LORETO, MEXICO: Bill Erhardt of Loreto reported midsummer-like dorado limits for Loreto pangas fishing just 15 miles outside Isla Carmen, and a total of 10 dorado landed by his boat Soledad in 2 runs east and north of town.
"After a long and generally slow yellowtail season, local Loreto pangueros are now venturing further offshore in search of dorado," Erhardt said. "On Monday I came across an armada of 8 or 10 pangas 15 miles east of Punta Lobos fishing a big school of dorado concentrated around a floating length of rope and section of fish net. All returned to the Loreto marina early with limits of dorado for everybody."
Dorado were holding on weed paddies and any floating structure in the water, Erhardt said, in water temperatures up to 78 degrees. Billfish were also present but hard to catch due abundant bait in the water. "Flying fish, squid, and balls of bait fish provide competition for anything fishermen have to offer," Erhardt said. "Huge schools of porpoise, some covering several square miles, are sharing in the bountiful bait along with pods of pilot whales."
LORETO, MEXICO: Pam Bolles of Loreto's Baja Big Fish Company said, "Yes! We are getting dorado now! Isla Carmen's north side and east of the island is the hot fishing area. There was another huge school of dorado yesterday. There's a lot of sargasso out there and the dorado were vomiting up squid." Water temperatures about 7 miles east of Punta Lobos on the north end of Isla Carmen were at 78 degrees as several outings by Baja Big Fish Company pangas scored dorado limits on fish to just under 40 pounds, plus an estimated 60 pounder that broke off on a group of New Jersey anglers who had brought 20-pound tackle for yellowtail.
"They brought rods that couldn't handle the yellowtail so their captain went out for dorado," Bolles said. "They found a huge school only 5 miles past Punta Lobos. They limited on dorado but the 60 pounder escaped being boated. That dorado is saving itself for me!" Other pangas fishing locally scored good counts of cabrilla along the Baja coast, but slower action was found north at Punta Lobos and south at Isla Catalana. Bolles commented on this year's early showing of dorado in Loreto waters saying, "I guess they're moving in now. Is it an early season? Hope not. I like to see a gradual warming of the sea and a gradual migration of these dorado into the area so they stick around and not pass us by."
Bolles also said Baja Big Fish Company would be moving to its new downtown Loreto storefront, scheduled for opening on June 2, 2008. "We will be sharing a building with Eco Alianza Loreto who we are next to right now," Bolles said. "We'll be in the building that used to be the Colima restaurant on Benito Juarez. We will have a grand opening party, details to be announced. I like the new location better. It's larger, better located, and with parking too!"
LORETO, MEXICO: For the previous week, Keith Williams of Redondo Beach, Calif., reported perfect weather and 4 days of good yellowtail, cabrilla, and pargo fishing with Loreto Capt. Andres Cota Arce during runs to San Bruno, Isla Santa Catalana, and La Cholla on Isla Carmen. "My friends Brian and Terry Kinsey spent a week in Loreto for my birthday and the highlight of the trip was Terry catching her first yellowtail and Brian catching a 50-pound toad at La Cholla in 15 feet of water," Williams said. "We had some bigeye bait left at the end of the day and decided to troll along the rocks close to the beach. Within minutes there was a huge boil on Brian's bait. We all thought it was a big rooster or grouper in real shallow water and mixed bottom of sand and rocks. Captain Andres started for deeper water and Brian with the help of Andres' skippering was able to bring the fish to color. When we saw the big yellow, we couldn't believe our eyes. Brian's leader was cut up from the rocks. It was simply amazing we were able to get the fish to the boat."
ENSENADA, MEXICO: Ivan Villarino of Vonny's Fleet reported good results all week for Mexican lingcod limits and mixed bottom fish limits for his pangas fishing at the tip of Ensenada's Punta Banda. "The week was very good for lingcod," Villarino said. Anglers scoring Mexican sportfishing limits or near limits with Vonny's Fleet's panga Capts. Beto and Hector included Don Bussy and Angelo Oliverio of Los Angeles, Calif., Dave Henson and his fishing partner Tobias of Mission Viejo, Calif., and Robert Wine and his wife, from Las Vegas, Nev., who also caught 3 nice bonito for the Vonny's Fleet client fish smoker. Ensenada fishing area weather was partly foggy in the mornings and sunny in the afternoons at 70 degrees, with calm winds, ocean swells at 2 to 3 feet, and the water temperature at Punta Banda averaging 58 degrees.
ENSENADA, MEXICO: Steve Ross of the Ensenada sportfishing boat Bad Dog out of Marina Coral reported very slow surface and bottom fishing during a long offshore day of looking for sharks, with a total catch of just 2 vermilion rockfish and 6 starry rockfish. For the shark, Ross said, "With the news about great white sharks on the coast, I assumed that the northern spring migration of sharks has begun. To further confirm this, a boat in Marina Coral had caught a thresher shark last Saturday on the San Jose Bank while bottom fishing. With my downrigger set up with my Z-Wing and all tackle wired, I trolled as slow as the boat would go down south on the 500-fathom curve. The water was green and 59 degrees. On top of the San Jose Bank, I began zig-zagging to the east and west drop-offs. Whenever I ran over a cloud of fish on my meter I wrote down the numbers. There were no shark bites in all of the nautical miles, no signs of life anywhere. After 6 hours we gave up and broke out the rockcod gear. Most of the spots were barren when I returned to them. We traveled just under 100 miles, all south of Ensenada."
ERENDIRA, MEXICO: Tere Castro of Castro's Camp Sportfishing at Erendira on the Baja coast south of Ensenada reported 15 boats going out during the week for steady big counts of rockcod, lingcod, whitefish to about 8 pounds, bonito, and more yellowtail hooked on the bottom with cut bait. "The yellowtail are starting to show at our fish cleaning tables," Castro said. "We're getting about 4 or 5 per day and hopefully it will get better as we get closer to summer." Baja sportfishing activity was generally slow but Castro said "the phone hasn't stopped ringing" for bookings in July and August. "We are expecting a very good summer," she said. Castro's Camp boats fished about 7 to 8 miles off the Baja coast, about 140 to 160 feet deep to the north, and about 200 to 210 feet deep on a heading of about 240 degrees. Baja coastal fishing weather off Erendira was mostly calm, with the water temperature averaging 59 degrees.
SAN QUINTIN, MEXICO: Marita Melville of Don Eddie's Landing reported some wind and swell at the San Quintin 240 spot, but a trip by Capt. Juan Cook on the charter boat Sophia producing Mexican sportfishing limits of big red rockcod to 8 pounds and 3 large "Santa Maria" bottom fish. Fishing out of San Quintin aboard the Sophia were anglers Mitchell Margaretich, Donald Harrington, Dave Bowers, and Glen Pettinelli, all from Orange County.
SAN QUINTIN, MEXICO: Pete Hillis of Pedro's Pangas reported very few anglers making the Baja run to San Quintin and no boats fishing during the week, although weather and fishing conditions were very good. "We are looking forward to a great Memorial Day weekend and hopefully will have more to report," Hillis said. Hillis also noted increased local enforcement of Mexican fishing regulations in the San Quintin area. "Conapesca, Mexico's Fish & Game, have been present more than usual in local waters around San Quintin," Hillis said. "Those fishing in Baja territory should make sure they have a valid Mexico fishing license."
BAJA CALIFORNIA, MEXICO: Celia Diaz of the nonprofit Binational Emergency Medical Care Committee (BEMCC) said the price of the annual membership card giving members a toll free, 24/7 emergency number to call from Baja California or mainland Mexico for injury assistance or medical evacuation to the U.S. had been raised from $30 to $45. "This is the first price increase in 15 years," Diaz said of the tax deductible annual fee. Membership information and 24/7 BEMCC assistance hotline, 619-425-5080.
MAGDALENA BAY, MEXICO: Gary Graham of Baja On The Fly said no sportfishing boat reports were received from the Magdalena Bay area during the week. Magdalena Bay fishing area weather was partly cloudy at 90 degrees, with water temperatures at 62 to 70 degrees and offshore winds of 9 to 12 knots.
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Larry Edwards of Cortez Yacht Charters reported on 36 sportfishing trips by Gaviota Fleet and the Cabo San Lucas charter boats Fish Cabo and Fish Cabo I, with a catch including released fish of: 26 striped marlin, 1 wahoo, 2 roosterfish, 20 yellowfin tuna, and 48 dorado. "There are numerous striped marlin throughout the Cabo San Lucas sportfishing area but the fish remain lockjawed for now," Edwards said. The top boat for the week was the Fish Cabo I, with 6 striped marlin releases in 4 outings. Cabo San Lucas fishing area weather was partly cloudy in the mid-90s, with some westerly breezes, good sea conditions, and water temperatures ranging from 74 degrees on the Pacific side at San Cristobal to 79 degrees at the Gordo Banks on the Sea of Cortez side. Boats fished in all directions in good concentrations of slow-biting billfish.
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Tommy Garcia of Cabo Magic Sportfishing at Cabo San Lucas reported on 88 boats, with a catch including released fish of: 46 striped marlin, 62 yellowfin tuna, 20 yellowtail, 32 dorado, 1 wahoo, 12 amberjack, 4 jack crevalle, 4 bonita, 2 skipjack, and 12 sierra. The charter boat Cabo Magic held the first day lead in the 2008 IGFA World Championship tournament for the team from San Benedetto del Tronto, Italy, and team members Sergio de Tommasis, Fabio Gieri, Daniele Tarroni, and Carlo Pezzini.
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Jim Dillon of Salvador's Sportfishing reported on 7 outings by the Cabo San Lucas charter boats El Budster, El Budster I, and El Budster II, with a combined catch including released fish of: 5 striped marlin, 10 yellowfin tuna of 15 to 25 pounds, 8 dorado of 20 to 40 pounds, and 1 yellowtail of 5 pounds.
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Ramon Druck of the Cabo San Lucas charter sportfishing super panga Cheer's reported on 1 outing during the week with 1 angler, for a catch including released fish of: 1 dorado of about 25 pounds. The Cheer's fished about 2 miles offshore specifically targeting marlin in water temperatures of 72 to 73 degrees with angler S. Walker from San Diego, Calif., and saw good numbers of marlin, but they were not in a mood to bite. "We saw the marlin, but they didn't want to hit," Druck said, "and when they did hit, they got away."
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: George Landrum of Fly Hooker Sportfishing reported Cabo San Lucas fishing area weather in the low-90s, with Pacific side water green and cool at 70 degrees and the Sea of Cortez side blue and as warm as 81 degrees at Punta Gorda and the Gordo Banks. Live mackerel and caballito baits at the Cabo San Lucas marina were selling at the new price of $3 each, up from $2. Billfish continued plentiful but stuffed on squid and slow to bite on the Cortez side. Yellowfin tuna were still scarce following recent commercial net boat fishing at Los Cabos, and dorado were also scattered. "I guess the seiners got most of them too," Landrum said. "The good news is that the water is warming up and we should have a new mass of fish moving into the Cabo San Lucas area soon. The fishing this week was extremely poor."
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Pete Johnson of Johnson Communications in Scottsdale, Ariz., said a total of 63 teams from 27 countries were fishing 4 days in this year's ninth annual IGFA Offshore World Championship billfish tournament at Cabo San Lucas on May 12-15, 2008. Teams qualifying for the catch-and-release event in 130 IGFA sanctioned tournaments held around the world represented Angola, Australia, the Bahamas, Bermuda, Brazil, Canada, Costa Rica, Croatia, Grenada, Guatemala, Italy, Jamaica, Kenya, Mexico, New Zealand, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Portugal, Puerto Rico, St. Lucia, Spain, Sultanate of Oman, Trinidad and Tobago, Turks and Caicos, the United States, Vanuatu, and Venezuela.
Each team in the tournament fishes from 4 different boats captained by local Cabo San Lucas guides, scoring points for billfish released and for weights of tuna, dorado, and wahoo kept, which are donated to local charities.
Cabo San Lucas sportfishing boats, captains, and fleets fishing in the 2008 IGFA Offshore World Championship were:
Bad Market, Manuel Romero, Pochos Charter Fleet; Bad Medicine, Bernabe Ruiz; Bill Collector, Julio Gonzalez, Pisces Fleet; C-Rod, Abel Ramirez, Pisces Fleet; Cabo Magic, Hector Ayala Garcia; Cabo Marlini, Teo Gonzalez; Cabolero, Lupe Gomez Zenteno, Pisces Fleet; Cabolicious, Gilberto Arenas, Paradise Fleet; Cisco, Jose Nuñez, Picante Fleet; Don Pancho, Roberto Padilla; Dream, Victor Sandes, Picante Fleet; Edith IV, Francisco de la R.; El Torito, Antonio Romero; Express, Antonio Romero, Picante Fleet; Expresso, Juan Bertin, Picante Fleet; Falcon, Manuel Romero, Pisces Fleet; Finnseeker, Chuy Tolentino; Fish Cabo, Gil Marquez, Fish Cabo Fleet; Go Deep, Javier Bribiesca; Grey Light, Mario, Cabo Magic Fleet; Guerita, Efren Beron; Halcon, Ramon Winkler; Hook Up, Oscar Hernandez; Jalapeño, Bill Von Hinkle; Karma, Gilberto Castro, Picante Fleet; La Brisa, Rey Winkler, Pisces Fleet; Libre, Manuel Dominguez, Pisces Fleet; Mañana, Roberto Olascoaga, Vickys Fleet; Marshall, Francisco de la Roca, Silverados Fleet; Mextime, Roberto Olascoaga, Vicky's Fleet; Minerva III, David Urrea, Minerva's Fleet; Minerva V, Carlos Rodriguez, Minerva's Fleet; Minerva VI, Pime Fiol, Minerva's Fleet; Muchacho Alegre, Esteban Alvarez, Silverados Fleet; Mucho Bueno, Ernie Cosio, Pisces Fleet; Mucho Loco I, Juan Almanza, Mucho Loco Fleet; Out Cast, Jesus Romero, Pochos Charter Fleet; Picante, David Lieras, Picante Fleet; Picante 45 Tonufo, Eduardo Ceseña, Picante Fleet; Piraña, Antonio Ortiz H.; Pride, Iram Ruelas Montaño, Picante Fleet; Rantin Ravin, Javier Bertin; Rebecca, Roberto Sandez, Pisces Fleet; Rebelde, Jaime Sanchez, Silverados Fleet; Renegade Mike, Joel Fiol; Rosa del Mar, Carlos Peralta; Ruthless, Leon Camacho, Pisces Fleet; Salsa, Juan Carlos Lopez, Picante Fleet; Silverado, Ignacio Sanchez, Silverados Fleet; Sir Fishalot, David Morales; Solmar I, Federico Marron; Solmar IV, Mario Arballo; Solmar IX, Fernando Chan ; Solmar O, Javier Abaroa; Solmar VI, Valentin Castillo; Solmar VII, Gerardo Agundez; Stimulator, Jay Bush; Tony's Machine, Tony Nungaray; Top Gun, Jose Ramiro, Pochos Charter Fleet; Tracy Ann, Julio Castro, Pisces Fleet; Tuna Time, Mario Castro, Fish Cabo Fleet; Valerie, Benito Agundez, Pisces Fleet; Vaquero, Eric Orozco, Paradise Fleet; and Ya Hoo, Ricardo, Pisces Fleet.
Partners and sponsors for the 2008 IGFA Offshore World Championship are: Secretaria de Turismo de Baja California Sur, Costa Del Mar, Hotel Finisterra, Guy Harvey Inc., Shimano, Picante Sport Fishing and Yacht Sales, Cabo Yachts, KD&G Sea Life Masterpieces, Hook & Tackle, Momoi Hi-Catch, Murray Products, AFTCO BlueWater, Bodo Muche, Minerva's Baja Tackle, Señor Greenberg's, IWS Scales, King Sailfish Mounts, Pompanette, Pisces Sportfishing, Corona and Modelo Mexico, Don Tyson, Trans Cabo, Eagle Claw, MoldCraft Products, and API Dock.
SAN JOSE DEL CABO, MEXICO: Eric Brictson of Gordo Banks Pangas reported on 47 combined La Playita fleet sportfishing pangas out of San Jose del Cabo's Puerto Los Cabos marina, with a catch including released fish of: 11 yellowfin tuna, 12 striped marlin, 4 sailfish, 4 mako shark, 9 amberjack, 65 roosterfish, 11 pompano, 72 assorted snappers, 12 cabrilla or leopard grouper, 88 yellowtail, 118 Mexican bonito, 22 jack crevalle, and 72 sierra. Los Cabos fishing area spring season weather was variable, with some clouds and humidity, some wind, and daytime air temperatures in the high-80s. Abundant striped marlin within a few miles of shore were feeding on squid and hard to hook. "Although San Jose del Cabo fishing has not been up to normal springtime standards, there has been a good variety," Brictson said. "With Los Cabos waters continuing to warm we anticipate a steady improvement in coming weeks."
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: Ana Lizeth Velazquez of East Cape's Buena Vista Beach Resort reported on 42 boats fishing during the week, with 156 anglers and a catch including released fish of: 25 striped marlin, 32 sailfish, 24 dorado, 19 roosterfish, 1 shark, 42 snapper, 8 jack crevalle, 2 amberjack, 3 yellowtail, 4 pompano, 6 triggerfish, 33 cabrilla, 1 skipjack tuna, and 1 sierra. East Cape fishing area weather was in the low-90s, with water temperatures of 74 to 78 degrees as boats fished a wide area north and south from Punta Perico to Los Frailes.
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: For the previous week ending May 9, 2008, Velazquez reported on 37 boats, with 131 anglers and a catch including released fish of: 13 striped marlin, 33 sailfish, 28 dorado, 15 roosterfish, 12 snappers, 8 bonito, 1 yellowtail, 22 triggerfish, 2 cabrilla, and 1 sierra.
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: Gary Graham of Baja On The Fly reported the East Cape fishing area with more summer-like humidity and 5 of the last 7 days with flat sea conditions "allowing us to fish in any direction without spilling our drinks." Clients fishing along the coast 2 days near El Cardonal landed good numbers of roosterfish, skipjack, bonito, skipjack tuna, and larger jack crevalle. Offshore boats found sailfish, quality dorado, and striped marlin spread out from the 88 Bank off Isla Cerralvo in the north down to Punta Pescadero, but Graham said, "It was one jumper and tailer after another, but they were so plugged with squid that their reaction to our offerings was a burp and a flick of the tail." East Cape fishing area weather was in the high-90s, with some cloud cover and the water temperature variable at 66 to 78 degrees.
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: John Ireland of Rancho Leonero reported billfish line shy but most boats picking up 1 or 2 releases while in action north of Punta Pescadero. "The marlin are feeding on large schools of squid," Ireland said. "Most boats are landing at least 1 striper or sailfish, with a few multiples." Dorado were very spread out, but some bulls in the 50-pound class were boated. Inshore charters had good action for roosterfish on beaches south of the hotel and also up north at El Cardonal. East Cape fishing area weather was calm in the low-90s, with water temperatures warming quickly at 73 to 76 degrees.
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: For the previous week, Ireland reported water temperatures of 70 to 73 degrees, dorado at mostly over 15 pounds, and hotel boats averaging about 1 billfish per day including about 80 percent striped marlin and 20 percent sailfish. Inshore fishing produced roosterfish, pompano, jack crevalle, and small yellowtail.
EAST CAPE, MEXICO:EAST CAPE, MEXICO: Christi Bender of Rancho Buena Vista reported 28 boats fishing during the week, with a catch including released fish of: 19 striped marlin, 17 dorado, and 6 sailfish. "There are plenty of large dorado and good-sized striped marlin," Bender said. "We have been primarily fishing north of Rancho Buena Vista off Punta Pescadero."
EAST CAPE, MEXICO:EAST CAPE, MEXICO:EAST CAPE, MEXICO: For the week ending May 8, 2008, Chris Moyers of East Cape Smoke House reported on 181 charter boats from combined fleets including Hotels Palmas de Cortez, Playa del Sol, Buena Vista Beach Resort, Punta Colorada, Rancho Leonero, and Martin Verdugo's Beach Resort, with 516 anglers and a catch including released fish of: 2 blue marlin, 109 striped marlin, 69 sailfish, 119 dorado, 3 yellowtail, and 21 roosterfish. East Cape fishing area weather was at 90 degrees, with some moderate wind and variable water temperatures of 66 to 78 degrees. The overall bite fell off quite a bit as anglers generated an overall catch rate for all species of only 35 percent," Moyers said. "But last week saw a couple of blue marlin landed which seems a bit early in the year."
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: For the previous week ending May 1, 2008, Moyers reported on 92 East Cape boats from the same fleets, with 264 anglers and a catch including released fish of: 176 striped marlin, 49 sailfish, and 127 dorado.
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: Jim Sammons of La Jolla Kayak Fishing reported on an 8-kayak group trip to East Cape's Hotel Punta Colorada, fishing 5 days in windy conditions mostly for mixed jacks near shore. "In a week that was mostly filled with wind, fishing off the kayaks was pretty tough," Sammons said, "When the wind died down we did manage to scrape up some decent fish including roosterfish, jack crevalle, and amberjack." Catches during the week included an estimated 35-pound class roosterfish on 30-pound line by Kevin Dickson of Roseville, Calif.
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: Jorge Bergin of La Ribera said his friend Mike DiTomaso of Lakeside, Calif., fished on his 85th birthday aboard neighbor Bob Grant's panga Si Mija and scored a nice bull dorado about 15 miles out. "Mike fishes with me 4 months every year," Bergin said.
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: For the week ending May 9, 2008, Eddie Dalmau of Van Wormer Resorts reported on 266 East Cape charter fishing boats from Hotels Palmas de Cortez, Playa del Sol, and Punta Colorada, with a catch including released fish of: 1 blue marlin, 270 striped marlin, 136 sailfish, 178 dorado, 107 roosterfish, 65 cabrilla, 125 pargo, 20 bonita, 32 skipjack, 18 sierra, and 3 mako shark. East Cape fishing area weather was at 90 degrees, with water temperatures of 70 to 75 degrees. "The 200 plus marlin that were hooked is just the tip of the iceberg," Dalmau said. "Many guests said they saw many more marlin that just were not hungry. Our first blue marlin of the season was caught and released on May 6th. We hope that is a sign of things to come."
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: Simon Cazaly of East Cape's Vista Sea Sport diving service said good dives were made at the Cabo Pulmo coral reef during the week, with water temperatures at depth in the mid-70s and visibility at 30 to 40 feet. Massed Pacific creolefish were joined by a large school of about 200 cownosed rays. "We swam with them for at least 5 minutes, affording us a breathtaking view as they spread out before us," Cazaly said. A dive at Los Morros found a pair of very large grouper, guitarfish, lobsters, moray eels, porkfish, dog snapper, and yellow snapper.
LA PAZ, MEXICO: Gerardo Hernandez of Tortuga Sportfishing at La Paz said summer-like weather prevailed on the south side of the hill last week as his Ensenada de los Muertos pangas fished in air temperatures in the 90 with good humidity and some days with wind. Pangas fishing at Isla Cerralvo caught pargo mulato or barred pargo, pargo lisa or mullet snapper, pargo perro or dog snapper, cabrilla, and some amberjack. Around Punta Perico on the nearby Baja coast, Tortuga boats scored on pompano, and at the buoys, striped marlin, sailfish, and some dorado were caught. "We've been fishing with Rapalas sometimes," Hernandez said, "and they have been working for those fishermen coming here to La Paz." But we also have a good supply of live bait and that has also been working as always. Bottom fishing has been excellent the last few days."
LA PAZ, MEXICO: Jonathan Roldan of Tailhunter International at La Paz said his pangas continued to find a nice mix of fish but with offshore runs more variable. "Winds gave us an up-and-down week," Roldan said. "Inshore, there has been some tremendous fishing for pargo, big cabrilla, big roosterfish around the beaches, sierra, and jacks. Outside waters are showing more dorado and billfish but the bite is erratic." Live bait was abundant in La Paz waters, bringing game fish close to shore. Top catches during the week included a pair of huge leopard grouper to 42 pounds caught by David and Brian Jones of Sylmar, Calif.
Below, Tyler Sites and Scott Foster of San Luis Obispo, Calif., scored with Tailhunter on roosterfish and these beautiful mullet snapper, or pargo lisa, at the southeast corner of Isla Cerralvo. The pargos hit on live bait. PHOTOS COURTESY OF JONATHAN ROLDAN.
SANTA ROSALIA, MEXICO: Jim Anderson of San Bruno reported improved yellowtail action and some signs of warming water temperatures southwards around Punta Chivato near Mulege. "Yellowtail fishing has shown a marked improvement as we move into the post-spawn period," Anderson said. "The fish have stopped chasing small baits up near the shore so they are no longer a target for the gill netters. They are starting to eat the mackerel and bigeye baits that the fishermen are using." Yellowtail on the Isla San Marcos bajos were going back and forth between preferring live bait sinkers either right at the hook or a few feet up the line. More anglers were in the Santa Rosalia area. "The San Diego Fishing club was at San Lucas Cove for the last couple of days so we have had a completely new infusion of boats fishing the area," Anderson said. "Add the Annual San Marcos Island Yellowtail Shootout tournament coming up this weekend and it starts looking like the middle of winter when we have 10 to 15 boats crowded around the 110 spot." Anderson said signups for the Yellowtail Shootout tournament were pouring in and "we are looking for a great turnout this weekend."
Bahia de los Angeles Fishing
BAHIA DE LOS ANGELES, MEXICO: Articles, maps, and fishing report archives for Bahia de los Angeles.
San Felipe Fishing
SAN FELIPE, MEXICO: Tony Reyes Sr. of Tony Reyes Fishing Tours reported on a 6-day Midriff islands trip by the panga mothership Jose Andres, returning to San Felipe on May 9, 2008, with a catch recorded by Fili Espinoza Montez of: 65 yellowtail of 18 to 28 pounds, 1 grouper of 55 pounds, 6 white seabass of 18 to 25 pounds, 63 cabrilla of 8 to 11 pounds, 20 Humboldt giant squid of 14 to 20 pounds, 2 sheephead of 7 pounds, 224 spotted bay bass, and 20 miscellaneous fish. Anglers qualifying for the season-long Jose Andres fishing tournament were: yellowtail, 28 pounds, Paul Lucas of Long Beach, Calif.; cabrilla, 11.6 pounds, Steve Duran of Whittier, Calif.; and white seabass, or cabicucho in Spanish, 21.1 pounds, Tom Hardin Jr. of Spring Valley, Calif.
SAN FELIPE, MEXICO: The panga mothership Tony Reyes also returned to San Felipe on May 9, 2008, with a catch of: 32 yellowtail of 20 to 40 pounds, 47 cabrilla of 10 to 25 pounds, 2 pargo of 8 pounds, Mexican sportfishing limits of spotted bay bass, 2 white seabass of 15 pounds, 3 black sea bass of 55 to 85 pounds, 4 grouper of 45 to 65 pounds, 13 sheephead of 7 pounds, and 30 ocean whitefish of 3 to 5 pounds.
SAN FELIPE, MEXICO: Catalina Meders of San Felipe's Title Company Bookstore reported perfect beach weather at 84 degrees on the bookstore balcony overlooking Bahia de San Felipe, but few tourists present. "San Felipe is very, very quiet," Meders said. "There has been hardly anyone in town since Mother's Day and it will continue to be so until around the 23rd when the Memorial Day weekend starts. San Felipe will undoubtedly be jammed for the whole of that weekend." Sea life sightings in the northern Cortez included an unusual blue jellyfish spotted south of town. "I saw a picture of one on somebody's cell phone camera. Apparently this is something new here. Lots of people are curious about it," Meders said.
ROCKY POINT, MEXICO: Esther Johnson of Santiago's Ocean Services at Rocky Point reported seasonable spring fishing for hordes of spotted bay bass in warming shallow waters at the north end of the Sea of Cortez. "In close, right off the beaches around Rocky Point we are hitting on bass," Johnson said. "While they are smaller fish, they are good edible fish and a lot of fun to catch. There were schools of literally thousands of them. One of my boats caught over 200 of them within 1 hour, catch-and-release of course. The customers, novice fishermen, were thrilled!" Santiago's boats fishing 22 miles out of Rocky Point also caught grouper of 30 to 45 pounds.
SAN CARLOS, MEXICO: Fernando Almada of Catch-22 Sportfishing at San Carlos reported an early season dorado landed and the charter boat Catch-22 Pez Vela's first 2 striped marlin of the year, one of them landed out of a five-bait spread on a small Accurate 270 reel about 20 miles out of San Carlos on a heading of 175 degrees. "About noon we saw a jumper, then another one, and one more," Almada said. "We had 4 baits hooked to three 50s and one 30, and on the shotgun we had a small Accurate 270, and of course that's where the marlin hit! We released it after a nice fight on light tackle. Not even 5 minutes later another marlin took the bait and we had another clean release." A nice dorado topped off the day for dinner, Almada said.
SAN CARLOS, MEXICO: Jon Jen Charters at San Carlos reported more up-and-down fishing during the week with good counts some days and slow going in wind on other days. "It sounds like a jigging story," Jon Jen said. "With the water starting to turn, we got numerous marlin sightings, and then all of a sudden we get hit with northwest wind and the fishing turns the other way." Some boats fishing at 50 to 60 miles out of San Carlos reported good dorado action, and the JonJen II fished early in the week for a catch that included 2 dorado on a weed patch 35 miles out.
SAN CARLOS, MEXICO: Larry Gibbons of Tucson, Ariz., reported on 2 outings from San Carlos aboard his boat No Le Hace with Capt. Juan Tirado and angler Bill Updike, fishing both days at Isla Tortuga for a combined catch of: 7 yellowtail at 25 pounds, and 2 cabrilla. "They were landed with live bait and red-white Rapalas," Gibbons said. "All the yellowtail were caught in about 80 to 120 feet of water." Gibbons said his group also dived 3 times at Isla Tortuga. "We saw more yellowtail in 50 to 90 feet of water than I have seen in the last year," he said.
MAZATLAN, MEXICO: Larry Edwards of Cortez Yacht Charters reported on 24 Aries Fleet offshore sportfishing boats out of Mazatlan's Marina El Cid, with a catch including released fish of: 3 striped marlin, 1 sailfish, 4 dorado, and 2 yellowfin tuna. Five inshore super pangas had a catch of: 49 red snapper, 8 sierra, 19 pargo to 18 pounds, 31 mojarra, 29 lora, 20 conejo, and 8 barracuda. "Unfortunately, it has been another difficult fishing week for Mazatlan offshore waters, and for no apparent reason," Edwards said. "I would think we will be moving into a better fishing period very shortly, right after the full moon phase. That should begin the change into the summer season which is historically action packed with dorado and sailfish." Mazatlan fishing area weather was cloudy in the high-80s, with water temperatures at 77 degrees inshore and 80 degrees offshore.
MAZATLAN, MEXICO: Tadeo Hernandez of Flota Bibi Fleet Sportfishing at Mazatlan said few tourists and anglers were in the area and fishing was slow. "It is a tough time for business and a transitional time for the fish," Hernandez said. "We're slowly moving from striped marlin to sailfish and blue marlin. Dorado are getting better now, but not as good as we expect them to be during the summer." Flota Bibi Fleet reported on 4 boats fishing 15 to 35 miles out during the week for a count of: a couple of dorado over 25 pounds, and a few striped marlin and sailfish. Inshore boats did well on red snapper, snook, grouper, and triggerfish by running north of Mazatlan to the Marmol area. Hernandez noted Mazatlan's second annual International Sailfish, Marlin, Dorado, and Tuna Tournament scheduled June 4-7, 2008.
PUERTO VALLARTA, MEXICO: Danny Gomez of Dhamar Sportfishing in Puerto Vallarta reported warmer water temperatures but water color a little off on the outer banks. Danny Osuna of Marla's Sportfishing scored 30 yellowfin tuna of 30 to 40 pounds early in the week and other offshore Puerto Vallarta charters reported a few dorado and striped marlin. Gomez said Dhamar Sportfishing had lots of bookings for June and July and the coming big tuna season.
IXTAPA ZIHUATANEJO, MEXICO: Ed Kunze, reporting for Baja On The Fly, said blue water was found as close as 6 miles out and about 15 local sportfishing boats were averaging about 1 or 2 sailfish per outing. "With the blue water coming in this close, the fishing action should improve considerably," Kunze said. Angler Clint Hugh of Texas had the charter panga Gitana with Capt. Santiago Valdovinos reserved for 2 long days of running out in search of tuna. Kunze guided fly fishing tackle angler Doc Coulthurst of Portland, Ore., to a catch of small jack crevalle and roosterfish during a run north of Saladita on the charter panga Pepino. Ixtapa fishing area weather was sunny in the high-90s, with water temperatures at 80 to 84 degrees.
IXTAPA ZIHUATANEJO, MEXICO: Larry Edwards of Cortez Yacht Charters reported very light angling activity in the Ixtapa Zihuatanejo fishing area, with the blue water moving in and out and water temperatures below normal. Capt. Chiro on the charter boat Bloody Hook scored 14 sailfish and 1 blue marlin in 4 outings, and Capt. Rafa reported 7 sailfish in 2 days. Top catches during the week included a 450-pound class black marlin and some smaller blue marlin. Ixtapa fishing area weather was partly cloudy in the low-90s, with water temperatures at 85 degrees inshore and up to 88 degrees about 25 miles out.
IXTAPA ZIHUATANEJO, MEXICO: Mike Bulkley of Huntress Sportfishing at Ixtapa Zihuatanejo reported clear water 8 miles out but billfish scattered. "Small pods of 2 or 3 sailfish can be spotted sunning themselves when the seas go flat," Bulkley said. An outing by the charter super panga Huntress with Capt. Francisco Rauda and angler Anne Koontz of Corrales, N.M., scored a sailfish release and also released a sea turtle caught by a Mexican commercial fishing boat's long line. For the week, the Huntress made 2 trips, with a combined catch including released fish of: 3 sailfish offshore, and 9 bonita on an inshore charter.
MEXICO COASTAL: Conflicted sentiments continued to be expressed by those most affected by Mexican sportfishing and commerical fishing regulations in the wake of a coordinated "in-your-face" assault on Cabo San Lucas yellowfin tuna schools by a fleet of Mexican commercial net boats working within sight of the beach earlier in May. Fred Archer of Laguna Niguel, Calif., reacted to criticism of the commercial fishing by those who patronize Cabo's sportfishing boats and fleets, saying, "Your boats and those of others stay there for you and your family to chase marlin and some pay for themselves by taking people fishing with crews whose futures are being cut out of their hearts piece by small piece every day by the commercials. And they are blinded by that money that you spend in Cabo. The awful truth is that you and all of the other gringo fishermen will abandon Cabo when it is over and the fish are gone, but where will those good fishermen and the families that rely on them go? What of the fates of them and their sweet children?...There is only one path for honest, caring people to take, abandon the place until such time as the evil ends. Let the people suffer now, while they have boats and fuel and can perhaps summon up the strength to see the future and truly fight, instead of neutering them with your dollars until the inevitable and far, far worse fate befalls them...It is so sad to see the end coming for my beloved Cabo and her wonderful people at the hands of both a handful of her nation's citizens and wealthy American big game fishermen who talk the battle, but provide the ammunition that the true enemy needs. They laugh at you, while I cry for the real victims."
MEXICO COASTAL: Guillermo Alvarez of the Mexican Billfish Foundation based in La Paz said, "It is certainly unusual that in front of San Lucas we get 16 or 19 Mexican super seiners going after a small school of tuna. But this only comes as a result of our small awareness of what has been going on for the last decade in Inter American Tropical Tuna Commission (IATTC) waters.
"These super seiners are not the enemy and I believe they are more in a position to cry for help from the sportfishing community. Fish attracting devices, or FADs, are and have been the true enemy. And we, both the U.S. and Mexico, have not been able to fight back and have tolerated the inclusion of the Spanish tuna fleet in these waters fishing with FADs and depleting resources that hurt and also include our sport fish. So the traditional purse seiner is now suffering the consequences of overfished tuna resources.
"We can negotiate certain concessions with the commercial tuna industry but not if we do not fight on their side. I would want to rescue my late friend Julio Berdegue's initiative to unite with the Mexican tuna industry and start looking seriously into the real problem by supporting The Billfish Foundation's efforts to fight against FADs and go back to traditional fishing methods.
"The Mexican fleet is starving. The overfishing of tuna in IATTC waters is well known, as is the fact that the incursion of the Spanish fleet with FADs is the real threat. Mexico and the U.S. have not been able to withstand the pressure by the European community and fishing since has been out of control. FADs go after all sorts and sizes and ages of fish and even turtles. They should be exposed and prohibited.
"The sportfishing community should know this and fight for a controlled fishing effort on the tuna stocks with limits on the fleets and prohibition of FADs. None of that will happen if the people or the public or the sportfishing community do not publicly demand the eradication of overfishing practices at IATTC."
MEXICO COASTAL: At East Cape, a major hotel representative said, "I spoke with one of the owners regarding the commercial tuna boats out by Cabo a few weeks ago. He told me that his contacts told him that this was a planned demonstration by the commercials to protest the sport fishing association for the way they've been treated. The commercials wanted to be in plain sight of the Cabo marina to discourage anglers right before a tournament. It's starting to look like a mini civil war out there. I would not be surprised to see a boat sink this season if this continues."