ENSENADA, MEXICO: Local Ensenada sportfishing by Vonny's Fleet pangas continued to find very good action and steady Mexican limits last week for yellowtail, bonita, barracuda, mixed bottom fish species, and even a coho salmon caught on Saturday by anglers Bruce Phillip of San Diego, Calif., and his grandson Jacob aboard the panga Vonny I with Capt. Beto Zamora. "Yes, a salmon, with a belly full of krill," said Vonny's Fleet's Ivan Villarino.
"This whole week was very good fishing." Other anglers scoring Mexican sportfishing limits on bottom fish, bonito for the Vonny's Fleet fish smoker, and continued yellowtail to 25 pounds caught on the Ensenada-made aluminum surface jigs included Jon Benson, Aaron Irby, and Joshua Irby of St. George, Utah, Tony Rivera on the Vonny IV with Capt. Hector, and Ruben Garza, Johnny Alvarez, Daniel Arredondo, Edward Tienda, Raymundo Tienda and Carlos Tienda, all of Los Angeles, Calif. Ensenada local fishing area weather was partly cloudy in the high-60s, with light winds, ocean swells at 3 feet, and the water temperature at Punta Banda averaging 60 degrees.
ENSENADA, MEXICO: Steve Ross of the Ensenada fishing boat Bad Dog out of Marina Coral reported some boats finding a few scattered albacore in Baja offshore waters, and bonito to 10 pounds caught at north Isla Todos Santos Saturday by the boat Black Jack. "Their stomachs were full of 4 to 6-inch juvenile squid believed to be a result of resident Humboldt squid spawning in the area," Ross said.
In his Baja fishing column for Baja News, Ross commented on the seemingly increasing population of Humboldt giant squid in the Ensenada fishing area. "You will find them on the Ensenada rockfish banks," Ross said.
"Right now they are inside the Punta Banda rocks. I have caught them all the way from Punta Colonet to Punta Banda. In my opinion, these nuisance marauders have stripped Baja, delivering a devastating blow to the rockfish fishery. These South American giant squid ravage the Sea of Cortez and the Baja Pacific Ocean from Cabo San Lucas to Tijuana by the millions. Their arrival has been a tragedy to both commercial and sportfishing. The squid are dominators who are sucking the life blood out of Baja fishing."
Ross also noted some interest by the Mexican federal government in making squid a legal catch with a Mexican sportfishing license, which now restricts anglers in Mexico to taking fin fish only. "I called and spoke with them in their San Diego office," Ross said. "It will require a federal revision. They said it is a few months away. At present, there is still no change in the law."
Ross also commented on the steady and sometimes intense yellowtail action being reported by Vonny's Fleet sportfishing pangas. "Ensenada yellowtail fishing sucks except for a few boats," Ross said. "Experienced boats with experienced captains are not catching yellowtail right now. The flurry that Vonny Fleet got was by the greatest yellowtail fisherman in the world, Capt. Beta Zamora, and in his panga. However, the Ensenada Clipper and Capt. Mauricio on the Shir-Lee II have not reported any sustained volume of fish. They just aren't there in any numbers or enough for private boaters to troll around with Rapalas for. A good fisherman on board the Melody, my old Marinero Jando, is an excellent yellowtail fisherman and has been trying to catch yellowtail and has only caught one or two. The Ensenada yellowtail season has not started up yet with any reliability unless you are on Beto's panga."
ERENDIRA, MEXICO: Chris Kugel of San Diego and Castro's Camp south of Ensenada returned from Baja fishing trips to both Castro's Camp and East Cape and commented on the slowdown in Baja tourism this season. "The U.S. economy slowdown is taking its toll at East Cape but not as heavily as in northern Baja," Kugel said. "Prior to going to Rancho Leonero, I went down to Castro's for the Baja 500. There were very few spectators in Erendira. I would guess the attendance in the area was down by 80 percent. Very few boats went out fishing but the fishing is good."
SAN QUINTIN, MEXICO: Pete Hillis of Pedro's Pangas said more yellowtail showed up at San Quintin's Isla San Martin during the week, with catches of forkies of 12 to 16 pounds plus some nice calico bass and a few halibut. "San Quintin fishing is still great for rockcod and lingcod at the 240 spot too," Hillis said. Exploratory offshore fishing found no tuna species. "We sent one boat out 20 miles off the point to check for paddies and tuna," Hillis said. The water is clear and blue at 62 degrees, but no luck."
SAN QUINTIN, MEXICO: Kelly Catian of K&M Offshore Sportfishing at San Quintin reported on a run to Isla San Martin with anglers Dale Evans and Bob Sanchez for catches of calico bass and some halibut. "The weather has been excellent so fishing was nice," Catian said. "We got into some halibut in Hassler's Cove. The back side of the island was slow but south of the lighthouse deep in the bush there were some toads." Another group fishing with K&M Offshore Sportfishing also scored a good haul of mixed red rockcod and lingcod using cut squid bait on the bottom.
SAN QUINTIN, MEXICO: Marita Melville of Don Eddie's Landing said offshore San Quintin fishing weather was good during the week as boats looked for fish as far as 30 miles out without luck, but did catch yellowtail of 16 to 20 pounds between Isla San Martin and Playa San Ramon on the Baja coast north of town. Bottom fish also provided Mexican sportfishing limits. San Quintin fishing area water temperatures averaged 60 degrees. Melville also noted that Don Eddie's Landing has some rooms available the peak June-July-August summer season. Information, 011-52-616-165-6061.
BAJA CALIFORNIA, MEXICO: Louie Prieto of Ontario, Calif., reported on 2 days of fishing locally and along the Baja coast from Ensenada's Marina Coral aboard his boat It's 4 Reels! with Frank "Pancho" Ochoa, Javier Godinez, and friends Roger and Richard. "We stopped at Mike’s Ensenada bait barge for some real nice sardines," Prieto said. "Radio chatter was that the yellowtail were at the north end of Todos Santos Island. We saw a few yellows puddling but nobody seemed to be hooking up. We decided to head offshore and look for tuna and yellows on the paddies."
Baja offshore water temperatures ranged from 59 degrees about 2 miles out to 64 degrees farther offshore, with blue color and no wind.
"We decided to scout out the 475, roughly 36 miles from Marina Coral," Prieto said. "Saw a few paddies which were dry. As we continued, we ran into some beautiful blue water with lots of kelp paddies and we hit one that produced 4 yellowtail of 2, 8, 11, and 14 pounds. After a few minutes I spotted a yellow trying to eat one of the chummed sardines. Javier was the lucky one with the day’s 16-pound jackpot fish. That would be it for the rest of the day. We hit somewhere between 20 to 30 paddies but none were holding fish. We did catch a blue shark that was released."
On the following day, the It's 4 Reels! fished local Ensenada waters for slow action at Isla Todos Santos followed by a steady bite on calico bass and sandbass along the north side of Punta Banda. "We decided to fish the island," Prieto said. "We heard lots of reports from the local Ensenada captains, some claiming bonito in the channel between the island and Punta Banda. Lots of boats were slow trolling the north end of the island. We didn’t see one fish landed. We worked a reef on the back side for plenty of small lings with an occasional 5 to 7 pounder and also pulled in a few reds. I got smoked and rocked. It felt like a nice yellow but it was over in 10 seconds."
Prieto's group caught some salmon grouper between the Isla Todos Santos and Punta Banda, 1 calico bass on the Punta Banda boiler rocks, and finished the day on sandbass and calico bass close to the north side of the point. "We moved to an area just north of the Three Sister’s area and had a steady bite of sand and calico bass, a lone bonito, and a big mystery fish that nearly spooled Pancho," Prieto said. "Most of the bass were caught on plastics and clear with red flake was the best color."
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Tracy Ehrenberg of Pisces Fleet Sportfishing reported 87 percent of charters releasing billfish during the week in an improving bite, as 94 percent of Pisces boats landed all species combined. Top outings during the week included 5-release days by the charter boats Andrea and Yahoo. "The marlin bite is increasing," Ehrenberg said. "The week started with a lot of wind and it was a bit choppy out there, but now the wind and the seas have calmed. We have also seen more dorados, not too many but in good sizes for a really nice dinner." Overall, Pisces boats landed 52 marlin during the week, with all but 2 released.
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: For the previous week ending June 14, 2008, Ehrenberg reported 61 percent of charters releasing from 1 to 5 marlin per day, and 74 percent landing all fish species combined. "We had another extremely windy fishing week in Cabo and anglers had to deal with pretty unpleasant seas," Ehrenberg said. "Marlin were the predominant game fish but they were pretty fussy eaters and only wanted the freshest of bait. Our captains reported casting bait to 50 marlin and hooking up and fighting just one." Top Pisces outings during the week included 5-release days for the charter boats Bill Collector, Bandito, and Spartacus. Just 14 percent of Pisces boats landed dorado and only a handful of tuna were caught. Cabo San Lucas fishing area weather was windy and rough, with most boats fishing the Cortez side at locations including Destiladeras, San Jose del Cabo, Chileno, Barco Varado, Bahia Santa Maria, Cabeza de Ballena, Cabo Real, Palmilla, Cerro Blanco, La Laguna, and 1150 spot. Water temperatures averaged 69 degrees.
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Larry Edwards of Cortez Yacht Charters reported on 23 outings by Gaviota Fleet and the Cabo charter boats Fish Cabo, Fish Cabo I, and Tuna Time, with a catch including released fish of: 26 striped marlin, 10 dorado, and 12 yellowfin tuna. The high boat for the week was the Gaviota I with a 5-marlin release day. "The fish are scattered far and wide and the better fishing has been from the Jaime Bank to Gray Rock," Edwards said. "I can't remember another year when Cabo San Lucas boats were fishing the Pacific side in June. Lots of fish are being seen and baited all day long, but getting them to bite continues to take a lot of luck." Cabo San Lucas fishing area weather was clear and favorable in the high-90s.
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Tommy Garcia of Cabo Magic Sportfishing at Cabo San Lucas reported on 70 charters, with a catch including released fish of: 55 striped marlin, 2 sailfish, 40 yellowfin tuna, 6 yellowtail, 2 skipjack, 30 dorado, 5 pargo, 12 roosterfish, 2 bonita, 12 sierra, 1 hammerhead shark, and 1 mako shark.
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Jim Dillon of Salvador's Sportfishing reported on 12 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, 13 yellowfin tuna of 15 to 35 pounds, 4 dorado of 20 to 25 pounds, and 1 mako shark of 60 pounds.
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 8 anglers, for a catch including released fish of: 58 sierra of 3 to 8 pounds, 35 yellowtail of 3 to 8 pounds, 8 bonito of 3 to 4 pounds, and some barracuda released. The Cheer's fished with yo-yo jigs, hoochies, and Rapalas on the Pacific side beaches, at the Cabo San Lucas arch, and around to the Cortez side in variable water temperatures of 65 to 76 degrees and some slow action and mixed sea conditions with strong winds. Anglers fishing aboard the Cheer's included Kile Parrow and Bill Salter of Tampa Bay, Fla., Robert Piorek of New Jersey, Popter Willey, Chris Monacelli, Cristal River, Roberto Cardazzo of Italy, and Eulogio Vegagil of Mexico City.
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: For the week ending June 15, 2008, George Landrum of Fly Hooker Sportfishing reported persistent winds and partly cloudy skies most days in the Cabo San Lucas sportfishing area. "We had cold water off the Pacific Ocean make a strong intrusion into the Sea of Cortez this week," Landrum said. "What had been very nice warm water along the Cortez side turned cold green water as water temperatures dropped from the high 70s into the low to mid 60s. Out in front of Cabo San Lucas we had a water temperature of 61 degrees on Saturday. As soon as the cold water started to wrap around the cape the marlin moved up the Sea of Cortez and the ones that stayed around Cabo San Lucas stopped biting. At the end of the week you were lucky to get a chance to throw bait."
Cabo fishing boats working inshore found steady action. "Inshore was the place to fish at Cabo San Lucas this week," Landrum said. "All our inshore anglers did well if they were willing to catch what was available."
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: For the week ending June 12, 2008, Grant Hartman of Cabo's Baja Anglers fly fishing guide service reported releasing a very large fly tackle roosterfish of at least 65 pounds landed in spectacular action found with angler Lynn Boyd of Houston, Texas. "Lynn wanted only big roosterfish so he passed up at least 200 shots at the smaller 10-pound fish," Hartman said. "It looked like he was going to have a skunked day. When all looked bleak, a school of giant roosterfish jumped on my teaser, about 30 roosterfish, and the smallest looked to be around 50 pounds. Lynn made a cast and lined 5 huge roosterfish, but the 6th fish ate the fly. He fought the fish for over 45 minutes. The fish took at least 30 screaming runs during the fight, at least 65 pounds, just a monster! We quickly took some photos and released him unharmed. The fish swam away really strong."
SAN JOSE DEL CABO, MEXICO: Eric Brictson of Gordo Banks Pangas reported on 48 combined La Playita fleet pangas fishing out of San Jose del Cabo's Puerto Los Cabos marina, with a catch including released fish of: 185 roosterfish released, 274 Mexican bonito, 114 mixed pargo or snapper species, 92 sierra, 1 yellowfin tuna, 2 dorado, 27 amberjack, and 16 cabrilla. Offshore action was very slow as San Jose del Cabo sportfishing pangas worked mostly inshore for bottom fish and abundant roosterfish. "Offshore action came to a standstill," Brictson said. "The best option was to fish the rock piles and inshore. Roosterfish were abundant, but for the most part continued to be under 10 pounds with only a scattering of larger roosterfish reported, and most of them are coming from the direction of East Cape." Water temperatures were warming as the summer fishing season approached to within a few days. "There were water temperature breaks up to 75 degrees out 20 miles from shore and now the inshore waters near Vinorama are on a warming trend," Brictson said. "Fishing conditions often change rapidly at this time of year when south winds that push in cooler Pacific currents lay down and the warmer and cleaner waters of the Sea of Cortez prevail. It is a waiting game and every fishing year seems to play out somewhat differently."
SAN JOSE DEL CABO, MEXICO: San Jose del Cabo species fishing specialist John Snow, reported a sudden halt in surf fishing action as near shore water temperatures plunged during the week. "I went surf fishing this morning and the water temp is 66 degrees, a full 13-degree drop from 10 days ago," Snow said on Wednesday. "The water looked okay but there were big waves that wouldn't quit. Ten days ago I was catching double-digit quantities of fish off the beach. Today in the same place, with the same gear, at the same time of day, nada!"
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: Jeff deBrown of The Reel Baja East Cape fly fishing guide service said, "East Cape fishing is still seeing relatively cool temperatures for Baja and it has not really started to cook down here yet. But the past few days have been as perfect as they come in Baja with plenty of sunshine and no wind." Increased numbers of sardina bait fish found on the beaches, plus mullet and ballyhoo, produced shots at roosterfish from small to large. Inshore East Cape fishing continued with good roosterfish counts and heavy concentrations of biting ladyfish, plus jack crevalle, pompano, ladyfish, and pargo. "Offshore fishing slowed slightly this week as East Cape had some winds outside," deBrown said. "Most of the fishing for marlin and dorado took place between the Punta Arena lighthouse and Punta Pescadero from 3 to 40 miles out." East Cape fishing area weather was in the high-80s, with water temperatures of 75 to 81 degrees.
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: For the week ending June 14, 2008, Christi Bender of Rancho Buena Vista reported on 63 charters with a catch including released fish of: 46 striped marlin, 3 sailfish, 32 roosterfish, 60 dorado, 26 tuna, 4 wahoo, and 6 pargo. "Fishing has been up-and-down," Bender said. "We were fishing mainly to the north off of Punta Pescadero, but some boats went further south."
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: Bob Farrell of Corona, Calif., reported on 3 days of fishing out of Buena Vista Beach Resort aboard the charter boat Liliana with Capt. Marcos for a catching including 3 nice dorado in the 40-pound class, and 12 yellowfin tuna from football to about 20 pounds. "A large body of tuna was located today and many boats did very well," Farrell said at midweek. "Tuna were found under porpoise about 35 miles out. Dorado were caught on ballyhoo and sardines, and the tuna on sardinas and cedar plugs, but most were caught on hoochies." Also fishing in Farrell's group were his son Jordan Farrell and his father-in-law Ray Sell, of Cerritos, Calif. "We fished 20 miles northeast of Buena Vista for the dorado and 35 miles southeast for the tuna," Farrell said. "East Cape fishing conditions were a little rough on Monday outside. It was better on Tuesday, and almost no wind at all yesterday. We finished with 6 roosterfish along the beach at La Ribera."
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: For the fishing week ending June 12, 2008, Ana Lizeth Velazquez of Buena Vista Beach Resort reported on 66 boats, with 288 anglers and a catch including released fish of: 35 striped marlin, 82 dorado, 49 yellowfin tuna, 2 wahoo, 4 roosterfish, 4 ladyfish, 4 triggerfish, and 1 cabrilla. East Cape sportfishing area weather was in the low-90s, with water temperatures of 75 to 84 degrees. "Looking for tuna is a long boat ride outside to 40 miles," Velazquez said, "but it's a short run to find dorado and striped marlin."
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: For the week ending June 12, 2008, Chris Moyers of East Cape Smoke House reported on 239 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 617 anglers and a catch including released fish of: 147 striped marlin, 1 sailfish, 202 dorado, 4 yellowfin tuna, 2 pargo, 1 wahoo, 4 amberjack, 4 cabrilla, 8 sierra, 1 triggerfish, and 3 mako shark. East Cape sportfishing area weather was in the low-90s, with water temperatures of 69 to 82 degrees. "East Cape is still not hitting on all cylinders as far as the fishing is concerned," Moyers said. "Last week's East Cape fishing saw some decent striped marlin and dorado numbers but little else. The fact that we’re not seeing any yellowfin tuna is really what’s keeping East Cape from hitting full stride. Normally, East Cape has ahi at this point in the season. You don’t suppose that the Mexican seiners have anything to do with things do you?"
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: For the previous week ending June 5, 2008, Moyers reported on 239 East Cape charter fishing boats from the same fleets, with 707 anglers and a catch including released fish of: 1 blue marlin, 94 striped marlin, 9 sailfish, 270 dorado, 5 yellowfin tuna, 2 wahoo, 4 roosterfish, and 3 mako shark. East Cape fishing area weather was in the low-90s, with some afternoon chop and water temperatures of 73 to 87 degrees. "The billfish bite was pretty much hit-and-miss," Moyers said. "Many just weren’t all that interested in biting. Dorado have been much more productive as there’s been quite a bit of sargasso patches on the water. The East Cape yellowfin tuna bite remained pretty much nonexistent."
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: Chris Kugel of San Diego, Calif., and Castro's Camp south of Ensenada reported on a Baja Sur fishing trip to East Cape's Rancho Leonero that scored him second place in the Let's Talk Hookup fishing tournament. "We were beaten by 17 points by a very deserving grandfather and grandson team," Kugel said. "The biggest dorado for the tournament was a 47.5 pounder caught by my team mate's daughter Shawan Walker. We placed second and had the most released marlin for the three-day tournament at 8."
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: Ray Frew of Torrance, Calif., had additional details on his 18-angler East Cape group trip to fish 4 days out of Martin Verdugo's Beach Resort for a catch including 10 billfish released and full ice chests of fish to take home. "Our group was split amongst 5 boats, all 30-foot diesel," Frew said. "They are fast and in good shape. I was on the Ronny, captained by Alberto. One of the other boats was the Marisol, captained by Pancho. Some of us went north from the resort up to 35 miles. We trolled just east of Cerralvo Island and later began working our way south. Several of the boats ran south, going 10 to 20 miles south of the lighthouse near Punta Colorada. Verdugo's has the capability of vacuum packing and freezing the catch. They are charging $1 per pound. They will fillet the fish and package it in 1 to 2-pound packages."
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: Simon Cazaly of the Vista Sea Sport East Cape diving service at Buena Vista said southerly winds brought cooler water temperatures in the mid-60s to the Cabo Pulmo coral reef, but with sea life concentrations unaffected. "If anything, numbers have increased," Cazaly said. "Plankton in the water has caused the visibility to drop to 20 to 30 feet but increased the chances of seeing some of the larger pelagics. I happened upon 3 large spotted eagle rays, the first of the year, whilst making a dive from Iguana Beach. They must have been 6 to 8 feet across." Other sea life sightings included clouds of bigeye jack, bat rays, diamond stingrays, guitarfish, Panamic green and jewel moray eels, huge schools of yellow snapper, Panamic porkfish, burrito and graybar grunts, a small hammerhead shark, and a couple of large green sea turtles.
LA PAZ, MEXICO: Eugene Bernosky of El Sargento south of La Paz said his family caught a wide variety of fish species during the week that included a dorado of 25 pounds caught by Bob Bernosky of Newark, Del., on a sardina bait near Punta Gorda while fishing with El Sargento guide Favio Geraldo Lucero. "All week has been productive from El Sargento to Los Cruces fishing with sardinas and casting with chrome Krocodiles," Bernosky said. "Around El Sargento it's a roosterfish a cast in the 2 to 3-kilo range, along with similar sized jacks. Most mornings around El Sargento there are multiple boats hosting fly fisherman catching their fill of roosters. On Wednesday a number of dorado were also caught under floating sea grass between El Sargento and Punta Arena de la Ventana. Many pargo and snapper were also taken around Punta Gorda this week, and while fishing the rocks close to shore."
LA PAZ, MEXICO: Gerardo Hernandez of Tortuga Sportfishing reported a week of windy and cloudy conditions for his charter pangas fishing the Las Arenas area south of La Paz, at Punta Arena de la Ventana, and also at the offshore buoys when winds permitted. "We had less action for dorado this week due to problems reaching the buoys," Hernandez said. "But we still caught pargos around Isla Cerralvo and fishing on Wednesday was good for larger dorado at the buoys, although few pangas went out to fish for them. Most pangas are fishing the south end of Isla Cerralvo and finding some wahoo and pompano also. Fishing conditions are improving and we are feeling summer temperatures in the 90s." Sardina baits continued in adequate supply in the southern La Paz fishing area.
LA PAZ, MEXICO: Jonathan Roldan of Tailhunter International said, "The good news is that dorado popped up outside of La Paz, finally. But continuing winds pushed the fish far to the north of town or outside the buoy lines near Cerralvo Island where waters were warmer. Most days, unusually strong winds kept La Paz anglers closer to shore, bending rods on an assortment of species including big pargo, amberjacks, world-class roosterfish, cabrilla, and jack crevalle." Anglers fishing with Tailhunter during the week included Ray Holguin of Los Angeles, Calif., who landed a 46-pound dorado personally weighed by Roldan after a 25-minute fight at Punta Arena de la Ventana.
LA PAZ, MEXICO: Scott Kerr of San Diego, Calif., reported on 2 days of fishing by 3 anglers out of Marina Costa Baja on the La Paz side on a panga with Capt. Raul for a total of 15 dorado of 15 to 45 pounds. "We fished 5 miles north of Cerralvo Island in a small seaweed patch which produced 4 to 5 good quality dorado," Kerr said. "We then hit a 40 and 45-pound dorado late in the day off the same seaweed patch. All fish were caught on live sardinas about 6 inches long. We saw birds diving around the seaweed. Others around us were not catching much. We seemed to be very lucky." La Paz fishing area weather was mostly calm at about 90 degrees, with some morning wind and swell to 4 feet.
LA PAZ, MEXICO: Frank Springer of Butte Falls, Ore., reported on a 2-week stay at La Paz with Fisherman's Fleet, with good panga fishing action on the Las Arenas side south of La Paz and slower action on the La Paz side. On the Las Arenas side, Springer said, "The outside was off due to wave action. Inside fishermen were rewarded with quite a mixed bag of dog snapper up to 50 pounds, pargo lisa, and cabrilla of good size. On days when the wind knocked the waves flat or were absent, the buoys outside were great producers of really nice-sized dorado at 45 to 50 pounds. There were numbers of marlin in the area. On rough days it seemed that marlin were 'surfing' on every fifth wave. Crazy.
"As good as the fishing was out of Las Arenas side, it was just as worthless out of the La Paz side. Although schoolie dorado were to be found, the 'real' dorado were still south and the rare pargo or cabrilla was about it for most fishermen utilizing the pangueros from the harbor."
LORETO, MEXICO: Pam Bolles of Baja Big Fish Company said, "The dorado are definitely 'in' off Loreto. The size has increased and dorado are being caught consistently. Sea surface water temperatures are warming up. Loreto has had plenty of south prevailing winds to push warmer water up our way. The water temperature break is east of Punta Lobos and Punta Perico on Isla Carmen. Dorado are in that warm water and sailfish are mixed with them." Inshore fishing produced numerous cabrilla and pargo on fly and conventional tackle, and schools of roosterfish were found south at Puerto Escondido. The Loreto carnaderos baitsellers cooperativa had bigeye and mackerel baits for sale at the downtown marina, and sardina were easily netted there. "The sardinas are of better quality and are located inside and outside the marina just off the structure," Bolles said. "They're rising at about 6:15 a.m. but as much as half-an-hour to an hour later if there's cloud cover." The very large assembled squid jigs over a foot long and covered with spikes also produced squid for bait, but Bolles said, "Squid makes great bait, but these are best bought locally and given to your captain after your last day of fishing. There's no way you'll be able to get on an airplane with one of these."
LORETO, MEXICO: For the week ending June 16, 2008, Patty Zapata of Loreto's Hotel Oasis reported on 10 panga charters, with a catch including released fish of: 14 dorado of 28 to 41 pounds, 2 grouper, 10 cabrilla, 14 triggerfish, and 3 red snapper or huachinango. Pangas fished the surface from La Cholla to Baja de las Boyas north of Punta Lobos, and on the bottom at La Cholla with mackerel and sardina baits. Loreto fishing area weather was excellent, with light winds, calm seas, and warming water temperatures at 83 to 85 degrees. Anglers fishing out of the Hotel Oasis with Loreto sportfishing Capts. Alfonso Susarrey, Abel Davis Jr., Jesús Osuna, and Martín Perpuli included: Oshin Mekikian, Harout Patian, Sargis Khoudanian, Ovanes Kerian, Zenco Chivdjian, Zenko Kerian, Israel Kerian, Ernie Meyers, and Manuel Meyers.
LORETO, MEXICO: Don Bear of Loreto reported fishing 3 days on his boat with Loreto Capt. Paulino Martinez and angler Fabrizio Maragoni on 2 of the days, for a scattered catch of 13 dorado of 10 to 35 pounds found in a broad area from bajo Punta Lobos to bajo Mercenarios, averaging about 30 to 40 miles out from town. "Two of the dorado came on black-purple feathers, one on a sardina, and the rest on mackerel," Bear said. "Sardina baits are netable in or near the Loreto marina, and the mackerel are numerous within a mile of the harbor. In addition to the fish we caught, we must have had at least a half-dozen strikes that we failed to hook." Loreto fishing area weather had mostly good sea conditions, with some whitecaps and water temperatures ranging from 70 degrees inshore to 77 degrees offshore. "No dorado schools were located," Bear said, "although there are quite a few sargasso paddies in the Loreto area. Most of the latter are not holding fish, while some have a lone dorado underneath." Good numbers of billfish were spotted in cooler water temperatures closer to shore. Bear noted that his boat caught a few of the dorado at bajo Mercenarios while fishing near the buoys of a Mexican commercial boat that had over a mile of net out.
LORETO, MEXICO: Fly tackle angler Lee Baermann of Oxnard, Calif., and the website Flyfishthesurf.com reported on 5 days of fishing out of Loreto aboard the Baja Big Fish Company panga Enzl Damiana with Capt. Francisco Muñoz for a catch including roosterfish, "too many peanut dorado to count," and fish-a-cast action for creolefish and burrito grunt, plus ladyfish, cabrilla, amberjack, and pargo. "We also came across 4 sailfish but I had left my 'big stick' at the hotel," Baermann said. "I made do with a 10WT. One cast and one take equaled 4 seconds of hooked sailfish." Baermann also noted one day of fishing with Baja Big Fish Company owner Pam Bolles, saying, "I finally dragged Pam out of the shop and we just went fishing, no business talk. It was the most relaxed I'd ever seen her. That day we were heavily into the roosterfish." Loreto fishing areas visited by Baermann included Isla Coronado, Isla Danzante, Puerto Escondido, and Punta Baja at the south tip of Isla Carmen. "I should add that the channel between Loreto and Isla Carmen was full of those pesky needlefish. They were so thick at times that we couldn't fish for other species," Baermann said.
LORETO, MEXICO: Walt Kainz Loreto and Camarillo, Calif., reported on a week of fishing at Loreto aboard Fran Rowe's boat, Rowe Boat, for a catch with Rowe's grandsons Kevin, 7, and Bryan, 12, that included 3 dorado in the 40-pound class landed by the boys. "Fishing was good one day and fair the next," Kainz said. "Dorado seemed to be concentrated north and east of Punta Lobos on Carmen Island and many billfish were located north of Coronado Island." Loreto fishing area weather was in the mid-80s, with water temperatures into the high-70s.
MULEGE, MEXICO: Bob Frambes of Mulege's Playa Frambes Lighthouse Resort reported on a panga fishing trip with local guide Capt. Jose Luis Romero for a catch of several dorado landed by Richard Brotzman, 13, of Rialto, Calif. "The fish were located about 8 miles off shore," Frambes said. "All were less than 12 pounds." Live bait was easily caught by jigging outside the Mulege lighthouse, Frambes said, and whales and billfish were seen during the trip. Mulege fishing area water temperatures were at 85 degrees inside Bahia Concepción, 82 degrees at the entrance of the bay, and 76 degrees about 4 miles out.
BAHIA DE LOS ANGELES, MEXICO: Abraham Vazquez of Camp Gecko at the south end of Bahia de los Angeles reported steady Midriff fishing area weather in the mid-80s, with summer-style relative humidity very high at over 90 percent, clear skies, and a morning bite for yellowtail inside the bay at Islas Smith and Piojo. "The yellowtail are here now in big numbers at Smith and Piojo," Vazquez said. "Yellows are boiling and breezing on the surface. Most boats fishing at Bahia de los Angeles have been very successful in catching Mexican limits of 8 to 12-pound fish." Some larger yellowtail to over 35 pounds were caught at Coronadito in local water temperatures of 68 to 70 degrees, and some grouper and a few white seabass were found to the north. "Fishing is great right now. It's more like catching than fishing," Vazquez said. "Bait is easy to make and the yellowtail are grabbing the iron and Krocs very well." Local amenities at the Bahia de los Angeles village included gasoline at $2.55 per gallon, and cold beer now available 24 hours per day.
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 June 13, 2008, with a fish count reported by crew member Fili Espinoza Montez of: 223 yellowtail of 20 to 30 pounds, 4 grouper of 55 to 85 pounds, 175 cabrilla of 10 to 15 pounds, 15 squid of 10 to 12 pounds, 5 red snapper of 8 to 12 pounds, 2 broomtail of 14 pounds, 1 sheephead of 12 pounds, 127 spotted bay bass, and 15 miscellaneous fish.
Weekly winners in the season-long Jose Andres fishing tournament were: red snapper, 11.6 pounds, Randy Miller of Costa Mesa, Calif., guide Victor Orozco; yellowtail, 30 pounds, Jim Henderson of Costa Mesa, Calif., guide Antonio Sanchez; cabrilla, 15 pounds, Mike Sokol, Woody, Calif., guide Ruben Orozco.
SAN FELIPE, MEXICO: Catalina Meders of San Felipe's Title Company Bookstore reported steamy summer-like weather at the north end of Baja's Sea of Cortez coast as tourists departed for cooler areas. "It's 10:50 a.m. and the temperature is 88 degrees with the humidity at 61 percent," Meders said. "It has really been feeling moist for the last few days and without air conditioning, the back book stacks of the store start to resemble a Turkish bath." Gasoline supplies along the U.S. border at Mexicali were stretched thin by U.S. residents driving into Baja to take advantage of much lower prices. "Thousands of Stateside folks have decided that it's well worth it to travel into Mexico to buy gas and diesel," Meders said. "The reserves in northern Baja have been almost depleted and will apparently take a week or more to be restored. Panic set in down here in San Felipe and the only two Pemexes in town that still had gas were swamped with vehicles. People were filling up their vehicles plus barrels and small tanks and bottles. The lines were blocks and blocks long and the police had to direct traffic. Even people who thought it was 'just a rumor' decided it would still be wise to fill up just in case."
ROCKY POINT, MEXICO: Esther Johnson of Santiago's Ocean Services at Rocky Point (Puerto Peñasco) said the local fishing tournament sponsored by the Rocky Point department of tourism on June 7, 2008, had 15 boats participating and a catch of goldspotted bass, locally called "calico bass," sea trout or corvina, pinto bass or spotted cabrilla, sardinera or leopard grouper, and gulf grouper to 65 pounds, which took the $2,000 first prize. "A local Rocky Point fisherman brought that fish in on the last day of the tournament," Johnson said. "The department of tourism was so impressed with the turnout that they plan another tournament next year around the same time." Johnson also noted that Santiago's Ocean Services is now an agent for Gray's Taxidermy of Florida, and is offering fish mounting services for the Puerto Peñasco, Sonora, area.
SAN CARLOS, MEXICO: Bryan Replogle of San Carlos-Guaymas admitted to some bad luck on sailfish during his fishing week aboard the boat Margarita V, saying, "Well, after catching 7 billfish in 3 days, I am 0-for-3 this week. We found the fish but couldn't catch them. I would have to fish a long time to repeat a ratio this poor. We must have passed 70 sailfish and saw a few hundred jump. We had 7 sailfish hooked up with another dozen bites and never kept one on for more than 30 seconds. I think they are mainly slashing at bait balls." Replogle noted larger dorado arriving in the San Carlos fishing area and a few tuna also reported, along with some larger marlin. San Carlos fishing area water temperatures were in the low-80s, with daily morning whitecaps to 3 feet, calming in the afternoons. Two outings by the Margarita V brought in 4 dorado to 40 pounds and 1 sailfish. "The bite is a little slow but there are still a few around," Replogle said. "Maybe we'll just blame it on the moon for now. There are a lot of boats on the water with some big dorado swimming around."
SAN CARLOS, MEXICO: Jon Jen Charters of San Carlos reported an outing by Capt. Abel on the JonJen II for 3 good dorado and a sailfish broken off at the boat. Fishing was variable for San Carlos boats as Jon Jen Charters reported catches averaging about 1 to 2 dorado and 1 sailfish per outing. "We saw a lot of boats coming in nada nada and some boats loading up," Jon Jen said. "All and all, it was a productive fishing week at San Carlos, with a lot of sailfish and marlin but very, very finicky right now."
MAZATLAN, MEXICO: Larry Edwards of Cortez Yacht Charters reported on 23 Aries Fleet boats out of Mazatlan's Marina El Cid, with a catch including released fish of: 73 dorado, 5 sailfish, and 1 yellowfin tuna. Inshore super pangas had steady Mexican sportfishing limits for mixed red snapper, cabrilla, triggerfish, mojarra, baqueta, and pargo. "This week at Mazatlan the dorado were cooperating and the full moon didn't seem to slow them down," Edwards said. "Dorado continue to build in numbers under the buoys, allowing most Mazatlan fishing boats to capture 3 to 4 per trip. Sailfish catches remained down for this time of year at Mazatlan, but we are seeing sufficient numbers to know an upcoming good bite is inevitable." Mazatlan fishing area weather was partly cloudy, with mostly calm seas and water temperatures even at 83 degrees both inshore and offshore. Billfish were taken on rigged baits about 20 miles out and dorado on squid and live bait at the shark buoys.
PUERTO VALLARTA, MEXICO: Juan Pablo Moll of Mr. Marlin Sportfishing reported increased action following recent rains at Puerto Vallarta. "It looks like a great summer," Moll said. "The rain run-off is attracting a lot of bait. Mix that with warmer, cleaner currents and you get excellent fishing conditions. There are tuna everywhere and the blue marlin have also arrived at Puerto Vallarta. Sailfish aren’t too hard to find either, or snapper, dorado, jack crevalle, you name it." Good counts of yellowfin tuna of 10 to 20 pounds were scored at El Banco and Roca Corbeteña, and a few tuna into the 150-pound class were also reported. "We've had the most success drifting live caballitos and sardinas with the kite," Moll said, "but trolling, poppers, and most skipping jigs are also working. Most boats are getting at least 15 to 20 good tuna strikes per day. The past few weeks of fishing by Puerto Vallarta boats have also produced at least 4 blue marlin that I know about."
PUERTO VALLARTA, MEXICO: Stan Gabruk of Master Baiters Sportfishing & Tackle at San Carlos reported the charter boat Pecositas with a haul of 27 yellowfin tuna to 40 pounds during a run to Roca Corbeteña with Capt. Hector and anglers Bill Fisher, Amy Fisher, Bob Fisher, Mark Harmon, Eric Robbles, and Josh Ashford. "Clear water was the key," Gabruk said. "The fish were boiling for as far as the eye could see." Water temperatures at Roca Corbeteña were at 82 degrees, with "sapphire blue" color. "Usually in the middle of June at Puerto Vallarta, we’ll see the marlin return and this year the blue marlin are right on time," Gabruk said. "Both Corbeteña and El Banco have had yellowfin tuna in the 40 to 100-pound range coming in this week and sailfish are also abundant."
IXTAPA ZIHUATANEJO, MEXICO: Larry Edwards of Cortez Yacht Charters reported a sluggish offshore bite during the full moon period as few boats fished and the Bloody Hook reported 5 sailfish for 3 outings. Ixtapa Zihuatanejo inshore fishing produced roosterfish and a few bonito and jack crevalle. "Very few anglers and almost no boats fishing makes for a not so bright fishing report," Edwards said. Ixtapa Zihuatanejo fishing area weather was mostly cloudy in the low-90s, with light breezes, blue water close to shore, and water temperatures at 85 to 86 degrees both inshore and offshore.
IXTAPA ZIHUATANEJO, MEXICO: Ed Kunze, reporting for Baja On The Fly, said calm, blue water was just a mile off the beach, but only average results were scored by Ixtapa sportfishing boats. "Conditions are perfect but Ixtapa fishing has been only average," Kunze said. "This could be attributed to the full moon." Ixtapa charter boats averaged about 1 to 3 sailfish per day, plus about 3 blue marlin found about 30 miles out per day for the combined fleet of about 15 boats. Inshore fishing was good for roosterfish both north and south. Top outings during the week included a run for 3 sailfish and 1 dorado by Capt. Margarito with angler Cindy Belmonte of Simi Valley, Calif.
MEXICO:Mexican waters angler John Mensik of Phoenix, Ariz., reported on a trip with Frank Navarro of Poway, Calif., to fish at Bocas del Toro on Panama's Caribbean coast. "I went fishing with Capt. Oriel on the boat Ella Keets II, a 28-foot panga," Mensik said. "We caught 3 good grouper and 2 kingfish, and we released 1 barracuda and 3 grouper. I also got clean cut on 60-pound mono by what we think was a wahoo." Mensik said an 8 to 10-hour trip on Capt. Oriel's 28-foot panga with T-top costs $500 per day. "He also has a 30-foot panga without sun protection for less," Mensik said.