LA PAZ, MEXICO: Last week's shutdown by Mexican authorities of Aerocalifornia flights into southern Baja coincided not only with the busy Semana Santa Easter Week holiday period, but also with a serious outbreak of quality yellowtail action on both sides of the hill at La Paz.
Tailhunter International's Jonathan Roldan said, "It's perhaps the best yellowtail fishing in recent memory...Both sides of the La Paz peninsula have been kicking out some slugger forktails more reminiscent of places like Loreto or Bahia de los Angeles...La Paz gets it's share every spring, but not like this. These yellowtail have been blowing up at places like the El Bajo seamount north of Espiritu Santo Island, Punta Perico near Los Muertos Bay, and El Viejo, a little cove on the southeast corner of Isla Cerralvo.
"These fish have been big. Scaled fish in the 25 to 40-pound class or larger have not been uncommon. On several days when it was calm enough to get out there, El Bajo fish have been hunkered deep, requiring either yo-yo iron or mackerel fished with weights to get about 100 feet down.
"Jorge Romero of La Paz won the local yellowtail tournament with a 42-pound fish, and our largest from the seamount was from Angela Farrell of Oceanside who tapped a 45 pounder and got 7 others.
"The biggest surprise has been the bite off the south end of Isla Cerralvo. In Los Viejos cove, fish in the 40-pound class have been marauding through the bait schools in water only 3 to 6 feet deep. With the clear water and sand bottom, you can actually see the big mossbacks swimming under the pangas and blowing through bait like trout rising for mosquitos, except these are big fat yellowtail. With only sand below, there are no rocks, so light line fishing with 30-pound test has been a hoot.
"We also got our first roosterfish of the year when Chris Henry of Los Osos got a couple of 30-pound fish south of Muertos Bay, our first dorado of the season out at the buoys, and several striped marlin were also hooked and lost...Mix in the great pargo bite with sierra, cabrilla and other inshore species and it's been a good week."
Over the weekend, Roldan said the Aerocalifornia shutdown was still in effect, reportedly over aircraft standards issues, but with at least a partial resumption of flights due within a few days. "This morning, I was informed that Aerocalifornia has been given the clear for 4 of their planes to get back up in the sky," Roldan said. "Several independent sources...were informed that something was going to be happening between April 10th and 12th."
LA PAZ, MEXICO: Dos Hernandez of Tortuga Sportfishing reported water temperatures on the Las Arenas side at 76 degrees from the beach outwards and fishing good for yellowtail at Los Piles on Isla Cerralvo and pargo lisa at Punta Perico, plus big numbers of striped marlin seen and some caught at the Punta Perico shark buoys. Some dorado were also caught at the buoys. "This week, we had some really strong days of fishing," Hernandez said. "On Wednesday, we found a school of small squid and that's what we used to catch the yellowtail at Los Piles...The fishing has gotten noticeably better...We have problems with the Aerocalifornia flights right now, but we're hoping service will resume soon." Las Arenas-side weather was improving daily, with warmer air temperatures to 91 degrees.
LA PAZ, MEXICO: Ray Madrid of Long Beach reported on a Cass Tours group trip to fish at Loreto and then 2 days out of the Hotel Los Arcos in La Paz with the David Jones fleet on the Las Arenas side for a catch that included cabrilla, mullet snapper to 25 pounds, and a 56-pound amberjack. Lots of yellowtail were also seen at Isla Cerralvo, but Madrid said they did not target them because they had just loaded up in Loreto. Las Arenas weather was clear and calm at 85 degrees. "The prime area of fishing at Las Arenas was right around the corner from Bahia de los Muertos for pargo lisa," Madrid said. "We slow trolled squid with a number 6 hook and small sardines with a number 1 or 2 hook and 40-pound line. Madrid also noted that his group got caught in the Aerocalifornia shutdown. "We had to cut our trip short by one day due to Aerocalifornia being grounded," he said. "I have to take my hat off to Richard Castaneda and the girls at his Cass Tours office to make arrangements to fly back home on Alaska Airlines during a very busy Easter week. I would recommend Cass Tours for their excellent service."
LA PAZ, MEXICO: Andrea Tomba of Desea Adventures reported good action for yellowtail and jacks around El Bajo on the La Paz side and out at Isla Cerralvo. "As long as the wind dies down and gives us a chance to get out, there have been some really nice conditions and some great fish," Tomba said. "El Bajo has been delivering some great yellowtail and amberjack...about 25 to 30 pounds...La Reina has also been holding some great yellowtail, cabrilla and pargo. It feels like summer, with warm air, and the water a very decent 72 to 75 degrees, with visibility varying from 15 to 30 feet."
LA PAZ, MEXICO: Tim Stemwedel of Univisitlapaz.com said Aeromexico appeared to be picking up the business not being serviced by Aerocalifornia. "It appears that Aeromexico is picking up the LAX-La Paz route, so long term it should sort out with much newer...planes into La Paz," Stemwedel said. "There are also 4 new startup airlines with new airbuses in Mexico that I expect to show up in La Paz...On the short term it does cause the Cabo planes to fill...It makes a mess out of the rest of Mexico."
ENSENADA, MEXICO: Steve Ross of the boat Bad Dog out of Ensenada's Marina Coral reported on a local outing Saturday in wind and swells at Isla Todos Santos and the Banda Bank for a catch in water temperatures of 53.4 to 57.8 degrees of: 7 vermillion rockfish, 1 barber pole rockfish, 1 giant Humboldt squid, and 1 barracuda caught on a trolled Rapala outside Isla Sur. Ross said, "With Juan Lu and Jando, I arrived at Isla de Todos Santos Norte at first light to hunt for the first springtime yellowtail, to no avail...Bad Dog ran out 5 miles in search of large bonito...but no bonito. On the Banda Bank...as the wind and swells began increasing...many rockcod were found but they had lockjaw as the current began ripping and the swells increased...The water temperature dropped to 53.4 degrees and Bad Dog went home."
ENSENADA, MEXICO: Judy Ostberg of the Ensenada boat Melody out of Marina Coral said a Saturday trip in rough conditions to the Banda Bank produced a catch for 3 anglers of: 14 red rockcod, 4 whitefish, 2 salmon grouper, 2 lingcod, and 1 Johnny bass. "After checking Terrafin we decided not to go on the paddy yellowtail hunt and settled on the Banda Bank," Ostberg said. "We had very windy and cold conditions and lots of current..It looked like spring at the Gordo's bait barge. We saw Patrone, Tamara, and Matador all getting bait. But I think everyone got beat up pretty bad."
ENSENADA, MEXICO: Ivan Villarino of Vonny's Fleet reported rough and windy conditions for much of the week and only 1 panga sent out to fish at the tip of Ensenada's Punta Banda. Angler Jay Johnson toughed out poor conditions with Capt. Beto Zamora on the Vonny I and was rewarded with a full limit of calico bass, sandbass, a white seabass, and lingcod. "This week was real slow," Villarino said. "Very rough and windy." Ensenada weather on Sunday morning was partly cloudy in the high-60s, with winds to 14 m.p.h. No water temperature was available.
PUERTO SANTO TOMAS, MEXICO: Sam Saenz of Puerto Santo Tomas Resort reported rough seas and high winds for most of the week, but settling weather by Friday with improved fishing. "Several kayakers went out Friday and had good results catching lingcod and calico bass in the nearby kelp beds," Saenz said. "The calicos were up to 20 inches long." Rich Thomas of Alta Loma, Calif., and his partner also fished in a panga for limits of whitefish, lingcod, and calico bass around Bahia de Soledad and the Soledad Reef.
PUERTO SANTO TOMAS, MEXICO: Earlier, Jim Quinlan of Murrieta, Calif., and his group drove into Puerto Santo Tomas and fished in a panga with Capt. Marcos out of Puerto Santo Tomas Resort, for a catch of: 2 lingcod, 2 whitefish, 2 treefish, 10 red rockcod, and assorted bottom fish. Quinlan said they fished some rocky areas about 10 to 15 minutes north of the resort, using mostly cut squid ganions, in good sea conditions. "We ate at the restaurant there and the food was outstanding," Quinlan said. "We spent the night...at one of the homes that had a fabulous view of the ocean. The dirt road from Mex 1 was in great shape...The weather was chilly but the sky was clear. There was no wind. The ocean was flat calm. The water was very cold...We caught nice sized reds and some other rockfish that Marco called 'cafecitos.'...Marco....is a great and knowledgeable captain with a great sense of humor...Marco and I caught a lingcod apiece. I caught my lingcod on a blue-white 4-ounce Dan Hernandez Bucktail Bomber jig...The trip was a lot of fun and Sam Saenz at the...resort really took good care of us...Sam's helper, Hector, was helpful to us by showing us around the area....I highly recommend...Puerto Santo Tomas...for anyone who wants a quick getaway and a great fishing destination."
ERENDIRA, MEXICO: Fernando Castro of Castro's Camp said he sent 23 boats fishing out of Erendira during the week, for continued heavy counts of red rockcod, whitefish, lingcod, and some bass. The water temperature in the main fishing area 6 miles from Castro's Camp was at a cool 52 to 54 degrees, with clear blue color and lots of bait indicating good spring fishing conditions ahead, Castro said. Erendira weather was variable, with very calm conditions on Monday, unfishable winds on Tuesday and Wednesday, and light winds from the northwest through the weekend that allowed fishing to resume.
SAN QUINTIN, MEXICO: Pete Hillis of Pedro's Pangas reported beautiful weekend weather in the San Quintin fishing area, with water temperatures at 57 to 58 degrees. Paul Earehart's group from New Hampshire fished with Capt. Hector for 2 days on the charter boat Rommy for a total catch of: 150 rockcod, 6 salmon grouper, 12 whitefish, and 6 lingcod. Ben Ortiz and his group of 13 anglers also caught "limits on everything," Hillis said. San Quintin weather was cold at night, but in the mid-70s by about noon.
SAN QUINTIN, MEXICO: Kelly Catian of K&M Offshore Sportfishing reported on 2 days of fishing south of San Quintin, with the catch including no white seabass but good numbers of sandbass, calico bass, lingcod, and red rockcod. "Other fishing boats in the San Quintin area reported lots of barracuda," Catian said, "and the guys fishing up near the 240 and 15 areas had giant Humboldt squid to deal with." K&M Offshore Sportfishing had its big pilothouse boats out of the water for maintenance. Catian said, "We have both our big boats out of the water right now and are going over everything before the fishing season kicks in. K&M Offshore Sportfishing will start this summer season with 5 boats, our 3 pilothouse boats and our 2, 26-foot center consoles. All charter fishing boats are fully rigged with electronics and live bait." San Quintin weather was warm and sunny.
MAGDALENA BAY, MEXICO: Gary Graham of Baja On The Fly reported "decent" action on leopard grouper to 20 pounds in the Magdalena Bay mangrove channels north of Puerto Lopez Mateos, plus some firecracker yellowtail under birds at the San Carlos entrada. "There was not much to talk about offshore of Magdalena Bay," Graham said, "but judging by the number of big tuna boats anchored in Santa Maria Bay...there must be a slug of yellowfin tuna somewhere in the vicinity." California gray whale numbers thinned out as the northward migration continued. Magdalena Bay weather was windy early in the week, calming in the high-70s by Friday, with water temperatures at 60 to 66 degrees.
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Mike Connolly of Cabo San Lucas and the boat Falcon reported decent striped marlin action scattered from 25 miles out at 150 degrees to the 95 spot and the Outer Gordo Bank. "It's not difficult to get shut out, but there is also a chance to hook 2 to 4 if you have been good," Connolly said. "It's a different hot spot each day, but still conveniently close to Cabo. The temperature break straight south of Cabo and eastward is holding the fish...Swordfish sightings continue, which provides incentive for all on board to be alert for the 2 fins." A few wahoo were caught and the boat Carpe Diem found yellowfin tuna to 60 pounds on the Cabrillo Sea Mount. Cabo San Lucas weather had mostly light winds with the billfish found in clean 72 to 74-degree water on the Cortez side.
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Tracy Ehrenberg of Pisces Fleet reported inconsistent billfish action, with several boats scoring up to 3 releases but others skunked. The top outing for the week was by Ni Modo with 5 releases 40 miles up the Cortez side off Destiladeras. Overall, 54 percent of Pisces boats released marlin, 11 percent landed dorado, 8 percent caught yellowfin tuna, and 1 wahoo was caught. A spectacular catch for the week was a 150-pound class broadbill swordfish released on 15-pound spinning tackle April 3, 2006, by angler George Kreiner of Buffalo, N.Y. "The fish had been dozing on the surface and once George spotted it he cast a live bait a couple of feet in front of the fish, which immediately became alert and snatched the mackerel," Ehrenberg said. "It was 27 miles directly south of Cabo and it took 1-1/2 hours to bring to the boat." Some yellowfin tuna into the 100-pound class were caught, but Ehrenberg said, "At this time of year we should see an influx of school size yellowfin tuna, but with commercial boats in the area it will be hard for sportfishing boats to compete." Cabo San Lucas weather was generally fair, with water temperatures at 68 to 69 degrees, as Pisces boats fished Punta Gorda, Chileno, and the 1150 and 95 spots.
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Larry Edwards of Cortez Yacht Charters reported on 29 outings by Gaviota Fleet and the Cabo charter boats Fish Cabo and Fish Cabo I, with a catch including released fish of: 27 striped marlin, 1 dorado, 2 yellowfin tuna, 1 mako shark, 4 Humboldt squid of 25 to 30 pounds, and 2 red snapper. Fleet boats had up-and-down action fishing, mostly on the Cortez side about 20 miles off San Jose del Cabo, in 71 to 72-degree water. "Sportfishing was either really good or very difficult for Cabo anglers this week," Edwards said. "There was a little in-between fishing, but not much...The best fishing area was outside of San Jose Del Cabo and northeasterly."
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Jim Dillon of Salvador's Sportfishing reported on 16 outings by the Cabo San Lucas charter boats El Budster, El Budster I, and El Budster II, with a catch including released fish of: 19 striped marlin, and 1 dorado of 20 pounds. Fishing included a 3-release day for El Budster I and several doubles, but some days were shortened by rough seas.
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: George Landrum of Fly Hooker Sportfishing reported plenty of striped marlin in the area but the bite off-and-on. "The fish are out there but sometimes they just won't eat," Landrum said. "One boat could release 5 fish on Tuesday and then go 0-for-12 on Wednesday." Striped marlin were concentrated on the Cortez side between 15 and 30 miles out, Landrum said, and broadbill swordfish continued to show. "There are still a few swordfish being found in the cold, green water on the Pacific side and directly south, but they have been hard to get hooked up too," Landrum said. Dorado and yellowfin tuna were scarce although commercial seiners were working the area and apparently finding fish. "There are still purse seiners out at the Jaime Bank area," Landrum said. "You can see one with a helicopter on it looking very loaded in San Lucas bay. If they are around, there has to be fish out there, but no one has been able to find them. Maybe they are all inside the holds of the seiners?" Cabo San Lucas weather was partly cloudy, with some moderate northwest wind and water temperatures at 65 to 69 degrees on the Pacific side and 72 to 76 degrees on the Cortez side.
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Tommy Garcia of Cabo Magic reported a catch of: 30 striped marlin, 20 dorado, 36 yellowtail, 165 sierra, 2 amberjack, 3 cabrilla, and 10 boats skunked.
SAN JOSE DEL CABO (LOS CABOS), MEXICO: Eric Brictson of Gordo Banks Pangas reported on 48 combined La Playita fleet pangas fishing off San Jose del Cabo, with a catch of: 3 striped marlin, 3 wahoo, 6 dorado, 2 mako shark, 26 cabrilla, 42 pargo, 15 amberjack, 36 bonito, 86 yellowtail, and 92 sierra. "Anglers found very good action off Palmilla Point through the first part of the week," Brictson said. "Yellowtail were coming in at a rate of 2 to 8 per boat, weighing up to 25 pounds...The bite faded out toward the end of the week. One of the reasons was the heavy boat pressure, and also a pack of sea lions that took up residence waiting for the chance of an easy catch...There is still no yellowfin tuna action to be found, although quite a few commercial purse seiners were seen passing through...Not much is going on at the rock piles to the north of Punta Gorda...Bottom fishing proved to be much better off Palmilla and it was also a lot closer to the launching areas." San Jose del Cabo weather was sunny at 80 degrees, with light north winds and water temperatures at 70 to 73 degrees.
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: Don Anderson of Newport Beach reported on 3 days of East Cape fishing on the charter boat Maria II with Capt. Martin Olachea out of Hotel Playa del Sol, with a catch including released fish of: 5 sailfish, 2 striped marlin, and 2 dorado. Anderson fished the 88 Bank on the east side of Isla Cerralvo and said dorado and tuna were scarce in the area, but 15 to 40 striped marlin were seen each day. "It was very hard to get one to go for the bait though, and very few were caught on jigs by the fleet," Anderson said. "If these fish decide to eat, it will be scary, as there are so many of them in this area...I saw...striped marlin...in ones, twos, and even up to 8 in a group."
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: John Ireland of Rancho Leonero reported fair fishing last week, mostly for striped marlin either north at the 88 Bank or 30 miles offshore in the south, from the Punta Arena lighthouse to Los Frailes. "We had a so-so fishing week with fewer fishermen and striped marlin the bright spot...Marlin are biting well, averaging 2 per fishing boat," Ireland said. "Jacks and sierra are taking chrome and live sardinas...Inshore fishing had no pressure as most...boats continue chasing marlin." East Cape weather was windy at midweek, but calming in the low-80s by Saturday, with water temperatures at 70 to 72 degrees.
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: Gary Graham of Baja On The Fly reported "pretty decent" beach fishing between winds. "There were only a few visitors at East Cape to enjoy the great fishing early this week," Graham said. "'Shooting fish in a barrel,' was how one client described the fishing last Friday...but then, the north wind roared back." Beach fishing produced croakers, jacks, pargo, grouper, and ladyfish, and inshore boats scored on skipjack, skipjack tuna. Offshore, striped marlin and sailfish were caught. "If that isn't enough, rumors of grande yellowtail in shallow water up towards Muertos Bay have some of the locals chomping at the bit," Graham said. "As the winter-to-spring transition continues, an exciting springtime appears to be shaping up at East Cape." East Cape weather was clear in the low-80s, with water temperatures at 62 to 70 degrees.
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: Torrance Eddy of Buena Vista reported local commercial pangueros night fishing for about 45 kilos of fish per panga including about 75 percent red snapper, plus yellow snappers and other assorted snapper species. Eddy fished with pangueros from about 8 p.m. to 4 a.m. one night for a good catch of red snapper, using live or fresh dead mackerel or sardina baits about 100 to 200 feet deep, 5 miles north of Los Barriles. "For most of the night, one person making bait could not keep up with those fishing with the bait," Eddy said. "The bite was excellent but since the bait was scarce, the catch was only fair...While we didn't take any yellowtail, 2 big ones, 30 pounds mas o menos, cruised by within 3 or 4 feet of the boat...Ninety percent of the fishing is done in 3 areas, near Punta Pescadero, Rancho Leonero, and La Ribera...All these boats have lights so they are easy to find...Hooking red snapper is not easy in that you must give them time to nibble for several seconds in order to give them time to hook themselves. During the nibbling process, pull up slowly until there is genuine resistance before setting the hook. My panguero friends took a 4-kilogram red snapper this week and almost all the fish were 1 kilogram or larger."
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: For the previous week, Chris Moyers of East Cape Smoke House reported on 74 charter boats from combined fleets including Hotels Palmas de Cortez, Playa del Sol, Punta Colorada, Buena Vista Beach Resort, Rancho Leonero, and Martin Verdugo's Beach Resort, with 220 anglers and a catch including released fish of: 111 striped marlin, 7 sailfish, 137 dorado (also mahi-mahi or dolphinfish), 105 yellowfin tuna, and 3 sierra. Striped marlin were caught off Isla Cerralvo and about 30 to 40 miles straight off Los Barriles. Yellowfin tuna were about 40 to 45 miles off Los Barriles, and dorado of mostly 15 to 20 pounds were off the Punta Pescadero shark buoys and about 25 to 40 miles off Los Barriles. East Cape weather was in the high-80s, with water temperatures of 66 to 75 degrees.
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: Ash Pickering of the Vista Sea Sport diving service at Buena Vista said conditions were variable at East Cape last week, with visibility ranging from 20 to 50 feet, and water temperatures from 68 to 70 degrees, depending on wind. "This change doesn't seem to have affected the sea life," Pickering said. "Big schools of grunts, grouper, mackerel and porkfish are present...giving us a variety of size and colours to see down there...The nudibranchs have also been out in force...The mobula manta rays continue to play on the surface offering us the occasional view whilst diving."
LORETO, MEXICO: Don Bear of Loreto reported continued good yellowtail action north along the coast at San Bruno and out at Punta Lobos and Punta Perico on Isla Carmen. "They were not wall-to-wall yellows by any means," Bear said of 2 outings on his boat with Capt. Paulino Martinez. "But each day we caught 6 yellows on 7 strikes...Bait, negrumos or Spanish mackerel, with some mackerel mixed in, has been readily catchable at Las Lagrimas all week." On Saturday, Capt. Paulino took anglers Diane and Rick Reed of San Diego out in his panga for 1 yellowtail on 2 strikes. Another panga with Capt. Alejo Murillo reported 2 yellowtail on 2 strikes. "Virtually all of the fish are being caught on flylined bait," Bear said. "I would estimate that about 30 pangas and 5 or 6 American boats are going out each day." Loreto weather was mostly calm except for strong winds on Thursday. "It was extremely windy all day. The few pangas that went out were back by 9 a.m. with empty fishboxes. It was simply unfishable out there," Bear said.
Bear had some location information for the Las Lagrimas fishing spot off Isla Coronado that has been a good source of making bait for the past few weeks. "I do have a Las Lagrimas mark from a prior trip at 26.06.318 North and 111.14.031 West. That mark is 10.18 miles from Loreto on a 44-degree heading," Bear said. "But all that is academic. Just head toward the southeast corner of Isla Coronado and look for the cluster of at least 25 pangas that will be there between 6:30 and 7:30 a.m....However, having said that, I definitely believe that we were to the southwest of that mark on Friday and Saturday by a couple of miles. If I had to find the Las Lagrimas spot today, I would take a 42-degree heading for 8.75 miles. Or, I'd go out toward the southeast corner of Isla Coronado and position the boat a couple miles southeast of the lighthouse there." Bear also reported more early season dorado catches from the previous week. "Paulino Martinez told me a couple of pangas from Juncalito went south to the Isla Santa Cruz area and both ended up with 3 dorados," Bear said. "In addition, Momo, a local outboard mechanic who runs a couple of pangas, told me that on Friday a panga came into the marina with 1 dorado of about 10 to 15 pounds."
LORETO, MEXICO: Patty Zapata of Loreto's Hotel Oasis reported warm, windless weather on Sunday. "It's a great Sunday here in Loreto," Zapata said. Early in the week, anglers Louise and Harley Buckingham fished with Capt. Francisco Martinez at San Bruno reef for a catch of 4 yellowtail averaging about 22 pounds. "They went to Coronado Island to make bait," Zapata said. "Then they went north about 40 minutes to San Bruno. They had their first hookup 10 minutes later. Louis landed a 26 pounder that took 13 minutes to fight." Another panga with Capt. Martin Perpuli fished at Punta Perico on Isla Carmen for 2 yellowtail of 19 and 34 pounds.
LORETO, MEXICO: Ray Madrid of Long Beach reported 3 days of good yellowtail fishing with Arturo's Sportfishing out of Loreto's Hotel Oasis during his "Bad Boys Loreto/La Paz group trip with Cass Tours for a catch of 2 to 8 yellowtail of 20 to 35 pounds per panga, mixed bottom fish, and 1 boat with 2 small dorado of 10 to 12 pounds caught on shark buoys. "I fished with Capt. Ramon, a very hard working captain," Madrid said. "There was very little bait to purchase from the Carnaderos baitsellers. We had to go to the Coronado Island to easily make bait of mackerel, platano and bigeye. The prime fishing areas were Punta Perico, Punta Lobos and San Bruno. Almost every fish was caught on the surface on flylined bait with a few on the bottom using an 8-ounce sinker with a dropper loop and a number 6 hook." Loreto weather was clear and calm in the mid-70s.
LORETO, MEXICO: Pam Bolles of Baja Big Fish Company said the Aerocalifornia shutdown this week has not caused her major problems. "Aerocal's troubles haven't really affected us," Bolles said. "Last year we had 47 percent on Alaska but this year it will likely be over 80 percent...I have removed Aerocal references from my website." Bolles also noted that Baja Big Fish Company has received its certified scales and is now an official IGFA weigh station. "Our IGFA certified Chatillion scales are in place and ready to officially weigh any potential records landed off Loreto," Bolles said.
MULEGE, MEXICO: Rick Barber of Mulege reported slower yellowtail fishing between winds last week, but some local guides scoring up to 5 fish per day with live bait at Islas Santa Inez and San Marcos. "Alex said that he has been boating 2 to 5 fish each day he went out and I saw some nice ones he brought in that were definitely well over 30 pounds," Barber said. "Same story for Mateo. Not bad work!" Other anglers scoring on cabrilla or a few yellowtail into the 40-pound class included Bill and Judy Havig, and Marty Robinson. Barber fished for mostly barracuda at Isla Santa Inez and the mine area, saying, "I couldn't get past the barracuda! The 'slimers' were everywhere! My in-laws were happy though, as Chuy likes to eat them and Chichi likes them for bait for his triggerfishing business...The water was like glass on Wednesday when I left Mulege for Santa Inez, but as I approached the islands I saw a wind line at the north island...I got in an hour of trolling before I got tired of playing like a cork in a hurricane and I headed south to the mine...I got barracuda at both spots."
"I have no ideas about the yellowtail," Barber said. "No one is catching them consistently enough to offer any advice. With the water as it is, they should be up on top hammering the bait that seems to be everywhere. I passed huge meatballs as I was running to Inez on Wednesday...The birds were working full time, but I think it was the 'cudas rather than the 'tails chasing the bait.
"There are 'tails, "cabrilla" and 'cudas to be had if you go out. It's just a matter of being here when the winds are down and being able to get your lures past the omnipresent barracuda. Please keep the 'cudas you catch, though. Dad needs the bait!"
SANTA ROSALIA, MEXICO: Syd Lindsay of San Lucas Cove reported the Santa Rosalia Pemex station still partially closed after a short-pumping incident and then an over-pumping mix-up. "A local lady asked at the Pemex station, 'Why are the pumps closed,'" Lindsay said. "'Because the pumps are broken,' came the answer. 'They are giving out more gas then they should.' True story. They are letting people cut in line as walk-ups and to fill milk bottles and anything they happen to have that they can carry."
BAHIA DE LOS ANGELES, MEXICO: At Bahia de los Angeles (L.A. Bay), Abraham Vazquez of Camp Gecko reported good local bottom fishing and yellowtail present but out of range due to winds at Los Machos on Isla Angel de la Guarda, Punta Remedios on the Baja coast, and Guadalupe Reef in the channel. Bait was scarce in the Bahia de los Angeles fishing area, with water temperatures at 58 to 60 degrees and the weather windy from the west at about 80 degrees.
Vazquez also reported that famed early Baja bush pilot Capt. Francisco Muñoz passed away on Thursday, April 30, 2005. Muñoz maintained a home south of Camp Gecko on the road to Bahia de las Animas.
Vazquez noted that the road improvements northwards to Punta la Gringa were progressing and many new fences were going up in the area. "I guess now that the Escalera Nautica is planned to go in there are several new owners that have surfaced," Vazquez said. "One of them is fencing the property, all 1,600 acres..It is surprising how many new fences are popping up on the way to La Gringa."
The road to Bahia de los Angeles from Mex 1 was in good condition and the village Pemex station was open at 6.27 pesos per liter. Vazquez said new reservations for Camp Gecko were not being processed last week due to his frequent trips to Tijuana, but all old reservations are being honored as usual.
BAHIA DE LOS ANGELES, MEXICO: Mike Tablada of Rocklin, Calif., Al Overholt, and John Clement fished and dived 4 days from March 25-28, 2006, out of Bahia de los Angeles on Overholt's 21-foot boat, and found fairly slow action for 3 days at Guadalupe Reef, Los Machos, Isla Alcatraz, and Isla Coronado, but firecracker yellowtail on their last day while fishing at Los Machos. "On day 4, we had our best day with weather and yellowtail," Tablada said. "We fished Los Machos and finished with 11 yellows. All were firecrackers averaging 6 to 8 pounds. We never found the toads but came home with some filets."
Other fish hooked or speared during the trip included a variety of bass and a 15-pound yellowtail on blue-white iron at Guadalupe Reef, bass and "L.A. Bay lingcod," at Roca Alcatraz, pargo, halibut and squid to 24 inches at the north end of Isla Coronado, and some larger fish broken off at Los Machos.
Bahia de los Angeles water temperatures were at 57 to 62 degrees and Tablada and his group stayed at Casa Diaz. "There were not many fisherman in town," Tablada said, "only a couple pangas went out each morning...at Casa Diaz and their boat counts were 0 to 7 yellows each day. Only 4 rooms were available because the others are being remodeled."
Tablada also noted using The Baja Catch and Mexfish.com fishing reports. "I was in Los Barriles last summer and stumbled upon Mexfish.com in an internet cafe while looking for some fishing spots to head to as we headed north," Tablada said. "Some guys had posted yellowtail reports from Bahia de los Angeles, so we went and consequently crushed 'em. We had planned to go to Bahia Magdalena but the current report from there wasn't too good. Thanks to Mexfish.com we ended up with a cooler of hamachi filets and kamas!...The Baja Catch is a great book. I use it and recommend it all the time."
SAN FELIPE, MEXICO: At San Felipe, Catalina Meders of the Title Company Bookstore overlooking the bay said the weather was hazy and humid at 74 degrees Sunday morning, and the bay was flat and calm. "It is Palm Sunday which means that Semana Santa has officially started," Meders said. "San Felipe is already filling up fast, plus there is a large circus in town...A parade with a cage full of lions just went past the balcony...By the end of the week there will not be a square foot on the beach that doesn't have a tent on it. The vendors are smiling and busy. For many of them this is one of the most important weeks of the year, financially speaking."San Felipe
MAZATLAN, MEXICO: Tadeo Hernandez of Flota Bibi Fleet reported very good inshore fishing last week for boats fishing from shore out to about 6 miles from the Mazatlan lighthouse and along the coast. "Inshore fishing trips caught outstanding amounts of red snappers, mojarras and cabrillas," Hernandez said. "The best fishing happened with shrimp head bait and red-white Rapalas." Flota Bibi Fleet also had 13 boats fishing offshore, for a catch including released fish of: 5 striped marlin, 1 bonita, and 1 skipjack tuna. "There's been a lot of striped marlin sighted, but not many of them are biting," Hernandez said. "Also, the first sailfish of the season are showing up now." Mazatlan weather was mostly calm and sunny in the mid-70s, with water temperatures at 73 degrees.
MAZATLAN, MEXICO: Larry Edwards of Cortez Yacht Charters said Mazatlan billfish counts were down last week, with fair numbers seen, but only only about 40 percent of offshore boats hooking up and landing fish. Aries Fleet at Marina el Cid reported on 42 offshore boats, with a catch including released fish of: 16 striped marlin, 4 dorado, and 9 yellowfin tuna. Inshore fishing was "as good as it gets," Edwards said, as 17 super pangas caught: 34 baqueta to 40 pounds, 204 red snapper including many releases, 28 conejo, 104 seabass, 55 triggerfish, and 10 assorted species. "It was very good inshore action that saw the boats return with an average catch or release of about 25 fish per boat," Edwards said. Mazatlan weather was calm and party cloudy in the high-80s, with inshore water temperatures at 68 degrees, and 73 degrees about 17 miles out. Offshore boats fished 20 to 29 miles southwest of Marina el Cid, and most billfish were hooked on rigged bait. Inshore fishing was mostly with shrimp and cut bait.
MAZATLAN, MEXICO: Ross Nelson, a senior at Santa Clara University, reported a bullseye pufferfish caught during his spring break trip to Mazatlan. "It was about 20 minutes after sunset," Nelson said. "I caught him on 7-pound test with a large hook, don't remember what size, and I was using shrimp. I caught him on a little jetty outside of the Las Flores Hotel. The water was about 68 to 73 degrees. I might be a little intoxicated in the picture, seeing as though I don't remember much of my spring break trip with 16 of my best friends."
PUERTO VALLARTA, MEXICO: Danny Osuna of Marla's Sportfishing reported continued excellent offshore shallow water fishing for mixed species last week, as the Puerto Vallarta charter boat Marla II scored good counts of pompanos, pargos, groupers, sierra, and some jacks. "The inshore fishing is still really good," Osuna said. "The jacks slowed down this week, but the pompanos and other fish are biting wide-open on jigs, live sardinas and caballitos...The Marla III with Captains Scott and Alonso and the rest of the Puerto Vallarta local charter fishing boats are doing really well."
Offshore fishing was slower for striped marlin and sailfish, Osuna said. "The striped marlin and sailfish are around but not too hungry." Anglers fishing last week on the Marla II included Brad Runnerstrum and Tyler Hartma of Oxnard, who scored good numbers of mixed species at El Morro rock. Puerto Vallarta seas were mostly flat, with some breezes, and the water temperature at 74 degrees.
IXTAPA ZIHUATANEJO, MEXICO: Paul Phillips of the Fintastic Total Tag & Release Tournament said close-by fishing was steady for about 2 sailfish per outing, in 2 pockets of warm water located about 8 to 10 miles off Ixtapa and the Petalan area about 15 miles south of Zihuatanejo. "Most boats are getting 2 sails a day, with a marlin somewhere in the fleet," Phillips said. "But the SST shows that cold current hanging to the north, so check with the captain or listen up at the pier. Inshore, the jack crevalle are keeping anglers entertained."
IXTAPA ZIHUATANEJO, MEXICO: Larry Edwards of Cortez Yacht Charters said very few anglers were present at Ixtapa Zihuatanejo last week, but offshore fishing appeared to be improving. The charter boat Bloody Hook reported 1 sailfish and a small marlin lost during 1 outing, and the Dos Hermanos I fished 4 days for a catch including released fish of: 3 sailfish, 1 striped marlin, and 8 jack crevalle. Fishing inshore for 2 days, the Gran Jefe reported a catch including released fish of: 18 jack crevalle, 9 bonito, and 6 sierra. Ixtapa Zihuatanejo fishing area weather was in the high-80s, with light breezes and water temperatures at 77 degrees inshore, and 80 to 81 degrees offshore. The best offshore fishing started about 12 miles out of Zihuatanejo Bay.
IXTAPA ZIHUATANEJO, MEXICO: Ed Kunze, reporting for Baja On The Fly, said offshore boats averaged about 2 sailfish per outing last week, as 80-degree blue water held at about 3 miles out of Zihuatanejo Bay. A 4-sailfish day was turned in by Capt. Adan on the Gitana II, and angler Don Leach scored a sailfish release plus a dorado landed on fly tackle with Capt. Santiago on the Gitana. Inshore fishing was still strong for black skipjack and larger jack crevalle. Ixtapa Zihuatanejo weather was clear in the high-80s, with water temperatures at 78 to 84 degrees.
CANCUN, MEXICO: Larry Edwards of Cortez Yacht Charters report on 5 charter boats out of the new El Cid Caribe fleet at Puerto Morelos, with a catch including released fish of: 8 barracuda of 20 to 30 pounds, 2 sailfish, 1 dorado, and 1 grouper. All fish were caught within 3 to 5 miles of shore, within a short distance of the marina, using ballyhoo, or halfbeaks, for bait, Edwards said. Cancun weather was partly cloudy in the low-90s, with surface winds of 10 to 15 knots, and water temperatures were stable at 80 to 81 degrees. Ballyhoo baits were used for both surface and bottom fishing.
MEXICO: Freshwater bass fishing guide Bill Skinner of Bass-N-Mexico reported wide-open bass action for boats fishing out of the Trophy Bass Lodge on Lake Huites near Los Mochis, Sinaloa. "Words cannot describe it," Skinner said. "Catches of 200 to 400 bass a day per boat is the norm and it is only going to get better in April, May, and June. Information: email@example.com, 888-769-0220.