LORETO, MEXICO: Loreto's summer dorado fishing season kicked into super-high gear for the traditional July blow-out last week as local boats found nearby Mexican sportfishing limits on very big mahi mahi running into the 40 and 50-pound class.
LORETO, MEXICO: Patty Zapata of Loreto's Hotel Oasis reported on 55 pangas fishing during the week, with 43 conventional tackle anglers and 12 fly fishing anglers, for a catch including released fish of: 660 dorado to 51 pounds, 2 marlin, and 7 yellowtail of 32 to 38 pounds. "The dorado are now 6 or 7 miles east of Punta Lobos and Isla Coronado," Zapata said. Loreto fishing area weather was excellent, with no wind, calm seas, and water temperatures of 84 to 86 degrees.
Loreto sportfishing captains working out of the Hotel Oasis included: Abel Davis Jr., Abraham Fernández, Alfonso Susarrey, Alfredo Rubio, Antonio Davis Castro, Antonio Monzón Jr., Francisco Javier Murillo, Francisco Martínez Castro, Francisco Martínez Jr., Jesús Davis Davis, Jesús Osuna, Joselino Murillo, Loreto Velis, Manuel Davis, Manuel Davis Jr., and Martín Perpuli.
LORETO, MEXICO: Don Bear of Loreto said, "Dorado fishing has gone ballistic. It seems that everyone has limits and more by 10 or 11 a.m., and the fish are big. There are a substantial number of sargasso paddies within 10 miles east-northeast of Isla Coronado. Not all of them hold fish, but clusters of pangas on the horizon are an easy clue as to their location." Excellent dorado fishing by Loreto boats included 3 days by Capt. Paulino Martinez for 18 dorado to 40 pounds plus 4 more days with dorado limits by 10:30 a.m., and 2 days by Capt. Federico Murillo with anglers Fabrizio Marangoni and Pasquale and Ana-Gloria Peregrino for 42 dorado to 51 pounds. "On both days they located a cluster of pangas within 7 to 10 miles of Coronado around a large sargasso holding fish," Bear said. "Fabrizio reported that on both days about 40 mackerel baits were caught within 15 minutes."
Mackerel baits were easily found close to shore at Isla Coronado and squid were available on the island's west side. After a period of shortage, sardina bait fish schools were reappearing at midweek just south of town at Colonia Zaragoza. Loreto fishing area weather was warm and flat.
LORETO, MEXICO: Bill Erhardt of Loreto said, "The dorado season in Loreto continues to pick up steam and it is not necessary to venture far offshore to find them. The action is concentrated within 25 miles north and east of the Loreto marina. There are seaweed paddies aplenty, but recently fish are being found in schools and singly with no paddies in sight. More and more big fish seem to be joining the mix."
Three outings by Erhardt's boat Soledad produced dorado to over 50 pounds. A run on Wednesday produced 14 dorado to 46 pounds, including 5 over 30 pounds.
Billfish and tuna action did not match the dorado show. "Billfish in the Loreto area remain picky eaters, and yellowfin tuna, which usually by this time of year have made two or three appearances offshore in the canyon, have been no-shows," Erhardt said.
Summer yellowtail were also caught by Loreto fishing boats targeting them both south of town and northwards at San Bruno reef. "But, most people who fish in Loreto in July are looking for dorado, and most who are doing so this year are coming home happy," Erhardt said.
LORETO, MEXICO: Keith Williams of Redondo Beach, Calif., reported excellent dorado fishing during a 6-day session aboard Tom Shaffer's panga Sunshine with Shaffer, Loreto Capt. Andres Cota, and trip partner John Richardson. "The fishing in Loreto was as good as it gets for us," Williams said. "Loreto is having one of the best dorado seasons in memory. Once the full moon phase dimmed, the dorado were up on the surface and ready for battle." Williams fished in good weather and plentiful sargassum weed patches on a line from Punta Lobos at the north end of Isla Carmen northwards to a point 20 miles past Punta Pulpito. "We caught limits each day including many big bulls from 40 to 50 pounds," Williams said. "Most of the big bulls were free swimmers taken on flying fish lures real early in the morning. We also found some quality fish under the paddies, but most of them were holding smaller fish. We had no problems making bait, which included big mackerel, bigeye, and giant squid."
Williams noted no problems during the Baja drive to Loreto, except for congestion due to road work in Tijuana. "We drove down with no problems to report," he said, "but I highly recommend that anyone driving back to the States from Baja use the Tecate border crossing. Tijuana is a real mess with construction close to the border and no detours to help out."
LORETO, MEXICO: Pam Bolles of Baja Big Fish Company said, "Loreto's dorado fishing is nothing short of spectacular. I'm going out again tomorrow. I've got stories to tell of a 45-pound dorado landed successfully by a novice fly fisherman, a near women's IGFA record, and more."
ENSENADA, MEXICO: Baja fishing boats in Pacific-side waters from San Quintin northwards to Ensenada found hot spots holding good action for some Mexican sportfishing limits of quality albacore plus a few bluefin tuna and even a handful of dorado last week in water temperatures averaging 66 to 67 degrees from 20 to 30 miles out.
ENSENADA, MEXICO: Mike Borden of the boat Fish Magnet reported on a run out of San Diego to fish southwards 75 miles on a heading of 180 degrees for a catch off Ensenada with 9 people on board of 22 albacore of 25 to 35 pounds. "The fish did not respond well to bait until the afternoon when we got a 10-fish stop," Borden said. "In morning fishing we had multiple one and two-fish stops with lots of signs of fish over at least a 10-mile area. I am looking forward to a wide-open bite soon!" Also aboard the Fish Magnet were: Austin Borden, Paul Purcell, Matt Purcell, Bobby Fromme, Jerry Mooney, and Gary and David Miya, all from San Diego.
ENSENADA, MEXICO: Steve Ross of the Ensenada sportfishing boat Bad Dog reported on a 4th of July run to just outside the 238 spot for 10 albacore over 25 pounds, with the two largest fish at 33 and 37 pounds. "These toads first bit for us at 10:30 a.m.," Ross said. "The next bite came at 12:30 a.m. in 69.7-degree water in the same area. In heated 70.8-degree water we got another single jig strike. We ran into 72-degree water but we could not get the fish to come to our boat. At 3 p.m., 4 rods went off one at a time. There was lots of bait up on top and nothing on the bottom. The most successful set up was by far the carrot top 7-Strand tuna clone feathers. I traveled 114 nautical miles for the day."
ENSENADA, MEXICO: Emerald Argonza of the Ensenada charter boat Matador reported on a run to the 295 spot with 3 other anglers aboard for a catch on the troll in calm seas of 3 albacore and 4 bonito. Also fishing aboard the Matador were Emerald Argonza Jr., Edmond Argonza, and their friend Devin. We got our first albacore hookup at 6 a.m. about 20 miles east of the 295 on a purple feather," Argonza said. "We continued to troll but the fish went down and disappeared. All the fish were caught only on purple feathers. Ensenada weather could not be better. The ocean was flat like a tortilla."
ENSENADA, MEXICO: Ivan Villarino of Vonny's Fleet said his pangas continued to catch steady Mexican limits of bonito and mixed bottom fish plus some yellowtail last week, and the big surprise was 2 pangas with a total of 8 very big white seabass of 38 to 51 pounds caught during fishing with Capts. Beto and Hector. "What a week!" Villarino said. Anglers fishing aboard the Vonny's Fleet pangas Vonny I and Vonny IV included Bob Connell of Rosarito, Roberto Ochoa, Dean Bean, and Vonny's Fleet regular Jay Johnson, his daughter Diana, and granddaughter Beth, who accounted for 7 white seabass of 38 to 51 pounds on Monday with Capt. Beto. "Those white seabass were the only fish they caught that day," Villarino said. "What a day it was for Jay." Local Ensenada fishing area weather was partly cloudy at 70 degrees, with winds calm, ocean swells of 2 to 3 feet, and the water temperature at Punta Banda averaging 60 degrees.
ENSENADA, MEXICO: Jose Antonio Sanchez of Tijuana and the website Foros.pesca.org.mx reported on a 7-angler trip to fish aboard 2 pangas chartered with Capt. Miguel Angel out of Punta Banda for Mexican sportfishing limits of bonita caught in hot action between Punta Banda and Islas Todos Santos. "The bonitas are everywhere!" Sanchez said. "They were boiling here and there, with lots of activity on the surface and bonitas jumping, pelicans, and sea birds. There were vast schools of juvenile sardines. The key for catching the bonita was to move from boil to boil and cast Salas 6X Juniors, or troll between them."
SAN QUINTIN, MEXICO: Marita Melville of Don Eddie's Landing reported charters coming in with daily catches of albacore plus a few bluefin tuna, during fishing in calm water at about 66 degrees located about 24 miles off the point. "The white seabass have not come in at San Quintin yet," Melville said, "although we are all waiting patiently for them." Capt. Juan Cook fished on the charter boat Mona Lisa with anglers Victor Ayala, Juan Vega, Jesus Vega and Tino Ayala for a catch of 3 albacore to 27 pounds plus 6 yellowtail to 6 pounds. Another private boat reported 6 albacore.
Melville also reported Mexican sportfishing limits of halibut to 10 pounds plus a good-sized black sea bass caught inside Bahia de San Quintin during an outing by Capt. Juan Cook with anglers Dave Glinn, Thom Brown, and John Scanlon. "Since the past 2 days of fishing were great inside San Quintin Bay for halibut they decided to fish there," Melville said. "When they had a bite, they started reeling in. Thom hooked it, and Dave took over for another half-hour, John tried reeling for 20 minutes, and finally Dave got it on the boat. It towed them about 3 miles inside the bay." Other boats fishing out of Don Eddie's Landing found Mexican limits of rockcod outside the bay.
SAN QUINTIN, MEXICO: Pete Hillis of Pedro's Pangas at San Quintin reported 15 boats fishing during the week for good results on albacore plus 6 early season dorado. "They found wide-open albacore 15 to 20 miles off the point," Hillis said. "Things are definitely picking up at San Quintin this week. If you find a paddy there is a good chance for dorado and yellowtail under them. The largest dorado brought into the dock on our boats weighed in at 35 pounds. Cedar plugs seem to be the hot ticket when trolling." Good concentrations of yellowtail were also found at Isla San Martin on live bait and jigs, and local bottom fishing produced larger lingcod and rockcods. Anglers fishing for albacore to 38 pounds on Pedro's Pangas charters during the week included Armando Aguear, his son Janko, and Ernesto del Velle and his son Ernie, all from Tijuana. San Quintin fishing area weather was very good, with calm seas and morning overcast burning off by 10:30 a.m.
SAN QUINTIN, MEXICO: Julio Meza of San Quintin reported 7 albacore and 3 yellowtail during a 3-angler outing aboard his boat Santa Monica. "We didn't do too badly," Meza said. "We went out early, made bait inside San Quintin Bay, and ran with some wind 20 miles out on a heading of 210 degrees. We found weed paddies with lots of yellowtail and got the albacore while trolling around some commercial boats that had spotter planes and helicopters."
SAN QUINTIN, MEXICO: Kelly Catian of San Quintin's K&M Offshore Sportfishing reported on a run by Capt. Oscar aboard the charter boat Offshore IV with anglers Melly Hernandez and Chris Pierce for 14 albacore to 35 pounds. On another trip 30 miles out in 66 purple-blue water aboard the boat Offshore III with Capt. Kelly Catian, free divers Efram Epstein and his brother Joel also scored a lucky first-ever bluefin tuna speared by Efram and a first-ever yellowtail speared by Joel. "While searching for paddies to dive, we were trolling feathers and cedars through some dolphin when both jigs got picked up," Catian said. "Efram quickly jumped in and took a long shot for his first tuna ever. I only know of a handful of divers who can claim bluefin. The 2 tuna on the trollers were yellowfin. Other boats in the area fishing rod-and-reel had limits of paddy yellowtail, some albacore, and a couple more yellowfin tuna."
SAN QUINTIN, MEXICO: Earlier, John Gilkerson of Cypress, Calif., reported on the San Quintin segment of his trailer boat Baja fishing run down Mex 1 that had included another stop at San Lucas Cove south of Santa Rosalia. At San Quintin, Gilkerson said fishing by his group of 7 anglers aboard the boats A-Salt-Weapon and Battlewagon was relatively slow for 2 days and a catch of: 2 kelp paddy yellowtail, many lingcod and large rockfish, 1 halibut of 32 inches length, and "all the 10-pound bonito you wanted." A run out to 18 miles found beautiful purple-blue water at 65 degrees, but no yellowtail or tuna. "We found kelp paddies loaded with bait," Gilkerson said. "Unfortunately nobody was home. Overall, the fishing at San Quintin was quite a bit slower than what we have had in the past. The weather was strange with wind and extreme tide and sea temperature fluctuations. However, as usual we had a great time and will do it again next year."
Fishing on the trip were anglers: John Gilkerson, Dean Gilkerson, Myel Gilkerson, Lex Traner, Jim Bentley, Jimester Bentley, and Matt Bentley. Gilkerson noted no special problems, and gas available but a shortage of diesel fuel south of the border. "The road was generally in good shape with a couple of rough sections north of Guerrero Negro," he said. "The military inspections went quick except the last one north of Santo Thomas near Maneadero on the way back where there was a long line. There was no diesel fuel that we could find within 150 miles of the border both on our way down and on our way back. After that it was available everywhere for just over $2 per gallon. What a bargain compared to what we are paying in the U.S. Gas was available everywhere we needed it."
BAJA CALIFORNIA, MEXICO: Shari Bondy of Baja Bed & Breakfast at Bahia Asuncion said Baja coastal weather was warm and calm, but water temperatures were still cool. Charters fishing in improving bait concentrations with Capt. Juan Arce of Arce Bros. Sportfishing found calico bass, white seabass, and sheephead, but no yellowtail. Bondy noted Bahia Asuncion's local "Bizbee Fishing Tournament" scheduled for Aug. 15-16, 2008. "It's free to enter and you get a tee-shirt, hat, and a free dinner, as they have a big barbecue with the fish caught that day and a live band." Bondy said. "There are cash awards and trophies in several categories like deep water fishing for yellowtail, best bottom fish, shore fishing, and kids categories. There are dances every night and lots of fun events like horse racing, a rodeo, car races, beach sports events, and kayak races."
Bondy also noted that her daughter Sirena graduated from high school with a special award for top academic standing. "She will be moving to Ensenada to study aquaculture," Bondy said.
BAJA CALIFORNIA, MEXICO: Buzz Jones of Montana reported on the results of his extended Baja fishing experiences after reading The Baja Catch. "I had a really super great time," Jones said. "I am going back for at least a full year and maybe buy a place and live in Baja full time. Lots of days we caught 100 fish and kept the last one to eat. We learned all about ceviche and how to fillet triggerfish. We caught lots of corvina near Black Mountain south of San Felipe and had great bottom fishing near the Enchanted Islands and stayed at Campo La Costilla and Papa Fernandez. I learned a lot of new tricks but found that most walleye and bass tactics worked great on saltwater predators. We never got skunked but had to sit out some bad weather. I really enjoyed Mulege and Bahia Gonzaga. The people there were great and I might just think about those as possible home base areas. I entered a little local fishing tournament in Mulege and went out with a neat old guy. We went between Punta Chivato and the tip of Punta Concepción and we won third place! My copy of The Baja Catch looks like it was drug down a dirt road, but I still read it a little every day or so, and I still learn new things each time"
MAGDALENA BAY, MEXICO: Gary Graham of Baja On The Fly reported warming water temperatures at 60 to 70 degrees and good action on the open Pacific for small yellowtail, larger bonito, a good showing of dorado, and yellowfin tuna to 20 pounds, all found within a few miles of Cabo San Lazaro on the west side of Isla Magdalena. Fishing inside the Magdalena Bay mangrove channels was slow on strong tidal currents, but bay fishing did produce a good session on sierra, small yellowtail, and bonito for anglers John Hammargren and Peter Schabarum. Magdalena Bay fishing area weather was clear in the low-90s.
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Larry Edwards of Cortez Yacht Charters reported on 29 outings by Gaviota Fleet and the Cabo charter boats Fish Cabo, Fish Cabo I, and Tuna Time, with a catch including released fish of: 8 striped marlin, 14 dorado, and 3 yellowfin tuna. "Fourth of July week anglers were finding the fishing rather slow for this time of year at Cabo San Lucas and the weather was uncooperative too," Edwards said. "The port of Cabo San Lucas was partially closed for a couple of days which added to the frustration of slow fishing." Cabo San Lucas sportfishing area weather was partly cloudy in the low-90s, with sea conditions recovering from big southwest swells early in the week. Water temperatures were at 70 degrees close to the cape, rising to 78 degrees at the Gordo Banks, and up to 86 degrees near Los Frailes on the southern Sea of Cortez.
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Tommy Garcia of Cabo Magic reported on 70 charters, with a catch including released fish of: 3 sailfish, 37 striped marlin, 13 yellowfin tuna, 19 dorado, 20 yellowtail, 2 roosterfish, 1 cabrilla, 36 sierra, 5 bonita, and 2 skipjack.
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Jim Dillon of Salvador's Sportfishing reported on 10 outings by the Cabo San Lucas charter boats El Budster, El Budster I, and El Budster II, with a catch including released fish of: 5 striped marlin, and 4 dorado of 20 to 45 pounds.
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: For the week ending July 6, 2008, George Landrum of Fly Hooker Sportfishing at Cabo San Lucas reported spotty fishing for striped marlin. "A few Cabo San Lucas boats were able to get one or two releases each," Landrum said, "but many had trouble finding fish willing to eat. The best fishing was from pangas for grouper, but there were some good tuna caught by anglers lucky to be in the right place at the right time. We had our first touch of summer storm season. We had cloud cover and some scattered rain from several systems well to the south, and that was enough for the port captain to close the port on Friday. He opened up later in the morning after it became apparent there were no dangerous swells but it was enough to really mess up Cabo San Lucas fishing operations for the day." Live bait available at the Cabo San Lucas marina was mainly caballito at $3 each and scarce at times. "I did not hear of any mackerel or sardina bait being sold," Landrum said.
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: For the week ending July 3, 2008, Tracy Ehrenberg of Pisces Fleet Sportfishing at Cabo San Lucas reported 63 percent of charters releasing striped marlin, 27 percent landing dorado, and 84 percent with all species combined. Cabo San Lucas fishing was interrupted by port closures affecting two days. "Cabo had some tropical weather nearby which caused some rain," Ehrenberg said. "Our new port captain closed the port for two days, from midday on July 3rd when seas were rough and on July 4th when boats actually could have fished." The Pisces Fleet charter boat C Rod scored second place in the Stars & Striped benefit tournament that raised over $2 million for charity. The C Rod also landed a broadbill swordfish during the week for angler Jim Walton of Cabo San Lucas after the fish hit a live caballito bait at the Cabrillo Seamount. Cabo San Lucas fishing area weather was warming in the 90s, with mostly calm seas and water temperatures averaging 80 degrees.
SAN JOSE DEL CABO, MEXICO: Eric Brictson of Gordo Banks Pangas reported on 67 combined La Playita fleet pangas fishing out of San Jose del Cabo's Puerto Los Cabos marina, with a catch including released fish of: 96 roosterfish of 5 to 60 pounds, 66 yellow snapper, 39 huachinango, 8 striped marlin, 1 blue marlin, 12 dorado, 13 yellowfin tuna, 34 bonito, 27 amberjack of 10 to 50 pounds, 23 dog snapper to over 40 pounds, 37 pompano, 48 sierra, and 26 jack crevalle. "There has been a wide variety of fish being found at San Jose del Cabo, but none exceptionally numerous," Brictson said. "Strong currents closer to shore seemed to slow down the fishing for bottom and inshore species, but there were some quality fish accounted for. Trolling or drift fishing with either sardinas or mullet and working yo-yo style iron jigs off rock piles in depths of 120 to 180 feet proved effective." San Jose del Cabo fishing area weather was affected by summer tropical weather systems forming south of the Baja peninsula. "At this time there are no storms on the horizon," Brictson said, "but it is the time of year when conditions are hard to predict more than a couple of days ahead of time."
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: Gary Graham of Baja On The Fly said the East Cape fishing area had several days of unsettled weather due to tropical summer storm systems passing to the south, as a number of warm season blue marlin were spotted and some landed. "There was a definite upturn in the blue marlin bite," Graham said. "They ranged from the mid-200 pound range to one in the high 800s." Football yellowfin tuna were spread outwards from a few miles off the Punta Arena lighthouse. "On several fishing days there were as many as four tuna schools showing up at the same time," Graham said. Dorado were caught in singles and small pods, with some over 50 pounds. Smaller roosterfish were still numerous along East Cape beaches, with some larger fish also present. "Along with mostly small roosters, beach catches also included some ladyfish, pompano, and occasional larger roosters or jacks that turned good days into great days," Graham said. East Cape fishing area weather was partly cloudy in the low-90s, with water temperatures at 73 to 87 degrees.
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: Simon Cazaly of East Cape's Vista Sea Sport diving service reported warming water temperatures at depth on the Cabo Pulmo coral reef in the low-70s, with visibility improving at 20 to 40 feet. "El bajo is alive with leopard grouper," Cazaly said. "The water is thick with them and they are not shy, allowing us to swim amidst them within arm's length." Other sea life sightings during East Cape diving trips included large diamond stingrays, balloonfish, green sea turtles, golden cownose rays, and a giant Pacific manta ray estimated at 8 to 10 feet across. "It was just swimming slowly at the surface so we stopped the panga and it just swam around us keeping a distance but definitely checking us out," Cazaly said.
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: Marisol Verdugo of Martin Verdugo's Beach Resort said fleet boats were busy during the week and had good results for yellowfin tuna to 25 pounds, dorado including some to 35 pounds, striped marlin, and some blue marlin. "We have had good roosterfishing also," Verdugo said. "The boats have been very busy. We have been going out 20 to 30 miles."
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: Jody Hawkins of Twin Falls, Idaho, reported overall slow action for his boat during 5 days of fishing in all directions, with a catch including released fish of: 2 dorado lost, 1 small dorado, 4 marlin missed, 1 marlin, 7 small tuna, and 1 sailfish. "I fished south and north," Hawkins said. "There was really no action north in the Pescadero buoy area and further out. Everything seems to be south off Cabo Pulmo and Los Frailes. On day four, I caught nothing up north, not even a strike. Everyday we fished from at least 7 a.m. until 4 to 6 p.m., long hard days without much action except for the third day." Water temperatures off Spa Buena Vista were at 80 degrees at midweek.
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: John Mensik of Phoenix, Ariz., reported on 2 days of fishing out of Rancho Buena Vista with his son Jake Mensik, and Alex, the son of a Rancho Buena Vista staffer, for a catch including an example of the unusual small marlin called "white marlin" locally, but appearing to be a hybrid form of striped marlin rather than the Atlantic Ocean fish. "The deckhand kept referring to it as a 'white marlin,' Mensik said. Mensik noted few boats fishing at East Cape. "We were the only boat out of RBV that day and I saw maybe 2 to 4 boats out of each of the other resorts that day," he said.
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: For the week ending July 3, 2008, Chris Moyers of East Cape Smoke House reported on 295 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 879 anglers and a catch including released fish of: 3 blue marlin, 107 striped marlin, 4 sailfish, 146 dorado, 791 yellowfin tuna, 1 pargo, 2 wahoo, 1 pompano, and 27 roosterfish. East Cape fishing area weather was in the low-90s, with water temperatures of 72 to 86 degrees and some moderate wind and chop most of the week. "East Cape fishing has picked up, mainly because there are so many yellowfin tuna in the water," Moyers said. "But we also did see a little ol’ 900-pound marlin come in yesterday, and the guy landed the fish on a panga! There is some debate at East Cape as to whether it was a blue marlin or a black marlin. My thought after talking with my guys on the dock is that it was a huge blue marlin." Yellowfin tuna were caught by about 90 percent of East Cape charters during the week.
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: For the week ending July 3, 2008, Ana Lizeth Velazquez of Buena Vista Beach Resort reported on 52 boats, with 195 anglers and a catch including released fish of: 23 striped marlin, 22 dorado, 86 tuna, 36 roosterfish, 1 shark, 2 snapper, 1 jack crevalle, 8 triggerfish, 3 cabrilla, and 4 skipjack tuna. East Cape fishing area weather was in the mid-90s, with water temperatures of 78 to 84 degrees, as fleet boat fished 15 to 25 miles out from La Ribera to Los Frailes. "This week there has been a shortage of bait, mostly of sardinas and mullet, but there is still ballyhoo available," Velazquez said.
LA PAZ, MEXICO: Gerardo Hernandez of Tortuga Sportfishing said his pangas fishing the Las Arenas side south of La Paz had some days of completely flat sea conditions, with summer temperatures in the 90s, and continued action close by off Bahia de la Ventana for dorado in the 20 to 30-pound class. Dorado of 35 to 40 pounds were also caught by pangas running to Las Cruces, and some big fish were caught at the buoys. "Some boats also found big ones at the 88 Bank buoys," Hernandez said. Pangas fishing near shore at the south end of Isla Cerralvo found good action for amberjack, pargo, and some yellowtail.
LA PAZ, MEXICO: Jonathan Roldan of Tailhunter International said generally good fishing conditions still produced a few slow days for some boats last week. "The fishing varied from boat to boat and day to day," Roldan said. "It depended on being at the right place at the right time. For no rhyme or reason, one boat will get whacked with fish and a boat 40 yards away will scratch out only one. One day the dorado bit like mad dogs. The next day's a pargo day. The day after that, for no reason, only jack crevalle bite. But for sure, dorado are in the La Paz fishing area, from dinks up to 50 pounders, and there's no question about marlin and sailfish either. There's still quite a mix of fish at La Paz, but targeting one particular species is rough. If you're coming down to fish at La Paz be flexible and fish for whatever is biting!"
LA PAZ, MEXICO: Lori Ishikawa, in Tokyo, reported on a day of panga fishing south of Isla Cerralvo with Capt. Fernando Lucero of Fisherman's Fleet out of La Paz for catches by her group that included: multiple dog snapper to 55 pounds, yellowtail, and roosterfish. Also fishing in Ishikawa's group were Caroline Maruya, Howard Hada, and Stefanie Hada who scored 3 of the pargo scaling 52 to 55 pounds. "The fish were caught on sabalo and sardina baits and Caroline released her roosterfish," Ishikawa said.
LA PAZ, MEXICO: Fly tackle angler John Wexler reported the catch of a small, colorfully spotted cabrilla or grouper of unknown species while fishing June 25, 2008, near Punta Arena de la Ventana with a group led by Gary Bulla of Gary Bulla's Fly Fishing Adventures. "I caught a small grouper, 12 inches long, that I’m not able to identify," Wexler said. "The fish was caught on an olive-and-white Clouser fly in around 12 feet of water."
LA PAZ, MEXICO: Gary Evans of Irvine, Calif., reported on 2 days of panga fishing on the Las Arenas side with Capt. Gerardo of Tailhunter International for a catch including a sailfish and 3 quality dorado of 38, 40, and 48 pounds by his group. "We got in on some good dorado out at the shark buoys," Evans said. "They were all caught on sardinas." Fishing with Evans were his son, Shane Evans, and a friend, Paul Kilborn. The sailfish was caught and released by Kilborn at the south end of Isla Cerralvo. "The battle lasted about 60 minutes and the fish was released right after the photo," Evans said.
LA PAZ, MEXICO: Mike Carter of Pescadero, near Todos Santos on the southern Baja Pacific coast, reported scratchy action during a summer chubasco-limited run to Isla San Jose by the boat CaboCat with Capt. Jim Smith. "We were fighting the storm to get back to the marina!" Carter said. "One 50-pound dorado was caught at the south end of the island before the storm hit late in the day. There was nothing at Las Animas. Jim had just driven 5 straight days from Texas to bring the boat down for a couple days of fishing. Day one was great! But day two was blown out by 8-foot swells."
MULEGE, MEXICO: Jim Weidler of Newport Beach, Calif., reported on a run to Isla Tortuga aboard the 34-foot Punta Chivato boat Marlin with Capt. Ruben Villareal Rodriguez for a catch of 2 medium dorado on blind trolling strikes. "The magic feather color was purple-and-black," Weidler said. "That's all they hit on this trip." Mulege fishing area water was choppy at 79 to 80 degrees. "We saw 5 finning marlin and one chased the feathers but didn't strike," Weidler said. "There were lots of pockets of bird activity but no strikes when we passed through."
Weidler also noted the improved downtown marina facilities at Santa Rosalia during a stop there. "We found there's a brand-new restaurant and bar at the marina with the grand opening on July 4th," Weidler said. "It was like stumbling upon an oasis in the middle of the Sahara after the long, hot and humid boat trip. There are very clean facilities, air conditioned, even a pool and jacuzzi. What more can one ask for? We had never heard about it, a very welcome surprise and probably one of the best kept secrets in the area."
SANTA ROSALIA, MEXICO: Beth Hogan of San Bruno south of Santa Rosalia reported on a good run to the north end of Isla San Marcos with husband Ed Hogan aboard their boat for a catch by 9 a.m. of 6 yellowtail in the 30-pound class plus a 20-pound amberjack. "A fun day of fishing," Hogan said. "After first heading to the bait hole at San Lucas Cove and catching mostly bigeye, we headed out for an early bite. By 9 a.m. we left them biting and were headed home." Hogan said they hooked up mostly about 80 feet deep in water at 75 degrees, using Mike Kanzler-style sliding sinker live bait rigs. "I have a renewed interest in fishing thanks to my dear friend Marika Anderson who is an avid fisherwoman," Hogan said. "There is so much life out there, so much to see, and everyday is different!"
SANTA ROSALIA, MEXICO: John Gilkerson of Cypress, Calif., reported on the Santa Rosalia segment of his 2-trailer boat group Baja fishing run down Mex 1, with 4 days of fishing out of San Lucas Cove producing sluggish action for 6 nice yellowtail of about 30 pounds in 78-degree water at the Isla San Marcos bajos, and some small dorado of 8 to 15 pounds caught in 83-degree water farther offshore.
During their third night at San Lucas Cove, Gilkerson said their tent camp was hit by strong winds. "We had a bizarre wind experience," Gilkerson said. "At about midnight, the wind went from relatively calm to blowing at what we guessed was 50 to 60 m.p.h. We were camped right next to the water and we were getting sprayed with water and pelted by sand. My boat was anchored out about 75 yards with a big Bruce anchor and 20 feet of chain but it was not enough. My boat pulled loose and ended up down the beach with all the squid fishermen's pangas. The squid fishermen were very helpful, and after letting me know that my boat was down the beach they helped us walk it out to deeper water. About two hours later the wind calmed and except for flashes of lightning and some light rain things were much better. We heard the next day that the squid fishermen lost two pangas that night."
BAHIA DE LOS ANGELES, MEXICO: Mia Blanco of Bahia de los Angeles and the website Bahiadelosangeles.info reported good local fishing for her nephew Steven and his friends with Capt. Tito of Alfredo Diaz' pangas for good catches of yellowtail, plus grouper and pargo during two days at Coronadito and outside the bay at Isla Angel de la Guarda. "At Coronadito they limited out on yellowtail," Blanco said. "On the next trip to the south end of Isla Angel de la Guarda, along the way they caught yellowtail on the surface by casting jigs into a boil, and then picked up a few more yellows along with a nice leopard grouper and a pargo."
BAHIA DE LOS ANGELES, MEXICO: Ruben Daggett of Daggett's Camp at the north end of Bahia de los Angeles village reported on 5 days of very hot yellowtail fishing for a total catch including released fish of 147 yellowtail of about 12 to 20 pounds with Gary Holmes of Los Angeles, Calif., and his fishing partner Charlie. "We used iron jigs," Daggett said. "Salas 6X Jr., blue-white, and live mackerel bait. We fished at the south side of Piojo Island and the last two days at Punta Pescador.
BAHIA DE LOS ANGELES, MEXICO: Jim Howard of Garden Grove, Calif., had fish counts and details for his three previously reported runs to a point on the Baja coast 38 miles south of Bahia de los Angeles aboard Capt. Igor Galvan's boat and another boat out of Guillermo's with trip partners Dan Mueller, Phil Page, and Jim Davilla. "We caught 35 white seabass, 31 yellowtail, and 1 grouper," Howard said. "The white seabass were caught on Igor's boat. Both boats fished in the same area. We lost a lot of fish in the rocks. It was great. We made macks every day and that was all we fished with in 200 feet of water on the dropper loop."
BAHIA DE LOS ANGELES, MEXICO: Robert Cazares of Fullerton, Calif., reported on 4 days of panga fishing at Bahia de los Angeles with Capt. Rafael "Rafa" Cuevas, with steady Mexican sportfishing limits of yellowtail from 15 to 35 pounds caught by his four-angler group including Ricardo Navarro, Jose Cazares, and Paul Grethey. "We fished the Isla Piojo area early in the morning, beginning at 5 a.m., on jigs, blue-white and even yellow-green," Cazares said. "Once the sun came out, it was like a party. Fish started to boil and the birds went crazy. All you had to do was follow the birds." Bahia de los Angeles local fishing weather was in the low-100s, with high humidity, hardly any wind, and smooth sea conditions.
Cazares also noted that few anglers were present in the area. "One thing we noticed on this trip was that there weren't that many people at Bahia de los Angeles this year," he said. "On our last day of fishing, we were on the only panga on the water for about 2 hours. Locals say it's because of the U.S. economy, gas, crime in Tijuana, etc. Nevertheless the road to Bahia was great and so was our trip! We stayed at Costa del Sol Hotel. It's always great there. Rafael Cuevas, or 'Rafa' is hands down the best fishing guide out in Bahia. Everyone follows his boat Becky. One day even the birds followed him!"
BAHIA DE LOS ANGELES, MEXICO: Fred Montiel of Pasadena, Calif., reported 15 yellowtail of 10 to 15 pounds caught near Isla Piojo in about 3 hours of fishing with Capt. Rafito on the panga Lula in calm water at 76 to 79 degrees. "We used jigs to catch breezing yellowtail," Montiel said. "It was a very good day of fishing. Water temperatures were rising fairly rapidly during the week."
SAN FELIPE, MEXICO: Dana Kerby of Sea of Cortez Fishing & Diving reported on 6-day Midriff islands fishing trips by the panga motherships Erik and Andrea Lynn, returning to San Felipe on July 3, 2008, with fish counts of:
Erik with 22 anglers: 107 cabrilla, 289 yellowtail, 2 grouper of 60 and over 100 pounds, 2 leatherback grouper, 2 white seabass, and 205 pinto bass.
Andrea Lynn with 30 combined anglers and divers: 231 cabrilla, 455 yellowtail, 2 grouper to 102 pounds, 35 pargo, 12 pinto bass, and 115 miscellaneous fish.
The Erik and Andrea Lynn fished at Midriff and northern Sea of Cortez locations including: Puerto Refugio, Pulpito, Punta Diablo, La Vibora, Cardonoza, Isla Salsipuedes, Isla San Lorenzo, and Isla Salvatierra.
Kerby noted that the largest grouper taken aboard the Andrea Lynn, at 102 pounds, was speared by Al Gage of Phoenix, Ariz., who boarded the boat with his group at Rocky Point, Sonora, Mexico.
SAN FELIPE, MEXICO: Al Gage described the catch, saying, "The fish was shot at Salsipuedes on the east side. I was free diving in 8 feet of water when a little cabrilla swam up to the end of the shaft and the big boy came swooping in, totally white from laying in the sand, to eat the cabrilla. It turned at the last second and I popped him. When I put a little tension on him he went nuts and got in the rocks and broke the line. We free dove for about 30 minutes before we found him and put another shaft in him, but I think he was already dead. He still just about drowned Mark Mann from Tampa. While he and I were trying to get the fish to the boat, it would hold his gill plates shut from nerves and we couldn't get our hands out."
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 July 4, 2008, with a catch of: 137 yellowtail of 18 to 27.7 pounds, 1 grouper of 60 pounds, 87 cabrilla of 9 to 12.5 pounds, 50 squid of 15 to 30 pounds, 26 red snapper of 10 to 16.13 pounds, 2 broomtail of 12 to 14 pounds, 3 sheephead of 8 pounds, 71 spotted bay bass, 12 shark of 10 to 14 pounds, and 25 miscellaneous fish.
Weekly winners in the season-long Jose Andres fishing tournament were: cabrilla, 13.7 pounds, Cathy Brumley, Henderson, Nev., guide Antonio Sanchez; red snapper, 16.13 pounds, Bob Ovgion, Oakhurst, Calif., guide Victor Orozco; yellowtail, 27.7 pounds, Juan Antonio Ramirez, San Felipe, B.C., guide Roman Murillo.
SAN CARLOS, MEXICO: Bryan Replogle of San Carlos-Guaymas reported decent action during four outings by the San Carlos boat Margarita V, with a total catch including released fish of: 7 sailfish, and 11 dorado. "A few small yellowfin are also coming in," Replogle said. On one of the week's outings, Replogle said, "The wind was up but the bite was on. After losing two sails, we boated five dorado to 27 pounds, and then ended with a landed sail. Other boats did well and the longline we crossed was loaded."
SAN CARLOS, MEXICO: Norman Don of Tucson, Ariz., reported on a run to 46 miles out of San Carlos on a heading of 235 degrees for an 8-angler catch aboard the boat Magnum in 85-degree water that included 10 dorado with 3 fish over 35 pounds. "The water was dead calm," Don said. "It was a wide-open bite. But billfish are off this year, only 2 compared to 26 last year in the same time-frame."
MAZATLAN, MEXICO: Larry Edwards of Cortez Yacht Charters reported on Aries Fleet offshore charter boats out of Mazatlan's Marina El Cid, with a catch including released fish of: 6 sailfish, 7 blue marlin, and good numbers of dorado in the 15 to 20-pound class. Inshore super pangas caught easy Mexican sportfishing limits of dorado at the shark buoys. "The number of charters is very slow at Mazatlan, but the fishing has improved considerably," Edwards said. "The blue marlin have moved inside the 20-mile mark." The top boat for the week was the Aries II with Capt. Victor Munoz and 3 blue marlin landed. Mazatlan fishing area weather was rainy, but with no wind, calm seas, and the water temperature at 82 to 83 degrees both inshore and offshore. Live bonito baits were used for blue marlin.
PUERTO VALLARTA, MEXICO: Danny Gomez of Dhamar Sportfishing reported on 3 outings by the charter super panga Dhamar for catches including released fish of: 2 pargo of 30 and 50 pounds, 1 blue marlin at 400 pounds, 1 black marlin at 285 pounds, and 15 yellowfin tuna of 20 to 40 pounds. "Some other boats reported good tuna at El Banco and there were also sailfish active at Roca Corbeteña," Gomez said.
PUERTO VALLARTA, MEXICO: Duane Weston of Vista, Calif., reported on a family trip with Marla's Sportfishing out of La Cruz de Huanacaxtle north of Puerto Vallarta with Capt. Scotty Osuna and crewmen Alvino and Roberto Osuna for a good count of 30 to 40-pound yellowfin tuna off Punta de Mita, 1 sailfish, and 1 pargo plus a marlin lost at Roca Corbeteña.
PUERTO VALLARTA, MEXICO: Stan Gabruk of Master Baiters Sportfishing & Tackle noted summer fishing weather conditions at Puerto Vallarta with possible rapid changes. "With summer coming on full swing now we’re seeing seasonal rains becoming part of our daily routine," Gabruk said. "At any moment the seas can change. I was out the other day fishing with some friends when the swells at El Banco changed from 4-foot to 8-foot in less than an hour. Ultimately the swells hit 10 feet. Always have the latest weather reports and remember the ocean can be affected by sea conditions hundreds to thousands of miles away." With Puerto Vallarta fishing areas waters calming, Gabruk said, "This week the fishing action was at Cabo Corrientes, with sailfish off the point along with mahi mahi of good size. Yellowfin tuna have been in the bay in the 40-pound range. The bay has been it’s usual dirty water self after the rains start, but it’s close to shore and isn’t negatively affecting the fishing much."
IXTAPA ZIHUATANEJO, MEXICO: Larry Edwards of Cortez Yacht Charters said passing storms in the Ixtapa fishing area hampered both inshore and offshore action during the week. "On days one could fish inshore the roosterfish bite was excellent for mostly smaller fish," Edwards said, as the charter boat Dos Hermanos I checked in with an outing for 4 larger roosterfish, 25 small roosterfish, and another roosterfish on fly fishing tackle. Offshore, the Dos Hermanos II reported one outing for 3 sailfish. Ixtapa Zihuatanejo fishing area weather was in the high-80s, with clouds, some showers, rough seas, and water temperatures of 83 to 84 degrees.
IXTAPA ZIHUATANEJO, MEXICO: Ed Kunze, reporting for Baja On The Fly, said he recorded 6.25 inches of rain over a 16-hour period at his house as storm runoff made inshore fishing conditions tough. "The large volume of dirty fresh water coming out of the rivers wiped out the inshore fishery," Kunze said. "On Wednesday, I went down to Puerto Vicente Guerrero to find clean water, south about 15 miles from Zihuatanejo, with fly fishing client Jerry Chew of Portland and we got zip." Offshore boats averaged about 1 to 2 sailfish per outing plus an occasional dorado. Ixtapa fishing area weather was at 90 degrees, with thunderstorms and water temperatures of 80 to 84 degrees.