Dorado chewing in fishing action at Puerto Vallarta's Punta Mita

Mexico Fishing News, May 22, 2006



PUERTO VALLARTA, MEXICO: Danny Quinonez of PV Marlin Sportfishing reported on 5 outings by the Puerto Vallarta charter boat Lorena with Capt. Michael Ochoa, fishing offshore about 14 to 18 miles north of Punta Mita and twice inside Bahia de Banderas for very good dorado action with a catch including released fish of: 53 dorado including 1 at 40 pounds, many jack crevalle and bonita, and many other dorado missed.

After fishing Saturday, Quinonez said, "We found the 85-degree water again about 20 miles past Punta De Mita and we really had some fun. Alan Hertz and crew on a great 10-hour trip landed 27 dorado. The dorado (also mahi-mahi or dolphinfish) have been congregating around anything floating out there. It makes for some fun fishing.

"On the 15th, we had some bad seas offshore and all the boats were forced to fish inside the bay or beat themselves to death. We chose to stay inside and found some nice schools of big jack crevalle." Puerto Vallarta fishing area water temperatures offshore were warming at 84 to 85 degrees.

PUERTO VALLARTA, MEXICO: Danny Gomez of Dhamar Sportfishing reported on 2 charters by his Puerto Vallarta super panga Dhamar last week, fishing in water of about 80 degrees, 19 miles off Punta Mita for a combined catch of 17 dorado of 20 to 35 pounds, plus a 45-pound roosterfish caught on a reef close to the point by deckhand German. "The water is still a little off color, but it's a matter of 2 weeks and the fishing is going to go off," Gomez said. "We also spotted sailfish and striped marlin."

PUERTO VALLARTA, MEXICO: Danny Osuna of Marla's Sportfishing said his 3 Puerto Vallarta charter boats, Marla II, Marla III, and Arca de Noe, were all dry docked for annual maintenance and upgrades last week in preparation for the upcoming big tuna season expected from June through December. "Everything is being checked well, and we will have the boats running good for the season," Osuna said. "We are working very carefully. A lot of great memories on these boats."

The Marla III made a post-maintenance check-out run offshore with Capt. Scott Osuna and found heavy dorado action 20 to 30 miles northwest of Punta Mita, in mostly calm seas and a water temperature of 85 degrees. "They caught their limits right away," Osuna said. "The FADs are full of dorado. A lot of dorado."

In other mainland Mexico and Baja fishing action this week:



ENSENADA, MEXICO: Ivan Villarino of Vonny's Fleet said his pangas fished the tip of Punta Banda every day last week, finding cloudy but mostly calm conditions, water temperatures at 60 degrees, and continued bottom fish limits or near limits for most boats on many calico bass, red rockcod, lingcod, Humboldt squid, and mixed fish species, but no yellowtail. Anglers fishing with Capts. Beto, Hector, and Vicente Flores during the week on the Vonny I, Vonny II, and Vonny III included: Brian Foley of Punta Banda, Vance Anderson of Utah, Aron Anderson and Ju Kim of Los Angeles, a group from the Ventura County Sport Fishing Club, Colin and Harley Culbert, Patrick and Kevin Brenan of Los Angeles, and James Caro and Mario Quintana of Ontario, Calif.

ENSENADA, MEXICO: For the previous weekend, Sergio Susarrey of Sergio's Ensenada Sportfishing Center reported on 26 anglers fishing aboard the charter boats Shir-Lee and El Cazador, with a catch of: 47 bonito, 74 lingcod, 107 rockcod, and 14 sheephead.

ENSENADA, MEXICO: Brian Foley of Punta Banda noted the passing of Ensenada's Capt. Cruz Zamora, a longtime lead captain with Vonny's Fleet, on May 9, 2006. "Today I picked up my latest issue of Western Outdoor News," Foley said. "In it, Gene Kira mentioned the passing of Cruz Zamora one of Vonny's Fleet's great captains. I was fortunate enough to know Cruz for almost 30 years. Before he began working with Ivan Villarino, he and his son Beto fished commercially from the Rivera area in Punta Banda for many years. I began fishing there in 1975 and went out with a multitude of captains, many of whom were suggested to me by the late Fred Hoctor. I tried, unsuccessfully at the time, to get Cruz to take me out because he and Beto always brought in the biggest catch at the end of each fishing day. When Cruz opted to become part of the Vonny's Fleet operation I finally got my long awaited chance to fish with him. The fishing was wonderful, but getting to know him was even better. Cruz was the epitome of a gentleman, a bona fide gentleman that I never heard yell or even raise his voice. He was a great fisherman, and a better person. I can only hope that he's pulling on a 40-pound yellowtail in a calm sea, and that there are several hundred others ready to chew for him. --Brian Foley, Punta Banda, Baja California, Mexico.



PUERTO SANTO TOMAS, MEXICO: Ken Jones of Long Beach and friends Todd, Rudy, and Steve fished on a panga with Capt. Marcos out of Puerto Santo Tomas Resort for a nice assortment of rockfish and 1 mackerel caught by trolling through a surface flurry of anchovies. "Something pushed a huge school of anchovies to the surface and got the birds excited," Jones said. "No other fish seemed to be biting, although maybe that's still a good sign for future fishing." Puerto Santo Tomas seas were mostly calm with some occasional large swells. Shore fishing on the trails north of Punta Santo Tomas was difficult due to surf and churned up water but Jones said, "We caught a couple of nice 2 to 3-pound calico bass right in front of our house for a great dinner on the barbecue."

PUERTO SANTO TOMAS, MEXICO: Sam Saenz of Puerto Santo Tomas Resort reported the lower valley road from Mex 1 in good condition after a recent regrading. "It looks like we are now getting better grading support as the agriculture farming corporations now have grading equipment," Saenz said. "They do most of the planting along Santo Tomas Canyon. This helps out the Punta China cement plant, as previously they were the only group that carried out road grading."

Construction on the new boat launching ramp on the south side of the point was progressing slowly, Saenz said. The commercial sea urchin and lobster seasons were over and some pangueros were working on sea cucumber. Not much live fish trapping was being done by locals, although a 30-foot fish trapping boat from Ensenada was working the area. One local gill netter was also working. The tuna pen operation was gone.



ERENDIRA, MEXICO: Fernando Castro of Castro's Camp reported 23 boats fishing out of Erendira, Baja Calfornia, south of Ensenada during the week for a variety of species including red rockcod, whitefish, lingcod, bonita, and barracuda, plus about 20 yellowtail. Castro's Camp boats fished in water temperatures of 60 to 63 degrees, with generally very clear color but with some small patches of red tide here and there that did not interfere with the fishing. "We are also seeing white seabass now," Castro said, "but they still don't want to bite." Erendira weather was very good all week, with calm seas, some occasional clouds, and continued very heavy bait in the water.



SAN QUINTIN, MEXICO: Pete Hillis of Pedro's Pangas said many late week boats were canceled last week due to the temporary blockage at the U.S. border, but as of midweek boats were still catching yellowtail at Isla San Martin and lots of rockcod at the 240 and 15 spots. Work on the new San Quintin launch ramp and new pier at the Old Mill complex on the inner bay was progressing. "The launch ramp is almost complete," Hillis said. "It is wide enough to launch 2 boats at once and this time it looks as if it has been done correctly. The forms are set for the new pier but had not been poured as of Wednesday. The lumber is onsite for the new loading dock and pier."



BAJA CALIFORNIA, MEXICO: Jim Lenthall of Los Frailes reported on a recent near full-length Baja peninsula run down Mex 1 in his Ford F-350 diesel pickup, noting that he found the price of diesel fuel in Baja to be only $1.79 per gallon. "Gas prices were not as dramatically lower but unleaded was 6.29 pesos/liter or $2.17/gallon and Premium was 7.43 pesos/liter or $2.57/gallon," Lenthall said. "The state-owned Pemex does not appear to be gouging its customers like our American oil companies." Lenthall said he did not fish at Los Frailes due to outboard motor problems, but many roosterfish were seen working large bait schools in Bahia los Frailes in windless conditions. Mex-1, Baja California's Transpeninsular Highway, was in good condition except for work being done south of Ciudad Constitucion and south of La Paz.

BAJA CALIFORNIA, MEXICO: Reports were received from Baja fishing areas on Baja's Pacific and Sea of Cortez coasts of over-limit catches demanded by tourists anglers when fishing with charter sportfishing pangueros who would not otherwise catch so many fish. One observer in a semi-remote Baja fishing location said, "Some anglers do not pay attention to the fishing limits. On some days when the fish bite is hot, pangas can bring in 2 or 3 sacks of fish, which is an overkill. The pangueros sometimes try to drift away from the better fishing holes once the sportfishing tourist has a full sack or so, but now some are bringing their GPS units and they cannot be fooled easily by the pangueros. They demand the panguero to go back to the fishing hole. This overkill fishing in Baja is like hunting buffalo for the skins."



MAGDALENA BAY, MEXICO: Bill Erhardt of Loreto trailered his new boat Soledad across the Baja peninsula and fished May 13, 2006, out of Puerto Lopez Mateos on Magdalena Bay with Capt. Ruben Duran for very slow offshore action at the Thetis Bank and just a few bonita of 6 to 8 pounds caught about 10 miles offshore. "I was expecting to find yellowfin and hoping for some early wahoo, dorado or marlin," Erhardt said. "About 10 miles from the Thetis Bank we found porpoise and birds and it looked like tuna for sure. We kept going to the high spot. We found no other boats in the area. An hour of trolling yielded nothing. We then tried a reef closer to the island where Ruben often catches grouper and struck out there too. I guess this is why we found no other boats out there." Offshore seas were at 3 to 5 feet, with light wind, and Magdalena Bay fishing area water temperatures were at 62 degrees at the Thetis Bank and 63 degrees at Boca de Soledad near Puerto Lopez Mateos.

MAGDALENA BAY, MEXICO: Gary Graham of Baja On The Fly reported Magdalena Bay mangrove channels at Devil's Curve and Puerto Lopez Mateos producing some smaller snook and the San Carlos entrada with schools of smaller yellowtail biting under birds. "There are still plenty of corvina throughout Magdalena Bay and lots of halibut in the shallows near any sandy beach," Graham said. "Several palometa amarilla were caught near the boca above Lopez Mateos." Magdalena Bay sportfishing area weather was in the high-70s, with water temperatures at 60 to 69 degrees.



CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Larry Edwards of Cortez Yacht Charters reported on 41 outings by Gaviota Fleet and the Cabo San Lucas sportfishing charter boats Fish Cabo and Fish Cabo I, with a catch including released fish of: 41 striped marlin, 30 yellowfin tuna, 12 dorado. The Gaviota IV was the top boat for the fleet, with 7 striped marlin releases in 5 outings. "Lots of billfish being are being seen most everywhere around Cabo San Lucas," Edwards said, "but the 1150 spot seemed to provide the biters." Cabo San Lucas fishing area weather was in the high-90s, continued windy on the Pacific side with water temperatures of 63 to 67 degrees, and calm on the Sea of Cortez side with water temperatures of 75 to 79 degrees.

CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Jim Dillon of Salvador's Sportfishing reported on 17 outings by the Cabo San Lucas charter boats El Budster, El Budster I, and El Budster II, with a catch including released fish of: 17 striped marlin, 30 yellowfin tuna of 20 to 25 pounds, 11 dorado of 15 to 25 pounds, 1 hammerhead shark of 40 pounds, and 1 mako shark of 40 pounds.

CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: George Landrum of Fly Hooker Sportfishing reported rapidly warming water on the Cortez side of Cabo up to 83 degrees and water on the Pacific side still green and ranging from the mid-60s to about 71 degrees at the Jaime Bank. Plenty of striped marlin were in the area as boats fishing in the inaugural World Championship Billfish Catch and Release Tournament averaged about 3 stripers per day. "The top team released 30 striped marlin in 3 days of fishing and believes they threw bait to over 100 fish per day," Landrum said. "It was difficult to find hungry fish. The fish were feeding at night and stuffing themselves on squid."

CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Tommy Garcia of Cabo Magic reported a week's catch of: 56 striped marlin, 60 dorado, 133 yellowfin tuna, 25 sierra, 3 wahoo, 2 cabrilla, 10 jack crevalle, and 7 boats skunked.



SAN JOSE DEL CABO, MEXICO: Eric Brictson of Gordo Banks Pangas reported on 93 combined La Playita charter sportfishing fleet pangas at San Jose del Cabo, Baja California, Sur, with a catch of: 146 mixed pargo species, 16 striped marlin, 26 dorado, 7 wahoo, 26 yellowfin tuna, 11 cabrilla, 18 pompano, 6 roosterfish, 8 amberjack, 12 jack crevalle, 22 sierra, 46 bonito, and 12 mako shark. San Jose del Cabo fishing area weather was mostly sunny at 90 degrees, with some lingering north winds and water temperatures at 74 to 76 degrees. Mackerel, mullet, and sardina bait was sometimes scarce. Good concentrations of striped marlin were present 3 to 15 miles offshore, but action was spotty due to the abundance of squid bait in the water. Yellowfin tuna action was also hit-or-miss, although some tuna of 150 to 220 pounds were caught on trolled skipjack and bolito baits.

"Red crabs were thick on the surface of the Inner Gordo Bank on several days," Brictson said, "but no consistent action was found for the snapper. It seemed there was just too much natural bait in the water."

SAN JOSE DEL CABO, MEXICO: Species fishing specialist John Snow of San Jose del Cabo reported on 2 surf fishing sessions and 4 panga outings with Capt. Pata of the La Playita panga Salome, all from May 14-28, 2006, with very poor results, no major offshore species caught, and only fish 23 species caught or observed overall, none of them new. "How slow was it?" Snow said. "For the first time in the 6 years since I have been fishing out of La Playita, the fish buyer didn’t show up and the commercial pangueros took up the collection of discarded drink cans at La Playita to make ends meet. The Sea of Cortez continued 'dead as a doornail.'" Snow did note a big run of the rare Eastern Pacific Flagfin at the Inner Gordo Bank off San Jose del Cabo. "Sabiki Rigs generated Eastern Pacific Flagfins, 1.5 inches to 7 inches long from way down deep when we missed Gordo I on the pass-by. I could have caught 1,000 of them if I had wanted. They are reported to live only within a 50-mile radius of San Jose del Cabo," Snow said.



EAST CAPE, MEXICO: Heavy concentrations of sardina and squid bait from Cabo San Lucas to the Sea of Cortez Midriff kept the bite up-and-down in many Baja areas but East Cape cruisers found a consistent, steady pick on striped marlin in good weather conditions last week.

EAST CAPE, MEXICO: Tammy Gaussoin of Rancho Buena Vista reported on 71 East Cape charter fishing boats, with a catch including released fish of: 78 striped marlin, 2 blue marlin, 7 sailfish, 28 roosterfish, 32 dorado, 6 yellowfin tuna, 2 wahoo, and 4 pargo.

EAST CAPE, MEXICO: Jorge Bergin of La Ribera reported slow results on his targeted offshore dorado but good striped marlin action. "Dorado have been few and far between," Bergin said. "There is lots of bait in the water. Way too much. The fish are still full. Two days ago I stayed with a very large pod of small white-sided porpoise for over an hour while they filled up on macarela. Wait until they eat it all. Lots of marlin are being caught and a few sails." Bergin said his neighbor Bob Grant released 7 marlin off the Punta Arena lighthouse earlier in the week.

EAST CAPE, MEXICO: John Ireland of Rancho Leonero reported hotel boats doing well on striped marlin to the north from Punta Pescadero to the 88 Bank off Isla Cerralvo. "There are an amazing number of tailers being sighted and they are biting better this week, averaging more than 2 per boat," Ireland said. "They are taking both live mackerel and lures." Boats also averaged about 1 dorado per outing including some fish in the 40-pound class, Ireland said. Inshore fishing was good for kayakers in front of the hotel on pargo, jacks, and pompano. East Cape weather was calm all week at 90 degrees, with inshore water temperatures at 77 to 79 degrees, and 82 degrees outside.

EAST CAPE, MEXICO: Chris Moyers of East Cape Smoke House reported good striped marlin action in all directions, including north from Punta Pescadero to the 88 Bank, 20 to 25 miles straight out from Los Barriles, and 8 to 15 miles offshore to the south down to Los Frailes. Dorado action was slower and yellowfin tuna remained scattered.

For the week ending May 11, 2006, Moyers reported on 185 mixed fleet boats with 548 anglers and a catch including released fish of: 138 striped marlin, 28 sailfish, 120 dorado, 96 yellowfin tuna, 22 pargo, and 2 roosterfish.

EAST CAPE, MEXICO: Gary Graham of Baja On The Fly reported good supplies of sardina and mullet bait and good opportunities for inshore and beach species including roosterfish, jacks, sierra, pompano, and ladyfish. "Our guides using hookless live bait for teasing from pangas have been raising good numbers of roosterfish," Graham said. "On the beach, sight fishing opportunities are on the increase. It is not uncommon to encounter some big 'cruisers' tight to the shore. The 30 miles of East Cape beaches are providing quality fly fishing opportunities." Offshore fishing was good for marlin and sailfish, plus an occasional dorado. East Cape weather was clear in the low-90s, with water temperatures at 68 to 79 degrees.

EAST CAPE, MEXICO: Mark Rayor of the Vista Sea Sport dive service at Buena Vista fished on his boat Jen Wren with Capt. Chuy Cota and friend Don Oser, and Rayor said he landed a 190-pound class yellowfin tuna after a no-harness, standup fight at the rail lasting 2 hours and 10 minutes on straight 80-pound line. Rayor said the Jen Wren was fishing alone about 25 miles straight off Buena Vista as most of the East Cape fleet ran north to the 88 Bank off Isla Cerralvo. "I hate fishing with the fleet," Rayor said. "On my day off I don't want a guy sitting next to me asking every 5 minutes 'where are the fish.' We were straight out in front of our house all by ourselves with not another boat in sight. I chummed a few sardines and the tuna came crashing but would not eat the jigs. We switched to live bait and started slow trolling sardines and mackerel. The tuna were totally line shy and would not bite anything with a hook in it. We did get a triple hookup on stripers. It didn't make sense to drop to lighter gear. Every time I would throw chum, the bruisers would crash. Chuy and I had decided to make one more pass and call it a day when, wham! This monster boiled on a trolled greenback mackerel. I stood in the corner toe-to-toe with this fish. They are tough and my butt was kicked. Luckily it was hooked perfectly in the corner of the mouth so there was no wear on the straight 80-pound mono. The cramps are finally gone out of my arms."

EAST CAPE, MEXICO: Ash Pickering of Vista Sea Sport said water conditions varied widely last week, with visibility ranging from 15 to 50 feet and water temperatures at depth of 70 to 78 degrees. "Just as we think it's warmed up, the current turns and fools us once again," Pickering said. Sea life sightings at the Cabo Pulmo coral reef marine park included schooling jacks, mating nudibranchs, mobula manta ray, guitarfish, and schools of cruising golden cownosed rays.

EAST CAPE, MEXICO: Jim Sammons of La Jolla Kayak Fishing said his summer East Cape fishing base at Hotel Punta Colorada was getting more kayaks this year. "Van Wormer resorts is bringing in 6 new Ocean Kayaks including 2 Prowler 15s, 2 Prowler 13s and the new Prowler Big Games. Add these to the existing fleet of Scupper Pros, Drifters, and Cabos, and they are set to cover our entire kayak fishing needs," Sammons said. La Jolla Kayak Fishing had limited space available for trips to Hotel Punta Colorada in July, August, and October, including a 5 nights for the price of 4 special on Aug. 28-Sept. 2, 2006. Info: 619-461-7172.



LA PAZ, MEXICO: Leonard Phillips of Baja Pirates Fleet said the first sailfish caught by fleet boats was released last week by angler Sam Walsh of Piru, Calif., who fished off Punta Coyote and also scored on 2 striped marlin and a pair of 35-pound dorado. John Wesley also fished at Punta Coyote and caught dorado at 35 pounds and over. La Paz side weather was mostly calm at 90 degrees, with water temperatures warming at 72 degrees.

LA PAZ, MEXICO: Jonathan Roldan of Tailhunter International said very few tourists were in the La Paz area due to the Aerocalifornia shutdown which was expected to continue at least until the end of May. "I feel badly for so many folks out of work," Roldan said. "It's pretty bad since the airline stopped flying." Some anglers were still fishing and doing well on the south side of the hill. "More marlin are showing up at the Las Arenas and northern East Cape areas," Roldan said. "A lot of our pangas as well as boats from East Cape are working the east side of Isla Cerralvo at the 88 spot where a jag of tuna came through and every few days the marlin and sailfish sitting lazily on the surface decide to chew." Dorado, roosterfish, and pargo continued to bite on the Las Arenas side as well as some quality 20 to 30-pound yellowtail that showed up briefly.

On the La Paz side, fishing remained productive for roosterfish and pargo off Isla Espiritu Santo and some whale shark were seen near the pangas. "Whale sharks are unnerving a few unwary fishermen not accustomed to seeing 30-foot fish come up next to the boats even though they are totally harmless," Roldan said.

LA PAZ, MEXICO: Don Ballentine of San Isidro just south of Ensenada de los Muertos ran his tin boat out past Isla Cerralvo to the 88 Bank and reported a striped marlin caught among some East Cape pangas and cruisers also fishing the area. "I was sorry that I had to bring the marlin in, but he was hooked in the eye," Ballentine said. "It smoked up great. I am not sure why he took the lure because he was stuffed full of small squid. A lot of marlin are being sighted in schools but because of the vast number of squid they are not very hungry. I also went diving just south of Punta Perico. The water was a little murky but there were more pargo colorado than I have seen for several years. Great eating."



LORETO, MEXICO: Bill Erhardt of Loreto, Baja California Sur said early May's spring swarms of peanut dorado thinned out, but action was improving on larger class fish last week "if you are lucky enough to find them and get them to bite." Loreto fishing area water was unseasonably warm, reaching the 80s by afternoon, Erhardt said, and the dorado continued to feed on abundant bait. "All the dorado I have caught this spring spit up squid at the boat and there are also schools of sardines and flying fish to provide an alternative to whatever bait you may be using," Erhardt said. "The best fishing I have found has been 30 to 50 miles north to east of the Loreto marina. The weather has cooperated in making the long runs tolerable."

On Wednesday, Erhardt caught 3 dorado 15 miles off Isla Catalana, plus a 25-pound hen on the way back to Loreto.

On Friday, he caught a 25-pound bull straight out from town and then mined a floating animal carcass for 9 more dorado to 37 pounds. "The fish I caught averaged well over 20 pounds," Erhardt said. "I got a lot of bumps from smaller fish on the marlin feathers but the bigger ones tended to hit and stick. On both days I also saw a few tailing and jumping marlin and sailfish, but could interest none of them."

LORETO, MEXICO: Pam Bolles of Baja Big Fish Company said some post-spawn yellowtail in the 20 to 40-pound class were still being caught at points around the north end of Isla Carmen. "The focus has remained on Isla Carmen's north and east points from Punta Tintorerra to Punta Perico," Bolles said. "∂Yellowtail have been feeding on live mackerel at midwater and near the surface. Some of these fish still have eggs in them but they're coming off a late spawn and eager to eat. In addition to live mackerel they are also readily hitting jigs."

Bolles also noted the movement of the dorado migration toward the bajos north of town. "When these pelagics first appeared 3 weeks ago they were consistently being found 45 to 50 miles due east from Loreto," Bolles said. "But the dorado have since moved further north to the more distant Bajo de Mercenarios area. We are focused mainly on the northern portion of our Loreto fishing area. Although we were seeing plenty of sargasso early in the month it has since thinned out considerably. We hope that setting out buoys will attract and hold the dorado."



MULEGE, MEXICO: Rick Barber of Mulege reported good weather in the low-90s last week, with water temperatures pushing into the high-70s and nearly all Mulege fishing boats scoring on dorado offshore and cabrilla inshore. "Everyone has been going out about 20 miles on a 60 from Mulege to find the fish," Barber said. "I could just say every fisherman I know in this area went out and scored, mainly on dorado. The result wouldn't be too far from the truth.

"Gene Lee bagged 5 dorado on one trip this week. Marty Robison nabbed some in the mid-20s, but his real love is to troll MirrOlures for cabrilla. Off the north island at Santa Inez I watched them pull in 3 or 4 really nice ones.

"Gary Green and Gary MacFarland took a trip with Capt. Alejandro and came back with a full ice chest of dorado and cabrilla."



SANTA ROSALIA, MEXICO: Mike Kanzler of Isla San Marcos said he fished Santa Rosalia area waters only twice during the week as he prepared to host the third annual Isla San Marcos Yellowtail ShootOut tournament, which was fishing its first of 2 days on Saturday with over 70 fish caught into the low 30-pound class.

Kanzler said Santa Rosalia weather was nearly windless during the week, in the high-80s, with water temperatures at Isla San Marcos at 71 to 74 degrees, and up to 75 to 77 degrees in spots farther offshore. Visibility was still green at 15 to 20 feet inshore, and over 30 feet offshore and "trying to go blue," Kanzler said.

One outing to the Isla San Marcos 110 bajo on Thursday with angler Douglas Schultz of Oakland produced good action for 8 yellowtail in the mid-20 pound class out of 12 hooked by 10 a.m. "Every time I'd look at the depth sounder and say 'got some nice marks coming through,' I turn my head and Doug would be bent," Kanzler said. "This made heads turn back at San Lucas Cove, I'd say, with the tournament coming and all."

An early week offshore run to Isla Tortuga found very slow fishing in cold water. "The fishing was not very good due to water turning over icy cold," Kanzler said. "We fished hard, only to produce a few yellowtail and a decent number of cabrilla. Not much more to say about that run."

Kanzler also noted that some dorado had been caught in patches of warm offshore water out around Isla Tortuga, "No real size yet, but it's starting."

SANTA ROSALIA, MEXICO: Ed Hogan of San Bruno just south of San Lucas Cove said the new San Bruno marina was just becoming operational with an enclosed breakwater, paved launch ramp, courtesy dock, and a nearby, the new 4-room Costa Serena motel just a short distance from the water, operated by Adelberto Romero and his family. "The marina is very close to completion at this time and the ramp is now usable," Hogan said. "The hotel is furnished nicely with hot showers and air conditioning, $25 single and $35 dollars double occupancy. Adelberto speaks very good English." Hogan said security is good at the motel because the Romero family lives on the premises. The launch ramp appears to be adequate to launch boats up to about 20-foot at low tide and up to about 26-foot at high tide, he said. Panga charter fishing is also available. Information: 011-52-615-153-9022.



BAHIA DE LOS ANGELES, MEXICO: Dave Phillips of Las Vegas and John Aman of Lake Arrowhead drove into San Francisquito souith of Bahia de los Angeles last week and fished on Aman's boat in heavy bait concentrations for a catch including a few cabrilla on iron and a 23-pound yellowtail that hit a 4.5-inch blue-silver Megabait. "There was more sardina bait in the water than I have seen in some time, millions of them, and getting the fish to bite was difficult," Phillips said. The locals reported this to be the first yellow they had seen so far this spring. They are definitely starting to show up, but getting them to bite was another story. The boils would last only seconds and the birds were hitting the water everywhere due to the sardines being all over the place." San Francisquito water temperatures were cool at 62 degrees and sea conditions were "glassy during our entire stay," Phillips said. "The fishing should really pick up in early to mid-June." The cabañas at the resort were operating normally, with no ice available, so "bring your own." The road south from Bahia de los Angeles was in "pretty good condition, but rocky. One flat on the way down," Phillips said.



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, Baja California, Mexico on May 18, 2006, with 23 anglers and a catch of: 173 yellowtail, 15 to 35 pounds; 247 cabrilla, 7 to 20 pounds; 1 black sea bass, 73 pounds; 2 grouper, 47 pounds; 48 pargo; 513 miscellaneous fish species; and lots of giant Humboldt squid for bait. Fishing continued good north of Isla Angel de la Guarda but poor to the south except for plentiful bait south of the island. Fishing was very poor at the Golden Reef off Puertecitos due to 2 commercial net boats working the area. "No fish, a problem," Velez said. The Erik fished at Midriff locations including Snake Island, Bernabe Rock, Ensenada Grande, Punta Diablo, Bahia de los Angeles, Refugio, and Bahia San Luis Gonzaga.

SAN FELIPE, MEXICO: Kat Hammontré of reported on a 6-day Midriff Islands trip by the Tony Reyes Fishing Tours panga mothership Tony Reyes, returning to San Felipe on May 19, 2006, with a catch of: 211 yellowtail, 10 to 22 pounds; 49 cabrilla, 4 to 16 pounds; 55 giant Humboldt squid, 10 to 15 pounds; 1 grouper, 30 pounds; 2 white seabass, 10 to 15 pounds; 120 red snapper, or huachinango, 8 to 12 pounds; 589 spotted bay bass; 2 shark; 16 sheephead, 4 to 6 pounds; 1 leather fish, or baqueta, 25 pounds; and 1 golden grouper, 18 pounds. The Tony Reyes fished in good Midriff area weather and water temperatures of 65 to 72 degrees, with charter master David Castanon, Hammontré said. Fishing locations included Isla Partida, San Francisquito, Isla la Raza, La Asamblea, the Golden Reef, and locations along the Baja coastline.

Hammontré also reported on a 6-day Midriff Islands trip by the Tony Reyes mothership Jose Andres, returning to San Felipe on May 19, 2006, with a catch of: 94 yellowtail, 14 to 18 pounds; 1 grouper, 77 pounds; 5 black sea bass, 50 to 121 pounds; 3 white seabass, 30 to 40 pounds; 62 cabrilla, 10 to 14 pounds; 86 red snapper, 8 to 14 pounds; 26 sheephead, 7 to 10 pounds; 96 spotted bay bass; 4 shark, 25 pounds; and 35 miscellaneous species fish. The Jose Andres fished in Midriff water temperatures of 60 to 66 degrees and the charter master for the trip was Marcos Wilson.

SAN FELIPE, MEXICO: Doug Magee of Papa Fernandez landing at Gonzaga Bay said fishing remained generally slow in the area last week, with a few yellowtail showing up, but even triggerfish hard to come by and the action mainly on bass for breakfast and small sierra for ceviche. "This morning a bait ball moved through the bay," Magee said. "I watched it for about 30 minutes and not even a bird looked at it. The water is warming slowly, and as it warms the fishing may pick up." Gonzaga Bay area water temperatures were in the low-70s.

Few people were in the area. Magee said, "Memorial Day will be the end of the season for most people. From then on there will be only about 6 of us who stay the summer."

SAN FELIPE, MEXICO: Catalina Meders of the Title Company Bookstore overlooking the bay at San Felipe said the water temperature in the bay was in the low-80s on Sunday and many people were swimming. San Felipe weather was very humid in the 80s or higher and the town was bracing itself for the annual Memorial Day mobs of tourists. "Memorial Day weekend is always crazy," Meders said. "Driving through town is absolutely hair-raising. The new tattoo parlor in town is doing a brisk business. Somebody talked to me the other day about the possibility of installing a movie theater and I have heard the phrase 'bowling alley' bandied about. The times they are surely a-changin'."

SAN FELIPE, MEXICO: San Felipe locals reported last week that the seagoing raft adventure project of David "Poppa Neutrino" Pearlman seemed to be at least temporarily abandoned, as was his raft, left at anchor in the small bay of Puertecitos south of town.



SAN CARLOS, MEXICO: Bob Blair of Fishing San Carlos said dorado action was on the upswing during several outings last week. "All boats are reporting good dorado fishing and the weights are getting a lot larger," Blair said. "My boats, Andale ll and Too Much Fun went out for half-day charters and came back in with 4 dorado apiece. That was our limit because of only 2 anglers per boat. Yesterday my boats found a dead seal and loaded up. We are not keeping anything less than 15 pounds, and I had 1 today and a couple yesterday of 30 pounds plus. Most are in the low 20s. We are using plastics and feathers." San Carlos sea conditions were mostly calm.

SAN CARLOS, MEXICO:Bill Molden of San Carlos reported water temperatures at 78 degrees and dorado action about 7 miles out in all directions. "The summer fishing has picked up at San Carlos this week," Molden said. "The last couple of days have seen dorado dispersing and you have to really look for them. There are not many marlin in the area yet but the best fishing I have seen in the last couple of weeks has been in the San Carlos area."

Molden also reported on a full-length Sea of Cortez boat cruise with the best fishing found between La Paz and East Cape. "My wife and I took a trip to Cabo and back and the best luck we had was on the 88 Bank out of La Paz, with a couple 35-pound plus dorado and a small striper. The only tuna we heard of was the one we caught out of Los Frailes."

SAN CARLOS, MEXICO:For the previous weekend Fernando Almada of Catch-22 Sportfishing reported on several outings with good dorado action 9 to 16 miles out on a heading of 195 degrees by the San Carlos charter fishing boats Catch-22 Suerte, Catch-22 Pez Vela, and Catch-22 Chico. On Friday, Almada said fleet boats released over 20 dorado and kept 7 bulls plus a few smaller fish. Another 20 dorado were released on Sunday. "We had lots of fun with dorado," Almada said. "Sunday was a banner day with lots of multiple hits. We had to come down from 6 to 4 lines because we just could not keep them off. We had our limits on dorado and had a few shots on billfish. We saw lots of whales and dolphins, a couple of sea turtles, some jumping mantas, and we had a lot of fishing action." San Carlos fishing area water temperatures were at 76 to 77 degrees, in calm conditions.



MAZATLAN, MEXICO: Larry Edwards of Cortez Yacht Charters reported on 24 Aries Fleet boats fishing offshore out of Mazatlan's Marina el Cid for a catch including released fish of: 13 striped marlin, 6 sailfish, and 8 dorado. Five inshore super pangas continued to find good location action for a catch of: 133 mostly smaller red snapper, 44 baqueta to 15 pounds, 4 barracuda, and 12 conejos. "Mazatlan was a little slow on anglers but with a small increase in sailfish action which usually indicates the arrival of the early summer sailfish," Edwards said. "We are seeing good numbers of fish in groups of 5 and more. Inshore action remains very good, but with a smaller variety this week." Mazatlan sportfishing area weather was mostly sunny and calm in the high-80s, with water temperatures at 78 degrees inshore and 79 to 80 degrees in the main offshore fishing area about 20 miles southwest of Marina el Cid.



IXTAPA ZIHUATANEJO, MEXICO: Paul Phillips of the Fintastic Total Tag & Release Tournament said only about 6 boats per day were fishing out of the Ixtapa Zihuatanejo sportfishing area. "Not too many anglers in town and that makes it tough to report," Phillips said. Inshore water conditions along the coast about 12 miles south of Zihuatanejo were improving. "There is some real pretty water moving north. If it moves as it has been, the weeks ahead look good," Phillips said.

IXTAPA ZIHUATANEJO, MEXICO: Ed Kunze, reporting for Baja On The Fly, said offshore fishing was mainly for about 1 sailfish per outing found in 80-degree blue water about 18 miles out of Zihuatanejo Bay. "The fishing is still not up to our normal May standards," Kunze said. "Sailfish have been slow. A few blue marlin have been hooked, but not nearly in the numbers of the last several years for May."

Slow inshore conditions improved last week for Ixtapa Zihuatanejo charter sportfishing boats as 84-degree water south at Papanoa moved close to shore. Ixtapa Zihuatanejo fishing weather was mostly calm in the mid-80s, with water temperatures of 78 to 84 degrees.

IXTAPA ZIHUATANEJO, MEXICO: Larry Edwards of Cortez Yacht Charters said Abel Cortez of Ixtapa Zihuatanejo reported up-and-down offshore action, with yellowfin tuna seen but not biting about 12 miles out. "Getting them to bite was next to impossible," Cortez said, "although I got lucky myself and caught one casting a bright silver jig." Cortez' new boat, the Gran Jefe, fished 4 times with Capt. Anibal Ruiz and crew Luis Millan for a catch including released fish of: 1 sailfish, 7 bonito, 10 jacks, 1 needlefish, 1 yellowfin tuna, 2 sierra, and 1 dog snapper of 16 pounds.

The charter panga Dos Hermanos reported on 8 outings with a catch of: 46 bonito, 31 jacks, 1 yellowfin tuna, 5 needlefish, and 2 ladyfish, with much of the catch by fly angler Greg Bosnak of San Francisco.

"The better inshore fishing continues to be to the north," Edwards said, "on the way to the island or Troncones, and very slow to the south. There are still no roosterfish." Ixtapa Zihuatanejo fishing area weather was partly cloudy in the high-80s, with water temperatures at 77 degrees inshore, and 83 degrees beyond 10 miles out.



HUATULCO, MEXICO: For the previous week, Eric Weissman of Explore Fly Fishing said local waters at this San Agustinillo sportfishing operation near Huatulco saw water temperatures of 85 and 88 degrees, and 30 to 40-pound roosterfish were being caught, plus dorado, tuna, jack crevalle, and pompano. "Bait is finally showing up with some regularity," Weissman said. "The other day one of my associates released 60 tuna in one morning on gear. Near our hotel, lots of big dorado are being caught." Explore Fly Fishing was also planning to offer accommodations and sportfishing at the Villas Carizalillo at Puerto Escondido, Weissman said.



CANCUN, MEXICO: Larry Edwards of Cortez Yacht Charters reported on 7 outings by the El Cid Caribe sportfishing fleet near Cancun, with a catch including released fish of: 10 sailfish, 4 dorado, and 4 large sierra. "While the skippers are reporting seeing lots of white marlin, in every case they had lockjaw," Edwards said. "According to fleet manager Mario Anzoategui sailfish have been the primary action for the last several days." Cancun fishing area weather was cloudy at 90 degrees, with afternoon showers, light wind chop, and stable water temperatures throughout the area at 82 to 83 degrees. Offshore fishing was 2 miles out of the El Cid Caribe resort marina, all on rigged ballyhoo, or halfbeak, baits.

Puerto Vallarta Fishing Photo 1

VALLARTA HOT DORADO--PV Marlin Sportfishing's Puerto Vallarta charter boat Lorena had catch-and-release fishing off Punta Mita for 53 dorado in 5 outings last week and angler Alan Hertz got into the action with this nice bull. PHOTO COURTESY OF DANNY QUINONEZ.

Ensenada Mexico Fishing Photo 1

PUNTA BANDA FISHING--Colin and Harley Culbert of the Ventura County Sport Fishing Club fished at the tip of Ensenada's Punta Banda on the beach launched panga Vonny III with Capt. Hector Zamora and they scored on some nice lingcod and bonita. PHOTO COURTESY OF IVAN VILLARINO.

Puerto Santo Tomas Mexico Fishing Photo 1 Puerto Santo Tomas Mexico Fishing Photo 2

PUERTO SANTO TOMAS TRIP--Ken Jones found surf conditions too rough to fish the remote, slippery rock trails north of Puerto Santo Tomas near Ensenada, but panga fishing with Capt. Marcos produced a nice bag of mixed rockfish. PHOTOS COURTESY OF KEN JONES.

San Bruno Mexico Marina Photo 1

NEW RAMP FOR BAJA--A new paved launch ramp and protective breakwater are now in service at San Bruno, just south of San Lucas Cove in the Santa Rosalia area of Baja California's Sea of Cortez coast. Ed Hogan of San Bruno said the ramp looks capable of handling boats up to about 22 feet long at low tide and up to about 26 feet long at high tide. Nearby is also the new Costa Serena 4-room motel with panga charters also available, 011-52-615-153-9022. PHOTO COURTESY OF ED HOGAN.

San Bruno Mexico Marina Photo 2

NEW BAJA MARINA FACILITY--The new paved launch ramp at San Bruno south of San Lucas Cove also has a courtesy dock and protective breakwater. PHOTO COURTESY OF ED HOGAN.

San Bruno Mexico Marina Photo 3

NEW BAJA MOTEL--Adelberto Romero at his Costa Serena motel near the new marina and launch ramp at San Bruno, south of Santa Rosalia. PHOTO COURTESY OF ED HOGAN.

East Cape Mexico Fishing Photo 1

HEAVY VERDUGO'S DAY--Russ Erlandson's group fished on the charter boat Marisol out of East Cape's Martin Verdugo's Beach Resort for a heavy load including this yellowfin tuna scaled at 180 pounds, plus dorado of 30 and 40 pounds. PHOTO COURTESY OF GREG GEORGE.

East Cape Mexico Fishing Photo 2

SORE ARMS--It cost him a couple of days with sore arms, but Mark Rayor of East Cape's Vista Sea Sport dive service stood at the rail and whipped this toad 190-pound class yellowfin tuna in 2 hours 10 minutes with no harness on straight 80-pound mono. Rayor was fishing on his boat Jen Wren about 25 miles straight out with friend Don Oser. Said Rayor, "I'll send more details when I get out of traction." PHOTO COURTESY OF MARK RAYOR.

East Cape Mexico Fishing Photo 3

ALL SET AT EAST CAPE--Jorge Bergin of La Ribera is nicely set up to fish Baja's East Cape area with a panga and a 12-foot aluminum boat. PHOTO COURTESY OF JORGE BERGIN.

La Paz Mexico Fishing Photo 1

LOS MUERTOS FORKIE--Gama Flores of Cathedral City with a nice yellowtail taken out of Ensenada de los Muertos bay south of La Paz while flylining live bait with Tailhunter International. PHOTO COURTESY OF JONATHAN ROLDAN.

San Isidro Mexico Fishing Photo 1

HEADED FOR THE SMOKER--Betty Ballentine of San Isidro south of La Paz inspects a striped marlin caught by husband Don out at the 88 Bank east of Isla Cerralvo. The marlin could not be released due to being hooked in the eye. "It smoked up great," said Don. PHOTO COURTESY OF DON BALLENTINE.

Loreto Mexico Fishing Photo 1

WHY THEY WON'T EAT--Excess bait in the water, especially squid, is keeping game fish full and reluctant to bite in Baja waters from Cabo San Lucas to the Sea of Cortez Midriff area this month. Jim Apple of Mulege's Posada Concepcion recently camped at San Juanico north of Loreto and photographed some of the guilty squid near the beach. Said Mulege's Mike Massey, "Jim said they were in shallow water every day at about noon, and every night at high tide. Apparently after spawning they would die. They were about 12 inches long." PHOTO COURTESY OF MIKE MASSEY.

Loreto Mexico Fishing Photo 2

NEW BOAT, NICE FISH--Bill Erhardt of Loreto with a 37-pound dorado caught aboard his new boat Soledad under debris about 40 miles east of town. The floating debris yielded 2 dorado at 37 pounds, 2 at 25 and 30 pounds, and 5 smaller fish. PHOTO COURTESY OF JIM LUITHLY.

Loreto Mexico Dorado Fishing Map

LORETO DORADO HOTSPOTS--Pam Bolles of Loreto's Baja Big Fish Company provided this chart of offshore dorado bajos including Bajo de Mercenarios, Bajo de las Boyas, Bajo de Punta Lobos, Bajo de Punta Perico, and other offshore hotspots. MAP COURTESY OF PAM BOLLES.

Santa Rosalia Mexico Fishing Photo 1

AT THE 110--Douglas Schultz of Oakland fished the 110 bajo off Santa Rosalia with Mike Kanzler of Isla San Marcos last week and scored on this quality yellowtail. It was 1 of 8 yellowtail to come aboard during the morning. PHOTO COURTESY OF MIKE KANZLER.

Mulege Mexico Fishing Photo 1

MULEGE DORADO--Geena Ferrelli fished with Mulege's Marty Robinson earlier in May and got into the flurry of offshore dorado action east of town with this nice 25 pounder caught about 18 miles out. PHOTO COURTESY OF RICK BARBER.

Sea of Cortez Mexico Fishing Photo 1

CAUGHT AMID THE SARDINA--Dave Phillips, shown, and John Aman fished in heavy sardina bait concentrations at San Francisquito south of Bahia de los Angeles last week and managed to fool this nice 23-pound yellowtail with a 4.5-inch Megabait. PHOTO COURTESY OF DAVE PHILLIPS.

Punta Final Mexico Fishing Photo 1

PUNTA FINAL CROAKER--Early May fishing action at Punta Final, south of Gonzaga Bay in the northern Sea of Cortez produced about 15 sierra, about 15 cabrilla, 1 yellowtail, about 5 triggerfish, and this white seabass for angler Kevin L. fishing with Bill Fulton's group. PHOTO COURTESY OF BILL FULTON.

San Felipe Mexico Fishing Photo 1

MIDRIFF BAQUETA--This nice 25-pound class baqueta, or rooster hind, also locally called a "leather fish," came aboard during last week's Midriff Islands trip by the San Felipe panga mothership Tony Reyes. PHOTO COURTESY OF KAT HAMMONTRE.

San Carlos Mexico Fishing Photo 1

HUG THAT GOLD!--Ivan Villavicencio gets a good grip on his first-ever dorado, caught out of San Carlos, Sonora, last week while fishing with Catch-22 Sportfishing. PHOTO COURTESY OF FERNANDO ALMADA.

San Carlos Mexico Fishing Photo 2

SAN CARLOS TRIPLE HEADER--Anglers, left to right, Alex Liogon, Jose Guerrero, and Ivan Villavicencio fished out of San Carlos, Sonora, with Catch-22 Sportfishing and got into last week's good dorado action. Here's a triple header coming aboard. PHOTO COURTESY OF FERNANDO ALMADA.

Sea of Cortez Mexico Photo 2

BAJA MOON--Jim Apple of Mulege's Posada Concepcion caught this beautiful photo during a recent camping trip to remote San Juanico cove near Loreto. PHOTO COURTESY OF MIKE MASSEY.

Baja coastal fishing reports and articles.

Ensenada fishing reports and articles.

Puerto Santo Tomas fishing reports and articles.

Erendira fishing reports and articles.

San Quintin fishing reports and articles.

Magdalena Bay fishing reports and articles.

Cabo San Lucas fishing reports and articles.

San Jose del Cabo (Los Cabos) fishing reports and articles.

East Cape fishing reports and articles.

La Paz fishing reports and articles.

Loreto fishing reports and articles.

Mulege fishing reports and articles.

Santa Rosalia fishing reports and articles.

Bahia de los Angeles (L.A. Bay) fishing reports and articles.

San Felipe fishing reports and articles.

Rocky Point (Puerto Penasco) fishing reports and articles.

San Carlos (Sonora) fishing reports and articles .

Mazatlan fishing reports and articles .

Puerto Vallarta fishing reports and articles.

Ixtapa Zihuatanejo fishing reports and articles.

Huatulco fishing reports and articles.

Cancun fishing reports and articles.

Mexico coastal fishing reports and articles.

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