SAN JOSE DEL CABO, MEXICO: Consistent inshore spring season catches of roosterfish were made off southern Baja beaches last week from Cabo San Lucas around the East Cape corner and northwards to La Paz.
Eric Brictson of Gordo Banks Pangas reported on 62 combined La Playita fleet charter pangas fishing out of San Jose del Cabo's Puerto Los Cabos marina, with a catch including released fish of: 215 roosterfish, 88 various snapper species, 58 sierra, 28 jack crevalle, 24 striped marlin, 13 dorado, 6 yellowfin tuna, 9 yellowtail, 13 amberjack, 3 dogtooth snapper, 62 bonito, and 19 cabrilla.
San Jose del Cabo fishing area weather was recovering from very strong winds that reached about 50 m.p.h. and reduced sea surface water temperatures on the Sea of Cortez side of Cabo San Lucas from about 80 degrees to the low-60s in some places and 69 degrees at San Jose del Cabo. Water temperatures had stabilized and returned to the high-70s by Thursday. Pangas fishing along shore found good action on sardina baits for sierra, bonito, and lots of smaller roosterfish. "The roosterfish have been very active and some large roosters have been reported but not in any significant numbers," Brictson said. "The first couple of weeks in June is the time at San Jose del Cabo when the larger roosterfish make their appearance."
SAN JOSE DEL CABO, MEXICO: Stan Woodward of Manhattan Beach, Calif., reported on 2 days of relatively slow fishing with Bruce Micheel of Santa Barbara, Calif., aboard the San Jose del Cabo panga Fatima with Capt. Agustin "Brujo" Pino for just 1 dorado of 12 pounds caught offshore, and an inshore catch of a few small jacks, sierra, pompano, skipjack tuna, large dog snapper lost in rocks, and 1 nice roosterfish caught by Micheel. "Fishing was unremarkable except for the rooster," Woodward said. "The gallo was caught on a mullet. Water temperatures and clarity were still trying to recover from a big blow on Thursday and Friday last week that chilled sea temperatures way up into the Cortez. Bait schools offshore were nonexistent."
SAN JOSE DEL CABO, MEXICO: Todd Cameron of Long Beach, Calif., reported on 3 days of panga fishing out of San Jose del Cabo's Puerto Los Cabos marina with Capt. Antonio Guluarte of Guluartefleet.com and deckhand Marcelo for a catch of: 18 yellowfin tuna to 50 pounds, 16 assorted dog, yellow, and red snappers to 15 pounds, 1 yellowtail, 2 cabrilla of 10 and 14 pounds, 1 hammerhead shark, and 1 marlin released. "Sunday was a great bite all day," Cameron said. "On Monday in the first hour or so we got 14 fish to the boat and started releasing, only to have the bite taper off. I landed the nice 50-pound tuna on the first cast. We only got bit on the bottom for the rest of the day. On Tuesday there were fish everywhere, but they weren't biting as well. We saw over 20 whale sharks that day, incredible, all over the place. On all 3 days, you needed fluoro to get a tuna bite. Dead bait worked well."
SAN JOSE DEL CABO, MEXICO: San Jose del Cabo species fishing specialist John Snow noted peaked interest from the academic community about his recent San Jose del Cabo fishing report, which included mention of a white grunt, Haemulon plumieri, and the notation that it had previously been recorded only in the Atlantic Ocean. "Dr. ___ fell out of his chair over this one," said Snow. "I had to explain that it was purchased in the fish department of the Soriana's store and remains an Atlantic Ocean only species."
ENSENADA, MEXICO: Ivan Villarino of Vonny's Fleet reported all pangas going out during the week with Mexican sportfishing limits of lingcod, red rockcod, sculpin, mixed bottom fish species, and plenty of surface bonito for the Vonny's Fleet client fish smoker. "This was a good limit week," Villarino said. "On Sunday the bonito went wide-open for limits." Anglers scoring Mexican limits with Capts. Beto, Vicente, and Hector at the tip of Ensenada's Punta Banda included Robert Ochoa of Shafter, Calif., Arturo Lomeli of San Diego, Calif., and Jeff Hartman of Los Angeles, Calif.
ENSENADA, MEXICO: Steve Ross of the Ensenada sportfishing boat Bad Dog at Marina Coral reported on an outing from the marina aboard Tom McInally's boat Wide Open for slow bottom fishing at the Banda Bank and a 4-angler fish count of: 3 bocaccio, 1 sand shark, 2 starry rockfish, and 2 lingcod to 8 pounds.
Also fishing aboard the Wide Open were Gail Ross, Juan Lu, and Toshi McInally. "Fishing was poor with no vermilion rockfish caught and no way near Mexican fish limits," Ross said. "The impact of the Humboldt squid invasion is now being felt as the vermilions seem to have vacated the bank, in my opinion, after 3 unsuccessful trips of trying to catch one." Banda Bank fishing water was green at 63 degrees. A move to north Isla Todos Santos and another to Bajo San Miguel produced 6 bonito of 10 pounds. "Capt. Mauricio on El Cazador reported about 60 bonito in that area, and on Saturday Mauricio had 2 yellowtail hooked," Ross said. "Several boats fishing offshore reported no catches. Due to threatening weather reports there were few boats on the water in the Ensenada area."
Ross also noted, "The Cardona family of Botes Juanitos mourns the death of son Renee Cardona Sepulveda, brother to Juan Lu Cardona Sepulveda, who was active in the family business and suffered from complications caused from a bad fall down a long flight of concrete stairs on Sunday, May 25, 2008. Our condolences go out to the family and we shall all miss Renee."
SAN QUINTIN, MEXICO: Pete Hillis of Pedro's Pangas reported more anglers making the Baja run to the San Quintin area last week, with local fishing weather mostly calm or with light winds. "Things picked up for us last week," Hillis said. "On Tuesday morning, 12 boats were out fishing, with everyone getting limits of large rockcod and lingcod." Humboldt giant squid were also showing up in the counts.
Hillis noted that the Mexican navy continued to patrol San Quintin fishing area waters and was checking sportfishing boats for documentation. "The Mexican navy may board individual boats to check for permits and contraband," Hillis said. "All fishermen at this time do need a valid Mexican fishing license. They have made it the boat owner's responsibility to ensure that everyone on board has a license. Tomas Guerrero of Mexican tourism was there through the weekend but his supply of licenses was limited. It is suggested that anyone going down secure a Mexican fishing license either before crossing the border or in Ensenada."
SAN QUINTIN, MEXICO: Marita Melville of Don Eddie's Landing at San Quintin reported on a group of 64 visitors led by Rosana Li from the Home of Christian Church in the Los Angeles area, with 42 people fishing at the 240 spot on Sunday aboard boats from Don Eddie's, Pedro's Pangas, and Garcia's Pangas for Mexican sportfishing limits of red rockcod, plus lingcod and a Humboldt giant squid. "Everyone in the group had a great time fishing," Melville said. "It was everyone's first time in San Quintin." Baja coastal fishing weather was cool, with some light wind and the water temperature at 60 degrees.
BAJA CALIFORNIA, MEXICO: Jose Angel Pacheco of Cedros Outdoor Adventures reported on another fly-down Baja Pacific coast fishing trip to Isla Cedros, with angler Harold Scott of Seattle, Wash., flying down from Ensenada and fishing 2 days on a 22-foot panga from the village at the south end of the island for a catch of 4 calico bass, 2 rockfish, and an estimated 35-pound yellowtail lost to a sea lion.
Scott's trip began with a van pickup at his hotel in San Ysidro and a drive to the airport at Ensenada, then a 2-hour flight to the island in a 13-passenger Cessna charter plane. "He brought four 7-foot rods and all kinds of tackle," Pacheco said. "We fished the kelp beds of El Morro reef, about 3 miles south of the island, between Cedros and Natividad Island. We saw the San Diego boat, Islander, with several fishermen on board catching some yellowtail. We also fished at the San Agustin kelp beds close to the south end of the island at 28.04.55 115.20.19, and at the Anegaditos rocks kelp beds at 28.04.42 115.19.49. Our captain was Diego "Bush" Aviles-Garcia."
Fishing with dead and cut bait produced no results. "We used mostly jigs and Harold caught all of his fish with a 4-inch lead-filled copper tube with 2 hooks. I don't know the name of those things," Pacheco said. Baja coastal fishing weather at Isla Cedros was overcast with light westerly winds, and stronger winds the second day that limited fishing to the coastal areas around the village.
BAJA CALIFORNIA, MEXICO: Allan Tokunaga of North Hollywood, Calif., reported on a Baja coastal run down highway Mex 1 with Tad Hirai and Kenji Watanabe for dinner at Puerto Nuevo and surf fishing at Playa San Ramon north of San Quintin for smaller barred surf perch, and then more surf perch to 13 inches while fishing spots to about 30 miles south of San Quintin. "I just look for a sandy beach with sand crabs, although I just fish with motor oil color grubs," Tokunaga said. "Only the border crossing spoiled the weekend, a wait of one-and-a-half hours, but I can't complain about the $2.50 per gallon Pemex gas. At Puerto Nuevo on Friday the village was missing about half of its normal tourists."
BAJA CALIFORNIA, MEXICO: Baja angler Dan Fleming of Chula Vista, Calif., said he's been crossing the border lately to take advantage of lower fuel prices in Mexico. "The high price of fuel has me going to Tijuana more than ever," Fleming said. "I am filling with diesel at $1.92 per gallon, and even gas is cheaper than here, at about $3. I now have a named driver insurance policy that allows me to drive any vehicle in Mexico, and I have a SENTRI pass and microchip. Makes things a lot easier. I am trying to only run Mexican diesel. Fishing trips can cost less than expected. A trip to Mulege or Loreto will see huge savings."
MAGDALENA BAY, MEXICO: Gary Graham of Baja On The Fly said Bob Hoyt's Mag Bay Outfitters boats reported continued wind but some larger yellowtail appearing outside at Punta San Lazaro. Fishing inside the Magdalena Bay mangrove channels produced corvina and sierra on the surface, and some grouper and pargo deep. Magdalena Bay fishing area weather was clear in the mid-90s, with water temperatures of 60 to 66 degrees.
MAGDALENA BAY, MEXICO: Jeff Petersen of Lopez Sportsman's Lodge at Puerto Lopez Mateos said the lodge's charter cruiser and panga were ready for this summer's fishing season at Magdalena Bay, with the promise of doing some fly fishing for bonefish.
"I've taken Capt. Chico through a Google search in Spanish for bonefish," Petersen said. "In the Magdalena Bay mangroves, which produce such an extraordinary array of table food, the bonefish are always released from lines and nets as nuisance fish. But Chico has taken me to a spectacular flat, one that came to his mind as he learned the habits of the fish. In June we pick up where we left off. With America's uncertain financial woes and Mexico's border story woes displayed so prominently in the news, this is a fine year to explore and develop the fly fishing programs. Some great guides desire to bring their old clients to meet the mangroves. The most promising thing to come from the Fred Hall Shows this year were these gentlemen coming to us. I hope to learn some skills myself along the way. For me, the New Year's Eve of the fishing year comes the last day of May. The weather's good, water's great, and the fish are ready to swim again. The cycle continues in the mangroves."
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Larry Edwards of Cortez Yacht Charters reported on 25 outings by Gaviota Fleet and the Cabo charter boats Fish Cabo, Fish Cabo I, and Tuna Time, with a catch including released fish of: 9 striped marlin, 2 dorado, 4 sierra, and 19 yellowfin tuna. "The full moon took its toll on Cabo fishing along with some difficult and windy fishing days," Edwards said. "Water temperatures on the Cortez side are rapidly warming up, but the fishing has yet to stabilize throughout the Los Cabos area. Adding to this dilemma is a lack of anglers throughout the entire Los Cabos fishing area, due to the worldwide economic scenario."
Cabo San Lucas sportfishing area weather was sunny but windy from the northwest, in the high-90s, with water temperatures rebounding to as high as 85 degrees in places on the Sea of Cortez side. Most boats fished around the 1150 spot and outwards.
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Grant Hartman of the Baja Anglers fly fishing guide service at Cabo San Lucas said last week's port closure was caused by winds that hit 50 m.p.h. but marlin action continued steady on the Sea of Cortez side up to Punta Gorda. "The inshore fishing did go south for a few days, but it is making a recovery with plenty of roosterfish under 15 pounds to catch on the fly and light spin tackle," Hartman said. "The big ones over 40 pounds still won't take the fly very well."
Hartman noted that he suffered a broken tooth during a recent trip to East Cape with his wife Gisel while he was throwing a cast net for bait. "I set up the cast as I have since I was a boy on the Texas coast," Hartman said. "Except on this cast the net wrapped itself around my front tooth, and it snapped my tooth off. I just stood there in agony and whispered 'Gisel.' She took one look at me and started laughing. That's what happens when you are married for a long time, no sympathy. She fed me a good half-dozen Advil down my throat and after a few minutes I settled down. I finally looked at the net in the water and it was full of ballyhoo, and next to the net was my tooth. I started laughing so hard Gisel thought I had lost it."
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Ramon Druck of the Cabo San Lucas charter sportfishing super panga Cheer's reported on 3 outings during the week with a total of 2 anglers, for a catch including released fish of: 1 grouper of 8 pounds, 1 dorado of 6 to 7 pounds, 1 Humboldt squid of 30 pounds, 15 yellowtail of 6 to 8 pounds, 4 bonito of 4 to 5 pounds, 9 sierra of 3 to 4 pounds, and 2 triggerfish. The Cheer's fished with trolled baits and lures along Sea of Cortez-side beaches in water temperatures of 69 to 70 degrees and sea conditions with some strong wind on the Pacific side and very slow fishing on the Cortez side. Anglers fishing aboard the Cheer's included John Johnson of Canada, and Patrick Hayes of San Diego, Calif.
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Tommy Garcia of Cabo Magic reported on 48 charters, with a catch including released fish of: 28 striped marlin, 3 sailfish, 23 yellowfin tuna, 22 dorado, 14 yellowtail, 50 sierra, 10 roosterfish, 4 snappers, and 6 jack crevalle.
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, 1 mako shark of 80 pounds, and 12 yellowtail of 5 to 7 pounds caught about 2 miles from shore. Dillon noted the port of Cabo San Lucas closed to boat traffic on May 22, 2008, due to high winds.
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: For the week ending May 25, 2008, George Landrum of Fly Hooker Sportfishing reported cooler weather with some strong wind and very green colored water as low as 58 degrees seen near Pacific side beaches. "With the cold water comes color," Landrum said. "The current from the Pacific side must have been extra strong this week. The full moon may have had a lot to do with that." Cortez side water was also green up to Punta Gorda, but much warmer at up to 74 degrees. Offshore yellowfin tuna, dorado, and wahoo were all slow in cool water conditions. Inshore boats found schools of pargo and yellowtail locally off the arch and El Pedregal. "This was one of the worst fishing weeks I can remember in quite a while," Landrum said.
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: For the week ending May 21, 2008, Tracy Ehrenberg of Pisces Fleet Sportfishing reported 82 percent of charters landing all species combined in overall slower billfish action, but with the Pisces boat Bill Collector scoring first place in the recent IGFA Championship tournament. "We were thrilled to have the top boat with Capt. Julio Gonzalez," Ehrenberg said. "It is interesting to note that the top 3 teams fished practice days with Pisces before the competition."
During the week, 53 percent of Pisces boats landed striped marlin or sailfish, with all but 1 released. Thirty-six percent of charters caught dorado of 15 to 30 pounds. Inshore boats fishing tight to the beach to avoid winds, caught a mix of jack crevalle, roosterfish, skipjack, sierra, needlefish, pompano, and pargo, and Bill Collector had a session for 25 yellowtail at Punta Gorda. Pisces boats fished mostly on the Sea of Cortez side at locations including Punta Gorda, Chileno, the 1150 spot, Punta Palmilla, San Jose del Cabo, and La Playita. Cabo San Lucas fishing area weather was generally very windy, with 1 day of port closure, whitecaps, and the water temperature averaging 67 degrees.
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Todd Cameron of Long Beach fished at both San Jose del Cabo and Cabo San Lucas during his recent trip and reported on an unusual "cruise ship passenger-style" panga fishing trip with just 45 minutes of fishing out of the Cabo San Lucas harbor for a catch of 6 yellowtail plus a 42-pound amberjack. "A hard negotiation!" Cameron said about his 2-hour, $70 trip. "I had to be back at the hotel to leave by 9 a.m. I jigged up the amberjack and yellowtail 100 yards to half-a-mile straight off the arch, then back to the marina and all cleaned by 8:30. Wow! All on a scrambled egg Salas jig. Every third cast was a hook up. I also lost another 3 or 4 fish. My propina was my last $8 and my scrambled egg Salas jig that caught all the fish."
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: Jeff deBrown of The Reel Baja fly fishing guide service said roosterfish took center stage as clients caught many first-ever small to medium gallos and jack crevalle plus "all the ladyfish you want" on East Cape beaches. "The beach remains consistent," deBrown said. "We also had a few shots at bigger fish. The wind is forecast to subside and the water will clear up fast, providing East Cape some great beach fishing action. We are also starting to see Mexican lookdowns at the arroyo north of Los Barriles."
Boats fishing near shore at La Ribera found bonita and larger jack crevalle of 25 to 40 pounds. "The schools were quite large and could be spotted very easily by the diving birds," deBrown said. Offshore boats fished in good numbers of striped marlin and sailfish becoming more aggressive on the bite. Some larger dorado were mixed with the billfish. East Cape fishing area weather was in the high-80s, with some strong variable winds veering and backing and water temperatures of 67 to 78 degrees.
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: Gary Graham of Baja On The Fly said East Cape offshore fishing was sporadic with many billfish spotted feeding in fast-moving pods. Good concentrations of ladyfish and smaller roosterfish were being fished inshore and on the beaches. "There are plenty of billfish but they are so quick by the time you arrive all that's left are a few scales," Graham said. "There is an abundance of small roosters and ladyfish inshore. The beach roosterfish being landed are the schoolies to 5 pounds or so, but there are grandes as well. It's a matter of fishing hard and being a bit lucky." East Cape fishing area weather was sunny in the mid-90s, with water temperatures of 73 to 80 degrees.
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: Ana Lizeth Velazquez of Buena Vista Beach Resort reported on 48 boats, with 167 anglers and a catch including released fish of: 73 roosterfish, 26 striped marlin, 32 dorado, 1 shark, 12 snappers, 7 jack crevalle, 11 triggerfish, and 14 cabrilla. East Cape fishing area weather was in the high-80s, with water temperatures of 74 to 77 degrees.
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: For the previous week ending May 22, 2008, Velazquez reported on 53 boats, with 186 anglers and a catch including released fish of: 45 roosterfish, 37 striped marlin, 5 sailfish, 61 dorado, 2 sharks, 13 snappers, 13 jack crevalle, 1 amberjack, 12 bonito, 1 yellowtail, 1 ladyfish, 12 pompano, 14 triggerfish, 2 squid, and 22 cabrilla. East Cape fishing area weather was in the low-90s, with water temperatures of 74 to 78 degrees. Most hotel boats fished south off Cabo Pulmo, using mullet, mackerel, and ballyhoo baits, plus sardina brought south to Punta Pescadero by pangas working at Punta Perico.
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: For the week ending May 24, 2008, John Ireland of East Cape's Hotel Rancho Leonero reported winds becoming easterly toward the end of the week and fish counts improving for striped marlin and dorado plus some yellowfin tuna showing up. "The fishing has been very close to the hotel, 1 to 3 miles off the Punta Arena lighthouse," Ireland said. "The bite steadily improved as the week progressed. One boat on Saturday caught 9 tuna in the 20-pound range." By the end of the week, hotel boats averaged about 2 billfish and 2 dorado per outing. Inshore anglers released roosterfish in the 20 to 40-pound class. East Cape fishing area weather had southeasterly winds, with water temperatures of 75 to 79 degrees.
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: For the week ending May 23, 2008, Eddie Dalmau of Van Wormer Resorts reported on 270 East Cape charter fishing boats from Hotels Palmas de Cortez, Playa del Sol, and Punta Colorada, with a catch including released fish of: 2 blue marlin, 250 striped marlin, 126 sailfish, 166 dorado, 68 roosterfish, 2 wahoo, 58 cabrilla, 72 pargo, 12 triggerfish, 24 bonita, and 2 mako shark. East Cape fishing area weather was at 90 degrees, with water temperatures of 74 to 78 degrees. "Billfish continue to be the story again this week," Dalmau said. "We are seeing blues, stripers, and sails all over the Sea of Cortez. The majority of the dorado are being caught north by the 88 marker and Cerralvo Island. Roosterfish have been caught all along the shore line from Punta Pescadero to south of Los Frailes."
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: Scott Jamison reported on 2 days of fishing at East Cape aboard the charter boat Jen Wren with Mark Rayor of Vista Sea Sport for a catch of: 9 marlin, 1 sailfish, and 4 nice dorado. "We had a great crew and excellent fishing," Jamison said. Also fishing aboard the Jen Wren were Mike Jamison, John York, and Deborah Bingham.
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: Brian Harnack of Culver City, Calif., reported on a family trip to fish 3 days at East Cape's Rancho Leonero for a first-ever striped marlin release and a catch by his 10-year-old son Andre Harnack including jack crevalle, pargo, lots of triggerfish, and a first-ever sailfish release. Harnack's group, also including his wife and 7-year-old daughter, fished aboard the charter boat High Roller with Capt. Manuel and deckhand Javier in a area from about 5 miles north of the hotel southwards to a few miles off the Punta Arena lighthouse.
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: Werner Hradecky of East Cape and San Diego, Calif., reported on 4 days of fishing aboard his boat Bad Company for releases of 9 marlin and 1 sailfish, plus 2 nice dorado landed, in 78-degree water about 2.5 miles off the Punta Arena lighthouse and 1 session to the north off Punta Pescadero. "Mean Joe Green jigs worked well but most of the fish were caught by slow trolling dead ballyhoo at 3 knots," Hradecky said. "Actually the jigs got hit at that speed too. It was a bit windy 1 day, very rough, so going north didn't really work."
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: Simon Cazaly of the Vista Sea Sport diving service at Buena Vista reported 81 degrees and 60 to 70 feet of visibility at depth on the Cabo Pulmo coral reef, with sea life sightings including a whale shark close encounter and a swirling "tornado" of bigeye jacks. Cazaly described the whale shark encounter, saying, "Five minutes into the dive and I glanced upwards to see an 18-foot whale shark barely 10 feet above me. Its tail and body were covered in remoras and it gracefully passed overhead and afforded us the once in a lifetime opportunity to swim alongside it for a few minutes before effortlessly disappearing from view with a swish of its powerful tail."
Later, Cazaly's group found the mass of bigeye jacks isolated in clear water. "We could see the site stretching out before us," Cazaly said. "In the distance was what looked like a giant tornado swirling above the reef. An immense gathering of big eyed jacks had amassed in their millions and we swam straight into the eye of the storm. Visibility immediately diminished. It was barely possible to see the diver next to me, just a writhing mass of silver fish disorienting my senses. Mixed in amongst the jacks were huge dogtooth snapper, loads of them, and underneath was a carpet of yellow snapper numbering almost as many as the jacks. Five large sea lions bulldozed their way through to dine at the banquet. We just hovered amidst this maelstrom, awestruck by the sheer numbers of fish that had gathered before us."
Then, on a second dive, Cazaly said, "One of my divers started frantically pointing and waving his arms. The same whale shark was cruising past like the Pied Piper of Hamelin, in its wake all those jacks following behind. I'd never seen anything like it."
LA PAZ, MEXICO: Jonathan Roldan of La Paz' Tailhunter International said last week's fishing results were variable in changing wind conditions. "La Paz fishing is good or bad depending on who you talk to and where you fish," Roldan said. "Anglers a mile apart could tell completely different stories. The wind dictates where and how you fish. Offshore around Bahia de la Ventana and outside Isla Cerralvo we started getting more dorado and billfish and we caught our first wahoo of the season. Inshore there's some incredible roosterfishing going on with big fish near the Las Arenas lighthouse mixed with jacks, sierra, cabrilla and amberjack, and there are still a few leftover yellowtail around too."
LA PAZ, MEXICO: Gerardo Hernandez of Tortuga Sportfishing said the La Paz fishing area had wind on some days last week that kept Las Arenas side pangas from going out to the offshore buoys or Isla Cerralvo, as pangas were able to fish near shore areas for cabrilla and pargo lisa. On some days, dorado of 25 to 35 pounds plus some marlin and sailfish were caught at the buoys. Good quantities of sardina live bait continued to be available on the Baja shore at Punta Perico and also at the south end of Isla Cerralvo.
LA PAZ, MEXICO: Dan Belling reported on 2 days of fishing out of La Paz' Costa Baja Marina aboard his boat Fortuna, for a catch of mixed species inshore, but slow action outside at El Bajo. "We fished El Bajo with no luck, only reef fish, and Isla Espiritu Santo's west side for small sierra, bonito, and 1 yellowtail of 5 pounds," Belling said. "Between Punta Coyote and Las Cruces we found a few pargo. There are tons of squid in the water and sardinas were plentiful on almost all the beaches we stopped at." Also fishing aboard the Fortuna were Matthew Belling and Paul Zubatov. La Paz fishing area weather was at 90 degrees, with water temperatures averaging 74 degrees.
LORETO, MEXICO: Pam Bolles of Baja Big Fish Company was busy moving to her new downtown Loreto store location and reported overall slower fishing conditions following a period of very strong winds to 55 knots that dropped sea surface water temperatures up to 10 degrees. "The wind blew like that for 2 solid days and it's been present at least in the afternoon ever since," Bolles said. Inshore yellowtail and offshore dorado were both slower, but near shore fishing produced steady cabrilla, pargo, and occasional roosterfish. ""There's a dorado caught once in a while but they are way spread out and not schooling," Bolles said. "There's still lots of sargasso weed out there but that sea temperature is way too cool for school dorado." Heavy concentrations of squid bait continued in Loreto waters. "Two weeks ago we were spoiled by warm offshore sea surface temperatures, giving us premature summer-like conditions," Bolles said. "We're back to reality now, and Loreto fishing conditions are now very normal for early June."
LORETO, MEXICO: Bill Erhardt of Loreto reported local fish counts improving at midweek for dorado and yellowtail after a 3-day period of strong winds that turned the water green out to 30 miles and produced 2 skunk days for Erhardt, fishing once aboard his boat Soledad and once aboard the Arturosport cruiser out of the downtown Loreto marina. "I was skunked on consecutive trips," Erhardt said, "a rarity in Loreto. To compound the indignity, I was fishing with friends who had come to Loreto from New York, Washington, D.C., and Los Angeles."
Loreto fishing area water temperatures were down 10 degrees to the low-70s during Erhardt's 2 outings. "The high point of the week was fishing on the Arturosport cruiser," Erhardt said. "It is not a fast boat by any measure, but it is well maintained and comfortable for a party of up to 6. The fishing tackle aboard was excellent, Seeker rods with Avet reels and Tiagras for wrestling yellowtail out of the rocks. We were fortunate to have Arturo Susarrey as skipper and regular cruiser skipper Tito Murillo along as mate. They are both good company and good fishermen and wanted to find fish as much as we did, but it just wasn't happening that day. Anybody with a party of up to 6 that wants to fish together out of Loreto in relative comfort should keep the Arturosport cruiser in mind. Arturo plans to add another cruiser to the fleet sometime this year."
MULEGE, MEXICO: Ronald Grant of Mulege and Crestline, Calif., reported on a fly-down trip to the Hotel Serenidad, with Mulege fishing area weather in the mid-80s and calm waters with some chop in the afternoons. Mulege boats caught dorado about 25 to 30 miles out on headings of 065 to 070 degrees from the lighthouse. "Feathers of any color work fine," Grant said. "And cut or live bait after a stop should produce another hookup." Grant noted few tourists present in the Mulege area. "Tourist traffic is slow both flying down or driving as few Americans are crossing the border since all the problems," Grant said. "There is not much activity at hotels and in town due to the lack of travelers." The Hotel Serenidad landing strip was in good condition.
MULEGE, MEXICO: Jim Weidler of Newport Beach, Calif., stayed 2 days at the Punta Chivato campground north of Mulege and went out on his boat for clamming and lunch at Playa Buenaventura in Bahia Concepción, but did not fish. "We got an assortment of clams, ate at the restaurant at Playa Buenaventura, and came back to Chivato in choppy seas and a good headwind," Weidler said. "When we got the boat on the trailer the wind died down and the seas flattened out. That's our Baja. Two weeks ago it was glass surface, and we made it to Isla Tortuga in 30 minutes and did great on the yellowtail, cabrilla, huachinango, and cochito."
Weidler also noted an amazing midnight encounter with a large group of Baja lobsters found at ankle depth on the beach. "I went on a midnight walk to the water's edge armed with flashlight and camera," Weidler said. "I counted more than 20 of them. I tried a hoop net with mackerel, clam bait, squid, whatever I could find in the freezer, but they never even went to investigate the scent. The pictures were worth more than the catch this time."
SANTA ROSALIA, MEXICO: Mike Kanzler of Isla San Marcos reported Santa Rosalia fishing area weather at 80 degrees, with cold winds and the water "flipped over" and green at 68 to 70 degrees with 20-foot visibility both inshore and outside at Isla Tortuga. Fishing after the recent Isla San Marcos Yellowtail Shootout tournament produced 8 yellowtail of 22 to 28 pounds for anglers Doug Moranville, Mike Herman, and Ryan Deakyne, all of San Diego. "Doug asked what happened to the 30 pounders from the day before," Kanzler said. "And I told him those are the ones breaking you off!" Deakyne got his first-ever yellowtail at over 25 pounds. "Most fish were caught using my slider rig with live mackerel and a few on the dropper loop," Kanzler said. "Right now, boats are scratching for 1 to 2 fish. It should improve once the water temperatures rise a bit."
SAN FELIPE, MEXICO: Dana Kerby of Baja Fishing and Diving reported on a 6-day Midriff islands fishing trip by the 130-foot panga mothership Andrea Lynn, returning to San Felipe on May 22, 2008, with 24 anglers and a catch of: 75 yellowtail, 1 white seabass, 3 grouper, 133 cabrilla, 3 sheephead, 4 pargo, 418 spotted bay bass, and 154 assorted fish. Anglers fishing on the trip included 14 members of the Oceanside Senior Anglers Club led by George Ruble, as well as 3 other anglers who drove out for the trip from Iowa.
"The water was very smooth until Wednesday around midday when a very strong wind made it impossible to fish," Kirby said. "Fishing Sunday in the area of San Bernabe, David Youngblut of Oceanside Senior Anglers caught a 26-pound yellowtail and club member Vern Francis caught a 34 pounder. On Monday morning we fished San Bernabe again and Cardonoza in the afternoon, then to Animas to try to make bait. Art Logan of Oceanside Senior Anglers caught a robust 42-pound yellowtail, and Harold Burgess, out from Iowa, caught a 44-pound white seabass. Tuesday was spent in Bahia Refugio. The morning catch brought in the biggest fish yet, Gerry Graff's 48-pound grouper hooked while trolling with a 19MAC MirrOlure. George Ruble caught a 30-pound grouper that same day. On Wednesday we tried to fish the Ensenada Grande area, but the wind came up and we were unable to fish past noon. During the night the Andrea Lynn's Capt. Cruz Cisneros loaded the pangas and at sunup we headed back to San Felipe. Everyone went home with their ice chests full."
SAN FELIPE, MEXICO: Tony Reyes Sr. of Tony Reyes Fishing Tours reported on a 6-day Midriff islands fishing trip by the panga mothership Jose Andres, returning to San Felipe on May 23, 2008, with a fish count of: 47 yellowtail of 18 to 41 pounds, 2 grouper of 65 to 85 pounds, 2 white seabass of 20 to 35 pounds, 78 cabrilla of 12 to 17.9 pounds, 40 Humboldt squid of 10 to 15 pounds, 3 red snapper of 13 to 14.5 pounds, 1 broomtail of 12 pounds, 5 sheephead of 10 to 12 pounds, 90 spotted bay bass, 1 shark, and 15 miscellaneous fish. Midriff fishing area water temperatures averaged 69 degrees.
The week's winners in the season-long Jose Andres fishing tournament were: yellowtail, 41.12 pounds, Jack Hendrickson, Midvale, Utah, guide Antonio Sanchez Moreno; red snapper, 14.5 pounds, Andrew Squire, Solana Beach, Calif., guide Ruben Orozco; white seabass, 26.9 pounds, Emmett Joyner, guide Victor Orozco; and cabrilla, 17.1 pounds, Andrew Squire, Solana Beach, Calif., guide Ruben Orozco.
SAN FELIPE, MEXICO: Catalina Meders of San Felipe's beach balcony Title Company Bookstore reported northern Sea of Cortez fishing area weather at 80 degrees, with relative humidity at 50 percent and breezes light. San Felipe drew many tourists for the Memorial Day weekend. "On Saturday two bus loads of students from one of the high schools in Mexicali came and performed a truly eclectic program on the malecon stage," Meders said. "They had cheer leading, traditional dancing, hip hop dancing, pop singing, pop dancing, a little blues, a little jazz. It was a 'mezclado' in fact. The kids performed with a great deal of enthusiasm and had a great time. I haven't heard any reports of accidents, so hopefully everyone enjoyed themselves at San Felipe and nobody got hurt."
SAN CARLOS, MEXICO: Larry Gibbons of Tucson, Ariz., reported on 3 days at San Carlos aboard the boat No Le Hace with Capt. Juan Tirado, with 1 day of unfishable wind, and 2 days of fishing around Isla San Pedro Nolasco for a catch of 7 dorado, 1 yellowtail, and many marlin seen. "The dorado were about 10 miles south of the island," Gibbons said. "They bit on ballyhoo and artificials. We saw tons of marlin but they would not bite. We also caught the nice yellowtail on a red-and-white Rapala and we dove at the lighthouse. It is going to be a great year." San Carlos fishing area water temperatures were at 73 to 75 degrees.
SAN CARLOS, MEXICO: Jon Jen Charters at San Carlos reported lots of dorado and marlin caught early in the week, but with good concentrations of fish becoming more picky after Tuesday. Thirty-seven boats fishing in the San Carlos Ladies International Fishing Tournament (LIFT) scored 5 marlin and 19 dorado to 40.7 pounds on the first day of competition.
SAN CARLOS, MEXICO: For the previous week, Bryan Replogle of San Carlos-Guaymas reported good concentrations of sea life within a mile of shore including whales, manta rays, seals, and porpoise, plus good marlin and dorado action during several days of fishing. "We shook off 3 marlin, having each one on for less than a minute," Replogle said. "We spotted 18 on the surface and saw at least that many jumping. The next day we caught 10 small dorado out of the hundreds that we saw, and we caught one nice pair of 20-pound fish. The last day we found a dorado school west of Isla San Pedro that we pulled 5 fish from. Some sailfish are moving in with lots of dorado that are slowly getting bigger."
MAZATLAN, MEXICO: Larry Edwards of Cortez Yacht Charters reported on 17 offshore Aries Fleet boats out of Mazatlan's Marina El Cid, with a catch including released fish of: 6 sailfish, 4 jack crevalle, and 2 dorado to 48 pounds. Inshore super pangas had mostly easily Mexican sportfishing limits for a mix of sierra, pargos, barracuda, baqueta, and triggerfish. Edwards commented on the slower action following a brief jump in fish counts the previous week, saying, "Where'd they go? Mazatlan went from bonanza fishing back to slow in just a week following the full moon. If anything, we expected fishing to get better but for some unknown reason it went south again." Mazatlan fishing area weather was perfect at 90 degrees, with calm seas, light breezes, and water temperatures at 75 degrees inshore and 81 degrees offshore.
MAZATLAN, MEXICO: Syd Lindsay of San Lucas Cove on the Sea of Cortez Baja coast reported poor beach fishing during a visit to the Mazatlan area. "It was a real bust," Lindsay said. "We stayed at the inlet at Teacapan for 3 days and it was very poor fishing there. The main catch there for the locals this time of year is, believe it or not, pufferfish, They make good money on them and can catch 50 to 75 fish a day inside the combers outside the inlet. We also spent 2 days at Cerritos point just north of Mazatlan, and still there was not much for light tackle off the rocks, mostly a few small jacks. We gave up and came home 2 days early. I wanted to catch a snook. Maybe next time. I saw the rare corvina that John Snow of San Jose del Cabo had in the May 5th issue of Mexico Fishing News. We saw many of that type of corvina in the fish restaurants there. They are very good fried whole. I wish we could have found where they got them, from gill nets I guess."
PUERTO VALLARTA, MEXICO: Jack Simpson of Mission Viejo, Calif., reported on an offshore run out of La Cruz de Huanacaxtle north of Puerto Vallarta aboard Capt. Danny Gomez' charter panga Dhamar for a catch including released fish at Roca Corbeteña of: 1 sailfish, 4 yellowfin tuna to 75 pounds, 1 cubera snapper of 35 pounds, and 20 jack crevalle to 20 pounds.
"All the jack crevalle were released," Simpson said, "They were pests as they munched on live bait, dead bait, cedar plugs, Marauders, and feathers. We saw 100-pound tuna jumping amidst lots of bird life and mixed sea life. Danny attributed the mixed bag of fish to the changing of spring to summer water temperatures. I spotted my first sea snake and added 2 new species to my all-time total of 48." Simpson commented on the experience of fishing at Puerto Vallarta with Dhamar Sportfishing and Capt. Gomez. "A fantastic experience," he said. "Danny is a very experienced captain and has an immaculate, well equipped dual outboard 27-foot super panga. I would highly recommend Danny when fishing Puerto Vallarta." Offshore Puerto Vallarta fishing area water at Roca Corbeteña was blue at 80 degrees.
IXTAPA ZIHUATANEJO, MEXICO: Ed Kunze, reporting for Baja On The Fly, said about 5 to 7 blue marlin per day were being brought in by the 20-boat Ixtapa Zihuatanejo sportfishing fleet, and some big fish were in the mix. Ixtapa fishing boats running offshore also caught sailfish. Capt. Margarito on the boat Gaby scored 10 yellowfin tuna of 35 to 45 pounds with client David Cooper. "With huge tuna schools scattered throughout the Ixtapa area, they are being taken from 12 to 20 miles out," Kunze said. Ixtapa fishing area weather was in the high-90s, with mostly clear skies and water temperatures of 80 to 84 degrees.
IXTAPA ZIHUATANEJO, MEXICO: Larry Edwards of Cortez Yacht Charters reported a light fishing week in the Ixtapa Zihuatanejo area with some windy conditions and very few anglers present. Some sailfish and marlin were caught offshore and yellowfin tuna were reported outside the 50-mile mark. Inshore fishing produced a mix of skipjack tuna, sierra, and some roosterfish and jack crevalle. Capt. Adolofo reported a 500-pound class blue marlin broken off on 20-pound test after a fight lasting 9 hours.
CANCUN, MEXICO: Tony DeCicco of Morrisville, Pa., reported on a trip aboard the El Cid Caribe fleet charter boat Aries VI with Capt. Hector and first mate Luis for a catch out of Puerto Morelos including released fish of: 1 sailfish, 3 dorado of 25 to over 60 pounds, and 1 other dorado lost at gaff. "This trip was arranged by Larry Edwards at Cortez Yacht Charters," DeCicco said. "Puerto Morelos is located approximately 30 miles south of the Cancun hotel zone. We rigged up ballyhoo baits, some with plastic skirts, and 10 minutes after the lines were set we had our first hookup." Cancun fishing area weather had stiff breezes and afternoon swells building to 6 to 8 feet.
MEXICO: Andrew Burton of Manzanillo on the Mexican central Pacific coast and the Fishingmanzanillo.com website said the charter boat Esqualo III with Capt. Gerardo Montes missed some outings during the week due to offshore afternoon winds reaching 30 knots. "The good news is that the winds are what create the upwellings and temperature fronts or thermoclines, so once conditions improve, Manzanillo fishing can be expected to be good," Burton said. "We had rain last night in Manzanillo. All we need is heavier rain to fill the rivers and bring down flotsam and we'll be into dorado and sharks."