EAST CAPE, MEXICO: Gary Graham of Baja On The Fly said his clients found billfish and big dorado very slow to take a bait early in the week during the full moon and in heavy squid concentrations at East Cape, but much improved action by Wednesday.
"We threw sardina and large baits and never even saw so much as a swirl for our efforts," Graham said. But by Wednesday, Mark Rayor of Vista Sea Sport said, "The fish started feeding in the afternoon at Cabo Pulmo. They were not plugged with squid. The bite was good for everybody in the area." Inshore fishing was good all week from Ensenada de los Muertos southwards to El Cardonal for a mix of big jack crevalle, small roosterfish, and skipjack tuna. East Cape fishing area weather was partly cloudy in the low-90s, with water temperatures of 66 to 78 degrees.
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: Marisol Verdugo of Martin Verdugo's Beach Resort said the fleet found fairly slow action early in the week on sluggish marlin and sailfish, but better fishing for dorado to 45 pounds and more marlin at the end of the week averaging about 2 or 3 per boat. "There have also been some boats fishing inshore," Verdugo said. "They've been catching small pargo, small roosterfish, and some white skipjack."
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: John Ireland of Rancho Leonero reported lower marlin and sailfish counts for hotel boats early in the week, with lots of fish present but few taking the baits. "There are lots of jumpers, but very few biters," Ireland said. "It's not unusual to see as many as 50 jumpers in a day. The Sea of Cortez is full of squid, and with the full moon, the squid rise to the surface and the billfish feed at night. Frustrating fishing." Inshore fishing was strong for a mix of pargo, cabrilla, and roosterfish feeding aggressively along most East Cape beaches. "The gallos are getting bigger. Big roosters in the 40 to 50-pound class are being released daily," Ireland said. East Cape fishing area weather was warming in the 90s, with clear, flat water at 75 to 81 degrees.
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: Earlier, Hotel Punta Colorada fly fishing guide Mike Rieser of Baja Flyfishing Co. said that billfish being caught were found to be stuffed with squid. "The 88 has been a real hot spot for bills and dorado," Rieser said, "but it's a long run for us here at Punta Colorada." Inshore roosterfish were caught at East Cape beaches including the Punta Arena lighthouse, Rincon, Los Frailes, Meganos Blancos, and El Cardonal. Angler Ron Hert scored on 3 roosterfish of 25 to about 40 pounds.
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: Larry Cooper of En Caliente Sportfishing at East Cape said a roosterfish run to shallow water at the Punta Arena lighthouse by the charter panga The Black Cloud with Capt. Gabino produced a fast series of hookups on live mullet for 1 roosterfish lost, 1 dorado landed, and then a surprise yellowfin tuna. "What we thought was a giant rooster turned into a 67-pound yellowfin!" Cooper said. Two other pangas fishing the area finished the morning on roosterfish to 61 pounds.
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: For the week ending May 15, 2008, Chris Moyers of East Cape Smoke House reported on 117 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 336 anglers and a catch including released fish of: 103 striped marlin, 112 sailfish, 73 dorado, 1 wahoo, and 1 mako shark. East Cape fishing area weather was in the mid-90s, with moderate afternoon winds and chop, and water temperatures at 66 to 80 degrees. "Fishing at East Cape is a bit on the slow side," Moyers said. "There's still a good amount of squid in the water and that definitely contributes to the slow conditions. There are a ton of sardina baits up north at Punta Perico if you can make it up there. I don't think I've ever seen so many sardinas. They were like ants in the water."
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: East Cape tin boat angler Torrance Eddy of Buena Vista reported on a run north to fish off San Bartolo canyon aboard his new 16.5-foot aluminum boat for a catch on trolled 4.5-inch Rebel Jointed Fastrac blue-silver lures and Rapala CD14s in green-mackerel of: 3 small skipjack, 2 nice bonito, 1 very small dorado released, and 1 large needlefish or agujon in Spanish. "I fished Buena Vista to San Bartolo Canyon 1 to 3 miles out most of the time," Eddy said. "My trolling speed all day was around 5 m.p.h." Local East Cape fishing area water temperatures were at 77.4 to 78.9 degrees. Eddy noted adjustments required by recently setting up a larger boat for beach launching. "While it is more work getting it in and out of the water, its much larger size makes fishing itself much less tiring," he said.
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: Paul Ponce of Cypress, Calif., reported on a good 5-day group trip to East Cape's Martin Verdugo's Beach Resort with 3 days of fishing aboard the charter boats Marisol and Adelaida for a catch of 2 striped marlin and 4 sailfish, all released except for 1 marlin that would not have survived. "The fish bit on trolled lures, dead drop back bait, and live sardinas," Ponce said. "We did see at least a dozen billfish each day but the captains said they were full of squid so they weren't so eager to bite." Ponce's group ran about 10 miles north of Verdugo's for live bait and fished about 12 to 28 miles out and then southwards in good sea conditions. "East Cape weather and seas were just shy of perfect and Martin's staff couldn't have been more professional and courteous," Ponce said. "I might add that the fishing gear on Martin's boats is in excellent shape too."
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: Ana Lizeth Velazquez of Buena Vista Beach Resort reported on 45 boats, with 158 anglers and a catch including released fish of: 30 striped marlin, 5 sailfish, 25 dorado, 34 roosterfish, 2 shark, 3 snapper, 7 jack crevalle, 1 amberjack, 12 bonito, 1 yellowtail, 1 ladyfish, 12 pompano, 10 triggerfish, 2 squid, and 21 cabrilla. "Most of our fleet found dorado and marlin about an hour south," Velazquez said. "Mullet, mackerel, and ballyhoo baits have been available but sardinas has been absent and pangueros are bringing some from Punta Perico. You have to meet them halfway at Punta Pescadero."
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: For the previous week ending May 15, 2008, Velazquez reported on 55 boats, with 196 anglers and a catch including released fish of: 34 striped marlin, 40 sailfish, 33 dorado, 50 roosterfish, 1 shark, 48 snappers, 8 jack crevalle, 2 amberjack, 3 yellowtail, 4 pompano, 6 triggerfish, 42 cabrilla, 2 skipjack tuna, and 1 sierra.
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: For the week ending May 16, 2008, Eddie Dalmau of Van Wormer Resorts reported on 278 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 at 405 pounds, 84 striped marlin, 120 sailfish, 120 dorado, 31 roosterfish, 3 wahoo, 18 cabrilla, 26 pargo, 20 skipjack, and 2 mako shark. East Cape fishing area weather was at 90 degrees, with water temperatures of 72 to 75 degrees. "There is great dorado fishing to the north from the ocho-ocho to Cerralvo Island, and roosters are being caught near Punta Pescadero to the north and Los Frailes to the south," Dalmau said. "Billfish have been landed in either direction."
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: Simon Cazaly of the Vista Sea Sport East Cape diving service said masses of bigeye jacks made dive trips to the Cabo Pulmo coral reef spectacular during the week. "We have been coming up to our safety stop and getting surrounded by this wall of silver fish," Cazaly said, "and at times we had huge schools of yellow snapper underneath." Sea life sightings during dive trips to East Cape locations also included: banded guitarfish, green moray eel, diamond stingray, golden cownose ray, mobula manta rays, and humpback whales. East Cape diving water temperatures at depth were in the mid-70s, with 30 to 40 feet of visibility.
ENSENADA, MEXICO: Ivan Villarino reported good, steady bottom action for all of his pangas fishing at Ensenada's Punta Banda during the week for lingcod, red rockcod, sculpin, Johnny bass, sugarbass, and miscellaneous bottom species. Jay Johnson of Ensenada fished on the Vonny I with Capt. Beto on Monday for a full ice chest including lingcod of 10 and 13 pounds. Also fishing during the week with Vonny's Fleet Capts. Beto and Hector were Leonard Luna and his group from Los Angeles, Calif., Jorge Taylor of Rancho La Bufadora, and Luis Garcia of San Diego, Calif. "He got a little seasick but hung in there and got his Mexican limit on bottom fish," Villarino said. Ensenada fishing area weather was partly cloudy in the low-70s, with calm mornings, ocean swells of 2 to 3 feet, and the water temperature at Punta Banda at 59 degrees.
ENSENADA, MEXICO: Angelo Oliverio of Murrieta, Calif., reported on a Baja fishing run with Don Busse, stopping at San Quintin for 1 day and then fishing at Ensenada on a Vonny's Fleet panga with Capt. Beto for good results on lingcod. "We specifically targeted lingcod and caught several in the 8 to 12-pound range," Oliverio said. "On both days at San Quintin and Ensenada the weather was overcast and mostly cloudy, but the seas were fair."
PUERTO SANTO TOMAS, MEXICO: Sam Saenz of Puerto Santo Tomas Resort south of Ensenada reported good action mostly on mixed rockcods in calm morning sea conditions, with some offshore winds in the afternoons. "The fish bite just north of the Soledad Reef was good all week long," Saenz said. "Some bait appears to be on the surface but no surface action was observed." Anglers fishing at Puerto Santo Tomas during the week included Jeff Safford and his trip partner Alex of San Diego, Calif., who fished on a panga with Capt. Marcos for full Mexican sportfishing limits of mixed bottom species.
ERENDIRA, MEXICO: Tere Castro of Castro's Camp at Erendira on the Baja Pacific coast south of Ensenada reported 20 boats fishing during the week, with some yellowtail and bonito joining steady good fish counts of mixed bottom fish including whitefish, lingcod, and rockcod. Baja coastal fishing weather was mostly sunny, calm, and windless but with some some northeast wind and the water temperature averaging 57 to 58 degrees. "We've been having wonderful fishing days," Castro said.
SAN QUINTIN, MEXICO: Kelly Catian of San Quintin's K&M Offshore Sportfishing reported warm, sunny weather, flat sea conditions, and steady action for mixed bottom fish, calico bass, and a halibut hooked at Hassler Cove at San Quintin's Isla San Martin, but yellowtail still not showing up in the counts. "I looked around for yellows but the water is barely 60 degrees and there is red tide in a lot of areas," Catian said. One run with Denis Quesnel of Action Lures aboard the charter boat Offshore III produced fish with Quesnel's jointed jigs and also on light plastics for rockcods and lingcod. "And at Isla San Martin there was lots of fun fishing big calicos, all released, and nice vermilion rockcod in about 80 feet of water. Most of the fish were caught on small plastics using light tackle," Catian said, also noting the continued presence of Humboldt giant squid in the San Quintin fishing area. "It seems like for the moment the squid are thick around the deeper spots due to spring upwelling as well as the red tide," Catian said. "The 240 spot and south of there is thick with Humboldts. Most of the rockfish have moved into shallower waters around the isla and the point. There is no sign of yellowtail yet but if this weather hangs for a few days I bet they show at the north side Isla San Martin."
SAN QUINTIN, MEXICO: Angelo Oliverio of Murrieta, Calif., reported on the San Quintin portion of his Baja fishing trip with Don Busse, staying at the Old Mill Hotel and fishing a day with Capt. Hector of Pedro's Pangas for bottom fish limits before heading north to Ensenada. "We fished on Friday for Mexican sportfishing limits on large red rockcod averaging 3 to 5 pounds along with some nice-sized whitefish," Oliverio said. "It was some of the best bottom fishing I have ever done there. The trip down to San Quintin was smooth and our hosts at the Old Mill Hotel in San Quintin were very gracious. I just wanted to share the excellent fishing experience and to help calm any worries people may have of traveling south of the border."
SAN QUINTIN, MEXICO: Denis Quesnel of Action Lures said water temperatures averaged a cool 55 degrees during his 2 days of fishing with K&M Offshore Sportfishing, with water clarity poor and fishing in deeper areas hampered by Humboldt giant squid. "Fishing over our 250-foot spots would be in squid so we had to fish at the island and small jigs and plastics worked since it was so shallow. For jigs, chrome and orange worked best.
BAJA CALIFORNIA, MEXICO: Louie Prieto of Ontario, Calif., reported on 2 days of fishing with anglers Frank Ochoa and Ruben Carmona along the Baja coast aboard his boat It's 4 Reels! out of Marina Coral at Ensenada as far as Punta San Jose after first finding Mike Richardson again selling bait in the harbor. "I had heard that Mike Richardson was no longer selling bait, but he is alive and well in the same spot," Prieto said. Fishing was slow in 57-degree water for a few red rockcod and sculpin at Punta San Miguel, foggy in 55 to 58 degrees at Punta Santo Tomas and Punta China for nada, productive for red rockcod, chuckleheads, 1 small lingcod, and a couple of bonito to 14 pounds at Rocas de Soledad, and good for about 30 calico bass and some sandbass in very brown 67-degree water at Punta Banda on the way home.
BAJA CALIFORNIA, MEXICO: Patric Douglas of Shark Diver at Sharkdiver.com published an email "Open Letter to Mexico's Congress on Shark Ecotourism" regarding some recent negative findings by a Mexican federal government committee regarding the ecological impact of shark cage diving tourist trips to the Isla Guadalupe Biosphere Reserve off the Baja northern Pacific coast.
"We're home based out of Marin, Calif., but are in San Diego for 4 months out of the year and charter 2 long range vessels for shark diving there," Douglas said. "Right now it's looking pretty grim. The accusations about our activities from the government range from killing seals for chum to stealing lobsters and destroying traps. We need to get this turned around soon or the island will be lost and open to fishermen who see these same sharks as nothing more than a quick buck."
Douglas' letter was addressed to "members of the Environment and Natural Resources Committee of the Mexican Chamber of Deputies, Honorable Congress of the Union, Mexico, D.F.," and cited an April 2008 finding that specified concerns related to shark cage diving trips at Isla Guadalupe.
"The committee is calling for Mexico's Secretariat of Environment and Natural Resources, through its Attorney General for the Protection of the Environment and in coordination with the Secretariat of the Navy, to carry out increased vigilance and oversight in the ocean area to insure that all of the rules and regulations in the 2005 decree, that designated the land and waters off Guadalupe Island a natural protected area, are followed," Douglas said. "The Environment and Natural Resources Committee calls for the federal government not to authorize shark watching activities at Guadalupe Island."
Specific activities objected to by the committee that were listed in Douglas' letter were centered on the possibly harmful effects of releasing blood or other chum into the water as a means of attracting sharks. Douglas' letter quoted the Mexican government finding as saying, "As has been mentioned, the practices used in order to attract these species are so inadequate that they have modified the behavior of white sharks in the area, as well as its local distribution. This change of its behavior will create a potential risk to the populations of sea elephant and Guadalupe fur seal, as well as abalone fishermen."
Douglas' letter to the committee said, "We would like the opportunity to refute these allegations, and to speak directly with any members or deputies of the Environment and Natural Resources Committee. What you have been made aware of at this pristine site is factually incorrect, and it does a great disservice to the overall positive efforts that this [shark diving] fleet, in good faith, has put forward within the Biosphere Reserve boundaries of Isla Guadalupe over the past seven years of operations."
MAGDALENA BAY, MEXICO: Gary Graham of Baja On The Fly said Mag Bay Outfitters at Puerto Lopez Mateos reported good results for sierra and firecracker yellowtail in windy conditions. Some grouper were also caught. Magdalena Bay fishing area weather was sunny in the mid-80s, with water temperatures at 62 to 70 degrees.
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Larry Edwards of Cortez Yacht Charters reported on 37 outings by Gaviota Fleet and the Cabo charter boats Fish Cabo, Fish Cabo I, and Tuna Time, with a catch including released fish of: 24 striped marlin, 21 yellowfin tuna, and 49 dorado. Pacific-side sea conditions were too rough to fish at times, but calmer on the Cortez side from Chileno northeastwards. "It remained difficult to get the sleepers and tailers to participate with a bite," Edwards said. "Many fish were being baited by the boats but only a few were biters." Edwards noted the addition of a new boat to the Fish Cabo fleet, the 33-foot Tuna Time with Capt. Mario Castro. Cabo San Lucas fishing area weather was mostly sunny in the low-90s, with water temperatures in the low-60s on the Pacific side and up to 80 degrees at Punta Palmilla and north to Los Frailes on the Cortez side. "Live bait at Cabo San Lucas is now fixed at $3 per bait and is controlled by the local bait vendors," Edwards said.
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Tommy Garcia of Cabo Magic reported on 93 Cabo San Lucas sportfishing charters, with a catch including released fish of: 37 yellowtail, 50 striped marlin, 45 dorado, 10 roosterfish, 1 yellowfin tuna, 1 skipjack, 28 sierra, 2 amberjack, 6 jack crevalle, 6 bonita, and 2 mako shark.
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Grant Hartman of the Baja Anglers fly fishing service at Cabo San Lucas said inshore action was good on fly tackle and light conventional tackle for a mix of colorado snapper, dog snapper, roosterfish, jacks, yellowtail, and sierra. "The roosterfish are mostly under 15 pounds but there is a school of really big roosters moving around," Hartman said. "They are 40 to 60 pounds and tough to catch right now, a frustrating fish, and that's why I love to catch them. They will turn on any day now." Cubera or dog snapper and colorado snapper were cruising under the surface and caught during sight fishing. "On a good day you can catch as many snappers as you want and on a slow day you might catch 2 to 4," Hartman said.
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Hartman also said recent outings by Baja Anglers included the filming of a television program about Jordan McCullough of Savannah, Ga., releasing a striped marlin on 30-pound spinning tackle to claim a record of being the youngest woman ever to land the 9 species of billfish tracked by IGFA Royal Billfish Slam rules. "Jordan had caught 8 of the 9 billfish and needed a striped marlin," Hartman said. "She fought for over 3 hours on a 30-pound standup spinning rod before I leadered it and we released it. That's quite a feat for anyone who only weighs 90 pounds."
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Ramon Druck of the Cabo San Lucas charter sportfishing super panga Cheer's reported on 5 local Cabo outings during the week with a total of 9 anglers, for a catch including released fish of: 11 roosterfish of 3 to 37 pounds, 9 sierra of 2 to 4 pounds, 1 grouper of about 15 pounds, 5 dorado of 9 to 20 pounds, 40 yellowtail of 6 to 16 pounds, and several small barracuda and bonito of about 2 pounds. The Cheer's fished at the arch, on Cortez and Pacific side beaches, and out to about 3 miles with live baits and jigs in water temperatures of 72 to 74 degrees and good morning sea sea conditions with some afternoon winds on the Pacific side. Anglers fishing aboard the Cheer's included Nick Baird, Bond and Craig Nicholam of Canada, Ken Conley, and John Johnson.
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Jim Dillon of Salvador's Sportfishing reported on 10 outings by the Cabo San Lucas charter boats El Budster, El Budster I, and El Budster II, with a catch including released fish of: 6 striped marlin, 9 dorado of small to 30 pounds, 1 small yellowfin tuna, 1 jack crevalle, and 1 bonita.
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: George Landrum of Fly Hooker Sportfishing reported large water temperature differences within range of Cabo San Lucas charter boats, with temperatures as low as 55 degrees found at the Pacific-side Golden Gate Bank and as high as 82 degrees on the Cortez side. "The fishing area between these extremes was a mixed bag of 68 to 72-degree water," Landrum said. "As is normal, the cooler water had much more of a green tinge while the warmer water remained blue." Mackerel and caballito live baits continued to be sold at the official new price of $3 each at the Cabo San Lucas marina. Sardina live bait was available at Punta Palmilla for $25 per scoop. Billfish continued sluggish to bite and yellowfin tuna action remained slow following recent near shore commercial net boat fishing, but dorado counts were up. "As Cabo San Lucas water warms, dorado continue to show up in larger numbers," Landrum said. "Almost every Cabo boat that went out was flying at least 1 dorado flag and most of the fish were of decent size."
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Pete Johnson of Johnson Communications in Scottsdale, Ariz., reported a total of 344 striped marlin released in 4 days of fishing by 63 teams during this year's ninth annual IGFA Offshore World Championship at Cabo San Lucas. The largest yellowfin tuna caught was weighed at 54.3 pounds, and the largest dorado, 47.4 pounds. No wahoo were weighed. The winning boat was the Bill Collector of Pisces Fleet, with Capt. Julio Gonzales. The other Cabo San Lucas boats finishing in the top 10 places were, in order: Dream, Capt. Victor Sandes, Picante Fleet; Picante, Capt. David Lieras, Picante Fleet; Salsa, Capt. Juan Carlos Lopez, Picante Fleet; Cabo Marlini, Capt. Teo Gonzalez; Renegade, Capt. Mike Joel Fiol; C-Rod, Capt. Abel Ramirez, Pisces Fleet; Edith IV, Capt. Francisco de la R.; Express, Capt. Antonio Romero, Picante Fleet; and Cabo Magic, Capt. Hector Ayala Garcia. Qualifying teams from 27 countries competed in the billfish release format tournament, rotating to different local Cabo San Lucas charter boats on each of the 4 fishing days. The top team in the tournament included anglers John Timura, Robert Collins, Taylor Walsh, Scott Salley, and Ken Longaker, representing the qualifying Outdoor Channel Offshore Classic tournament held last year in Florida.
SAN JOSE DEL CABO, MEXICO: Eric Brictson of Gordo Banks Pangas at San Jose del Cabo reported on 66 combined La Playita fleet pangas fishing out of Puerto Los Cabos marina, with a catch including released fish of: 96 yellowfin tuna, 42 dorado, 1 wahoo, 9 sailfish, 11 striped marlin, 2 mako shark, 12 cabrilla, 11 amberjack, 13 jack crevalle, 79 assorted snappers, 15 yellowtail, 19 Mexican bonito, 22 roosterfish, and 34 sierra. Los Cabos fishing area weather was sunny in the high-90s, with some large surf hampering local bait selling pangas and limiting the supply of sardina baits. Offshore pangas targeted 20 to 50-pound yellowfin tuna at the Gordo Banks, but the fish were slow to hit. "The abundance of bait fish, squid, bolito, and others had the fish finicky at times," Brictson said. "But tuna are feeding machines and one thing is for sure, they will be feeding at some point during the day or night." More schools of mullet were appearing inshore and Brictson said, "This most certainly will attract the larger roosterfish in the coming weeks."
SAN JOSE DEL CABO, MEXICO: Bob Grimes of San Jose del Cabo said his son Dave Grimes and Tim Gunther fished on their aluminum boat at the Inner Gordo Bank for a catch of: 1 amberjack, 2 yellowfin tuna to 20 pounds, and 1 dorado released. "A variety of species are being caught by those willing to work hard enough, but most of the fish they saw landed were small," Grimes said. "Authorities are checking from time to time to verify that sport fishermen are following the Mexican catch limits of 2 dorado, 5 tuna, etc., but there are no size limits and there is very little self policing in this regard by either the American or Mexican fishermen."
SAN JOSE DEL CABO, MEXICO: Paul Oldaker of Steamboat Springs, Colo., reported on 3 days of fishing out of San Jose del Cabo with Capt. Arturo Castillo on the charter panga Jinny for a catch of: 1 cabrilla, 1 marlin released, 9 Mexican bonito, 3 dorado to 30 pounds, 1 black skipjack or barrilete in Spanish, and 1 jack crevalle at 30 pounds. "Overall, we had 3 days of good and varied fishing with a full ice chest of dorado and bonita," Oldaker said. Fishing locations included southeast of the Gordo Banks, Destiladeras, straight off San Jose del Cabo, and Punta Gorda.
SAN JOSE DEL CABO, MEXICO: San Jose del Cabo species fishing specialist John Snow reported on 5 outings aboard the panga Salome and 3 surf fishing sessions for a catch of 106 fish of 46 species. A new species for Snow, the Pacific cutlassfish, Trichiurus nitens, was donated by a local angler named Ramon after 3 of them were caught from the docks of the Puerto Los Cabos marina. Another new species was thought to be the white grunt, Haemulon plumieri, which has been recorded only in the Atlantic Ocean.
LA PAZ, MEXICO: Gerardo Hernandez of Tortuga Sportfishing at La Paz said the week's weather was cooler and windy, but fishing by pangas on the south side out of Ensenada de los Muertos produced good numbers of large bottom fish. A big mix of fish species caught by Tortuga clients included mullet snapper or pargo lisa, dog snapper, barred pargo, pompano, cabrilla, and amberjack around the south end of Isla Cerralvo. The Baja coastal fishing area around the Punta Arena de la Ventana lighthouse produced good numbers of roosterfish releases in the 30 to 70-pound class plus wahoo of 35 to 50 pounds. Pangas able to run out to the buoys found dorado of 20 to 40 pounds and striped marlin released. "La Paz fishing has been as good with Rapalas as bait and we have enough bait right now," Hernandez said.
LA PAZ, MEXICO: Jonathan Roldan of Tailhunter International said strong winds during the week moved all of his clients over to fish pangas launching on the Las Arenas side for continued good action. "Waters were calmer there and the fish closer," Roldan said. "We had good solid fishing for an incredible number of species that seemed to change daily. Big dog and mullet snapper are on a good run. Good numbers of roosterfish up to 50 pounds are in several places. Every few days the big and small dorado as well as sailfish and marlin turn on outside at the buoys. Inshore, we also have sierra, pompano, bigeye jack, small yellowtail, cabrilla, and amberjack keeping the rods bent."
LORETO, MEXICO: Bill Erhardt of Loreto reported early season schools of dorado concentrated northeast of town last week. "Usually the dorado are holding under seaweed paddies or some other floating structure," Erhardt said. "Any Loreto fishermen who found the schools and stuck with them returned to the marina with limits of fish into the 30-pound range. But pickings were slim for those not fortunate enough to find one of the schools." Part-time Loreto resident John Wallace and Gary Cooke fished Wednesday morning 25 miles northeast of the marina with Capt. Andres Cota for early Mexican sportfishing limits of dorado to 39 pounds on a seal carcass. Billfish were scattered throughout the Loreto fishing area but were slow to bite due to abundant natural bait in the water. Erhardt's boat Soledad trolled over 350 miles during the week, from Isla Catalan in the south to north of the Loreto canyon for a catch of 6 dorado to 32 pounds but no billfish. Loreto fishing area weather was in the mid-90s, with water temperatures into the low-80s and clear blue color offshore. "All veteran Loreto fishermen are remarking on the copious amounts of natural bait in the water," Erhardt said.
LORETO, MEXICO: Pam Bolles of Baja Big Fish Company reported continued good post-spawn yellowtail action at the north end of Loreto's Isla Carmen on fish of 20 to just over 40 pounds, plus some good dorado runs just outside the island that produced limits early in the week. "This season Loreto yellowtail spawned in most locations right during the last full moon phase," Bolles said. "Once the yellowtail finish their spawn they feed like there's no tomorrow and that's what they've been doing off Isla Carmen for the past 3 weeks." Several runs to about 5 to 10 miles off the north end of the island found dorado of 15 to over 40 pounds in a pocket of warm water at 78 degrees, but dorado counts were lower at the end of the week. "We believe the pocket of warm water moved up past Isla Carmen and the dorado were inside it," Bolles said. "The dorado we saw throughout last week may have been part of that same school." Loreto inshore fishing was good to excellent for mixed cabrilla and pargo, both into the 20-pound plus class, caught on trolled Rebels and Rapalas, and also on live bait slightly farther out from the rocks. Catch-and-release fishing inside Puerto Escondido to the south produced barracuda, small roosterfish, pompano, and corvina.
LORETO, MEXICO: Jerry Rootlieb of Seal Beach, Calif., reported 9 yellowtail of 20 to 35 pounds caught by his group fishing 3 days outside Isla Carmen with Capt. Luis Torres out of Juncalito south of Loreto. Also fishing during the trip were anglers Jay Rootlieb, Steve Grimm. and Bobby Allen.
SANTA ROSALIA, MEXICO: Jim Anderson of San Lucas Cove said last week's fishing at Santa Rosalia was good for yellowtail on the Isla San Marcos bajos. "The yellowtail were biting like they did before the hatch of small bait fish," Anderson said. "They were scattered all over the bajo area north of the island and it was fun to explore some of the areas that have not produced all year but this week held large amounts of good-sized fish." Boats running out to 30 miles and farther in search of dorado migrating up the Sea of Cortez reported scattered small fish. "It may be better to concentrate on the abundant yellowtail for a while longer," Anderson said. The week's Isla San Marcos Yellowtail Shootout benefit fishing tournament was successfully organized by Mike Kanzler. "Mike put on a magnificent tournament that was enjoyed immensely by all the participants," Anderson said, also noting that he and his wife Marika Anderson were heading back to Colorado for the summer. "This is our last week in Baja for the season. It has been a lot of fun sending in a weekly report for the Santa Rosalia area and we think that this has been a super season even though the wind blew more than normal and the temperatures are lower than normal for the spring and summer. We will hopefully be back in September to resume again," Anderson said.
SANTA ROSALIA, MEXICO: Mike Kanzler of Isla San Marcos said the Isla San Marcos Yellowtail Shootout fishing tournament held on May 16-18, 2008, had about 53 anglers and over 20 boats competing this year, with the top 2-day total weight of 58.82 pounds turned in by Efrain Aguilar, on Kanzler's boat SeaNoEvil with Capt. Danny "Piojo Loco" Chiquete. In second place was Augie Gatto with 58.80 pounds, and Marika Anderson took third with 54.52 pounds. Angler Alberto Miranda took biggest fish honors with a 36.18-pound yellowtail and actually also had the highest 2-day total weight of 62.18 pounds, but opted to take the biggest fish prize only due to a tournament rule against winning in multiple divisions. "I'd like to thank the people of Isla San Marcos and the COMSA company for having us and treating us like family, and the Comité de la Iglesia for the best fish tacos and setting up the event area," Kanzler said. Other supporters and helpers for the benefit tournament included: Alexandra Kanzler, Aaron Raza, Branding Iron Custom Silkscreening, Chris Rankled of the charter boat Indian at H&M Landing, Custom Embroidered, Jeannine Kanzler, Jim and Marika Anderson, Kevin Ward, Mario Villalobos, Michael Kanzler, Mike "Tuna Twin" Herman, Pro Gear Reels, Santa Rosalia Las Casitas Hotel, SoCalFishingTackle.com, Tady Lures Corp., and Zack Thomas.
SANTA ROSALIA, MEXICO: For the previous week, Kanzler reported Santa Rosalia fishing area weather cool in the mornings and in the high-80s in the afternoons, with water temperatures variable at 66 to 69 degrees and visibility at 15 to 20 feet. Local boats averaged 3 to 5 yellowtail per outing in overall good action. "Today's run with Doug Moranville and Mike Herman from Punta Chivato put 8 yellowtail in the 22 to 32-pound class on the boat and back at the San Bruno dock before 10 a.m." Kanzler said. "Good times are here again. There are lots of fish biting and lots of good friends."
BAHIA DE LOS ANGELES, MEXICO: Abraham Vazquez of Camp Gecko at Bahia de los Angeles reported warming weather in the high-80s, with relative humidity high at 50 percent, and some unusually strong north winds. Yellowtail were breezing and boiling on the surface inside the bay at Islas Smith and Piojo and some were hooked. "They have lots of food but some were caught yesterday," Vazquez said. Bahia de los Angeles water temperatures were at 64 to 66 degrees. Few vacationers were in the village. "But it is still as safe as it always has been to travel here," Vazquez said. "The road is in great shape and gasoline is cheap."
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 the San Felipe downtown commercial harbor on May 16, 2008, with a fish count taken by crewman Fili Espinoza Montez of: 57 yellowtail of 15 to 29.6 pounds, 9 grouper of 100 to 125 pounds, 2 black sea bass of 80 to 160 pounds, 3 white seabass of 16 to 18.1 pounds, 123 leopard grouper or cabrilla in Spanish of 14 to 18 pounds, 1 sheephead of 8 pounds, Mexican sportfishing limits of spotted bay bass, and 15 miscellaneous fish.
Winners for the week in the season-long Jose Andres client fishing tournament were: biggest yellowtail, 29.8 pounds, Victor Orozco, Oceanside, Calif.; biggest cabrilla, 13.3 pounds, Dan Acevez, Imperial Beach, Calif.; and biggest white seabass or cabicucho, 16.1 pounds, Jason Thrailkill, Sparks, Nev.
SAN FELIPE, MEXICO: The Tony Reyes Fishing Tours panga mothership Tony Reyes also returned to San Felipe on May 16, 2008, with a catch of: 95 yellowtail of 12 to 25 pounds, 125 cabrilla of 6 to 12 pounds, 9 pargo of 6 to 10 pounds, Mexican fishing limits of spotted bay bass, 4 white seabass of 3 to 6 pounds, 3 grouper of 40 to 45 pounds, 90 Humboldt squid of 8 pounds, 32 sheephead of 4 to 8 pounds, 426 ocean whitefish, and 10 sierra mackerel.
SAN CARLOS, MEXICO: Lalo Munoz of Masatun charters at San Carlos said, "San Carlos blue water fishing has broken open." Good results for the Masatun charter boat Sueltame included an outing with angler Jason Henault and his daughter Brooke for a load of dorado found on a big piece of wood about 20 miles out on a heading of 180 degrees. "We had 30 dorado landed, and we kept 4 of them," Munoz said. "We had 1 marlin strike but we lost it." San Carlos offshore fishing area weather had calm seas and a water temperature of 75 degrees."
SAN CARLOS, MEXICO: Jon Jen Sportfishing at San Carlos reported spring fishing action still with some ups and downs, but several outings by Capt. Abel on the charter boat JonJen producing Mexican limits plus releases of up to 40 dorado. A couple of striped marlin were also released. Yellowtail counts ranged from strong to slow in warming water temperatures.
MAZATLAN, MEXICO: Larry Edwards of Cortez Yacht Charters reported strongly improved offshore fishing at Mazatlan as Aries Fleet boats working out of Marina el Cid averaged 5 to 8 dorado plus 4 or 5 sailfish per day after a long spring spell of exceptionally poor fish counts. "The sailfish are just 4 miles offshore," Edwards said. "This is the closest I've ever reported billfish for Mazatlan. It's starting to look like it's supposed to. Each day is getting better and better. The Mazatlan fishing area is alive with giant schools of sardinas and the fishing is just explosive from inshore to offshore. The fishing is terrific in comparison to just a week ago." Mazatlan fishing area weather was in the high-80s, with calm seas, very light breezes, and water temperatures of 82 to 83 degrees as Aries Fleet boats fished 4 miles from the marina entrance with rigged baits, live baits, and artificial lures.
PUERTO VALLARTA, MEXICO: Travis Yaddow of Master Baiter's Sportfishing & Tackle at Puerto Vallarta reported improved fishing conditions for boats running offshore. "The water temperature is on the up and there have been a few days at El Banco that the water was as close to blue as we have seen in a while," Yaddow said. Good numbers of yellowfin tuna of 20 to 50 pounds were present and biting. "They would hit just about anything you threw at them and it made for great light tackle fishing," Yaddow said. Sailfish were also active off Sayulita in action that included a run by the charter boat Jackpot Marlin with Capt. Pablo "Kawi" Guzman and anglers Tom Snyder and his first-time group for 4 sailfish caught in just a couple of hours. "Unfortunately, the fourth sailfish did not survive," Yaddow said. "We always encourage catch-and-release of all billfish and the use of circle hooks." Inshore fishing around Puerto Vallarta was good for a mix of jack crevalle, roosterfish, pompano, sierra, and snappers. Puerto Vallarta fishing area sea conditions were good.
IXTAPA ZIHUATANEJO, MEXICO: Larry Edwards of Cortez Yacht Charters said some Ixtapa charter boat captains reported lots of marlin strikes just 8 to 10 miles offshore and averaged 5 to 6 marlin landed per day. Farther offshore, Capt. Chiro on the charter boat Bloody Hook reported 7 sailfish in 3 days. Inshore fishing by Capts. Chiro and Adolofo produced jack crevalle, skipjack tuna, bonito, and up to 4 or 5 roosterfish per day. "There was also a noticeable increase in the number of bait fish in the area which is a sure sign that the inshore fishing will pick up in the weeks ahead," Edwards said. Ixtapa Zihuatanejo fishing area weather was partly cloudy in the high-80s, with the water temperature at 80 degrees inshore and 82.5 degrees offshore.
IXTAPA ZIHUATANEJO, MEXICO: Ed Kunze, reporting for Baja On The Fly, said blue water was as close as 6 miles off the beach and Ixtapa sportfishing boats averaged at least 1 blue marlin shot per outing. "But the hookup ratio is quite a bit less," Kunze said. "But there are at least 4 or 5 blues being caught each day, not bad considering there are only about 15 boats on the water." A few larger dorado and some yellowfin tuna of 30 to 40 pounds were also caught. "This should be a prelude to the larger fish moving into the area," Kunze said. Inshore, good roosterfish action was found north at Saladita. Ixtapa fishing area weather was mostly sunny in the mid-90s, with water temperatures of 80 to 84 degrees.
CANCUN, MEXICO: Larry Edwards of Cortez Yacht Charters reported on 16 outings by the El Cid Caribe sportfishing fleet at Puerto Morelos near Cancun, with a catch including released fish of: 2 sailfish, 9 Atlantic barracuda, 5 red snapper, 1 bonito, 2 king mackerel, 1 cabrilla, and 16 dorado or mahi mahi. "As warmer waters continue to penetrate this Cancun fishing area, more dorado are becoming available," Edwards said. "While the catching did slow a little over the full moon period, look for it to get back into full swing shortly." Cancun fishing area weather was partly cloudy in the low-90s, with some wind to 18 knots and water temperatures stable at 84 degrees.
MEXICO: Andrew Burton, of Manzanillo on Mexico's central Pacific coast reported slower offshore sailfish action amid commercial long lines during the full moon. Capt. Gerardo Montez of the charter boat Esqualo III caught just 1 barrilete or black skipjack during a run to 23 kilometers outside of Manzanillo bay, in clear blue water at 82.6 degrees but with many long lines in the area. "We crossed 4 long lines, probably cutting 1 of them as it was less than a meter below the surface," Montez said. "We were fishing right on a full moon which in hindsight probably wasn't a good idea." During the previous week, the Esqualo III had 5 outings for a total of 8 sailfish and 1 dorado.
MEXICO: Baja tin boat angler Wayne Neff of San Diego, Calif., returned from a trip to Hawaii that included a day of fishing on a charter cruiser for a catch of 2 fish, a small yellowfin tuna and a Hawaiian species of skipjack that weighed 21 pounds and was good eating. "It hit a small single hula skirt," Neff said while comparing the Hawaiian sportfishing scene to the type of action he's used to while fishing in Mexican waters. "Susan and I fished for 8 hours off of Kona on the Big Island. We were on a 36-footer trolling for 6 out of 8 hours. The captain informed me that 2 fish per trip was a typical day there. He was the most successful captain in the marina. How fortunate we are to have Baja fishing so close to home. Feeling sorry for him, I told him of a typical day in the Cortez. He could not believe such results. I don't know why they bother wasting the gas in Kona. The cost for that boat ride was $870. I'm cured."