LORETO, MEXICO: Bill Erhardt of Loreto said he got into the swarms of school-sized dorado swimming off Loreto last week, fishing temperature breaks 4 days on his boat about 30 to 50 miles east of town for catch-and-release action on a total of 61 dorado, mostly peanuts, but including some fish up to 21 pounds, plus several hookups on striped marlin.
"All fish were caught on marlin feathers," Erhardt said. "On Sunday I ran 32 nautical miles east-northeast of the marina. The water was blue and the surface temperature was 72 degrees. Tuesday, I ran east to warmer water 43 nautical miles from the marina, 74.5 degrees. There were marlin tailing and jumping, flying fish, and peanut dorado everywhere. The only others I saw fishing in the area were Jim Luithly and his trusty boat dog, Buddy, who ran out to the area with me, and Rod and Bruce on the Dos D's who arrived on the scene shortly after we got there.
"Wednesday was the best offshore fishing day of the week. The temperature break had moved west to 38 nautical miles from the marina. The water was calm and glassy. I caught 19 dorado, the largest 21 pounds. The high water temperature I recorded was 75 degrees. I saw only one other boat in the area, skippered by Andres Cota. On Friday again the dorado were plentiful and by late morning I had caught 22, the largest 2 around 20 and 15 pounds.
"Most of the dorado in the area are of the peanut variety and I have not yet run into any of the big bulls that are usually in the vanguard of the pelagics moving north into the Sea of Cortez. Conventional wisdom among old Loreto hands is that early action such as we are having does not necessarily presage a knock-down drag-out summer season."
LORETO, MEXICO: Patty Zapata of Loreto's Hotel Oasis said 14 anglers fished during 24 boat departures in the 15th annual, 3-day Big Game Fishing Yellowtail Tournament last week for a combined catch of: 50 yellowtail of 19 to 34 pounds, and 4 cabrilla to 13 pounds. Ted and Cornelius Colfescu won first place with their 34 pounder fishing with Capt. Francisco Martinez.
"The north wind was present for the 3 days of the tournament," Zapata said. "This wind starts more or less at 11 a.m. and stops at 6 p.m. The last day it started later and gave the anglers an opportunity to close with a good catch."
Anglers fishing with Capts. Isidro Mendoza, Francisco Martínez, Francisco Martínez Jr., Martin Perpuli, Rodolfo "Chino" Aguilar, Abel Davis Jr., Servando Davis, and Francisco "Chopi" Murillo included James Francis, Bill Banducci, John Lange, Don Greene, Ed Peska, Rick Hudson, Walter Huwe, Harry Scott, Tom and Ann Michalski, Rafael Castillo, and Mike Adams.
LORETO, MEXICO: IGFA representative Pam Bolles of Loreto's Baja Big Fish Company said she certified a 10-kilo fly tackle record application for a 31-pound 0-ounce yellowtail landed by angler Mark Bachmann of Welches, Oreg., who fished with Capt. Eulogio Davis Sanchez at the north tip of Isla Carmen. If approved the fish would smash the old record of 22 pounds 4 ounces. "The skipper was chumming with live sardinas only a few feet from the shoreline when ladyfish, pargo and cabrilla surfaced," Bolles said. "Mark made a cast and hooked up and they assumed it was a cabrilla...but it wasn't." Bachmann's yellowtail required 45 minutes to land with an 11-WT rod, 7-inch shock tippet, and 20-inch class section of 22-pound Ande Tournament monofilament line.
LORETO, MEXICO: Louie Prieto of Hacienda Heights and his wife Kay trailered their 23-foot boat It's 4 Reels! to Loreto during mid-April and fished five days out of the downtown marina in local areas including Punta Lobos on Isla Carmen and San Bruno for a catch including a steady pick on firecracker yellowtail, up to about 3 larger yellowtail to a high of 31 pounds per day, pargo, triggerfish, cabrilla, porcupine fish, red snapper, whitefish, goldspotted bass, rockfish, and 1 sheephead. Prieto said one highlight of the trip was meeting some Loreto commercial pangueros who invited them aboard their panga for lunch. "The commercial guys, Alfredo and Pelayo, had let us tie up to their panga which was right on top of the fish," Prieto said. "They cooked us some fresh huachinango complete with tortillas and hot sauce! Yes, they had a propane stove in their panga. It was delicious and fish does not get any fresher than what we had. Awesome day on the water." Mex 1 was in very good condition with no problems despite a blowout at Bahia Concepcion and a long gas wait at Jesus Maria.
ENSENADA, MEXICO: Judy Ostberg of the boat Melody out of Ensenada's Marina Coral reported on a late week run to the 450 spot in glassy calm seas for a 25-pound Humboldt squid plus hot kelp paddy action on 12 yellowtail in the 18 to 25-pound class, including a jackpot 25.4 pounder caught by husband Mel Ostberg. "The paddy we found close to the 450 was alive with yellowtail," Ostberg said. "We had one jig strike and the rest on bait. Beautiful fish." Water temperatures offshore of Ensenada were at 63 degrees and Gordo's had good mixed mackerel and sardine baits. "The yellowtail preferred the sardines," Ostberg said.
ENSENADA, MEXICO: Steve Ross of the boat Bad Dog out of Marina Coral reported on an offshore run from Ensenada, 35 miles out at 240 degrees, to check out reports of large thresher shark in the area with his wife Gail, Tom McInally of the boat Wide Open, and Marinero Jando Ruiz. "It was reported that the sharks were so big they were straightening hooks," Ross said. "Bad Dog worked the area around a longline boat and watched them process sharks from their nighttime soak. These were apparently blue sharks." Fishing in the area produced a couple of 4-pound bonito in 61.4-degree water plus a striped marlin that came out of the water about 20 yards from the boat and entered the jig pattern for a few seconds. Bad Dog returned to Ensenada and stopped at the Banda Bank for dinner fish including vermillion rockfish and bocaccio.
ENSENADA, MEXICO: Ivan Villarino of Vonny's Fleet said his beach launched pangas fishing at Punta Banda caught steady limits or near limits of lingcod, red rockcod, calico bass, chuckle heads, and mixed species during the week. Yellowtail were still scarce. Anglers fishing on the Vonny I and Vonny III with Capts. Beto and Hector included Jay Johnson, Brian Foley, Tom Gatch, and Richard Arias and his group.
ENSENADA, MEXICO: Sammy Susarrey of Lily Fleet said Ensenada boats on Friday reported log barracuda to 8 pounds caught inside the Isla Todos Santos channel plus inshore sandbass off Marina Coral.
PUERTO SANTO TOMAS, MEXICO: Sam Saenz of Puerto Santo Tomas Resort said sea conditions were calm with no wind last week and anglers did especially well. Hamlet Khatcher and his group fished 3 days on 3 pangas and loaded up with a wide variety of bottom fish, plenty of rockcod, some lingcod to 10 pounds, and a few calico bass. Heavy concentrations of mackerel were present in the Santo Tomas area but there was still no surface bite.
PUERTO SANTO TOMAS, MEXICO: Gilbert Bautista of Northridge fished on a panga with Capt. Marcos out of Puerto Santo Tomas Resort in late April for a variety catch of mixed rockfish, 30 red rockcod, whitefish, 15 lingcod, cabezon, 1 large sculpin and 2 calico bass. "We fished no more than 3 miles north of Puerto Santo Tomas, near Soledad reef," Bautista said. "We fished 180 to 150 feet deep for rockfish and 60 to 30 feet when in shallow for the calico and shallow rockfish. In the deeper water we used ganion lines tipped with squid. We used plastic on larger leadheads and were bit fairly often and consistently. We caught a day's worth of fish by 11 a.m." A second day of kayak fishing produced all catch-and-release action for rockfish near shore. "My family had a great time of fishing, kayaking, hiking, exploring and fellowship while staying at the Casa Grande with owner-operator Sam Saenz," Bautista said. "It was all capped off with a fish and lobster dinner over looking the bay on a gorgeous evening."
ERENDIRA, MEXICO: Fernando Castro of Castro's Camp reported 19 boats fishing out of Erendira during the week, mostly about 8 miles from the coast in 57 to 58-degree, very clear water, for continued heavy counts of mixed bottom species including many red rockcod, and 3 days with large barracuda and some white seabass seen, but none hooked. "They didn't want to bite," Castro said. "I think they need another week to get themselves ready to eat." Erendira fishing area waters continued to have heavy concentrations of bait, especially Pacific mackerel.
SAN QUINTIN, MEXICO: Pete Hillis of Pedro's Pangas reported on 12 boats fishing out of San Quintin Bay during the week for easy limits of rockcod plus some lingcod and cowcod, but with giant Humboldt squid "a menace after a while." An offshore run 20 miles out by Capt. Hector on the charter boat Rommy found no paddies or fish. Hillis also said that new management has taken over the restaurant, campground, launch ramp, and pier area, and improvements were underway. "Work has already started on a new ramp and a tractor trailer full of large beams were dropped off at the beginning of the week to start work on the dock," Hillis said. San Quintin weather was good all week but with some wind on Sunday morning.
SAN QUINTIN, MEXICO: John Migeot of Mission Viejo and his group fished at San Quintin on their way back from Bahia de los Angeles, finding easy bait and some rockfish close to the bay, in cold, green water. "The food was great at Don Eddie's Landing, as was the room," Migeot said. "We didn't bring home much fish, but we still had a great time."
SAN QUINTIN, MEXICO: John Ryan of Brea and his group fished 2 days at midweek out of San Quintin in moderate sea conditions with Capt. Kelly Catian and his son Oscar of K&M Offshore Sportfishing for a catch of: 18 red rockcod and 9 lingcod to about 15 pounds. "There were no yellowtails around and no white seabass," Ryan said. "We had to move around a lot due to large amounts of 20 to 25-pound squid grabbing our bait every time we dropped our line in the water. If you got through the squid and hooked up some reds the squid would get you on the way up." Ryan said they fished about 7 miles offshore north of the San Quintin boca.
SAN QUINTIN, MEXICO: Kelly Catian of K&M Offshore Sportfishing said he just returned from North Carolina with a new boat for the fleet, a Parker 2310 walk around cuddy cabin that will join K&M Offshore's Parker 25 and 28-foot boats. "These boats are built to be family friendly," Catian said. "They offer spacious V-berths for sleepy kids and marine toilets for the ladies, and with our new 4-strokes you won't be turning green choking on 2-stroke fumes."
BAJA CALIFORNIA, MEXICO: Hugh Cobb of Pacific Coast Bait & Tackle at Oceanside said Baja shore angler Harold "Lance" Rigg of El Segundo has apparently scored another IGFA record for burrito grunt at Morro Santo Domingo on the Baja Pacific coast north of Guerrero Negro. Cobb said that Rigg showed up at the store with a fish weighed at exactly 10 pounds, caught on a sand crab, that is being submitted to IGFA. Rigg is also holder of the current burrito grunt record, 9 pounds 11 ounces, set at the same beach just north of the morro, and he also has a spotfin croaker record pending from that beach. "There's more," Cobb said, "Rigg's pal Mike Inscore of Mar Vista caught a 3-pound, 12-ounce sargo, also on a sand crab, that will undoubtedly go into the record book. These guys were in a hurry to get home and start filleting, because they also had white seabass they took from the beach."
BAJA CALIFORNIA, MEXICO: Mike Kanzler of Isla San Marcos on Baja's Sea of Cortez side crossed over the Pacific coast to take his first look at the semi-remote areas of Campo Rene at Estero de Coyote, Punta Abreojos, and La Bocana. Traveling with Alan Lewis of the Voodoo Lounge at San Lucas Cove, Kanzler met with Capt. Juanchys Aguilar of La Bocana and fished both inside the lagoon and offshore. "We took a little run offshore on local reefs 2 to 4 miles out, but found very dirty red tide water," Kanzler said. "Juanchys explained that it needs better clarity on this side of Baja for decent fishing. The prime time for fishing over there is September through January." A lagoon outing to the Glory Hole area described in The Baja Catch produced a fun, light-tackle catch of small halibut, spotted bay bass, and barracuda. Kanzler said they also toured the local abalone cooperativa and stayed at Campo Rene at Estero de Coyote. "Campo Rene is been revamped and has full faculties," Kanzler said. "Such a serene area. I'll be back there to see the best the place has to offer in September." La Bocana area weather was chilly in the mornings and 70 degrees in the afternoons, with high offshore winds to 30-plus knots from the west and red tide colored water in the low-50s.
MAGDALENA BAY, MEXICO: Gary Graham of Baja On The Fly said the best action inside Magdalena Bay last week was for grouper and corvina to the north at Puerto Lopez Mateos. Some snook were caught at Los Barriles but commercial pangueros were netting heavily at Devil's Curve. There was a heavy concentration of pelagic red crab, or langostilla, at the San Carlos entrada, suppressing the bite there, although plenty of fish were present. Waters offshore of Magdalena Bay continued rough and windy. Magdalena Bay weather was in the high-70s with water temperatures at 60 to 66 degrees.
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Larry Edwards of Cortez Yacht Charters reported on 43 outings by Gaviota Fleet and the Cabo charter boats Fish Cabo and Fish Cabo I, with a catch including released fish of: 49 striped marlin, 9 dorado, 11 yellowfin tuna, and 3 wahoo. At midweek, Capt. Juan Dominguez of the Gaviota VII had a super-hot day with 13 billfish released out of 14 landed. "Early in the week the fishing was very good close to Cabo," Edwards said, "but they were noncooperative. The fish on the 95 and above to Destiladeras were more eager to bite." Cabo San Lucas water temperatures were at 64 to 65 degrees on the Pacific side, meeting 76-degree water beginning at Cabo Falso and extending into the Sea of Cortez.
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Jim Dillon of Salvador's Sportfishing reported on 13 outings by the Cabo San Lucas charter boats El Budster, El Budster I, and El Budster II, with a catch including released fish of: 8 striped marlin, and 2 dorado of 25 to 30 pounds. "Warm currents from the south of Cabo have brought thousands of 12-inch squid into the Cabo fishing area," Dillon said. "The fish are feeding on the squid, the result being a lot less fish are being caught."
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Tommy Garcia of Cabo Magic reported on 100 charter boats, with a catch including released fish of: 34 striped marlin, 15 dorado, 6 yellowfin tuna, 12 yellowtail, 132 sierra, 12 jack crevalle, 1 needlefish, 4 roosterfish, 1 mako shark, and 24 boats skunked.
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: George Landrum of Fly Hooker Sportfishing said waning north winds on the Pacific side of Cabo San Lucas brought water temperatures at the Jaime and Golden Gate Banks up to 73 to 74 degrees, but billfish action was generally slower. "The marlin bite really fell off this week for most of the fleet," Landrum said. "If I had to guess, it would be that 30 to 40 percent of the boats were able to get a release." Some blue marlin, including a fish reported at 820 pounds, were caught around the 95 spot. Tuna and dorado continued scattered. Inshore fishing was very good for sierra plus roosterfish to about 15 pounds chasing small mullet along Pacific side beaches.
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Charlie Whitesell of Cabo San Lucas said his friend Doug Ridges of Park City, Utah, fished aboard the charter panga Cheers with Capt. Ramon Druk and had a great inshore day while along Solmar beach for amberjack, skipjack, roosterfish, pompano, ladyfish, and 11 sierra.
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: The Rolex/IGFA Offshore Championship tournament scheduled for Cabo San Lucas on May 7-12, 2006, announced that 64 teams from 33 countries were scheduled to fish in the release format billfish event. The teams will draw for different local boats each day and will be fishing for three species of marlin, blue, black and striped, plus broadbill swordfish, sailfish and spearfish. Catches will be scored and released alive at the boat in accordance with the IGFA tournament rules. The teams will also receive points per pound for tuna, wahoo and dorado, up to 2 fish of each species per day, and all anglers will use 30-pound Momoi fishing line.
SAN JOSE DEL CABO (LOS CABOS), MEXICO: Eric Brictson of Gordo Banks Pangas reported on 74 combined La Playita fleet pangas fishing at San Jose del Cabo, with a catch of: 6 striped marlin, 4 dorado, 3 wahoo, 210 yellow snapper, 145 sierra, 90 triggerfish, 14 dog snapper, 12 pargo colorado, 32 cabrilla, 14 african pompano, 4 island jack, 8 roosterfish, 22 jack crevalle, and 12 amberjack. San Jose del Cabo weather was at 90 degrees with some north wind and water temperatures at about 74 degrees. Available live bait included mackerel and caballito at Cabo San Lucas, and local pangas with sardina and mullet, plus large concentrations of pelagic red crab, or langostilla, offshore that slowed the bite on artificials as the La Playita panga fleet fished mostly closer to shore for mixed species.
SAN JOSE DEL CABO (LOS CABOS), MEXICO: Species fishing specialist John Snow of San Jose del Cabo reported very slow fishing last week for the La Playita beach launched panga fleet. "Fishing is dead!" Snow said. "It's like the old days, no one fishing but me!" Snow said he did land a 30-pound class shark, probably a scalloped hammerhead shark, last week, but there were 5 possible species and the shark was released before it could be photographed. "Taking a picture of a 30-pound thrashing beast was simply not possible," Snow said.
SAN JOSE DEL CABO (LOS CABOS), MEXICO: For the previous week, Bob Lewis of San Jose del Cabo launched his boat Dos Gueros out of Cabo San Lucas and blanked during a day of trolling about 8 to 14 miles out on a heading of about 150 degrees. "Reports of lots of marlin, some wahoo and some dorado got me excited," Lewis said. "I trolled the whole tackle box and saw lots of boats but no fish." The La Playita panga fleet at San Jose del Cabo was catching mostly small huachinango of 2 to 4 pounds, averaging about 10 to 20 fish per boat. Water temperatures were at 75 degrees on the beach and 71 to 73 degrees farther out. "There were a few dorado and 2 wahoo one day last week outside the Gordo but not large numbers," Lewis said. "I expect things could break open here soon as the water warms up."
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: Axel Valdez of Buena Vista Beach Resort reported on East Cape charter fishing 50 boats, with 145 anglers and a catch including released fish of: 11 striped marlin, 5 dorado, 17 yellowfin tuna, 1 roosterfish, 194 snapper, 1 jack crevalle, 8 amberjack, 22 bonito, 23 ladyfish, 5 pompano, 1 triggerfish, 25 cabrilla, 2 skipjack tuna, and 18 sierra. "The inshore continues to save the day with plenty of snappers in front of Punta Pescadero and Rancho Leonero," Valdez said. "The cabrilla bite slowed down a little but there was a pompano that we will summit for a world record."
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: John Ireland of Rancho Leonero said, "It was a tough fishing week with unusually late north winds shutting down boat departures for 3 days. Otherwise, fishing was about the same as last week, with striped marlin, sailfish, and some tuna and dorado outside, and a strong inshore bite continuing on pargo, sierra, roosterfish and pompano." Billfish were located about 10 to 20 miles out, from the Punta Arena lighthouse to Cabo Pulmo, and yellowfin tuna to about 30 pounds were about 20 miles out. Kayak anglers fishing inshore did well on roosterfish to 30 pounds from La Ribera to the lighthouse, plus sierra, pargos, jacks, and pompano. East Cape weather was in the mid-80s, with some wind, and water temperatures of 71 to 73 degrees.
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: Gary Graham of Baja On The Fly reported more good results and improving conditions for East Cape anglers fishing inshore. Fly tackle angler Brett Phillips of Oregon fished from a panga no more than a few hundred yards from shore and scored on species including pargo, grouper, jack crevalle, needlefish, black skipjack, roosterfish, and a gafftopsail pompano that he was submitting for an IGFA all-tackle record. "East Cape saw continuing improvement for inshore fishermen," Graham said. "Decent amounts of bait including mullet and sardina are beginning to show, making for some exciting inshore days." Graham said so far the bait is concentrated off Punta Pescadero to the north and Punta Colorada to the south. Offshore boats worked heavy concentrations of striped marlin that were reluctant to bite due to plentiful squid in the water. East Cape weather was in the low-90s, with light winds and water temperatures at 68 to 77 degrees.
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: Torrance Eddy of Buena Vista said his commercial panguero friends did well last week while night fishing for red snapper, amberjack, mixed bass species, porgy, triggerfish, and whitefish. "On Friday night my panguero friends caught 144 pounds of primarily red snapper and 40 pounds of amberjack," Eddy said. The red snappers averaged 7 pounds each. Last night, they caught 148 pounds of red snapper. The reason I think that the catching caught on was the availability of 12 to 14-inch squid. These fish are very choosey about bait."
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: Ash Pickering of the Vista Sea Sport dive service at Buena Vista said East Cape winds brought water temperatures of 71 to 74 degrees and poor visibility to the Cabo Pulmo marine park last week. Diving trips north to the Cerralvo Island area found several varieties of mating nudibranchs. Seasonal changes included a thinning out of guitarfish and more large grouper in the 4-foot range appearing. Pickering said, "With current weather predictions, we are looking forward to a warmer, clearer week."
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: For the week ending April 20, 2006, Chris Moyers of East Cape Smoke House reported on 105 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 299 anglers and a catch including released fish of: 43 striped marlin, 2 sailfish, 26 dorado, 113 yellowfin tuna, 1 pargo, and 2 cabrilla. "The fishing really sucked this past week," Moyers said. "With the exception of a decent yellowfin tuna bite there wasn't much going on." East Cape weather was mostly calm in the mid-90s, with water temperatures of 70 to 78 degrees.
LA PAZ, MEXICO: Leonard Phillips of Baja Pirates Fleet said last week's hot roosterfish action on the La Paz side included a fish per rod for the 14-member Dale Empey group from St. George, Utah. "Cabrilla action has been wide-open on the north end of Espiritu Santo Island," Phillips said. "Michael Oliphant from Sacramento landed a 20-pound golden cabrilla." Pargo action was flat, but yellowtails were caught on the north end of the island near the sea lion colony. La Paz side weather was mostly calm in the high-80s, with some south breezes and water temperatures at 70 to 74 degrees.
LA PAZ, MEXICO: Jonathan Roldan of Tailhunter International reported up-and-down action in the La Paz area last week as some anglers got into the big roosterfish bite north of town at Isla Espiritu Santo, and other anglers on the Las Arenas side to the south found some dorado, sailfish, pargo, cabrilla, and a few yellowfin tuna that showed briefly but then scattered. "The roosterfish bite north of town was incredible with fish foaming all around the boats and busting guys off as these 20 to 50-pound fish went nuts," Roldan said. "There were high and low points all week as La Paz fishing waters seemed to be transitioning into warmer conditions and the fish were taking awhile to get used to it." La Paz fishing water was cloudy with plankton blooms in some areas and water temperatures in the mid-70s to low-80s.
LA PAZ, MEXICO: Roldan also noted that Aerocalifornia, which was shutdown in April, was scheduled last week to resume flights about May 8-10, 2006. "I have to remember it's not them that's keeping them from getting in the air," Roldan said. "Until they get clearance from certain Mexican agencies, it looks really weird to see all their planes lined up wingtip to wingtip on the tarmac at La Paz airport."
LA PAZ, MEXICO: Over the Easter holiday, Al Palomino and his wife Diane of Moorpark fished the Las Arenas side with Fisherman's Fleet on the panga Suenos with Capt. Lalo, running out to the southwest corner of Isla Cerralvo for at catch of: 3 pargo in the 30-pound class, a 20-pound jack crevalle, 2 cabrilla of 8 to 10 pounds, plus some smaller cabrilla and 8 mixed snapper species. Palomino said they flew to La Paz on Aeromexico because of the Aerocalifornia shutdown, "There was very light fishing pressure in La Paz, of course, because no one could get down there."
MULEGE, MEXICO: Aaron Smith of Destination Surf in Encinitas reported on a Baja run last week, saying, "Mex 1 is in good shape and they have been working on turnouts for people to pull over. Some are paved, and others are just graded dirt but nice." Diving in Baja Sur waters at Punta Concepcion near Mulege, Smith said groups of 2 to 5 yellowtail were seen about 15 to 30 feet deep and 7 yellowtail to 28 pounds were speared in calm conditions and a water temperature close to 70 degrees.
MULEGE, MEXICO: For the previous week, Chuck Decker of Tucson and his group fished bird schools about 5 miles off Punta Chivato with Capt. Alex of the Hotel Serenidad for 15 yellow of 5 to 12 pounds, plus 2 more yellowtail over 20 pounds. "Alex had his own boat, really knew what he was doing and spoke good English," Decker said. "We fished Saturday all day about 5 miles off Punta Chivato where the birds where working." Decker's group, including Mike Winder of Newport Beach, Jim Winder of Ogden, Utah, and Bill Waltz of Anaheim Hills, fished again the following day, but ran into 15 to 20 m.p.h. winds and caught just 1 cabrilla.
MULEGE, MEXICO: For the previous week, Gary Thomas of Tracy, Calif., reported local Mulege boats catching a couple of yellowtail per day out of several hookups, plus good numbers of cabrilla and pinto bass or spotted cabrilla. "A typical day should be 1 to 2 yellowtail, 3 to 5 cabrilla, and 3 to 5 pinto bass," Thomas said. Capt. Alex of the Hotel Serenidad fished at Islas Santa Inez for a catch of 17 firecracker yellowtail to about 6 pounds, 1 yellowtail in the 25-pound class, and a couple of cabrilla and pinto bass. At Isla San Marcos, Capt. Mateo reported 7 yellowtail of about 20 pounds at Isla San Marcos, 5 on mackerel and 2 on jigs.
SANTA ROSALIA, MEXICO: Ed Hogan of San Bruno south of Santa Rosalia reported on an excellent day of yellowtail action Saturday at the Isla San Marcos bajos with fellow anglers Bob Bourgeois and Phil Davidson, both of Escondido, Calif. Hogan fished in 200 feet of water for 8 yellowtail of 18 to 24 pounds and was back at his house by 10:30 a.m. "We made bait early, mackerel in 40 feet of water in front of the haystack," Hogan said. "Four of the fish were caught on the bottom and the others were surface fish, all on live bait." Santa Rosalia weather was calm at 75 degrees, with no swell and a water temperature of 67 degrees.
SANTA ROSALIA, MEXICO: Mike Kanzler of Isla San Marcos reported variable weather at 80 degrees, water temperatures of 70 to 71 degrees, dirty water color, and fishing very slow in the Santa Rosalia area last week. Danny "Piojo Loco" Chiquete fished the 110 bajo north of the island at midweek for 2 yellowtail on 4 hits, and again for a skunked trip on Friday. "Fishing was very slow and so it was a perfect time to visit a place I've never been and always wanted to see and also to see good friends," Kanzler said after his visit to fish Baja's Pacific side at Estero de Coyote, Punta Abreojos, and La Bocana last week. "I'll know more about fishing here starting today. I have 3 straight fishing days with James Cruz of COMSA and his family."
SANTA ROSALIA, MEXICO: Kanzler also announced the dates for this year's third annual Isla San Marcos Yellowtail Shootout benefit fishing tournament to be held at the island with fishing days on Saturday and Sunday, May 20-21, 2006, plus a recommended captains' meeting at San Lucas Cove on the Friday before. Entry fees are $30 per angler, plus an optional $10 side pot, Kanzler said, and local guides and boats may be available. All proceeds from the tournament will benefit the island's Children of Isla San Marcos Athletics Program. Information: Mike Kanzler, email@example.com; and Rick Barber, firstname.lastname@example.org.
BAHIA DE LOS ANGELES, MEXICO: At Bahia de los Angeles, Capt. Igor Galvan of the charter boat Igor's II said he fished off the south end of Isla Angel de la Guarda at the end of the week for yellowtail that he called "very, very, very small." Water color at the island was green at 63 degrees.
BAHIA DE LOS ANGELES, MEXICO: John Migeot of Mission Viejo reported on a run to Bahia de los Angeles with Mike Rogalla, fishing locally around the bay in Rogalla's 15-foot aluminum boat for scarce bait and lots of croakers around Punta Arena in green, 69-degree water. Migeot said the L.A. Bay road was in excellent condition, "The road from the junction has to be the best road in Mexico right now. We arrived at Bahia de los Angeles at 2 p.m. and we were fishing by 4:30." A 29-foot panga out of Guillermo's ran south to Las Animas for good bait and small yellowtail. Bahia de los Angeles weather was warm and beautiful and Migeot said he ran into no checkpoints on the trip down.
BAHIA DE LOS ANGELES, MEXICO: Chris Pennington of San Diego reported being checked for his Mexican fishing license while fishing during mid-May on a local panga at the southeast corner of Isla Ventana at Bahia de los Angeles. A companion panga was also checked. "The panga with the officials came from the southeast side of La Ventana," Pennington said. "There were 3 men on board, 1 with a shotgun and uniform, 1 with an official looking badge, and 1 local panguero as skipper. They checked both boats at the same time and then proceeded up towards Isla Coronado. For the first time in 8 years we didn't have our Mexican fishing licenses with us and as luck would have it we got checked. I've read 'The Baja Catch' enough times to know what the consequences could have been, but I am happy to report that we were let off with a stern warning. You can bet our licenses will be in our tackle boxes next trip!"
SAN FELIPE, MEXICO: Ed Valov, charter master of the first trip of the year for the San Felipe panga mothership Jose Andres of Tony Reyes Fishing Tours, reported cool but generally good weather for the early season Midriff Islands fishing run ending April 28, 2006. About 80 yellowtail were caught, mostly small ones to about 13 pounds, off Isla Angel de la Guarda. A few larger yellowtail to about 18 pounds were also caught at San Francisquito. "Bait was very hard to come by south with the cool water," Valov said, "but was easily obtained near Gonzaga Bay." About 50 giant squid were also caught near San Francisquito. Most cabrilla were caught with MirrOlure 111MRs, including some to about 13 pounds. Fishing at the Enchanted Islands was slow. "As always, the crew aboard the Jose Andres was great and the boat is in the best shape I have seen it in the 20 something years I have been going," Valov said. "If you are thinking about doing this trip go for it. It is really true, "There are no bad days."
SAN FELIPE, MEXICO: Andrea Velez of Baja Sportfishing, Inc., reported on a 6-day Midriff Islands trip by the panga mothership Erik, returning to San Felipe on April 27, 2006, with a catch of: 170 yellowtail, 230 cabrilla, 17 pargo, 2 grouper of about 40 pounds, and 80 giant squid. The Erik found cold water and slow fishing conditions at the islands, and better action near the Baja shoreline while fishing Midriff locations including, San Francisquito, Isla San Esteban, Bahia de los Angeles, Ensenada Grande, San Bernabe Rock, Bahia San Luis Gonzaga, and the Golden Reef.
SAN FELIPE, MEXICO: At San Felipe, Catalina Meders of the Title Company Bookstore said Sunday weather was sunny and blue in the mid-70s, with the water temperature in the bay at 72 degrees. San Felipe was very crowded with visitors for the Mexican Labor Day holiday weekend and the beaches were filling with people. Meders said she recently located the hot spring located on the beach near town. "A friend and I went for a walk on the beach at low tide the other day and we found the hot springs right below the shrine for the Virgin Of Guadalupe," she said. "The water surrounding the small mountain there is very warm and bubbles up in hundreds of small jets. It resembles an expensive spa. We'll be going back a lot."
ROCKY POINT, MEXICO: Shawn Gustafson of Chandler, Ariz., reported on a late-April run out of Rocky Point to the 51-mile reef by his 23-foot boat Murphy Girl, fishing 270 feet deep in calm seas for a catch of 12 red snapper to 16 pounds, a sawtail grouper of 30 pounds, and 12 goldspotted bass. Gustafson said he made mackerel bait 109 to 116 feet deep at the 10-mile reef on a 190-degree heading from the harbor before heading south. "We caught small pacific mackerel, four to five at a time," Gustafson said. "They were all about 7 inches long. We always catch a variety of fish on the bottom there, mostly spotted bay bass, grunts, barred serrano and lizardfish, but prefer to use the mackerel for bait. We didn't catch any sardines this trip. It wasn't long before our live well was full of bait, so we started the long ride out to the 51 mile reef.
"We anchored up close to the main waypoint and immediately started getting bit. The goldspotted bass catch continued for the next half-hour or so. Then the red snappers started biting. The action was fast and furious.
"We decided to call it a day before 3 p.m. and returned to the Rocky Point marina. We had filled a 120-quart cooler and both fish wells to capacity. We headed back to shore in flat seas and saw hundreds of dolphins along the way. We only saw one other boat fishing the 51-mile reef that day."
SAN CARLOS, MEXICO: Craig Collins of the San Carlos boat No Sniveling said he would be fishing on Thursday as warming waters brought hopes of dorado and other migrating pelagic species to the area. "If it's warmed up 2 degrees by then, it should be a bonanza," Calvert said. "There is something magical about 180 degrees. Even in that deep bowl of featureless water, there are almost always fish at 180. After 30 miles, I would turn west if I came up lacking fish."
For the previous Saturday, Calvert said, "A large number of sport fishing boats fanned out from San Carlos on headings from 155 to 210 degrees in search of the warmest water. No Sniveling was the lone boat on the far inside, fishing 155 to 165 degrees from 30 to 42 miles out. It proved to be the wrong strategy. Many San Carlos boats reported crossing over 70-degree water as close as 6 to 8 miles from the harbor. Many boats were reporting keeper sized dorado mixed in with the plentiful peanuts, but No Sniveling did not manage to put any in the box. There were a couple of reports of billfish sightings but no reported strikes or hookups. We did manage to use up our 20 ballyhoo over the day, mostly bit by the small dorado."
MAZATLAN, MEXICO: Larry Edwards of Cortez Yacht Charters reported on 36 offshore outings by Aries Fleet at Mazatlan, with a catch including released fish of: 3 sailfish, 10 striped marlin, 33 yellowfin tuna, 1 hammerhead shark, and 34 dorado. Six inshore super pangas had a catch of: 4 baqueta, 25 barracuda, 18 triggerfish, 5 conejos, and 60 red snapper. "The big change this week was the influx of dorado and yellowfin tuna," Edwards said. "They demonstrate the warming of Mazatlan fishing waters offshore and the likelihood of the typical May dorado saturation of the area." Mazatlan weather was partly cloudy at 90 degrees, with water temperatures of 71 to 72 degrees inshore and 76 degrees in the best offshore fishing areas about 25 miles west and southwest of Marina el Cid.
PUERTO VALLARTA, MEXICO: Danny Quinonez of PV Marlin Sportfishing said the Puerto Vallarta charter boat Lorena found action for sailfish and striped marlin at Roca Corbeteña and Sayulita last week, as 3 outings turned in a catch including released fish of: 2 striped marlin, 5 sailfish, and 1 dorado over 20 pounds. Inshore trips to Punta Mita produced pargo, jack crevalle, and amberjack on the bottom. "We have been catching and releasing sails and marlin on just about all of our longer trips of 8 to 12 hours," Quinonez said. "The tuna are still a ways out but we hope they will be moving in shortly as the season progresses. We heard one of the boats got into some small 40-pounders about 65 miles out. There are plenty of pargo around the Punta de Mita area." Puerto Vallarta seas were mostly calm, with water temperatures at 72 to 75 degrees.
PUERTO VALLARTA, MEXICO: Danny Osuna of Marla's Sportfishing reported sailfish caught during several runs off Puerto Vallarta by the charter boat Marla III with Capt. Scott Osuna. Fishing about 20 miles north of Punta Mita in mostly calm seas and a water temperature of 84 degrees produced sailfish for anglers John McKenny of Florida, Richard Greene, and Don Woods. "We found sailfish all over the area feeding like crazy," Osuna said. "These fish are nailing all types of live bait, caballitos, mackerel and sardinas. In 2 days we ended up releasing 12 sailfish, 2 striped marlin, and catching 12 small dorados."
IXTAPA ZIHUATANEJO, MEXICO: Art Coleman of Temecula fished 3 days, April 22-24, 2006, on the Ixtapa Zihuatanejo charter boat Whiskey III with Capt. Arturo and managed to release 1 sailfish about 22 miles out on his last day. "Tough fishing!" Coleman said. "There was green, cool water out to about 15 miles, then you would find currents of warmer blue water. Captain Arturo did a great job trying to find us fish. He never gave up looking. I can't say enough about the effort he put in. All in all, we had a great time and can't wait to go back." Ixtapa Zihuatanejo weather was mostly calm in the low-90s, with the water temperature about 78 degrees, and about 15 boats were fishing daily out of Zihuatanejo Bay.
IXTAPA ZIHUATANEJO, MEXICO: Ed Kunze, reporting for Baja On The Fly, said 82-degree clean water was about 8 to 9 miles outside Zihuatanejo Bay, deep blue water was 20 miles out, and most boats were working about 18 to 20 miles out for 1 to 2 sailfish per day, some smaller yellowfin tuna, and a 150-pound blue marlin by Capt. Adan. "Capt. Santiago of the panga Gitana said schools of yellowfin tuna are out around the 1,000-fathom curve 30 miles out and are about ready to move in for our annual May run," Kunze said. Capt. Martin of the charter panga Isamar had a good day for his fly fishing client, with a catch of: 30 green jacks, about 15 jack crevalle, and 20 black skipjack, all in the 2 to 5-pound range and caught with a small white fly. Ixtapa Zihuatanejo weather was clear in the mid-80s, with water temperatures of 78 to 84 degrees.
CANCUN, MEXICO: Larry Edwards of Cortez Yacht Charters reported on 10 short, 4-hour fishing outings by the Marina el Cid Caribe fleet at Puerto Morelos near Cancun, with a catch including released fish of: 4 sailfish, 15 dorado, 2 wahoo of 40 to 50 pounds, 4 barracuda, and 5 dog snapper. Fishing was very close to marina, Edwards said, beginning just 2 miles offshore. "It just takes the boats a few minutes to get to the fishing grounds," he said. Cancun fishing area weather was in the low-90s with some afternoon wind chop from the southeast and a water temperature of 82 degrees.