ENSENADA, MEXICO: Steve Ross of the sportfishing boat Bad Dog out of Ensenada's Marina Coral reported on an offshore run for a catch of: 5 albacore to 23 pounds, 1 yellowfin tuna of 16.5 pounds, and 1 bonito of 10 pounds.
"We traveled 138 miles in predominately 65-degree blue water," Ross said. "Our first albacore was caught at 6:15 a.m. It ate a 7-Strand tuna clone. It was caught by my wife, Gail, and was our first albacore for the season." More trolling with 5 to 7 lures out produced scattered singles. "Our last of 5 albacore was caught at 1:10 p.m. and I began trolling back," Ross said. "Then, in my favorite yellowfin tuna area, we hooked our first tuna of the year just 9 miles from Isla Todos Santos norte. A huge school of porpoise converged from the head of the school over our jigs and I told Gail, 'just wait 'till you see this,' and just as I said that...Wham!" Offshore Ensenada fishing area sea conditions were mostly calm, but with a light afternoon swell.
ENSENADA, MEXICO: Ross also reported on an outing to survey the local Ensenada population of Humboldt giant squid that has been observed inside Bahia de Todos Santos. "The giant squids have taken up permanent residency in Todos Santos Bay dealing a devastating blow to the Ensenada fisheries," Ross said. "At the Banda rocks on the inside it didn't take more than a minute or two before my Furuno was metering giant squid. Juan Lu and I dropped down lures in 600 feet of water and they would be stopped at 400 feet, simply stopped. While the lure was zooming on down, these squid had the power to grab it. The first two actually had the jig stuck in their beaks. We fished them from 10 a.m. in broad daylight to just short of 11 a.m. Every drop produced a Humboldt giant squid, literally all you wanted of these animals.
"If you think squid fishing is a joke, the thought of falling into the water is as bad or worse than the results from hungry sharks. It's hundreds of small bites coming from everywhere. You are a meal for the whole gang. And if one can't get a bite out of you, it'll eat the squid that is in front of him eating you. What's more bizarre than that in the marine environment?"
ENSENADA, MEXICO: Alejandro Rosas of Tijuana reported on a run out of Puerto La Salina north of Ensenada aboard Rene Gonzalez' boat La Mago for a catch around the 371 spot of 6 albacore to 32 pounds that would hit nothing but small black-and-purple feathers. "For 3 hours, nothing," Rosas said. "Then we heard on the radio that some boats were catching albacore and bluefin tuna on small black-and-purple feathers. Less than 15 minutes after changing the feathers we had a triple strike." Offshore Ensenada fishing area weather was cloudy and mostly calm, with the water temperature at 66 to 69 degrees.
Rosas noted the lack of live bait at the Puerto La Salina marina. "We had no bait," Rosas said, "There's none at La Salina, but there is also a real problem for the Ensenada sportfishing fleet that has been having all sorts of problems because of the lack of live bait. All the sardines and anchovies are taken to the bluefin tuna pens or 'comederos' in Salsipuedes and the Coronado Islands and none are left for the pesca deportiva fleet. The lack of live bait, and all the other problems in Baja, have kept the Americano pescadores home."
ENSENADA, MEXICO: Ivan Villarino of Vonny's Fleet Sportfishing reported all of his Ensenada beach-launched pangas fishing at the tip of Punta Banda scoring 1 to 3 yellowtail each plus steady Mexican limits or near-limits of mixed bottom fish and surface bonito for the client fish smoker. "It was a perfect fishing week," Villarino said. Anglers Dean Bean and Reece Moniot of Los Angeles, Calif., caught 3 yellowtail of 15 to 20 pounds using the Ensenada-made surface aluminum jigs with Capt. Beto Zamora on the charter panga Vonny I. Other anglers with good local Ensenada catches while fishing with Capts. Hector and Beto included: Ricardo Rosales and Joshua David Phillips of San Diego, Calif.; Bryan and Jackson Stamant; and Guillermo "Junior" Valladolid, Martha Muñoz, and Juan Romo from Anaheim, Calif. Local Ensenada fishing area weather was cloudy at 70 degrees, with light winds, ocean swells at 2 feet, and water temperatures in the Punta Banda area averaging 66 degrees.
PUERTO SANTO TOMAS, MEXICO: Sam Saenz of Puerto Santo Tomas Resort south of Ensenada reported moderate seas, calm in the mornings and windy in the afternoons, and local pangas catching full Mexican limits of rockcods, lingcod, and some calico bass. "The Soledad Reef bite started about 2 weeks ago and we have been catching bonito by trolling Rapalas," Saenz said. Anglers fishing out of Puerto Santo Tomas Resort included Joe and Diane Lujan, and Ken Jones.
PUERTO SANTO TOMAS, MEXICO: Ken Jones of Long Beach, Calif., reported on his Baja coastal trip down Highway Mex 1 to fish with Capt. Marcos out of Puerto Santo Tomas Resort for good action in some tough wind and whitecaps. "Working birds were found and beneath them was a wide-open bonito bite," Jones said. "Capt. Marcos said this was the first surface fishing action of the season. They were good-sized fish of 6 to 12 pounds. For the remainder of the day we caught numerous rockfish, lingcod, whitefish, and assorted bottom fish." Fishing with Jones were Todd Garber and Garber's son Jake, making his first-ever Baja trip.
Shore fishing near the resort was just fair for cabezon and calico bass. "The shore fishing was done near Sam's place, plus a few casts on the 4x4 area over the hill," Jones said. "The wind and waves were brutal as usual and the kelp is an ever-present headache, but the area is stunningly beautiful. Every time I shore fish there I dream of a nice, long 'Cortez-style cast' but come up disappointed."
Jones reported no problems during his Baja drive to Puerto Santo Tomas, saying, "Sam seems to be doing well, although business is down because of all the bandito publicity. Actually, I feel safer and the checkpoints were easier than ever. Gas shortages were not evident at all. There is construction right at the border where you turn off to the toll road. Of course the signage is not perfect. It was also a bit messy coming back, so Tecate could be a good alternative."
ERENDIRA, MEXICO: Tere Castro of Castro's Camp at Erendira south of Ensenada reported 32 boats fishing during the week with good action on mixed bottom fish, but with the early summer yellowtail and white seabass bite slowed by heavy concentrations of bait in the water. "The yellowtails and white seabass have been a little bit shy on biting," Castro said. Baja coastal fishing weather was mostly good, but with some fishable wind early in the week and some fog in the mornings.
SAN QUINTIN, MEXICO: Marita Melville of Don Eddie's Landing at San Quintin reported 2 boats finding easy Mexican sportfishing limits for halibut inside the bay. San Quintin fishing area weather was calm and sunny after a period of heavy offshore winds and chop. Anglers scoring halibut limits inside Bahia de San Quintin included Bobby and Andrew Palmer of Fresno, Calif., fishing on their own 17-foot trailer boat, and Dave Glinn and John Scanlon of the Los Angeles area who fished on a private boat with San Quintin guide Capt. Juan Cook. San Quintin fishing area water temperatures averaged 64 degrees.
SAN QUINTIN, MEXICO: Rich Hollo of Bloomington, Calif., reported on a Baja run to San Quintin with his son Brent Hollo, fishing in some tough wind and fog for 3 days aboard their boat stored in San Quintin with Capt. Hector for a catch offshore of 1 bluefin tuna, about half-a-dozen lingcod at the 240 spot, and 3 halibut inside Bahia de San Quintin. Offshore, Hollo said, "We learned that only a handful of boats had gone out and the results were not stellar. One boat had gone out 12 miles at a 210-degree heading and found a big kelp loaded with yellowtail and they landed 7 fish."
Inside the bay, the wind was also blowing, but Hollo and his son managed to hook their 3 halibut. "It took 8 ounces of weight to stay on the bottom, but the halibut were definitely there," Hollo said. "There was no one available to clean fish when we got back to the ramp so I got to clean my first halibut. But then I made a fatal mistake. I took the carcass of the halibut to the water's edge to give it to the seagulls and when I got back to the fillet table, the other gulls had taken all my fillets! Needless to say, it was a very frustrating experience."
Hollo noted a long detour made necessary due to road construction in Tijuana, but gasoline cheap in Mexico compared to U.S. prices. "Gas in San Quintin was only $2.65 a gallon!" Hollo said. "We came back through Tecate to avoid the Mexico Highway 1 mess in Tijuana and only had 1 car in front of us at the U.S. border. We crossed in less than 20 minutes including the agricultural inspection. I topped off the tank in Tecate before we crossed."
BAJA CALIFORNIA, MEXICO: Jose Angel Pacheco of Cedros Outdoor Adventures said fly-down charter fishing trips to Bahia Asuncion on the semi-report Baja Pacific coast were scheduled for Sept. 26-29, Oct. 17-20, and Oct. 31-Nov. 3, 2008. All inclusive prices ranged from $1,100 to $1,250 per person for groups of 5 to 13 people, with van service from San Diego, flights originating at Ensenada, and lodging, meals, and fishing out of Baja Bed & Breakfast at Bahia Asuncion.
"Bahia Asuncion is a beautiful and relaxing small Baja town," Pacheco said. "You will find excellent fishing in pangas, off the rocks, spearfishing, and surf casting. The Arce brothers Capt. Juan and Capt. Armando will expertly guide you to the fishing grounds of your choice aboard our fleet of pangas. They have fished these waters all their lives and enjoy sharing their knowledge of the area. The guest houses are on the beach with 1 to 3 bedrooms, comfortable beds, kitchens, bathrooms, UV water purification systems, and internet, and other services and a beach palapa restaurant are within walking distance of downtown." Information, email@example.com.
MAGDALENA BAY, MEXICO: Gary Graham of Baja On The Fly reported Magdalena Bay fishing area weather humid and sunny in the high-90s, with water temperatures at 60 to 66 degrees. The Magdalena Bay mangrove channels produced good surface catches of corvina, plus some cabrilla and snappers. Good action for small yellowtail was reported 6 miles offshore in 69-degree water.
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Larry Edwards of Cortez Yacht Charters reported on 47 charters by Gaviota Fleet and the Cabo sportfishing boats Fish Cabo, Fish Cabo I, and Tuna Time, with a catch including released fish of: 38 striped marlin, 42 yellowfin tuna, and 8 dorado. Cabo San Lucas fishing area weather was mostly clear and warm in the mid-90s, with warming water temperatures going up the Sea of Cortez side at 76 to 78 degrees at San Jose del Cabo, and 80 to 81 degrees at the Gordo Banks. "While there are still an awful lot of billfish throughout the Cabo San Lucas fishing area, they remain stubborn and don't want to cooperate," Edwards said. "There are hot spots that give up some fish but by the next day, the fish move to a different area and the boat has to search again. Live bait is a must, and the live bait supply remained good this week."
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Tommy Garcia of Cabo Magic reported on 61 Cabo San Lucas sportfishing charters, with a catch including released fish of: 48 striped marlin, 4 sailfish, 10 yellowfin tuna, 43 yellowtail, 14 dorado, 6 skipjack, 12 bonita, 12 roosterfish, 25 sierra, and 1 mako shark.
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Jim Dillon of Salvador's Sportfishing reported on 9 outings by the Cabo San Lucas charter boats El Budster, El Budster I, and El Budster II, with a catch including released fish of: 15 striped marlin, and 1 dorado of 50 pounds. The top outing for the week was made by the El Budster II with 5 marlin releases for anglers Bryan Woodrow and his daughter Sage, all caught on live mackerel baits about 16 miles straight out of Cabo in water temperatures of 76 to 78 degrees.
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Ramon Druck of the Cabo San Lucas charter panga Cheer's reported on 3 outings during the week with a total of 5 anglers, for a catch including released fish of: 8 yellowtail of 6 to 12 pounds, 5 roosterfish of 4 to 6 pounds, 1 jack crevalle of 10 pounds, 2 skipjack of 9 to 10 pounds, and 11 bonito to 3 to 12 pounds. The Cheer's fished in some windy and swelly sea conditions with trolled Rapalas and live baits on the Pacific side and around the Cabo San Lucas arch in water temperatures of 66 to 69 degrees. Anglers fishing aboard the Cheer's included Alex Guajardo of Houston, Texas; Roberto Cardozzo and Lanna Salvatore from Italy; and Mike Castro and Christina Owens from New Jersey
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: For the week ending June 29, 2008, George Landrum of Fly Hooker Sportfishing at Cabo San Lucas reported oscillating water temperatures swinging toward the Pacific side with 78 to 80 degrees found by boats fishing near the cape, with cooler water at 70 to 76 degrees found northward on the Pacific side. "This cooler water is green and at times there are streaks of almost brown in it," Landrum said. Live bait available at the Cabo San Lucas marina was mostly caballito as slow action for billfish improved at the end of the week. "A concentration of fish showed up hungry at the temperature break on the 95 spot," Landrum said. "Most Cabo San Lucas sportfishing boats were able to get at least one release and a few scored as many as five or six. Farther to the north the water was a bit warmer and there were a few blue marlin bites reported, but it is still a bit cool for them. Look for more action from the blues as the water warms to a steady 82 degrees and the skipjack tuna start to show up in numbers."
SAN JOSE DEL CABO, MEXICO: Eric Brictson of Gordo Banks Pangas reported on 49 combined fleet La Playita sportfishing pangas fishing out of San Jose del Cabo, with a catch including released fish of: 82 roosterfish, with the majority released, 204 red snapper, 7 yellowtail, 4 striped marlin, 3 yellowfin tuna, 6 dorado, 38 amberjack, 26 pompano, 45 sierra, 8 dog snapper, and 22 bonito. The Los Cabos fishing area was affected during the week by the summer's first tropical weather disturbances coming up the Mexican coast. "Tropical Storm Douglas formed offshore of Manzanillo and made its way towards southern Baja before changing directions and going west," Brictson said. "This system did create stormy ocean conditions at San Jose del Cabo by Thursday morning and Baja sportfishing fleets had limited options. Tourism continues stagnant in Baja Sur due to the poor economy and fuel prices. It appears we are in for a long, slow summer."
Los Cabos pangas fished in unpredictable sea conditions and water temperatures ranging from the 60s on the Pacific side of Baja to about 80 degrees in the southern Sea of Cortez. Offshore fishing was sporadic but inshore pangas found a good mix of species. "There have been red snapper, sierra, pompano, amberjack, yellowtail, bonito, dog snapper and roosterfish for our anglers," Brictson said. "Along shore a handful of larger roosterfish to 40 pounds were found and several sierra to 10 pounds were also caught."
SAN JOSE DEL CABO, MEXICO: For the 10-day period ending June 27, 2008, San Jose del Cabo species fishing specialist John Snow reported a total of 84 fish or fauna species caught or observed during 5 panga trips and 5 surf fishing sessions, with a total of 52 species accounted for, including 3 new species, the spiny dogfish, Pacific thread herring, and an unknown type of crab.
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: Marisol Verdugo of Martin Verdugo's Beach Resort at Los Barriles said fleet boats caught good numbers of roosterfish of 15 to 20 pounds, plus some up to 40 pounds. All fleet boats were fishing daily. "The fishing has been good," Verdugo said. "Dorado fishing has been very good too, with some dorado up to 50 pounds, and there have been quite a few tuna, with some up to 30 pounds. The fleet has been fishing up to 20 or 30 miles out." East Cape sportfishing area weather was mostly good, but some wind and many boats fishing.
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: For the week ending June 26, 2008, Chris Moyers of East Cape Smoke House reported on 260 sportfishing charters 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 751 total anglers and a combined catch including released fish of: 5 blue marlin, 38 striped marlin, 154 dorado, 465 yellowfin tuna, 2 wahoo, 38 roosterfish, and 2 sierra. East Cape fishing area weather was in the low-90s, with mostly smooth sea conditions and water temperatures of 67 to 86 degrees. "East Cape fishing remains on an upward trend, however slight, in terms of the overall bite," Moyers said. "The ahi carried the week. East Cape is still not quite where we'd like it to be but we're better off than we were a few weeks ago. The yellowfin tuna are pretty far out, between 25 and 45 miles, mostly in the 10 to 15-pound class."
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: For the previous week ending June 19, 2008, Moyers reported on 313 boats from the same East Cape fleets, with 895 anglers and a catch including released fish of: 134 striped marlin, 1 sailfish, 242 dorado, 370 yellowfin tuna, 5 wahoo, 1 pompano, 15 roosterfish, 2 sierra, 1 swordfish, and 12 triggerfish. East Cape sportfishing area weather was in the high-80s, with water temperatures of 66 to 85 degrees. "We got some yellowfin tuna," Moyers said. "The bite is anything but wide-open but it seems we are getting back on track."
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: Simon Cazaly of the Vista Sea Sport East Cape diving service said a trip to Punta Pescadero found a school of hammerhead shark. "Five minutes into the dive I looked up to see 12 scalloped hammerheads ghosting by," Cazaly said. "These were all 7 to 8 feet in length and they passed by again 5 minutes later. I hadn't seen any in the year or so that I've been here at East Cape and then I saw them twice in 2 days at places 30 miles apart." Earlier, a hammerhead shark was also observed at the Cabo Pulmo coral reef park, along with other sea life sightings including yellow snapper, Panamic porkfish, burrito and graybar grunts, amberjack, and Panamic green morays. East Cape diving area water temperatures were in the low-70s at depth, with visibility at 20 to 45 feet.
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: Gary Graham of Baja On The Fly said inshore fly fishing by clients Bryan Bero and Kirk Kuzmanic produced double-digit roosterfish hookups during sight casting. "Other inshore fishing at East Cape during the week included pompano, jacks, pargo, and plenty of ladyfish in front of the hotels," Graham said. Offshore tuna fishing was best early in the mornings, as later boats ended up trolling for tuna plus some dorado to over 50 pounds. "A bonus during trolling was a few striped marlin and an occasional blue that set reels to howling," Graham said. Beach fishing was tough for a few roosterfish shots. East Cape sportfishing area weather was in the mid-90s, with water temperatures at 73 to 87 degrees.
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: East Cape beach-launched tin boat angler Torrance Eddy of Buena Vista reported on a trolling run northwards to the San Bartolo arroyo and Punta Pescadero for a 2-hour catch on Rapalas and Rebels of: 4 football yellowfin tuna. "The fishing here at East Cape changes often so I didn't really have much of an idea what I would find," Eddy said. "Mine was the only boat even visible at the time I caught the fish. I was trolling at between 5 and 6 miles-per-hour. I caught fish with three different lures, a 5.5-inch Rebel black-silver Fastrac, a size 14 Rapala Magnum in green mackerel, and a size 11 Rapala magnum in blue mackerel. While boating the second fish of a double hookup, I could see other tuna in the school. All the tuna were caught about 2 miles off the beach."
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: Jody Hawkins of Twin Falls, Idaho, reported on a Baja fishing trip with a stop at San Lucas Cove south of Santa Rosalia, and another at East Cape, finding slow action aboard his trailer boat over a 2-week period of covering waters from Isla Cerralvo in the north to Los Frailes in the south. South of Cabo Pulmo, Hawkins landed 3 marlin in 2 days. "Lots of learning from mistakes," he said. "So far on this trip we haven't done very good. I am fishing from my own boat. That probably explains why I am not catching too many fish."
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: For the week ending June 26, 2008, Ana Lizeth Velazquez of Buena Vista Beach Resort reported on 78 boats, with 321 anglers and a catch including released fish of: 1 blue marlin, 13 striped marlin, 42 dorado, 117 yellowfin tuna, 163 roosterfish, 2 shark, 23 snapper, 2 jack crevalle, 12 amberjack, 3 ladyfish, 35 triggerfish, 8 cabrilla, and 2 sierra. East Cape sportfishing area weather was in the mid-90s, with water temperatures of 77 to 83 degrees. Fleet boats fished in all directions in some cool currents. "East Cape continues to offer good fishing inshore," Velazquez said. "Roosters are here in great numbers, but not many jacks, cabrilla, or pargos."
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: For the week ending June 29, 2008, John Ireland of Rancho Leonero reported East Cape fishing area weather cooler than normal in the low-90s, with southeast winds and water temperatures at 76 to 83 degrees. "The fish are very spread out this week," Ireland said. "Yellowfin tuna are under porpoise 20 to 45 miles off Cabo Pulmo, and striped marlin and a few blue marlin are between 5 and 20 miles directly off the hotel. Inshore, there are schools of roosterfish in the 10 to 20-pound range that are very active from the hotel south to the Punta Arena lighthouse. There were also a few 50-pound roosters released this week."
LA PAZ, MEXICO: Gerardo Hernandez of Tortuga Sportfishing said his La Paz south-side pangas found full summer fishing conditions by the end of the week, with warm temperatures, calm seas arriving, and catches of large dorado at the 88 Bank outside Isla Cerralvo leading the counts. "Other boats that fished close to the south end of the island did very well on pompano, amberjack, pargos, and wahoo," Hernandez said. "We also found marlin, sailfish, and lots of roosterfish that were released. The best roosterfish action was on the Baja shore at Punta Perico." Live bait supplies continued good at Isla Cerralvo, helping to increase fishing time on the water for Las Arenas side pangas.
LA PAZ, MEXICO: Don Anderson of Newport Beach, Calif., reported on 2 days of fishing out of La Paz' Marina Palmira aboard the boat Destiny II in slow action in 81 to 85-degree water around Isla Cerralvo, the 88 Bank, Punta Perico, and Punta Arena de la Ventana for about 2 dorado per day plus plenty of skipjack and a couple of marlin follows. "There was a similar report from a boat that worked north toward Las Animas," Anderson said. "Everybody was waiting for the fish to move in. There was no wind, anyway."
LA PAZ, MEXICO: Jonathan Roldan of Tailhunter International reported a good week for his charter pangas fishing both the La Paz and Las Arenas sides. "The dorado finally decided to join the show for both fleets," Roldan said. "There were dorado from 5 to 60 pounders. The most prolific dorado fishing was out at the area west of Isla Espiritu Santo about halfway up around Isla Partida. Dorado limits or near limits were not uncommon for my La Paz pangas. For the Las Arenas pangas, offshore waters finally started to clean up and produced fish out at the buoys, near shore, south, and in the channel between Isla Cerralvo and the Baja peninsula. We also had some wahoo, big roosterfish, pargos, cabrilla, and jack crevalle. It's the best dorado bite so far in the young season at La Paz."
LA PAZ, MEXICO: Paul Boe of the La Balandra Rotary Club announced the club's 2008 Gold Cup Black and Blue Marlin Tournament to benefit local charities in La Paz on Oct. 2-5, 2008. "This year's tournament guarantees a total purse of roughly $243,380 U.S. dollars," Boe said. The entry fee is about $730 U.S. per team of up to 4 anglers, and about $196 U.S. for each additional angler." Proceeds from the tournament will support a La Paz adults' and children's prosthetic and orthotic clinic, Ciudad de Los Niños y Niñas de La Paz, and the DIF family development organization, Boe said. Information, Lapazgoldcup.com.
LORETO, MEXICO: Patty Zapata of Loreto's Hotel Oasis reported 30 pangas fishing during the week, with a catch including released fish of: 110 dorado of 25 to 50 pounds, 3 yellowtail of 28 to 38 pounds, 2 sailfish, 20 mixed bottom fish, 6 squid, 4 triggerfish, and 4 red snapper to 15 pounds. Loreto fishing area weather was excellent, with light breezes following 2 days of strong wind and sea surface water temperatures at 84 to 86 degrees. "The fishing hot spots continue to be from Bajo de las Boyas to Carmen Island," Zapata said. "Bottom fish were caught at Punta Lobos and yellowtail at La Choya." Anglers fishing with Loreto sportfishing Capts. Martín Davis Castro, Alejandro Savín, José Luis Mayoral, Joselino Murillo, Jesús Osuna, Antonio Davis Castro, Servando Davis, Francisco Martínez Castro, and Paulino Martínez included: Carl Blackledge, Joe Herries, Joe Watternbarger, Lorrie Watternbarger, Rich Falletti, Jeannine Falletti, Caleb and Melossa Moody, Bill and Gail Beardsley, Phil Morris, Joe Gonzalez, Doublas Dixon, Dan Anderson, Dave Canfield, Pat Ferguson, Anthony Skinner, Ron Reasoner.
LORETO, MEXICO: Pam Bolles of Loreto's Baja Big Fish Company reported solid summer-season dorado fishing for local boats in good weed paddy concentrations from the north end of Isla Carmen northwards up the Baja coast to a point about 20 miles off Punta Pulpito. "Dorado are at center stage at Loreto and for very good reason; there are lots of them and they are huge," Bolles said. "Loreto is having a very good dorado season this year. With the full moon now dimmed, dorado are on the surface and hungry again. The fishing is taking place north of Loreto. The sargassum is plentiful. Expect a lot of boats on the water for the 4th of July weekend, typically the busiest time of year in Loreto. With three fishing tournaments coming up, Vagabundos del Mar, Governor's Cup, and Mission Charity Tournament, the winning dorado is likely to approach or be over 60 pounds. Mexico fishing limits-plus are pretty much guaranteed."
Bolles also noted good numbers of sailfish present in Loreto waters. "Striped marlin are also being caught," Bolles said. "We highly encourage you to release all billfish in good condition." The fuel dock at Puerto Escondido was reported dry. "We are hearing it may be 3 to 4 weeks before they have fuel again," Bolles said.
LORETO, MEXICO: Al Jordan of Loreto reported on a fishing day aboard his boat Sea Note with his grandsons Jacob Jordan, 10, and Jarred Jordan, 13, for dorado limits by 9 a.m. caught about 20 miles north of the Loreto downtown marina. "The catch included a 40 pounder and about a 25 pounder on smooth glassy seas," Jordan said. "There were dorado everywhere and it looks like we are shaping up for a great summer."
LORETO, MEXICO: Tim Long of Newport Beach, Calif., reported on 3 days of late-June Loreto panga fishing with Pam Bolles' Baja Big Fish Company, with trip partners Bill and Riley Bendel of Alta Loma, Calif., and Baja Big Fish Company's Capt. Jose for a catch of 16 dorado mostly between 30 and 45 pounds, plus one 51 pounder. "The bite went full speed on June 25th about 10 miles off Isla Coronado," Long said. "The big flatheads have definitely moved into the Loreto area. Most of the fish were caught on mackerel."
Long also described the previously reported large dorado caught while fishing around a net boat working weed paddies dorado north of town. "The net boat was wrapping up a school of dorado," Long said. "No way were they attempting to get sharks. We were the first ones to get there, just as they where done laying the net out, right in the middle of sargasso weed and a large school of dorado. We immediately hooked up but lost quite a few as they headed into the nets. We started hooking up right away and then the other pangas came rushing up on us. I saw about 30 dorado swimming all over the place. We hooked about 6 and landed about 3 until all the boat traffic sent them down. The 51 pounder caught was one I selected out of a big group. I saw him swimming with the others and I just dropped the mackerel right on its head and he annihilated it."
MULEGE, MEXICO: Baja fly-down angler Ron Grant of Crestline, Calif., and Mulege reported on a flight to the Hotel Serenidad, finding full summer weather conditions hitting the 100-degree mark, unpredictable winds from all directions, and boats scoring dorado throughout the area. "A good heading is 065 degrees out of the lighthouse about 20 miles or a little northeast of Santa Ines Island and Tortuga Island," Grant said. "The dorado vary in size. Feathers do as well as anything. Any color seems to work."
Grant noted that few tourists were present in the Mulege area of Baja. "The tourist trade is slow," he said. "I assume the high cost of aviation fuel stateside is keeping aircraft closer to home and the problems at the border are keeping the driving public from crossing the border and have really had an impact in the Mulege area. My personal experience flying down and out of Mulege finds things normal. The runway is in good condition at the Serenidad."
MULEGE, MEXICO: John Mussell of Santa Maria, Calif., reported on a 2-week stay at a rented Punta Chivato house, with winds keeping his 19-foot boat Silver Bullet off the water about half the time, but about 15 dorado to 15 pounds caught during a final 3-day period of good weather. "The dorado were located about 15 to 20 north-northwest from the beach toward and east of San Marcos Island," Mussell said.
Mussell said the famous Punta Chivato campground and boat launching beach north of the old hotel built by Lou Federico was in apparently abandoned condition. "Camping on the beach is discouraged and all water, garbage cans, showers, and outhouses are removed," Mussell said. "You could still camp self-contained but the beach is a mess as there are no bathroom facilities. Toilet paper everywhere. We have been coming here since the late 1970s. It's sad."
SANTA ROSALIA, MEXICO: Mike Kanzler of Isla San Marcos said early summer weather in the Santa Rosalia fishing area was humid in the 90s, but with local waters still relatively cool at 80 degrees, and with heavy spring-like concentrations of bait persisting later than usual. While making bait off San Lucas Cove with his son Miguelito, Kanzler said, "There's too much bait, really, and everything is trying to eat each other. The bait I wanted to catch were feeding on anchovies and sardine fry, as small 2 to 5-pound squid were grabbing all of it, including our bait rigs. I moved off a few stops and had more bigeyes and mackerel than we needed."
At the Isla San Marcos 110 yellowtail bajo, Kanzler said, "There were lots of birds, bait fish, whales, dolphins, and squid feeding away. I heard the distinct sound of bigger fish crashing. My son already had a bait ready and I had surface iron. We both put it right on the money and the kid got first blood, and another high 20-pound yellowtail was on the deck." For the morning, Kanzler's boat tallied 4 yellowtail just under 30 pounds, and other boats fishing the bajo area scored 3 to 5 fish.
"The only downside is the lack of tourists this season," Kanzler said. "I had two or three charters the whole month. Normally, it's more like 23. At any rate I'll keep doing what I'm doing."
SANTA ROSALIA, MEXICO: Jody Hawkins of Twin Falls, Idaho, reported on the San Lucas Cove segment of his Baja trailer boat fishing trip, with a week's action producing a catch of about 10 to 12 dorado of 10 to 15 pounds, including 8 caught during a good 1-hour bite, 1 nice grouper off Isla San Marcos, 1 marlin baited about 3 miles east of the 110 bajo, and 1 small sailfish landed at Isla Tortuga. Water temperatures averaged 76 to 78 degrees, with the warmer water found offshore.
BAHIA DE LOS ANGELES, MEXICO: Ed Duitsman of Hinkley, Calif., reported on 4 days of fishing out of Guillermo's at Bahia de los Angeles, with his father John Duitsman and Lucerne Valley, Calif., guide Dave Turner aboard Duitsman's boat Daycare, for a catch of: 31 yellowtail of 5 to 35 pounds, 1 gulf grouper of 15 pounds, 3 cabrilla of 3 to 5 pounds, and 1 sheephead of 10 pounds. "Even after 20-plus years of fishing Bahia de los Angeles, it's still a fisherman's dream," Duitsman said. "That's fishing as good as it ever was." Duitsman reported the rooms at Guillermo's nicely set up with air conditioning and power all night long. The Daycare fished in water temperatures of 73 to 78 degrees, in mostly flat or moderate sea conditions, at Isla Smith with a fleet of about 20 other boats, at Isla Angel de la Guarda, and south towards Bahia de las Animas, with good results on swim baits. "We also heard Capt. Igor Galvan caught a boat load of huge sea bass south at Animas," Duitsman said. "The roads are good and everybody is happy."
BAHIA DE LOS ANGELES, MEXICO: Abraham Vazquez of Camp Gecko at the south end of Bahia de los Angeles reported high relative humidity of about 60 percent or higher, with air temperatures just under 90 degrees, clear skies, light southeast winds, and big numbers of yellowtail being caught in the bay at Islas Smith and Piojo. "The yellows are here and boiling and are also on the reefs," Vazquez said. "Most boats have caught limits of 10 to 15-pound fish. Some grouper were also caught by trolling near shore." Local Bahia de los Angeles fishing area water temperatures were at 70 to 73 degrees.
BAHIA DE LOS ANGELES, MEXICO: Jim Howard of Garden Grove, Calif., reported Mexico fishing limits of white seabass of 25 to 40 pounds and yellowtail of 20 to 30 pounds during 3 days of fishing at Bahia de los Angeles by his group of 8 anglers aboard 2 super pangas skippered by Capt. Igor Galvan and another captain from Guillermo's. "We fished together and had about the same results," Howard said. "My buddy Dan Mueller also caught a 45-pound grouper. Jim Davila from Riverside caught the biggest white seabass. We fished 38 miles south on the coast. It was hot but we had enough breeze to make it comfortable while sitting dead in the water." Howard and his group fished in 74-degree water about 200 feet deep with baits on dropper loops and 12-ounce sinkers. "The fish were there all day but the best bite was in the afternoon," he said. "We saw lots of working birds with smaller yellowtail but we didn't fish for them."
SAN FELIPE, MEXICO: Dana Kerby of Baja Sportfishing & Diving reported on 6-day Midriff islands fishing trips by the panga motherships Erik and Andrea Lynn, both returning to San Felipe on June 26, 2008, with catches of:
Erik, with 24 anglers: 142 cabrilla, 460 yellowtail, 1 grouper of 80 pounds, 181 pinto bass, and 3 white seabass.
Andrea Lynn with 33 anglers: 188 cabrilla, 441 yellowtail, 38 pargo, 192 pinto bass, 7 shark, and 207 miscellaneous fish.
The Erik and Andrea Lynn fished at Sea of Cortez Midriff locations including: Punta Suspiro, Salsipuedes, Punta San Francisquito, Piedra San Bernabe, Bahia de los Angeles, Ensenada Grande, Isla Salvatierra, Isla Vibora, Cardonoza, and Punta Final.
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 27, 2008, with a catch recorded by crew member Fili Espinza Montez of: 134 yellowtail of 28 to 34.12 pounds, 2 grouper of 80 to 101 pounds, 10 white seabass of 15 to 20.1 pounds, 62 cabrilla of 9 to 16 pounds, 10 squid of 15 to 35 pounds, 2 red snapper 8 to 10 pounds, 4 sheephead of 6 pounds, and 4 shark of 10 to 16 pounds.
Weekly winners in the season-long Jose Andres fishing tournament were: cabrilla, 16 pounds, Allen Colontuono, Victorville, Calif., guide Antonio Sanchez; white seabass, 20.1 pounds, Ricky Bethell, Garden Grove, Calif., guide Roman Carrillo; yellowtail, 34.12 pounds, Darrill Webber, Yucaipa, Calif., guide Heriberto Romero; and red snapper, 8.5 pounds, Allen Colontuono, Victorville, Calif., guide Antonio Sanchez. Midriff fishing water temperatures averaged 71 degrees.
SAN FELIPE, MEXICO: Catalina Meders of the Title Company Bookstore at San Felipe said she was busy moving the store to a new location in town. "We have our new lease and are in the process of transporting about 30,000 books plus shelves and everything else to the new store just around the corner and down the street where the old university extension used to be," Meders said. "The new store is twice the size of the old one and most importantly it's on the ground floor. We will have moved in by August and hopefully will be ready for our grand reopening by October." Northern Sea of Cortez weather at San Felipe was in the high-80s by 11 a.m., with relative humidity at 57 percent, and the town was quiet as it waited for Fourth of July tourist crowds to arrive. "We pray that economically things in San Felipe get better next season and that the great plans for our little town will come to fruition in the not too distant future," Meders said.
SAN CARLOS, MEXICO: Bryan Replogle of San Carlos-Guaymas reported on 2 outings by the boat Margarita V for 1 sailfish follow the first day and 1 sailfish landed out of a school the second day. "We saw a pack of sails attack all 7 lines with 1 staying on," Replogle said. "Another sail later jumped off and we also saw a bull dorado jump that had to have been 60 pounds. It's good to know they're out there."
SAN CARLOS, MEXICO: Jon Jen Charters at San Carlos reported the charter boat JonJen back in the water after a lengthy recommissioning. "We have her purring with her new engines, and we are now propping her," Jon Jen said. Two outings by the charter boat JonJen II produced 1 sailfish and 2 good dorado, as the San Carlos sportfishing fleet found action up-and-down with some heavy sailfish concentrations present. "We saw sailfish feeding on skipjack like yellowfin," Jon Jen said. "In every direction was a sailfish jumping and attacking all over the place, a feeding frenzy."
MAZATLAN, MEXICO: Larry Edwards of Cortez Yacht Charters reported on 27 Aries Fleet offshore charter boats out of Mazatlan's Marina El Cid, with a catch including released fish of: 8 sailfish, 3 yellowfin tuna, and 71 dorado. Ten inshore super pangas had a catch of: Mexican fishing limits of dorado including many releases, 43 pargo, 12 corvina, and 49 mojarra. "Finally we have a spark in Mazatlan fishing," Edwards said, "especially with dorado at the buoys. More sailfish are also showing up but they are not eager to bite yet." Mazatlan fishing area weather was partly cloudy and humid in the mid-80s, with blue water 10 miles out at 85 to 86 degrees. Offshore boats fished with trolled rigged mullet baits.
PUERTO VALLARTA, MEXICO: Stan Gabruk of Master Baiters Sportfishing & Tackle said passing heavy tropical weather disrupted offshore fishing for Puerto Vallarta boats. "A storm heading out towards Hawaii has been causing havoc at the deep water sites," Gabruk said. "I was out yesterday and the swells were like 10 feet." The Master Baiters Sportfishing & Tackle charter boat Pecositas II returned with the season's first black marlin, a 375 pounder landed for clients at El Banco with Capt. Hector as summer fishing conditions began to develop. "The Puerto Vallarta fishing season is shaping up nicely," Gabruk said. "We expect July, August, and September to be spectacular with all the conditions finally coming together in the right mix, with blue water, abundant bait, and a perfect water temperature of 85 degrees."
IXTAPA ZIHUATANEJO, MEXICO: Larry Edwards of Cortez Yacht Charters reported very good roosterfish action in the Ixtapa Zihuatanejo fishing area as Capt. Adolofo fished 4 days with clients on fly fishing tackle for 8 roosterfish landed on 96 follows. On conventional tackle, Capt. Temo reported a 7-roosterfish day and Capt. Cheva checked in with 8 roosters plus several jack crevalle. Sluggish offshore sailfish action picked up at the end of the week as Ixtapa sportfishing boats scored 3 or 4 sailfish per day in blue water less than a mile out. "But the real action continues to be the wide-open roosterfish bite south of Zihuatanejo near San Valentine," Edwards said. Ixtapa fishing area weather was in the high-80s, with overcast, evening rains, moderate afternoon winds, and water temperatures at 81 to 82 degrees.
IXTAPA ZIHUATANEJO, MEXICO: Ed Kunze, reporting for Baja On The Fly, said Ixtapa fishing conditions continued stable last week, with blue water very close to the beach and charter boats averaging 1 to 2 sailfish per day. Farther out at about 32-plus miles, tuna, blue marlin, and some quality dorado were present. Inshore roosterfish action continued generally very good, although Kunze guided fly fishing tackle angler Jay Brady of Antonio, Texas, to just 1 roosterfish in rain-muddied water at Puerto Vicente Guerrero. "The previous night's rainstorm dumped a lot of dirty water from the rivers," Kunze said. "It had us looking for clean water, and there was also a low pressure ridge over Ixtapa bringing wind from the south and not the normal west wind."
CANCUN, MEXICO: Larry Edwards of Cortez Yacht Charters reported on 11 outings by the El Cid Caribe sportfishing fleet at Puerto Morelos near Cancun, with a catch including released fish of: 13 Atlantic barracuda, 8 king mackerel, 53 yellowtail snapper, 5 mutton snapper, 2 triggerfish, 7 bonito, 1 amberjack, 2 mero, and 1 miscellaneous fish. Cancun fishing area weather was mostly cloudy in the mid-90s, and offshore boats fished mostly with skirted and plain ballyhoo baits.
MEXICO: Pam Bolles of Baja Big Fish Company at Loreto commented on her earlier report of charter boats catching sportfishing-reserved dorado near a Mexican commercial net boat that was fishing officially for shark, but actually catching dorado as legal "bycatch" under the protection of Mexico's fisheries regulation, Shark Norma 029.
"The commercial boats were fishing under the protection of this controversial law," Bolles said. "Mexican commercial fishing boats with permits to catch sharks and rays are allowed unlimited incidental catch and this is one of the main topics of concern to the sportfishing and tourism industries in Mexico.
"Loreto pangueros who rely on this fishery for their livelihood are furious but they know better than to report the violations they see. The officials will do nothing. These boats are likely owned by politicians or those whom they protect. If they complain they know that they will only be scrutinized in the future.
"The very people who are most affected by this activity believe that they have no voice.
"Well, we do have a voice and we are coming together, but it will take time and serious organizing. In the meantime, buy your fishing license though your local outfitter in the state of Baja California Sur and your money will go towards preserving the Sea of Cortez fishery for the future. I see my Loreto-born children catching nice fish almost every day off our shores and I want their children to have the same chance, so do not buy your license stateside because that money you work so hard for will go right to the feds who are in the back pocket of the commercial fishing industry."