ENSENADA, MEXICO: Ivan Villarino of Vonny's Fleet reported even better white seabass action last week for his charter pangas fishing at the tip of Ensenada's Punta Banda as anglers going out with Capts. Beto and Hector scored on croakers of 30 to a high of 70 pounds, plus the usual mixed bag of bottom fish species.
"Wow!" Villarino said. "White seabass to 70 pounds! What a week!" Ensenada anglers fishing aboard the charter pangas Vonny I and Vonny IV during the week included Walter and Patricia Korbler of Corona, Calif., with bottom fish plus 2 white seabass of 35 and 42 pounds; Jay Johnson with 2 white seabass to 39 pounds plus bottom fish; Larry Cox with a 40-pound white seabass; Gather Cohen of Las Vegas, Nev., with a 38 pounder; and Walter Korbler on his second outing of the week, with fishing partner Campbell, for 2 white seabass at 50 and 70 pounds. Ensenada fishing area local weather was partly cloudy in the mid-70s, with light winds, ocean swells of 2 to 3 feet, and water temperatures averaging 62 degrees.
ENSENADA, MEXICO: Steve Ross of the Ensenada sportfishing boat Bad Dog reported on an outing from Marina Coral to a spot about 60 miles southwest called the Animal Basin that had produced albacore the previous week, but with no longfin found and a catch in scattered action of: 3 yellowfin tuna averaging about 22 pounds, and 1 dorado of 10.7 pounds.
"We arrived at dark prior to first light," Ross said. "Seas were 5 feet and the wind was blowing white caps. It was albacore weather. As the light came over the mountains, we continued to work this area that was so productive last Saturday. Three boats from San Diego were also working the area. At 0715 we got our first jig strike. I reeled up a 21.5-pound yellowfin tuna in blue 67.6-degree water.
"The tuna were blowing up everywhere but the party boats would get a jig strike and then start back up again. I ran to the bottom of the Animal Basin at 31.00 117.30 where we got a single blind jig strike and my wife Gail reeled up a 10.7-pound dorado in 68-degree blue water. Every kelp paddy was dry with no one home. We totaled 189 miles for the day. Last Saturday this whole area provided excellent albacore fishing."
PUERTO SANTO TOMAS, MEXICO: Sam Saenz of Puerto Santo Tomas Resort south of Ensenada reported surface action for bonito and barracuda around the Soledad Reef north of the point. "John Perez from San Diego went out fishing on a panga and came back with full Mexican sportfishing limits of bottom fish such as rockcod, whitefish and lingcod," Saenz said. "He also did some trolling with Rapalas and caught 2 bonita and 1 barracuda." Puerto Santo Tomas fishing area weather was mixed, with 3 days of wind and 4 days of calmer seas.
SAN QUINTIN, MEXICO: Pete Hillis of Pedro's Pangas said anglers scored on white seabass plus yellowtail at Isla San Martin, and local bottom fishing also produced good counts of rockcod, halibut, and lingcod. "We're still waiting for another school of albacore to show up," Hillis said. Capt. Miguel, fishing aboard the charter boat Pelicano, reported 4 good-sized white seabass caught at the mouth of Bahia de San Quintin. "We'll also be checking for white seabass at Socorro to the south," Hillis said.
SAN QUINTIN, MEXICO: Marita Melville of Don Eddie's Landing reported good fishing weather at San Quintin and some boats reporting white seabass, including a run south to El Tranquilo by Capt. Juan Cook and Don Eddie Marquez aboard the charter boat Panchita that found a wide-open bite on sandbass followed by 2 white seabass hooked up and a 49.5 pounder landed. "They heard there had been some white seabass caught the day before," Melville said. "The birds had moved and they ended up fishing at Valle de Tranquilo in a wide-open sandbass bite on top. Then the white seabass came through. Don Eddie hooked two fish and they landed one at 49.5 pounds. We are looking forward to a great white seabass season this year."
BAJA CALIFORNIA, MEXICO: Ken Jones of Long Beach, Calif., reported on a remote Baja fishing trip with Brian Smith to the Punta Blanca area, located on Baja's north Pacific coast west of Catavina. Noting the very few tourists in the area, Jones said, "There's a long, occasionally nasty road in from Laguna Chapala and a similar road on the way out ending up just north of the Desert Inn or old La Pinta Hotel in Catavina on Highway 1. Take a GPS and a map with appropriate grids.
"As mentioned in The Baja Catch, this area is pretty desolate and we saw no other people in five days except the friends we hooked up with and one person watching over a seasonal fish camp."
Surf fishing produced halibut, yellowfin croaker, barred surf perch, sandbass, and kelp bass. "You can have very tasty fish dinners with very little work within a short walk of camp on the rocks and points," Jones said. "Most of the fish were caught with plastics and grubs with a piece of cut bait. There were lots of dolphins and birds working the area."
Jones noted very good weather and no problems during the trip, except for a fish sack lost to waves. "I was swamped by a rogue wave that sent my gunny sack of croaker sliding down into the Pacific," he said. "I felt it best not to jump in after them. We had no problems with checkpoints. There was some highway work on the roads near El Rosario. We stopped in at El Rosario to say 'hi' to Kim at her museum-store-cat-dog hangout. She continues to do good work for the animals of the area."
Baja coastal fishing weather was in the low-80s, with water temperatures in the mid-60s.
BAJA CALIFORNIA, MEXICO: Ray Madrid of Long Beach, Calif., reported on a stop for sandbass and mixed species at Camalu during his Baja trip with his trailer boat Heavy Metal that also included fishing at Bahia de los Angeles and San Quintin with trip partners Bill Alexander of Rolling Hills, Calif., and Joe Poon of Santa Anita, Calif. "On Thursday we fished at Camalu with Capt. Sergio of Lee Moreno’s Pangas, as my boat was to big to beach launch," Madrid said. "We caught large sandbass and bottom fish." Madrid also noted white seabass being caught in the area. "At the beach we saw three 50-pound white seabass landed by another boat. Hopefully, it's the beginning of white seabass at Camalu and San Quintin," he said.
Fishing a few days earlier at San Quintin with Kelly Catian's K&M Offshore Sportfishing produced good results on red rockcod and mixed bottom fish.
MAGDALENA BAY, MEXICO: Gary Graham of Baja On The Fly reported unsettled offshore weather keeping most Magdalena Bay fishing area boats inside the bay last week, with fishing inside the mangrove channels producing pargo, cabrilla, and a few halibut. Sierra and corvina were seen actively feeding on surface sardine schools. Magdalena Bay fishing area weather was mostly cloudy in the high-90s, with water temperatures at 60 to 76 degrees.
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Larry Edwards of Cortez Yacht Charters reported on 36 outings by Gaviota Fleet and the Cabo charter boats Fish Cabo, Fish Cabo I, and Tuna Time, with a catch including released fish of: 1 blue marlin, 13 striped marlin, 16 dorado, 1 shark, 10 yellowfin tuna, 2 giant squid, and 8 dog snapper. "Roberto Marquez, of the week's high boat, Fish Cabo, said the bite had taken off on the Pacific Side," Edwards said. "He expected the bite to continue for a while with warmer currents being pushed in by offshore hurricanes." Cabo San Lucas fishing area weather was partly cloudy in the high-90s, as most boats found the best action on the Pacific side at the Golden Gate Bank. Water temperatures ranged from 83 degrees at the Pacific side Jaime Bank to 87 degrees on the Cortez side Gordo Banks.
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Tracy Ehrenberg of Pisces Fleet Sportfishing said blue marlin made more of an appearance for Los Cabos fishing area charter boats, as 64 percent of Pisces boats released billfish, 33 percent caught dorado, just 12 percent landed yellowfin tuna, and 88 percent scored on all species combined. Blue marlin of about 230 pounds were caught by the charter boats Spartacus, fishing on the Cabrillo Sea Mount, and the Valerie, fishing about 12 miles off land's end. "A smattering of blue marlin was seen," Ehrenberg said. "Striped marlin catches also picked up nicely." Overall, Pisces anglers caught a total of 46 striped marlin, 1 sailfish and 2 blue marlin. Inshore fishing produced up to 8 roosterfish per outing for Cabo pangas, plus small sharks, bonita, jack crevalle, and red snapper. Cabo San Lucas sportfishing area weather was hot and clear, with significant swells on the Cortez side and water temperatures averaging 81 degrees. Most boats fished the Pacific side.
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: 1 striped marlin, 19 yellowfin tuna of 15 to 16 pounds, and 2 dorado of 25 to 50 pounds. Dillon said fish were present in the Cabo San Lucas area, but were reluctant to bite. "The El Budster II saw 4 striped marlin on one trip, but none would hit the lures or live bait," he said. "They also found 2 schools of dolphin but were unable to locate any yellowfin tuna."
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Grant Hartman of the Baja Anglers Cabo San Lucas fly fishing guide service said roosterfish provided most of the inshore action during the week, as offshore fishing was up-and-down. "Offshore, we were teasing 8 billfish on one day, and the next day not finding one fish," Hartman said. Overall, striped marlin fishing improved late in the week. Inshore, Hartman said, "There are quite a few roosterfish, mostly under 10 pounds, but the schools move around quite a bit and can be difficult to find."
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: Durance Lowendick of Marlin Masters Sportfishing at Cabo San Lucas said, "We are definitely seeing increased action for blue marlin moving into the Cabo fishing area, with the Golden Gate Bank area in the Pacific being the primary fishing grounds for both striped marlin and blues. Near shore fishing trips are producing solid action for roosterfish, sierra mackerel, and jack crevalle. The continued warming trend should push more blue marlin into Cabo San Lucas waters."
CABO SAN LUCAS, MEXICO: For the week ending July 20, 2008, George Landrum of Fly Hooker Sportfishing reported generally excellent fishing conditions, but with a brief period of rough seas caused by tropical stormy weather. "The only day of bad surface conditions was Thursday when storms blew through," Landrum said. "That brought the chop up and a few people returned early or canceled their fishing trips entirely." More blue marlin of about 150 to about 400 pounds were caught by Cabo fishing boats. "The blue marlin catch was scattered and mostly off the 1,000-fathom curve," Landrum said. "I have not heard of any black marlin yet, but I am sure there must have been at least a few. Things are looking up at Cabo San Lucas with the arrival of warm water and bigger fish. We have our fingers crossed that the summer storms stay to the south."
SAN JOSE DEL CABO, MEXICO: Eric Brictson of Gordo Banks Pangas reported on 41 combined La Playita fleet charter pangas fishing out of San Jose del Cabo's Puerto Los Cabos marina, with a catch including released fish of: 23 huachinango or true red snapper, 6 rainbow runner, 22 roosterfish, 3 sailfish, 2 striped marlin, 5 yellowfin tuna, 17 dorado, 25 amberjack, 33 yellow snapper, 5 pompano, 18 bonito, 7 hammerhead shark, 15 jack crevalle, and 6 sierra. Los Cabos fishing area sea conditions were settling after tropical weather systems passed to the south. "This July is of the warmest and most humid in recent history as a result of tropical storms from the south," Brictson said. "Ocean conditions have now settled, and clean blue water is being found within several miles of shore. Water temperatures have surged to 82 to 86 degrees, but catches have been extremely slim for this time of year. No one has an exact reason for it, but they are optimistic because to the north off East Cape, La Paz, and Loreto, catches have been consistent, particularly for nice-sized dorado."
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: Christi Jones of Rancho Buena Vista reported on 12 boats fishing during the week, with a catch including released fish of: 48 yellowfin tuna, 1 sailfish, 4 blue marlin, 6 striped marlin, and 18 dorado. "With the warm air comes big blue marlin and we have started to see many more in the past couple of weeks," Jones said. "We are still fishing primarily off Lighthouse Point and out from Cabo Pulmo. Mucho tuna!"
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: Gary Graham of Baja On The Fly said East Cape sportfishing counts were dominated by yellowfin tuna last week. "The best tuna action was outside of the Cabo Pulmo Marine Park," Graham said, "but unfortunately, the temptation was too great for some boats and they strayed into the park, much to the concern of the park inspector." Billfish catches included more blue marlin, plus a few sailfish and striped marlin. The recent East Cape Dorado Shootout fishing tournament, with nearly 400 anglers competing, was won by a 64-pound fish, but Graham said, "They had a tough time coming up with qualifying fish." Inshore fish counts were led by roosterfish of mostly under 10 pounds. Beach fishing was recovering from heavy rain early in the week as more roosterfish, ladyfish, and pompano showed up. East Cape fishing area weather was mostly cloudy in the high-90s, with water temperatures of 73 to 87 degrees.
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: Jeff deBrown of The Reel Baja East Cape fly fishing guide service reported air temperatures in the high-90s, water temperatures of 75 to 87 degrees, and good numbers of smaller roosterfish, plus some ladyfish and a few pompano caught on the beaches as the water cleared following recent rains. "The storm passed and left a few of the arroyos running and a few palm leaves to be picked up," deBrown said, "but on Saturday morning we were back to bright sun and hot temperatures." Some larger roosterfish were present in the area. "I know of 3 roosters caught on bait this week and the smallest was 60 pounds," deBrown said. "Tuna have been the big story offshore, with most East Cape boats fishing in the area off Cabo Pulmo."
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: For the week ending July 17, 2008, Chris Moyers of East Cape Smoke House reported on 327 charter boats from combined sportfishing fleets including Hotels Palmas de Cortez, Playa del Sol, Punta Colorada, Buena Vista Beach Resort, Rancho Leonero, and Martin Verdugo's Beach Resort, with 974 anglers and a catch including released fish of: 105 striped marlin, 13 sailfish, 102 dorado, 455 yellowfin tuna, 5 amberjack, 25 roosterfish, and 1 mako shark. East Cape fishing area weather was in the low-90s, with water temperatures of 74 to 88 degrees, light winds, and mostly smooth to moderate seas, but one morning of stormy conditions. "The wind started to howl in the middle of the night," Moyers said. "The storm was complete with thunder and lightning, a real show. There was no way you could get on a boat for some time. In some places, it looked like we’d had a hurricane. There’s nothing like a nice desert storm. Needless to say, the last few days have been mighty humid."
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: For the week ending July 17, 2008, Ana Lizeth Velazquez of Buena Vista Beach Resort reported on 61 boats, with 248 anglers and a catch including released fish of: 1 black marlin, 32 striped marlin, 3 sailfish, 48 dorado, 150 yellowfin tuna, 22 roosterfish, 2 shark, 16 snapper, 5 jack crevalle, 9 amberjack, 2 pompano, 2 triggerfish, 4 cabrilla, and 1 sierra. East Cape sportfishing area weather was in the high-90s, with water temperatures at 78 to 85 degrees, as hotel boats fished up to 35 miles out from Punta Pescadero in the north to Los Frailes in the south. Baits available included ballyhoo, sardinas, mullet, and caballitos.
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: Baja aluminum boat trekker John Kacinsky of Pleasanton, Calif., reported on a family charter cruiser outing at East Cape, after being kept off the water by winds at Cabo San Lucas, for a catch of 10 yellowfin tuna to 36 pounds plus a 300-pound class blue marlin released. "We tried to fish with the aluminum boat out of Cabo last Friday but the wind came up and we put the boat back on the trailer," Kacinsky said. "This week we decided to fish cruisers out of Punta Colorada. We caught 6 of the tuna at the tuna hole off of Cabo Pulmo on live bait and 4 more trolling with the dolphins. The marlin was caught trolling about 7 miles off of Punta Arena. We fished with Capt. Ramon on the Mahi Mahi." Fishing a second day by Kacinsky's family group produced 2 yellowfin tuna, 1 amberjack, and 2 roosterfish aboard a cruiser, and 1 yellowfin tuna, 1 spotted cabrilla, and 7 dorado on a panga.
EAST CAPE, MEXICO: Simon Cazaly of the Vista Sea Sport East Cape diving service reported improved conditions on the Cabo Pulmo coral reef, with bottom water temperatures at 81 degrees and visibility at 60 to 80 feet. "There's no need for a wet suit and visibility has been fantastic," Cazaly said. "Navigation is a breeze with the site spread out before you and covered in an array of marine life." Yellow snapper were in particularly high concentration over the reef. "Looking down on the reef, a golden yellow blanket envelops the site," Cazaly said. "Just how many yellow snapper congregate here would be impossible to say but with the sun glinting off their colourful bodies they really are an impressive sight." Other sea life sightings during Vista Sea Sport diving trips included: golden cownose rays, smoothtail mobula mantas, balloonfish, leopard grouper, pinto lobster, Panamic green morays, bigeye jack, dogtooth snapper, surgeonfish, needlefish, green sea turtles, and giant Pacific mantas.
LA PAZ, MEXICO: Jonathan Roldan of La Paz' Tailhunter International said, "It was another great week of dorado fishing for both my La Paz and Las Arenas charter panga fleets. Dorado to over 45 pounds made up 95 percent of the catch for La Paz while Las Arenas shook down a mixture of dorado, billfish, pompano and lots of roosterfish that were mostly released." One day of stormy weather brought rain to La Paz waters but Roldan said, "All the anglers still got out and caught fish. It's been a good solid week of fishing. The dorado bite is in full swing."
LA PAZ, MEXICO: Gerardo Hernandez of Tortuga Sportfishing at La Paz reported typical summer fishing weather on the Las Arenas side of the hill, with air temperatures in the 90s, some cloudy but rainless skies, and panga fishing at the 88 Bank offshore buoys producing dorado to 45 pounds plus striped marlin. "The bigger fish were caught by anglers arriving at the bank early and fishing with small barrilete baits," Hernandez said. "There's a lot of sea weed around Las Cruces, and many smaller dorado of 30 to 35 pounds are located there." Big numbers of medium-sized roosterfish were also located at La Ventana and southwards to the Punta Arena de la Ventana lighthouse. "We've got a large quantity of sardina bait at Isla Cerralvo and this helps the fishing very much right now," Hernandez said.
LORETO, MEXICO: Patty Zapata of Loreto's Hotel Oasis reported on 62 pangas fishing during the week, with fly fishing tackle anglers aboard most of them, for a catch including released fish of: 2,155 dorado and 1 sailfish. Dorado were caught into the 30 to 50-pound class as pangas fished about 10 to 15 miles from Loreto on a line from Punta Lobos at the north end of Isla Carmen northwards toward San Bruno. "If the boats moved north or south of these locations, they did not find dorado," Zapata said. Loreto fishing area weather was excellent and windless, except for tropical rain and some wind at midweek, with water temperatures at 84 to 86 degrees. Pangas scored dorado limits every fishing day.
Loreto sportfishing panga captains working out of the Hotel Oasis during the week included: Servando Davis, Plácido Davis, Paulino Martínez Castro, Martín Perpuli, Martín Davis Castro, Joselino Murillo, Jesús Osuna, Islmael Murillo, Gaspar Murillo, Francisco Murillo, Francisco Martínez Jr., Francisco Martínez Castro, Arturo Quintana, Antonio Monzón Jr., Antonio Davis Castro, Alfredo Rubio, Alfonso Susarrey, Abraham Fernández, Abel Davis Manríquez, and Abel Davis Davis.
LORETO, MEXICO: Bill Erhardt of Loreto said, "Dorado remain concentrated 10 to 25 miles northeast of the marina in Loreto and also remain essentially the only game in town. There are a few yellowtail and billfish being caught, but with plentiful natural bait available it is only the dorado that are consistently accepting fishermen's offerings.
"In addition to the squid, sardinas, and flying fish that have provided a smorgasbord for months, fish are now coming to the boat plugged with pelagic red crabs."
Loreto fishing area weather was at 100 degrees, with surface water temperatures rising to over 90 degrees during calm periods on the main dorado fishing grounds northeast of town. "Yesterday, Tuesday, I recorded a surface temperature of 91 degrees in the early afternoon 20 miles out of the Loreto marina." Erhardt said.
Three days of fishing aboard Erhardt's boat Soledad produced nothing but dorado, even as he targeted marlin, tuna, and wahoo. "One day in search of yellowfin tuna in the canyon in the center of the Sea of Cortez resulted in a skunk," Erhardt said. "The two other days of trolling marlin feathers and wahoo lures 15 to 25 miles out of the marina netted a few tepid billfish bites and approximately 25 dorado to 40 pounds."
Erhardt noted fewer anglers than usual in the Loreto area, saying, "Although dorado fishing is about as good as it gets, there seem to be fewer fishermen in town taking advantage of it. If you don't like fishing as a communal activity it is easy to stay away from the other boats, find a paddy that is holding fish, and mine it for the rest of the day unless you decide to call your friends in."
LORETO, MEXICO: Alejandro Rosas of Tijuana reported on the Loreto segment of his Baja fishing trip with Beto Carrillo and Rene Gonzalez, with Mexican sportfishing limits of dorado to 30 pounds caught during 2 days of fishing aboard Joe de Anda's boat Pepe Lupe with Capt. Joel. "We released close to ten each day," Rosas said. "We also saw quite a few marlin but didn’t try to catch them. The dorado were located about 10 miles out on a northeast heading from Punta Lobos on San Carmen Island, out to about 30 miles from Loreto." Loreto fishing area weather was perfect, with clouds but no wind, calm seas, air temperatures below 95 degrees, and water temperatures of 84.5 to 86 degrees. "It was the first time in almost 30 years that I've been coming to Loreto that it wasn't hot in July," Rosas said.
MULEGE, MEXICO: Fly-in angler Ron Grant of Crestline, Calif., reported on a trip to Mulege's Hotel Serenidad, finding full summer weather in the Mulege fishing area, with daytime highs in the low-100s, evenings in the low-80s, and dorado plentiful. "Dorado season is in full swing," Grant said. "Dorado are being found in all directions. Some Mulege boats are venturing out on a heading of 060 to 065 degrees out of the lighthouse and getting their first hookups within 20 miles. Other boats are going just past the Santa Ines Islands and finding fish within a few miles."
Mulege fishing area dorado were larger than usual for the season at 20 to 30 pounds, and some sailfish and marlin were mixed in. "I heard of a blue marlin of around 250 pounds being landed and not released," Grant said. "I did not see the fish, but I do have some steaks in my freezer."
Grant noted few tourists at Mulege, as his plane was the only one parked at the Hotel Serenidad. "There isn't much tourist business this time of the year with most Americans still not crossing the borders and very little aircraft activity as well," he said. "I was the only airplane on the ground at the Serenidad for several days running, including the Saturday Night Pig Roast that normally has fly-ins."
The runway at the Hotel Serenidad was in good condition. Aviation fuel and automobile gasoline in Mexico were selling at around half of U.S. prices.
MULEGE, MEXICO: Earlier, Charlie Plott of Pasadena, Calif., reported on a family Baja overland trip down Highway Mex 1 that included 2 days of fishing with Capt. Alex out of the Hotel Serenidad for variable action and a catch of 1 sailfish and 1 marlin the first day, and no fish the second day. "The second day, we saw many marlin and a few dorado but could get nothing to bite," Plott said. "The wind was a factor and the currents changed due to weather in the south."
Plott noted no problems during his drive south with a family group that included grandchildren. "We saw no hints of the dangers suggested by U.S. travel warnings or newspapers," Plott said. "Of course we traveled during the day. The roads are in good shape except for the places where they are making Highway 1 wider. Gasoline was cheaper than in the U.S. and available at the usual spots. The military stops took a little longer than usual but it looked like Mexicans were the only ones seriously searched. They took a look at us and waved us on through. The military garrison is back at the Serenidad.
"The Serenidad was busy with several fly-ins and tour groups. They have added wireless internet access that is very useful. Just as in years past, we all had fun and are ready to return. Overall, it was a great trip."
Plott also drove out to Punta Chivato for dinner at the old Hotel Punta Chivato, now called Posada de las Flores. "The new manager, Stefano Marcelletti, is very warm and is not at all hostile to fisherman," Plott said. "However, this hotel is geared to accommodate people who can pay major resort-type prices and expect similar service. So, for those who want such accommodations this is a good place to go. Even the road is much better than in years past. I plan to give it a try on my next trip. Stefano says that he can have gasoline brought in for the boat if I order ahead of time, so anyone interested should check with him first." Information, email@example.com, 615-155-5600.
Plott also noted the food still good at one of his favorite roadside restaurants just south of Mulege, saying, "We all ate one meal at Professor Angelina's at the Pemex station. The quality is still outstanding."
MULEGE, MEXICO: Bob Frambes of Playa Frambes Lighthouse Resort reported on an outing by John Harper of Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., for a first-ever dorado caught in hot action aboard the center console boat of Mulege resident Steve Bill. "We left the Hotel Serenidad ramp at 7:30 a.m. and all of us limited out by 9 a.m.," Frambes said. "All of the dorado were between 12 and 20 pounds." Mulege fishing area weather was calm and flat, with the water temperatures at 84.1 degrees and the dorado caught 3 miles east of Punta Concepción on blue-pink lures. "The fish would only let the jigs stay in the water for 10 seconds before we had multiple hookups," Frambes said. "There were hundreds of dorado in the water, everywhere. You could see them swimming under the boat. Other friends of ours fished just north near Punta Chivato on the same day and experienced the same thing. We also released a 170-pound sailfish."
SANTA ROSALIA, MEXICO: Alejandro Rosas of Tijuana reported on the Santa Rosalia segment of his Baja trip with Beto Carrillo and Rene Gonzalez, fishing aboard Bernie Williams' panga out of San Lucas Cove for Mexican limits of dorado of 10 to 14 pounds caught 4 miles north of Isla San Marcos just before winds blew them off the water. "Huge waves began to grow with the wind picking up almost to the extent of a torito," Rosas said. "It took us almost 2 hours to reach shore and we were as wet as whales. It was cloudy, with no sun at all. It got a little scary, but Bernie sure knows how to go around the waves and we had no real problems." Santa Rosalia fishing area water temperatures were at 83 degrees, but with no weed paddies seen.
BAHIA DE LOS ANGELES, MEXICO: John Robinson of Ramona, Calif., reported slow action during a day of fishing at Bahia de los Angeles aboard a panga out of Casa Diaz, and another day at San Francisquito with Capt. Mingo. At Bahia de los Angeles, Robinson said, "There were no signs of yellowtail. The captain told us only 1 was caught in the whole fleet. We did catch numerous throw-back fish, bonita, small cabrilla, and a couple of triggerfish, so at least we could make some ceviche."
At San Francisquito, Robinson's group, also including Jeff Lee and Alan Gerber, caught 3 yellowtail of about 15 to 22 pounds while fishing between Punta San Francisquito and Punta Santa Teresa with squid-tipped jigs. "We caught one yellowtail with chunk squid and a decent cabrilla close to shore while fishing for triggers," Robinson said. "It was another relatively tough day of fishing. The San Francisquito resort was open for business."
BAHIA DE LOS ANGELES, MEXICO: Ray Madrid of Long Beach, Calif., reported on 2 outings at Bahia de los Angeles during his Baja trailer boat trip down the peninsula with other stops at San Quintin and Camalu. Fishing on his boat Heavy Metal with Bill Alexander and Joe Poon produced unlimited whitefish and pinto bass at Bajo Guadalupe, and bottom fish, a few yellowtail, and 2 dorado at the south end of Isla Partida in 84-degree water on July 13, 2008. "We also lost 3 other dorado on bait at the island," Madrid said. "We were told by several locals that these were the first dorado landed this year at L.A. Bay." Madrid said bait was hard to make in the bay, but was caught on a weed paddy on the way out to the island.
SAN FELIPE, MEXICO: Dana Kerby of Baja Fishing & Diving reported on 6-day Midriff islands fishing trips by the panga motherships Andrea Lynn and Erik, returning to San Felipe on July 17, 2008, with a catches of:
Andrea Lynn, with charter master Fred Fowlkes of Sylmar, Calif., and 24 anglers: 452 yellowtail, 254 cabrilla, 3 dorado, and 320 spotted bay bass and miscellaneous fish.
Erik, with The Jigstop charter master Steve Shook and 18 anglers: 278 yellowtail, 156 cabrilla, 21 pargo, 6 white seabass, and 262 spotted bay bass and miscellaneous fish.
Midriff fishing locations visited by the Andrea Lynn and Erik included: San Francisquito, San Bernabe, Bahia de los Angeles, and Bahia San Luis Gonzaga. Fishing conditions were too windy to fish at the Golden Reef.
SAN CARLOS, MEXICO: Bryan Replogle of San Carlos-Guaymas reported on an overnight trip to the Baja side of the Sea of Cortez at Santa Rosalia in excellent conditions for a catch aboard the boat Margarita V of 2 sailfish and 7 dorado to 55 pounds. "Four of the dorado were pulled off a small square boat cushion out of a school of 30," Replogle said. "The water was as flat as can be the entire trip with magnificent sunsets. Lots of whales and turtles were around with some good bait and fish jumping between Isla Tortuga and the reef off San Pedro Nolasco Island. Most of the fish were within 10 miles east of Isla Tortuga. A lot of fish were jumping just off the north side of the island. I jumped in for some excellent snorkeling."
Replogle said San Carlos boats were finding blue water in the mid-80s, but with fish a little sparse. "But most boats are having some success," he said. "There are loads of small skipjack inside the reef and within a few hundred yards of shore. It's time for black marlin to show up and the sails to come in close."
Replogle noted the 61st International Fishing Tournament scheduled at San Carlos on August 1, 2008, with registration the previous evening. "This is an angler tournament with a small boat jackpot," Replogle said. "The entry fee is $100 per angler for the 3-day tournament. Last year's award ceremony was excellent with great food and always beautiful ironwood trophies."
SAN CARLOS, MEXICO: For the previous week, Replogle reported fishing results for San Carlos boats including some small yellowfin tuna around Isla San Pedro Martir, a few sailfish, some marlin, and some big dorado.
MAZATLAN, MEXICO: Larry Edwards of Cortez Yacht Charters reported on 30 Aries Fleet offshore charter boats out of Mazatlan's Marina El Cid, with a catch including released fish of: 216 dorado, 1 blue marlin, and 17 sailfish. Twelve inshore super pangas had a catch of: daily Mexican limits of dorado, and 1 sailfish. "It's near-limit fishing for dorado along with a 50-50 chance to add a billfish to the catch," Edwards said. "Mazatlan offshore action continues to escalate everyday and inshore fishing is also providing fast action. Dorado are nearly everywhere, especially under the buoys. Billfish are at 20 miles and beyond." Mazatlan fishing area weather was mostly cloudy in the high-80s, with light tropical breezes, gentle ocean swells, and water temperatures even at 84 to 85 degrees. Dorado were hitting all baits and lures, and billfish were caught mostly on rigged trolling baits.
MAZATLAN, MEXICO: Tadeo Hernandez of Mazatlan's Flota Bibi Fleet said, "Mazatlan fishing remains hot for dorado and is improving for sailfish and blue marlin, plus on-and-off shark and tuna. The best fishing is at the buoys or during random trolling 8 to 30 miles off shore." Hernandez reported on an outing by the charter boat Paty C. with Capt. Alex, crew of Alex Jr. and William, and anglers Garland Watlington, Jacob Sutter and Luther Sutter, for a catch that included a dorado measuring 5 feet 8 inches long that hit a small skipjack tuna bait.
PUERTO VALLARTA, MEXICO: Stan Gabruk of Master Baiters Sportfishing & Tackle at Puerto Vallarta reported on an outing by the charter boat Pecositas II with Capt. Hector for a catch by the Mendoza family of Guadalajara that included a blue marlin and a sailfish both caught on trolled goggle-eye baits at Roca Corbeteña.
"The weather is always a concern at Puerto Vallarta since we get tropical depressions, rain storms, and even passing hurricanes, and it’s affecting Puerto Vallarta fishing for yellowfin tuna and black marlin negatively this year," Gabruk said. "The storms push pelagic species like tuna and black marlin north with the currents. This year we’ve seen several smaller tropical depressions in the area, but nothing major. We haven’t as yet seen any yellowfin tuna over 100 pounds and the black marlin are mostly on the small side if they’re out there at all. I’m getting tired of waiting on the monster yellowfin tuna and the huge daily black marlin. The good news is we’re seeing blue marlin in numbers I can’t remember seeing for years. Yellowfin tuna are out there, but still in the 40 to 100-pound range. The tuna are due at Puerto Vallarta any day now and things can change in a heartbeat."
IXTAPA ZIHUATANEJO, MEXICO: Ed Kunze, reporting for Baja On The Fly, said Ixtapa fishing area boats averaged 2 to 3 sailfish per outing, plus a few dorado. "Blue water is at 2 miles off the beach and most Ixtapa Zihuatanejo sportfishing boats are working the 6 to 7-mile areas," Kunze said. "But there are few people here fishing, and we are only putting an average of about 15 total boats on the water per day." Roosterfish action along shore to the south was slow, but some reports for better counts of roosterfish and jack crevalle were received from north of town. Ixtapa Zihuatanejo fishing area weather was partly cloudy in the high-90s, with water temperatures at 80 to 84 degrees.
IXTAPA ZIHUATANEJO, MEXICO: Larry Edwards of Cortez Yacht Charters reported offshore action for sailfish, yellowfin tuna, and some rainbow runner, but inshore waters still murky due to heavy runoff from recent rains. "The roosterfish have disappeared from the inshore fishing areas, but amberjack were biting well," Edwards said. "There has been substantial rain in late afternoons and at night, but days have been very nice throughout the Ixtapa fishing area. Ixtapa Zihuatanejo area weather was cloudy at 90 degrees, with nightly rains, mixed water conditions, and water temperatures even at 83 degrees.
MEXICO: Andy Burton of Manzanillo and Sharkhunter.com.mx reported a very slow day with no fish caught along the Mexican coast during an outing aboard the charter boat Esqualo III with Capt. Gerardo Montes. "Fishing out of Manzanillo for 8 hours failed to produce a hookup, not even a bonito!" Burton said. "Sea conditions were perfect with clear blue water close to shore and a calm sea. An excellent current was encountered full of floating debris but with no dorado and no sailfish. Six panga longlines were crossed while trolling between 3 and 10 nautical miles off the Manzanillo lighthouse. One-hundred fifty commercial fishing panga longliners operate out of the San Pedrito Cooperative in Manzanillo. With this continued inshore longline commercial fishing pressure, it is impossible to guarantee productive fishing for clients until this situation changes."