LA PAZ, MEXICO: In an unusual early spring bite reminiscent of earlier times, very large California yellowtail slammed jigs and baits strongly along southern Baja's Sea of Cortez coast last week from East Cape northward to La Paz.
At La Paz, Tailhunter International's Jonathan Roldan said, "Yay! One panga got 12 hookups and put 8 in the boat, nothing smaller than 40 pounds. Another panga had 10 and lost 8 of them, but 1 of the fish landed looks over 50 pounds according to the skipper."
Consistent yellowtail counts were scored by pangas launching at Ensenada de los Muertos south of La Paz and fishing just off Punta Perico about 5 minutes from the beach. Big yellowtail were also reported by La Paz boats fishing at Isla Cerralvo, and also at Isla Espiritu Santo and El Bajo north of town. "La Reyna and other high spots are producing fish tickling the 50-pound mark on big baits and iron," Roldan said. "La Paz is on fire with this news. This is perhaps the biggest and best yellowtail bite I've seen at La Paz in over a dozen years. They are hitting deep, hitting medium, and foaming on the surface with crashing birds and flying bait like the old days of Baja! Incredible. The bite that started 2 months ago has just blown up!"
Roldan noted the rarity of this year's unusual spring yellowtail run at La Paz. "La Paz just isn't known as a great yellowtail fishery," he said. "When someone says, 'I really want to catch yellowtail,' I usually send them to Loreto, Mulege, or Santa Rosalia where the waters are cooler and the yellowtail fishery is much more predominant. But this season La Paz yellowtail have come on like gangbusters and they showed up early."
LA PAZ, MEXICO: Gerardo Hernandez of La Paz' Tortuga Sportfishing said, "At this time yellowtail and pargo fishing is at a maximum at Punta Perico. This is going on all day long, in the morning, in the afternoon. The whole area is full of bait and action." Tortuga Sportfishing pangas out of Ensenada de los Muertos also found big numbers of yellowtail at the north end of Isla Cerralvo, but few boats ran that far. "There are also sierra there," Hernandez said, "but all our pangas are fishing at Punta Perico all day long." La Paz fishing area weather was warm in the mid-80s with few tourists present following the Semana Santa peak crowds.
LA PAZ, MEXICO: Leonard Phillips of Baja Pirates Fleet said surface yellowtail were boiling at El Bajo north of La Paz and angler Buzz Neilson of Portland, Ore., landed 2 yellowtail reported at over 50 pounds. "Sean Braccs of South Dakota also cashed in on a abundance of yellowtail," Phillips said. Water temperatures north of La Paz remained cool but with air temperatures in the mid-80s.
ENSENADA, MEXICO: Ivan Villarino of Vonny's Fleet said his beach launched pangas fishing at the tip of Ensenada's Punta Banda scored consistent limits of mixed bottom fish plus about 1 to 2 yellowtail of 15 to 25 pounds per boat. "The fishing was good and it's getting better and better," Villarino said. Anglers scoring yellowtail plus limits of mixed red rockcod, sculpin, lingcod, and bonito during the week on the charter pangas Vonny I and Vonny IV included Won Choi and Chun Choi of Los Angeles, Calif., Sebatia Gotla, Lonnie Laslie, Jessica Smilky, and Genaro Salcedo. Local Ensenada fishing area weather was sunny in the low-70s, with calm winds, ocean swells of 3 to 4 feet, and the water temperature at Punta Banda averaging 56 degrees.
ENSENADA, MEXICO: Steve Ross of the boat Bad Dog at Ensenada's Marina Coral reported heavy action for bonito to 17.5 pounds at the Banda Bank followed by a hot surface bite on Humboldt giant squid. "The Banda Bank was alive with all kinds of sea life," Ross said. "There was an incredible mass of anchovies. With Rapalas out on 3 rods we couldn't go more than 100 yards without a hookup on bonito. They chewed the paint off an iron I put out. We boated what you might call 'easy limits' in a short period of time. At 10 a.m. the Humboldt squids decided to dominate the surface and attacked whatever we had out so we took 17 of them in an hour. These squids were thick on the meter just below the anchovies. We were motivated to boat as many of these as possible to warrant a visit from our favorite orphanage. Several boys came over to the trailer to say thanks. There are 50 boys and girls at Casa de Paz."
Fishing 1,500 feet deep earlier produced no results. "We dropped 2 outfits and all my hooks had Gulp swimming mullets on them with a piece of squid," Ross said. "The water was pea green and 56.8 degrees with a strong current requiring a 5-pound sinker and letting the Berkley Braid line do its job in slicing the current. This bank produced blackgill rockfish in the past but it is now vacant."
ENSENADA, MEXICO: Stan Pianko of Chula Vista, Calif., reported limits of bottom fish aboard the Ensenada boat Mel's Diamond during a trip to the Banda Bank in 57-degree water. "It was a little windy with cold water but every drop produced nice fish," Pianko said. "We're waiting for the water to warm and the yellowtail action to start."
ERENDIRA, MEXICO: Tere Castro of Castro's Camp south of Ensenada reported on 17 boats fishing off the Baja coast at Erendira during the week for good counts of mixed bottom fish, rockcods, lingcod, whitefish, and calico bass, all good sized to about 10 pounds, plus some Humboldt giant squid. "There's a lot of bait in the water so we know the fish are there," Castro said. "We just need someone to come and catch them." Coastal Baja fishing weather was calm and sunny, with the water temperature at about 59 degrees.
SAN QUINTIN, MEXICO: Richard Hollo of Bloomington, Calif., reported on a 4-fishing day trailer boat run to San Quintin, finding some cold and choppy water but also some good sessions for lingcod, rockfish, and whitefish at the 15 spot. During one run to the 15 spot aboard his boat with San Quintin Capt. Gato, Hollo said, "The ling fishing turned out to be phenomenal! The lings were so aggressive that they were grabbing the baits before they hit bottom and began running off with them. They were big. We caught several over the 10-pound mark. We ended up the day with limits by 1 p.m."
A run to Isla San Martin in rough sea conditions produced no bottom fish and a few calico bass on kelp. San Quintin fishing area water temperatures were at 55 degrees, with as low as 53 degrees reported by Capt. Kelly Catian of K&M Offshore Sportfishing. "Kelly informed me that water temperatures along the coast were the lowest he had ever seen," Hollo said. Hollo also noted an excellent fish taco experience at San Quintin's Mariscos El Cliente palapa. "I got 3 shrimp tacos with 2 large shrimp in each for 10 pesos each and a drink. The best meal I have ever gotten for under $5 and you can get it there every day," Hollo said.
BAJA CALIFORNIA, MEXICO: Outdoor writer Zack Thomas of Reno, Nev., announced the publication of his new Baja fishing and trailer boating guidebook, The Angler's Guide to Trailer-Boating Baja, with 320 pages at 8.5 x 11 inches, to be available at tackle shops and on Thomas' website, Bajatrailerboating.com, at $29.95 plus $3.50 shipping. "The first half of the book is devoted to general concerns about boat, trailer, and tow vehicle requirements, rigging and safety equipment, packing and planning, Mexican laws and regulations, driving conditions, general travel and safety information, tide and weather resources, turn-by-turn driving directions through Tijuana, Ensenada and La Paz plus from the San Ysidro gate to the Otay Mesa gate, and a 28-page fishing section," Thomas said. "The second half describes about 30 launch spots on both sides of the Baja peninsula, trailer-friendly hotels and campgrounds, availability of fuel, ice, supplies and wash down water, seasonal and weather concerns, complete contact information, and all the location-specific fishing advice I feel confident offering."
The preface and table of contents as well as a sample chapter from The Angler's Guide to Trailer-Boating Baja is available on the website. "People can read a sample chapter and the preface at my website prior to ordering," Thomas said. "I believe this Baja book is meaty and worthwhile, and I'd like potential buyers to be assured that they're not paying $30 for another bunch of recycled fluff. Although its intended audience is fishermen, the book is primarily a boating guide for people who want to do Baja with offshore-capable boats. Being a boat lover as much as a fisherman, I don't mind the added challenges that come with a bigger boat. Maybe I even relish them a bit."
MAGDALENA BAY, MEXICO: Gary Graham of Baja On The Fly reported continued windy conditions offshore of Magdalena Bay but Capt. Enrique Soto finding fair to good action at the San Carlos entrada for surface sierra and firecracker yellowtail under birds. Some grouper were also caught near the south shore of the entrada and small halibut were caught in the shallows south of Punta Belcher on the inside of the Isla Magdalena barrier island. The San Carlos bridge produced some small sierra and corvina. Magdalena Bay fishing area weather was in the mid-80s, with water temperatures at 62 to 70 degrees.
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Tracy Ehrenberg of Pisces Fleet Sportfishing at Cabo San Lucas reported just 4 striped marlin landed during the week. "It's kind of embarrassing," Ehrenberg said. "This week there were hardly any marlin." Pisces boats finding marlin during the week were the Valerie with a total of 2, and Eureka and Bandito with 1 each. "We are not at all worried about these low numbers as Pisces boats caught lots of other fish, mostly tuna, and this is what we expect at this time of year," Ehrenberg said. "Local captains say it's breeding time for the marlin, plus water temperatures vary and there are other factors such as the full moon and lots of squid in the area which the marlin are feeding on, meaning that they are not being found as often on the surface."
Fifty-two percent of Pisces boats caught yellowfin tuna of 10 to 30 pounds, with up to 40 fish landed in release action, and the combined tuna caught numbered 483 fish. Tuna were found from land's end out to 15 to 30 miles centered on the 210 spot. Yellowtail fishing was "the best in years" close to Cabo San Lucas. Cabo fishing area weather was calm after some strong wind and rough seas, with water temperatures averaging 69 degrees.
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Larry Edwards of Cortez Yacht Charters at Cabo San Lucas reported on 50 sportfishing trips by Gaviota Fleet and the Cabo boats Fish Cabo and Fish Cabo I, with a catch including released fish of: 652 yellowfin tuna of mostly 8 to 25 pounds, 60 Humboldt giant squid, 58 yellowtail, 13 striped marlin, and 19 dorado. "Billfish catches did pick up a little this week but the Cabo San Lucas fishing focus was the yellowfin tuna," Edwards said. "Many of the Cabo San Lucas boats found easy limit fishing once porpoise schools were located." Most boats fished about 35 miles south and around the 95 and 1150 spots. Cabo San Lucas fishing area weather was favorable in the high-80s, with water temperatures at 69 to 70 degrees on the Pacific side banks and up to 74 degrees from Punta Palmilla northwards on the Sea of Cortez side.
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Jim Dillon of Salvador's Sportfishing reported on 9 outings by the Cabo San Lucas charter boats El Budster, El Budster I, and El Budster II, with a catch including released fish of: 7 striped marlin, 77 yellowfin tuna of 8 to 30 pounds, 1 boat with limits of yellowfin tuna of 20 to 25 pounds, 3 dorado of 20 to 25 pounds, 12 Humboldt giant squid of 35 to 60 pounds released, and 1 mako shark of 30 pounds released.
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Grant Hartman of Baja Anglers reported a 120-pound yellowfin tuna landed by angler Louie Bevlaqua of New York with Capt. Arturo. "The yellowfin tuna are 20 to 30 miles offshore and most of the fish are footballs under 20 pounds but there are a few really nice fish out there," Hartman said.
Waters close to Cabo San Lucas produced Humboldt giant squid in the 5 to 6-foot class. "This is right out of National Geographic," Hartman said. "Hook one and the school follows it to the top. The beaks look like big parrot beaks and could easily take your finger right off." Top catches during the week included 9 roosterfish for Mark Ormiston and David Cole, and more than 10 yellowtail on spinning tackle plus roosterfish, sierra, and squid by Mike Granbois of Pennsylvania and his sons Ted and Luke.
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: George Landrum of Fly Hooker Sportfishing reported continued slow action for striped marlin as Cabo San Lucas boats filled the fish counts with school-sized yellowfin tuna caught in warmer water 32 to 38 miles south on headings of 170 to 220 degrees. "It's a long run out to the tuna and they are not big but at least there is action in that area," Landrum said. The few marlin hooked were also found mostly south and boats also reported seeing continued broadbill swordfish in the same area. Dorado were scarce. Inshore boats found good action on small yellowtail and Humboldt giant squid concentrated at land's end. "The squid were off the arch right in front of town," Landrum said. "On Friday they moved even closer with boats fishing for them within 200 yards of the Cabo San Lucas marina entrance." Cabo San Lucas fishing area weather had some strong north wind and chop, settling toward the end of the week with local water temperatures just over 70 degrees about 30 miles south.
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Durance Lowendick of Marlin Masters Sportfishing at Cabo San Lucas said some early spring blue marlin to over 400 pounds were present on the Sea of Cortez side south of the 95 spot. "Sunning swordfish are also being encountered on both the Pacific side south of the San Jaime Bank and in the Sea of Cortez in the Gordo Bank area," Lowendick said. "Early spring blue marlin are certainly a welcome sight in Cabo waters. They did not make an appearance until much later in the 2007 season." For the previous week, Marlin Masters Sportfishing reported large Humboldt giant squid over 6 feet long caught on iron just off Medano Beach between the anchored cruise ships and the arch at land's end. "Thousands of the giant squids have moved into this area, as well as many other locations from the Sunset Beach lighthouse all the way out to the 95 spot," Lowendick said.
SAN JOSE DEL CABO, MEXICO: Eric Brictson of Gordo Banks Pangas reported on 79 combined La Playita fleet pangas fishing out of San Jose del Cabo's Puerto Los Cabos marina, with a catch including released fish of: 535 yellowtail, 464 sierra, 202 Mexican bonito, 88 giant Humboldt squid, 16 yellowfin tuna, 2 mako shark, 3 hammerhead shark, 21 amberjack, 19 pargo, and 24 roosterfish. Good action for yellowtail was found by pangas fishing inshore from Palmilla to Chileno. "Off Palmilla Point there was a consistent bite," Brictson said. "Most of these yellowtail were in the 5-pound class but there were a handful in the 15 to 30-pound class. These yellowtail are striking mainly yo-yo iron jigs in water of 100 to 160 feet deep." Large Humboldt squid in good numbers were also caught. "Squid to over 50 pounds have actually been a nuisance," Brictson said. "Anglers were not able to keep them off their jigs. I can't even imagine how active these squid would be at night with lights. You would not want to fall overboard. Nevertheless they are very good action and good eating as well."
Brictson also noted a concentration of sierra mackerel along local beaches not being fished by commercial gill netters. "The sierra made a rebound," he said. "A significant number in the 2 to 6-pound range moved into the area from Hotel Westin Regina to Chileno. This is an area that the rogue gill net fleet based towards East Cape has not frequented due to it being so visible to the public." San Jose de Cabo fishing area weather was ideal, with just moderate tourist crowds and water temperatures at 64 to 68 degrees near shore and up to 72 degrees about 20 miles out.
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: Mark Rayor of the Vista Sea Sport East Cape diving service said his charter dive and fishing boat Jen Wren was put back into the water for the season and found a hot yellowtail bite on fish to 35 pounds during a run with Capt. Jesus "Chuy" Cota, deckhand Juan Diego Romero, and Rayor's brother Monte Rayor of Torrance, Calif. "We found yellowtail first thing in the morning about 2 miles from our mooring while making bait," Rayor said. "We landed 10 yellows to 35 pounds and were back by 10:30 a.m. The fish ate the iron, sardines, and mackerel."
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: John Ireland of Rancho Leonero reported East Cape fishing area weather calm, with warming water temperatures in the low-70s and yellowtail of 30 to 45 pounds being caught "right off the hotel" on mackerel baits. "They are half-a-mile to a mile off the beach, averaging 2 or 3 per boat," Ireland said. Good numbers of roosterfish of 5 to 10 pounds were caught inshore on sardina baits from La Ribera southwards. "The fly fishermen are really scoring," Ireland said. "Marlin are also getting closer, about 15 to 20 miles off Los Frailes, taking both mackerel bait and lures." For the previous week, Ireland reported East Cape fishing area water temperatures at 69 to 71 degrees, with all boats fishing within 2 miles of the beach for sierra, jacks, pargo, cabrilla, pompano, and "very consistent, quality yellowtail" averaging 30 pounds off Punta Pescadero and Punta Perico to the north.
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: Gary Graham of Baja On The Fly said East Cape fishing area boats found quality yellowtail action closer to home after weeks of running north to the La Paz area. "After running to Ensenada de los Muertos for some phenomenal yellowtail the past 6 weeks, East Cape anglers have discovered a body of quality yellows a few miles in front of Rancho Leonero," Graham said. "It's not exactly a secret. It has been wall-to-wall boats cashing in. Most anglers were getting a couple of smaller yellowtail, with some fatties to 35 pounds. The bite only lasts until too many boats show up and drive the fish down. Fun fishing while it lasts!" Inshore action also produced jacks, sierra, pargo, cabrilla, and pompano. East Cape fishing area weather was partly cloudy and calm in the high-80s, with water temperatures of 66 to 73 degrees.
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: Jeff deBrown of The Reel Baja East Cape fly fishing guide service reported "absolutely still" sea conditions for 3 days running, with beach fishing good for roosterfish and jack crevalle of mostly of 4 to 6 pounds. Inshore fishing was good for yellowtail about a mile out. "The fly fisher with a fast sinking line would have a good chance to catch one on the fly," deBrown said. Offshore East Cape boats found mostly slow action for some marlin reported about 30 miles out and some scattered smaller dorado. "I think it will be another week or so before we see any real action off shore but if we can get the water temperatures up just slightly that will help," deBrown said.
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: Torrance Eddy of Buena Vista reported on an unproductive tin boat fishing run northwards to Punta Pescadero saved by finally hooking a yellowtail and a bonito on the troll home. "I thought I was going to get skunked," Eddy said. "February and March are a bit of a crap shoot. I headed straight up the coast in hopes of finding the school of small 4 to 5-pound yellowtail where they were last Sunday without so much as a nip. I went past the dangerous rocks of Punta Pescadero and 3 miles past and still nothing. While making the pass back through where they were Sunday, I caught one. Then, in that deep water area just north of the San Bartolo canyon, I caught a 5-pound bonita. Last year, I caught toros and black skipjacks in February and March. This year it is the much preferred varieties of sierra, bonita, and yellowtail." Eddy also reported fair numbers of 20 to 40-pound yellowtail being caught by East Cape boats fishing with mackerel baits 3 miles off Buena Vista.
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: Jorge Bergin of La Ribera said many East Cape charter boats were being returned to the water for the 2008 fishing season as calm weather prevailed last week. "It is mostly calm now in Palmas Bay so many charters are returning to the water," Bergin said. "There is not much out there but they are finding nice yellowtail and big Humboldt squid very deep with yo-yos right in front of Hotel Palmas de Cortez and several other locations in the bay."
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: Jim Sammons of La Jolla Kayak Fishing said he has launched an operation called East Cape Kayak Fishing that will sponsor trips to both Hotel Punta Colorada and Hotel Rancho Leonero. "La Jolla Kayak Fishing has been guiding kayak fishing adventures to Hotel Punta Colorada over the past 6 years," Sammons said. "Rancho Leonero has renewed their commitment to the sport of kayak fishing, investing in a new fleet of fishing kayaks from Ocean Kayak and bringing us in to help keep that fleet in top shape and do guided tours out of their location." New kayak fishing guides helping clients will include Jeff "Rhyno" Krieger, Mark Pierpont, and Sean White, and a new website has been launched at EastCapeKayakFishing.com. "With 4 guides available we will be running scheduled trips each year to both resorts as well as custom trips to these and other exciting destinations," Sammons said.
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: Simon Cazaly of the Vista Sea Sport diving service at East Cape reported more concentrations of jumping mobula manta rays seen inside the bay at Buena Vista and southwards during a dive trip to Cabo Pulmo. "Just a few hundred meters off shore from the dive shop in Buena Vista thousands of mobula mantas were leaping playfully out of the water," Cazaly said. "All the way to Rancho Leonero they were slowing our progress to Cabo Pulmo but who was complaining?" Other sea life sightings in green, 66-degree water and poor 20 to 25-foot visibility included more mobula manta rays, porpoise, bulls-eye stingray, guitarfish, stone scorpionfish, burrito grunt, regular and golden phase leopard grouper, green moray eel, jewfish, a humpback whale and calf, bumphead parrotfish, Moorish idol, Guineafowl pufferfish, yellowtail surgeonfish, and many other species. Noting the low underwater visibility, Cazaly said, "The sea was thick with nutrients, in turn bringing in all the wildlife."
LORETO, MEXICO: Bill Erhardt of Loreto reported spring yellowtail counts up sharply last week about 50 miles south of town. "As usually happens sometime in March and continuing through April, yellowtail action is picking up south of Loreto around Isla Catalana and on the reef south to Isla Santa Cruz," Erhardt said. "Eight or ten boats launching from Puerto Escondido and a couple from Loreto have been regularly making the long trip hoping to be there when it really turns on. I have yet to see a panga in the area but I'm sure the Torres boats from Juncalito will be on the scene when the spring bite begins in earnest." Erhardt scored 4 yellowtail during a pair of 100-mile roundtrips to the area, but said other boats did much better. "That number is deceptively low," he said. "Those with the patience to drift and wait for the slow moving, breezing tails to find their fly-lined mackerel or bigeye have been consistently catching many more. Fishermen who made the long trip were rewarded with nonstop action and many caught their full limits of yellowtail, and more." Loreto angler Bruce Downs and his group landed 16 yellowtail after spending the night at anchor aboard their boat Dos Dees. Loreto fishing area water temperatures averaged 67 degrees.
LORETO, MEXICO: Don Bear of Loreto reported variable yellowtail action with some north winds, calm periods of 2 to 3 days, and water temperatures of 65 to 68 degrees. "Yellowtail fishing has been hit-and-miss the last couple of weeks," Bear said. "The fish are on the surface eating small sardines at various locations around Islas Carmen and Coronado, but they appear and disappear in a maddening hurry. Bait has been generally difficult to make." Four outings by Bear's boat with Loreto Capts. Paulino Martinez and Joselino Murillo produced a combined catch at Isla Coronado, La Cholla, Punta Lobos, Punta Tintorera, and Ensenada Perros of: 11 yellowtail of 15 to 25 pounds, 2 cabrilla, 3 pinto bass, and 1 whitefish. Fishing with Bear were anglers Stu Gersh, Bob Gorham, Michael Hartmann, and Charlie Licha. Four other outings by Loreto Capts. Francisco Martinez, Alvaro Murillo, and Luciano Murillo produced a catch of: 22 yellowtail.
SANTA ROSALIA, MEXICO: Jim Anderson of San Bruno south of Santa Rosalia reported steady surface action at Isla San Marcos and farther offshore at Isla Tortuga as more bigeye scad baits showed up at the Haystack area near San Lucas Cove and a very big concentration of boats was seen fishing during the Semana Santa holiday. "Most years I have missed Semana Santa when all of Mexico comes to the beach," Anderson said. "When we got to the bait area we were surrounded by more boats than I have ever seen in this area. It looked like a clearance sale at a large marine dealer. When we got to the bajos on the north side of San Marcos Island, at one time there were over 40 boats all trying to fish in one small area, all the way from small cartop boats to a 47-foot inboard diesel. Whenever someone would get a bite or catch a fish, a cacophony of hoots, whistles, and hollering gave a rather festive atmosphere to the whole thing. I admit that everyone was having so much fun that it was hard to get frustrated when your line got tangled with someone else's line and several times it was a good excuse to pass around the cervezas that magically appeared."
SANTA ROSALIA, MEXICO: Michael Kanzler of Isla San Marcos at Santa Rosalia was busy working on his new online tackle sales website SoCalFishingTackle.com, but reported on 3 days of fishing by his deckhand Danny Chiquete with angler Felipe Andalla of Santa Ana, Calif., and his son Felipe for a catch of: Mexican sportfishing limits of yellowtail the first day, and a total of 8 more yellowtail the next 2 days, all at 23 to 35 pounds. "The first day of fishing turned out to be the best," Kanzler said. "They got a good amount of bigeye scad baits and took them to the 110 bajo. As soon as the boat stopped and the 3 slider sinker rigged baits made their way down the action started. It was an all-around bait and iron bite, with birds coming down and fish up, making for a nonstop action-filled day."
BAHIA DE LOS ANGELES, MEXICO: Abraham Vazquez of Camp Gecko at the south end of the village of Bahia de los Angeles reported fair Semana Santa crowds this year, with calm to moderate winds, air temperatures in the high-70s, water temperatures cool at 58 to 62 degrees, and fishing steady for local bottom species plus yellowtail on the northern reefs. "It feels much like spring now," Vazquez said. "The fishing is good. Stingrays have started to get close to shore so hopefully the water will warm up fast and make them go away."
SAN FELIPE, MEXICO: Tom Ward of The Longfin Tackle Store in Orange, Calif., reported on the season's first panga mothership trip by San Felipe's Tony Reyes Fishing Tours, a short 4-day run by the mothership Tony Reyes, for a catch of: 25 yellowtail of 10 to 20 pounds, 123 cabrilla of 7 to 15 pounds, 1 pargo of 5 pounds, 300 spotted bay bass of 3 to 6 pounds, 1 white seabass of 10 pounds, 8 sheephead of 5 to 8 pounds, 15 ocean whitefish of 3 to 5 pounds, 10 sierra mackerel of 6 to 10 pounds, and 1 golden cabrilla or golden phase leopard grouper of 10 pounds released. "The boat fished in beautiful weather on a charter led by Steve Enright of Tustin, Calif.," Ward said. "The Tony Reyes now fishes 3 and 4-day trips by popular demand in the spring and fall of the year."
SAN FELIPE, MEXICO: Catalina Meders of the Title Company Bookstore overlooking Bahia de San Felipe said Semana Santa crowds were smaller than usual this year and Easter weekend was strangely quiet. "On the night before Easter Sunday we stood outside on our front patio and were astounded at the silence," Meders said. "We could hear no music, no drums, no partying, no fireworks, it was eerie. There was less noise around our house than on an ordinary Saturday night. Usually the noise in our neighborhood on holiday nights is deafening. This was very unusual and disturbing." Meders said taco stands on the malecon did well, but restaurant business was slower than normal for the holiday and RV parks and campgrounds did not fill to capacity as expected. "I asked one of my Mexican neighbors why there were less people here than normally and he shrugged and said, 'They are all broke this year,'" Meders said. "Let's hope this is not a continuing trend. This week there are quite a few people in town on their way south so perhaps things will start turning around."
MAZATLAN, MEXICO: Larry Edwards of Cortez Yacht Charters reported on 23 Aries Fleet offshore charter boats out of Mazatlan's Marina El Cid, with a catch including released fish of: 2 striped marlin, 7 dorado, 12 yellowfin tuna, and 1 hammerhead shark. Seven inshore super pangas had a catch of: 30 cabrilla, 32 baqueta, 25 pargo, and Mexican limits of lora and conejo. "Unfortunately, Mazatlan offshore fishing did not improve this week and skippers had to work very hard to produce even a single fish," Edwards said. "There really isn't an established 'best fishing area' as the skippers are searching far and wide in all directions." Mazatlan fishing area weather was sunny in the mid-80s, with water temperatures at 69 to 70 degrees near shore, and 72 to 73 degrees farther out.
PUERTO VALLARTA, MEXICO: Danny Gomez of Dhamar Sportfishing reported slow action during 2 inshore outings by the Puerto Vallarta charter super panga Dhamar for a catch of: 10 sierra, 3 jacks, and 4 pompano. "It was pretty slow because the water was real cold and the bait situation was bad," Gomez said. "It's like that this month, but outside, 45 miles north of Punta Mita, the tunas are out there. We hope to run some offshore charters this week."
IXTAPA ZIHUATANEJO, MEXICO: Larry Edwards of Cortez Yacht Charters reported continuing slow offshore and inshore fishing at Ixtapa Zihuatanejo as cold green water and variable currents persisted. "It appeared that things were starting to change 2 weeks ago but it settled right back into unstable conditions," Edwards said. A combined 8 outings by Ixtapa Zihuatanejo charter Capt. Chiro on the boat Bloody Hook, Capt. Javier on La Bamba, Capt. Jose on La Bamba, Capt. Temo on Secuestro de Amor, and Capt. Omero on the Duquesa produced a catch including released fish of: 7 sailfish, 1 black marlin of 150 pounds, and 8 jack crevalle. "Inshore the fishing activity is very slow for all species," Edwards said. "April has historically been a very good month for both marlin and yellowfin tuna and we are all eagerly awaiting that change in the fishing." Ixtapa fishing area weather was sunny in the high-80s with water temperatures in streaky conditions at 80 degrees inshore and 82 degrees offshore.
IXTAPA ZIHUATANEJO, MEXICO: Ed Kunze, reporting for Baja On The Fly, said sailfish counts stayed down at about 1 fish per boat over the full moon phase, as some consistent action was found for 30-pound class yellowfin tuna on the 1,000-fathom line about 30 miles out and more blue marlin were seen. "The blue marlin bite is definitely picking up with lots of strikes reported everyday," Kunze said, "but hookups have been few. The general consensus is that like the sailfish the blue marlin are here but just not hungry enough to be aggressive once they are in the spread." Kunze fished south at Puerto Vicente Guerrero with fly fishing tackle angler Roy O'Shaughnessy of Canada and saw 5 sailfish within 2 miles of the beach but could not get them to strike. "Inshore, the large 18 to 25-pound jack crevalle action is still holding up well for those who are trolling small Rapalas," Kunze said.
MEXICO: Mike Kanzler of Isla San Marcos on the central Sea of Cortez announced the launch of his new sportfishing tackle selling website SoCalFishingTackle.com. "After a few very hard working months it's finally open!" Kanzler said. "SoCalFishingTackle.com is a new online store. We are a shop that manufactures and modifies existing fishing tackle to make it better and also less expensive for the consumer. We offer only top selling products and brands, not tons of stuff you don't need or want. More and more fish catching products will appear weekly. Take advantage of the free shipping on orders over $100 and check out our 2008 open charters and go fishing with us on the Ranger 85 out of San Diego's H&M Landing this summer."