SAN JOSE DEL CABO, MEXICO: Eric Brictson of Gordo Banks Pangas reported wintry Sea of Cortez fishing conditions in the San Jose del Cabo area, with some north winds of 10 to 20 m.p.h., greener water color, and water temperatures cooler at 71 to 74 degrees.
Thirty-seven combined La Playita fleet pangas fishing off Los Cabos had a catch of: 24 yellowfin tuna, 5 striped marlin, 1 wahoo, 8 roosterfish, 38 dorado, 145 skipjack, 42 pargo, 15 cabrilla, 26 pompano, 65 sierra, 16 bonito, and 11 amberjack.
"With offshore surface fishing tapering off, anglers are starting to search for action closer to shore and off the bottom," Brictson said. "We anticipate doing more of this style of fishing in the next couple of months." COOLER WATER AND TRANSITION TO WINTER FISHING.
SAN JOSE DEL CABO, MEXICO: For the previous week, San Jose del Cabo species fishing specialist John Snow reported on 12 surf fishing sessions and 5 outings with Capt. Pata on the charter panga Salome. Los Cabos surf fishing produced 80 fish of 16 species, and fishing aboard the Salome yielded a total of 113 fish of 36 species. Snow noted very good results using sardina baits in the surf for the first time.
"El Capitano suggested I take some sardines home and try them in the surf," Snow said. "Yikes! On a daily basis I found myself conducing guerilla warfare with very large giant hawkfish, various large needlefish, and one finescale triggerfish which was a full 3 kilograms, a first-time catch of this species off the beach for me and the absolute toughest hombre in the sea, pound for pound!"
Snow reported 5 new fish species caught, the equatorial moray eel, gulf coney grouper, bumphead parrotfish, bighead sand perch, and Mexican sand perch. San Jose del Cabo fishing area weather was cool in the mid-70s, with the water temperature still near 80 degrees.
ENSENADA, MEXICO: Ivan Villarino of Vonny's Fleet reported improved sea conditions at the middle of the week for his beach launched pangas fishing at the tip of Ensenada's Punta Banda. Jay Johnson of Ensenada fished Wednesday on the Vonny I with Capt. Beto Zamora for limits of calico bass and rockcod plus 6 bonitas for the Vonny's Fleet fish smoker. "The weather cleared up enough for good fishing," Villarino said. "All in all, a nice day." Ensenada fishing area weather over the weekend was sunny in the low-60s, with ocean swells of 2 to 4 feet and the water temperature at Punta Banda averaging 57 degrees.
ENSENADA, MEXICO: Steve Ross of the boat Bad Dog out of Ensenada's Marina Coral reported on a night fishing run on Dec. 29, 2006, for 14 Humboldt giant squid to 40 pounds caught in tough night conditions on the 500-fathom line about 7 miles outside the Banda Bank in 15-knot wind and clear water at 61.4 degrees. "The seas were up, the wind was blowing, and we drifted 8 miles with the sea anchor and 75 feet of chain and anchor out," Ross said. "It was rough. The white water was crashing next to our boat as the swells rolled by. Also, it was cold. These squid pull like 100-pound tuna on a Penn International 2-speed 80. One got me. He squirted gallons of water and soaked me from my chest to my toes through my sweatshirt and to my skin." The following day the Bad Dog fished the Banda Bank with glow-colored Gulp baits for easy limits of vermilion rockfish of 3 to 4 pounds in calm seas and a water temperature of 61.7 degrees.
PUERTO SANTO TOMAS, MEXICO: Jeff Lewis of San Diego and his brother Tim Lewis of Idaho made a pre-Christmas Baja run to Puerto Santo Tomas Resort and fished on a panga with Capt. Marcos for a local catch of 5 lingcod and 6 rockcod on the bottom, plus 10 bonita to 15 pounds on the surface. "We had a great time and will certainly be back again," Lewis said. "It was an easy drive down, probably 3 hours from San Diego. I emailed Sam at firstname.lastname@example.org to confirm accommodations and a panga for fishing. At Puerto Santo Thomas, Sam's cabin was right on the water and we could have fished from the porch. Very nice dinner at the restaurant. Capt. Marcos is a definite recommendation. Language was no problem and he knows the waters very well." Lewis fished with Rapalas, white feathers, and squid, in medium seas and a water temperature of about 59 degrees.
ERENDIRA, MEXICO: For the week ending Dec. 31, 2006, Fernando Castro of Castro's Camp reported 15 boats fishing the Baja northern coast out of Erendira, for very good catches of red rockcod, whitefish, lingcod, some sandbass, and many bonita. Bait continued to be available and anglers fished in very clear water at 60 to 61 degrees. "We were able to fish almost every day," Castro said. "The exception was Thursday when the sea was very rough at daybreak and we had anglers for 6 boats. Today, Sunday, we don't have boats fishing, although the sea is very calm. Overall, this has been our best December ever for Castro's Camp."
SAN QUINTIN, MEXICO: Pete Hillis of Pedro's Pangas said the San Quintin fishing area was quiet last week. "But we are getting a good halibut bite in the bay and yellowtail are still at the 15 fathom spot and Ben's Rock," Hillis said. San Quintin weather was windy from Thursday to Saturday, but calm and windless by Sunday morning.
SAN QUINTIN, MEXICO: Julio Meza of San Quintin fished on his boat Santa Monica with Barry Brightenburg of Fishtrap Lures and Valerie Brightenburg, using Fishtrap swimbaits along the kelp beds south of San Quintin for very good action on calico bass to 9 pounds 6 ounces, including a calico bass of 7 pounds 6 ounces landed by Valerie on spinning tackle and 4-pound line, plus a few barracuda, Johnny bass, and 1 sheephead. "We handled lots of fish," Meza said. "Lots and lots. One-hundred percent released." The following day, the Santa Monica fished again with the Brightenburgs for 2 yellowtail in rain and rough conditions at the 15 spot. San Quintin fishing area water temperatures were at 60 to 61 degrees.
SAN QUINTIN, MEXICO: Jim Derr of Santa Ana, Calif., and Shva Ziv of Orange, Calif., fished at San Quintin on New Year's Day with Capt. Lupe out of Tiburon's Pangas, slow trolling Rapalas for easy limits of bonito on the way to Ben's Rock. Fishing at Ben's Rock was not possible due to rough seas, so Derr's panga fished the west side of Isla San Martin for limits of vermilion rockfish and salmon grouper. The fishing was with iron about 300 feet deep. Black brant were present on San Quintin bay, and outside the bay a pod of whales was sighted heading south toward Guerrero Negro. San Quintin fishing area water temperatures were at 56 degrees. BONITO, ROCKFISH, WHALES, AND BLACK BRANT.
BAJA CALIFORNIA, MEXICO: Juanchys Aguilar of the charter panga Karol at La Bocana on Baja's central Pacific coast reported very good fishing during the last week of December for medium-sized yellowtail, some very large yellowtail, and smaller sizes of mixed species. Just before Christmas, Derek Arneson and his wife Karla Arneson caught yellowtail and an unusual white seabass about 110 feet deep in 75-degree water about 2.5 miles from the boca. Fishing inside the lagoon found good results on halibut, spotted bay bass, and medium-sized grouper. Fishing along the beaches produced corvina of 10 to 12 pounds.
MAGDALENA BAY, MEXICO: Baja fly fishing guide Gary Graham of Baja On The Fly said last week produced the best snook fishing seen in years in the Magdalena Bay mangrove channels, but it was all on conventional gear. "With nary a fly fishing angler in sight, the action was all on live shrimp for those lucky enough to be in neighborhood," Graham said. Snook up to 25 pounds were landed in the Devil's Curve area, according to Capt. Enrique Soto of Puerto San Carlos. Offshore waters were still rough, but continued to produce dorado plus yellowfin tuna early in the week. Magdalena Bay fishing area weather was clear in the mid-70s, with water temperatures of 72 to 74 degrees. BIG MANGROVE CHANNEL SNOOK BITE AT DEVIL'S CURVE.
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Mike Connolly of the Cabo charter boat Falcon said striped marlin fishing slowed during the full moon period but they were still present in good numbers. "The bait is staying deeper and it is more difficult to find," Connolly said. "Mackerel schools in the top 100 feet of the water column were found only with great difficulty." The Falcon averaged 3 to 7 marlin per day on the Cabo Pacific side at the Golden Gate Bank and Cabo Falso. Dorado and yellowfin tuna were scattered, but the boat Success reported 19 tuna caught 17 miles out on a heading of 210 degrees. PACIFIC SIDE FISHING BY THE CHARTER BOAT FALCON.
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Ramon Druck of the Cabo San Lucas charter super panga Cheer's reported on 10 local outings, fishing with clients mostly from the beach out to about 4 miles on the Pacific side for a catch including released fish of: 4 striped marlin, 16 dorado of 5 to 35 pounds, 6 roosterfish to 5 pounds, and 4 sierra of 2 to 3 pounds. Cabo San Lucas fishing area weather was mostly calm in the mid-80s. FISHING ON THE CHARTER PANGA CHEER'S.
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: George Landrum of Fly Hooker Sportfishing reported some Cabo days with stiff northwest winds and cloud cover, air temperatures in the low-80s, and offshore water temperatures in the mid-70s on the Pacific side and in the low-70s on the Cortez side. "The bait this week was 75 percent mackerel," Landrum said. "As the water continues to cool off, there will be a change to almost all mackerel." Striped marlin action picked up at the end of the week after a few slow days, with most Cabo fishing boats working within sight of the arch on the Pacific side and some marlin still being caught on the bottom.
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Larry Edwards of Cortez Yacht Charters reported on Gaviota Fleet and the Cabo charter boats Fish Cabo and Fish Cabo I, with a catch including released fish of: 63 striped marlin, 2 sailfish, 1 broadbill swordfish, 12 wahoo, 3 yellowfin tuna, and 27 dorado. "The striper action continues to be exceptional," Edwards said. "The year's first swordfish, a 98-pounder, was taken on live bait at the Golden Gate Bank." Cabo San Lucas fishing area weather was mostly sunny in the low-80s, with some wind on the Pacific side. Water temperatures ranged from 75 degrees on the Pacific side to as low as 71 degrees on the Sea of Cortez side at Los Frailes. The best striped marlin fishing area continued to be at the Golden Gate Bank.
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: 32 striped marlin, 1 sailfish, 10 yellowfin tuna of 15 to 40 pounds, and 22 dorado of 15 to 35 pounds.
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Tracy Ehrenberg of Pisces Fleet reported 79 percent of charters releasing billfish during the week, 46 percent landing dorado, and 97 percent with all species combined. The week's action included an out-of-season blue marlin of about 220 pounds landed by a charter panga about 3 miles off Faro Viejo. "Actually, every year in the first week of January a blue marlin is caught," Ehrenberg said, "normally a big one of 500 to 700 pounds. Anybody has a distinct possibility of catching a big blue marlin in front of the Cabo San Lucas lighthouse if tradition stands." For the previous week, 94 percent of Pisces Fleet boats scored on striped marlin, mostly on the Pacific side at the Golden Gate Bank. Cabo San Lucas fishing area weather had some wind and rough seas, with the water temperature averaging 73 degrees. PLENTY OF STRIPED MARLIN PLUS AN OUT OF SEASON BLUE MARLIN.
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: Gary Graham of Baja On The Fly said the winter fishing season has arrived at East Cape and windy days were the rule. "Good fishing days will be the exception for the next few months," Graham said, "with north winds always a threat and just a few puffs away." Some Baja On The Fly anglers were opting for boat departures out of Cabo San Lucas, with fly fishing action producing dorado, sierra, pargo, and billfish. East Cape vacation fishing area weather was partly cloudy at 80 degrees, with water temperatures at 70 to 76 degrees. WINTER WINDS THE RULE ALONG BAJA'S SOUTHERN SEA OF CORTEZ.
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: Jorge Bergin of La Ribera at East Cape said, "Wind has kept us off the water, except we got one calm morning and took advantage of it." Bergin trolled yellow hoochies from his 12-foot tin boat on Tuesday for an easy limit of sierra in about 2 hours while fishing directly in front of his house with Wally Lum of Orcas Island, Wash. East Cape near shore water temperatures were at 72 degrees.
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: Mark Rayor of the Vista Sea Sport East Cape diving service at Buena Vista said, "Winter had finally arrived." Sea life sightings were still heavy at the Cabo Pulmo coral reef, although visibility was down to 20 or 30 feet and water temperatures at depth were at a cool 70 degrees. "Water temperature dropped 3 degrees overnight," Rayor said. "But huge schools of colorful tropical fish, electric and bull's-eye rays, moray eels, nudibranchs, and much more have been keeping our attention."
LA PAZ, MEXICO: Gerardo Hernandez of Tortuga Sportfishing reported cold air temperatures in the 60s and 70s last week, but not much wind on the south side of the hill and good results for pargo, cabrilla, sierra, and some dorado for anglers fishing on the Las Arenas side. Tortuga Fleet pangas found good supplies of Humboldt giant squid around Ensenada de los Muertos for bottom fishing bait and some sardina bait at Isla Cerralvo for pangas fishing on the surface. LAS ARENAS SIDE PANGA FISHING.
LA PAZ, MEXICO: Jonathan Roldan of Tailhunter International reported stubborn dorado refusing to give up the season in La Paz waters last week. "The La Paz fishing area is windy and cold out on the water most days," Roldan said, "but surprisingly it's still fishable if you bundle up. We think it's just fine and are enjoying the sunshine as well as some unusually good dorado fishing near the islands and inshore fishing for sierra, snapper and cabrilla." La Paz vacation area waters were cool at 65 to 70 degrees, but with some pockets of 75 to 78-degree water still present on the Las Arenas side south of Ensenada de los Muertos. "We'd love to explore there if it weren't so windy," Roldan said.
LORETO, MEXICO: Pam Bolles of Baja Big Fish Company said she's moved into her new downtown Loreto store location, but still hadn't gotten her new sign up. "Francisco went to look for the sign guy," Bolles said. "The guy keeps saying mañana, but he does good work so we'll let it slide." Baja Big Fish's coffee business was very busy, even without a sign, but fishing action was slow as winter winds prevented boats from going out. One boat landed a 30-pound class dorado along shore just after Christmas, and just a few boats went out after the New Year's holiday. On Thursday, Bolles said, "Today is really nice but it looks as though the nortes will start blowing again and will be here mañana." TOUGH WINTER WINDS BLOWING STEADILY.
LORETO, MEXICO: Phil Curry of Loreto and his daughter Kindra Curry, on Christmas break from the University of Hawaii, fished locally on a panga with Loreto sportfishing Capt. Martin Davis for a 40-pound class yellowtail hooked on surface iron at the southwest corner of Isla Coronado. "Martin Davis also works out of the Hotel Oasis," Curry said. "It was really windy that week and most of the fleet was hiding in the lee of Isla Coronado, up the easterly side near Chollas, catching 15 to 25-pound yellowtail. We were down near the southwesterly point fishing for cabrilla with lighter tackle. We saw fish breaking near shore and put on a couple of Sumo Juniors in scrambled egg and gave chase."
SANTA ROSALIA, MEXICO: Jim Anderson of San Lucas Cove reported Santa Rosalia fishing area weather with some calm days mixed with wind and water temperatures at 62 to 63 degrees. On calmer days, yellowtail action for 25 to 30-pound fish at the Isla San Marcos bajos was up-and-down for boats out of San Lucas Cove. Mackerel bait was plentiful about 275 to 300 feet deep. "By the time the bait tank is full, most feel they have already had a long fishing day under their belts," Anderson said. Top catches during the week included yellowtail of 25 and 32 pounds caught on the bajos Monday by Marika Anderson and Becky Pierce. YELLOWTAIL FISHING UP-AND-DOWN ON ISLA SAN MARCOS BAJOS.
BAHIA DE LOS ANGELES, MEXICO: Jim Derr of Santa Ana, Calif., and Shva Ziv of Orange, Calif., stayed a week at Bahia de los Angeles and fished from kayaks during wind-free periods out of Daggett's Camp for easy limits of spotted bay bass and barracuda while fishing The Baja Catch-style with Jointed Rebel lures. Derr and Ziv also fished on the panga Lucilla with Capt. Jose, finding no yellowtail at Isla Coronado, but scoring on pinto bass, or spotted cabrilla, smaller grouper, and spotted bay bass. Local Bahia de los Angeles water temperatures averaged 65 degrees. WINTER KAYAK AND PANGA FISHING TRIP.
SAN FELIPE, MEXICO: John Tillander of Punta Bufeo south of San Felipe relayed fishing reports for catches of sierra, yellowtail, halibut, and roosterfish from the beach at Gonzaga Bay. "Bait fish were all over the place," Tillander said. "They were using Krocodiles. The water temp was comfortable. It must have been pretty warm to catch roosterfish this time of year."
SAN FELIPE, MEXICO: Katherine Hammontré of Sanfelipe.com.mx said over the weekend that San Felipe icon and spiritual patriarch Tony Reyes Sr. was recovering from a bout of pneumonia at a hospital in Mexicali. After visiting Reyes on Friday, Hammontré published photos on the well-known San Felipe website and said, "You just can't keep a great man down! It was pretty cool to see that sparkle in Tony's eyes. There was so much love flowing in the room it was a bit overwhelming. I'm so glad we have our Tony back."
SAN CARLOS, MEXICO: Fernando Almada of San Carlos' Catch-22 Sportfishing said winds kept him off the water Saturday, but shore casting rubber for orangemouth corvina was red-hot for him, Craig Collins, and Fernando Liogon. "We had nonstop action," Almada said. "They kept biting until dark. We landed some quality corvina and released many that were small." Almada said local yellowtail action was on-and-off last week as strong winds kept most boats "tied to the docks." The Catch-22 charter boat Rubina fished Saturday and scored a first-ever yellowtail, at 9.8 kilos, for Almada's brother Francisco Almada while trolling Rapalas on wire at Punta San Antonio. "On the same day we had a close encounter with a pod of killer whales," Almada said. "We decided to pick up the lines and cruise around following the orcas. What a magnificent sight!" San Carlos fishing area water temperatures were at 64 degrees.
MAZATLAN, MEXICO: Larry Edwards of Cortez Yacht Charters reported on 11 offshore and inshore Aries Fleet boats fishing out of Mazatlan's Marina El Cid, with a catch including released fish of: 10 striped marlin, 8 dorado, 2 yellowfin tuna, 3 mako shark, and 60 sierra. "For those anglers who enjoy inshore light tackle fishing, the sierra bite has come alive," Edwards said. Mazatlan weather was mostly sunny in the mid-80s, with water temperatures at 73 degrees inshore and at 76 degrees about 21 miles offshore. WINTER SIERRA FISHING TURNS ON FOR INSHORE BOATS.
PUERTO VALLARTA, MEXICO: Josh Temple of Prime Time Adventures reported continued good fishing off Puerto Vallarta for giant yellowfin tuna. "Anglers have experienced some of the most incredible action on giant yellowfin tuna that we have ever seen or heard of," Temple said. Steve Danziger fished 3 days aboard Prime Time's new 40-foot boat Conquistador for a catch including released fish of: 8 yellowfin tuna of 200 pounds to 275 pounds, over two-dozen tuna of 150 to 199 pounds, and many uncounted tuna under 150 pounds. During one 8-hour session, the Conquistador landed 15 tuna of 125 to 275 pounds. "What a way to start off the 2007 season!" Temple said. Puerto Vallarta fishing area weather had some wind. Offshore water temperatures were cooler at 78.5 to 81.6 degrees. WIDE-OPEN BIG TUNA ACTION FOR PRIME TIME BOAT CONQUISTADOR.
PUERTO VALLARTA, MEXICO: Danny Gomez of Dhamar Sportfishing said his Puerto Vallarta charter super panga Dhamar ran offshore to Roca Corbeteña and El Banco in some north wind and swell last week and got into the good tuna bite. On Wednesday, a group of Canadian anglers fishing aboard the Dhamar landed a yellowfin tuna of 177 pounds plus 3 dorado of about 35 pounds.
IXTAPA ZIHUATANEJO, MEXICO: Ed Kunze, reporting for Baja On The Fly, said Ixtapa Zihuatanejo sailfish action picked up during last week's full moon period, with 82-degree blue fishing water about 5 miles off the beach, and 84-degree water about 10 miles out. "The fishing for sailfish during this full moon period is very good," Kunze said. "Most boats in the Ixtapa Zihuatanejo sportfishing fleet are averaging about 4 sailfish per day, with counts has high as 7 and 8 sailfish per day for some." Steve King and his fishing partner released 15 sailfish during 3 outings with Capt. Santiago on the charter panga Gitana. Yellowfin tuna were also seen about 25 to 30 miles out. Jack crevalle were caught by inshore boats, but roosterfish action backed off. "We now have to wait for May for any decent roosterfish action," Kunze said.
Kunze also noted that a rumored panguero sportfishing strike in protest of commercial long lines in the area had not occurred by Saturday. "Nothing has happened. There were just too many fishing clients here during our peak of the season," Kunze said. "I am sure it is not a situation that will go away."
IXTAPA ZIHUATANEJO, MEXICO: Larry Edwards of Cortez Yacht Charters reported on 17 offshore days by Ixtapa fishing boats including the Gran Jefe, with a catch including released fish of: 25 sailfish, 8 dorado, 14 jack crevalle, and 46 bonito. Three inshore fishing days by the charter boat Secuestro de Amor produced a catch of 6 jack crevalle, and 3 bonito. Ixtapa fishing vacation area weather was sunny in the low-90s, with water temperatures at 82 degrees inshore and at 85 degrees offshore. Most offshore boats fished about 10 miles off Zihuatanejo bay. Live bait supplies were limited as the full moon period approached. Most offshore boats fished with rigged baits.
HUATULCO, MEXICO: Eric Weissman of Explore Fly Fishing relayed reports from his fishing location at San Agustinillo, Oaxaca, Mexico, near Huatulco. "As of yesterday, January 4th, there are many big dorado and tons of big tuna around, near shore and offshore," Weissman said. "Yesterday my fishing partner came in with a group of guests with 18 dorado of good size and 35 tuna. Some tuna are in the 90-plus pound range." Huatulco fishing area weather was at 80 degrees, with strong currents, blue water near shore, and the water temperature at 85 degrees. Weissman was headed south to Huatulco in a few weeks and said, "All reports that I have gotten in last 2 weeks indicate fabulous fishing conditions and big catches."