail this week in Mulege just didn't go out! They are jumping in the boats!" Barber said.
"I've lived here 8 years and have never seen anything close to the action we're seeing now. It's awesome!...If you want some really hot yellowtail action, Mulege is the area and Wilbur's Hole is the spot where you'll find it."
"Dave McInnis and Carl Austin, fishing on Sunday at Wilbur's hole, which is about 4 miles north-northeast of Punta Concepción, caught a very nice 30-pound yellowtail on a MirrOlure. I also went out to Wilbur's Hole on Sunday. There were about 6 to 8 boats...and everyone I saw had bent rods at one time or another...We all caught fish.
Tuesday turned out to be another beautiful day with 80-degree air and 62-degree water...like glass. I returned to Wilbur's Hole...Shortly after sunup the birds started diving and the 'tails started crashing the surface...I managed a triple of 22, 24 and 26 pounds."
Other Mulege anglers reporting large pinto bass, triggerfish, spotted rose snapper, grouper to 125 pounds, hammerhead shark, and good counts of yellowtail of 22 to 35 pounds included Dave McInnis, Carl Austin, Denny Smyth, Gary St. Pierre, Steve Dodge, Jerry Hull, Gary Bendix, Bert and Oralee King, and Cody and Andy Spahn.
Barber said of one of the Spahn's outings at Wilbur's Hole during the week, "Cody said that they were the only ones out there and the action was nonstop and heavy the entire time...He said they could have taken 20 or more fish had they wanted, but they quit after an hour-and-a-half or so."
ENSENADA, MEXICO: Judy Ostberg of the boat Melody out of Ensenada's Marina Coral reported scratchy fishing on Saturday in 57.8-degree water at the Banda Bank. "The early fishing was good until the wind came up about 11 a.m. making it very difficult to stay down, even with 20-ounce weights," Ostberg said. "No one was on the Banda except the Melody and the Bad Dog." Melody's catch for the day included: 10 red rockcod, 4 salmon grouper, 1 whitefish, 4 johnny bass, and 1 calico rockfish.
ENSENADA, MEXICO: Ivan Villarino of Vonny's Fleet reported good fishing all week for his beach launched pangas at the tip of Ensenada's Punta Banda despite some days with afternoon winds to about 10 m.p.h. Anglers fishing on the Vonny I and Vonny III with Capts. Beto and Hector all caught limits or near limits of bottom fish, including Brian Foley, Jay Johnson and his group, and Drek Arneson and his group. No yellowtail were caught during the week, but bottom species included lingcod, red rockcod, sugar bass, cinnamon rockfish, and "1 lemon pie" brought aboard by Jay Johnson's friend Debbie, Villarino said. Ensenada fishing weather was partly cloudy in the high-50s, with water temperatures at 58 degrees, and 2 to 4-foot ocean swells.
ENSENADA, MEXICO: Derek Arneson of San Diego reported on his trip with Capt. Beto of Vonny's Fleet on Saturday, "We had great weather and good fishing.. We had limits of mixed bottom fish. Most of our fish were on the swim baits and the rest on frozen squid. Like always, we had a great time hanging out with Ivan and the gang." Anglers in Arneson's group included James Chandler and Mike Till, both of San Diego.
ENSENADA, MEXICO: For the previous week, Louie Prieto of Hacienda Heights reported on 2 days of fishing in Ensenada bay out of Marina Coral with his wife Kay, finding a scattered catch including red rockcod, copper rockfish, lingcod to the 10-pound class, and sandbass to 4.5 pounds at spots including the Three Sisters, Punta Banda, Hotel las Rosas, and around Islas Todos Santos. "Tonnage of bait and birds and porpoise was everywhere..." Prieto said. "Fishing was in fairly deep water, 220 to 360 feet, and it was the first time fishing with a Spectra type line and you could really feel the bites...We found a nice high spot that a panga was fishing and pulled 4 lingcod from the area...Kay pulled in one that was close to 10 pounds...It was a great trip and we will definitely be doing it again soon."
PUERTO SANTO TOMAS, MEXICO: Sam Saenz of Puerto Santo Tomas Resort said most local pangas continued to score excellent bottom fishing, including 8 boats with full limits last week. Al Spencer and Preston Voricek of San Diego fished 1 day, and found slower action due to a storm front that passed nearby but brought no rain. "They caught a variety of fish, but not up to the normal levels," Saenz said. "We had sunny weather, but the ocean had large swells with some wind. This region of Baja has not had any rain in almost 14 months."
PUERTO SANTO TOMAS, MEXICO: For the previous week, Dan Fleming of Puerto Santo Tomas said, "Tourist boats returned with full limits of rockcod and other bottom fish." Santo Tomas weather was calm in the mornings. Fleming also reported that the near shore tuna pens had been removed: "The giant holding nets right outside of the port are gone, for now."
ERENDIRA, MEXICO: Brent Tavernelli of Spring Valley reported on a trip out of Castro's Camp with Capt. Poncho on the charter boat Dona Ramona for limits of reds and "the biggest chocolates [brown rockfish] I've ever seen, 3 to 6 pounds plus!" Tavernelli said he and his group also caught red rockcod, starry rockfish, vermillion rockfish, whitefish, and a 20-pound class lingcod that hit a Mogambo plastic with a squid trailer. "We fished approximately 6 to 8 miles north of Castro's in about 160 to 180 feet of water which was very cold, 56 to 58 degrees," Tavernelli said. "The lingcod hit like a freight train and pulled drag...Other signs of life included Pacific whitesided dolphin and a huge purple jellyfish." Anglers in Tavernelli's group included Joe Leon, Tony Perkins, and Bernard Nadon.
ERENDIRA, MEXICO: Fernando Castro of Castro's Camp reported 11 boats fishing out of Erendira during the week, for good counts of bottom fish including lingcod, whitefish, and red rockcod. Erendira weather was calm on Sunday after a week with some clouds and northeast winds, but no rain. The water temperature was at 54 degrees and large quantities of bait continued to be seen.
SAN QUINTIN, MEXICO: Pete Hillis of Pedro's Pangas reported just a few boats fishing out of San Quintin last week. "There are still no white seabass and very few yellowtail showing," Hillis said. "On Captain Hector's outings this weekend, even he had no luck with the white seabass, and only 1 or 2 yellowtail. Bottom fishing, of course, is always great, with plenty of lings and rock cod."
SAN QUINTIN, MEXICO: For the previous week, Kelly Catian of K&M Offshore Sportfishing reported on 2 outings with a group of boats from the Bloodydecks.com website to Isla San Martin and the 6 and 15 spots, for a scratch bite on 2 yellowtail plus some lingcod and bonito. Fishing on his boat with Brad and Chad Barron, and 2 other anglers, Catian said, "We ran over to the 15 and were greeted by surface boils! The yellows were moving fast, popping up and smashing through bait schools as we would throttle down and let fly the iron. We ended up with only 2 of the forkies and some laguna tuna, or bonito...On day 2, we worked a ling hole we found and got some fatties on live bait and jigs...It was a lot of fun and they are all a great bunch of guys and very capable fishermen."
BAJA CALIFORNIA, MEXICO: Commercial and sportfishing captain Juanchys Aguilar of the semi-remote village of La Bocana on Baja California's Pacific coast reported very poor offshore fishing conditions due to winds last week, with very cold water temperatures and mixed seas. There were lots of grouper and large bass species in the area but boats not able to fish for them. "But we're beginning to have good fishing on the beaches for corvina and halibut," Aguilar said. "The corvina are from 6 to 10 pounds. The fishing was good for them this week and we released about 90 percent. We're fishing with 1-ounce Krocodiles and 8 to 15-pound line at a depth of about 4 to 6 feet."
MAGDALENA BAY, MEXICO: Diana Hoyt of Mag Bay Outfitters at Puerto Lopez Mateos said boats fished only inside the mangrove channels last week for a catch including halibut and corvina. Many whales were present in the bay. "We had a friendly baby come up to the boat and let our clients touch him," Hoyt said. "A 30-foot Bertram named No Big Deal came in the entrance of Boca de Soledad on Thursday to fish down the channel and go out Thursday to Bahia Santa Maria."
MAGDALENA BAY, MEXICO: Gary Graham of Baja On The Fly reported cold and sloppy conditions offshore of Magdalena Bay but some action in the mangrove channels. "Inside the bay there is some protection from the wind, allowing anglers to get out and find some action including corvina on surface poppers and plenty of small halibut in the shallows near most sandy beaches," Graham said. Guide Enrique Soto also reported some yellowtail at the San Carlos entrada and lots of California gray whales present. Magdalena Bay weather was clear in the low-70s, with water temperatures at 58 to 62 degrees.
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Mike Connolly of Cabo San Lucas and the boat Falcon reported improved action for striped marlin last week. "It was a very good time to have been fishing for marlin in Cabo," Connolly said. "It started early in the week with the best fishing at the 1150 spot, at 20 miles, and southeast of the Outer Gorda Bank, at 29 miles, and between those spots. Most boats had multiple shots with fish attacking the lures vigorously. Tuesday was very good with Minerva I hanging 6 blue flags and most of the charter fleet having multiple releases.
"There were large schools of migrating mackerel on top. On the Falcon we were able to make bait easily during the day and found the marlin hanging around the mackerel. With 2 anglers, we hooked 10 marlin, and had 3 doubles. The ratio of marlin falling off remained the same throughout the fleet as the large number of jig strikes continued to provide excitement but often resulted in lost fish. Drop-back caballito were often passed on, as the fish stayed on the plastic. Lots of boats were going 2 or 3 for 10, or more. Cabo San Lucas has perfect flat conditions, and the large area of hungry fish made for a great week...Dorado are still kind of rare but there is always a chance. Not much of a chance on yellowfin or wahoo." Cabo San Lucas fishing water was at 72 to 78 degrees. Inshore pangas found some roosterfish and pargo at San Cristobal on the Pacific side.
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Tracy Ehrenberg of Pisces Fleet reported 81 percent of charters last week with striped marlin, including several quadruple-release days and quintuples for Chinaco and Sr. Moment. "Our overall catch success rate for all species combined was 88 percent," Ehrenberg said, "which basically means hardly anything but marlin was caught...There was not really a lot happening with smaller game. We caught no yellowfin tuna this week and just 3 dorado." Pisces boats fished mostly around the 1150 spot and Punta Gorda in water temperatures of about 70 to 71 degrees.
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Larry Edwards of Cortez Yacht Charters reported on 50 outings by Gaviota Fleet and the Fish Cabo charter boats, for a catch including released fish of: 59 striped marlin, 1 dorado, 1 wahoo, 2 yellowfin tuna, and 1 mako shark. "This week has put the focus on the fishing area from the 95 fathom spot to the 1150, toward the Sea of Cortez side, and then it moved closer to Cabo toward the end of the week," Edwards said. "The odd situation so far has been the lack of yellowfin tuna, dorado, etc., mixed in the areas where the billfish have been concentrating." Cabo San Lucas fishing area weather was cloudy in the mid-80s, with Pacific side water temperatures at 67 to 74 degrees, and 71 to 72.5 degrees on the Cortez side.
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Tommy Garcia of Cabo Magic reported on 61 boats, with a catch including released fish of: 95 striped marlin, 3 yellowfin tuna, 10 dorado, 106 sierra, 19 pargo, 2 mako shark, 1 jack crevalle, and 4 roosterfish. "Striped marlin provided excellent action all week and all inshore anglers found good quantity of sierra," Garcia said.
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: George Landrum of Fly Hooker Sportfishing reported Cabo weather in the mid-80s, with little wind and no rain but some heavy fog on the Pacific side. Water temperatures were at 73 to 74 degrees on the Cortez side, and a cool 66 degrees on the Pacific side at the San Jaime and Golden Gate Banks, but up to 71 degrees farther out. "It appears that the fishing is slowly improving," Landrum said. "Now we need the yellowfin tuna to show up. There are still plenty of whales around."
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Jim Dillon of Salvador's Sportfishing reported on 10 outings by the Cabo San Lucas charter boats El Budster, El Budster I, and El Budster II, for a catch including released fish of: 11 striped marlin, 1 dorado to 15 pounds, 1 mako shark of 45 pounds, and 12 sierra.
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Charlie Whitesell of Cabo San Lucas said Doug Ridges of Park City, Utah, fished on the charter panga Cheers with Capt. Ramon for an inshore catch around the lighthouse of 9 sierra to 8 pounds, and 2 jacks to about 20 pounds. Whitesell said many whales were in the area, with the water temperature at 72 degrees, and "weather as beautiful and perfect as it gets."
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Benjamin Ortega of Solmar Fleet reported a catch including released fish of: 36 striped marlin, 19 dorado, and 9 pargo. Solmar's top boat for the week was El Torito with Capt. Antonio Romero and a 5-outing catch including released fish of: 16 striped marlin, and 11 dorado. Seven of El Torito's striped marlin were released in a single day by angler Doug Herrweton of Miami who fished on the Cortez side off Punta Palmilla, Ortega said.
SAN JOSE DEL CABO (LOS CABOS), MEXICO: Eric Brictson of Gordo Banks Pangas reported on 74 combined La Playita fleet pangas fishing off San Jose del Cabo, with a catch of: 710 sierra, 560 Mexican bonito, 310 pargo, 18 dorado, 7 striped marlin, 22 cabrilla, 42 pompano, 29 triggerfish, and 26 amberjack. San Jose del Cabo weather was in the low-80s, with some north wind and water temperatures of 71 to 73 degrees extending up the Cortez side to Los Frailes. "With the water temperatures now on the rise, prospects are optimistic for the coming weeks," Brictson said. "There are large concentrations of bolito now appearing...always a great sign for attracting a variety of larger pelagic species." La Playita pangas fished mostly inshore from Red Hill north to San Luis for wide-open action on bonito of 3 to 8 pounds. "Perhaps the most consistent inshore bite was found at San Luis, an area locally known as 'blue rock'," Brictson said. "A wide variety of smaller game fish congregate on this spot every year...from February to April...At this time the sierra are dominating the activity...in sizes from 2 to 6 pounds...The Inner Gordo Banks was one of the better places for the snapper."
SAN JOSE DEL CABO (LOS CABOS), MEXICO: Species fishing specialist John Snow of San Jose del Cabo reported on 3 surf fishing outings and 4 panga sessions with Capt. Pata of the charter pangas Salome, fishing from Feb. 27, 2004, to March 1, 2004, for a total of 24 species caught, including 1 new one, a California pilchard that was not actually hooked but encountered in the bait well. "I am certain that the bait guys provided me with a California pilchard which I stepped on and demolished during the photo shoot set up," Snow said. "Gringo traffic at La Playita increased significantly from 3 weeks ago but remains 'bajo' due to no targeted game species being present." Bait supplies were very limited and included small silverside anchovies, yellowfin herring, white mullet, and pelagic red crabs.
SAN JOSE DEL CABO (LOS CABOS), MEXICO: Bob Lewis of San Jose del Cabo reported San Jose del Cabo pangas catching the same basic mix of sierra, snappers, and white bonita, or skipjack tuna, in near shore waters. "I have heard the boats going out past 20 miles are seeing some marlin and dorado but mostly out of San Lucas," Lewis said. "The last week has seen much warmer weather and less wind. Hopes are high that water temps will warm from low 70s and bring some exotics closer in."
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: John Ireland of Rancho Leonero reported East Cape sportfishing area weather in the mid-80s, with 3 days of north winds early in the week, but calming toward the weekend, and few charter boat departures. Water temperatures were cold to the north at 65 to 67 degrees but warmer to the south at 71 to 73 degrees from Cabo Pulmo to Los Frailes. The best fishing was about 15 miles out for dorado of 5 to 25 pounds, plus some striped marlin mixed in. Some skipjack tuna, locally called "white skipjack," were caught on hoochies both inshore and offshore. Sierra, mixed jacks, and pargo were caught off most East Cape beaches, and larger roosterfish were seen but not hooked. "The bite should begin to pick up as the unusually early, warm water south moves into the area," Ireland said.
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: Gary Graham of Baja On The Fly said, "Few fishing boats ventured out at East Cape this week because of the weather. Those that made it did find some schools of white bonito close to the beach and a few dorado...It's hard to say if these dorado are early arrivals or leftovers, but dorado the first week of March is worth a comment." East Cape beach fishing was generally slow, as Baja On The Fly guide Lance Petersen reported, "A break in the wind this morning...No bites. Didn't see any bait...Once the sun hits the water the sierra are out of range...I talked to a guy on the beach who fishes San Jose quite a bit and he reported really slow fishing there as well."
Graham also noted that Baja On The Fly reached a milestone this week when he issued his 1,000th fishing report. "When we began the reports back in 1996, twice a week in the early years, we didn’t dare to dream we would still be doing them 1,000 reports later," Graham said. "I think we have only missed a couple deadlines over the years, and today, they cover 4 destinations, East Cape, Magdalena Bay, Ixtapa Zihuatanejo, and Guatemala." East Cape weather was clear with some wind, in the high-70s, with water temperatures at 62 to 72 degrees.
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: Mark Rayor of the Vista Sea Sport dive service at Buena Vista said, "The north wind is starting to loose it's punch...Spring is in the air." Few divers were in the East Cape area, though, as water temperatures hovered around 70 degrees, with 40 to 60 feet of visibility. "On most tours we are sighting humpback whales, bottlenose dolphin, and jumping manta rays," Rayor said.
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: Chip Shapley of Rancho Leonero reported "a curious dead mammal washed up on the beach near Rancho Leonero." The dead animal was about 5 feet long, Shapley said. "A local identified it as a 'sea cow.' I think it may be a Dugong, or at least in the same family...I assume that its red color and bloated shape was at least partly due to being dead for a while. There was a mark on the back of its head that may have been an injury...Maybe a propeller did it in."
Or, Shapley said, the strange animal may have been caught and drowned in a commercial fishing net: "Perhaps it had the same problem as the hundreds of puffers that wash ashore most every day here."
LA PAZ, MEXICO: Jonathan Roldan of Tailhunter International said La Paz was recovering last week from the annual Mardi Gras celebration. "Things are slipping back to normal and that's about what it is for fishing too," Roldan said, "fairly normal for this time of year." La Paz fishing area water temperatures were in the high-60s, and more pargo were being seen, although not yet in their spring spawning concentrations. "There are more yellowtail in the counts everyday," Roldan said. "Every day, it seems like someone tells me about a fish or 2 they just couldn't budge out've the rocks and busted off. Yo-yo iron still triggers strikes on the honey holes...Sierra and cabrilla also provided great inshore fishing."
LA PAZ, MEXICO: For the previous week, Roldan reported lots of wind on the La Paz side. "More wind made it tough for any of our boats fishing straight north out of La Paz," Roldan said, "but they still got snapper, pargo, and sierra. A few yellowtail were hooked, but many of the fish were lost in the rocks." Most anglers opted for the Las Arenas side where sierra continued to bite near shore, plus some mullet snapper, or pargo lisa, in the rocks. "With the wind, bait was difficult to get as well since the waves scattered the inshore schools of sardines and also made the waters murky," Roldan said. "Everyone had bait, but it just took a lot longer."
LORETO, MEXICO: Patty Zapata of the Hotel Oasis said Loreto had some days with calm, warm weather last week, and some anglers got out to take advantage of it. On Monday, Gail and Bill Beardsley ran 45 miles north to the Punta Pulpito area with Capt. Servando Davis and landed 4 yellowtail in the 18-pound class, 2 red snapper, and 1 cabrilla, and they also reported sighting pelicans, frigates, boobies, a blue whale, and many dolphin. On Wednesday, Hal Blanchard also ran north with Capt. Francisco Murillo and caught 2 yellowtail of 20 pounds.
LORETO, MEXICO: Nacho Davis of the Carnaderos y Pescadores baitsellers cooperativa said the bait fish were spawning and difficult to catch in the Loreto fishing area last week. "This is normal for this time of year, February and into March," Davis said. "The bait fish are spawning; we call it egging. As a result, bait fishing has been very slow. Last night, 3 of us fishing all night caught only 1 jurelito. Three nights earlier, we caught only 17. We have been fishing in front of town. We are seeing young macarela, about 3 inches in size. During this time, we prefer commercial fishing or fishing for food." Davis said many tourists were in Loreto early this year and several guides were already getting reservations: "Early May is when most usually arrive. The air can be cool, and the water temperament reflecting the wind. All this is normal for these months."
LORETO, MEXICO: Charles Whitesell of Cabo San Lucas and Glendale, Calif., reported on 2 days of fishing and whale watching with his wife Ginger and Capt. Pepe out of Arturo's Sportfishing. "The first day we were blown off the water, but the second day we found calm seas and about 2 hours north of Loreto caught 5 yellowtail up to 25 pounds," Whitesell said. Loreto fishing area water temperatures were at 62 degrees, and the weather was in the low-70s and "very calm, when not windy."
LORETO, MEXICO: Pam Bolles of Baja Big Fish Company reported Loreto water temperatures at 61 to 71 degrees, with yellowtail breezing north off Isla San Ildefonso and also present at Bahia San Nicolas and Punta Pulpito. Baja Big Fish Company's Capt. Francisco Munoz also caught yellowtail in the 20-pound class locally at La Cholla on the northwest corner is Isla Carmen during an encounter with commercial nets found working inside the Loreto Marine Park. "At least a dozen boats...have surrounded Punta La Cholla and are taking the yellowtail that are feeding there," Bolles said. "The Marine Park...said that the pangas at La Cholla were legally netting. I was told it was commercial fishermen from Juncalito who had gotten permits to net La Cholla and that yellowtail were legal to take this way...Today I spoke in person with the Loreto Marine Park and they pointed out to me that when the park was formed they wrote out detailed management plans. According to these management plans netting within the park is allowed during the months of February and March...Right now these fish are full of eggs and since they will be taken by the nets we will lose an entire breeding population...I was informed that the park management policies will be revised sometime during the April-June quarter. We will be present at these meetings and we will inform and encourage all local pangueros and visiting and resident fishermen to be present and make our wishes known."
LORETO, MEXICO: Troy Cline of Loreto's Fishin' For The Mission benefit tournament said this year's entry fee of $150 per boat for up to 5 anglers will include tee-shirts with boat names on them, beer, sodas and water at weigh-ins and registration, and the awards banquet at the Loreto mission. "Last year there were about 70 raffle prizes given out," Kline said. "Berkley is our main sponsor now, along with West Marine...Last year we gave over $15,000 to the mission and the school for poor children." This year's tournament is scheduled for July 20-22, 2006. Information: 949-600-6960.
RESCUE FROM HELL (RIGHT)--The sailboat on shore ran aground twice near Santa Rosalia last week and required the combined efforts of Mike Kanzler's boat, local pangas, two shrimp boats, and the COMSA gypsum mine supply ship to save it. PHOTO COURTESY OF MIKE KANZLER.
SANTA ROSALIA, MEXICO: Mike Kanzler of Isla San Marcos reported much better fishing both locally and out at Isla Tortuga last week, as Santa Rosalia weather turned mostly calm in the high-70s, with water temperatures at 62.5 degrees and visibility at 30 feet. "It was a total turn-around this week, with both islands putting out great fishing," Kanzler said. An early week run to Isla Tortuga produced 8 yellowtail of 22 to 27 pounds, plus a 15 to 20-pound baquetta pulled from a depth of 480 feet. "A few fish..just smoked us... clearly larger than what was hitting the deck," Kanzler said. "Most fish were caught using live bait on the flyline and slider rigs, along with me doing a couple on the surface iron in my new favorite color that I like to call 'coffee-and-cream.'"
Two more runs to Isla Tortuga with anglers Bruce and Barbara Mullen of McCall, Idaho, had similar results, but with 1 yellowtail going to 37 pounds, plus other toads lost.
A run to the Isla San Marcos bajos with angler Doug Moranville found willing yellowtail breezing on the surface. "It was going off like it should be," Kanzler said. "We did a few on bait and around 10 a.m. the yellows started pushing bait to the surface. Seeing fish swim down the wave faces is really something and making the turn on the surface iron even more fun...Good to be alive!"
Kanzler noted that several days of fishing time were ruined by a "sailboater from hell" who managed to run aground twice near Santa Rosalia and was rescued in a series of operations by a combination of Kanzler's boat, local pangas, two shrimp boats, and the COMSA supply ship from the gypsum mine on Isla San Marcos, which also ran aground during the rescue. "Pangas were able to get them off, but the guy did a 360 and went right back on the bar!" Kanzler said. "He tied the lighter line to our heavy line and once under tow it broke...duh!...Next time someone pulls that here I'll personally ring their neck. That was totally lame and almost cost peoples' jobs here...At least no one got hurt."
SAN FELIPE, MEXICO: Wayne Pinkerton of B&B Bait & Tackle in Blythe reported on a panga run to Consag Rock off San Felipe by Jack Williams and his friend GiGi of Blythe, fishing out of Ruben's RV Park with Capt. Ramon for very good action on 25 triggerfish of 3 to 5 pounds, and 15 "calico bass," a name used for both goldspotted bass and spotted sand bass. "They went out to Consag and the fishing was wide open," Pinkerton said. "Ramon is an excellent panguero. We have been using him for 20 years...He always hangs out around Ruben's RV camp and restaurant...about a half-mile north of downtown and a quarter-mile north of the lighthouse. We...started using him when he got his first boat about 25 years ago."
SAN FELIPE, MEXICO: At San Felipe, Catalina Meders of the Title Company Bookstore overlooking the bay reported windless, overcast weather Sunday in the mid-60s and the town preparing for the Baja 250 off-road race. "The bay is steel gray and very calm this morning," Meders said. "San Felipe is starting to fill up with racing people, wannabe's and support vehicles, trailers loaded down with off-road vehicles, and all the esoteric equipment that goes with events like the Baja 250 next weekend. The San Felipe Fine Arts Association is presenting its second annual fine arts show on Saturday and Sunday, March 11-12. About 20 local artists will be presenting their work. It was a great success last year and hopefully will be again next weekend. Until next week, vaya con Dios, from the bookstore by the bay."
SURPRISE NORTH CORTEZ FORKIE (RIGHT)--Yellowtail are not a common catch out of Rocky Point at the northern tip of the Sea of Cortez, but Steve Pokrass, shown, and Mike Auditore landed this beauty during a run to the 51-mile reef on Auditore's boat El Gato Blanco. PHOTO COURTESY OF MIKE AUDITORE.
ROCKY POINT (PUERTO PENASCO), MEXICO: Mike Auditore of Phoenix reported on a run out of Rocky Point (Puerto Penasco) to the 51-mile bank by his boat El Gato Blanco finding excellent action for his group on 9 white seabass of 15 to 35 pounds, 30 goldspotted bass of 1 to 10 pounds, 3 red snapper of 5 to 15 pounds, 1 black sea bass of about 100 pounds, and a surprise yellowtail of about 20 pounds. "I was real surprised to see a yellowtail caught in 285 feet of water," Auditore said. "It was just insane...We dropped anchor only 1 time...Drop after drop we would hook up with a nice fish in just a few seconds. For 2-1/2 hours straight it was nonstop action! We had double and triple hookups with multiple fish on one line." El Gato Blanco made about 40 sardine baits at the 10-mile reef before running another 40 miles south, finding calm seas and 62-degree water. "We had two break-offs which I believe were very large blacks," Auditore said. "There were 2 other boats drift fishing nearby with some luck, but not even close to what we were doing. Anchoring the boat in a good spot seems to be more effective than drifting, at least on this day...The bite died as soon as the current picked up, so we pulled anchor and drifted while making lunch at 2:30 p.m." Anglers fishing on El Gato Blanco included Steve Pokrass of Phoenix and Ruben Mendez of Rocky Point.
ROCKY POINT (PUERTO PENASCO), MEXICO: Shawn Gustafson of Chandler, Ariz., reported on a run to the 51-mile reef with his family on their boat Murphy Girl, drift fishing over the area with sardine and squid baits for a catch of goldspotted bass, 4 white seabass in the 20-pound class, and 1 large ocean whitefish. "We reached the reef at 10:30 a.m. and started drifting southeasterly from the main waypoint, using cut sardines and squid on 2 and 3-hook rigs," Gustafson said. "We immediately started hauling in 2 to 3 goldspotted bass at a time on both rods...Each drift took us about 30 minutes and each time we caught at least 1 fish...It was a great day with a huge load of fish...Tina caught her largest fish ever, struggling hard, and landing a large and beautiful white seabass." Rocky Point weather was in the mid-80s, with light breezes. Many finback whales were in the area. "With spring in the air, the annual return of the white seabass and the finback whales was very welcome," Gustafson said. "At 30 miles from shore we could see finback whales off in the distance. It was the first time in about 6 months that we had seen the finbacks, the world's second-largest whale. We could see them several miles away as they spouted water 20 feet in the air from their blow holes."
MAZATLAN, MEXICO: Larry Edwards of Cortez Yacht Charters reported on 18 Aries Fleet offshore boats out of Marina el Cid, with a catch including released fish of: 8 striped marlin. "Striper action slowed this week..." Edwards said. "The skippers report seeing fair numbers of billfish, but they were unable to entice them to bite." All billfish were hooked on rigged mullet baits. The best offshore fishing area was scattered around 25 miles off Mazatlan. Inshore super pangas continued to find very good action, as 8 boats reported a catch of: 44 baquetas to 45 pounds, 45 red snapper, 6 cochitos, 15 seabass, and 26 conejos. Bottom fish were taken on shrimp heads and other cut baits. Mazatlan weather was partly cloudy in the mid-80s, with water temperatures at 71 degrees inshore and to 72.5 degrees offshore.
PUERTO VALLARTA, MEXICO: Danny Osuna of Marla's Sportfishing reported on 3 days of very good inshore fishing by the charter boat Marla II, for heavy counts of dog snapper, yellow snapper, grouper, and mixed species around El Morro rock at Isla Marietas. "We had another blessing for 3 days of good fishing," Osuna said. "We nailed a lot of pargos and other fish...All these fish were very aggressive on the Diamond Jigs and live caballitos." Osuna said Marla's charter boats Marla III and Arca de Noe (Noah's Arc), also did well in shallow water fishing around Puerto Vallarta, although offshore action was still slow. "The offshore fishing is coming back a little," Osuna said. "There are some dorado, striped marlin, and sailfish. Tunas are at Corbeteña rock, but it's been very tough to catch them. Sometimes you need to all day to catch one 40-pound fish. That's why we have been fishing inshore. We have had more action and the fishing is better. The fishing for huge tunas will start in June, so be ready!" Anglers fishing at Puerto Vallarta with Marla's Sportfishing last week included Ed Balorian, Ray McCombs, Paul Lapinski, and William McCombs of Montauk, N.Y.
IXTAPA ZIHUATANEJO, MEXICO: Ed Kunze, reporting for Baja On The Fly, said fishing slowed down in the Ixtapa Zihuatanejo area last week, as a cold, green current moved in and blue water was pushed out to the 40-mile mark. "Even out there the guys are only accounting for 5 or 6 football tuna," Kunze said. "It would be safe to say over 80 percent of the sportfishing fleet is not catching any blue water species." Inshore action for jack crevalle was good, as local boats found about 6 to 10 fish per day in the 15 to 20-pound class. "Most of these...fish are being taken on trolled Rapalas, but the fly casters are scoring as well," Kunze said. Ixtapa Zihuatanejo fishing area weather was clear in the high-80s, with water temperatures at 78 to 84 degrees.
IXTAPA ZIHUATANEJO, MEXICO: Larry Edwards of Cortez Yacht Charters said, "Offshore fishing slowed considerably this week...but the inshore action was definitely on the upswing." The charter boat Gran Jefe produced 23 dog snapper and "many" jacks and groupers during a night fishing trip, Edwards said, and the Secuestro de Amor scored on 25 jacks during two outings. Ixtapa Zihuatanejo weather was sunny at 90 degrees, with water temperatures at 76 degrees inshore and 78 degrees offshore.
IXTAPA ZIHUATANEJO, MEXICO: Paul Phillips of the Fintastic Total Tag & Release Tournament reported a large 418-pound shark about 9.5 feet long caught about 13 miles out by angler Ted Clucas while fishing aboard the charter boat Whisky III with Capt. Pepino. Phillips said the fish was identified locally as a bonnethead shark, although that species normally only grows to about 3 or 4 feet long (IGFA all-tackle record, 23 pounds, 12 ounces). "It was the excitement of the week," Phillips said. "I have talked to these captains many times about big sharks...Maybe once a year they get one or see one. I have been coming here for 8 years, and this is the first large shark I have ever seen here." Phillips also noted that fishing was generally very slow in local offshore waters: "Fishing sucks! The April current came in a month early. We've got cold, green water past 40 miles. I'm not recommending charters at this time. Stay on the beach and read a book."