LA PAZ, MEXICO: Jonathan Roldan of Tailhunter International said La Paz pangas continued to find good spring action last week for a nice variety of inshore and offshore fish species.
"I counted more than 19 species this week," Roldan said. "I still cannot believe the kind of bite La Paz is having for April." Fish caught by both north and south side pangas included yellowtail at El Bajo and La Reina, dorado to 40 pounds, marlin and sailfish outwards to the 88 bank off Isla Cerralvo, and steady inshore fishing on rocks and beaches for big bonito, big pargo, roosterfish, sierra, and jack crevalle. "The key is the wind," Roldan said. "If the wind lays down, it seems you can't help getting bit."
Anglers scoring on tough fighting pargo in shallow water included Dan Cook and his father Dave Cook, both of Massachusetts, who managed to land 4 big snappers on over 20 hookups on the east side of Isla Cerralvo. "They encountered a huge school of pargo that looked black because it was so thick," Roldan said. "They even had a whale shark swim under the panga while they were fighting the fish and they also hooked a yellowtail and some jacks."
LA PAZ, MEXICO: Gerardo Hernandez of Tortuga Sportfishing said his pangas launching out of Ensenada de los Muertos south of La Paz ran into a super abundance of black skipjack, or barrilete in Spanish, at the north end of Isla Cerralvo that hampered yellowtail fishing. "Because there were so many barrilete, we could not get to the yellowtail," Hernandez said. "But the fishing area at Isla Cerralvo still produced lots of pargos, cabrilla, and sierra, and there were lots of roosterfish at Las Arenas." Tortuga Sportfishing pangas fishing south at El Cardonal found dorado both near shore and at the offshore buoys. "The whole area has good fishing," Hernandez said. "Everywhere, we're seeing big numbers of marlin and some big dorado. We have enough bait at Punta Perico and at the south end of the island."
LA PAZ, MEXICO: Jamie Lawson of San Diego reported on 3 days of panga fishing out of Ensenada de los Muertos with Capt. Lalo of Fisherman's Fleet for surprisingly good results on early season dog snapper. "Typically these toothy devils will wait until the end of May or even June to take spring break from wherever they stay for the winter," Lawson said. "But this year there are plenty of dogs in April. Each day we saw close to a dozen on the fillet tables in the afternoon. That's about one dog per angler-day, an unusually high count at any time of year. All were caught before 8 a.m. while trolling Rapalas, not on live or dead bait. This has the locals scratching their heads, but no one is complaining. The fish ranged from about 10 to perhaps 15 pounds." Other catches at Isla Cerralvo included cabrilla, yellowtail, skipjack, and barred pargo. Pargo lisa proved tough adversaries in shallow water at Punta Perico. "While they were tantalizing the boats, only a few found their way to the hook and fewer still into the hold," Lawson said.
LA PAZ, MEXICO: Ken Thomas of Loomis, Calif., relayed a La Paz fishing report from Steve Susick of La Ventana near El Sargento for very good yellowtail action at the north end of Isla Cerralvo and lots of marlin and dorado outside at the 88 bank. "Yellowtail were flat going off," Susick said. "More talented fisherman were getting them on iron yo-yoing and getting nice barred pargo and cabrilla. The 88 went off yesterday. Two boats got 5 marlin and 8 dodos to 27 pounds and saw some tuna seiners loading up bigger tuna to 80 pounds." Earlier, Thomas fished at the north end of Isla Cerralvo for lots of yellowtail action and 2 small dorado plus 10 marlin seen about 20 miles farther out.
ENSENADA, MEXICO: Ivan Villarino of Ensenada's Vonny's Fleet panga fishing service reported continued steady Mexican sportfishing limits for all anglers fishing at the tip of Punta Banda, with fish counts including larger red rockcod, sculpin, lingcod, some calico bass, and an 18-pound yellowtail landed on Wednesday by Joe Mead and Joshua Stevensen, who fished on the Vonny IV with Capt. Hector. "This week, Ensenada had very good fishing again," Villarino said. "Not bad for the guys." Other anglers fishing local Ensenada waters with Capts. Beto and Vicente included Dave Drummond; Carleigh, Mark and Perry Latimer; Cat McLoghlin and Adriana Riphagen, both of Los Angeles, Calif.; Jay Johnson; and Tom Marshall. Local Ensenada fishing area weather was in the mid-60s and cloudy in the mornings, with sunny afternoons, light breezes, ocean swells to 3 feet, and the water temperature at Punta Banda averaging 58 degrees.
PUERTO SANTO TOMAS, MEXICO: Art Haeussler of Vista, Calif., reported on 2 days of fishing at Puerto Santo Tomas south of Ensenada with trip partner Phil Milani of Chula Vista, Calif., and Puerto Santo Tomas Resort panga Capt. Marcos for Mexican sportfishing limits of mixed rockfish species, "super-sized" calico bass, lingcod, and vermilion rockfish. "Panga fishing at Puerto Santo Tomas is hot," Haeussler said. "We had pristine seas and caught limits. Currently, the seas at Puerto Santo Tomas are like glass and the small village has come alive again with local and visitor fishermen. It's a quiet, serene and excellent choice for panga style fishing. We stayed at the Puerto Santo Tomas Resort which is clean and right at the private boat launch."
SAN QUINTIN, MEXICO: Kelly Catian of San Quintin's K&M Offshore Sportfishing reported lots of big red rockcod and some lingcod and whitefish caught during an outing by the charter boat Offshore III with angler Shu Yu and a family group. "The weather was really nice but foggy," Catian said. "We got lots of fish at the north end of the 240 spot in about 280 feet of water. We used cut squid and live bait on dropper loop rigs." K&M Offshore Sportfishing also ran San Quintin surfing trips on a strong southern swell with "head-high to overhead sets groomed by the spring northwest wind." San Quintin fishing area water temperatures were at 54 to 55 degrees at the point and 55 to 58 degrees at the 240 spot.
SAN QUINTIN, MEXICO: Pete Hillis of Pedro's Pangas reported continued very low traffic coming down Baja's Mex 1 Transpeninsular Highway and very few anglers fishing at San Quintin. "No boats went out this week," Hillis said. "I was in San Quintin until yesterday and the wind blew all week anyway." For the previous week, Hillis reported just a few anglers going out, but all of them scoring easy Mexican sportfishing limits at the 240 spot for mixed rockcods and lingcod. "Still no yellowtail, but things are looking good," Hillis said.
BAJA CALIFORNIA, MEXICO: Jose Angel Pacheco of the Cedros Outdoor Adventures Baja fly-down fishing and ecotourism service said independent fisherman Gumersindo Toba of Isla Cedros reported a catch on the previous Sunday of: 1 yellowtail at 20 kilos, 3 halibut to 13 kilos, and 1 white seabass of about 12 kilos. "He used regular bait of mackerel and pieces of squid," Pacheco said. "Baja coastal weather at Isla Cedros was sunny and calm. He got the catch in the area next to El Morro reef, which is about 3 miles southeast of Cedros Island." Pacheco said Cedros Outdoor Adventures will soon be sending photos of its fishing and touring flights from Ensenada to Isla Cedros, Isla San Geronimo and the Sacramento Reef, and other Baja fishing locations. Information, 619-793-5419.
MAGDALENA BAY, MEXICO: Gary Graham of Baja On The Fly reported Capt. Enrique Soto of San Carlos with good counts of small yellowtail at the Magdalena Bay main entrada, a few grouper on rocky points in the outer bay, and lots of small halibut on the sandy shallows at Punta Belcher. The San Carlos bridge produced small corvina, spotted bay bass, and a few cabrilla on the incoming tide. Fishing was generally slow in the Magdalena Bay mangrove esteros for a few pargo, pompano, and corvina at Devil's Curve. "Hardly enough to merit the 30-minute ride to get there," Graham said. Magdalena Bay fishing area weather was sunny in the low-90s, with water temperatures of 62 to 70 degrees.
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Tracy Ehrenberg of Pisces Fleet Sportfishing at Cabo San Lucas reported slowing striped marlin action over the full moon period as 56 percent of Pisces charters released marlin, 27 percent landed dorado of 15 to 30 pounds, at 1 or 2 dorado per boat, and just 8 percent caught yellowfin tuna, but with tuna counts of 12 to 20 fish for boats that did find them. A total of 64 striped marlin and 5 sailfish were caught during the week, with all but 1 striper released. "Angler numbers are down in Cabo San Lucas which is reflected in the catches," Ehrenberg said. "Fewer boats out equals fewer fish caught."
Top outings for the week included a quadruple marlin release day for the Pisces charter boat Andrea, and triple marlin release plus 1 sailfish days for both Tracy Ann and Rebecca. "As the week progressed it was harder to find marlin. They moved around a lot," Ehrenberg said. Most Pisces Sportfishing boats fished 3 to 20 miles out on the Cortez side at locations including Destiladeras, Punta Gorda, and Chileno. Cabo San Lucas fishing area weather was sunny, with some wind and rough water on the Pacific side, but Ehrenberg said, "Nobody is really going that way."
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Larry Edwards of Cortez Yacht Charters reported on 42 outings by Gaviota Fleet and the Cabo sportfishing boats Fish Cabo and Fish Cabo I, with a catch including released fish of: 49 striped marlin, 19 dorado, and 105 yellowfin tuna. "Live bait was a must as the billfish were very picky," Edwards said. "While the full moon did slow Cabo fishing a little, it was still good enough to keep the billfish counts at better than 1 per boat." Cabo San Lucas fishing area weather was sunny and warm, with a strong water temperature break at Cabo Falso, cool water to 67 degrees on the Pacific side, and up to 73 degrees on the Sea of Cortez side. "The best fishing area for stripers, albeit difficult to get the critters to bite, was from just a few miles outside of Cabo San Lucas harbor and easterly from there," Edwards said. Live baits available at the Cabo San Lucas marina were mostly caballitos.
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Grant Hartman of the Baja Anglers Cabo San Lucas fly fishing guide service reported good spring inshore action for jacks, lots of roosterfish, yellowtail, big sierra to 12 pounds, and bonita for Greg Williamson's family group from Redmond, Ore., and fly tackle anglers Correy Schieder and Frank Zach of San Antonio, Tex. "The inshore fishing really can't get any better," Hartman said. "It's a lot of fun when the fishing is this good and you see kids catching a ton of fish. More big fish will be coming into the Cabo San Lucas area in the next month and they will stay until late June to mid-July." Hartman also noted that Baja Anglers will be offering 3 to 6-day fish camping trips on the semi-remote Pacific side of the Baja California peninsula in September and October. "These are places I have fished over the last 15 years that get only a small amount of pressure from a few local fisherman," Hartman said. "We will be going with little or no contact with the outside world. Expect to catch snook, corbinas, sea bass, snappers, and other fun inshore fish on fly and spinning gear. I will also have some kayaks for fooling around in the estuaries."
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Ramon Druck of the Cabo San Lucas charter sportfishing super panga Cheer's reported on 5 outings during the week with a total of 7 anglers, for a catch including released fish of: 1 marlin lost, 1 marlin released early, 24 yellowfin tuna of 8 to 12 pounds, 1 dorado of 12 pounds, 10 yellowtail of 6 to 8 pounds, 1 skipjack of 4 pounds, 20 bonito of small to 7 pounds, 33 sierra of 5 to 7 pounds, 2 small roosterfish, and 12 Humboldt giant squid of 20 to 30 pounds. The Cheer's fished with trolled Rapalas and hoochies on Cabo's Pacific side beaches and on the Sea of Cortez side at the Hotel Hacienda in water temperatures of 69 to 73 degrees and mostly good sea conditions but with some brief strong winds. One trip outside on the Pacific side produced 10 marlin sightings but no bites on live bait. Anglers fishing aboard the Cheer's included Carlos Torres of Los Angeles, Calif.; Jim Vargelie, Larry Olsen and Dianne Olsen of Wisconsin; and Herb and Hale Bradley.
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Jim Dillon of Salvador's Sportfishing reported on 6 outings by the Cabo San Lucas charter boats El Budster, El Budster I, and El Budster II, with a catch including released fish of: 3 striped marlin, many more striped marlin seen but not biting, 25 yellowfin tuna of 15 to 25 pounds, and 4 dorado of 20 to 25 pounds.
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Mike Connolly of the Pisces Fleet Sportfishing charter boat Falcon said, "The striped marlin showed up in good numbers right at the arch. There were lots of tailers from Cabo Falso to Chileno with most of the Cabo San Lucas sportfishing fleet staying close, often within a mile or 2 of the beach. Yellowfin tuna showed in close also." Four outings by the Falcon produced 10 yellowfin tuna of about 15 pounds plus 6 striped marlin released in water temperatures up to 76 degrees on the Cortez side. For the previous week, 3 outings produced 11 marlin released.
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Durance Lowendick of Marlin Masters Sportfishing at Cabo San Lucas reported multiple striped marlin sighted and and average of 2 to 3 fish landed near the Cabo arch during 8-hour charters. "Most of the bites are coming off live mackerel pitch baited to tailing fish or from live mackerel slow trolled around feeding pods of stripers," Lowendick said. "We have also encountered striped marlin at the 95, 1150, and Gordo Banks areas." Yellowfin tuna of 15 to 25 pounds were located 8 to 25 miles south. Dorado counts improved for 20 to 30 pounders but dorado were still scattered. Inshore fishing produced roosterfish locally on bait and flies, and Humboldt giant squid continued to be caught off Medano Beach on iron jigged 100 to 200 feet deep.
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: George Landrum of Flyhooker Sportfishing reported a water temperature range of 67 degrees on the Pacific side to as high as 75 degrees on the Sea of Cortez side, with large numbers of striped marlin showing up around Punta Gorda. "It was not uncommon to spot pods of 3 to 15 marlin located less than 4 miles from the Cabo arch and often within a mile or less," Landrum said. "But you had to have the right bait and a good amount of luck to catch one. The problem was that the marlin were not very interested in caballito baits, and that was the bait most common from the bait boats. Mackerel was preferred by the marlin that were hungry. Being off feed was probably due to them feeding all night during the full moon phase. There were balls of 12-inch squid everywhere and almost every species caught this week was stuffed with them. For the most part Cabo San Lucas boats were lucky to catch 1 marlin after throwing bait to dozens of lazing fish."
SAN JOSE DEL CABO, MEXICO: Eric Brictson of Gordo Banks Pangas reported on 48 combined La Playita fleet pangas fishing out of San Jose del Cabo's Puerto Los Cabos marina, with a catch including released fish of: 135 yellowfin tuna, 214 yellowtail, 17 striped marlin, 16 dorado, 88 combined snapper species, 202 sierra, 15 roosterfish, 17 jack crevalle, and 15 cabrilla. San Jose del Cabo fishing area weather was warm in the high-80s, with water temperatures up to 75 degrees recorded at the Gordo Banks.
The Los Cabos vacation area continued to have fewer than normal visitors. "Tourism continues to be at substandard levels due to the poor economy in the United States," Brictson said. "It is perhaps up to 50 percent less than normal for the spring season." Sardina live baits were plentiful as mackerel thinned out in warming water temperatures and some good yellowfin tuna action was found by pangas fishing 2 to 5 miles off Chileno and Cabeza de Ballena. "On Sunday through Wednesday, anglers found Mexican sportfishing limits of tuna ranging from 10 to 18 pounds," Brictson said. "Another wide-open bite developed this week for small firecracker yellowtail to 5 pounds located 1 mile offshore of the San Jose del Cabo hotel district."
SAN JOSE DEL CABO, MEXICO: San Jose del Cabo species fishing specialist reported his first dorado of 2008 caught after 26 outings during the year. New species caught or observed near San Jose del Cabo included a striped corvina plus a Peruvian mojarra that was bought at a local market. "I purchased it for 32 cents at Soriana's in pristine condition," Snow said.
SAN JOSE DEL CABO, MEXICO: Randy Morishita of Cabo Xtreme Fishing said construction of a new website at Caboxfish.com was nearing completion and Cabo Xtreme Fishing was busy at the new Puerto Los Cabos marina. "The timing could not have been better for us," Morishita said. "Cabo Xtreme Fishing is the official charter for the Posada Real Hotel."
SAN JOSE DEL CABO, MEXICO: For the previous week, Bob Lewis of San Jose del Cabo reported on 2 pangas returning to Punta Palmilla with about 20 yellowtail of 10 to 12 pounds. "There don't seem to be many tourists around and the snow birds are all heading back to Canada so things are quiet," Lewis said.
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: Gary Graham of Baja On The Fly said East Cape beach fly fishing was "as good as it gets" early in the week at Bartle Beach before winds knocked out the action. "In the first hour I had 4 roosterfish and a pompano," Graham said. "The next hour, the wind waves started up and the wind line from the north soon brought whitecaps with enough wind to convince me the day was done. It took until Sunday for the wind to subside and the water to clean up." Baja On The Fly clients fishing during the week included Glen Tremble of San Diego, who scored a first-ever jack release on the fly, and Gaylord Kellogg of Seattle, Wash., and his group who fished in concentrations of mullet, sardina, some larger roosterfish, and a 15-pound jack landed before heading to the airport. Graham noted that stingrays have appeared on East Cape beaches. "This time of year it is a good idea to pay attention to where you step in the water," he said. East Cape fishing area weather was partly cloudy in the mid-90s, with water temperatures at 65 to 76 degrees.
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: Marisol Verdugo of Martin Verdugo's Beach Resort said fleet boats found 2 to 5 dorado per outing at 20 to 35 pounds, plus about 1 to 3 striped marlin released and increasing numbers of sailfish. "Some tuna are also starting to come up," Verdugo said. "Yesterday, we caught some tuna of 40 to 45 pounds."
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: Russ Fritz of La Ribera reported on an outing aboard his panga Soplado with Chuck Potter of East Cape and Fritz' grandson Juan Cisnos for a catch of 2 marlin released and 1 kept for feeding the people of La Ribera. "There was no lack of marlin directly in front of La Ribera," Fritz said. "We must have seen close to 100 jumpers in 4 hours and I lost track of the number of schooling marlin. They were in packs of 5 and more. We also had a number of short strikes, all on lures. These are very fat, healthy marlin, one of which gave Juan an hour-and-half fight." East Cape fishing area weather was perfect, with glass calm water at 74 to 81 degrees and the warmer water found near the beach.
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: For the week ending April 17, 2008, Chris Moyers of East Cape Smoke House reported on 67 charter boats from combined fleets including Hotels Palmas de Cortez, Playa del Sol, Punta Colorada, Buena Vista Beach Resort, Rancho Leonero, and Martin Verdugo's Beach Resort, with 174 anglers and a catch including released fish of: 77 striped marlin, 5 sailfish, 79 dorado, 5 yellowfin tuna, 25 yellowtail, and 1 mako shark. East Cape fishing area weather was in the low-90s, with some wind and water temperatures of 66 to 76 degrees. "The action slowed down," Moyers said. "One factor was certainly the wind that blew real hard on Thursday, and another factor was the amount of squid in the water. Also, there just are not many anglers on the East Cape right now. In many years past, we've had far more visitors to our small dusty town in southern Baja by this time of year."
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: Simon Cazaly of the Vista Sea Sport diving service at East Cape reported 74 degrees at depth on the Cabo Pulmo coral reef, with 35 to 40 feet of visibility and heavy concentrations of fish present. "Descending onto the south end of the reef we blended in with hundreds of leopard grouper all facing into the current, steadfastly refusing to move just because we had invaded their space," Cazaly said. "As we headed north, cruising along the eastern edge, a group of 300 to 400 smoothtail mobula mantas glided above us for a couple of minutes."
Other sea life sightings during dives in the marine park included green morays eels, pinto lobsters, yellow snapper, burrito grunt, bumphead parrotfish, diamond stingrays, electric bull's-eye rays, gafftopsail pompano, cornetfish, surgeonfish, angelfish, Moorish idol, red snapper, flower urchins, pencil urchins, blennies, gobies, spider crabs, humpback whales, and an encounter with a thresher shark that leapt completely out of the water 2 or 3 times. "This was something I had never seen before and I was spellbound, amazed at another perfect ending to yet another fantastic day and wondering what new surprises the Sea of Cortez will bring," Cazaly said.
LORETO, MEXICO: Bill Erhardt of Loreto reported 4 early season dorado caught, including 2 peanuts and 2 fish of 12 and 18 pounds, while trolling marlin feathers on Tuesday aboard his boat Soledad about 40 to 45 miles east of the Loreto marina. "These are the first dorado I have seen taken out of Loreto this year," Erhardt said. Boats fishing at Punta Cholla and other locations at the north end of Isla Carmen did well on quality yellowtail, and Erhardt's boat fished a day south at Isla Catalana for 2 yellowtail and 1 nice cabrilla. "I was early into the learning curve on a new downrigger and missed many more than I caught," Erhardt said. "Others with more experience with downriggers, or who fished with inline weights or flylined mackerel, did much better." Erhardt also noted that the Loreto segment of the statewide Baja California Sur Governor's Cup fishing tournament was scheduled for May 2-3, 2008.
LORETO, MEXICO: Pam Bolles of Baja Big Fish Company said Loreto fishing area yellowtail were still full of eggs at most locations. "This means that they haven't spawned yet," Bolles said. "It looks as if yellowtail inside the bay between the northern point of La Cholla and the western point of Tintorera may be spawning. They are grouped densely together and for the most part they are unresponsive to large bait. In general, these fish don't feed while they are spawning but fortunately they don't all spawn in all locations at the exact same time." Offshore, Bolles noted good concentrations of sargassum weed seen off Loreto. "There is a lot of sargasso out there but that doesn't mean much unless it stays with us for several months," Bolles said. "It's way too early for dorado. We hope to start setting out buoys in early to mid-May this year, and we plan on maintaining them throughout the season. This will be to hedge our bets in case the sargasso isn't there when we need it."
LORETO, MEXICO: Mark McCord reported on his early April outing out of Loreto's Hotel Oasis with Capt. Poncho Susarrey for good action on yellowtail at La Cholla on Isla Carmen. "The wind had calmed down and we were happy as the panga took off," McCord said. "About an hour later Poncho spotted something out of the corner of his eye and turned the boat and headed into the biggest boils I have ever seen in Loreto. We got 7 large yellowtails as fast as we could reel them, with weights of 30 to 35 pounds. We were back at the Hotel Oasis at 10 a.m."
SANTA ROSALIA, MEXICO: Mike Kanzler of Isla San Marcos reported Santa Rosalia fishing area weather at about 80 degrees, with good sea conditions and water temperatures of 63 to 64 degrees at Isla San Marcos and 66 to 67 degrees farther out at Isla Tortuga. "Really nice spring weather," Kanzler said. "The water was clean at Tortuga with visibility to about 40 feet, and inshore waters are slightly dirty." A run to Isla Tortuga produced a 35-pound plus personal best yellowtail for Kanzler's 10-year-old son Michael. "I set him up with a 2-speed 50-pound outfit and a fresh Spanish mackerel rigged with my famous 4-ounce slider sinker rig," Kanzler said. "Michael dropped close to the bottom, got picked up, and the battle ensued. In 15 minutes or so, a toad yellowtail is on the deck and the whole time everyone on another boat was cheering him on." Two more yellowtail were caught during the trip, 1 by Kanzler and another by Michael.
SANTA ROSALIA, MEXICO: Jim Anderson of San Bruno south of Santa Rosalia said some cabrilla and big yellowtail were caught at Isla Tortuga during the week while using baits not rigged with the usual Mike Kanzler-style sliding sinker. "When the fish are going off at Isla San Marcos we use a sliding sinker and let it rest up against the hook, but for some reason at Tortuga they did not like the bait presented in that manner," Anderson said. "We had to tie a swivel into the line to keep the hook away from the sinker. One day they wanted a really long leader and the next day they showed a marked preference for the shorter leaders. I am not a fan of dropper loop fishing but one day that was what the fish preferred, and not against the bottom. They wanted the bait to be moving either up or down in the water column."
Anderson also fished with Mike Kanzler of Isla San Marcos. "I had the pleasure of being able to fish with him a couple of days and beside his boat on another day," Kanzler said. "I caught more fish one day so I guess the student can best the teacher once in a rare moon. He is a Baja legend when it comes to yellowtail and he has probably put more hours in on these fish than most people can accomplish in a lifetime. It is a real treat to have him on the boat and just watch how he holds his rod if nothing else." Final arrangements were set for the annual Isla San Marcos Yellowtail Shootout Fishing Tournament, scheduled May 17-18, 2008, with a $30 entry fee, proceeds to benefit the community on the island, and the captain's meeting at Anderson's home in San Bruno.
SAN FELIPE, MEXICO: Tony Reyes Sr. of Tony Reyes Fishing Tours announced a season-long tournament for all anglers fishing aboard the San Felipe panga mothership Jose Andres this year, with top prizes including free trips for the year's biggest yellowtail, cabrilla, white seabass, and red snapper, plus many other goodies to be given away. "Everybody is donating prizes," Reyes said. "I still don't know everything that we have, but it's a lot of stuff from the U.S. and also from San Felipe. We have rods, reels, and all kinds of stuff, plus the free trips." Information, The Longfin, 714-538-8010.
SAN FELIPE, MEXICO: Catalina Meders of the San Felipe Title Company Bookstore reported "boring perfect" midmorning weather at 78 degrees with a very light breeze. "The tide is out, the bay is cerulean blue, and the town of San Felipe is quiet," Meders said. The town's recent Blues and Arts Festival was a smashing success, as Meders said, "The music was really great and we danced our legs off. The whole production was beautifully put together and the art show was entirely professional and well organized. The stage was huge and rock concert worthy, and the music was accompanied by a real light show and atmospheric smoke effects. Everyone I talked to just loved it and I hear that the Lion's Club is planning on repeating next year."
SAN CARLOS, MEXICO: Jon Jen Charters of San Carlos reported on 2 outings for some yellowtail and good counts off goldspotted bass. "The customers vacuum sealed the whole halves for the barby or smoker," Jon Jen said. "We had a boat up to Bahia San Pedro and did vacuum sealing all evening." The charter boat JonJen II was out of maintenance and ready for the season. "We are really starting to gear up for the season. The boats will be ready to go at anytime," Jon Jen said.
MAZATLAN, MEXICO: Larry Edwards of Cortez Yacht Charters reported on 24 Aries Fleet offshore charter boats fishing out of Mazatlan's Marina El Cid, with a catch including released fish of: 8 striped marlin, 3 sailfish, 9 dorado to 40 pounds, and 1 mako shark. Nine inshore super pangas had a catch of: 13 baqueta, 5 snappers, 1 corvina, and 14 lengua. "Even the inshore super pangas had difficult fishing this week," Edwards said. "The fishing at Mazatlan had been tough enough and then add the full moon, making it even more difficult. Mazatlan water temperatures are inching up slowly and skippers are anxiously awaiting the arrival of the dorado masses at the buoys which should start in the next few weeks." Mazatlan fishing area weather was sunny in the low-90s, with mostly calm seas, light breezes, and water temperatures averaging 73 degrees inshore and 75 to 76 degrees offshore. Aries Fleet offshore boats continued to fish with rigged baits over a wide area with no concentrations of fish found.
PUERTO VALLARTA, MEXICO: Danny Quinonez of PV Marlin Sportfishing at Puerto Vallarta reported good numbers of 30-pound class yellowfin tuna caught by boats running to Roca Corbeteña. "They usually don't come in until later in the year," Quinonez said, "but the water temp is rising fast this year. There are plenty of dorado and sailfish too, but no sign of the big blues and blacks yet." Inshore fishing around Puerto Vallarta's Bahia de Banderas produced good counts of mixed jacks.
IXTAPA ZIHUATANEJO, MEXICO: Ed Kunze, reporting for Baja On The Fly, said blue water was located about 15 miles out as Ixtapa Zihuatanejo boats fishing 18 to 22 miles out averaged 2 to 3 sailfish per day. The charter panga Gitana with Capt. Santiago released 6 sailfish in 2 outings. "The yellowfin tuna are still beyond the 45-mile mark and very few dorado have been showing in the counts," Kunze said. Ixtapa inshore fishing produced large sierra mackerel on wire leaders and trolled feathers or plugs. Ixtapa fishing area weather was partly cloudy in the low-100s, with water temperatures at 80 to 84 degrees.
IXTAPA ZIHUATANEJO, MEXICO: Larry Edwards of Cortez Yacht Charters said, "Very changeable conditions in the Ixtapa fishing area brought with them inconsistent action. One day would find large concentrations of sailfish and the next day they would be gone." Quadruple sailfish days were turned in by Capt. Adolofo on the charter boat Dos Hermanos I and Capt. Chiro on the Bloody Hook. "The blue water moved to beyond the 15-mile mark with most of the good sailfish activity occurring in green water between 8 and 15 miles, and there is another hot bite at the 1,000-fathom curve 25 miles offshore," Edwards said. "No marlin or tuna activity was reported."
CANCUN, MEXICO: Larry Edwards of Cortez Yacht Charters reported on 15 outings by the El Cid Caribe sportfishing fleet at Puerto Morelos near Cancun, with a catch including released fish of: 5 sailfish, 14 dorado, 12 mutton snapper, 1 king mackerel, 2 Atlantic barracuda, 1 amberjack, 2 triggerfish, 1 grouper, and 2 wahoo. "The sailfish bite is a couple of weeks early this season," Edwards said. "Longer day charters at Cancun are having a good opportunity at the billfish that should just get better through the next couple of months. The full moon seemed to have little effect on Puerto Morelos area fishing which offered a variety of 9 fish species." Cancun fishing area weather was partly cloudy at 90 degrees, with light easterly winds and the water temperature even at 81 degrees as offshore boats fished mainly with rigged ballyhoo or halfbeak baits.
MEXICO: David Burns of Tecolutla, near Veracruz on the Mexican Atlantic coast, reported very good local fishing for king mackerel, or "peto" in Spanish, that included a personal best peto of 10 kilos during an outing that produced 30 peto for 3 anglers. "Over the last 10 days Capt. Cero alone has landed in excess of 200 peto in the 3 to 4-kilo range," Burns said of local Mexican commercial fishing efforts.
Describing his 10-kilo fish, Burns said, "With the sun rising in our faces and the full moon setting on our backs, we headed offshore early Monday morning on our way to 'Las 28,' where the sea is 28 fathoms deep and the water an incredible shade of blue. We were using 100-pound test as hand lines, a half-kilo lead weight, and 3 hooks baited with cut saberfish. My line wasn't in the water more than a minute when I felt a huge tug. The fight was so fierce that, much to the amusement on my captain and fellow crew member, I actually ended up on the floor of the panga as I missed my bench while trying to sit down."
Local fisherman Cesar Salazar had an evening catch of 3 snook, and a snook of 8.5 kilos or over 18 pounds won a new car for the top angler at a tournament held by the nearby town of Gutierrez Zamora. "So as you can clearly see the bite is on in Tecolutla," Burns said. "Next week is the annual sabalo, or tarpon tournament and I hope to get out and scout for the fish with Capt. Cero and with a little luck land one of them."
MEXICO: Andrew Burton of Manzanillo south of Puerto Vallarta on the Mexican Pacific coast, and the website Fishingmanzanillo.com, reported on 2 mid-April outings, finding water temperatures of 72.1 to 79.5 degrees from inshore outwards to about 40 kilometers and catches including 8 yellowfin tuna, 3 tuna lost, 1 sailfish unbuttoned, and 1 small dorado. At 30 kilometers out, Burton said, "The water at 79.5 degrees was considered too warm for makos and blue sharks, although the Manzanillo commercial shark fishing fleet has reported good captures of makos." At 40.5 kilometers out, Burton said, "We encountered the Manzanillo commercial tuna fishing fleet. Birds were sitting on the water and dolphins were milling around but there was no action. Tuna were below us but not feeding. It was pleasing to see the tuna guys successfully releasing a large number of dolphins in quick succession."